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Newport Beach


847 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, eight deaths

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency today, August 2, reflect that there have been 847 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of eight Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of 12 cases today.

The County reported 558 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today.

Sadly, the County reports that 651 people have died due to COVID-19, including two new deaths received today.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 37,391 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 554 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 171 are in ICU.

Santa Ana has had 7,119 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 152 cases today, and 173 deaths. Anaheim has had 6,389 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 111 cases today, and 158 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,718 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 24 cases today, and 46 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,221 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 23 cases today, and 10 deaths. Irvine has had 1,195 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of six cases today, and nine deaths. Laguna Beach has had 133 confirmed cases to date, and “less than five deaths” to date. 

The County estimates 24,259 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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847 confirmed cases 8 2 20 2

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COVID-19: 37,391 cases in OC to date, 651 deaths

OC Health Care Agency reported 558 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, August 2.

Sadly, the County reports that 651 people have died due to COVID-19, including two new deaths received today. There have been eight deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 37,391 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 554 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 171 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 847 confirmed cases to date including 12 new cases reported today, a per capita rate of 9.716 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 7,119 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 152 cases today, and 173 deaths. Anaheim has had 6,389 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 111 cases today, and 158 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,718 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 24 cases today, and 46 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,221 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 23 cases today, and 10 deaths. Irvine has had 1,195 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of six cases today, and nine deaths. Laguna Beach has had 133 confirmed cases to date, and “less than five deaths” to date. 

The County estimates 24,259 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 2, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


835 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, eight deaths

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency today, August 1, reflect that there have been 835 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of eight Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of 15 cases today.

The County reported 637 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today.

Sadly, the County reports that 649 people have died due to COVID-19, including 31 new deaths received today.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 36,833 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 546 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 169 are in ICU.

Santa Ana has had 6,967 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 135 cases today, and 172 deaths. Anaheim has had 6,278 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 87 cases today, and 158 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,694 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 26 cases today, and 46 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,198 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 14 cases today, and 10 deaths. Irvine has had 1,189 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 15 cases today, and nine deaths. Laguna Beach has had 133 confirmed cases to date, and “less than five deaths” to date. 

The County estimates 23,860 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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835 confirmed cases 8 1 20 2

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COVID-19: 36,833 cases in OC to date, 649 deaths, including 31 new deaths

OC Health Care Agency reported 637 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, August 1.

Sadly, the County reports that 649 people have died due to COVID-19, including 31 new deaths received today. There have been eight deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 36,833 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 546 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 169 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 835 confirmed cases to date including 15 new cases reported today, a per capita rate of 9.578 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 6,967 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 135 cases today, and 172 deaths. Anaheim has had 6,278 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 87 cases today, and 158 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,694 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 26 cases today, and 46 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,198 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 14 cases today, and 10 deaths. Irvine has had 1,189 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 15 cases today, and nine deaths. Laguna Beach has had 133 confirmed cases to date, and “less than five deaths” to date. 

The County estimates 23,860 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 1, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


820 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, eight deaths

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency today, July 31, reflect that there have been 820 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of eight Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of seven cases today.

The County reported 418 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today.

Sadly, the County reports that 618 people have died due to COVID-19, including 14 new deaths received today.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 36,196 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 593 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 191 are in ICU.

Santa Ana has had 6,832 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 77 cases today, and 161 deaths. Anaheim has had 6,191 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 76 cases today, and 153 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,668 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of eight cases today, and 45 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,184 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of eight cases today, and eight deaths. Irvine has had 1,174 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 14 cases today, and nine deaths. Laguna Beach has had 133 confirmed cases to date, and “less than five deaths” to date. 

The County estimates 23,499 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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820 confirmed cases 7 31 20 2

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COVID-19: 36,196 cases in OC to date, 618 deaths, including 14 new deaths

OC Health Care Agency reported 418 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 31.

Sadly, the County reports that 618 people have died due to COVID-19, including 14 new deaths received today. There have been eight deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 36,196 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 593 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 191 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 820 confirmed cases to date including seven new cases reported today, a per capita rate of 9.406 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 6,832 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 77 cases today, and 161 deaths. Anaheim has had 6,191 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 76 cases today, and 153 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,668 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of eight cases today, and 45 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,184 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of eight cases today, and eight deaths. Irvine has had 1,174 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 14 cases today, and nine deaths. Laguna Beach has had 133 confirmed cases to date, and “less than five deaths” to date. 

The County estimates 23,499 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 31, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


813 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, six deaths

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency yesterday, July 30, reflect that there have been 813 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of six Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of nine cases yesterday.

The County reported 506 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County yesterday.

Sadly, the County reports that 605 people have died due to COVID-19, including 17 new deaths received yesterday.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 35,778 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 592 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 189 are in ICU.

Santa Ana has had 6,755 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 90 cases yesterday, and 157 deaths. Anaheim has had 6,115 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 91 cases yesterday, and 149 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,660 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 11 cases yesterday, and 45 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,176 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 10 cases yesterday, and seven deaths. Irvine has had 1,160 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of eight cases yesterday, and nine deaths. Laguna Beach has had 133 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of one case yesterday, and “less than five deaths” to date. 

The County estimates 22,787 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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813 confirmed cases 7 30 20 2

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COVID-19: 35,778 cases in OC to date, 604 deaths, including 17 new deaths

OC Health Care Agency reported 506 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County yesterday, July 30.

Sadly, the County reports that 604 people have died due to COVID-19, including 17 new deaths received yesterday. There have been six deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 35,778 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 592 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 189 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 813 confirmed cases to date including nine new cases reported yesterday, a per capita rate of 9.326 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 6,755 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 90 cases yesterday, and 157 deaths. Anaheim has had 6,115 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 91 cases yesterday, and 149 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,660 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 11 cases yesterday, and 45 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,176 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 10 cases yesterday, and seven deaths. Irvine has had 1,160 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of eight cases yesterday, and nine deaths. Laguna Beach has had 133 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of one case yesterday, and “less than five deaths” to date. 

The County estimates 22,787 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 7 30 20 1

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 30, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


City Manager’s Updates

From the desk of Grace Leung

Grace Leung

Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Newport Beach City Manager Grace Leung

Community members, 

Indoor operations at many businesses in Orange County and throughout the state remain closed due to increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. 

However, the state has offered some flexibility when it comes to outdoor operations in some sectors. 

Gov. Newsom announced Monday, July 20 that hair and nail salons and massage services could be provided outdoors, under newly released guidelines. Businesses that require hygienic equipment, such as tattoo and piercing shops, are not permitted to operate outdoors. 

Newport Beach business owners who are seeking to provide outdoor hair, nail or massage services can apply for a free City permit under the “Fast Track Back to Business” program. The program was established last month to allow restaurants and other commercial businesses to expand into parking lots, sidewalks, or other private and public property. 

Under the City’s emergency temporary use permit, businesses may use parking areas and other property in a manner that meets safety requirements and does not create a public hazard. Permit holders are inspected to ensure compliance with the permit conditions. Also, approved businesses may use temporary banners to promote their services. 

For applications and more information, visit: www.newportbeachca.gov/backtobusiness/

On Friday, June 24, Newsom’s office released a “COVID-19 Employer Playbook” that includes guidance for workplace safety, best practices for an outbreak, testing information for employees, and more. The document, available at this link, provides useful information for business and industry to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and prepare for cases among employees. 

COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach 

The number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach as of July 24 was 766 and the total cases in Orange County was 33,358. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of July 24 was 18,007. 

Statewide there has been a steady increase in the number of new cases, hospitalizations and ICU hospitalizations. While the State and County are now better prepared to handle the increase – and currently have adequate hospital capacity, ventilators and PPE available – the upward trend is concerning. The Governor and health officials continue to strongly emphasize the necessity of proper social distancing, the wearing of masks when in public and the importance of regular handwashing. 

COVID-19 News and Resources 

The County of Orange continues to add new COVID-19 data and information to its website at https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc

The County of Orange Healthcare Agency’s COVID-19 Hotline can be reached at 714.834.2000, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. County staff monitors the hotline and email box, and answers questions about industry reopening and activity resumption, current guidance and more.

The County also maintains a growing list of FDA-approved testing sites for County residents who are showing symptoms of COVID-19. If you are showing symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider for testing information first. If you do not have a healthcare provider, go here for testing information. The SOS Health Center in Newport Beach is an approved community testing site. Call 949.270.2100 for an appointment. 

Please visit www.newportbeachca.gov/covid19 for the latest City news and useful web resources, including information about the federal, state and county resources available to help small businesses and workers that have been financially impacted. We also have a page of free resources available through the Newport Beach Public Library and local organizations like SCORE, including online learning and business databases. You can also follow the City on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and look for alerts from our City staff on Nextdoor

Back Bay Drive Reopens Full-Time for Pedestrians, Bicyclists 

Back Bay Drive has reopened full-time to pedestrians and bicyclists following the successful cleanup of a recent rockslide. The slide occurred in late June between San Joaquin Hills Road and Eastbluff Drive North. 

For the past two weeks, Back Bay Drive has been closed on weekdays while crews removed rocks and dirt from the road. Back Bay Drive remains closed to all vehicle traffic.

Homelessness Update 

Addressing homelessness continues to be a priority in the City’s ongoing COVID-19 response, working closely with contractor City Net and regional partners throughout the county and state. Recently, people in Newport Beach experiencing homelessness have been placed in motels through Project Roomkey, a state initiative to provide shelter during COVID-19. Newport Beach staff and City Net staff are collaborating with the Illumination Foundation, a local non-profit agency working with the state to facilitate Project Roomkey. 

Success Stories:

–A family staying in their car by the Newport Pier was placed into housing under the County’s Coordinated Entry System. The Coordinated Entry System matches veterans, individuals and families to housing opportunities. 

–City Net staff completed two new Vulnerability Index Intake Assessments at the Newport Transportation Center and enrolled the people into City Net services. The assessment is used to screen clients to determine proper placement in the County’s Continuum of Care system. Some assessment factors include age, health issues and length of time being unsheltered. Case managers will follow up with the clients to provide housing assessments and prepare documentation for housing. Both people were added to the waiting list for the Santa Ana Armory. The Orange County Emergency Shelters, located in Santa Ana and Fullerton, are operated by Mercy House. Mercy House, established in Orange County in 1987, provides comprehensive services for people experiencing homelessness. 

–City Net staff assisted a client staying near the Balboa Pier with a State-issued Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. The EBT system is used in California for the delivery, redemption and reconciliation of issued public assistance benefits, such as CalFresh, CalWORKs, and other food and cash aid benefits. Established in 2004, EBT provides up to $125 a person a month to purchase food. 

–City Net paid one month’s rent for a man to stay in a sober living home. 

–Case managers referred a man to the Santa Ana Armory and arranged his transportation to the shelter. 

The City Net hotline number is 714.451.6198. Those who call the hotline may leave a detailed voicemail message for themselves or others in need and City Net staff will respond within 48 hours. For immediate assistance call the County’s Crisis Prevention Hotline at 877.7.CRISIS or 877.727.4747. To enroll in Project Roomkey, call 714.834.3000. 

Insider’s Guide for the Newport Beach City Council Meeting on July 28, 2020 

Our next City Council meeting is Tuesday, July 28. Items that may be of interest are highlighted below. The entire agenda, and all reports, can be viewed here

There will be a Closed Session at 4 p.m. and there is no Study Session. 

The Regular Meeting begins at 5 p.m. Please note the start time and the following items: 

On the Consent Calendar is: 

–A request to amend an agreement with Hoag Hospital as it relates to natural gas. The City owns several oil wells and a by-product of oil production is natural gas. For a number of years, the City has been providing this natural gas to Hoag Hospital which benefits both the City and Hoag. This agreement would extend that partnership until August 2020. 

–An additional phase of the Sculpture Garden is on the agenda for City Council consideration. This item is approval of Phase VI which is fully funded by a State Grant. Art pieces are rotated every two years and the Sculpture Garden has become known as a museum without walls. 

Public Hearings include: 

–A proposal to modify the Development Agreement between Hoag Hospital and the City as it relates to the ability to implement their planned future development due to COVID-19 related impacts. This agreement provides for an additional two years in which to build out their facility.

–Zoning Code and LCP Amendment Related to Corrections, Clarifications, and Inconsistencies. As the City continues to implement the Local Coastal Plan, occasionally minor modifications and corrections are needed to ensure consistency across the City’s 4 various planning documents. This item will make minor clarifications, and corrections related to lot size and dimensions, overlays and public hearing notices. 

Under Current Business: 

–Review of the Aviation Committee’s evaluation of the John Wayne Airport Fixed Based Operator (FBO) proposals will be considered in advance of the County Board of Supervisors’ meeting on August 11. Selection of the FBO’s are a key component of the County’s project to update the general aviation facilities at the airport. The City’s Aviation Committee has reviewed the publicly released portions of the proposals for how closely they align with the City’s goals related to this project.


Fire Files

NB Fire has been hit hard by COVID-19, but staffing levels remain high

The Newport Beach Fire Department (NBFD) currently has 23 positives for COVID-19 within its ranks. Ten of those are in the Fire Operations, while another 13 have hit the Seasonal Lifeguards.

According to Fire Chief Jeff Boyles, “Our contact tracing has been very successful in identifying potentially exposed co-workers and removing them from the workplace before they turn up positive. The majority of our positive cases have surfaced while quarantined. All have occurred throughout the month of July, but not all at the same time.”

NBFD has been able to maintain full staffing levels on the beaches and within the fire stations.


On the Harbor: The Flight of Newport

By LEN BOSE

Sunday, July 17 was the start of the 85th Flight of Newport Beach. I am sure there are many readers who remember this race as the Flight of the Lasers, Kites or Snowbirds over the years.

Five years ago, I interviewed Seymour Beek, who referred to the race as “The Flight,” because over the years, the race has been sailed in the Snowbirds from 1948 to 1970, Kites 1972 to 1973 and now Lasers from 1975 to the present. The Laser also happens to be an Olympic-class boat. Over the last four years, the Harbor 20 fleet has joined the Lasers to compete in separate classes for the Flight of Newport Beach.

In 1954, Tom O’Keefe won The Flight and I had a chance to talk to him over the phone. “At that time, The Flight was the largest one-design race in the world. I recall once I got into the lead, there was a newsreel boat filming the race and it later played in the theaters. I also remember all the powerboats in the bay blowing their horns at the finish line when I won the race. It was a big deal at that time,” O’Keefe said.

He also recalled a story about a competitor whose boat did not measure into the rules and this person had won several different regattas that summer. There was someone who took offense to this competitor and swam from Balboa Island and tipped the boat over just before the start of the race. O’Keefe remembers the harbor department following the swimmer back to the beach he had come from. “I still have the silver-plated bowl I won as the take-home trophy that year. I will always remember all those boats,” O’Keefe said.

On the Harbor Lasers

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Joysailing.com

Flight of the Lasers

This year, I checked in with Alex Curtiss who had just won his third consecutive Flight. Over the last two years, Curtiss has won the H20 Flight, and the year preceding that, he won the Laser Flight – one of only two people who have won both classes. Curtiss has sailed with Robert Kinney in both of his H20 victories and shared his race with me. “After a slow start, we round the first mark in 8th place, then while sailing up the Lido Channel towards Z mark we made our gains and took the lead. The top three boats round the last mark very close together. It was Jungle Ball all the way to the finish,” Curtiss said. Brian Bissell had rounded the last mark in second followed closely by Jon Pinckney. The term Jungle Ball means throwing the lead around in any direction with the wind shifting to the left. Team Curtiss/Kinney took the checkered flag while Team Pinkney finished in second and team Bissell placed third.

Five years ago I talked with Jon Pickney, who has won The Flight more than anyone else with seven wins. He is now up to eight Flight wins by winning the first Harbor 20 flight in 2017. Since he only finished in second this year, by a couple of boat lengths, I thought it would interesting to talk to his son, Morgan Pickney, who at the age of 15 had just won his first Flight of Newport, sailing a Laser. Morgan had a difficult start and felt he was in 15th place coming off the starting line. Keeping his composure and reviewing his observations, he continued on a port tack after mark “1” heading toward Bayshores. “I had noticed the marine layer had been burning off and expected the right shift to be coming in sometime soon. As predicted, the shift came at the opportune time for me and I took the lead going to the second mark of the race,” Morgan said.

I enjoyed talking to Morgan because the amount of information he described while sailing the course was intriguing. Another thing that I appreciated was he expressed an interest in all the names on the trophy and truly took in the history of The Flight of Newport. With my awareness decreasing with age, the task of finishing ahead of any of the Pickneys seems to be a difficult task.

On the Harbor Flight

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Tom Walker

Capturing the 2020 Flight

I also had a chance to talk with Buddy Richley who finished second in this year’s Lasers fleet. “I had a good start that went as planned, maybe too good. I rounded the first mark with a good lead and decided to cover who was in second place and tacked onto starboard shortly after rounding the first mark. As I approached the NHYC moorings and tacked onto port, there was some kid hooked into this huge right shift and was gone. While working my way up towards Z mark there were a couple of left shifts, so I thought I had a chance to regain the lead, yet I still had to fight to keep my second place with the competitor behind me. Downwind the kid sailed away...it’s good to be young,” Richley said. I then told Richley that was a Pickney and he replied, “Pickney, that figures!” I could hear his sigh through the phone, “You mean Morgan Pickney?” Richley has placed 2nd twice in the Flight and 3rd and 5th over the years. He then asked me if I knew of any good H20s for sale.

With the Flight of Newport now completed, it appears we are on the final leg of summer sailing and I am extraordinarily appreciative of our harbor and how we all can still compete and abide by practicing proper social distancing.

Sea ya!

~~~~~~~~

Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.


NBPL Board of Trustees announces new officers

The Newport Beach Public Library Board of Library Trustees recently announced a new slate of officers. Serving as board officers are Paul Watkins as Chair, Doug Coulter as Vice Chair and Kurt Kost as Secretary. The newly appointed officers will serve in their position until July 2021. Additional members of the Board of Library Trustees include former Chair Janet Ray and Trustee Barbara Glabman. 

NBPL Board of Trustees Paul Watkins

Courtesy of NBPL

Paul Watkins will serve as the NBPL Board of Trustees Chair 

Watkins has served on the Board of Library Trustees since June 2016. He held the office of Vice Chair from July 2018 through July 2020 and served as Secretary from July 2016 through July 2018. 

Coulter joined the Board of Library Trustees in June 2016 and served as Secretary from July 2018 through July 2020.

Kost was appointed to the Board of Library Trustees in July 2018.

The Newport Beach Public Library Board of Library Trustees is comprised of five members, appointed by the Newport Beach City Council to make policy and to oversee the administration of the Newport Beach Library system. Each trustee serves a four-year term and may serve for two consecutive terms.

For more information on the Newport Beach Public Library, visit www.newportbeachlibrary.org.

For questions, call 949.717.3800, option 2 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Pacific Symphony presents summer Sunday evening concerts on KUSC

Pacific Symphony’s official classical radio station, KUSC 91.5 FM, is broadcasting seven of the Symphony’s 2019-20 Classical Series concerts to more than half a million listeners in Southern and Central California on summer Sunday evenings at 7 p.m., through September 6.

All programs were recorded live in concert at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Popular KUSC personality Rich Capparela hosts the broadcasts, which include fascinating interviews with Music Director Carl St.Clair, guest artists and Symphony musicians.

Pacific Symphony St.Clair Pacific Symphony Capperela

Click on photos for larger images

Photos courtesy of Pacific Symphony

(L-R) Carl St. Clair, conductor and Rich Capparela, broadcast host

Each rebroadcast will also feature a live preview talk for free, via Zoom and Facebook Live, hosted by Music Director Carl St.Clair and Rich Capparela. Alan Chapman’s pre-concert talks and program notes for each concert can be found at www.PacificSymphony.org.

Broadcast Series lineup:

–Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” on Sunday, Aug. 2 with Carl St.Clair conductor; Dennis Kim, violin.

–Rhapsody in Blue on Sunday, Aug. 9 with Mei-Ann Chen conductor; Aaron Diehl, piano.

–Beethoven’s Seventh on Sunday, Aug. 16 with Carl St.Clair conductor; Vadym Kholodenko, piano.

–Berlioz’s Fantastical Symphony on Sunday, Aug. 30 with Carl St.Clair conductor; Alain Fefèvre, piano.

–Hadelich Plays Paganini on Sunday, Sept. 6 with Michael Francis conductor; Augustin Hadelich, violin.


Protests regarding new school year may affect change

Yesterday morning, under an overcast summer sky, some 200 students and parents, armed with signs, lined Eastbluff Drive around Corona del Mar High School and protested the Newport-Mesa Unified School District’s decision of an unwanted 2020/21 class schedule model.

Protests can three students

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos by Lana Johnson

(L-R) CdMHS students Nathan Sih, Gabi Gomes and Troy Subota rally

The 4x4 Model, as it’s known, would create a number of issues that parents and students alike are concerned about. Those issues include an unbalanced first and second semester concerning the number of teaching days, 80 in the fall and 100 in the spring; schedules that would include just three to four subjects in the fall and another three to four in the spring, rather than six to eight classes all year long; schedules that would potentially dissuade elective courses that typically run throughout the entire year and more.

Protests can Jamboree Road

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Protesters line Jamboree Road near CdMHS

Chants from those gathered were “No more 4x4, no more 4x4,” as passing cars drowned out calls with blasting car horns.

The action of many had been in the works for days since the Board of Education made the decision.

First up was a petition drafted and posted on Change.org by CdMHS incoming senior Gabi Gomes, calling for reconsideration of the 4x4 Model.

Protests can James and Schafer

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(L-R) CdMHS parents Kristen James and Jennifer Schafer spearheaded the the protest

Next, CdM parents Kristen James and Jennifer Schafer began organizing yesterday’s protest. Kristen and her son, Trevor, spread the word via social media and other district schools joined in.

Troy Tsubota, an incoming CdMHS senior, was one student that spoke up at the recent District Board meeting expressing his displeasure.

“We really want to see a repeal of the 4x4 plan,” said Tsubota. “World language and math classes are better when taken over longer periods and because everyone has to take those, it affects every single student.”

Then he talked about the challenges facing the students: “The load during the spring semester is going to be much higher because not only are we going to be taking AP at twice the pace, but we also have to recall all the information from the fall come AP testing time. Add to that that we’ll also have to balance sports and on-campus clubs that will hopefully be re-opening then.”

Protests can parents

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Parents demonstrating staunch support

Word at yesterday’s day-end seemed to be that progress is possibly being made at the District level. Key leaders, including board member Karen Yelsey and interim superintendent Russell Lee-Sung, were said to be spending countless hours attempting to work on potential solutions.

Protests can Chebil

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CdMHS student Meriam Chebil opts for a better schedule model

Included in those discussions were principals and teachers too, who are also looking for solutions.

Rumors are that some type of answer is possibly in the works and could be announced in the next several days.

Protests can we love sign

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Heartfelt sentiments tell the story


Uncovering historical signs reveals Newport Beach’s nautical connection

Two historical signs along Mariner’s Mile were uncovered last week during construction on a building, revealing Newport Beach’s rich nautical past.

According to Ernie Minney of Minney’s Yacht Surplus on Newport Boulevard, “The building was the old Balboa Marine Hardware building owned by the (Vin) Jorgensen family of Newport Beach. My dad and I leased the store in the mid ‘60s and opened a marine hardware consignment store.

Uncovering historial signs Minney's

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Photo by Steve Badum

These historical signs along Mariner’s Mile were captured last week before they were removed

“After three years we were just starting to show a nice profit when it caught fire and was pretty much gutted. We rebuilt and the original sign was covered up with vertical shake shingles. We started again and built a great marine surplus and salvage business. Original rent was $500 per month. Twenty years later we were paying $4,000 monthly.

“To get a little extra rent to help us pay the $500 per month, we leased half the building to a business that sold fishing tackle,” Minney concluded.


Waking up at the Wedge

Waking up sunrise

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Photo by Jason Berry (Instagram @its_jason_berry)

Summer sunrises in our beautiful city are worth waking up early for


Flight over Newport

Flight over Newport

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Photo by Joel W. Goldstein

Birds on the wing above the shoreline


Following landslide, Back Bay Drive partially reopens

Back Bay Drive has reopened full-time to pedestrians and bicyclists following the successful cleanup of a recent rock slide. The slide occurred in late June between San Joaquin Hills Road and Eastbluff Drive North.

For the past two weeks, Back Bay Drive has been closed on weekdays while crews removed rocks and dirt from the road. 

Back Bay Drive remains closed to all vehicle traffic.


Fab Four to perform at “live” summer drive-in concert at OC Fair

The Orange County Fair & Events Center and Autosonic Concerts will present a two-night summer drive-in concert experience this Friday and Saturday night, July 31 and August 1. The event will feature The Fab Four, a local tribute band that pays homage to The Beatles.

The band will set up to perform live on stage, with two large video screens for optimum viewing. Guests will enjoy the concert from their cars, with music piped in over their car FM radio system.

There will be two performances each night, at 7 and 9 p.m. Tickets are on sale for $75-$150 per vehicle, with up to four guests allowed per vehicle. Pricing: $150 front row, $125 premium oversized vehicle, $125 premium general admission, $100 general admission (behind video screens), or $75 back row oversized vehicle.

Guests are encouraged to bring their own food, as no concessions will be available.

Arrive at Gate 1 off Fair Drive. Gates will open one hour prior to show time; staff will scan guests’ mobile devices for contact-free entry. Vehicles will be positioned on a first-come, first-served basis in the general admission area. Oversized vehicles will be directed to designated areas. A pre-show presentation will inform ticketholders of the station and instructions, as well as sound advisories. Masks are required for guests who choose to roll down their vehicle windows or use the restrooms.

For information on tickets and a map of the stage, go to www.autosonicconcerts.com.


ENC provides Distance Learning programs

With children home from school, the Environmental Nature Center (ENC) has shifted to provide learning opportunities from afar. The ENC’s Distance Learning programs bring the field trip to your students’ class, learning virtually from home.

Students take a virtual hike with an ENC Naturalist as they present programs live with easily accessible technology. Students have the ability to ask and answer questions about what they observe in real time.

ENC provides Distance Learning teacher

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Courtesy of ENC

ENC’s Distance Learning is geared toward preschool through 6th grade

The ENC presents Distance Learning programs to preschool through 6th grade classes throughout the school year. The curricula for each program supports the Next Generation Science Standards for each grade level. ENC’s unique grade-specific programs enable students to participate year after year to build on previous learning. Students develop a coherent and scientifically based view of the world around them as they build and deepen their knowledge. These core ideas build on each other, and what youngsters are learning in their classrooms.

ENC is currently scheduling Distance Learning programs for the 2020-21 school year at the Environmental Nature Center.

For additional information and to view virtual science learning by grade level, go here. Call 949.645.8489, ext. 102, or email Mindy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule programs.


Crystal Cove reflections

Crystal Cove reflections viewpoint

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Photo by Jason Berry (Instagram @its_jason_berry)

It’s a beautiful day for a stroll along our coastline


Breakers still alive in fight for fourth and final playoff spot

The Orange County Breakers beat the Chicago Smash yesterday at The Greenbrier, in W.V., 23-16. The victory moves the Breakers season record to 5-7 and keeps their shot at the fourth and final playoff spot alive.

The big winners of the day were Steve Johnson and Jennifer Brady, who both won their singles matches, 5-1. Johnson breezed past the Smash’s Brandon Nakashima, while Brady beat Eugenie Bouchard.

Breakers Jennifer Brady

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Courtesy of WTT

Jennifer Brady returns forehand in Breakers’ mixed doubles win over the Chicago Smash

The win, coupled with their 24-21 victory of the Springfield Lasers on Saturday night, leaves the Breakers one-half game behind the Washington Kastles and one game behind the New York Empire, with two matches remaining, including one against the Empire on Wednesday.

Washington has matches remaining with Springfield, Las Vegas and Orlando, while it appears the Empire have a more difficult road with matches against league-leading Philadelphia and third-place Orlando, in addition to the Breakers.

The Breakers’ final regular season match is Thursday, July 30 versus last place Springfield.

The playoffs take place this weekend on Saturday, Aug. 1 and Sunday, Aug. 2.

Orange County has won the championship twice in 2004 and 2017.


As Phase V of Sculpture Exhibition is completed, Phase VI is already in the works

The 10th and final sculpture of the Phase V installation of the Sculpture Exhibition will be completed on July 31 at the Civic Center Park, adjacent to City Hall. The new sculptures will remain on display for the next two years, joining 10 others remaining from Phase IV.

Tonight, the Newport Beach City Council will be asked to approve $91,436 for Phase VI. This amount includes both project coordination and management fees with Arts Orange County to manage this next phase.

According to the City’s Staff Report, there are sufficient funds in the Cultural Arts budget to fund the phase, budgeted at $135,000.

The City previously received a State of California Department of Parks and Recreation Local Assistance Specified Grant Funding towards the project in the amount of $500,000. The grant funds will also cover concrete repair and rehabilitation needs at the site. 

Projects funded by the State grant must be completed by December 31, 2021.

The Sculpture Exhibition is set up as an acquisition program that was developed in 2013. It calls for pieces to be loaned for a two-year period. 

Sculptors of works chosen are provided with a small honorarium, not to exceed $5,000, to loan their work to the City. 

The City is responsible for installing the art, while sculptors are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their work. 

Pieces are rotated into the exhibition annually and displayed for two years. Phases overlap for a one-year period so that 20 pieces are typically on display at a time.

As Phase V Marble Shooter

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Photos courtesy of City of Newport Beach Cultural Arts

Marble Shooter by Ron Whitacre is among the Phase V sculptures

Arts Orange County has previously provided coordination and site management for Phase I, II, III, IV and V. The organization was established in 1995 as the nonprofit, countywide arts council of Orange County. 

Some of the items Arts Orange County will provide to increase public engagement are: 

–They will launch an online survey in which the public can vote for their favorite sculpture. The most popular pieces will be considered for the Exhibition, pending City Arts Commission review and final approval by City Council.

–They will hold one study session meeting where the public will be invited to express their preferences for the submitted art prior to panel consideration.

–They will hold a curatorial selection panel meeting where the public can express their preferences.

–They will devote one regular meeting for the public to express their opinion of the panel’s recommendations.

–The City Arts Commission along with City staff will publicize opportunities for public participation throughout the entire process to the maximum extent feasible.

As Phase V Individuality n. 1

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Individuality n. 1 by ARTECLETTICA, Dominic Panziera and Daniela Garofalo in Phase V that can be viewed in Civic Center Park

Assuming Council approves tonight, Arts OC will open a call for entry as early as September 8. The call for entry will close on December 8, and Arts OC will launch the online public survey on December 9. 

At that time, the City Arts Commission and the curatorial panel can also review and vote for submissions online. 

On January 10, the online public survey and Arts Commission review concludes. 

In January 2021, at a City Arts Commission meeting, the Commissioners and curatorial panel will share their results and the public survey rankings. After a public hearing and input from the community, the Commission will approve of 10 works plus 3-5 alternates. 

In February 2021, at a regular City Council meeting, the selected works will be presented to City Council for final approval. Approved artists will then be contracted, and Arts OC will commence the installation of Phase VI and the deinstallation of Phase IV in May.

The Grand Opening for Phase VI will be scheduled for June 2021.


804 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, six deaths

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency today, July 29, reflect that there have been 804 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of six Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of 11 cases today.

The County reported 439 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today.

Sadly, the County reports that 587 people have died due to COVID-19, including six new deaths received today.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 35,272 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 626 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 204 are in ICU.

Santa Ana has had 6,665 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 95 cases today, and 151 deaths. Anaheim has had 6,024 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 70 cases today, and 147 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,649 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of six cases today, and 45 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,166 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 26 cases today, and seven deaths. Irvine has had 1,152 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 20 cases today, and nine deaths. Laguna Beach has had 132 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of two cases today, and “less than five deaths” to date. 

The County estimates 21,926 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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COVID-19: 35,272 cases in OC to date, 587 deaths, including six new deaths

OC Health Care Agency reported 439 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 29.

Sadly, the County reports that 587 people have died due to COVID-19, including six new deaths received today. There have been six deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 35,272 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 626 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 204 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 804 confirmed cases to date including 11 new cases reported today, a per capita rate of 9.222 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 6,665 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 95 cases today, and 151 deaths. Anaheim has had 6,024 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 70 cases today, and 147 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,649 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of six cases today, and 45 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,166 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 26 cases today, and seven deaths. Irvine has had 1,152 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 20 cases today, and nine deaths. Laguna Beach has had 132 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of two cases today, and “less than five deaths” to date. 

The County estimates 21,926 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 29, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


793 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, six deaths

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency today, July 28, reflect that there have been 793 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of six Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of 18 cases today.

The County reported 187 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today.

Sadly, the County reports that 581 people have died due to COVID-19, including 15 new deaths received today.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 34,833 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 640 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 203 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 793 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 18 cases today, a per capita rate of 9.096 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 6,570 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 78 cases today, and 147 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,954 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 58 cases today, and 146 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,643 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 17 cases today, and 45 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,140 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 38 cases today, and seven deaths. Irvine has had 1,132 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 14 cases today, and nine deaths. Laguna Beach has had 130 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of six cases today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 7,942 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 21,066 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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793 confirmed cases 7 28 20 2

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COVID-19: 34,833 cases in OC to date, 581 deaths, including 15 new deaths

OC Health Care Agency reported 187 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 28.

Sadly, the County reports that 581 people have died due to COVID-19, including 15 new deaths received today. There have been six deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 34,833 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 640 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 203 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 793 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 18 cases today, a per capita rate of 9.096 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 6,570 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 78 cases today, and 147 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,954 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 58 cases today, and 146 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,643 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 17 cases today, and 45 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,140 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 38 cases today, and seven deaths. Irvine has had 1,132 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 14 cases today, and nine deaths. Laguna Beach has had 130 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of six cases today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 7,942 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 21,066 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 28, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Breaking news

NMUSD announces cancellation of controversial 4x4 Model moving forward

With the exception of Estancia High School, all high schools and middle schools in the Newport-Mesa School District will prepare for the start of the school year utilizing the structure from 2019-20, such as the traditional 8-period or 6-period day. 

According to interim superintendent Russel Lee-Sung, “in consultation with our principals and feedback received from teachers, counselors and community, we are taking the following actions: 

–“The implementation of the 4x4 Model in our secondary schools will not move forward.

–“With the exception of Estancia High School (EHS), all high schools and middle schools will prepare for the start of the school year utilizing the structure from 2019-20 such as the traditional 8-period or 6-period day.

–“With the support of the principal, staff and parents, Estancia High School would continue to implement the 4x4 structure for the 2020-21 school year.”


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

School protest leads to chants of “No more 4x4”…while potential solutions are in the works behind closed doors

Tom Johnson Fair Game 2Several hundred students and parents showed up yesterday morning to line the sidewalks along Eastbluff Drive, from Jamboree Road all the way up to in front of Corona del Mar High School.

Signs reading No more 4x4, This plan doesn’t represent us, AP students will suffer and All classes, all students, all year were just some of them on display. News trucks from every major TV station in Los Angeles lined the side streets of the neighborhood, as passing cars joined in the chorus with the sounds of their constantly honking horns.

All of this was in hopes of convincing the Newport-Mesa Unified School District to change the previously approved 4x4 Model that would limit students to half of a course load in the fall and the other half during the spring. That plan would potentially create tremendous problems and stresses for students and virtually eliminate year-long elective classes that so many students look forward to enhancing their high school experience.

Parents and students from all four high schools were on hand, all wanting a return to regular year-long class program schedules.

So where do things stand at this point?

Fair game protest signs

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Photos by Lana Johnson

Signs waiting to be held up by passionate protesters

I’m led to believe that a lot is happening behind the scenes. Several parents, instrumental in leading yesterday’s protest, met with interim superintendent Russell Lee-Sung over the weekend. Karen Yelsey, board member of Trustee Area IV, which includes CdMHS, has worked tirelessly over recent days in an attempt to find common ground and solutions to the many issues at hand. 

Still, work continues. Some type of an announcement moving the discussion forward in a positive direction is in the works and could be expected in the next several days.

Although I’ve been critical of the Board of Education in recent weeks, I do applaud the work of Lee-Sung and Yelsey, in particular. And, I commend the many parents and students that rose up to have their voices heard. Finally, it seems the District is listening and I’m hopeful.

Fair Game honk

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HONK signs got drivers passing by to hit their horns in support

• • •

State Senator John Moorlach, 37th District, wants to hear from constituents with regard to the best plans for our youth beginning this fall, primarily, schools opened, or schools closed. He says, “You know what is best for your family when it comes to educating your children.”

That’s actually a nice change from our NMUSD Board of Education who continually tries to tell parents what’s best for their kids.

Anyway, Senator Moorlach requests that you take a survey to provide him with guidance. You can find the survey here.

• • •

Newport Beach Fire has a new Battalion Chief. On July 18, NBFD promoted Captain Philip Puhek. Philip started his fire career in 1997 as a student and volunteer firefighter. He moved full-time the following year as a firefighter and paramedic with the Bellingham Fire Department in Washington.

In 2006, he came to Newport Beach and subsequently worked his way through the ranks as firefighter, firefighter/paramedic, fire captain and the emergency medical services (EMS) captain.

He has also been active professionally as the treasurer and shift representative for the s, as a member on the NBFD EMS Committee and Community Paramedicine Committee, served as Chairperson of the Orange County Fire Chiefs EMS Committee, and is a graduate of the Leadership Tomorrow program.

His bio says he’s an “Oregon Duck.” Someone needs to tell him those are two words in this town that just “don’t fly.”

Philip resides in San Clemente with his wife, two daughters and a son.

• • •

Dredging never seems to stop in Newport Bay. Now, the Army Corps of Engineers will spend $3 million to remove some 3-4 feet or about 70,000 cubic yards at the entrance to the Harbor channel. The goal will be to take the 16 to 17 feet of water depth and improve it to 20 feet.

The material, which is clean and beach compatible, will be dumped just offshore at the surf line. Over time it will wash up and replenish the nearby beach sand.

Once completed, the hope is to remove 80,000 cubic yards nearby the Balboa Yacht Club. This material, which is not suitable for beach sand, would be deposited some six miles offshore.

The contract hopefully will be awarded and begun in the September-October timeframe and completed in March 2021.

• • •

Have you followed this story? In March 1968, three boys, playing in a Huntington Beach farm field, find a woman who had been raped and murdered with her neck slashed. With no ID, she was buried in an unmarked grave in Newport Beach where she would remain for the next 52 years.

Through DNA left years before on a discarded cigarette near the body, along with analysis from the victim’s sexual battery kit and clothing, police identified a suspect for the murder in 2016, Johnny Chrisco, a troubled man who had been discharged from the army after failing a psych exam. He died in 2015.

Still, who was the woman? 

Through genetic genealogy, Huntington Beach Police and the Orange County District Attorney’s office this year were finally able to identify the woman as 28-year-old Anita Louise Piteau from Maine. Upon discovery, her body was exhumed and returned home after all of these years for a memorial service with her surviving family members.


775 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, six deaths

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency yesterday, July 27, reflect that there have been 775 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of six Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of one case yesterday.

The County reported 274 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County yesterday.

Sadly, the County reports that 566 people have died due to COVID-19, including two new deaths received yesterday.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 34,646 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 661 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 204 are in ICU.

Santa Ana has had 6,492 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 48 cases yesterday, and 143 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,896 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 45 cases yesterday, and 141 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,626 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 11 cases yesterday, and 45 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,102 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of seven cases yesterday, and seven deaths. Irvine has had 1,118 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 11 cases yesterday, and nine deaths. Laguna Beach has had 124 confirmed cases to date, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 7,903 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 20,148 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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COVID-19: 34,646 cases in OC to date, 566 deaths, including two new deaths

OC Health Care Agency reported 273 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County yesterday, July 27.

Sadly, the County reports that 566 people have died due to COVID-19, including two new deaths received yesterday. There have been six deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 34,646 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 661 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 204 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 775 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of one case yesterday, a per capita rate of 8.890 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 6,492 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 48 cases yesterday, and 143 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,896 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 45 cases yesterday, and 141 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,626 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 11 cases yesterday, and 45 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,102 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of seven cases yesterday, and seven deaths. Irvine has had 1,118 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 11 cases yesterday, and nine deaths. Laguna Beach has had 124 confirmed cases to date, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 7,903 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 20,148 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 27, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


774 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, six deaths

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency today, July 26, reflect that there have been 774 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of six Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of two cases today and 527 cases since June 26.

The County reported 420 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today.

Sadly, the County reports that 562 people have died due to COVID-19, including six new deaths received today.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 34,373 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 687 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 201 are in ICU.

Santa Ana has had 6,444 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 89 cases today, and 143 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,851 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 76 cases today, and 140 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,615 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of six cases today, and 45 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,095 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of eight cases today, and seven deaths. Irvine has had 1,107 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of nine cases today, and nine deaths. Laguna Beach has had 124 confirmed cases to date, an increase of one case today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 7,849 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 19,121 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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COVID-19: 34,373 cases in OC to date, 564 deaths, including two new deaths

OC Health Care Agency reported 420 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 26.

Sadly, the County reports that 564 people have died due to COVID-19, including two new deaths received today. There have been six deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 34,373 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 687 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 201 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 774 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of two cases today and 527 cases since June 26, a per capita rate of 8.878 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 6,444 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 89 cases today, and 143 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,851 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 76 cases today, and 140 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,615 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of six cases today, and 45 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,095 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of eight cases today, and seven deaths. Irvine has had 1,107 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of nine cases today, and nine deaths. Laguna Beach has had 124 confirmed cases to date, an increase of one case today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 7,849 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 19,121 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 26, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


772 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, six deaths

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency today, July 25, reflect that there have been 772 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of six Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of six cases today and 525 cases since June 26.

The County reported 595 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today.

Sadly, the County reports that 562 people have died due to COVID-19, including six new deaths received today.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 33,953 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 685 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 203 are in ICU.

Santa Ana has had 6,355 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 83 cases today, and 143 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,775 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 67 cases today, and 140 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,609 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 29 cases today, and 45 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,087 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 21 cases today, and seven deaths. Irvine has had 1,098 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 18 cases today, and nine deaths. Laguna Beach has had 123 confirmed cases to date, an increase of one case today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 7,754 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 18,737 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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COVID-19: 33,953 cases in OC to date, 562 deaths, including six new deaths

OC Health Care Agency reported 595 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 25.

Sadly, the County reports that 562 people have died due to COVID-19, including six new deaths received today. There have been six deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 33,953 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 685 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 203 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 772 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of six cases today and 525 cases since June 26, a per capita rate of 8.855 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 6,355 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 83 cases today, and 143 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,775 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 67 cases today, and 140 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,609 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 29 cases today, and 45 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,087 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 21 cases today, and seven deaths. Irvine has had 1,098 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 18 cases today, and nine deaths. Laguna Beach has had 123 confirmed cases to date, an increase of one case today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 7,754 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 18,737 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 25, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 33,358 cases in OC to date, 556 deaths, including 13 new deaths

OC Health Care Agency reported 710 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 24.

Sadly, the County reports that 556 people have died due to COVID-19, including 13 new deaths received today. There have been five deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 33,358 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 652 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 215 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 766 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 14 cases today and 519 cases since June 26, a per capita rate of 8.786 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 6,272 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 143 cases today, and 143 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,708 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 87 cases today, and 137 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,580 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 31 cases today, and 44 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,066 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 19 cases today, and seven deaths. Irvine has had 1,080 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 18 cases today, and nine deaths. Laguna Beach has had 122 confirmed cases to date, an increase of four cases today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 7,643 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 18,007 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 24, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


766 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency today, July 24, reflect that there have been 766 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of five Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of 14 cases today and 519 cases since June 26.

The County reported 710 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today.

Sadly, the County reports that 556 people have died due to COVID-19, including 13 new deaths received today.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 33,358 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 652 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 215 are in ICU.

Santa Ana has had 6,272 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 143 cases today, and 143 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,708 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 87 cases today, and 137 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,580 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 31 cases today, and 44 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,066 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 19 cases today, and seven deaths. Irvine has had 1,080 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 18 cases today, and nine deaths. Laguna Beach has had 122 confirmed cases to date, an increase of four cases today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 7,643 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 18,007 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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Law enforcement leaders to discuss today’s challenges at next Speak Up Newport webinar

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes and Newport Beach Police Chief Jon Lewis will discuss the challenges their agencies face in these unprecedented times at the next Speak Up Newport Zoom webinar meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 12 from 4-5 p.m. It will be the fifth in a series of special programs Speak Up Newport is featuring.

Law enforcement Don Barnes Law enforcement Jon Lewis

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(L-R) Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes and Newport Beach Police Chief Jon Lewis

During this unique time of COVID-19 restrictions and civil unrest, many targeting law enforcement, the speakers will look at issues such as:

–How are their agencies handling the constantly changing COVID-19 restrictions?

–What plans do they have if the national trend in civil unrest reaches Orange County or Newport Beach?

–Law enforcement agencies are under attack nationwide. How has this affected their civilian and uniformed staff? 

–What are their policies on use of force, including chokeholds?

–What are their feelings on the stalled legislation in Washington, D.C. regarding law enforcement?

–What provisions do they favor? Which ones do they oppose?

To participate in the free Speak Up Newport webinar meeting, register here.


752 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency yesterday, July 23, reflect that there have been 752 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of five Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of 18 cases yesterday and 505 cases since June 26.

The County reported 905 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County yesterday.

Sadly, the County reports that 543 people have died due to COVID-19, including 22 new deaths received yesterday.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 32,648 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 690 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 233 are in ICU.

Santa Ana has had 6,129 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 171 cases yesterday, and 138 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,621 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 159 cases yesterday, and 135 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,549 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 34 cases yesterday, and 44 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,047 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 28 cases yesterday, and seven deaths. Irvine has had 1,062 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 22 cases yesterday, and eight deaths. Laguna Beach has had 118 confirmed cases to date, an increase of two cases yesterday, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 7,493 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 17,091 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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COVID-19: 32,648 cases in OC to date, 543 deaths, including 22 new deaths

OC Health Care Agency reported 905 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County yesterday, July 23.

Sadly, the County reports that 543 people have died due to COVID-19, including 22 new deaths received yesterday. There have been five deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 32,648 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 690 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 233 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 752 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 18 cases yesterday and 505 cases since June 26, a per capita rate of 8.626 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 6,129 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 171 cases yesterday, and 138 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,621 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 159 cases yesterday, and 135 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,549 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 34 cases yesterday, and 44 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,047 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 28 cases yesterday, and seven deaths. Irvine has had 1,062 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 22 cases yesterday, and eight deaths. Laguna Beach has had 118 confirmed cases to date, an increase of two cases yesterday, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 7,493 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 17,091 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 23, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

NMUSD approves secondary school model and hardly anyone is happy

Tom Johnson Fair Game 2Newport-Mesa Unified School District parents are up in arms with their opposition to the 2020/21 secondary school model approved Tuesday night by the Board of Education.

Get this, 330+ parental voices logged in on Zoom to argue against a proposed schedule that would divide the school year with just half of the class schedule in the fall and the other half in the spring. The District’s idea is that these half schedules would allow for more intense focus.

To be fair, there was also support for the other side, those supporting the proposal. However, their numbers could’ve been counted on a single hand.

But as usual, the Board put their fingers in their ears and voted against the concerns of the masses. As we’re all too familiar with, it’s unfortunately not the first time.

Here’s the problem. The Board approved what’s called their 4x4 Model. Students, as I stated, would complete half of their coursework each semester.

Why is that bad? Here are just a few of the reasons.

First off, the Fall Semester is just 80 days, while the Spring Semester is 100. You simply cannot teach the same amount of coursework with 20 percent fewer days in a compressed schedule.

Also, if a student takes AP (Advanced Placement) classes in the fall (ending in December), they won’t test out on the AP Exams until the end of the Spring Semester (May). That’s bound to have a negative impact on course retention, which then translates to potentially lower test scores. Those lower test scores then might have a negative impact on acceptance levels to noted college and university programs.

If that’s not enough, many parents were already vocal in their concerns about the rigors and stresses on students during what used to be “normal times.” This “approved” program will now do nothing but intensify those stresses and pressures.

Problems are further exacerbated by students falling ill and/or missing any coursework, even for a short time period, as then they’ll have to play catch-up in what’s already an accelerated semester.

And, it’s not just seniors with worry. If your son or daughter is an underclassman the problems also exist. For example, a student might take an AP Language or AP Math course this fall, and then not return for the next level of coursework until the following fall. Again, will they just be expected to seamlessly retain lessons for another year?

And what about the “fun” classes like yearbook, band, choir, drama, etc., that enhance the overall high school experience? These just simply aren’t one-semester classes. So the model doesn’t allow for them.

The good news is that the fight isn’t necessarily over. A petition, written by Gabi Gomes, an incoming senior at Corona del Mar High School, is circulating on Change.org calling for reconsideration. The petition is titled “NMUSD Recall the 4x4 Education Plan.”

To read it and/or sign it, go here.

“As far as the petition, I realize there are many concerns from the community that have yet to be addressed, and the district staff is aware of this,” said Board of Education member Karen Yelsey. “I hope our community will be patient while we work out details of the entire plan.” 

The obvious answer to me would be to have an odd/even program that’s been talked about and runs the entire school year, with a normal 6-8 class schedule alternated every other day. This would allow for continuous study until year end and/or up to test time. It would eliminate the unbalanced semester length concerns and would allow for the normal high school class enhancement opportunities that all students should enjoy and participate in.

• • •

We’ve told you about the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce’s sign program urging folks to “Wear a Mask.” Well, not to be outdone, the Corona del Mar Chamber has their own sign campaign. Residents are now invited to show support for the Newport Beach Police and Fire Departments with yard signs recognizing them for protecting our community.

You may pick up signs at the CdM Chamber office at 2855 E. Coast Highway.

Unfortunately, at the same time as their sign announcement, the CdM Chamber said the 2020 CdM Scenic 5K has been canceled until next year. Originally scheduled for June 6, the 5K was then rescheduled for September 12 for the same reason everything else has moved, COVID-19.

Well now, with the curve heading in the wrong direction, the chamber has now moved the event to June 5, 2021. 

The good news is, you have plenty of time to train, so no excuses.


Capturing Diana’s cherry blossoms

Capturing Dianas cherry blossoms

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 Artwork by Don Krotee 

Diana’s cherry blossoms in Garden Grove, captured with transparent watercolor on handmade cotton paper

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Artist Don Krotee was a member of the 2000 GPAC and is a member of SPON, the Corona del Mar Residents Association, the founder of the Newport Heights Improvement Association and lives in Corona del Mar. He is an architect, a sailor and a fine artist who has been drawing and painting from an early age. He provides Stu News drawings and paintings of iconic Newport Beach, its surrounding areas and the great State of California.


Chamber launches “Wear a Mask” campaign to save the business community 

In an effort to help raise awareness for the need to wear masks in public, the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce has rolled out a free sign campaign encompassing the entire city.

“There are very few actions that business owners and residents can do to combat the exponential rise in coronavirus cases. However, wearing a mask in public, along with physical distancing and hand washing, is known to curtail the community spread of the coronavirus from person to person,” said Chamber President Steve Rosansky.

The Chamber’s new campaign will offer a series of signs that business owners can place in their windows to get the message across that mask wearing in public is critical to stop the spread. The signs will feature messaging like “Save Our Economy, Save Our Business” and “Save A Life,” coupled with the words “Wear A Mask.”

Chamber launches Charleston Shoe

Courtesy of NBCC

Charleston Shoe Co. supports the Newport Beach Chamber’s “Wear a Mask” campaign

Chamber staff and volunteers will be heading out into the community asking businesses to post a sign in their window.

“With all the challenges facing businesses currently, the Chamber is trying to make it as easy as possible for them to get the message out,” Rosansky added.

Any business that wants to receive a sign can contact the Chamber to request a sign at 949.729.4400 or reach out to the Chamber at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The Chamber will even tailor a custom message as long it ends with “Wear A Mask.”

The Chamber’s effort is particularly important in the face of new business closure announcements by Governor Gavin Newsom. 

Rosansky added, “As long as the case counts continue their steep rise, he (Newsom) will continue to use his business dimmer switch to scale back person-to-person interactions. Awareness campaigns like the Chamber’s are critical to stopping the spread.”


City permit process to accommodate Governor’s requirements

Newport Beach business owners seeking to provide outdoor hair, nail and massage services are invited to apply for a free City permit. 

Permits are being issued under the City’s “Fast Track Back to Business” program, established last month to allow restaurants and other commercial businesses to expand into parking lots, sidewalks, or other private and public property to meet State of California physical distancing requirements. 

On Monday, July 20, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that, in addition to outdoor dining, hair and nail salons and massage therapy can be provided outdoors, under newly released guidelines. Businesses that require hygienic equipment, such as tattoo and piercing shops, are not permitted to operate outdoors. 

Under the City’s emergency temporary use permit, businesses may use parking areas and other property in a manner that provides adequate distancing and does not create a public hazard. Businesses are inspected to ensure compliance with the permit conditions.

Approved businesses may use temporary banners to promote their services. 

For applications and more information, visit www.newportbeachca.gov/backtobusiness/.


NMUSD Board of Education approves 2020/21 model

On Tuesday, July 21, the Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) Board of Education approved a 3-Level Plan for secondary instructional models for reopening the 2020-2021 school year. 

In spite of the approval, a wide majority of the parents speaking on the issue voiced their concerns.

“The model that was approved is the plan for the 2020-21 school year,” said Board of Education member Karen Yelsey. “That being said, I’m hoping that each of our four comprehensive high schools can adjust this model to fit their needs and be somewhat creative in the way they accomplish that.” 

This new structure is planned to be implemented for the 2020-2021 school year at all middle schools and high schools (excluding Early College, Back Bay and Monte Vista High Schools). Students’ schedules will concentrate on three to four classes per semester. 

According to the District, “This new model promotes student and staff safety, with social distancing in place during in-person instruction.” 

Listed below are the instructional models that will be used, and adaptable based on changing conditions throughout the year. 

The Instructional Model for Secondary (7-12) will include the 4x4 Model structure that would be maintained for the entire 2020-2021 school year and will be used for the three levels throughout the school year. 

The 4x4 Model is designed as follows:

–Students complete half of their courses in each semester (fall/spring), instead of all classes throughout the year.

–Students will meet every day, instead of every other day.

–Students take 3-4 courses each semester, instead of 6-8 classes.

–Students complete the same number of credits per year as a traditional structure. Typically, 60 credits for high school and 30-40 credits for middle school (10 credits per course).

–Teachers focus on 3-4 courses each semester. 

The three levels are:

–Level 1 is a 100 percent in-person program that will be used if the State of California and Orange County guidelines or local conditions support instruction without the need for social distancing.

–Level 2 is a modified in-person program that will offer smaller class sizes to accommodate social distancing; students will be assigned to a morning or afternoon cohort, Monday to Friday; with a half day to receive in-person instruction on campus every day and a half day to engage in independent learning connected to coursework; special education services will be full days, except for a Wednesday half day; this program is designed to promote daily connection with teachers and access to support services and meals.

–Level 3 is a 100 percent distance learning program to be used if state guidelines do not allow for in-person instruction and a stay-at-home order is issued by state, county or local health officials, or as necessitated by local health conditions.


You Must Remember This: The Oxararts

By NANCY GARDNER

The Oxarart family was part of my childhood because two Oxarart brothers – Charlie and Sam – were close friends of my father’s. The parents were immigrants, part of a wave of Basques who moved here when the economy was largely based on agriculture. Many of them ended up on the Irvine Ranch tending sheep and performing other functions.

There were actually three brothers, Vic being the third, but he was sort of like the fourth Marx brother – everybody’s afterthought. I was told as a young (gullible?) child that when the Oxarart children were little, their mother spent time each day pressing on their noses so each nose would have the characteristic Oxarart hook. Maybe that was Vic’s problem – his nose didn’t take.

My one memory of the family as a whole was when I was very young and we went to dinner at their home. It was like a scene out of The Godfather – a long,  table, big platters of food constantly being passed around, lots of noise. In comparison to my usual dinner experience with just me and my parents it was a bit overwhelming.

Charlie, Sam and my father bonded over their love of the ocean, and if Charlie was somewhat lax in his role as my godfather (I got no moral or religious instruction from him), he was very helpful when the three of them went diving.  He worked at Douglas, and every so often he would smuggle out lengths of one-inch metal pipe. They sharpened one end, affixed rubber loops to the other and provided themselves with spear guns. Armed with these and abalone irons, they made regular forays to Little Corona and Abalone Point and would bring back fish, lobster and abalone for dinner, something few divers can imagine today.

I had the most contact with them when I was three or four and we were living on the south bayfront between Sapphire and Ruby. The two Oxararts often came and spent the day with us at the beach in front of the house we rented. During this period, both brothers married and both married women named Jean. I distinguished the two women as Soft Jean and Pointy Jean. Soft Jean was married to Sam and had soft features. Charlie’s wife, Pointy Jean, had sharp features. My mother wasn’t that fond of Pointy Jean which led to an awkward moment when I answered the phone one day.

“It’s for you,” I called to my mother.

“Who is it?”

“The person you don’t like.”

When the phone call concluded I learned that there were certain things you didn’t say – even if they were true.

Both brothers liked to drink, another thing they shared with my father. Sam, who moved to Shore Cliffs some years after we did, was now divorced from Soft Jean and spent a lot of time in bars, particularly the conveniently located Drift Room on PCH in CdM. One evening he was at the Drift Room and when it came time to leave, he realized he was in no shape either to drive or walk home, so he had the bartender summon a cab. A while later, he walked out of the bar and got into the cab that was waiting at the curb. He gave the driver his address, and as they began the short drive to his house, he noticed something on the car’s fender. A closer look revealed it as a siren. Then he noticed the driver’s dark blue uniform, and it finally dawned on him. It wasn’t a cab that he had stepped into but a cop car that had pulled up in front of the Drift Room for some reason. He sat in the backseat, mulling the consequences of this misstep, but the cop simply pulled up in front of his house, let him out and went on his way. According to my father, this sort of thing happened to Sam not infrequently, but it probably wouldn’t turn out quite that way today.

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Nancy Gardner, former Mayor of Newport Beach, longtime resident and daughter of Judge Robert Gardner, is a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.


YMCA of Orange County to offer learning support and childcare

YMCA of Orange County (YMCAOC) announced it will offer childcare for children kindergarten through eighth grade at more than 40 sites throughout Orange County to meet the needs of working families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The move comes on the heels of California’s announcement to begin the 2020-2021 school year 100 percent online with distance learning. YMCAOC will offer full or part-time options for parents and provide distance learning and homework support, enrichment activities, clubs, physical education/outdoor play, Science Technology Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM), morning and afternoon healthy snacks and more.

“While there is a public health crisis, it is imperative to keep our schools safe. Families should not have to choose between their children’s development and education, parental livelihoods and household health. We know this new format of schooling will have a major impact on families, especially working families, and we want them to know that if and when they need support and/or childcare, we are here to help meet that need,” said Jeff McBride, CEO of YMCAOC. “We are happy to serve those parents who have the opportunity to continue working or return to work this fall; and to give children the best possible environment to be safe, while continuing to learn, socialize and have fun as well.”

YMCA of Orange County girl with rock

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Submitted photo

YMCA of Orange County offers childcare for youth in kindergarten through eighth grade at more than 40 sites

As the largest licensed childcare provider in Orange County, YMCAOC continues to work closely with the Orange County Health Care Agency, and follows all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requirements, to provide the safest environment possible for all children. Each child will be checked with a contactless temperature thermometer daily. Face coverings are required for kids during check-in, check out and during times when social distancing cannot be maintained. Parents of children attending a childcare center are not permitted inside the classroom and are required to wear a face covering when checking in and out their child. Parents also need to confirm health statements prior to daily sign-in and to take other precautionary steps. Children exhibiting any signs of illness cannot be accepted. 

YMCAOC’s Child and Youth Development staff is maintaining intensified cleaning protocols to ensure that all door handles, surfaces, supplies, activities equipment and other areas and items are sanitized throughout the day and overnight. Outdoor activities will also incorporate physical distancing, such as tag with pool noodles and distanced group exercise activities. Additionally, room dividers allow for stable groups of 10 children to be in a room while maintaining safe physical distancing.

In Newport Beach, before and after childcare is located at Mariners Elementary School, 2100 Mariners Drive. Hours are 6:45 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, call 949.548.6770 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To learn more about YMCAOC’s current safety policies and procedures, visit www.ymacoc.org/safety. Full-time and part-time options are available. To ensure a spot in the program, complete the registration process by visiting www.ymcaoc.org/fall2020.


Take Five: Meet Micah Martin, Newport Beach Deputy Public Works Director

By AMY SENK

For the most part, Newport Beach residents have it made when it comes to our garbage. We put it in bins provided by the city’s contracted trash company, take it to the curb, and it goes away – or we just put boxes and bags on the curb to be taken away, like magic. But times are changing, and earlier this summer, the City Council heard a staff presentation about the current system and how new state mandates (including an organic waste diversion program) will change the way trash is collected in Newport Beach. I caught up with Micah Martin, the deputy public works director who made the Council presentation, to learn more. 

Take Five Micah Martin

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Micah Martin

Q: There are new state mandates that will change trash pickup as we know it in Newport Beach. Can you give me an overview of what the new laws are and when they come into effect?

A: Current state law requires that every household, business and multi-family property recycle organic waste by Jan. 1, 2022. Organic waste includes food waste, landscape trimmings like leaves, grass, branches and compostable paper products. These requirements fall onto cities to implement and enforce within that timeframe and will result in major changes to our refuse collection system.

Q: Will people have extra trash cans and see extra trash trucks driving by? 

A: In order to meet the state mandated recycling and organic requirements, we will need to incorporate separate recycling and organic collection containers into the residential collection system, which in many cases may add an additional can. This does not necessarily mean that every household will have an increase in cans, but the current can system will surely change. Having another type of source-separated cart will probably also require another truck to pick up the material. This modification would put Newport Beach in line with what most cities in Orange County are already doing now, or transitioning toward.

Q: Mayor Will O’Neill said the changes could cost the city as much as a million dollars a year. Will residents expect to pay more for their trash pickup?

A: The new state law did not provide funding sources to municipalities to implement this program. Organics recycling will increase the overall cost of the City’s recycling program. We are working with our refuse contractor, CR&R, to determine the added cost to the City for providing this new service. Once that is determined, City staff will present options to the City Council, which we expect to bring forward by the end of the year. 

Q: Can our current trash company, CR&R, continue to provide service when these changes begin?

A: It is possible that the City Council could amend the current residential refuse collection agreement with CR&R to accommodate these necessary changes to the refuse collection system. Other options would include putting the contract out to bid through the City’s formal Request for Proposals process. 

Q: What are the biggest obstacles we face in meeting the new mandates?

A: The City has many neighborhoods that are severely constrained in terms of street and curb space. We are having to develop some specialized solutions for these neighborhoods to reduce the additional footprint of the organics program, while also ensuring universal access to organics recycling per state law. We plan on making this program as convenient for residents as possible, but the program will require some behavioral changes on a large scale. The rollout of this new program will be a multi-year effort and will require an extensive amount of public outreach and education for the program to be successful. Our goal is to provide organics service in a cost-effective manner that complies with the requirements of the state law. 

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Amy Senk is a longtime resident of Corona del Mar and a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.


Hoag is first hospital in the state to implant deep brain stimulation system for Parkinson’s disease

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian recently became the first hospital in California to implant the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recently approved Percept™ PC Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) system in a patient for Parkinson’s disease. This DBS system detects patient-specific brain signals and provides instant feedback to optimize real-time therapy for patients with movement disorders.

Christopher Duma, M.D., F.A.C.S, medical director of the Brain Tumor Program at Hoag’s Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute, implanted the Percept PC neurostimulator with BrainSense™ technology from Medtronic into the brain of a patient on July 13, 2020. This newest evolution of the technology allows physicians to continuously record patient brain signals and correlate these with patient-recorded experiences, such as symptom onset and fluctuation, medication intake and side effects. This provides much more personalized, data-driven neurostimulation management for patients with neurologic disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and even epilepsy.

Hoag Hospital exterior 7.24

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Courtesy of Hoag Hospital

Hoag Hospital is leading the way in real-time therapy for Parkinson’s disease patients

Shortly after DBS was approved by the FDA in 1997, the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute’s Movement Disorders Program became one of the first in the country to adopt this advanced therapy for Parkinson’s disease, which uses a small pacemaker-like device that sends radio wave signals to a targeted area in the brain. Since then, Dr. Duma has implanted DBS in more than 800 patients, making the Institute’s Movement Disorders Program a leader in the field of Parkinson’s disease therapy. The program’s innovative approach, combined with Dr. Duma’s longstanding experience with some of the highest annual volumes in Southern California, puts the Institute’s Movement Disorders Program at the forefront of cutting-edge medicine.

“The Percept BrainSense is a game changer for neuromodulation. We can now tailor therapy to each patient’s needs based on direct feedback from brain activity,” Dr. Duma said. “This is yet another great example of Hoag’s commitment to leading the advances in patient care.”

In addition to offering minimally invasive surgical treatment for Parkinson’s disease, the Movement Disorders Program specializes in patient evaluation, advanced medical therapy, clinical trials and community support groups throughout Orange County. The multidisciplinary movement disorders team of specialists takes a comprehensive approach to care, meeting regularly to discuss the best treatment options available for each patient. As the mission statement of the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute states: compassionate care, clinical excellence and creative intelligence.

“We are excited to be one of the first to use this innovative DBS system to help treat patients with Parkinson’s disease,” said Sandeep Thakkar, D.O., movement disorders neurologist. “This new personalized therapy is the result of a research collaboration between our movement disorders program and Medtronic to bring practical and clinical insights to product development. The Percept BrainSense has transformed the standard of care for patients with Parkinson’s disease while greatly improving their quality of life. Our ability to monitor the patient’s brain activities in real time can reduce the number of visits to the clinic – especially welcome during this pandemic.”


NB Chamber offering Zoom webinar to help reduce stress

The Newport Chamber of Commerce through its Business Connection Series will host a virtual networking event that will also feature a guest speaker. Carlee Myers, founder of The Stress Less Company, will discuss the “Steps to Keep Your Sanity: One Size Does Not Fit All.”

The Zoom event takes place Wednesday, July 29 from 12-1 p.m.

The hour-long event will feature Myers’ presentation and plenty of time for networking.

NB Chamber Carlee Myers

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Courtesy of Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce

Carlee Myers is the featured guest speaker on the Zoom webinar

Myers is an expert at helping professionals who feel overworked, overwhelmed or who are on the verge of burnout relieve stress so they can find more joy at work and home. She has helped hundreds of professionals across the country take action to reduce stress through coaching, and believes there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to stress management. Her work has most recently been featured through media outlets such as Good Day Philadelphia, FOX 29, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Mag and Whoolly Magazine.

Myers will address these issues: What is stress? How does stress show up? What are the causes of stress? A three-step repeatable system to manage stress will be shared with viewers to understand the symptoms of stress and how it appears in our daily lives.

The event is free, but the Chamber is requesting reservations here.


Newport Coast charm

Newport Coast views

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Photo by Kevin Pellon (Instagram @socalsnapz) 

Beautiful homes, beaches and blue skies ahead


Police Association files suit against City regarding retirement benefits for three officers

The Newport Beach Police Association (NBPA) has filed a lawsuit on behalf of three police officers who say they are being denied the retirement benefits they feel they’re entitled to.

Police Officers Kelley Maslin, Michelle Hampton and Dallas Lopez were hired as police recruits by the Newport Beach Police Department in the summer of 2012. 

According to the NBPA, they say the new hires were told throughout the hiring process that they would receive the 3 percent at 50 (years of age) CalPERS retirement formula. 

However, the City disputes that account saying that another formula, 3 percent at 55, was in effect at the time that the three were sworn in as officers because of an amended agreement between the City and CalPERS.

The Police Association asserts that “this benefit played an integral role in the decision for these three officers to choose employment with the NBPD.”

In 2017 the officers say they noticed that they had been enrolled under the 3 percent at 55 formula, despite them saying “that they were promised the 3 percent at 50.” 

The issue was then brought to the attention of police and city administrators, but no remedy satisfactory to the employees was offered. 

The City has continually stood by their determination that the three were hired at a time with a new formula in place.

The NBPA then filed the lawsuit. Since the lawsuit was filed on September 30, 2019, the Association representatives say they have “been consistently met with resistance and hostility from the City Attorney’s Office.”

In a recent attempt at mediation, no resolution was obtained. 

“The Newport Beach Police Association has always taken pride in having a wonderful working relationship with our City Council,” states NBPA President Sabrina Fabbri. “The entire membership is feeling frustrated and disappointed by the City Attorney’s refusal to give our employees what they are rightfully entitled to. At this point, the issue has become time-consuming, costly (for both taxpayers and us), and mentally fatiguing. I hope the City Council will do the right thing and make our employees whole again.”


Protest scheduled for Monday at CdMHS opposing 2020/21 class plan

A protest is being organized this Monday, July 27 at 10 a.m. to oppose the decision of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District’s Board of Education for their approval of the controversial 2020/21 school schedule. Organizers are planning to line Eastbluff Drive in front of Corona del Mar High School.

Masks and social distancing guidelines are being encouraged.

Organizers have identified the goal of the protest as obtaining a complete 4x4 Model exception for CdMHS. The 4x4 Model was approved last Tuesday by the Board of Education despite an overwhelming outcry against approval.

Early College and Back Bay and Monte Vista high schools have both previously obtained exemptions.

Word on the street is that teachers and administrators at CdMHS are also disenchanted with the District’s decision.


Summer at sea

Summer at rocks

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Photo by Jason Berry (Instagram @its_jason_berry)

Beauty abounds in Newport Beach


New sculptures installed in Civic Center Park

The Newport Beach City Arts Commission has announced the installation of Phase V of the Sculpture Exhibition in the Civic Center Park. The new sculptures were selected from submissions received by a national call for entries based on their artistic merit, durability, practicality and site appropriateness. Arts Orange County provided professional services for the coordination of the artist selection and installation of the sculptures.

New Sculptures Primemover

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Photos courtesy of Newport Beach City Cultural Arts

Primemover by Grant Irish

Nine of the 10 sculptures have been installed. The 10th sculpture, Primemover by Grant Irish, was selected to replace Link of Humanity by Danette Landry, which was unavailable. Primemover is scheduled for installation on July 31. The 10 Phase V sculptures will remain at the Civic Center Park for two years. 

Here’s a look at the other new sculptures:

New Scuptures Individuality

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Individuality n. 1 by ARTECLETTICA, Dominic Panziera & Daniela Garofalo

New Sculptures The Unbearable Lightness of Being

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The Unbeatable Lightness of Being by Patricia Vader

New sculptures Dude Ascending

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Dude Ascending by Joe Forest Sackett

New sculptures Cosmo

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Cosmo by Roger Heitzman

New Sculptures Marble Shooter

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Marble Shooter by Ron Whitacre

New Sculptures I'm Listening

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I’m Listening by Monica Wyatt

New Sculptures Seated Diana

Seated Diana by Curt Brill

New Sculptures Window to the Sea

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Window to the Sea by Andra Broekelschen, Corona del Mar

New Sculptures Fractured Peace

Fractured Peace by Nancy Mooslin

The 14-acre Newport Beach Civic Center Park was specially designed by renowned landscape architect Peter Walker as a place for the community to embrace the nature and art. Arts Orange County provided professional services for the coordination of the artist selection and installation of the sculptures.

Members of the community are invited to stroll through the park and enjoy the sculptures at their leisure. A walking tour is included on the City’s MYNB app, which can be downloaded to personal mobile devices from the Apple or Google Play app stores.

The City Arts Commission has postponed the Grand Opening celebration due to public health concerns regarding COVID-19. The dedication and celebration will be rescheduled when conditions for public gatherings can be held safely.

Admission to Civic Center Park is free and free parking is available in the Civic Center parking structure at 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach.

For more information, visit www.newportbeachca.gov/culturalarts, under Sculpture Exhibition in Civic Center Park, or contact the Cultural Arts Services Office at 949.717.3802.


Restaurants celebrate National Tequila Day today

Today is National Tequila Day and we’ve put together a roundup of taco and tequila pairings from some Newport Beach restaurants. All of these drinks and eats are available for dining al fresco or to-go to enjoy at home. Ole!

Avila’s El Ranchito: A local favorite, this landmark eatery has some of the best, comforting Mexican food. Family-owned since 1966, the restaurant’s mouthwatering soft tacos are made with fresh tortillas and topped with your choice of grilled steak, chicken or carnitas. Pair your meal with their world-famous Cadillac Margarita. www.visitnewportbeach.com/restaurants/avilas-el-ranchito-restaurant/

Restaurants Cabo Cantina

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Courtesy of Visit Newport Beach

Head to Cabo Cantina for Margarita summertime flavors

Cabo Cantina: Join the fiesta at Cabo Cantina by making any margarita purchased a 36 oz. Patron Mega Marg. With fun summertime flavors such as strawberry, melon, peach and key lime pie, enjoy your drink and tacos to-go. www.visitnewportbeach.com/restaurants/cabo-cantina/

Restaurants Gracias Madre

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Courtesy of Gracias Madre/Instagram

Pair your favorite vegan dish with a refreshing Margarita at Gracias Madre

Gracias Madre: Famous for their tasty vegan Mexican cuisine, but also for their tequila which is sourced from small batch distillers and producers in Mexico, enjoy blanco, anejo, reposado, mezcal – they’ve got it all. Try their Te Amo Manana crafted with fresh ingredients such as passionfruit, lime, muddled jalapeño, and mint with their Vegan Tacos al Pastor made with oyster mushrooms, grilled pineapple, red onion, cilantro and guacamole. www.visitnewportbeach.com/restaurants/gracias-madre/

Rockin’ Baja Lobster Coastal Cantina: Can’t decide what kind of taco you want? Order the Tacos Tres Amigos plate at Rockin’ Baja Lobster, which comes with one sautéed shrimp taco, one skirt steak taco and one of their famous lobster tacos. Wash it all down with one of their premium margaritas such as the “Margarona Margarona” made with a double house margarita served in a fishbowl glass with a Coronita beer tipped upside down. www.visitnewportbeach.com/restaurants/rockin-baja-lobster-coastal-cantina/

Restaurants SOL

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Courtesy of SOL Cocina/Instagram

Try a seasonal Margarita with a gourmet taco at SOL Cocina

SOL Cocina: Their extensive menu of tequila includes premium brands such as Casamigos, Patron, Don Julio and Herradura. Try them in seasonal margaritas such as their Blackberry Ginger Margarita or their Farmer’s Market Margarita. Be sure to check out their gourmet taco selection which includes the “CDMX” Queso Taco, a Mexico City-styled taco; or their “Canarditas” Duck taco made with deep-fried duck leg and topped with tequila-laced blackberry salsa, onion and avocado. www.visitnewportbeach.com/restaurants/sol-cocina/

Restaurants Wild Taco

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Courtesy of Wild Taco/Instagram

Taco plates with a tangy mango Margarita await at Wild Taco

Wild Taco: Head over to Wild Taco on the Peninsula to enjoy their extensive list of tacos including classics such as carne asada and carnitas, but also lobster, red snapper, scallops and calamari. Order a pitcher of their tangy mango margarita for the table on their outdoor patio or grab one of their on-the-go margaritas for home. www.visitnewportbeach.com/restaurants/wild-taco/


Short-Term Lodging is what travelers want, let’s not mess with the model

By GARY SHERWIN

Aside from the pandemic and its economic disruption, it seems one of the most contentious issues in Newport Beach over the last few months has centered around Short-Term Lodging (STL).

The issue of STL, or home rentals that you find on sites like Airbnb, have inflamed the passions of many while questioning whether they are good for the community or pose a threat to the health and safety of our city.

Gary Sherwin

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Courtesy of Visit Newport Beach

Gary Sherwin

After months of debate, the City Council last week formally approved a new set of operating standards for these STLs after a long thought-out process and even considered the outright closure of these rentals during the height of the pandemic this spring.

Ultimately the debate was about whether STLs compromise the quality of life in the community and how to ensure that legitimate operators are protecting neighborhoods while allowing homeowners their property rights.

The inconvenient truth is that STLs have been a part of the city’s fabric nearly since it was founded more than 100 years ago. Look at any of the early ads promoting Newport Beach (or Balboa, as most called it back then) and you’ll see the city became well known because people came down from L.A. to stay and play in rental cottages since hotels didn’t initially exist.

There are now about 1,500 such rentals in the city and they are lucrative. According to AirDNA, a home rental research site, the average daily rate at a Newport Beach rental is $442 a night and the most recent occupancy is about 58 percent. Both these numbers are considerably higher than what the local hotels are seeing right now.

They also generate millions each year in city transient room tax revenue and for nearby restaurants and shops that depend on them to drive business.

Most of these homes exist on the peninsula where many investors purchased them for the purpose of renting them out and covering their mortgage given the high-cost housing market in the city. Nationwide, 45 percent of owners bought their property with the expressed intent of generating income.

In an era where online operators, like Airbnb and VRBO, came into their own, these rentals have been taking off and are more popular than ever. The pandemic has only fueled demand as people looking for vacations choose private homes as a perceived safe and secure alternative to hotels.

Newport Beach is one of the most highly regulated cities in the country as it pertains to STLs with neighborhoods zoned for such activity. The real question is, are they good neighbors?

I’ll say it right here, there are a few bad operators out there and frankly Airbnb, with its 150 million global users, is one of the most egregious. While they have huge market share, they are lax with zoning enforcement and they don’t have adequate oversight with their hosts when it comes to paying their city room tax. This occurs not only here, but in many cities around the world in which they do business.

While Airbnb is starting to work with cities in acknowledging these problems, they have dragged their feet and ignored this way too long. I was in a meeting with them a few years ago when the city requested that they include the local zoning permit on a host’s listing. Airbnb, which thought of itself as a technology not a hospitality company at the time, said that was simply impossible. Yeah, right.

Some of these issues have now been addressed with the city’s new reforms, but companies like Airbnb and VRBO don’t really care about Newport Beach or its residents. They are just in the market to make a buck.

On the other hand, there are some locally based STL operators who abide by the laws and do pay their share of tax and they need to be supported. They do care about our neighborhoods and way of life. I hope anyone who rents out their home chooses a local shop that is a civic-minded responsible business.

If you ask most of these local operators, they will explain how they vet their guests and have rules in place to protect the neighborhoods they are in. Ask our police (and I have) and they say most STL guests behave themselves and follow the laws. Most of the trouble that does exist deals with a minority of owners who use sloppy operators to manage their properties.

While some residents want these STLs to go away completely, that is wishful thinking. They provide a vital income stream to property owners and businesses on the peninsula, especially in these troubled times. In the tourism industry, the trends have been working in favor of home rentals over hotels during the last several years.

The vast majority of the local STL operators support the recent City Council reforms to protect neighborhoods. They know that unhappy nearby residents don’t help their business either.

But demonizing the local STL industry and putting undue demands on them is not the way to go either. Now discussions are centering on Phase 2 reforms and possibly adding minimum room night reservations of up to six nights, which would be a business killer.

The City Council has been trying to navigate this issue by protecting neighborhoods and property rights and has sent the issue to the Planning Commission. Since we are still in a pandemic, can I suggest that we put a pause on further reforms so we can stop further business disruption? Right now, more regulation is not the answer when property owners are adjusting to new reforms in the middle of a recession.

Let’s be reasonable in balancing both interests and allowing residents and operators to responsibly co-exist with an industry that has been a part of our community for a long time and clearly isn’t going away.

Gary Sherwin is President & CEO of Visit Newport Beach and Newport Beach and Company.


Tree removal along Rutland Road paves way for new subdivision

On Monday, July 20, five mature sycamore trees were removed along the sidewalk area on Rutland Road in the Westcliff neighborhood, as part of readying for a new subdivision, located at Irvine Avenue, Mariners Drive and Rutland Road. 

According to a Newport Beach City Hall spokesperson, “The City did approve a new subdivision (condos), including plan check, authorized demolition and building permits and approvals. It went through planning commission approval about two years ago and the existing apartments were vacated late last year.

Tree removal tree getting cut down

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Photo by Lana Johnson

A sycamore tree being cut down along the sidewalk on Rutland Road

“The tree removal is part of the authorized work. Per Council policy, the developer must replace the trees according to the City’s street tree policy. The replacement trees may be in slightly different positions because of driveway placement in the new development.”

Jim Campbell, Newport Beach deputy community development director, shared, “The approval requires the developer to replace the sycamore trees. The replacements will be sycamores in large boxes meaning they will be larger to start but they will be far smaller than the trees removed. They should grow quickly and in years to come, they will be beautiful.”

Tree removal landscape schematic

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Landscape plan schematic for new Mariner Shore subdivision

Intracorp Homes and Shea Homes are the two developers on the new, 92-unit condominium project, called Mariner Shore. Each new unit will be three levels with gross floor areas ranging from 2,053-2,742 square feet, including a two-car garage for each unit. There will be one main entrance to the project on Irvine Avenue and two entrances on Rutland Road.

Tree removal demolition

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Photo by Lana Johnson

Demolition of the Mariner Square apartment community

According to Campbell, “The Mariner Square apartment complex that was demolished consisted of 114 units and approved at Planning Commission in June 2018.”


Who’s saying what at the District level?

Tuesday night, the Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) approved the 4x4 Model for the 2020/21 school year. The decision was controversial.

Perhaps the biggest opposition formed was an online petition posted at Change.org by Corona del Mar High School senior Gabi Gomes asking that the 4x4 Model approval be reconsidered. Gomes initially sought 1,500 signatures, but by mid-afternoon yesterday the numbers surpassed the 1,500 mark and were marching toward the 2,000 mark.

So what’s on the mind of those around the District leadership?

Karen Yelsey (NMUSD Trustee Area 4) – The model that was approved (Tuesday) is the plan for the 2020-21 school year. That being said, I’m hoping that each of our four comprehensive high schools can adjust this model to fit their needs and be somewhat creative in the way they accomplish that. 

As Mr. Lee Sung said in our meeting last night, creative teachers will help solve this, but everyone has to look at it differently. 

As far as the petition, I realize there are many concerns from the community that have yet to be addressed, and the district staff is aware of this. I hope our community will be patient while we work out details of the entire plan. 

Vicki Snell (NMUSD Trustee Area 1) – I think we all agree that deciding on a model that serves all students is a difficult task. Personally, I believe with school a month away, it is crucial to finalize the model that works well with distance learning, hybrid, and full time in order to work through the many details that come with reopening. 

It seems probable at this point that we will be forced to open at 100 percent distance learning and remain for a period of time. 

One of the main problems last spring with distance learning was the stresses placed on students with having to manage six classes under a new format with less face to face time with teachers and more homework assignments. Alleviating that stress as well as the safety aspects for students and teachers in the hybrid was a big selling point for me on the 4x4 Model. 

It is already being used at other schools, so it is a tried and tested model often preferred at high achieving schools. Personally, I believe based on the discussion with our teachers and staff, this model will increase engagement and focus on distance learning and hybrid learning where the class day is reduced. 

I was disappointed we were unable to have our students from EHS and CMHS participate as well because I believe we would have gotten another point of view. I queried students I knew as well as my own kids and they believed it to be preferable. 

There are pros and cons with any model that doesn’t include being in school every day with classmates and teachers. I am concerned for those students that take multiple AP classes, however, I’m confident  students and teachers will work through the issues and come up with some accommodations and strategies to address those needs.

Krista Weigand (NMUSD Trustee Area 6 candidate) – I think the secondary 4x4 schedule is a terrible plan for all students, subjects and teachers. There is no way a year-long course can be taught effectively to 14-18 year olds in one semester. Not to mention the varying subject matters that cannot be taught in one semester. 

How is someone taking a math course in the first semester that ends in December going to remember anything by the time the next school year begins in August? Not to mention what it will do to students in AP classes when their classes end in December, but their AP exam isn’t until May. 

I think the intent of the 4x4 is to give those who struggled with distance learning and who ended the year with an incomplete a “better” way to learn. But if a student is already struggling in school, shoving an entire year in 80 days is not the answer. A new solution should be created for those struggling to complete their course work.

I believe the student petition for re-consideration should be heard by the board. At the end of the day, the students bear the brunt of the board’s decisions and the board should listen to ideas from the students, parents and faculty. 

I would have voted against the secondary 4x4 schedule.

Carol Crane (NMUSD Trustee Area 3 candidate) – I admire student initiative (with the petition). It shows that they care and are engaged in their education...that’s a good thing!


734 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency today, July 22, reflect that there have been 734 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of four Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of nine cases today and 487 cases since June 26.

The County reported 767 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today.

Sadly, the County reports that 521 people have died due to COVID-19, including eight new deaths received today.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 31,743 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 699 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 233 are in ICU.

Santa Ana has had 5,958 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 135 cases today, and 137 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,462 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 146 cases today, and 127 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,515 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 20 cases today, and 44 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,019 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 34 cases today, and seven deaths. Irvine has had 1,040 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 16 cases today, and eight deaths. Laguna Beach has had 116 confirmed cases to date, an increase of two cases today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 7,308 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 16,173 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

734 confirmed cases 7 22 20 1

734 confirmed cases 7 22 20 2

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COVID-19: 31,743 cases in OC to date, 521 deaths

OC Health Care Agency reported 734 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 22.

Sadly, the County reports that 521 people have died due to COVID-19, including eight new deaths received today. There have been four deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 31,743 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 699 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 232 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 734 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of nine cases today and 487 cases since June 26, a per capita rate of 8.419 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 5,958 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 135 cases today, and 137 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,462 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 146 cases today, and 127 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,515 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 20 cases today, and 44 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 1,019 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 34 cases today, and seven deaths. Irvine has had 1,040 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 16 cases today, and eight deaths. Laguna Beach has had 116 confirmed cases to date, an increase of two cases today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 7,308 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 16,173 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 22, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


725 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency today, July 21, reflect that there have been 725 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of three Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of six cases today and 478 cases since June 26.

The County reported 990 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today.

Sadly, the County reports that 513 people have died due to COVID-19, including 20 new deaths received today.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 30,976 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 700 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 234 are in ICU.

Santa Ana has had 5,823 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 213 cases today, and 133 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,316 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 182 cases today, and 125 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,495 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 33 cases today, and 44 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 985 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 39 cases today, and seven deaths. Irvine has had 1,024 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 24 cases today, and eight deaths. Laguna Beach has had 114 confirmed cases to date, an increase of one case today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 7,127 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 15,232 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

725 confirmed cases 7 21 20 1

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COVID-19: 30,976 cases in OC to date, 513 deaths, including 20 deaths reported today

OC Health Care Agency reported 990 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 21.

Sadly, the County reports that 513 people have died due to COVID-19, including 20 new deaths received today. There have been three deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 30,976 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 700 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 234 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 725 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of six cases today and 478 cases since June 26, a per capita rate of 8.316 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 5,823 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 213 cases today, and 133 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,316 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 182 cases today, and 125 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,495 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 33 cases today, and 44 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 985 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 39 cases today, and seven deaths. Irvine has had 1,024 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 24 cases today, and eight deaths. Laguna Beach has had 114 confirmed cases to date, an increase of one case today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 7,127 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 15,232 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 21, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: What’s open and what’s closed

Open

–Newport Beach beaches

–Newport Beach city parking lots and public restrooms

–City beach amenities (oceanfront boardwalk, piers, beach firepits)

–City parks and hiking trails

–County variance outdoor volleyball, basketball, pickleball courts

–Newport Harbor activities (boating, paddleboard, kayaking, etc.

–Restaurants (for outdoor dining only)

–Day camps

–Campgrounds, RV parks, outdoor recreation

–Hotels for leisure travel and tourism

–Outdoor zoos and museums

–Pools

–Higher education, theme parks

–Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, food production, etc.

–Retail and manufacturing

Closed

–Outdoor playground equipment in city parks

–Newport Beach City Hall

–Newport Beach libraries

–OASIS Senior Center and Newport Beach community centers

–Indoor restaurant dining

–Indoor and outdoor bars

–Indoor shopping malls

–Offices for non-critical industries/sectors

–Personal services (hair and nail salons, body waxing, etc.)

–Tattoo and piercing shops

–Places of worship

–Skin care and cosmetology

–Gyms and fitness facilities

–Organized youth sports

–Indoor wineries and tasting rooms

–Indoor family entertainment centers

–Indoor movie theaters

–Indoor zoos and museums

–Indoor cardrooms

–Indoor playgrounds such as bounce centers, ball pits and laser tag

–Live theater, nightclubs, concert venues, festivals

(Updated July 16, 2020)


Oceanic artwork on display at JWA

Avid surfer, free diver and ocean swimmer Melissa Murphy combines her love for art, ocean wildlife and coastal waters by creating vibrant paintings and murals that depict the beach scenes of her hometown in Huntington Beach and Orange County’s coastline.

Murphy’s artwork is on display in the John Wayne Airport (JWA) Community Focus Space from July 16 through August 18, 2020.

“Ms. Murphy’s vivid artwork is filled with color and visual excitement,” said Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel. “With 42 miles of sandy beaches, travelers coming through John Wayne Airport are sure to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Orange County’s oceanic waters and the creatures that inhabit them as depicted through her work.”

Oceanic artwork sea turtle

Click on photo for a large image

Photos courtesy of John Wayne Airport

A sea turtle, acrylic on canvas by Melissa Murphy

Murphy is a professional muralist, graphic designer, video producer and photographer who grew up in Orange County and graduated from Cal State University, Long Beach in studio art. She currently teaches art to children through the Orange County Probation Department. “My program gives kids a new perspective on art that opens their creativity and offers them ways to express their feelings,” Murphy said.

Her murals are visible throughout Orange County and Los Angeles in schools and several public locations, including Edison High School, Dwyer Middle School, on the walls at Main Place Mall in Santa Ana, multiple Orange County Probation facilities and in the Huntington Beach High School auditorium.

Murphy’s artwork is also featured on a bottle for Surf City Still Works, a Huntington Beach craft distillery dedicated to supporting talented artists.

Oceanic artwork dolphins

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Dolphins, acrylic on canvas by Melissa Murphy

According to information on the website, “Melissa maneuvers the paintbrush soft like a ballerina, but strong like a tidal wave to create masterpieces that cannot be replicated. Influenced through the saltwater and beaches of HB, her oceanic presence transfers through her into art.”

Murphy’s exhibit can be viewed (pre-security) 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.

To learn more about Melissa Murphy or view her additional artworks, visit www.MelissaMurals.com.

Upcoming Community Focus Space artists include photographer Joey Skibel (August 18-September 17) and Fiber/Textile artist Teresa Shippy (September 17-October 15). For more information about JWA’s Art Programs, visit www.ocair.com/terminal/artexhibits/.


Orange County Community Foundation to host Preserving Dignity day

On July 29, the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF), based in Newport Beach, will host “Preserving Dignity,” a Giving Day for OC’s older adults in need. Now in its third year, “Preserving Dignity” aims to raise $75,000 in support for five local nonprofits serving a population that is exceedingly vulnerable to the pandemic.

“Orange County’s older adults have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic due to their vulnerability to the virus and need to self-isolate in order to stay safe,” said Shelley Hoss, president and CEO, OCCF. “OCCF is proud to support nonprofits providing older adults in need with the vital resources they need during these uncertain times.”

The five participating organizations include Alzheimer’s Orange County, Council on Aging-Southern California, Meals on Wheels Orange County, Southern California Hospice Foundation and St. Francis Home.

Orange County Community preserving dignity

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Submitted photo

Preserving Dignity Day aims to raise $75,000 to support local nonprofits

Fundraisers, in-person classes, activities and events have been indefinitely suspended for the participating nonprofits due to the extremely high risk that seniors face from COVID-19. In just one example of the challenges nonprofits face as a result of the current health crisis, St. Francis Home in Santa Ana – an assisted living care facility under the care of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception – was forced to cancel its largest fundraiser of the year, and its guild’s emergency funds are running low. As a result, its operations, which include affordable assisted living, healthy meals and transportation to appointments for its residents, are in need of extra support and the generosity of donors through this Giving Day.

This Giving Day is the latest of a series that, to date, has raised more than $10 million for Orange County nonprofits. OCCF first challenged Orange County residents to “give where their heart lives” during the inaugural iheartoc Giving Day in 2015, raising more than $1.8 million for 347 participating nonprofits in just 30 hours. In 2018, OCCF restructured iheartoc as an expanded opportunity for nonprofits to connect with one another in support of their shared missions.

To give online, visit https://preserving-dignity-giving-day.ocnonprofitcentral.org/.

Additional collaborative Giving Days will be announced throughout the year. For more information, visit www.oc-cf.org/iheartoc.


Chamber launches “Wear a Mask” campaign to save the business community 

In an effort to help raise awareness for the need to wear masks in public, the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce announced Friday that it is rolling out a free sign campaign encompassing the entire city.

“There are very few actions that business owners and residents can do to combat the exponential rise in coronavirus cases. However, wearing a mask in public, along with physical distancing and hand washing, is known to curtail the community spread of the coronavirus from person to person,” said Chamber President Steve Rosansky.

The Chamber’s new campaign will offer a series of signs that business owners can place in their windows to get the message across that mask wearing in public is critical to stop the spread. The signs will feature messaging like “Save Our Economy, Save Our Business” and “Save A Life,” coupled with the words “Wear A Mask.”

Chamber launches Charleston Shoe

Courtesy of NBCC

Charleston Shoe Co. supports the Newport Beach Chamber’s “Wear a Mask” campaign

Chamber staff and volunteers will be heading out into the community asking businesses to post a sign in their window.

“With all the challenges facing businesses currently, the Chamber is trying to make it as easy as possible for them to get the message out,” Rosansky added.

Any business that wants to receive a sign can contact the Chamber to request a sign at 949.729.4400 or reach out to the Chamber at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The Chamber will even tailor a custom message as long it ends with “Wear A Mask.”

The Chamber’s effort is particularly important in the face of new business closure announcements by Governor Gavin Newsom. 

Rosansky added, “As long as the case counts continue their steep rise, he (Newsom) will continue to use his business dimmer switch to scale back person-to-person interactions. Awareness campaigns like the Chamber’s are critical to stopping the spread.”


Gov. Newsom has announced guidelines for fall return to school

Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday announced his plan for learning and safe schools ahead of the 2020–2021 school year, as the California Department of Public Health issued a framework for when and how schools should reopen for in-person instruction.

“Learning is non-negotiable,” said Governor Newsom. “The virus will be with us for a year or more, and school districts must provide meaningful instruction in the midst of this pandemic. In California, health data will determine when a school can be physically open – and when it must close – but learning should never stop. Students, staff, and parents all prefer in-classroom instruction, but only if it can be done safely.”

The Governor’s plan centers on five key areas:

–Safe in-person school based on local health data

The California Department of Public Health issued updated schools guidance that includes using existing epidemiological metrics to determine if school districts can start in-person instruction. CDPH currently uses six indicators to track the level of COVID-19 infection in each California county as well as the preparedness of the county health care system – data that includes the number of new infections per 100,000 residents, the test positivity rate, and the change in hospitalization rate, among others. Any county that does not meet the state’s benchmarks is put on the County Monitoring List.

Schools located in counties that are on the Monitoring List must not physically open for in-person instruction until their county has come off the Monitoring List for 14 consecutive days (includes Orange County). Schools in counties that have not been on the Monitoring List for the prior 14 days may begin in-person instruction, following public health guidelines. School community members – including parents, teachers, staff and students – can track daily data on whether and why their county is on the Monitoring List at https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap-counties/#track-data.

There is a single exception. Local health officers may grant a waiver to allow elementary schools to reopen in-person instruction if the waiver is requested by the district superintendent, in consultation with labor, parents and community-based organizations. When considering a waiver request, the local health officer must consider local data and consult with the California Department of Public Health.

The Department also issued updated guidance for when schools must physically close and revert to distance learning because of COVID-19 infections. Following a confirmed case of a student who was at school during his or her infectious period, other exposed students and staff should be quarantined for 14 days. The school should revert to distance learning when multiple cohorts have cases or five percent of students and staff test positive within a 14-day period. The district should revert to distance learning when 25 percent or more of its schools have been physically closed due to COVID-19 within 14 days. Closure decisions should be made in consultation with local health officers. After 14 days, school districts may return to in-person instruction with the approval of the local public health officer.

Strong mask requirements for anyone in the school

In the updated guidance, all staff and students in 3rd grade and above will be required to wear a mask or face covering. Students in 2nd grade and below are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering. Students should be provided a face covering if they do not have one. The state has delivered more than 18 million face coverings to schools to support them to reopen and ensure all students can participate in learning.

Physical distancing requirements and other adaptations

In the updated guidance, CDPH requires that all adults stay six feet from one another and six feet away from children, while students should maintain six feet of distance from one another as practicable. Anyone entering the school must do a health screen, and any student or staff exhibiting a fever or other symptoms will be immediately sent home. The guidance also provides that if anyone in a student’s or staff member’s household is sick, they too should stay home.

Regular testing and dedicated contact tracing for outbreaks at schools

The public health guidance recommends staff in every California school be tested for COVID-19 periodically based on local disease trends and as testing capacity allows. The governor also announced that the state will provide resources and technical assistance for COVID-19 investigations in school settings.

Rigorous distance learning

Over the course of the pandemic, most schools will likely face physical closure at some point due to COVID-19. The legislature and Governor Newsom enacted a budget that provided $5.3 billion in additional funding to support learning and set requirements to ensure schools provide rigorous and grade-appropriate instruction. Under newly enacted state law, school districts are required to provide:

–Devices and connectivity so that every child can participate in distance learning.

–Daily live interaction for every child with teachers and other students.

–Class assignments that are challenging and equivalent to in-person instruction.

–Targeted supports and interventions for English learners and special education students.

The full guidance from the California Department of Public Health can be found at https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-schools.pdf.


Human Options receives OC Community Resilience Fund

Human Options, an Orange County-based nonprofit dedicated to ending the cycle of relationship violence, has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the OC Community Resilience Fund. The grant will support Human Options’ general services, including resources to meet essential needs of victims of relationship violence, such as longer-term housing, employment, and assistance with legal matters such as divorce and child custody, mental health counseling, legal advocacy, transitional housing, and outreach and prevention education.

The OC Community Resilience Fund has now awarded a total of $4.18 million to 162 nonprofits, community health clinics and support for individuals. The Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF), based in Newport Beach, St. Joseph Community Partnership Fund, Charitable Ventures and regional funding partners launched the OC Community Resilience Fund in March.

Human Options women

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Submitted photo

The Human Options grant will be allocated to assist in combatting relationship violence and prevention education

Human Options has adapted to the dynamic environment during COVID-19, and continues to serve clients, while ensuring safety. All programs and services have been fully operational through electronic means and by implementing social distancing. COVID-19 restrictions have caused spikes in relationship violence between intimate partners and families with stay-at-home mandates, the financial stress of unemployment, school closures and more, whereby victims have been separated from the people and resources they need most. Human Options continues to encourage victims to call their 24-hour hotline at 1.877.854.3594 to access shelters and other supportive services, including therapists and counselors.

“Stressful conditions under quarantine have caused surges in relationship violence, and sadly, we are witnessing increases in cases of an intensely personal and specific nature, with a higher-than-usual number of people being strangled by their abusers,” said Maricela Rios-Faust, CEO of Human Options. “With the support of partners like the OC Community Resilience Fund, we can continue to keep our doors open to clients who are even more vulnerable to the stressful conditions related to the pandemic.”

The fund’s coordinated philanthropic effort to support nonprofit organizations working to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Orange County’s most vulnerable residents allowed the region’s foundations and donors to focus resources, share infrastructure, streamline efforts, support innovative response and maximize impact in areas of greatest need.

For more information on Human Options, visit www.humanoptions.org. To learn more about the OC Community Resilience Fund and view a complete list of grant recipients, visit www.charitableventuresoc.org/resiliencefund.


A decade after bringing Summer House to CdM, its owners are moving on

By AMY SENK

A decade ago, when I was doing Corona del Mar Today, I interviewed a couple of successful restaurateurs who were taking over a small little space – too small for El Ranchito, which had moved across the street to its current, more sprawling location. I looked around at the torn booths that were coming loose from the walls, the murals of fishing scenes and distinctly remember the sense of impossibility, a clash of what I was hearing with what I was seeing.

A decade after Summer

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Photo by Amy Senk

Summer House, in the heart of Corona del Mar

Summer House owners Cindy and Mark Holechek clearly had a sense of vision and possibility that eluded me. In June 2010, the Summer House restaurant opened at 2744 E. Coast Highway, turning the dark and worn space into a welcoming spot. Light sage green and white stripes on banquettes and the awning, white walls, ceiling fans, open windows where you could watch the passersby with a glass of wine, open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend brunches, all delicious – it was an immediate hit. I have been there with family, with groups of moms welcoming me to a new school, with a former mayor, with best friends. Everyone loves it – the food, the endless summer vibe – which is why, even as the Holecheks have announced they sold it and are retiring, not much will change. According to Cindy Holechek, the new owner wants to keep the name, the menu, the staff and everything the same.

I asked what prompted the decision to retire. I had read about Mark’s medical crisis in 2012 – a ruptured brain aneurism that caused his heart and lungs to shut down and led to weeks in a medication-induced coma. He made a full recovery, and the couple credits Hoag Hospital for his amazing outcome. Cindy said he is 100 percent great today, and that they plan a retirement full of travel in a motor home they purchased earlier this year.

A decade after Holecheks

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Courtesy of Hoag Hospital

Cindy and Mark Holechek

But at the time of the hospitalization, Cindy said, their daughter relocated from Arizona to help the couple and their son manage restaurant business here. When COVID-19 hit, the daughter quarantined in Arizona and ultimately decided to return there.

“Okay,” Cindy said. “I think it’s time to sell.”

They found the buyer immediately. “We have such a great track record. He (Mark) doesn’t want to mess with success,” Cindy said. The transfer of ownership will likely happen in the next 30 days; government office closures related to COVID have caused some bureaucratic delays.

With restaurants, you never know how it will be received until you open and actually see – but with Summer House, it caught on instantly, she shared.

“It was very exciting for us,” Cindy said. “Sales climbed through the years. You build it, and you hope they will come, and it’s a thrill to see it working. We’re sad we won’t be part of Summer House anymore, but it will live on. We’re ready to retire.”

The couple, who also enjoys buying houses to remodel and sell, will return to visit.

“We love all the people – some have been there from day one. I feel very proud,” Cindy said.

• • •

Meanwhile, I noticed a week or so ago that the Newport Beach Library’s website seemed different. Specifically, I wanted to see what the bestselling fiction lists were, and they were no longer available. This is not terribly important, I know, or hard to work around, but I wondered – why? A perk of being a local journalist is never having to wonder about these things for long. I reached out to Katherine Mielke, a library spokeswoman, to ask.

“While our newportbeachlibrary.org website has not changed, the Integrated Library System that we use to catalog all library materials has,” she said. Staff has been working for months on the transition, she said. The booklists I sought would be added when staff starts configuring acquisitions and ordering new books, but there is not a specific date for that yet. 

• • •

Finally, I watched the July 16 board meeting for the Corona del Mar Residents Association via Zoom. The last item discussed was whether the city should consider making some of the Flower Streets one-way. This topic comes up every few years, because the streets are narrow enough that, when cars are parked on both sides, it may as well be one-way. It is more common than not to pull over to let a driver going in the other direction pass, or to cringe as you pass and your mirrors almost scrape. Councilwoman Joy Brenner said she recently saw a case of complete gridlock near the Orchid Avenue post office, and no one who spoke was against a one-way system.

In the past, several people noted, older residents didn’t want to see any changes to the current system to one with one-way streets. But that sentiment seems to have changed, and the CdMRA board asked Brenner to raise the possibility with city staff – stay tuned.

~~~~~~~~

Amy Senk has lived in Corona del Mar for 20+ 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. She and her husband have two children, who are attending college.


City Manager’s Updates

From the desk of Grace Leung

Grace Leung

Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Newport Beach City Manager Grace Leung

Community members, 

On Monday, July 13, Governor Newsom announced the closure of several business and industry sectors that had been allowed to open just a few weeks ago. This decision was based on a rapid increase in case numbers and hospitalizations in many areas of the state. 

Newsom ordered the statewide closures of all indoor operations at restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and cardrooms. Some of these businesses can remain open for outdoor service where possible. 

Also, counties on the state’s County Monitoring List (which includes Orange County) were ordered to close additional industries, including gyms and fitness centers, places of worship, offices for non-critical sectors, personal care services (including hair and nail salons, massage and tattoo shops) and malls. With the fast-changing nature of these orders, keeping track of what is open and closed can be a challenge. For a more detailed status on local sectors and activities in Newport Beach, please see this FAQ document, updated on July 16. 

The City Council this week adopted new regulations that will allow more oversight of Newport Beach’s short-term rental housing. 

The new regulations include a prohibition on short-term rentals to anyone under 21 years of age, maximum occupancy limits based on existing Building and Fire Codes, and a requirement that owners provide an emergency, 24-hour contact person who can respond to complaints within 30 minutes. 

For more information on the new regulations, click here.

Rental owner/operators and visitors are encouraged to check the City website at this link for further updates.

COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach 

The number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach as of July 16 was 668 and the total cases in Orange County was 27,904. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of July 16 was 12,264. 

Statewide there has been a steady increase in the number of new cases, hospitalizations and ICU hospitalizations. While the State and County are now better prepared to handle the increase – and currently have adequate hospital capacity, ventilators and PPE available – the upward trend is concerning. The Governor and health officials continue to strongly emphasize the necessity of proper social distancing, the wearing of masks when in public and the importance of regular handwashing. 

COVID-19 News and Resources 

The County of Orange continues to add new COVID-19 data and information to its website at https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc

The County of Orange Healthcare Agency’s COVID-19 Hotline can be reached at 714.834.2000, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. County staff monitors the hotline and email box and answers questions about industry reopening and activity resumption, current guidance and more. 

The County also maintains a growing list of FDA-approved testing sites for County residents who are showing symptoms of COVID-19. If you are showing symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider for testing information first. If you do not have a healthcare provider, visit https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/covid-19-testing-and-screening for testing information. The SOS Health Center in Newport Beach is an approved community testing site. Call 949.270.2100 for an appointment. 

Please visit www.newportbeachca.gov/covid19 for the latest City news and useful web resources, including information about the federal, state and county resources available to help small businesses and workers that have been financially impacted. We also have a page of free resources available through the Newport Beach Public Library and local organizations like SCORE, including online learning and business databases. You can also follow the City on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and look for alerts from our City staff on Nextdoor

Housing Element Update Advisory Committee (HEUAC) Meeting Recap 

On Wednesday, July 15, 2020, the City’s Housing Element Update Advisory Committee (HEAUC) held its second meeting in the City Council Chambers. 

The HEUAC began the meeting by receiving an overview of the schedule moving forward towards compliance with the October 2021 Housing Element adoption deadline mandated by the state. Acknowledging a big part of the effort is public outreach, the HEAUC then discussed the previous Listen & Learn program guided by the now dissolved General Plan Update Steering Committee and touched on what kind of outreach would be effective. 

The HEUAC then heard detailed information about the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s Sites Inventory Guidebook and discussed the current housing opportunity sites inventory before discussing the project description, as it relates to preparing an Environmental Impact Report under the California Environmental Quality Act. 

The HEUAC finished the meeting with member introductions, receiving progress reports from the Site Selection Subcommittee and the Affordable Housing Subcommittee, and then appointing a second Site Selection Subcommittee and an Outreach Subcommittee. Each of the subcommittees will provide progress reports at every meeting moving forward. 

The next meeting is scheduled for August 19, 2020. For more information on the HEUAC, please check out its webpage here

Balboa Village Advisory Committee (BVAC) Meeting Recap 

On Wednesday, July 15, 2020, the Balboa Village Advisory Committee (BVAC) met for the first time since February 2020. The BVAC discussed the current state of the Balboa Village area, as it relates to tourism, maintenance and tenancy. The BVAC then spoke about the future of the Village and what may help re-energize the area to bring in new tenants and re-investment, including ideas such as a seasonal cruise line visiting during the off-season months. Lastly, the BVAC discussed its purpose and role moving forward setting a planning session in September 2020 to revisit and assess ideas for new initiatives. 

For more information on the BVAC, please check out its webpage here.

Homelessness Update 

Addressing homelessness continues to be a priority in the City’s ongoing COVID-19 response, working closely with contractor City Net and regional partners throughout the county and state. Recently, people in Newport Beach experiencing homelessness have been placed in motels through Project Roomkey, a state initiative to provide shelter during COVID-19. Newport Beach staff and City Net staff are collaborating with the Illumination Foundation, a local non-profit agency working with the state to facilitate Project Roomkey. 

Success Stories: 

–A longtime Newport Beach resident who has experienced homelessness for many years was enrolled in a sober living home this week. He completed a two-week medical detoxification program to qualify. The man recently accepted a job with his prior employer and starts next week. His ongoing case management is a collaborative effort between the Newport Beach Police Department’s Homeless Liaison Officer, the City’s Homeless Coordinator, City Net case managers and staff from Share Our Selves. Share Our Selves, established in 1979 in Costa Mesa, offers comprehensive services including medical and dental care, social services, behavioral health and seasonal outreach programs. 

–A woman staying in the Mariner’s Mile area was placed into Project Roomkey. 

–Two people staying by the Newport Pier were placed into Project Roomkey. 

–A man staying by the Newport Transportation Center was placed into the Santa Ana Armory. City Net provided transportation. The Orange County Emergency Shelters, located in Santa Ana and Fullerton, are operated by Mercy House. Mercy House, established in Orange County in 1987, provides comprehensive services for people experiencing homelessness. 

–A man staying by the Newport Pier was placed into the Santa Ana Armory. The man received a job offer in a restaurant contingent upon his ability to remain sheltered and stabilized. 

–A family was enrolled into City Net’s case management program and connected to the Orange County Family Solutions Collaborative for housing. The Family Solutions Collaborative is a coalition of leading family service nonprofits in Orange County that helps homeless families connect to services more efficiently. 

The City Net hotline number is 714.451.6198. Those who call the hotline may leave a detailed voicemail message for themselves or others in need and City Net staff will respond within 48 hours. For immediate assistance call the County’s Crisis Prevention Hotline at 877.7.CRISIS or 877.727.4747. To enroll in Project Roomkey, call 714.834.3000.


719 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency yesterday, July 20, reflect that there have been 719 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of three Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of 11 cases yesterday and 472 cases since June 26.

The County reported 560 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County yesterday.

Sadly, the County reports that 493 people have died due to COVID-19.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 29,986 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 666 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 213 are in ICU.

Santa Ana has had 5,610 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 90 cases yesterday, and 130 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,134 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 87 cases yesterday, and 123 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,462 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 29 cases yesterday, and 43 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 946 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 15 cases yesterday, and six deaths. Irvine has had 1,000 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 21 cases yesterday, and eight deaths. Laguna Beach has had 113 confirmed cases to date, an increase of one case yesterday, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 6,907 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 14,366 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

719 confirmed cases 7 20 20 1

719 confirmed cases 7 20 20 2

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COVID-19: 29,986 cases in OC to date, 493 deaths

OC Health Care Agency reported 560 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County yesterday, July 20.

Sadly, the County reports that 493 people have died due to COVID-19. There have been three deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 29,986 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 666 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 213 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 719 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 11 cases yesterday and 472 cases since June 26, a per capita rate of 8.247 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 5,610 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 90 cases yesterday, and 130 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,134 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 87 cases yesterday, and 123 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,462 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 29 cases yesterday, and 43 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 946 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 15 cases yesterday, and six deaths. Irvine has had 1,000 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 21 cases yesterday, and eight deaths. Laguna Beach has had 113 confirmed cases to date, an increase of one case yesterday, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 6,907 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 14,366 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 7 20 20 1

COVID 19 County 7 20 20 2

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 20, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Crystal Cove waves

Crystal Cove surf

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Photo by John Manzoni (Instagram @johnmanzoni)

Summer is making a splash at our local beaches


Sizzling summer swirls

Sizzling summer waves

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Photo by Emily Kaszton (Instagram @thedroneangel)

Surf, waves and fun in Newport Beach


Dine alfresco and enjoy the cuisine, views

Newport Beach restaurants are offering al fresco dining so locals and visitors alike can enjoy many cuisine offerings and our breathtaking harbor views this summer. Social distancing and wearing face coverings continue to be responsibilities that patrons need to adhere to.

We reached out to some restaurateurs to find out what’s on the menu.

Dine alfresco A Restaurant

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Courtesy of A Restaurant

A Restaurant is reopening for patio dining

–A Restaurant

A Restaurant announces its reopening for patio dining beginning Thursday, July 23 at 5 p.m. Thoughtfully spaced tables under a new, spacious tent create a posh, open-air experience at this landmark location offering a seasonal changing menu, specializing in dishes from the land and sea. Seasonal cocktails and a curated wine list accompany a menu of A Restaurant classics and contemporary specials courtesy of newly appointed Corporate Executive Chef Alfonso Ramirez alongside Chef de Cuisine Roberto Gomez. Enjoy the romantic atmosphere of A Restaurant’s new patio or take your favorite dishes and bottles of wine to-go with curbside pickup. A Restaurant is committed to transparency and the well-being of guests, staff and the community. The restaurant continues to adhere to guidelines put forth by local and state agencies. 

“We’ve been overwhelmed with positive messages from our community over the past few months,” said Jordan Otterbein, managing partner of A Restaurant. “We’re excited to reopen with our new patio space and with our new Corporate Executive Chef Alfonso Ramirez’s inspiring influence on our menu alongside our incredible Chef de Cuisine Roberto Gomez, who has been instrumental in the success of our food over the years.”

Reservations are required. To make a reservation or to place an order for takeout, call 949.650.6505. Curbside pickup is available. 3334 W. Coast Highway, Newport Beach. http://arestaurantnb.com/

Dine alfresco BBR fish tacos

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Courtesy of Balboa Bay Resort

Dine outdoors at A&O and enjoy fish tacos, among other menu items

–Balboa Bay Resort

Balboa Bay Resort is offering outdoor dining for resort guests and locals alike. With expanded patio seating down the bay side of the resort, A&O Kitchen+Bar is able to accommodate guests for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Outdoor dining at A&O comes with unbeatable views of Newport Harbor, and in the evening, incredible sunsets. The patio features standard tables and firepits with lounge seating. 

“The menu features strong, bold flavors and small plates so our diners can try a larger variety of items,” Chef Octavio Sabado said. The menu features fish tacos, chopped salad and patatas bravas.

For more information and to make reservations, call 949.630.4285. 1221 W. Coast Highway, Newport Beach. www.balboabayresort.com

Dine alfresco Lighhouse burger

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Courtesy of Lighthouse Bayview Cafe

The Lighthouse Burger

–Lighthouse Bayview Cafe

Lighthouse Bayview Café is offering brunch from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and dinner from 4-9 p.m. Enjoy patio dining or eating on the rooftop deck, both with picturesque views of our harbor. Brunch features benedicts from the classic with Canadian bacon and hollandaise to the inventive prosciutto and balsamic glaze offering. A house favorite is the chilaquiles – tortilla chips and housemade sauce topped with marinated steak and two over easy eggs. Dinner features the restaurant’s Coastal Catch, which changes out with the freshest ingredients.

“We’re still open to serve Newport Beach and invite you down for a great brunch or dinner on the bay through these troubled times,” said Travis LeCompte, general manager.

For more information and to make reservations, call 949.933.1001. 1600 W. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach. www.lighthousenb.com

For a list of new outdoor dining adaptations, click here.


Newport Beach – A Look Back

Photo series courtesy of Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society

Newport Beach A Look Back 7.21.20

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The Long Beach to Avalon express only ran once on September 7, 1963 when the Balboa Island Sculling & Punting Society loaded it on a barge and had it towed to Catalina Island

Balboa Island Museum and the Museum Store are located at 210 B Marine Ave., Balboa Island. They are open Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, call 949.675.3952, visit www.balboamuseum.org or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Newport Beach Arts Exhibition postponed again, this time until 2021

The Newport Beach Arts Commission has announced the postponement of the Newport Beach Art Exhibition until June 26, 2021. The decision was made at the commission’s board meeting last week in concurrence with the executive order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom to limit social gatherings to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

The date of the event had previously been postponed once to September 26 of this year, but continuing coronavirus issues have again called for another delay.

The annual exhibition features recently created original artwork in various mediums, including oils and acrylics, watercolor, charcoal, pen and ink, sculpture, photography and mixed media. The 2021 exhibition will be held from 1-6 p.m. in the Civic Center Community Room, at the Newport Beach Civic Center, 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach.

All entry fees for this year will be refunded in full to participating artists.

For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 949.717.3802.


OCMA to offer a film and discussion, virtually

OCMAEXPAND is offering a film and discussion to view virtually.

Cinema Orange | Coded Bias is available Thursday, July 23 from 12 p.m. through Saturday, July 25 at 11:59 p.m. MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s discovery that most facial-recognition software fails to identify dark skin and the faces of women begins an investigation that cracks open the reality of widespread bias inherent in artificial intelligence and algorithms, and leads to legislation in the U.S. to protect us. This film will be available to watch anytime between Thursday, July 23 at 12 p.m. through Saturday, July 25 at 11:59 p.m. (PDT). RSVP to receive the access link on the day of the screening. Presented in partnership with the Newport Beach Film Festival and organized by Leslie Feibleman, director of special programs and community cinema, Newport Beach Film Festival. 

OCMA to offer Cinema Orange

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Courtesy of 7th Empire Media

The Cinema Orange/Coded Bias film addresses facial-recognition software

Contested Spaces: Roundtable Discussion. Watch a recording of last Saturday’s roundtable discussion on OCMAEXPAND’s YouTube channel. Drawing on themes in the exhibition, An Earth Song, A Body Song: Figures with Landscape from the OCMA Permanent Collection, writer Carolyn Finney, featured artists Edgar Arceneaux and Kori Newkirk, and curator Daniel Duford discussed how institutional racism has shaped our understanding and experience of public space and the American landscape. An Earth Song, A Body Song: Figures with Landscape from the OCMA Permanent Collection was on view before the museum temporarily closed, and will be on view when the museum reopens. 

For more information, visit www.ocmaexpand.org.


School Notes

District continues last week’s board meeting to decide secondary schools’ plan for fall

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District will continue its Board Meeting from last Tuesday, beginning at 4 p.m. today (Tuesday, July 21). The meeting will be virtual, and the link can be found here.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss and take action on the Approval Instructional Model for the reopening of secondary schools for the 2020-21 School Year.

To continue the essential planning and preparation for the upcoming school year, staff is recommending approval of a 3-Level Plan for secondary schools that is adaptable for potential changing circumstances throughout the year and meets the state/county requirements for reopening.

CIF announces delayed start to high school sports and Southern Section releases plan

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) has determined that education-based athletics for the 2020-2021 school year will begin with a modified season of the sports schedule. It is anticipated that most section start dates, including the Southern Section, will commence in December 2020 or January 2021.

CIF will continually monitor directives from the Governor’s Office, the California Department of Education, the California Department of Public Health and local county health departments and agencies. As these guidelines change, CIF Sections may allow for athletic activity to potentially resume under the summer period rules of the local section.

Here is the CIF Southern Section 2020-21 Sports Calendar: 

Boys & Girls Cross Country

First Contest: Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020

Last Allowable Contest: Friday, March 5, 2021

Playoffs and State Championships follow

Field Hockey

First Contest: Friday, Dec. 18, 2020

Last Allowable Contest: Saturday, Feb. 26, 2021

Football

First Practice: Monday, Dec. 14, 2020

First Contest: Friday, Jan. 8, 2021

Last Allowable Contest: Friday, March 12, 2021

Playoffs and State Championships follow

Football (8-Man)

First Practice: Monday, Dec. 14, 2020

First Contest: Friday, Jan. 8, 2021

Last Allowable Contest: Friday, March 5, 2021

Playoffs follow

Gymnastics

First Contest: Monday, Jan. 4, 2021

Last Allowable Contest: Saturday, March 6, 2021

Traditional Competitive Cheer

First Contest: No established date

Last Allowable Contest: No established date

Playoffs follow

Boys Volleyball

First Contest: Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020

Last Allowable Contest: Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021

Playoffs and State Championships follow

Girls Volleyball

First Contest: Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020

Last Allowable Contest: Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021

Playoffs and State Championships follow

Boys Water Polo

First Contest: Monday, Dec. 21, 2020

Last Allowable Contest: Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021

Playoffs follow

Girls Water Polo

First Contest: Monday, Dec. 28, 2020

Last Allowable Contest: Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021

Playoffs follow

Badminton

First Contest: Saturday, March 6, 2021

Last Allowable Contest: Saturday, May 15, 2021

Playoffs follow

Baseball

First Contest: Friday, March 19, 2021

Last Allowable Contest: Saturday, May 29, 2021

Playoffs follow

Boys & Girls Basketball

First Contest: Friday, March 12, 2021

Last Allowable Contest: Saturday, May 22, 2021

Playoffs and State Championships follow

Competitive Sports Cheer

First Contest: Saturday, March 27, 2021

Last Allowable Contest: Saturday, June 5, 2021

Boys & Girls Golf

First Contest: Saturday, March 20, 2021

Last Allowable Contest: Saturday, May 29, 2021

Playoffs and State Championships follow

Boys & Girls Lacrosse

First Contest: Friday, March 12, 2021

Last Allowable Contest: Saturday, May 22, 2021

Playoffs follow

Boys & Girls Soccer

First Contest: Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021

Last Allowable Contest: Saturday, May 8, 2021

Playoffs follow

Softball

First Contest: Friday, March 19, 2021

Last Allowable Contest: Saturday, May 29, 2021

Playoffs follow

Boys & Girls Swimming

First Contest: Saturday, March 13, 2021

Last Allowable Contest: Saturday, May 22, 2021

Playoffs and State Championships follow

Boys Team Tennis

First Contest: Monday, March 1, 2021

Last Allowable Contest: Saturday, May 15, 2021

Playoffs follow

Girls Team Tennis

First Contest: Monday, Feb. 22, 2021

Last Allowable Contest: Saturday, May 8, 2021

Playoffs follow

Boys & Girls Track & Field

First Contest: Saturday, March 20, 2021

Last Allowable Contest: Saturday, May 29, 2021

Playoffs and State Championships follow

Boys & Girls Wrestling

First Contest: Friday, May 5, 2021

Last Allowable Contest: Saturday, May 15, 2021

Playoffs and State Championships follow


Rouda and committee meet to decrease airplane noise and improve collaboration

On Friday, July 17, Congressman Rouda (CA-48) held the inaugural meeting of the newly formed Coastal Orange County Aircraft Mitigation Noise Task Force. The task force brings together local elected officials and representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), SNA Airport, and major airlines to decrease airplane noise and improve community collaboration. 

Harley Rouda

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Courtesy of the Offices of Harley Rouda

Congressman Harley Rouda

“For years, coastal Orange County residents have raised concerns regarding disruptive airplane noise,” said Rouda. “I am proud to bring together key stakeholders to enact meaningful change and improve the quality of life for thousands of families living under flight paths. Thank you to community activists and residents for their tireless work and task force members for their commitment to participating in the airplane noise conversation.” 

The Coastal Orange County Aircraft Mitigation Noise Task Force is comprised of Rouda; Councilman Jeff Herdman, City of Newport Beach; Mayor Lyn Semeta, City of Huntington Beach; Mayor Katrina Foley, City of Costa Mesa; Mayor Bob Whalen, City of Laguna Beach; Mayor Laurie Davies, City of Laguna Niguel; representatives from SNA; representatives from air carriers operating out of SNA; and representatives from the FAA.

Rep. Rouda will conduct a series of task force meetings to discuss and identify potential solutions to address aircraft noise concerns in coastal Orange County communities.


Susie Elmore named Hoag’s 2020 Nurse of the Year

Hoag has announced that Susie Elmore, RN, BSN, is the hospital’s 2020 Nurse of the Year.

Recognized for going above and beyond for her patients, Elmore was selected as Nurse of the Year for her clinical excellence, patient advocacy and community service. She serves as a role model to her fellow nurses for her dedication to providing compassionate care. She is a Clinical Nurse II on 6 West at Hoag Hospital Newport Beach, where she cares for patients who have undergone complex surgeries. She also serves as a Preceptor for newly hired nurses and is a Relief Charge Nurse in her department.

Working for seven years at Hoag, Elmore is respected for her commitment to all aspects of nursing excellence. Her leadership with the team of nurses she works with helped contribute to Hoag achieving its Magnet® recognition earlier this year. Additionally, she has selflessly helped raise thousands of dollars for local charities and community fundraisers, including the March of Dimes and the Ben Carlson Memorial.

Susie Elmore named

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Courtesy of Hoag Hospital

Susie Elmore

“We are proud to recognize Susie Elmore as our Nurse of the Year,” said Rick Martin, Ed.D., MSN, RN, senior vice president, clinical operations and chief nursing officer of Hoag. “Her dedication to her patients is a true representation of our entire team of RNs at Hoag who deliver exceptional care with compassion on a daily basis. It is this commitment to providing our community with high quality care that helped us become a Magnet facility.”

Hoag’s Nursing Program has received numerous awards and accolades, as well as community support. Hoag again attained Magnet® recognition for its continued dedication to high-quality nursing practice. As part of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program®, this voluntary credentialing program is the highest honor an organization can receive for professional nursing practice.

With generous support from the donor community, Hoag nurses are earning scholarships in record numbers. Donor investment in nursing education, including Julia and George Argyros, who helped establish the Julia Argyros Center for Nursing Excellence at Hoag, helps Hoag fulfill its commitment to develop, attract and retain the best and brightest nurses seeking the highest level of education.


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Seems like this school board won’t ever get it

Tom Johnson Fair Game 2Last Tuesday was the Newport-Mesa Unified School District’s scheduled board meeting. Of course the biggest issue on everyone’s mind was the discussion concerning the plan for this year’s return to school.

So many parents logged into the meeting via Zoom that it overwhelmed the system.

But as usual, the school board members didn’t seem concerned about the parents or their thoughts. Nope, the meeting marked the last one of Superintendent Dr. Fred Navarro’s tenure, so the Board kept everyone waiting for nearly an hour to laud praises on him. 

School Board candidate Leah Ersoylu, who will challenge incumbent Vicki Snell for the Area 1 seat this November, had this to say: “As a parent, I found it exceptionally tone-deaf to have a 51-minute-long tribute to the outgoing superintendent with 500 anxious parents eagerly awaiting the discussion about the fall plan. We were not there for that (Navarro’s bon voyage), and I found it frankly offensive and further evidence that the board is out of touch with our community.

“Those tributes should be done at the end of the meeting or in another format, not on an agenda with one of the most crucial discussions of the year.”

She gets it, what a breath of fresh air. 

While we’re on that subject, last week we told you about Carol Crane who is running for Martha Fluor’s seat in Area 3 on the NMUSD board. It was good news because change is what we need.

Well, now two more candidates are in for what looks like a potentially vacated Dana Black seat in Area 6. The two who have filed paperwork are Krista Elliott Weigand and Amy Peters.

More on them to come.

• • •

Speaking of new candidates, incumbent Jeff Herdman is no longer running unopposed for his Newport Beach City Council District 5 seat. Last week Marshall Silberberg announced his intentions. 

Silberberg is a partner in the Law Office of Marshall Silberberg, a personal injury and medical malpractice firm based in Irvine. He’s a Trojan (Class of 1970), who received his J.D. from McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific (1973).

Interestingly enough, Herdman and Silberberg live within just a couple of blocks of each other on Balboa Island.

I’m taking it that they don’t attend each other’s barbecues.

• • •

Somehow it escaped me, but several weeks ago our City Council adopted a resolution supporting Hoag Hospital “for all of the work that they have done during this COVID-19 crisis and supporting their bid for independence.”

The “whereas” entries are many as resolutions such as these tend to have, beginning appropriately enough with Hoag’s founding in 1952. They then mention the many accolades Hoag’s received over the years as our “community hospital” that has turned into a world-class facility.

The resolution highlights Hoag’s growth first through affiliation with St. Joseph’s Health System in 2013 and then, subsequently, with Providence Health in 2016 to create one of the largest healthcare systems in the country.

Here’s the caveat of the resolution though, “WHEREAS, Hoag’s goals of transforming care in the County through an affiliation with Providence Health have, in the opinion of the Hoag Board, not been achieved, and the Hoag Board, medical staff and the members of the Foundation believe it is in the best interests of the community for Hoag to regain its independence and keep resources and decision making local.”

The City then adds, “The City of Newport Beach supports Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in their effort to become independent and return to a community-based hospital serving Orange County’s residents because it is important for the protection of the Newport Beach community that health care decisions are made locally.”

There are millions and millions of dollars from local donors who would agree with this decision.


708 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency today, July 19, reflect that there have been 708 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of three Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of 19 cases today and 461 cases since June 26.

The County reported 415 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today.

Sadly, the County reports that 492 people have died due to COVID-19.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 29,426 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 665 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 214 are in ICU.

Santa Ana has had 5,520 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 101 cases today, and 129 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,047 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 80 cases today, and 123 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,433 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 16 cases today, and 43 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 931 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 17 cases today, and six deaths. Irvine has had 979 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 29 cases today, and eight deaths. Laguna Beach has had 112 confirmed cases to date, an increase of four cases today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 6,754 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 13,582 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

708 confirmed cases 7 19 20 1

708 confirmed cases 7 19 20 2

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COVID-19: 29,426 cases in OC to date, 492 deaths

OC Health Care Agency reported 415 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 19.

Sadly, the County reports that 492 people have died due to COVID-19. There have been three deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 29,426 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 665 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 214 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 708 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 19 cases today and 461 cases since June 26, a per capita rate of 8.121 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 5,520 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 101 cases today, and 129 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,047 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 80 cases today, and 123 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,433 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 16 cases today, and 43 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 931 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 17 cases today, and six deaths. Irvine has had 979 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 29 cases today, and eight deaths. Laguna Beach has had 112 confirmed cases to date, an increase of four cases today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 6,754 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 13,582 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 7 19 20 1

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 19, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


689 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency today, July 18, reflect that there have been 689 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of three Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of 10 cases today and 442 cases since June 26.

The County reported 702 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today.

Sadly, the County reports that 494 people have died due to COVID-19, including 25 deaths received today. 

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 29,011 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 692 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 232 are in ICU.

Santa Ana has had 5,419 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 95 cases today, and 128 deaths. Anaheim has had 4,967 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 105 cases today, and 123 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,417 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 30 cases today, and 43 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 914 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 30 cases today, and five deaths. Irvine has had 950 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 26 cases today, and eight deaths. Laguna Beach has had 108 confirmed cases to date, an increase of two cases today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 6,668 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 13,301 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

689 confirmed cases 7 18 20 1

689 confirmed cases 7 18 20 2

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COVID-19: 29,011 cases in OC to date, 494 deaths, including 25 new deaths

OC Health Care Agency reported 702 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 18.

Sadly, the County reports that 494 people have died due to COVID-19, including 25 deaths received today. There have been three deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 29,011 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 692 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 232 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 692 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 10 cases today and 442 cases since June 26, a per capita rate of 7.903 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 5,419 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 95 cases today, and 128 deaths. Anaheim has had 4,967 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 105 cases today, and 123 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,417 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 30 cases today, and 43 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 914 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 30 cases today, and five deaths. Irvine has had 950 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 26 cases today, and eight deaths. Laguna Beach has had 108 confirmed cases to date, an increase of two cases today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 6,668 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 13,301 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 7 18 20 1

COVID 19 County 7 18 20 2

COVID 19 County 7 18 20 3

COVID 19 County 7 18 20 4

COVID 19 County 7 18 20 5

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 18, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


679 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency today, July 17, reflect that there have been 679 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of three Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of 11 cases today and 432 cases since June 26.

The County reported 405 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 17, following 873 cases reported yesterday, 911 cases reported on Wednesday, and 865 cases reported on Tuesday.

Sadly, the County reports that 469 people have died due to COVID-19, including three deaths received today. 

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 28,309 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 682 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 235 are in ICU.

Santa Ana has had 5,324 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 99 cases today, and 123 deaths. Anaheim has had 4,862 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 70 cases today, and 115 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,387 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 30 cases today, and 43 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 884 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 19 cases today, and five deaths. Irvine has had 924 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 17 cases today, and seven deaths. Laguna Beach has had 106 confirmed cases to date, an increase of one case today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 6,478 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 12,884  “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

679 confirmed cases 7 17 20 1

679 confirmed cases 7 17 20 2

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COVID-19: 28,309 cases in OC to date, 469 deaths

OC Health Care Agency reported 405 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 17, following 873 cases reported yesterday, 911 cases reported on Wednesday, and 865 cases reported on Tuesday.

Sadly, the County reports that 469 people have died due to COVID-19, including three deaths received today. There have been three deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 28,309 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 682 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 235 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 679 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 11 cases today and 432 cases since June 26, a per capita rate of 7.788 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 5,324 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 99 cases today, and 123 deaths. Anaheim has had 4,862 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 70 cases today, and 115 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,387 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 30 cases today, and 43 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 884 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 19 cases today, and five deaths. Irvine has had 924 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 17 cases today, and seven deaths. Laguna Beach has had 106 confirmed cases to date, an increase of one case today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 6,478 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 12,884 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 7 17 20 1

COVID 19 County 7 17 20 2

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COVID 19 County 7 17 20 4

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 17, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


668 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency yesterday, July 16, reflect that there have been 668 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of three Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of 20 cases yesterday and 421 cases since June 26.

The County reported 873 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County yesterday, following 911 cases reported on Wednesday, 865 cases reported on Tuesday, 540 cases reported on Monday, 814 cases reported on Sunday, 1,251 cases reported on Saturday, and 1,133 cased reported on Friday.

Sadly, the County reports that 466 people have died due to COVID-19, including 11 deaths received yesterday. 

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 27,904 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 711 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 245 are in ICU.

Santa Ana has had 5,225 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 144 cases yesterday, and 122 deaths. Anaheim has had 4,792 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 138 cases yesterday, and 112 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,357 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 34 cases yesterday, and 43 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 865 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 25 cases yesterday, and five deaths. Irvine has had 907 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 32 cases yesterday, and seven deaths. Laguna Beach has had 105 confirmed cases to date, an increase of three cases yesterday, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 6,389 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 12,264 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

668 confirmed cases 7 16 20 1

668 confirmed cases 7 16 20 2

Click on photos for larger images


COVID-19: 27,031 cases in OC to date, 466 deaths, including 11 deaths received yesterday

OC Health Care Agency reported 873 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County yesterday, July 16, following 911 cases reported on Wednesday, 865 cases reported on Tuesday, 540 cases reported on Monday, 814 cases reported on Sunday, 1,251 cases reported on Saturday, and 1,133 cased reported on Friday.

Sadly, the County reports that 466 people have died due to COVID-19, including 11 deaths received yesterday. There have been three deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 27,904 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 711 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 245 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 668 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 20 cases yesterday and 421 cases since June 26, a per capita rate of 7.662 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 5,225 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 144 cases yesterday, and 122 deaths. Anaheim has had 4,792 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 138 cases yesterday, and 112 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,357 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 34 cases yesterday, and 43 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 865 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 25 cases yesterday, and five deaths. Irvine has had 907 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 32 cases yesterday, and seven deaths. Laguna Beach has had 105 confirmed cases to date, an increase of three cases yesterday, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 6,389 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 12,264 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 7 16 20 1

COVID 19 County 7 16 20 2

COVID 19 County 7 16 20 3

COVID 19 County 7 16 20 4

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 16, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

The window is open for a City Council run, all incumbents are in, as are two newcomers, so far

Tom Johnson Fair Game 2The window is now open for three seats on the Newport Beach City Council for Districts 2, 5 and 7 in November. All incumbents, Brad Avery, Jeff Herdman and Will O’Neill, have pulled papers and are expected to run for re-election. 

Additionally, two other residents have also pulled papers for District 2, Nancy Scarbrough and Sean Johnston. If they do complete the paperwork, their opponent will be Avery.

Nomination papers can now be completed and turned into the City Clerk anytime up until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, August 7. 

Also on the November ballot will be a measure asking that the City Charter be amended to “add Section 713 establishing the powers and duties of the Harbor Commission and making the Harbor Commission a City Charter designated Appointive Board and Commission.”

• • •

It’s also that time of year when our City boards, commissions and committees start to reorganize and elect their new leaders.

The Board of Library Trustees will have Janet Ray at the helm as Chair, Paul Watkins is Vice Chair and Douglas Coulter is Secretary. 

The Harbor Commission will be overseen by Chair Bill Kenney, Jr., Chair, and Scott Cunningham as Vice Chair. For the first time in a while, Paul Blank will no longer have a seat at the table. Lucky him, more free time.

The Planning Commission continues with Erik Weigand as Chair, Lee Lowrey, Vice Chair, and Lauren Kleiman is now the Secretary.

More to follow as they’re announced.

We really need to thank all of these folks for their commitment to making Newport Beach better and keeping the City on track.

• • •

Everyone was in a huff earlier this week when the Orange County Board of Education voted 4-1 to advise the reopening of schools come fall. The good news is, the OCBOE has little or no power.

So, no need to worry if you’re worried about their decision.

It almost seems like the OCBOE is nothing more than a place where elected officials can go to receive an excellent benefits package. I thought long and hard about how to sum up best as to what they do, or don’t do for that matter, and then I saw an online post by longtime school critic Steve Smith

“Four big, brave members of the Orange County Dept. of Education voted Monday to recommend sending teachers and kids back to school without masks or distancing.

“Here are two ideas in response: 

1. The reckless 4 should be forced to attend an on-site class in some district every day that one is available. Without a mask.

2. The OCDE was formed over 100 years ago when we had little red schoolhouses. Today, this bloated bureaucracy does nothing more than spend money that could go directly to school districts. It is no longer relevant and no longer needed. Time to defund.”

Well said Steve.

B-t-w, you can follow Smith’s Newport-Mesa School District Watch at https://stevesmith714.wordpress.com/

• • •

In 2017, Karen Littlefair, 57, of Newport Beach, decided to give her son at Georgetown University a little boost. Seems he had just been placed on academic probation, so Littlefair, with the assistance of Newport Beach’s own William “Rick” Singer, hired someone to take her son’s online courses. She paid Singer $9,000 for that effort.

Littlefair then got caught up in Singer’s college admissions scandal that came to light in 2019 and went national.

Well, this week the judge entered a decision as to her penalty. Try five weeks in prison. 

Now, that might not seem like much, but it certainly will be different than the comfort of her Lido Isle home.

No word yet whether or not she can pay someone to do her time. 

Littlefair has also been ordered to pay a $209,000 fine and complete 300 hours of community service.

• • •

I got to know Dan Rogers way back when while we both actively served together on the Orange County Youth Sports Foundation. He was a guy I always looked forward to seeing.

Danny passed on July 7.

But boy, did he have a full life in his 86 years on this earth.

In his young days, Danny was a basketball star at USC and continued that love affair with the Trojans the rest of his days.

He was the first men’s basketball coach ever at UC Irvine, but left coaching thereafter to move into the business world.

Remember the World Football League, Danny was the executive vice president of the organization. 

Locally, he at one point was the executive director of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce and later the President & CEO of Santa Ana-based Goodwill Industries. He also served as the president of the Harbor Area Boys & Girls Club and was key to adding on a new Irvine facility.

When you didn’t find him in his office, chances were good that you might see him touring the track at Santa Ana Country Club.

Rogers was preceded in death by his wife Sheila and leaves behind a wonderful family who loved their “Chief.”

He’ll be missed.


Another day in paradise

Another day tower

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Photo by Jason Berry (Instagram @its_jason_berry)

Summer days from Tower 52 are something special


CdM business owners to receive assistance

In an effort to help local Corona del Mar business owners during these unprecedented times of COVID-19, the Corona del Mar Business Improvement District board of directors has held special meetings on how to assist and support its members as they all navigate through current difficulties.

The board has developed a CdM COVID Care Kit filled with helpful items such as masks and social distancing floor decals, sanitizers and more. The hope is that these complimentary gifts will assist in cost savings to businesses and assist in operating safely.

The Care Kits will be delivered to businesses by a Corona del Mar Business Improvement District board member beginning Friday, July 17. If your business is not open at this time, or for additional kit items, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.


Coastal Commission pushing a do-it-yourself cleanup this year

September marks the 36th annual California Coastal Cleanup. This year, rather than meeting up at public events throughout the state on a single date, cleanups will happen every Saturday throughout the month. So, if Saturdays don’t work for you, don’t let that stop you. Clean up any day and time that works for you.

Cleanups will be self-guided and close to home. Local parks, shores, creeks, streets, sidewalks, drainage areas, natural areas and trails are good choices. Participants must practice physical distancing and must strictly follow both local ordinances and the set of guidelines provided on the California Coastal Commission website. After all, it’s safety first. 

Although the cleanup model will be different in 2020, it will still be an effective, educational, community-building event. Trash within our neighborhoods will become the trash polluting our coast once the rains come. The Coastal Commission needs your help to record your participation and your diligence to collect data on all litter you remove, upstream or down.

For guidance for organizing your neighborhood cleanups, go here.


Local Zonta Club takes aim at ending child marriages in the U.S.

The fact that child marriage occurs in faraway countries is no secret. But did you know child marriages are legal in all but four states in the United States? Even here in California?

The USA Caucus, part of the global service group Zonta International, has been a strong advocate against child marriage for many years, and now Orange County’s local Zonta chapter, Zonta Club of Newport Harbor, is tackling this issue right here at home.

Zonta Club of Newport Harbor launched an advocacy campaign in June to raise awareness that child marriage continues unabated and to educate the public on the disastrous effects on the young brides. The campaign began with 200+ placards printed and placed in Orange County Transit District (OCTD) busses with routes in Santa Ana, Garden Grove and Anaheim. The placards read “Child marriage is happening here” and include the image of a very young bride, the website URL and logos from Zonta USA and UNICEF USA. The local group funded four weeks of bus transit with the placards, and OCTD added two more weeks pro bono.

Local Zonta Club

Courtesy of Zonta Club of Newport Harbor

This Zonta Club placard appears on an OCTD bus

Statistics show that between 2000 and 2010, nearly 250,000 children were married in the United States. The vast majority were minor girls forced to marry adult men. Some girls were as young as 12 years old. 

The local Zonta chapter is the first chapter in the Western United States to initiate this campaign, which seeks to educate the public and inspire people to advocate against this practice. In 2018, New Jersey and Delaware passed bills to outlaw child marriage. This year, Minnesota and Pennsylvania took similar action. The rest of the 46 states, including California, have no laws banning this practice.

Among the consequences of young girls forced to marry adult men:

–Most girls do not continue their education, even to earn a high school diploma.


Council adopts new short-term rental regulations

The City Council on Tuesday, July 14 approved new regulations that will allow more oversight of Newport Beach’s short-term rental housing. The new regulations will, among other changes, prohibit short-term rentals to anyone under 21 years of age and establish maximum occupancy limits based on existing Building and Fire Code requirements. 

Property owners will be required to post helpful information for visitors in their rental units, in a prominent area, such as owner/operator contact information, City ordinances on gatherings and noise, street sweeping schedules and other pertinent material. 

Owners will also need to provide the City with a response plan to address municipal code violations by their guests and provide an emergency, 24-hour contact person who can respond to complaints within 30 minutes.

Owners will be required to include their rental permit number in all advertisements so that the City can identify legal and illegal property rentals. City staff will work with online platforms to reduce and eliminate illegal rentals. 

The City is establishing a 24-hour hotline aimed at addressing non-emergency issues. The Police Department will continue to respond to excessive noise complaints, public intoxication and other immediate concerns. 

The Council had previously discussed, but did not adopt, additional measures such as minimum parking requirements, exterior signage and a cap on the total number of short-term rentals in the City. 

The official ordinance and additional information will be posted on the City’s website at this link and will go into effect on August 13. Rental owner/operators and visitors are encouraged to check the City website for further updates.


Crystal Cove Conservancy offers STEM education programs

With the recent announcements from school districts that distance learning will continue for many at least through the fall, Crystal Cove Conservancy’s STEM education programs will be more important than ever before.

The pandemic’s sudden and severe impact on science education has left schools in Orange County – and indeed, across our nation – in dire need of innovative science learning opportunities like STEM programs. Already, the pandemic’s financial impact has forced Orange County districts to halt adoption of new curriculum, reduce funding for science specialists and drop critical professional development. To make matters worse, the pandemic has also had a serious impact on environmental education across the state of California, with an estimated 37 percent of environmental education and informal science organizations having shut their doors already.

While challenges exist for all teachers, they are especially acute for science teachers. Although some free at-home science activities exist, they don’t challenge students to achieve the same depth of thinking that they would in class. These pre-made activities also often require supplies that many low-income families don’t have and can’t afford.

Crystal Cove Conservancy youth group

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Courtesy of Crystal Cove Conservancy

Crystal Cove Conservancy’s STEM programs will be available to schools at no cost (pre-pandemic photo)

The Crystal Cove Conservancy (CCC) team has pivoted quickly to adapt its innovative STEM programs for distance learning. Working with partners at UC Irvine and California State Parks, CCC has been able to provide rigorous curricula that enable teachers to guide students through experiments, data collection and data analysis at home. All of it will be available to schools at no cost.

By providing free kits for classrooms and professional development to prepare teachers to implement the programs, students will continue to receive the support they need to continue to grow as scientists and people.

The financial impact of the COVID crisis is certainly being felt at the Conservancy. The cottages and food concessions, which provide a portion of their revenue to support operations, are now operating at a reduced capacity after shutting down for more than two months. An annual fundraising event, which provides more than $450,000 in support for their mission every October, is looking more and more unlikely. 

If you would like more information on how you can help CCC continue their work in STEM education, go here.


O’Neill readies for second term run for Council

Yesterday, Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill submitted the paperwork necessary to seek re-election to the Newport Beach City Council, District 7. Mayor O’Neill also reported more than $143,000 on hand (without any debt) to help his re-election bid, which he received from more than 280 individual donors.

In addition to serving as Mayor, O’Neill is also the Chair of the City’s Finance Committee and, regionally, he serves as Vice Chair of the San Joaquin Board of the Transportation Corridor Agencies.

“Serving as Newport Beach’s Mayor and our City’s Finance Committee Chair are the honors of a lifetime. While I am proud of the past four years, I know that we can continue to improve, and the work is not done. I look forward to speaking with people about even more ways to improve this incredible community,” said O’Neill.

O'Neill readies

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Courtesy of O’Neill for City Council 2020

Mayor Will O’Neill

During his time in office, O’Neill has offered a back-to-basics approach that prioritizes public safety, fiscal stewardship, good roads, clean water and modernizing our harbor.

A few of the efforts he has led include “saving the City an estimated $45,000,000 in unfunded pension liability payments, while also overseeing budgets that reduced the civic center debt by over $30,000,000.” He also initiated “a bureaucratic reduction that deleted over 20,000 words of regulation.”

And, during the COVID-induced shutdowns of small businesses and restaurants recently, Mayor O’Neill has been instrumental in helping to lead the code change efforts to move businesses outdoors.

Some of the other successes the Mayor is most proud of are “achieving historic levels of safety and security; anticipating budget shortfalls due to COVID-induced business shutdowns and then guiding a budget that fully funds our public safety departments.”

During his term in office the City has witnessed the reconstruction of the Corona del Mar Branch Library and Fire Station, as well as anticipating the groundbreaking of the Lido Fire Station later this year.

O’Neill is a former law clerk to California Supreme Court Justice Marvin Baxter and currently is a partner in a local law firm and specializes in business litigation.

He and his wife, Jenny, are raising their two children in Newport Beach.


SOCALPAPA art show returns online

One of Southern California’s most anticipated events each summer is the annual art show and display sale “SOCALPAPA Paints the Back Bay & OC Parks” at the Peter and Mary Muth Center at Upper Newport Bay. Due to limitations on group gatherings, it is not possible to have a physical show this year. But SOCALPAPA has created an exciting alternative – an online exhibition of paintings, watercolors and pastel works inspired by the Back Bay and our OC Parks. Thirty-five percent of all art sales proceeds go to conserve and benefit the Back Bay.

The online show is currently being held now through July 19.

SOCALPAPA artists painting the Back Bay

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Courtesy of Newport Bay Conservancy

An artist painting the Back Bay

Since 2001, SOCALPAPA’s objectives have been to bring together artists with a passion for plein air art, provide opportunities to paint together, promote education, and exhibit and sell artwork.

For more information, visit www.socalpapa.com.


School Notes

Parents face decisions for children’s school opportunities

Tuesday evening, July 14, the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education approved a 3-Level Plan for reopening the 2020-21 school year. The Board previously approved a Parent Choice - Virtual Learning 100 percent option for the 2020-2021 school year. 

The District will be prepared to shift between the three learning models throughout the school year, determining the level for all students, based on state, county and local health department guidance, orders and/or local conditions at the time. 

Alternatively, parents have the choice of a 100 percent Virtual Learning School option instead.

–Level 1 is the 100 percent in-person model. This will be used if the state moves to Stage 4 and Orange County and local conditions support instruction without the need for social distancing.

–Level 2 has the Elementary (TK-6) Full Day “Max 16” model.

Here, students are on campus all day, except Wednesdays. In-person classroom instruction is for up to a maximum capacity of 16 with social distancing, breaking into half days, morning or afternoon; and on-campus extended learning for half days, morning or afternoon – this includes a parent opt-out option.

Wednesdays will feature half-day mornings for all students and half-day afternoons for teacher professional development. 

On days of inclement weather or with air quality issues, there will be an in-person classroom for a half day only. No on-campus extended learning will be offered on those days.

Students receiving Special Education services will be full days except for Wednesday half days.

Maximum capacities of 16 may vary slightly due to classroom size.

Also under Level 2 is the Secondary 7-12 model that will be determined.

While district staff was prepared to present the Level 2 instructional model for secondary students, it is being revised with anticipation to be presented to the Board of Education at a special board meeting tentatively set for Tuesday, July 21.

–Level 3 is 100 percent distance learning. This will be used if a stay-at-home order is issued by state, county or local health officials.

NMUSD will prepare for all three levels and confirmation of the level for the start of the school year will be determined approximately two weeks prior to the first day of the school on August 24 or August 12 for Early College High School. 

Reopening will be based on state, county and local health department guidance and/or orders and local conditions at the time.

Within the next week or two, all parents will receive an Intent to Participate notice to indicate their preference to have their student in the Parent Choice - Virtual Learning 100 percent or the 3-level plan described above. This information is critical for district staff and principals to prepare schedules and staffing for the start of the school year. 

Further details of reopening guidelines will be provided throughout the summer and at the August 4 Board Meeting. For the latest information, visit the 2020-2021 School Reopening Webpage.


OC Fair is officially underway, virtually

The 2020 OC Fair has gone virtual. Sure, you won’t be able to hop on a favorite carnival ride or enjoy crazy fair food, but the spirit of the fair is being kept alive on social media. 

Beginning today, July 17, several Virtual OC Fair elements will be highlighted for 10 days on social media, through July 26, with lots of fun content all summer long.

Videos of OC Fair’s favorite performers, photo galleries of summer memories, family activities, special contests and more will bring that OC Fair connection to people no matter where they are. Even the OC Fair Fun Run 5K is going virtual and the prizes are terrific.

Virtual fairgoers can learn how to create fair-style crafts at home, get the skinny on making deep-fried Oreos, take a tour of Centennial Farm, decipher a magic trick, get the best garden pesto recipe and more from OC Fair staff and partners. There is even a virtual dance party in the works.

OC Fair is officially underway goat

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Courtesy of OC Fair

A friendly goat at Centennial Farm

Plus, there are ways to win virtual ribbons with contests and the public can vote on the winners. There are 33 unique categories this year, including Doughmestic Baking, Home Landscapes, Best Hen House and photography categories like Bedhead, Empty Streets and Essential Workers. 

In a twist to the virtual theme, We Care Wednesday will take place July 22 with the fair’s nonprofit partner Goodwill of Orange County. Participants can donate gently used clothing items at specific Goodwill locations instead of at the fairgrounds. Donors will receive a ticket to the 2021 OC Fair and a coupon for a free Wahoo’s taco as thanks for giving back to the community.

Through this year’s Virtual Market Livestock Show, 49 agriculture students who raised 82 animals to show at the Fair had the opportunity to be matched with buyers. Usually 4-H and FFA students can sell their animal projects at the Fair’s Junior Livestock Auction, but with that not possible this year, OC Fair staff wanted to help the students recoup costs and devised a virtual way to make that happen.

For more information on the 2020 Virtual OC Fair, visit www.ocfair.com.


On the Harbor: Farewell to Harbor Commission’s Paul Blank

By LEN BOSE

Because of the virus, I stayed away from June’s Harbor Commission meeting. This was a big mistake on my part, because a good friend of mine was terming out of his seat on the Harbor Commission after eight years.

Flashback! I wrote on June 26, 2012 the City Council selected Paul Blank as the new harbor commissioner, who will be filling “Duffy” Duffield’s topsiders. He’s very responsive, truly loves our harbor, and will make a great harbor commissioner. I first noticed Paul back in 1985, when he was sailing for UCLA and I was coaching the Orange Coast College sailing team. It was the last event of the season, and we were trying to qualify for the Pacific Coast Championships when Nick Scandone (sailing for OCC) told me he could win this event if he could stay in front of Paul.

At this month’s meeting while the commissioners were reassigning objectives, Commissioner Cunningham said, “Looks like we have to fill in all the Blanks.” That pretty much describes it. Over his eight years, Paul took on more than his share of objectives and has been one of the very few commissioners who completed their tasks. Now, please don’t take me wrong. We all understand that government moves at the same speed as a Duffy with 10-year-old batteries. Yet Blank was able to accomplish many of his assigned tasks.

On the Harbor Paul Blank

Courtesy of Susan Kenny

Paul Blank

I am going to go out on a limb and try to remember them all. The first that comes to mind is the public docks. Blank presented a lengthy report on the size range of boats that needed dock space and then applied this information toward the best use of the public docks. He also worked with staff on maintaining the docks, as well as creating new ones. One of the best ideas that Paul implemented was the meeting/harbor tour on the Balboa Ferry reviewing the commissioner’s objectives. He was also very involved with giving permitted harbor users the ability to exceed the speed limit. For example, sailboat races and crew races. This was a very time-consuming permit that involved several government agencies. He spent hours updating Title 17 of the City’s Municipal Codes and was extremely receptive to many of the different harbor users’ needs.

Paul has worked diligently on long-range planning and public outreach. I recall personally meeting him at least four times with many quick responses to my phone calls and emails. Over the last 12 years as the harbor reporter, no one has run a better meeting than Paul while serving as the chairman. His attendance, percentage-wise, matched Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played. Let us just say there are very few people who love and care for our harbor as much as Paul Blank does, and to that I give him a “Well Done.”

• • •

While attending July’s Harbor Commission meeting, I learned that dredging will start this fall in the harbor entrance with most of the sediment being placed along our beaches out about a half mile. The last channel dredging took place in 2003. This project will include rebuilding the boardwalk on the east jetty by raising the wall and widening it. The funding was acquired from the Army Corps of Engineers for stage 1 of the low bay dredging project. Council members, staff and harbor commissioners are all working hard to find the big pot of gold to complete the low bay dredging.

If I heard it right, progress has been made to open the proposed second anchorage in the turning basin off Lido Village. The last update I had was that a new Coast Guard Commander gave it the thumbs down along with changing those three remaining channel markers made of telephone poles that many people still run into. City Harbormaster Kurt Borsting has made contact with the Commander and reports a promising line of communication.

• • •

We had two big sailing events this past weekend with 64 boats attending the Lido Isle Midsummer Jr. Sabot Regatta. The top three finishers in division C3 was Caitie Karle from Long Beach Yacht Club in 3rd; was Olivia Corbin from BCYC in 2nd, and the person taking home the big pickle dish was Mesa Uliasz from BCYC. In Sabot C2’s, it was all Jack Bengfort from, in 2nd was Sophia Corzine from LBYC and in 3rd Kathleen Keller from NHYC. Next in Sabots C1 we had Zarrin Harvey in third from BCYC, Matt Andrews from NHYC and Victoria Messano from LBYC bringing home the gold jersey. In Sabots A/B BCYC Isaac Stone stole the show with six 1st place finishes out of nine races, in second was Caleb Everett from BCYC, and in third was Walter McFarland from LBYC. 

• • •

NHYC revived its Club Championships with a marathon event over three days. The first two days was a Harbor 20 2v2 Team Race followed by a fleet race with two divisions of Harbor 20’s and One division of Lehman 12’s. I was helping out with mark set on Saturday and Sunday and the competition was intense, to say the least. In the Harbor 20 fleet racing it had 14 boats in two divisions. With three fleet champions and eight Newport Beach Hall of Fame sailors, there was no room for blunders. I am not clear on how the scoring worked, but the turnout was amazing.

Alex/Jake/Doug/Robert/Carolyn/Clare - 67 points

Jon/Gale/Brian/Perry/Michael/ Lauren - 74 points

Justin/Andrew/Bill/Maddie/Bob/Haley - 82 points

Sea ya!

~~~~~~~~

Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.


County of Orange significantly ramps up testing capacity with private-public partnership

In a model private-public partnership, the County of Orange announced this week that, thanks to a collaboration with 360 Clinic and the City of Anaheim, the County will be able to significantly increase COVID-19 testing capacity with the opening of large-scale drive-through testing at Anaheim Convention Center, which began July 15.

“This is really helpful in our fight to get the Novel Coronavirus under control in Orange County,” said Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel, Second District. “Ramping up testing particularly among frontline workers and hard-hit communities is essential as we work to better understand the spread of the virus in our communities and work to make better policy that will protect the public while also allowing our residents to go to work, pay their bills and put food on the table.”

360 Clinic will be conducting no-out-of-pocket cost testing, leveraging personal insurance reimbursements and federal government assistance for the uninsured, with additional financial support from the County. 

“So many Orange County residents, who are among the frontline workers in our community, need testing to protect their health and the health of their families. The Anaheim Convention Center, with its big open space, provides us a wonderful opportunity to provide the critically needed testing services and, at the same time, keep everyone safe,” said Vice Chairman Supervisor Andrew Do, First District. “The Convention Center is also centrally located to be able to serve both Anaheim and Santa Ana, two cities that need access to testing the most, given the high number of cases in those cities.”

Tests will be available for individuals who are prioritized for testing by the California Department of Public Health:

People with symptoms

Close contacts to people known to have COVID-19

Healthcare workers and first responders

Residents and employees of congregate living facilities

Essential workers (grocery store, food supply, utility workers and public employees)

“This is so important for Anaheim – one of the hardest hit cities in Orange County,” said Supervisor Doug Chaffee, Fourth District. “Anaheim and Santa Ana – Orange County’s largest cities make up nearly 22 percent of our population, but they account for 40 percent of the cases.”

The initial target is to conduct 600 to 800 tests per day, five days per week with a goal of reaching 1,200 per day within two weeks. 360 Clinic and the convention center have the capacity to expand volume depending public health recommendations as well as lab and supply capacities.

“With the ability to test more people, the anxiety over whether it’s just a cough or flu or whether it’s COVID can be allayed,” said Supervisor Donald P. Wagner, Third District. “The data from this new supersite will help us refine our knowledge of COVID-19 and be better prepared in Orange County.”

Orange County residents who have insurance are requested to contact their medical provider first about getting tested prior to registering for an appointment at the Anaheim Convention Center site; and most HMOs request that members obtain testing through their own provider.

Orange County residents who meet the aforementioned criteria may register online at http://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/supersite. More information about the Anaheim Convention Center testing site can also be found at this link.

Participants will be asked to provide their contact information along with their health insurance information (if they have it) while selecting their appointment date and time. Once an individual has successfully registered they will receive a confirmation text or email. They will be required to show this confirmation on the date and time of their registration in order to be tested.

Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District said, “Testing is key to providing people the information they need to make decisions and take action to protect themselves and others, should they test positive for COVID-19.”

The Anaheim Convention Center site operates Wednesdays through Sundays from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Should Orange County residents have questions, they may contact a 360 Clinic representative at 800.446.8888. More information about testing as well as other testing sites across Orange County may be found at www.ochealthinfo.com/covidtest.

“As Orange County’s largest city, Anaheim is joining with the County to meet the challenge of (the) coronavirus,” said Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu. “No other city has the space and skills to make this happen on this scale. This will expand testing for Anaheim and all of Orange County at a critical time.”

Orange County has conducted 334,011 PCR tests as of July 16 with 27,905 people testing positive. 466 people have died from the disease in Orange County – 222 people who have died were residents at skilled nursing facilities.

“This mirrors what the state sites have been able to do and adds major additional capacity for those not able to get tested because of the overwhelming demand,” said Orange County Agency Director and Acting County Health Officer Dr. Clayton Chau.

To find out what to do while waiting for test results or if a COVID-19 test is positive, go to www.ochealthinfo.com/slowthespread.


Dunes is open for private drive-in events

Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort is reopening its property for private drive-in events.

Companies and event planners can now host gatherings in the spacious resort parking lot to enjoy motivational speakers, company picnics, live bands, drive-in movies, weddings and more with all set-up needs and day-of organization handled by Newport Dunes staff. 

Dunes is open drive in movie

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Courtesy of Newport Dunes

An outdoor movie is among the private drive-in events offered

“We’re thrilled to provide an opportunity for people to responsibly resume social events while still remaining physically distant,” said Alex Santander, Newport Dunes general manager. “Our breathtaking waterfront setting is the perfect backdrop for any gathering.”

Newport Dunes offers a large screen, a stage, a sound system which broadcasts through FM radios, and even food and beverage concessions. 

For more information, visit www.newportdunes.com/drive-in

Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort is located at 1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Beach.


Zoom may be convenient for now, but it’s not paying the bills

By GARY SHERWIN

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty tired of these Zoom calls.

Ever since the pandemic began, our reliance on this relatively new technology has taken off and it seems that we spend hours a day staring at our computer screens.

While it is wonderfully efficient and is the ultimate manifestation of social distancing, Zoom also has enormous long-term financial consequences for cities like Newport Beach.

Sounds like a stretch? Hardly.

Many people associate tourism with people coming to town on vacation. Those are the people who usually stay in short-term rentals, play on the beach or cycle down the peninsula.

But truth be told, the most lucrative part of our hospitality industry are not leisure guests, but people coming to town for meetings and conventions.

Gary Sherwin

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Courtesy of Visit Newport Beach

Gary Sherwin

Ask any large hotel in town and they’ll tell you that they pay most of their bills through group events. Although it varies from property to property, most hotels will say that 60 percent of their business annually is dependent on meetings.

This segment of the hospitality industry is lucrative because when a hotel signs a meetings contract, it involves multiple room night bookings as well as food and beverage revenue. A single meeting provides a hotel potentially millions in revenue.

In Newport Beach, group business is held throughout the year but is particularly strong in the spring and fall and has been steadily increasing over the last decade. Our hotels generate in excess of $200 million annually from meetings.

But not this year. As the pandemic grew in March, hotels throughout the city were deluged with cancellations and the group market literally collapsed overnight.

Some of the business was moved to the fall with hope that the pandemic could get under control, but those hopes are now dimming. Several groups have moved their meetings to next year with the anticipation of a vaccine being developed by that time.

All of this has resulted in empty meeting space in hotels throughout Newport Beach. Currently, two of the city’s largest hotels remain shuttered and will likely remain so until the meetings market comes back to life. That will result in the city taking a huge financial hit as attendees stay at home and keep the city’s room tax revenue with them.

These meeting participants also eat and shop and charter boats in the harbor, which spreads the financial pain throughout the community.

Although our recovery in the tourism sector is beginning a slight uptick, the reality is that the city will not see a meaningful bump in revenue until people feel comfortable enough to meet again.

It is completely understandable why people don’t want to book meetings right now. Gathering inside a room with a large group is not only forbidden but people are rightly concerned about health. In a recent study, 73.6 percent of respondents say they currently feel unsafe attending conventions. That perception isn’t likely to change before the end of the year.

All the major hotels, as well at Visit Newport Beach, had a large number of professionals whose entire livelihood was dependent on bringing these groups to town. In fact, the meetings market, which generates $325 billion a year and 300 million room nights, is perhaps the most competitive tourism segment for cities.

Now the world’s meeting industry has gone very dark. The professionals charged with bringing this business to the city have either been laid off or are quietly keeping the lights on for when the business returns.

In the meantime, people are defaulting to Zoom. I was on a virtual annual convention call this week and the experience, while well intentioned, was not nearly as impactful as sitting in a room with my colleagues.

While Zooming certainly won’t go away even when the group market comes back – it is a useful tool for people who can’t travel – our hotels look forward to and desperately need the attendees to come back. And when it is safe, I do believe people will meet again in person.

After all, you really can’t Zoom a sunset cruise on Newport Harbor.

Gary Sherwin is President & CEO of Visit Newport Beach and Newport Beach and Company.


Take Five: Meet Karen Heath Clark, NBPL Foundation Chairperson

By AMY SENK

Corona del Mar resident Karen Heath Clark is an attorney and historian, a travel adventurer and author (Mediterranean Summers: How a Man, a Woman and a Dog Spent Eight Years Cruising the Ancient Sea in their Small Boat and Bill Clinton: America’s Bridge to the 21st Century). She also is a dedicated volunteer, including a decade as a Newport Beach Public Library trustee, and this summer, she became the current chair of the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation. I caught up with her to learn more. 

Take Five Karen Heath Clark

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Courtesy of Karen Heath Clark

Karen Heath Clark

Q: You’ve been involved with the Newport Beach Library Foundation and have been appointed the group’s chair. Can you tell me more about the organization, and what your No. 1 priority will be for the foundation in the next 12 months?

A: The Newport Beach Public Library Foundation is a nonprofit group organized to provide support for the Newport Beach Public Library. Its purpose is to raise funds for library resources and enhancements not funded by the City – resources and enhancements such as downloadable and audio books, computers, the media and sound lab, online subscriptions and library renovations – and also to provide top-quality library programming, especially literary and nationally acclaimed speakers. Our best-known speaker programs are the Witte Distinguished Speaker Series and the Library Live Distinguished Authors series. We also put on very popular medical and financial lecture series. My number one priority this year is to continue to carry out our mission to serve the library and the community in the face of the COVID pandemic. We will need to create new and innovative ways to present dynamic speakers and authors, while maintaining the strong sense of community fostered by our in-library events. We, like other nonprofits, are also seeking ways to assure that our donors remain involved and committed to the Library Foundation.

Q: You’re a published author as well. Do you have advice for aspiring authors?

A: One important bit of advice is this: Don’t expect that writing your book is going to be easy or glamorous. It takes extreme commitment and more hours than you can imagine – years in fact. And it’s a lonely endeavor. Still, I loved writing my two books and I’m insane enough to be working on a third.

Q: What is your all-time favorite book? 

A: One book I read when I was a relatively young adult was Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose. It made a powerful impression on me and gave me a new appreciation of and relationship to reading. I had loved books as a child – Freddy the Pig and all Moomin books being my favorites as a young child, and Kazantzakis’ The Last Temptation of Christ becoming my passion in early high school. But I got burned out in high school and college slogging through the required reading, seemingly consisting of nothing but dense Russian novels that meant little to me which I was forced to analyze ad nauseum. Then I came across Stegner’s book, and the joyful world of reading and books reopened to me. It enthralled me. So, while it’s hard to say it’s my “favorite,” Angle of Repose is probably the book that had the most to do with my lifelong love of reading.

Q: When you’re not working on library business, how do you like to spend time? Any passion projects or hobbies?

A: Sadly, I’m now spending time at home hiding from COVID-19, but I’m also running, biking and hiking to try to stay in shape. And reading. In better times, I love to travel. The topic of my first book was the eight years my husband and I spent, with our dog, on a small boat we bought and cruised on through the length of the northern Mediterranean Sea. Just in the last three years we have had the joys of visiting Vietnam (by bike); Turkey and Georgia; Antarctica, Chile and Colombia; Rwanda, Botswana and South Africa; and India, Bhutan, Thailand and Cambodia. Other than my frequent visits to Turkey, my favorite trip started in St. Petersburg and Moscow (where we stayed at the Metropol Hotel, made famous by the recent best-selling novel A Gentleman in Moscow), then rode on the Trans-Siberian Railroad (the local train, not the one for tourists) to Lake Baikal and Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, then drove around Mongolia for 10 days, followed by camping out on the Great Wall of China. The trip was amazing. I also love to garden, ski, obsess over politics and dote on my four grandchildren, and I’m an amateur photographer.

Q: What’s your craziest travel story?

A: Maybe it was almost getting trampled by a herd of sheep when spending the night sleeping on a beach in Crete, or hitching through the former Yugoslavia and getting our best ride in Montenegro in a hog truck, or huddling in the fetal position for hours, fearing imminent death, while crossing the rough sea between Turkey and Cyprus in our small boat, or perhaps pushing my way through dozens of hostile armed guards to introduce myself to Bashar Al Assad and his wife in Aleppo and to take their picture (before we all knew what a terrible person he is), or maybe traveling around the world for a year with our 2-year-old son and no money – through New Zealand, Australia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa, Brazil, Bolivia and Peru – and being swarmed by angry and armed police when we got off our plane illegally in Madagascar. Travel is always an adventure.

~~~~~~~~

Amy Senk is a longtime resident of Corona del Mar and a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.


Somewhere over the rainbow

Somewhere over the rainbow

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Photo by Kevin Pellon (Instagram @socalsnapz)

April 2020 in Newport Beach


648 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency today, July 15, reflect that there have been 648 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of three Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of 22 cases today and 401 cases since June 26.

The County reported 911 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, following 865 cases reported yesterday, 540 cases reported on Monday, 814 cases reported on Sunday, 1,251 cases reported on Saturday, 1,133 cased reported on Friday, and 1,284 cases reported on Thursday.

Sadly, the County reports that 455 people have died due to COVID-19, including 22 deaths received today. 

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 27,031 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 722 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 238 are in ICU.

Santa Ana has had 5,081 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 141 cases today, and 120 deaths. Anaheim has had 4,654 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 140 cases today, and 110 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,323 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 40 cases today, and 43 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 840 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 31 cases today, and five deaths. Irvine has had 875 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 28 cases today, and seven deaths. Laguna Beach has had 102 confirmed cases to date, an increase of two cases today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 6,185 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 11,611 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

648 confirmed cases 7 15 20 1

648 confirmed cases 7 15 20 2

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COVID-19: 27,031 cases in OC to date, 455 deaths, including 22 deaths received today

OC Health Care Agency reported 911 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 15, following 865 cases reported yesterday, 540 cases reported on Monday, 814 cases reported on Sunday, 1,251 cases reported on Saturday, 1,133 cased reported on Friday, and 1,284 cases reported on Thursday.

Sadly, the County reports that 455 people have died due to COVID-19, including 22 deaths received today. There have been three deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 27,031 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 722 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 238 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 648 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 22 cases today and 401 cases since June 26, a per capita rate of 7.433 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 5,081 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 141 cases today, and 120 deaths. Anaheim has had 4,654 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 140 cases today, and 110 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,323 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 40 cases today, and 43 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 840 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 31 cases today, and five deaths. Irvine has had 875 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 28 cases today, and seven deaths. Laguna Beach has had 102 confirmed cases to date, an increase of two cases today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 6,185 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 11,611 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 15, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


626 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency today, July 14, reflect that there have been 626 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of three Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of 31 cases today and 379 cases since June 26.

The County reported 868 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, following 540 cases reported on Monday, 814 cases reported on Sunday, 1,251 cases reported on Saturday, 1,133 cased reported on Friday, and 1,284 cases reported on Thursday.

Sadly, the County reports that 433 people have died due to COVID-19, including nine deaths received today.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 26,120 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 712 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 237 are in ICU.

Santa Ana has had 4,946 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 141 cases today, and 120 deaths. Anaheim has had 4,514 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 129 cases today, and 104 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,283 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 32 cases today, and 42 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 809 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 36 cases today, and three deaths. Irvine has had 847 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 39 cases today, and seven deaths. Laguna Beach has had 100 confirmed cases to date, an increase of six cases today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 5,965 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 11,088 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

626 confirmed cases 7 14 20 1

626 confirmed cases 7 14 20 2

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COVID-19: County reports 868 additional cases, 9 new deaths

OC Health Care Agency reported 868 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 14, following 540 cases reported on Monday, 814 cases reported on Sunday, 1,251 cases reported on Saturday, 1,133 cased reported on Friday, and 1,284 cases reported on Thursday.

Sadly, the County reports that 433 people have died due to COVID-19, including nine deaths received today. There have been three deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 26,120 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 712 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 237 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 626 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 31 cases today and 379 cases since June 26, a per capita rate of 7.181 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 4,946 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 141 cases today, and 120 deaths. Anaheim has had 4,514 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 129 cases today, and 104 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,283 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 32 cases today, and 42 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 809 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 36 cases today, and three deaths. Irvine has had 847 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 39 cases today, and seven deaths. Laguna Beach has had 100 confirmed cases to date, an increase of six cases today, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 5,965 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 11,088 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 7 14 20 1

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 14, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Hoag Hospital urgently seeks plasma donors

Hoag Hospital is putting out an urgent request for plasma donors. As the number of patients with COVID-19 continues to climb in Orange County, the need for convalescent plasma also increases and the amount left available is very limited.

Hoag Hospital urgently seeks plasma bag

Submitted photo

A bag of fresh frozen plasma

Hoag is urging individuals that have recovered from a COVID-19 infection to donate plasma. The process is easy and relatively quick. For some patients, plasma may be one of the very few treatment options available that can make a difference.

Donors need to meet the following criteria:

–You have had a positive test for COVID-19.

–You can obtain a copy of your positive test result.

–You are fully recovered from your COVID-19 infection.

–You have been symptom free for a minimum of 14 days.

–You are otherwise in good health. 

For information on how you can donate, visit www.hoag.org/COVID.


595 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Care Agency yesterday, July 13, reflect that there have been 595 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in the deaths of three Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of six cases yesterday and 348 cases since June 26.

The County reported 540 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County yesterday, following 814 cases reported on Sunday, 1,251 cases reported on Saturday, 1,133 cased reported on Friday, and 1,284 cases reported on Thursday.

Sadly, the County reports that 424 people have died due to COVID-19, including one death received yesterday, following two deaths received yesterday, nine deaths received on Saturday, 10 deaths received on Friday, and 26 deaths received on Thursday.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 25,255 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 674 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 235 are in ICU.

Santa Ana has had 4,805 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 112 cases yesterday, and 120 deaths. Anaheim has had 4,385 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 96 cases yesterday, and 98 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,251 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 25 cases yesterday, and 42 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 773 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 17 cases yesterday, and three deaths. Irvine has had 808 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 14 cases yesterday, and six deaths. Laguna Beach has had 94 confirmed cases to date, an increase of one case yesterday, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 5,759 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 10,554 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

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COVID-19: County reports 540 additional cases, one new death

OC Health Care Agency reported 540 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County yesterday, July 13, following 814 cases reported on Sunday, 1,251 cases reported on Saturday, 1,133 cased reported on Friday, and 1,284 cases reported on Thursday.

Sadly, the County reports that 424 people have died due to COVID-19, including one death received yesterday, following two deaths received on Sunday, nine deaths received on Saturday, 10 deaths received on Friday, and 26 deaths received on Thursday. There have been three deaths of Newport Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 25,255 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 674 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 235 are in ICU.

Newport Beach has had 595 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of six cases yesterday and 348 cases since June 26, a per capita rate of 6.825 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 4,805 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 112 cases yesterday, and 120 deaths. Anaheim has had 4,385 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 96 cases yesterday, and 98 deaths. Huntington Beach has had 1,251 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 25 cases yesterday, and 42 deaths. Costa Mesa has had 773 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 17 cases yesterday, and three deaths. Irvine has had 808 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 14 cases yesterday, and six deaths. Laguna Beach has had 94 confirmed cases to date, an increase of one case yesterday, and “less than five deaths” to date.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 5,759 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 10,554 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 7 13 20 1

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 13, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


OC Community Foundation to hold Giving Day on Thursday

On Thursday, July 16, the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF), based in Newport Beach, will host the third annual Empowering Possibilities, a Giving Day for OC neighbors with disabilities. This 24-hour online effort aims to raise $70,000 in critical funds for seven local organizations. 

“Our Collaborative Giving Days have successfully mobilized thousands of donors and raised millions of dollars for nonprofits and their work assisting the community,” said Shelley Hoss, president and CEO, OCCF. “In these challenging and uncertain times, we continue to be in awe of our community’s generosity and support of our most vulnerable residents.”

The seven organizations participating in the 2020 Empowering Possibilities Giving Day include Blind Children’s Learning Center of OC, Down Syndrome Association of OC, Family Support Network, Hope Center for the Arts, Project Independence, Special Olympics Southern California and Vocational Visions.

OC Community Foundation child and computer

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Submitted photo

All seven of these nonprofits were forced to cancel all in-person fundraising events and meetings in March, due to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis. According to the latest information from the State of California, official health partners and local authorities, many closures will remain in effect through the summer.

In response, nonprofits have launched creative ways to serve their populations and stay engaged virtually at a time when people need it most. For example, Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) launched the SOSC Healthy Lifestyle Challenge (HLC), which keeps athletes, coaches and fans active and engaged. The program started in April, and because of the continued risk that COVID-19 presents to the athletes, the summer season will continue with an enhanced version of HLC based on feedback from participants.

This Empowering Possibilities Giving Day is the latest of a series that, to date, has raised more than $10 million for Orange County nonprofits. OCCF first challenged Orange County residents to “give where their heart lives” during the inaugural iheartoc Giving Day in 2015, raising more than $1.8 million for 347 participating nonprofits in just 30 hours. In 2018, OCCF restructured iheartoc as an expanded opportunity for nonprofits to connect with one another in support of their shared missions.

To give online, go here. Additional collaborative Giving Days will be announced over the coming year. For more information, visit www.oc-cf.org/iheartoc.


Governor closes many indoor business operations statewide

Governor Gavin Newsom has announced indoor operations of many businesses statewide must close in direct correlation with rising COVID-19 numbers.

Effective immediately, all California counties must close indoor operations of restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, cardrooms and bars.

Sectors to close indoor operations in certain California counties, including Orange County, include fitness centers, worship services, offices for non-critical sectors, personal care services, hair salons and barbershops, and malls.

More information may be found at www.covid19.ca.gov.


Orange County School Board votes to reopen schools next month

The Orange County School Board has voted, 4-1, to reopen schools this fall. A panel of experts reported to the Board their recommendation that it is safe to open schools next month without masks or social distancing to protect against the spread of the coronavirus.

The School Board’s report also determined that if a district is “unable or unwilling to reopen schools in a manner that resumes a typical classroom environment and school atmosphere, parents should be allowed to send their children to another school district or charter school that will provide that preferred education.”

Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) is set to open its 2020-21 school year on Monday, August 24. Early College High School, however, is set to begin earlier on Wednesday, August 12.


School Notes

Joshua Hill announced as new CdMHS Principal

Joshua Hill has been appointed the principal of Corona del Mar High School for the 2020-21 school year. Hill is a warm, experienced administrator with extensive knowledge of the facets of secondary programs. He has 17 years of experience in education, most recently serving as the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for secondary schools in Capistrano Unified School District.

While at Capistrano Unified, the fifth largest district in the State, Hill spearheaded curriculum adoptions, career technical education programs, employee professional development and supported the District’s goals toward academic achievement.

Hill enjoys the dynamics and activities of a high school. Prior to his current administration role, he was principal at two Capistrano Unified high schools where he was actively engaged in student activities, provided instructional leadership and coaching to staff, and implemented sustainable programs for college and career readiness. He led his team to a successful Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation review and fostered the improvement of student learning in English language arts and mathematics. 

Recognized as a welcoming, dedicated, collaborative and effective leader, he prioritizes a school culture focused on student well-being and high levels of learning for all students.

Hill is excited to serve the Corona del Mar community, and looks forward to meeting the staff, students and parents. 

Board Meeting highlights for tonight’s agenda

The following is a Board Meeting brief for tonight’s Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education meeting. The meeting agenda may be found here.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and can be attended virtually through the following video link.

Here are some meeting highlights:

–Introduction of New Staff

Item #9 is the introduction of Shoshana Yudin, the District’s new Director of Personnel.

–Discussion/Action Calendar

Item #13.a. will approve instructional models for re-opening of schools for the 2020-21 School Year – In order to continue the essential planning and preparation for the upcoming school year, staff recommends approval of a 3-Level Plan that is adaptable for potential changing circumstances throughout the year and meets the state/county requirements for re-opening.

Item #13.b. will move to approve an agreement with Global Environmental Network, Inc. for custodial training for biohazard cleanup and disinfection. 

–On the Consent Calendar:

Item #14.a.16. will move to approve an agreement with Studio+ Architecture for student gathering areas design at Ensign Intermediate School. The recommendation is to create additional enhanced outdoor student gathering areas within the campus. The design for the student gathering area will be approved by the Board of Education at a later date.


Another day…another super yacht

Another day ship

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Kevin Pellon (Instagram @socalsnapz)

The Invictus stuns the city with its major swag


Back Bay Drive closed two weeks for rock slide debris clean-up

Work began yesterday, July 13, on Back Bay Drive to clean up after a recent rock slide. The roadway will be closed on weekdays from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. for two weeks.

Back Bay Drive will be open for pedestrians and bicyclists on weekends and after 4 p.m. on weekdays. The roadway will remain closed to vehicle traffic at all times.

The rock slide occurred from a private slope of a nearby residence.