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Your need-to-know city info

Facility Closures: Newport Beach Civic Center and City recreation and community centers will be closed through Monday, Jan. 1, 2024. All facilities will reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024.

Police, Fire and other select city departments will remain open. For more details on the hours of operation for select departments, please click here.

City libraries will be closed on December 26, December 31 and January 1, 2024. Library facilities will have limited operating hours (9 a.m.-6 p.m.) on Wednesday, Dec. 27 through Saturday, Dec. 30.

Residential Trash and Recycling Collection: The Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays fall on Mondays, therefore, collection for the remainder of each week will be postponed by one day. For example: If your trash is normally collected on Thursdays, it will be picked up on Friday.

Street Sweeping: There will be no street sweeping service on Friday, Dec. 22, Monday, Dec. 25, Friday, Dec. 29 and Monday, Jan. 1, 2024.

Christmas Tree Recycling Collection: Christmas trees can be placed next to your waste carts for recycling pickup on any scheduled collection days between December 26 and January 15, 2024 at no additional cost. Please remove lights and ornaments. Trees should be no more than 6-ft. tall, which may require you to cut your tree. The city’s contractor, CR&R, will be using a separate truck to collect trees from December 26 until January 15, 2024. Residents may also cut down their trees into smaller pieces to place into the green organic recycling cart. Please note: Flocked trees (fake snow) must be placed in the black-top trash cart or treated as a bulky-item pickup. These trees cannot be recycled because of chemicals used in flocking.

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Newport Beach makes triumphant return to the grand stage with 2024 Rose Parade entry, seeks volunteers for final touches

Visit Newport Beach announce its triumphant return to the world-renowned 135th Rose Parade®, set to dazzle spectators on January 1, 2024 in Pasadena, Cali. After an 18-year hiatus, Newport Beach will once again make a splash on the global stage, showcasing its rich history and vibrant community spirit through its record-breaking float entry that pays homage to the city’s iconic Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. The Rose Parade®, known as “America’s New Year Celebration®,” is a cherished tradition that captivates millions of viewers around the world. As the parade traverses 5 1/2 miles down Colorado Boulevard, it features a dazzling array of floral-decorated floats, equestrian units, marching bands and tournament entries. This year’s theme, “Celebrating a World of Music: The Universal Language,” perfectly aligns with the spirit of unity and harmony that music brings to people of all cultures and backgrounds.

Newport Beach float rendering

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Visit Newport Beach

Visit Newport Beach’s float, “Jingle on the Waves,” will draw attention as the longest float entry in Rose Parade history

Visit Newport Beach’s float, aptly titled “Jingle on the Waves,” promises to draw attention as the longest float entry in parade history. But what truly sets this float apart is its concept – a heartfelt tribute to the beloved Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, essentially creating a parade within a parade. The design showcases iconic Newport Beach landmarks like the Fun Zone Ferris Wheel and the Balboa Pavilion, all crowned by a magnificent 20-foot Christmas tree. Adding to the historic ties between Pasadena and Newport Beach, four former Rose Queens® who call Newport Beach home, will grace the float with their regal presence. This exceptional concept pays homage to Newport Beach’s cherished Christmas Boat Parade, a beloved local tradition, and embodies the spirit of unity and joy shared with the world through the Rose Parade®.

“We are elated for Newport Beach’s outstanding return to the world-renowned 135th Rose Parade, a momentous occasion that marks not only our city’s resurgence on the grand stage but also the culmination of an 18-year hiatus,” said Gary Sherwin, president & CEO of Visit Newport Beach. “Our record-setting float entry is a masterpiece that encapsulates the very essence of Newport Beach, but also makes a powerful statement and tells a compelling story on an impactful scale.”

The historic ties between Newport Beach and the Rose Parade presented by Honda, run deep. For many years, parade officials would bring Rose Queen® candidates to Newport Beach’s Balboa Bay Club to assess their poise and grace in interacting with people. The Rose Parade® has also served as a source of inspiration for Newport Beach’s own Christmas Boat Parade. In fact, for many years, the Newport Beach holiday celebration didn’t have a Grand Marshal. Seeking inspiration, they looked to Pasadena, and as a result, they added this symbolic leader to their parade. Generating additional excitement and furthering engagement opportunities with valued meeting planners, Visit Newport Beach conducted an exclusive drawing during IMEX for a coveted “Rosé Getaway: an Iconic Experience.” Meeting planners who won the drawing will have the extraordinary experience of riding on Visit Newport Beach’s official float and partaking in the 2024 Rose Parade.

Visit Newport Beach is seeking help to add the final magical touches to the float. They are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to join them in decorating the float and making it shine even brighter. Your creativity and passion will be the finishing touches that bring their vision to life. Join Visit Newport Beach in creating a moment of Newport Beach pride and history at the Rose Parade®. Don’t miss this chance to be a part of something truly special.

Volunteer Floral Decoration Schedule:

December 26:

Shift 1: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Shift 2: 4-9 p.m.

December 27-29:

Shift 1: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Shift 2: 4-11 p.m.

December 30:

Shift 1: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Shift 2: 4-11 p.m.

Graveyard shift: 11 p.m.-finish

December 31:

Shift 1: 6-10 a.m.

For more details and to sign up to volunteer, go here.

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Newport Beach – A Look Back

Photo series courtesy of Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach

Newport Beach a Look Back The Swift of Ipswitch

Built in 1938, The Swift of Ipswich is a 70-ft. schooner purchased by James and brother Bill Cagney in the 1950s. Newport Harbor saw this vessel make its home here in 1958, and it remained here until 1991 when it was sold. During the period that the Cagney brothers had owned the ship, it was used for cruises around the harbor and appeared in movies and television shows like “Treasure Island” and “Fantasy Island.”

Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach and the Museum Store are located at 210 B Marine Ave., Balboa Island. They are open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free general admission on all days. Two-hour parking is available on Marine Avenue. For more information, call 949.675.3952, visit www.balboaislandmuseum.org or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Guest Column

Joe Stapleton

Mayor Pro Tem

City of Newport Beach

2023 has been a rewarding and productive year

Guest column Joe Stapleton SNN 12.26

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Ed Olen

Joe Stapleton

It’s been a rewarding and productive first year on the Newport Beach City Council. To cap it off, I was just selected by my fellow councilmembers to serve as Mayor Pro Tem for the 2024 calendar year. It is an honor and privilege to be chosen by my colleagues to serve, and I look forward to carrying out the roles and responsibilities of this position on behalf of the people of Newport Beach.

My council colleagues and I have addressed several challenges, made progress on others, and launched new projects to further improve our great city.

Here are a few highlights from 2023 that I’d like to share with you as we close out the year:

Homeless Response: My council colleagues and I adopted a new city ordinance to address homelessness, augmenting Newport Beach’s already comprehensive approach. The new law bans tents and other structures set up as living accommodations and prohibits blocking access to certain facilities, among other provisions. In addition, Newport Beach increased the number of shelter beds available in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter and launched a new partnership to convert a Costa Mesa hotel into permanent, supportive housing. A special thank you to Councilmembers Kleiman, Grant and Blom for their dedicated efforts on our homelessness committee.

Boardwalk Safety: The city launched a program to deploy additional police and parking control officers to the Oceanfront Boardwalk, replacing the Boardwalk Ambassador program. Officers continue to provide outreach and education, as the Ambassadors did, but take enforcement actions, including citations and arrests, when necessary.

Fractional Homeownership: The City Council passed a new ordinance effectively regulating fractional homeownership, which was approved by the California Coastal Commission. As our city’s statement said in the wake of the commission’s approval, it reinforces the importance of local control over critical housing issues that impact our community. Many of our residents have expressed concerns about noise, parking, high turnover and other adverse neighborhood impacts that often arise with short-term stays. Thankfully, the Coastal Commission recognized the negative impacts that arise from fractional ownership and sided with the residents of Newport Beach to help preserve the quality of life and neighborhood character in our coastal residential areas.

Gateway Park renovations: The city completed $540,000 worth of improvements for Gateway Park in 2023, creating a more welcoming entrance to Lido and the Peninsula. The project included new landscaping, lighting, repairs, painting and a new park sign.

Newport Bay Trash Interceptor: Construction began this year on the Newport Bay Trash Interceptor, a sustainably powered system to collect floating trash before it enters the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve. The $5.5 million system, which will capture 80% of the floating trash and debris from San Diego Creek, is expected to be operational by December 2024.

Superior Avenue Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge: Construction of the new pedestrian and bicycle bridge began in early 2023 and is now well underway at PCH and Superior Avenue. The project includes an expanded parking lot and improvements to Sunset Ridge Park. The new bridge, parking lot and park improvements are expected to be completed in spring 2024.

Public Safety: Public safety is the highest priority for our council, and we continue to further improve the world-class Newport Beach Police Department. In 2023, the city named Joe Cartwright as the new Chief of Police to succeed outgoing Chief Jon Lewis. The city also made preparations for the eventual relocation of the Police Department headquarters, purchasing a 2.59-acre parcel of land on Dove Street. Also, in our current fiscal year budget, the council allocated funding for a new ambulance and six additional firefighter/paramedic positions to meet increased community demand for ambulance services.

Lifeguards: I very much enjoyed participating in the Centennial Anniversary celebrations this year for the excellent institution that is our Newport Beach Lifeguards. More good news: the new Junior Lifeguard Building is expected to open this spring and be fully operational for next year’s summer program.

Sand Replenishment: In November, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began replenishing beach sand from Seal Beach to Newport Beach in a long-overdue, $23 million project. Crews deposited about 1.2 million cubic yards of sand in the Sunset Beach area, which will move south over the next few years through natural wave and tidal flow. As part of the project, the Army Corps moved 100,000 cubic yards of sand from the Santa Ana River area to replenish beaches between 52nd and 36th streets.

Advocating for Stricter Oversight of Group Sober-Living Homes: The city strongly advocated for more oversight from the State of California over group homes licensed by the state. Some progress came in the form of an audit, approved by a State Legislature committee, into the management and oversight of state-licensed sober living homes.

Reducing Power Outages: I worked closely with Southern California Edison on plans to improve power reliability to Lido and other West Newport neighborhoods. While the City of Newport Beach is not a power supplier, I have engaged in discussions with SCE about potential solutions to pursue in the future. SCE has committed to short-term, mid-range, and long-term solutions to improve reliability and reduce outages.

I look forward to keeping you informed of developments on these and other exciting projects and initiatives in 2024. As always, I welcome your suggestions and concerns. Please feel free to reach out to me directly by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by phone at 949.644.3004.

You may also follow me on social media @NewportStapleton.

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Passenger traffic down in November as JWA tries to meet agreement limits for 2023

Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport (JWA) decreased in November 2023 as compared to November 2022. In November 2023, the airport served 954,228 passengers, a decrease of 5.9% when compared with the November 2022 passenger traffic count of 1,014,095.

Passenger traffic down three jets

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of John Wayne Airport

Commercial aircraft operations in November 2023 of 7,763 decreased 5.7% and commuter aircraft operations of 334 decreased 36.0% when comparing with November 2022 levels.

Total aircraft operations decreased in November 2023 as compared with the same month in 2022. In November 2023, there were 22,839 total aircraft operations (takeoffs and landings) a 5.7% decrease compared to 24,215 total aircraft operations in November 2022.

General aviation activity of 14,726 accounted for 64.5% of the total aircraft operations during November 2023 and decreased 4.5% compared with November 2022.

The top three airlines in November 2023 based on passenger count were Southwest Airlines (287,012), United Airlines (149,707) and Alaska Airlines (148,983).

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Assistance League of Newport-Mesa initiates project “Duffles of Dignity” for OCC students

Assistance League of Newport-Mesa is at it again! For more than 80 years, their organization has focused on programs that benefit families and students in the community. Their most recent project is called “Duffles of Dignity,” designed to improve the lives of 130 local Orange Coast College students.

assistance league supplies

Photos courtesy of Assistance League of Newport-Mesa

Duffle Bags will be filled with supplies for OCC students

It was a set of serendipitous circumstances that brought Assistance League member Linda Colleran and OCC Care Coordinator Jacqueline Maraya and Student Equality Specialist Tuan Vo together to brainstorm ways Assistance League can help the housing insecure students at OCC.

assistance league tree

(L-R) Assistance League members Linda Colleran and Erin Kim welcoming Tuan Vo and Jacqueline Maraya from the OCC Cares Initiative. Vo was the guest speaker at the Assistance League of Newport-Mesa’s holiday luncheon.

The OCC Basic Needs Center offers a variety of services to OCC students to help them meet their basic needs, which refers to the most essential resources required to thrive as a student. This includes access to nutritious food, clothing resources, stable housing, transportation resources and financial wellness resources.

assistance league towels

Click on photo for a larger image

Towels for “Duffles of Dignity” project

One area they needed to address: showering issues for housing insecure students. The proposed solution: “Duffles of Dignity” became the latest outreach project for Assistance League of Newport-Mesa. The duffle bags are filled with towels, washcloths, socks, a beanie, lots of hygiene items and most importantly, a combo lock. Students can take the duffels to the gym and use the lockers and showers without worry.

Vo and Maraya attended the Assistance League of Newport-Mesa December holiday lunch meeting to provide members with more information about their group and what they are doing for students at OCC. They were happy to learn that the duffles are already in use. They received a heartwarming message just this week from a thankful student who had just finished finals and is getting ready for the holidays.

Their tagline is, “Transforming Lives and Strengthening Community,” and they look forward to working with OCC and other community partners in the coming year.

For more information, go to www.assistanceleague.org/newport-mesa/.

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Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Get ready…this week is the calm before next week’s debut of the new “Stu News” redesign

TJ headshot AugThis week, we’re dimming the lights in the Stu News newsroom to allow staff to be with family and friends over the holidays. It’s also a chance that allows them to rest, relax and recharge the old batteries as we prepare to kick off 2024.

And what a year it’s going to be right out of the gate with our first issue of the year. For months, we’ve been fine tuning a product redesign. It will debut in what we’re hoping is its new splendor come Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024.

Here’s what you can expect. A much cleaner page set-up. Gone will be what we internally call the “right gutter.” It’s the single column that runs down the right side of the page and what many times competes with stories or photos, or both, that run down the middle.

So, expect stories to be presented in a clearer design running completely across the page; as, too, will ads. It should make for an easier read all the way around.

And trust me, a redesign is not something we take with a grain of salt. They are few and far between and completed after much thought.

But, we also realize that we’re not the judge and jury. You, our readers are, so let us know what you think after you spend a little time with it next Tuesday.

We also realize change is always difficult and some people, quite frankly, just don’t like it. So, disappointment is anticipated from some, but hopefully it will be few and far between.

We’re also hoping that the new design will make for a better home for advertisers to share their messaging with our growing number of readers.

Local news products are also not as commonplace any longer as the latest national statistics bear out, with many more failing and going out of business than beginning. Fortunately, we’ve been on the good side of that effort.

Still, we honestly could use more support. Not a week goes by when we don’t think of new things we’d like to add to our coverage, and we’re only limited by the funds to continually reinvest in our business.

Should you have a business, big or small, for profit or not for profit, we have a program that should work with your budget.

So, if you’d like to find out more, send me an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we’ll collectively figure it out.

I remind you again that this week will be softer than a “normal” week, but we won’t just pass on any news stories that need to be told. We’re on it, even during the holidays.

So, Happy New Year! Here’s to a great 2024 together.

• • •

Speaking of the New Year, get ready for some King Tides right out of the gate. On January 11 and 12 and again on February 9, high tides will hit our beaches and low-lying areas.

Expectations anticipate tides up 6.84 ft. on January 11 at 8:18 a.m., and up 6.83 ft. on January 12 at 9:02 a.m.

When they return on February 9, times will be up 6.80 ft. at 8:12 a.m.

(All the above data is calculated for the Newport Bay entrance.)

• • •

Not a very happy holiday season for some residents in the luxury Newport Bluff apartments. According to the Orange County Register, a lawsuit has been filed by tenants of the complex alleging severe toxic mold issues that have been reportedly “hidden” from the renters through cosmetic repairs causing major medical issues.

The Irvine Co., owners of the property, are denying the claims.

• • •

Before you put away the decorations, you should know the 116th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is coming up again soon. The dates announced last week are Dec. 18-22, 2024, so plan accordingly.

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You Must Remember This: the character of Newport Beach

By NANCY GARDNER

In the course of their work, the General Plan Advisory Committee will craft a vision statement defining Newport’s character as it is today and what members hope it will be in the future. It is a challenging task, and one in which the past isn’t necessarily of assistance.

If we go back to the early days, the city flouted federal and state laws with blithe disregard, particularly in Balboa. My uncle, Dick Whitson, was part of the group that ran the city. As a city leader, one would think he would make an effort to bring the city into compliance with the various edicts issuing from Sacramento and Washington. The opposite was true. He owned the Green Dragon, which was one of the more popular places to imbibe bootleg liquor, and his activities were in lockstep with the other city leaders. Just as liquor was banned nationally, gambling was illegal in California, but in our fine city, you could run a gambling parlor or have slot machines in your store – as long as you purchased the required city license. The only major illegal pastime that wasn’t around in those days was a bordello. Ah, you think, they had to draw the line somewhere. Au contraire. Several madams tried to get a business going, but quickly closed their doors, not because of civic pressure but because, according to one, there was so much free stuff available the pros couldn’t make a living. Lest anyone think the young women of our town were a loose group, we will assume she was referring to all those out-of-towners who came down to kick over the traces.

Move a few blocks north, and the picture was a bit different. If Balboa thrived on demon rum and gambling, fishing paid the bills in the village of Newport. The fishermen got up early to get out to the good fishing grounds, so they weren’t out doing a lot of roistering at night. That doesn’t mean that section of Newport was dry and quiet, however. There were cannery and boatyard workers and others there to support several bars including Stark’s where, to paraphrase a song from Guys and Dolls, they held the oldest established permanent stationary 24-hour poker game in town. Because there weren’t attractions like the Rendezvous or gambling parlors, those bars were frequented by locals, not out-of-towners, so there wasn’t the frenetic atmosphere often associated with Balboa, but the locals had the same lack of concern about certain laws as city visitors and managed to stir up plenty of trouble on their own. If GPAC were to limn the city’s character in those days? It would be that of a wide-open town.

By the ‘50s, the lawless aspect had disappeared. There were still plenty of visitors, but laws were enforced, and Newport settled into what was basically a middle-class mode. Teachers and cops lived here, and owners of small local stores. Property values were reasonable enough to support a certain bohemian presence – surf and sailing bums, artists – people who pursued their passion, not money. I think most residents at that time would have characterized us as a quiet beach community. I often hear the same phrase used to describe the city today which I find a little odd, because of the huge differences between then and now, driven primarily by soaring property values which have eliminated any bohemian element as well as most of the middle class. My own description of today would be that we are a wealthy coastal enclave. However, I realize it doesn’t have the warm, fuzzy connotations of a quiet beach community, so I am willing to concede the latter phrase with a little editing. We live to the incessant serenade of power saws and nail guns. On our street alone there hasn’t been one time in the last five years when there hasn’t been construction, so beach community – okay, but quiet? No can do.

~~~~~~~~

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

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Kudos to local journalism…a valuable community asset that needs to be supported

By GARY SHERWIN

Stu News Publisher Tom Johnson wouldn’t want me to write this kind of column, but given the holidays, I just felt the need to go there. I guess this is one of those “do it and ask for forgiveness later” situations.

Before I get into that, I know this space is usually reserved for matters relating to tourism, and certainly, there has been a lot to talk about that lately.

Last week was the 115th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, which was a stunning success, perhaps one of the best in years. There were some wonderful improvements to the parade, including the contributions of local investment group Eagle Four Partners, which hosted our first-ever drone light show. They also encouraged some new boats to get involved, and the quality of the entries this year was pretty impressive and, in some cases, jaw-droppingly beautiful.

Gary Sherwin SNN 12.22

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Visit Newport Beach

Gary Sherwin

Our Opening Night Grand Marshals, Hallmark stars Nikki DeLoach and Andrew Walker, who were engaging and so appreciative of the honor, even gave us a public holiday gift. They announced that a Newport Beach Christmas Hallmark Channel movie would soon be produced and filmed here, and given their 36 million viewers and its spot as the nation’s top cable entertainment channel, that is definitely exciting news.

And now we head into New Year’s and the Visit Newport Beach entry in the 2024 Tournament of Roses Parade, which will be the longest float in the parade’s history and will feature four former Rose Queens, all of whom live in the city. The float is now in serious decoration mode as dozens of Newport Beach residents have signed up to put the dry décor of flowers and seeds on that impressive 150-foot entry.

I don’t think Tom would ever have a problem talking about all that good news. But he’s a modest person, which is why he probably wouldn’t like what I’m going to say next.

Since the holidays are about being grateful for the things in your life, I think it is only appropriate to take a moment and appreciate what we have in this community, especially with Stu News.

Putting together this publication is not easy, and it requires long hours. Tom and his loyal editor, Lana Johnson, have tirelessly crafted issues during late nights after significant community events. They are both committed to telling our city’s story beyond the obvious headlines.

Maybe because I’m a former journalist and worked at the L.A. Times way back when, but I have a deep regard for the role of local journalism and how it is the glue that keeps us all together.

Don’t think that local reporting is something we can take for granted. According to the New York Times, the decline of local news in the United States is speeding up to the point that the nation has lost one-third of its newspapers and two-thirds of its journalists since 2005. Those are stunning statistics.

The Times went on to say that an average of 2.5 newspapers closed each week this year alone compared to two a week last year, which reflects the changing advertising climate.

At the current pace, the country will see 3,000 newspapers close in the last two decades and, along with it, 43,000 journalism jobs.

But most troubling, there are now 204 counties in the United States with no local news outlet and 1,562, with only one newspaper, which is usually a weekly. And that’s more than half of the nation’s 3,143 counties.

Recently, Speak Up Newport did a panel with Tom and some other excellent journalists on this trend, and it is a troubling one. How would a city like Newport Beach function without a source to keep us all together and informed?

Stu News’ digital platform allows it to function more effectively than the old print model, which is terrific from a business perspective. But that can’t be taken for granted and it still requires community support.

Now you see why Tom probably wouldn’t let me write this column if he knew about it ahead of time, but hey Tom, it’s Christmas! Even a little columnist should be able to get away with something this time of year.

Tom and Lana’s love for this city is unparalleled. They show up, not because they must, but because they know they have a calling. A couple of the other local media outlets will always cover the big things here in town, but Tom and Lana also cover the smaller but no less important things as well.

Life in general, as well as in a community, is best lived with the little things that make our community the special place it is. Whether it is a civic person getting well-deserved recognition or the agenda items on a city council meeting that need a light shone on them, Stu News is there for Newport Beach.

In today’s world, we are divided more than ever before, with all sides taking refuge in the political news source of their choice. But Stu News throws all that bias out and says, if you love Newport Beach, this is your home. We may not always agree on the issues, but here is a forum to talk about them in a civilized way.

With Christmas this Monday, it is always good to take stock of your life and the place you live, work and raise your family. Stu News is one of those valuable community assets that we need to be grateful for during this season when so many other cities are not as well served.

Sorry about veering into your journalism business, Tom. But Merry Christmas and hopefully you’ll give me a present by publishing this. You and Lana deserve it.

It’s time for a long, relaxing round of golf. But then get back to work. We all need you.

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

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Guest Letter

Robert T. Braithwaite

President & CEO

Hoag

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas

Guest Letter Robert Braithwaite

Courtesy of Hoag Hospital

Robert Braithwaite, Hoag president and CEO

Dear Neighbors,

As the New Year approaches, I find myself humbled once again to reflect upon the enduring strength of Hoag’s relationship with the community we serve.

Your support has catapulted us to the forefront of health care and drives our continued innovations, our recruitment of world-class medical professionals and our clinical trials in cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, spinal conditions and more.

You continue to motivate Hoag’s emergence as a global destination for medical excellence, and with your health and wellness as our North Star, we make those strides toward excellence while maintaining the unparalleled service and patient-focused outcomes that have earned your trust for more than seven decades.

This year alone, we have worked to meet the needs of our growing community by breaking ground on the Sun Family Campus at Hoag Irvine, an expansion that will serve as a national model for the delivery of health care. We opened a health center in Dove Canyon and an urgent care center in Costa Mesa. We also embarked on enlarging the Joan & Andy Fimiano Emergency Department at Hoag’s Newport Beach campus to add an ED Fast Track for low-acuity patients to streamline care.

These significant additions are just a few of the many ways in which we have listened and worked with you to anticipate your needs and the needs of your family for decades to come. Thank you for all you have done to inspire our momentum. Hoag’s future is bright, and I look forward to continuing to partner with you along the way.

From our Hoag family to yours, we wish you a happy, healthy holiday season and a prosperous New Year.

Sincerely,

Robert T. Braithwaite

President and Chief Executive Officer

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OC Supervisors OK contract for airport terminal electrical upgrades

By SARA HALL

Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a contract this week for work on a project aimed at modernizing John Wayne Airport’s (JWA’s) electrical distribution system.

Supervisors voted 5-0 on Tuesday (Dec. 19) to approve a $14.2 million contract with Swinerton Builders to provide pre-construction phase services for the JWA terminal electrical distribution upgrades project.

There were no comments on the item.

The project will modernize John Wayne Airport’s terminal complex electrical distribution system, which includes replacing aging switchgear and unit substations, providing provision for future microgrid/load shedding controls and monitoring system and modifying emergency distribution systems.

OC Supervisors OK contract for airport terminal B ticketing

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of JWA

Terminal B ticketing area at John Wayne Airport

According to the staff report, plans call to replace the aging main terminal medium-voltage switchgear and the five-unit substations – one in terminal A, two in terminal B, one in parking A2 and one in parking B2, which have more than 20 years of use and are ending their design life. The 12-kilovolt distribution for the terminals will be re-fed from the new switchgear to the unit substations. The existing emergency systems will also be upgraded to replace old air traffic service (ATS) in terminals A and B and to separate emergency (life safety) loads from other loads to comply with state code in terminals A and B, and parking A2 and B2, which currently have emergency power systems and ATS serving a combination of emergency and standby loads.

The new switchgear will have electronic circuit breakers dedicated to each unit substation with metering and protection capabilities/relays and communications requirements for power distribution system control and monitoring requirements, as well as future microgrid integration, according to the contract. The switchgear will have spare breakers for future use and will be rated to handle anticipated future loads. The switchgear will have a DC battery bank and battery charger for ensuring power is available to on-board relaying and controls during a power outage.

The new substation units which will include remote control and monitoring capability, according to the contract. The double-ended unit substations are proposed to include automatic 480V main-tie-main operation to transfer loads to a single feed in event of feeder outage. Each unit substation feed should be supplied from an independent breaker from the new terminal MV switchgear to ensure redundancy within the system and flexibility for maintenance and testing. The new 480V load circuit breakers shall include necessary metering and control capabilities to incorporate a future load shedding/microgrid control functions to provide smaller load steps than the medium voltage distribution level.

OC Public Works issued a request for proposals earlier this year, on April 4, for the pre-construction services for the project. The county received one proposal.

County department staff also conducted an analysis to determine the cost/benefit of contracting out versus providing services in-house. Based on the study findings, officials determined that specialized engineering expertise was needed to complete the work, which is currently unavailable utilizing in-house staff.

Also on Tuesday, supervisors were initially scheduled to consider awarding another contract related to work at JWA but the item was continued until the January 9, 2024 meeting.

The item is a $984,575 contract with Walsh Construction Company II, LLC, for preconstruction phase services for the John Wayne Airport Taxiways A, D and E reconstruction project.

According to the staff report, plans call for the replacement of aging pavement on critical taxiways and to realign the taxiways to meet Federal Aviation Administration current separation guidance between the taxiways and the vehicle service road.

On Sept. 29, 2022, the county sent out a request for qualifications for pre-construction phase services and five bids were submitted. OC public works staff issued an RFP and shortlisted respondents. After an analysis, staff is recommending Walsh Construction.

Supervisors approved an approximate $3.4 million contract with AECOM Technical Services, Inc., on September 26 for architect-engineer consultant services for the project.

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Sara Hall covers City Hall and is a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.

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Capturing iconic Newport Beach and beyond: Lower Newport Bay

Capturing iconic Lower Newport Bay.jpg 12.22

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Artwork by Don Krotee

One of my favorite local views is across the bay, looking south from the Balboa Ferry, south bound. The summer sun will set and make bright glancing light near the Balboa Pavilion. The calm water is rare in the late afternoon (taking artist’s license to imagine any variety of perfection), but always close by. It was less tranquil for the Boat Parade last week, but Lower Newport Bay is always the “star of the show.” The painting is 16” x 20,” watercolor, painted on 140# Fabriano paper.

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Don Krotee is a 36-year resident, a member of the city’s 2000 General Plan Advisory Committee, a resident of Corona del Mar and a board member of SPON. Krotee lives in Corona del Mar, is an architect, a sailor and a fine artist, providing paintings and drawings to “Stu News” from iconic Newport Beach and around the world.

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CCC approves repair, added square footage to 10 existing public docks in Newport Harbor

By SARA HALL

A state agency last week unanimously approved work on several public docks throughout Newport Harbor.

California Coastal Commission (CCC) members voted 12-0 on December 14 and approved the repair of and addition of 103.5 square feet to 10 existing, public dock systems in various locations throughout the harbor.

The item was moved to the consent calendar (approved in one motion and without discussion) and approved with conditions. There were no comments on the item.

The existing dock systems are located adjacent to various public rights-of-way at: 19th Street, 15th Street, Fernando Street, Washington Street, M Street, Coral Avenue, Opal Avenue, Emerald Avenue, Sapphire Avenue and Park Avenue.

CCC approves repair

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Map by City of Newport Beach/Courtesy of CCC

A map of the 10 dock site project locations

All 10 dock systems are owned by Newport Beach and available to the public at no charge. They all have bull rails and/or cleats along the perimeter to allow recreational boaters (commercial use is not allowed) to side-tie their vessels. Time limits of 20 minutes to 72 hours are enforced by the city, depending on the location and typical use of the tie structures. Beyond the usage limits, all ties may be accessed by the public during all hours and days of the week.

According to the staff report on the item, all of the docks were constructed before the Coastal Act went into effect. Over time, the aging dock systems have been damaged. As a solution, the city proposed like-for-like replacement of dock floats at each of the 10 project sites, with some minor additions and reductions. Only portions of the existing dock float would be replaced at three of the docks, while the other seven are more extensively damaged and require complete float replacement, CCC staff explain in the report. To resolve issues associated with sharp-edged piles located outside of the dock footprint (i.e. outboard piles), Newport Beach officials proposed relocating 17 outboard piles to new positions inboard.

Coastal staff reported that the major issues raised by this proposed development concern consistency with the marine resources, water quality, public access and public recreation policies of the Coastal Act.

City officials initially proposed to relocate only nine outboard piles and insulate the remaining eight piles with dock float additions. But insulating the piles required construction of new dock float segments directly over existing eelgrass beds, according to Coastal Commission staff. Newport Beach revised the proposal to eliminate any additions that directly shaded eelgrass. According to the CCC, pile work can create temporary turbidity and noise pollution, while dock shading permanently reduces sunlight penetration. Therefore, it would be less of an impact on the surrounding habitat to relocate the 17 piles than the shading additions alternative. Other mitigation measures to further minimize habitat disturbance were also proposed by the city.

Newport Beach also initially proposed a design that was significantly larger to accommodate more vessels and improve public recreational access. The addition of 3,241 square feet was originally in the plans put forth by the city. Following discussions with Coastal staff, the city greatly reduced the proposed overwater coverage to 103.5 square feet in order to balance public access improvements with preservation of marine resources, including sunlight-dependent eelgrass habitat.

“The proposed addition would not result in any direct eelgrass shading, but minimizing overwater coverage is still crucial for preservation and enhancement of eelgrass beds,” the CCC report reads.

A special condition approved by the commission ensures the city’s compliance with the revised plans which eliminate any eelgrass shading and limit the cumulative increase in overwater coverage at the 10 dock systems to 103.5 total square feet. Other special conditions require the city to conduct pre- and post-construction eelgrass surveys.

Another special condition directs the city to undertake a survey of the project area to determine the presence of the invasive algae Caulerpa. If found, the project is not allowed to proceed until it’s proved to CCC staff that it’s been eliminated in a manner that complies with all applicable governmental approval requirements, including the Coastal Act, or the project is revised to avoid contact.

Other special conditions cover issues related to: Construction responsibilities and debris removal; best management practices; mitigation measures from various resource agencies, and public rights and public trust.

Coastal staff also recommended the commission impose other conditions typically applied to docks in Newport Bay.

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Sara Hall covers City Hall and is a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.

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Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Notice of a family member’s death comes a year late

TJ headshot AugI found out over the weekend that my aunt passed away. She was the only sister of my father. It was very sad to hear.

What was even sadder is that she died last January 9…almost a year ago, and my immediate family never found out until this past weekend.

Sure, I know what you’re probably thinking, “boy, your family isn’t very close.”

Actually, growing up, it was always quite the opposite. We were always around aunts, uncles and cousins, particularly in and around the holidays. But, I’m the first to admit that looking back, it certainly wasn’t what most would call a normal family structure and life.

I think of this aunt fondly, her name was Marylin…it was an unconventional spelling and, as such, she was not to be confused with my mom Marilyn or my other Auntie Marilyn. She would visit our house in the early ‘60s, on occasion. She was cool…kind of a vagabond of sorts. I remembered she traveled extensively, to Asia and Europe back then and returned home driving a really cool old bathtub silver Porsche.

Her trade was working as a teacher when she finally settled down. She was good. When she’d show up at our house back then, one of the things I remember was her bringing a Japanese doll she had named “Ting-A-Ling.” Where the name came from, I have no clue.

Anyway, she’d sit there in our house telling my brother, younger sisters and me about the adventures of Ting-A-Ling. I believe they were stories about her travels to Japan. It was her way to teach us.

We loved it and would gather around to catch her every word.

I know she cared for us in her own, kind of odd way. Her younger brother, my father, John Wolf, had died several years earlier at the age of 29. Her only other brother, Nathaniel Clifford, had been killed during the waning days of World War II. To make matters even worse for her, she had lost both of her parents prior to reaching even her teen years and not too many years afterwards – all of her grandparents.

It was probably a very sad and lonely life. But she never let on.

In the sixties, my mom remarried and our life moved in a different direction. To be honest, we became closer to my “new” dad’s family…grandmother, grandfather, aunts, uncles and cousins, and sadly, kind of left Auntie Marylin behind.

She continued on with her life, marrying somewhat late in life, but still bringing three kids of her own into the world.

Over the years, we’d see them on occasion, but it was extremely infrequent.

Looking back, it was probably wrong…but we were just kids and it wasn’t our decision, so we’re hardly to blame. I also can’t fault my dad who truly had no connection back to her.

Still, the news of her death certainly touched me and my siblings. Auntie Marylin lived well into her 90s and seemed to hold her mental faculties up until close to the end.

We saw her maybe a half dozen years or so ago at a family reunion of sorts in a park in Newport Beach. It was fun catching up and spending time…and asking her so many questions about our father, who we hardly knew or remembered, and what he was like.

And, even though we weren’t close, I will miss knowing she’s no longer with us. She was truly our last direct connection to my father’s family after all of these many years.

That being said, come 2024, I’m making it my hope to travel to the Netherlands at some point and meet a whole bunch of Wolf relatives there that I’ve never even spoken with. With that, I’ll take part of Auntie Marylin in my heart.

I should have done it sooner, but hopefully, it’s never too late.

• • •

And, before we turn the computer off and get on with the Christmas holiday celebration, a few things.

–Thank you to you, our readers, who give our words, photos and pages life twice each week. We’d be nothing without you!

–Thank you also to the advertisers that support our mission. We hope that the relationship works both ways.

–Thank you to the Stu News columnists and other contributors that add wonderful voices, with their viewpoints, comments and history, and to those who provide the photos that help to add the “frosting on the cake,” so to speak. All of you are so important to us, and our community.

Finally, thanks to those I regularly work with inside Stu News – from our reporter extraordinaire Sara Hall to our wonderful designer Michael Sterling, and to Dianne Russell whose many, many contributions to each and every issue make us so much better; also to our business partner Shaena Stabler who often works in the shadows, but with towering influence over everything we do; and, perhaps most importantly, to Editor Lana Johnson. Let’s be honest, Stu News would simply not be possible without your commitment to late nights and early morning hours of work twice each week with just one goal, to give Newport Beach the best local community newspaper possible.

Thank you all!

Happy Holidays!

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It’s a kids’ world in December continues with fun events at Newport Beach Public Library

Hey kids! Check out what’s happening in December at the Library!

CdM Songs & Stories

On Friday, Dec. 22 from 10:30-11 a.m., children ages 2-5 years of age will hear stories and enjoy all types of music while being introduced to guided movement, yoga, and instruments. Storytimes are subject to change or cancellation. No registration is required. Takes place at the Corona del Mar Branch Library.

CdM Family Storytime

On Saturday, Dec. 23 from 10:30-11 a.m., enjoy family time with stories, songs and craft activities for children ages 3-7. Crafts are available while supplies last. Storytimes are subject to change or cancellation. No registration is required. Takes place at the Corona del Mar Branch Library.

Its a kids LEGO

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Photos courtesy of NBPL

Get creative with LEGO Wednesdays at Mariners Branch Library

LEGO Wednesdays

On Wednesday, Dec. 20 from 3-4 p.m., join for an hour of open-ended creating with various art materials and techniques. Recommended for ages 8-11. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Materials are available while supplies last. Takes place at the Mariners Branch Library.

For All Ages!

Its a kids book gifts

A perfect gift at the perfect price – a book from the Friends Bookstore

Holiday Gifts at the Friends Bookstore

From vintage to bestsellers, cookbooks to kids’ books, vinyl and more, find the perfect gift at the perfect price…and all for a good cause. The Friends donate all of their revenue to the Library to fund various needs and projects. Located on the main level of the Central Library at 1000 Avocado Ave. The Bookstore is open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Save the Date!

Its a kids artist

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Youngsters…sign up to enter the Student Art Exhibition

Calling All Student Artists!

The Student Art Exhibition at the Newport Beach Public Library is open to all students grades pre-K through 12, and the call for entries is happening from January 8 through February 16, 2024. There are no entry fees for participation. For entry guidelines and prize information, visit the Cultural Arts section of the City of Newport Beach website at www.newportbeachca.gov/culturalarts.

Library branches:

–Central Library, 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach

–Balboa Branch, 100 E. Balboa Blvd., Balboa

–Corona del Mar, 410 Marigold Ave., Corona del Mar

–Crean Mariners Branch, 1300 Irvine Ave., Newport Beach

For more information and a complete Calendar of Events, visit the NBPL calendar here.

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It’s a kids’ world in December continues with fun events at Newport Beach Public Library

Hey kids! Check out what’s happening in December at the Library!

CdM Songs & Stories

On Friday, Dec. 22 from 10:30-11 a.m., children ages 2-5 years of age will hear stories and enjoy all types of music while being introduced to guided movement, yoga, and instruments. Storytimes are subject to change or cancellation. No registration is required. Takes place at the Corona del Mar Branch Library.

CdM Family Storytime

On Saturday, Dec. 23 from 10:30-11 a.m., enjoy family time with stories, songs and craft activities for children ages 3-7. Crafts are available while supplies last. Storytimes are subject to change or cancellation. No registration is required. Takes place at the Corona del Mar Branch Library.

For All Ages!

Its a kids book gifts

Photos courtesy of NBPL

A perfect gift at the perfect price – a book from the Friends Bookstore

Holiday Gifts at the Friends Bookstore

From vintage to bestsellers, cookbooks to kids’ books, vinyl and more, find the perfect gift at the perfect price…and all for a good cause. The Friends donate all of their revenue to the Library to fund various needs and projects. Located on the main level of the Central Library at 1000 Avocado Ave. The Bookstore is open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Save the Date!

Its a kids artist

Click on photo for a larger image

Youngsters…sign up to enter the Student Art Exhibition

Calling All Student Artists!

The Student Art Exhibition at the Newport Beach Public Library is open to all students grades pre-K through 12, and the call for entries is happening from January 8 through February 16, 2024. There are no entry fees for participation. For entry guidelines and prize information, visit the Cultural Arts section of the City of Newport Beach website at www.newportbeachca.gov/culturalarts.

Library branches:

–Central Library, 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach

–Balboa Branch, 100 E. Balboa Blvd., Balboa

–Corona del Mar, 410 Marigold Ave., Corona del Mar

–Crean Mariners Branch, 1300 Irvine Ave., Newport Beach

For more information and a complete Calendar of Events, visit the NBPL calendar here.

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Help the Newport Beach Firefighters raise money for the 2023 Fire Santa recipient – The Jordan Family

Laurie Jordan is a local widowed grandmother raising her three grandchildren – ages 3, 5 and 8 years old – on her own. She is a strong, independent woman who took over as the children’s legal guardian with the recent unexpected death of their mother (her daughter) and only parent. Therapy has become a weekly activity to help the family navigate through their grief and new reality.

Help the Newport Beach Firefighters fire station 1

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Photos courtesy of Newport Beach Firefighters Association

(L-R) Newport Beach Firefighters Aaron Reed and Cory Freeman flank Laurie Jordan and her grandchildren Haley, 8; Wesley, 5 and Damian, 3 during a tour of the fire station. That day the NBFA also scheduled a professional photographer, so we could give them a new family portrait to hang in their home.

Two of the children attend Newport Heights Elementary, with education being a household priority. They are spoken highly of from both faculty and peers and Laurie’s effort has been noted as well for their attendance, academics and pleasant nature.

Help the Newport Beach Firefighters closeup fire station 2

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(L-R) Newport Beach Firefighter Cory Freeman shares a heartfelt moment with Haley and Damian at the fire station

Help the Newport Beach Firefighters group with tree 3

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Gathering together, (L-R): Newport Beach Firefighters Cory Freeman, Joe Harrison and Bryce Anderson join the family as “Santa’s helpers” get ready to decorate the Christmas tree

Help the Newport Beach Firefighters with decorated tree and star 4

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(L-R) Newport Beach Newport Beach Firefighter Cory Freeman with Damian on his shoulders and Haley putting on the final touches after the star was placed on top of the decorated Christmas tree. Later that week, Cory took Laurie to Costco and spent $800 to fill up their home with groceries.

With the recent increase in financial hardship, Laurie has taken up washing boats in Newport Harbor to get by. She is a very proud woman and doesn’t complain or ask for handouts. Circumstances have left her no choice but to accept all help, financial and otherwise.

This holiday season her wish is to restore her grandkids’ beautiful smiles that have been dulled from traumatic events that no child should have to experience.

Help the Newport Beach Firefighters with exterior lights 5

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Newport Beach Firefighter Cory Freeman with Hudson Harrison on the roof as they get ready to hang lights outside the house

Every year, the Newport Beach Fire Firefighters adopt a local family during the Christmas season through their Fire Santa program. Their goal has always been to extend their service to the community they already serve by assisting those families who are unable to support themselves due to extenuating circumstances.

This program 18 years ago with the idea of helping a child/children to receive everything they would want for Christmas (Christmas tree, gifts, Christmas dinner, decorations, etc.) throughout the entire month of December. What they found is that there was so much more that these families needed. This quickly became their primary focus. They have completed everything from total home remodels, months’ worth of groceries, job placement and paying off medical bills or rent checks to avoid eviction.

Help the Newport Beach Firefighters with Damian on rocking horse 6

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Damian Jordan enjoying his “ride” on a rocking horse as he munches on a fresh donut

They always conclude each year with a check made out to the family they serve. Although the tasks are different every year, the one remaining constant is the enormous impact their family and our community can make to the family they serve. This year is turning out to be no exception.

The fundraiser is being organized by the Newport Beach Firefighters Association. If you would like to contribute to the GoFundMe account for the Jordan Family, please go here. The goal is $10,000!

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Newport Beach – A Look Back

Photo series courtesy of Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach

Newport Beach A Look Back A 1940s cottage, previously on 215 Ruby

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A 1940s cottage, previously on 215 Ruby

Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach and the Museum Store are located at 210 B Marine Ave., Balboa Island. They are open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free general admission on all days. Two-hour parking is available on Marine Avenue. For more information, call 949.675.3952, visit www.balboaislandmuseum.org or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Pacific Guides enjoy an evening of lawn bowling

An older generation of Dads remembers fondly their times with their sons in Indian Guides. The torch has been passed and Indian Guides is now called Pacific Guides, which, together with Pacific Princesses (a father/daughter organization), is part of the Pacific Explorers organization. Tribes are now called crews (affiliated with elementary schools in or near Newport Beach), but the mission is the same – building strong relationships between fathers and sons through fun events and activities.

Pacific Guides crew

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Photos courtesy of Newport Harbor Lawn Bowling Club

Pacific Guides Crew leaders pose for a group photo

On Wednesday, Dec. 13, the Pacific Guides fathers held an “evening on the greens,” at the Newport Harbor Lawn Bowling Club (NHLBC), enjoying good food and drinks, but most importantly, having some friendly competition in lawn bowling. Many spoke of doing this as an annual event. Five of the NHLBC members volunteered to provide instruction.

Pacific Guides Reed Glyer

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Reed Glyer, treasurer for the Pacific Explorers on the lawn

Newport Harbor Lawn Bowling Club is located at 1550 San Joaquin Hills Road, Corona del Mar. For more information, visit www.newportharborlbc.com.

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City of Newport Beach partners with “Operation Christmas” to support military families

City of Newport Beach box

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Photo by Lana Johnson

The City of Newport Beach is collecting gift donations for the families of military service members through December 20 at 5:30 p.m. If you would like to donate, please bring unwrapped toys, sporting equipment, gift cards or DVDs to City of Newport Beach facilities during regular business hours. Drop boxes are available at the Civic Center, Police Department, OASIS Senior Center, community centers, fire stations and all library branches.

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Fast facts from Newport Beach Police to keep our community safe

A series courtesy of the Newport Beach Police Department

Fast Facts SNN 12.19

Courtesy of NBPD

Getting someone a bicycle for Christmas…here’s some advice to make the gift even better

If you’re getting someone you love a bike this holiday season, don’t forget to think about bike safety and security. Consider throwing in a good quality bike lock, a bike light and a helmet as well. And encourage your loved one to get their bike registered (for free!) to help law enforcement get the bike returned to the rightful owner if it’s ever lost or stolen. Register the bike at www.project529.com/newportbeach.

To read up on more bike safety tips, check out www.nbpd.org/what-we-do/information/crime-prevention-safety/bicycle-information.

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Take Five: Chef Prabeen Prathapan offers tips on how to have the best Christmas dinner ever!

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Prabeen Prathapan, executive chef at the Balboa Bay Resort, brought his 17 years of hospitality experience to the premier resort in August 2021. Chef Prabeen oversees the resort’s overall culinary programming, including in-room dining services and private events.

take five closeup

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Photos courtesy of Balboa Bay Resort

Chef Prabeen joined the Balboa Bay Resort in 2021

Prior to joining Balboa Bay Resort, he served as executive chef of Paséa Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach, where he enhanced the entire food and beverage operation, which resulted in the resort regaining its prestigious AAA Four-Diamond recognition.

take five brunch tree

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The Balboa Bay Resort’s Annual Christmas Eve Brunch, a spectacular display of classic seasonal favorites and signature seafood dishes in the waterfront Lighthouse Room, complete with a sparkling wine and strolling Christmas carolers

take five seafood

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Sunday Seafood Brunch on Christmas Eve

With only six days until Christmas, everyone is anxiously gearing up for the holiday festivities, so Stu News caught up with Chef Prabeen (who better to ask) for some tips on the holiday meal and how he celebrates Christmas dinner.

take five cooking

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Chef Prabeen on the job

Q. Over the years, is there one Christmas meal (you or others have made) that stands out?

A. When we were in Vegas, I remember a Christmas meal that we hosted had the best turkey, stuffing, mashed potato and Brussels with bacon.

Q. Do you have a traditional meal that your family has for Christmas? Are there recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation?

A. In Europe and outside America, turkey is cooked during Christmas. My wife has a recipe for turkey stuffing that has been passed on from her grandmother to her mother and now to her. Fortunately, I have also inherited her Irish traditions and recipes.

Q. How does one put it all together without the stress related to making a holiday dinner, especially with the added elements of family members of all ages, food tastes and restrictions?

A. Planning, planning and planning! Starting the list a few weeks in advance, groceries done at least a week prior, prep a few days before, and cook as early as possible the day of. Breaking the whole process down in small steps will reduce the stress. Best of all, involve your friends and family in the process. You will be surprised how much they can help. Sometimes, you may ask your family member to participate in the meal by bringing a dish with them.

Q. Do you have any twists or new dishes that you might add to a traditional menu?

A. Adding a good quality steak like a Ribeye to your menu is a great twist, as the prep time is less, and it is a crowd favorite.

Q. Would you be willing to share any failures you’ve had in preparing a Christmas feast?

A. There are so many moving pieces to this holiday cooking. Way back when I was new to the Christmas feast, I did not purchase the turkey in time. So eventually when I tried to get a good bird, there were none available that would be to my liking. Hence, planning is of paramount importance.

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Veterans honored at Pacific View during National Wreaths Across America Day

On Saturday, Dec. 16, more than 2.5 million veterans were honored during National Wreaths Across America Day, by having a holiday wreath placed at their gravesite in one of 3,700 participating locations across the United States. One of those places was Pacific View Mortuary & Memorial Park in Corona del Mar.

National Wreaths Doug Forde trio 1

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Photos courtesy of Doug Forde

(L-R) John McGovern, Kathy Forde and Doug Forde (with the Newport Beach Country Club Dew Sweepers) at Pacific View Mortuary & Memorial Park

At 9 a.m. on Saturday, the Newport Beach Country Club Dew Sweepers and other volunteers at Pacific View honored the 3,300 veterans buried there by placing a wreath at their resting place, recognizing each by saying the veteran’s name aloud and thanking them for their service. Following the ceremony, approximately 700 men, women and children laid wreaths.

Veterans honored wreaths on stands 2

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Ceremonial wreaths

Veterans honored cub scout 3

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A cub scout is getting ready to lay a wreath

Veterans honored youngsters 4

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Youngsters laying wreaths

Veterans honored two ladies 5

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Two ladies at a gravesite with their wreaths

Veterans honored gravesites 6

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The decorated gravesites at Pacific View Mortuary & Memorial Park

For more information about Wreaths Across America, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/ca0551.

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2023 Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade winners announced

The 115th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade took place December 13-17, lighting the harbor in dazzling splendor as extravagantly decorated boats of all sizes were invited to join the parade, and boat owners entertained guests, while competing for awards recognizing their decorating efforts with lights, music, animation and an exhilarating spirit of the season. Fireworks on the opening and closing evenings and an inaugural in-air three-night drone show added to the holiday merriment.

Hosted by the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, the five-night parade including the Hallmark Channel Grand Marshals Andrew Walker and Nikki DeLoach (who helped kick off the parade in festive style), will long be remembered by participants, residents and visitors alike.

Congratulations to all the Boat Parade winners!

Sweepstakes Winner - Bill Lusk Award: The Last Hurrah (Space Boat, #50), Bob Meadows and Cathleen Vick

2023 Newport Beach Christmas Last Hurrah 1

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Photo by Bleu Cotton Photography

Sweepstakes Winner - Bill Lusk Award: “The Last Hurrah”

Sweepstakes Winner - Non-Commercial: MY WAY (Griswold with Chimney, #6), Les Davidson

2023 Newport Beach Christmas MY WAY 2

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Photo by Bleu Cotton Photography

Sweepstakes Winner – Non-Commercial: “MY WAY”

Best Use of Lights:

First Place – Pedazo Fino (Snowman, White Out, #19), Edward Hedge

Second Place – Alure (Red & White, #67), Lance Charlesworth

Third Place – On the Rocks (Green Machine, #32), Guy La Rocque

Best Animation and Special Effects:

First Place – Radiance (Blue Lights, #68), Guy La Rocque

Second Place – Sea’s the Day, #30, Michael Lohman

Third Place – Pao Pao, #4, Paola German and Richard Yang

2023 Newport Beach Christmas Full Circle photo 3

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Photo by Bleu Cotton Photography

Best Humor and Originality - First Place: “Full Circle”

Best Humor and Originality:

First Place – Full Circle (Dolphins, #26), Don Haid

Second Place – Athena, #24, Kallins Family

Third Place - Light the World, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, #28, Jared Turner

Best Boat Under 30 Feet:

The Rose Marie (Duffy, #3), Ron and Rose Cram

Best Music: Paradise Found (Disco Snoopy Boat, #20), Greg and Nor Killingsworth

Best Sailboat: Mayflower (Red Pirate Ship, #55), Andrew Mayhugh

Best Power Boat: Paradise Found (Disco Snoopy Boat, #20), Greg and Nor Killingsworth

Best Yacht Club Entry (American Legion Yacht Club): Valor (American Legion and United States Flag), Mike Novak

Best New Entry: Marluv (Grinchy, #56), Kris Gomez

Most Entries from a Yacht Club: Balboa Bay Club

2023 Newport Beach Christmas Mayflower photo 4

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Photo by Bleu Cotton Photography

Best Sailboat - “Mayflower”

2023 Newport Beach Christmas Paradise Found photo 5

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Photo by Bleu Cotton Photography

Best Music and Best Power Boat - “Paradise Found”

This year’s Boat Parade judges (overseen by Joe Stapleton) were: Jack Callahan, Marie Case, Antonella Castro, Tom Cuomo, Marc DiDomenico, Riley and Emily Hayes, Ashley Johnson, Jackie Lamm, George and Gina Lesley, Josh Malter, Justin McKibben, Susie McKibben, Nicole Naughton, Nicholas Prytherch, Alexandra Taylor, Jaril Tudio, Justin Watt, Anika Wilson and Laurel Zaeske.

2023 Newport Beach Christmas Judges photo 6

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Photo by Joe Stapleton

Boat Parade Judges braved the cold on Friday night (Dec. 15), seated on the dock at the Balboa Bay Resort

Thank you to all the Boat Parade Committee, participants, judges, volunteers and presenting sponsors – Simple Green and Davey’s Locker – as well as community sponsors, the City of Newport Beach and Visit Newport Beach.

A special Christmas Boat Parade Awards event will be held to celebrate all the winners of the Boat Parade and the Ring of Lights.

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The Week in Review

A weekly newsletter from City Manager Grace L. Leung

Grace Leung

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Newport Beach City Manager Grace Leung

Community Members:

On behalf of City of Newport Beach staff, I wish you and your families a very happy holidays and New Year! It has been our pleasure to serve you and the Newport Beach community in 2023.

The Week in Review newsletter will be on holiday hiatus for the remainder of December, returning January 5, 2024.

Here is important information for residents to know about city services during the next few weeks:

Facility Closures: Newport Beach Civic Center and City recreation and community centers will be closed from Monday, Dec. 25 through Monday, Jan. 1, 2024. All facilities will reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 2. Police, Fire and other select city departments will remain open. For more details on the hours of operation for select departments, please click here.

City libraries will be closed on December 25, December 26, December 31 and January 1. Library facilities will have limited operating hours (9 a.m.-6 p.m.) on Wednesday, Dec. 27 through Saturday, Dec. 30.

Residential Trash and Recycling Collection: The Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays fall on Mondays, therefore, collection for the remainder of each week will be postponed by one day. For example: If your trash is normally collected on Thursdays, it will be picked up Friday.

Street Sweeping: There will be no street sweeping service on Friday, Dec. 22; Monday, Dec. 25; Friday, Dec. 29 and Monday, Jan. 1.

Christmas Tree Recycling Collection: Christmas trees can be placed next to your waste carts for recycling pick-up on any scheduled collection days between December 26 and January 15, at no additional cost. Please remove lights and ornaments. Trees should be no more than 6-ft. tall, which may require you to cut your tree. The city’s contractor, CR&R, will be using a separate truck to collect trees from December 26 until January 15. Residents may also cut down their trees into smaller pieces to place into the green organic recycling cart. Please note, flocked trees (fake snow) must be placed in the black-top trash cart or treated as a bulky-item pickup. These trees cannot be recycled because of chemicals used in flocking.

Operation Christmas: As a reminder, the city will be collecting gift donations for the families of military service members through December 20 at 5:30 p.m. If you would like to donate, please bring unwrapped toys, sporting equipment, gift cards or DVDs to City of Newport Beach facilities during regular business hours. Drop boxes are available at the Civic Center, Police Department, OASIS Senior Center, community centers, fire stations and all library branches.

Once again, best wishes to you and your families this holiday season!

City Manager, Grace K. Leung

O’Neill Selected Mayor for 2024 Term; Stapleton to Serve as Pro Tem

In the City Council’s annual reorganization on Tuesday, Dec. 12, councilmembers selected Will O’Neill to serve as Newport Beach’s mayor for 2024, and Joe Stapleton to serve as mayor pro tem. Outgoing 2023 Mayor Noah Blom was recognized for his year of service.

O’Neill, who was elected to the Council in 2016 and re-elected in 2020 to represent District 7, served as mayor in 2020 and mayor pro tem in 2018, 2019 and 2023. Stapleton, who represents District 1, was first elected to the council in 2022.

In his initial remarks on December 12, O’Neill said he plans to recognize and celebrate residents and stakeholders who contribute to the Newport Beach community throughout the coming year. He began by presenting a ceremonial “key to the city” plaque to restaurateur Mario Marovic in recognition of his community service.

City, Balboa Island Continue Christmas Tree Tradition

City and contract crews recently assisted the Balboa Island Improvement Association (BIIA) with trimming and installation of the traditional Balboa Island Christmas Tree at Fire Station #4.

The placing of a Christmas tree has been a fixture on the corner of Park and Marine avenues since the 1940s. The tradition began with business owners Tony and Mina Hershey, who began placing a Christmas tree at the corner of their gas station during the holiday season.

This tradition continued through the 1960s, and was sporadically observed until the site was converted into Fire Station #4 in the 1990s. The annual tree lighting ceremony has been a staple every year since then.

Check It Out: Public Library’s Top Titles of 2023

Newport Beach Public Library patrons checked out a whopping 1,161,231 items so far in 2023! Here are the top book titles checked out during the year:

Nonfiction:

1. Spare by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex

2. I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

3. Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir by Matthew Perry

4. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

5. The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama

6. Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results by James Clear

7. Crying in H Mart: A Memoir by Michelle Zauner

8. An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us by Ed Yong

9. Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity by Peter Attia

10. The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder by David Grann

Fiction:

1. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

2. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

3. Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

4. Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult

5. Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes

6. Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson

7. Desert Star by Michael Connelly

8. Happy Place by Emily Henry

9. The Boys from Biloxi by John Grisham

10. Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng

Children’s:

1. Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

2. The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin

3. Wings of Fire by Tui Sutherland

4. Plants vs. Zombies by Paul Tobin

5. Baby-Sitters Little Sister by Ann M. Martin and Katy Farina

6. Cat Kid Comic Club by Dav Pilkey

7. Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi

8. Narwhal and Jelly by Ben Clanton

9. Geronimo Stilton Reporter by Geronimo Stilton

10. Babymouse by Jennifer Holm

Local Children “Shop with a Cop” during Holiday Event

Newport Beach Police Department officers teamed up with local Newport-Mesa Unified School District students this week to shop for gifts during the annual “Shop with a Cop” holiday event. The city thanks ExperTec Automotive for sponsoring the event, and Target Costa Mesa and IHOP Costa Mesa for their partnership.

About 25 children along with 25 police officers, cadets, NBPD professional staff and donors participated.

The day began with a breakfast at IHOP for the children and officers, including a visit from Santa, followed by shopping at Target. After shopping, NBPD staff helped wrap presents for the children to take home.

OASIS Celebrates the Holiday Season with Acts of Kindness

The holiday spirit is alive and well this month at the OASIS Senior Center.

The Webelos of Troop 350 brought two live trees to adorn the center’s courtyard for the “Jingles and Mingles” event on December 6. The air was filled with holiday tunes, creating a joyful atmosphere as our staff served coffee, hot cocoa and hot cider.

Also this holiday season, OASIS joined forces with the Council on Aging Southern California, and their “Smilemakers” program to bring joy to local older adults residing in skilled nursing facilities. OASIS participants went above and beyond, purchasing 75 gifts that will be personally delivered to each recipient before Christmas, spreading much-needed cheer to those in our community.

In another collaboration, the OASIS worked with Natalie Basmaciyan, Newport Beach’s Homeless Manager, to assist six seniors experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach to find stable housing. OASIS participants generously donated Target and grocery store gift cards of more than $1,200 in total. These gift cards will enable the purchase of essential household items and food.

OASIS also purchased 10 plush throw blankets, funded by donations from our OASIS Ukulele group. These blankets will be delivered to older Newport Beach residents facing challenges during this holiday season. Through these collective efforts, OASIS and its members hope to make a positive impact and bring comfort to those in need.

New Fishing Guides Installed on Balboa, Newport Piers

City staff replaced outdated fish identification posters on the Balboa and Newport piers with a more comprehensive guide for Southern California beach fishing.

The signage includes pictures of commonly caught species, fishing tips, equipment checklist and other important information from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife related to surf and pier fishing.

OASIS Fitness Center Holiday Schedule

The OASIS Fitness Center holiday schedule is:

–December 22: 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

–December 23: 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

–December 24-26: Closed

–December 27-29: 7 a.m.-4 p.m.

–December 30: 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

–December 31 through January 1: Closed

The OASIS Senior Center (offices, classrooms and transportation) will be closed from Saturday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 2. OASIS will resume regular hours on Tuesday, Jan. 2.

City Hotline Provides Updates on Sports Fields, Trail Conditions

With the rainy season upon us, city staff regularly monitors weather forecasts and tracks the impact of rain on the condition of city fields and hiking trails.

Staff evaluates the safety and playability to determine if temporary field closures are necessary. Updates are available by phone through the “mudline” or by text and email.

Text/Email: Subscribe here to receive text and/or email updates from the City of Newport Beach.

MUDLINE: Call 949.718.1860 to hear the latest report.

Email: Email recreation staff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information, visit the city’s website.

Gift Donations for Military Families Now Being Accepted at City Facilities

The city is teaming up with Operation Christmas once again this holiday season to collect gift donations for the families of military service members.

If you would like to donate, please bring unwrapped toys, sporting equipment, gift cards or DVDs to City of Newport Beach facilities during regular business hours through Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 5:30 p.m.

Drop boxes are available at the Civic Center, Police Department, OASIS Senior Center, community centers, fire stations and all library branches.

The city has partnered with Operation Christmas to support the families of local service members since 2005. Last year more than 2,000 gifts were donated by the members of the public at Newport Beach drop boxes. Operation Christmas, organized by Yellow Ribbon America, supports more than 300,000 service members and their families.

Be Well Mobile Crisis Response Update

The Be Well mobile crisis response team operates in Newport Beach 12 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to mental and behavioral health crises. The mobile unit is staffed with mental health specialists and works closely with the city’s police and fire departments.

(Last) week, the Be Well team:

–Transported four people to the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.

–Transported two people to a crisis stabilization unit for treatment.

–Collaborated with the Newport Beach Fire Department for a hospital transport.

TO REACH BE WELL: The mobile crisis team is dispatched through the Newport Beach Police Department. To request service, dial 911 or call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 949.644.3717.

Homelessness Update

(Last) week, the city’s homeless outreach and response teams:

–Transferred a person’s insurance to the County of Orange, transported the person to two vital appointments, and placed him on an involuntary medical hold with the county’s Crisis Assessment Team for treatment.

–Collaborated with the City of Costa Mesa’s outreach team for housing options for a mutual client.

–Continued to shelter people. Twenty-five people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.

Click here to view the latest homeless dashboard, which includes key monthly and yearly data on the city’s homeless response.

Click here for information on the city’s Good Giving program.

This Week’s Events

Wednesday, Dec. 20

General Plan Update Steering Committee Meeting

Civic Center Community Room

100 Civic Center Drive – 5 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 21

Planning Commission Meeting

City Council Chambers

100 Civic Center Drive – 6 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 25 – Monday, Jan. 1, 2024

Holiday Closure

See Full Schedule

Editor’s Note: City Manager’s Updates was received Friday, Dec. 15 and is subject to editing so the information is current.

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Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Eagle Four Partners is making Newport Beach better, one property at a time!

TJ headshot AugEvery time I turn around, Eagle Four Partners seems to be doing something even more toward the betterment of Newport Beach. You might even get tired of me talking about it…but, let’s be honest, it’s great stuff and not hard to get caught up in.

To review, in town they already owned both the Balboa Bay Club/Resort and Newport Beach Country Club. Each great properties in their own right.

But even they knew that the clubhouse at NBCC, a dilapidated, shack of sorts, with air conditioning ducts almost seemingly crushing it down from above, had to be removed and replaced. They not only did so, but the finished project left a wonderful clubhouse – fitting of the exclusive country club it is.

Next, they bought and converted the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel into the VEA Newport Beach. Once completed, it almost immediately became the place where seemingly everything important happening in the city took place.

The resort itself is spectacular…just walk through the lobby to get a feel; look out over the pool section, or better yet, walk around it and go enjoy a beverage at the Edge Bar, which is positioned outside, overlooking the pool area, with a lawn area adjacent where oftentimes concerts are presented, and, finally, even enjoy views of the adjoining Newport Beach Country Club.

And at the VEA property, Eagle Four has even gone through the steps to tear down a tired section of the old Marriott fronting Newport Center Drive, with plans to eventually replace it with a fabulous 22-story Ritz-Carlton Residences tower.

I promise you; it will be nice…extremely nice. It’s the Eagle Four way!

Please remember though, it’s not just build, build, build or more, more, more from Eagle Four. Today, the VEA is actually 132 rooms less than the old Marriott was, with a company spokesperson saying they simply “rightsized it.”

And here’s something that would have seemed almost unfathomable some time ago; to get buy-in from SPON to support their Ritz-Carlton effort they went directly to the queen herself, Jean Watt, proposing the creation of a private, non-profit housing fund, that they would assist in with the initial funding. It was brilliant.

The plan is designed to help take pressure off the city towards fulfilling state mandated dwelling units of affordable housing.

Next up, Eagle Four bought the Fashion Island Hotel (formerly the Four Seasons) that had been shuttered by the Irvine Co. during the pandemic era and never reopened. Eagle Four then partnered with Alan Fuerstman and Montage International to bring in the Pendry Newport Beach.

Everything in it was cutting-edge luxury, including a new private club called The Elwood, which has fast become the place to be seen these days in Newport Beach.

Not a group to sit on their laurels, come the New Year, Eagle Four and the VEA will announce a new F&B (food and beverage) experience when they introduce “reveal.”

[reveal] will be a place that offers “an extensive list of expertly crafted classic cocktails – the Sidecar, Daiquiri, Old Fashioned, Penicillin, Sazerac, Vesper, Negroni, Manhattan and more.”

With it will come another vibrant new evening and late-night destination, offering a social place for gathering and enjoying beverages alongside “classic bar bites with a twist (such as elevated takes on spiced popcorn, deviled eggs, chicken tenders and fries).”

Guests, I’m told, will enter through an ornate, brushed brass door to discover an intimate, indoor-outdoor lounge space featuring ‘90s and early 2000’s tunes from the likes of New Edition, Salt-N-Pepa, Aaliyah, Usher and Mariah Carey. The room will feature sleek decor and treasured collectables gathered from around the globe – embracing the contemporary, cosmopolitan influence that is VEA’s signature and also a nod to some of the greatest waterfront destinations around the world.

[reveal] will be open Thursdays-Saturdays from 5 p.m.-12 a.m., with buyout/event space available Sunday through Wednesday for a capacity of 50 guests.

And, sure, this is all great for Eagle Four’s bottom line, but as their Founding Partner, Kevin Martin reminded me, “it’s not always about the return.” Did you catch the drone show lighting up the sky during the Christmas Boat Parade? I hope so, as it was truly something to see. Eagle Four funded it, not for some return, but to invest in the Boat Parade’s future in hopes of taking it to new levels in coming years.

Several months ago they also brought back professional volleyball to the beaches of Newport Beach, also at a cost to them. Again, they’re looking at the future.

Martin has told me he wants to elevate many of the great things Newport Beach has undertaken over the years, and add in new experiences. Including the Hoag Classic Newport Beach, which returns to NBCC in March.

Hang on…Eagle Four is moving fast…and it all makes for an extremely bright future.

• • •

Well, it didn’t take long for our newly elected city officials to get out there to rub elbows in the community. Mayor Will O’Neill and Mayor Pro Tem Joe Stapleton, just four days after being voted into their 2024 positions, both attended the 5th Annual Patrick’s Purpose Foundation’s Walk with Us last Saturday, Dec. 16 at Bonita Canyon Sports Park.

Fair Game Patrick's Purpose

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Mayor Pro Tem Joe Stapleton (left) and Mayor Will O’Neill (right) present a City of Newport Beach proclamation to Emily Turner, Patrick’s sister, in honor of the walk

Patrick’s Purpose is the bright outcome of an otherwise sad memory from 2018, when Patrick Turner, a bright, seemingly normal everyday 16-year-old high school student died by suicide.

The family decided to do something to remember Patrick and build a legacy that won’t forget him. The outcome is the Foundation which raises money to impact mental health projects and initiatives, along with providing scholarships.

Here’s a sampling of their accomplishments in just a short period of time:

–Awarded $100,000 in scholarships to 85 high school graduates attending a community college or trade school.

–Established a $50,000 scholarship fund for Hoag’s teen mental health ASPIRE outpatient program.

–Donated emotional intelligence books valued at $20,000 to 50 local elementary school libraries.

–Installed 11 Buddy Benches at Orange County schools valued at some $23,000.

–Donated $50,000 to Corona del Mar High School to support the salary of a “Family Liaison” position whose purpose is to support the mental health of students.

–Donated $25,000 to Scripps College’s (Claremont, Calif.) Mental Health Fund to support students.

Last weekend was their fundraising walk. If you’d like to find out more or perhaps even donate, go to www.patrickspurposefoundation.org/.

• • •

During this holiday season, question, have you been down to the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort yet?

If not, here’s what you’re missing – the inaugural Fire & Ice Festival featuring an outdoor ice skating rink, with extended hours daily from 12-9:30 p.m. That’s right, ice skating under the stars.

While you’re there, be amazed by fire dance performances Friday and Saturday evenings as the bay is aglow behind with lights.

Enjoy drinks from the rink-side Igloo Bar, open Wednesdays through Sundays from 4-9 p.m.

Finally, enjoy the 33rd Annual Lighting of the Bay, which will continue daily through January 1, 2024.

• • •

We’re a funny bunch here in Southern California, especially when it’s storm time. Don’t believe me? When it starts raining, just go out and watch the way people drive.

It also seems at just the slightest bit of moisture, our L.A. news channels begin broadcasts with, “Storm Watch 2023” or some variation.

Well, get ready because rain is in the forecast. And with that. SoCal Edison has released “SCE storm tips” designed to prepare us for inclement weather.

First, a few of mine:

–When it rains and you’re out walking, use an umbrella.

–You’re driving in the car and a lot of water clouds your windshield, turn on your wipers.

–It’s raining hard and you’re at home, close your windows.

Now for what SCE has to offer:

1. Watch for downed wires – Severe weather can cause power lines to fall. Never approach a downed wire, stay away and call 911 immediately.

2. Preparedness Kit – Make sure your kit includes flashlights, batteries, cash and first-aid supplies.

3. Prepare Your Home – Clean your gutters and outdoor drains.

4. Trees and Vegetation – Submit a tree trimming request by calling 1.800.990.7788.

5. Emergency Apps – Make sure you and your phone are prepared for an emergency or an outage. Check out the emergency apps from the American Red Cross.

6. Inspect Your Car – Make sure your windshield wipers work and you have proper tire tread.

7. Use a Flashlight – Keep a flashlight handy because using candles during an emergency during an outage poses a high fire risk.

8. Watch Traffic Signals – Watch for signals that may be out and approach those intersections as four-way stops.

9. Secure Trash and Debris – making sure it doesn’t blow or float away.

Okay, now after reading the above, many of those recommendations should have been done prior to any storm coming…but you get the point. We just want you all to stay safe.

One last offering from me – when it really starts storming and you notice more than heavy puddling, begin building an ark…oh, and don’t forget the animals.

Good luck and stay dry!

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NB Chamber Mayor’s Reception recognizes chamber volunteers and newly formed city council

Following the Newport Beach City Council meeting on Tuesday (Dec. 12), the 2023 Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce Mayor’s Reception took place at Back Bay Bistro located at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina to recognize the new elected Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem and honor chamber volunteers. Guests mixed and mingled then enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner.

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Photos by Ed Olen

(L-R) Newport Beach City Councilmember Erik Weigand with Marc Kleiman, City Councilmember Lauren Kleiman, Jennifer O’Neill and newly elected 2024 Mayor Will O’Neill

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(L-R) Newly elected Newport Beach Mayor Pro tem Joe Stapleton with Harbormaster Paul Blank

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Outgoing Mayor and Councilmember Noah Blom with his wife, Marin

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Jennifer and Will O’Neill

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Joe Stapleton, Lauren Kleiman and Noah Blom

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(L-R) Newport Beach Fire Chief Jeff Boyles with Marie Case and Dorothy Larsen

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Newport Beach Councilmember Robyn Grant and Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Steve Rosansky

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Newport Beach Assistant City Manager Seimone Jurjis, NBFD Training Battalion Chief Paul Puhek, City Clerk Leilani Brown, NBFD Assistant Chief of Operations Justin Carr, Steve Rosansky, NBFD Battalion Chief Brian McDonough and Fire Chief Boyles

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(L-R) Will O’Neill and Steve Rosansky

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Marc and Lauren Kleiman

The program kicked off with a welcome, introductions and acknowledgement of sponsors by NB Chamber President & CEO Steve Rosansky, followed by Chamber awards and volunteer recognition.

Ambassador of the Year Ryan Magdaleno was honored with his award presented by Jaril Tudio, ambassador chair/Spinnaker Investment Group.

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(L-R) Ambassador of the Year Awardee Ryan Magdaleno, Jaril Tudio and Steve Rosansky

NAVIGATE Young Professional of the Year Award was bestowed upon Samantha Dalby, presented by Tyler Parker, past chairman NAVIGATE/First Republic Bank.

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(L-R) Tyler Parker, NAVIGATE Young Professional of the Year Awardee Samantha Dalby and Steve Rosansky

Next were the Silver Anchor Awards, always presented as a surprise to the recipients and presented by Rosansky. This award is presented to a Chamber member who “best represents the qualities each of us admire and respect among our friends, neighbors and associates. It is given to an individual who doesn’t normally receive a great deal of recognition for their efforts or financial contributions.”

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Steve Rosansky (right) pins Silver Anchor Awardee Lawrence Jones

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Jaril Tudio, Silver Anchor Award recipient with Steve Rosansky

This year, two honorees were recognized: Lawrence Jones, Chamber board of directors and Boat Parade auction and committee member as well as Jaril Tudio, Chamber ambassador chair/Spinnaker Investment Group.

In addition to receiving proclamations, each received the prestigious Silver Anchor pin.

Following the Chamber portion of the program, Newport Beach City Councilmember recognitions took place, beginning with the introduction of the City Councilmembers by Steve Rosansky. Next comments were made by former Mayor Noah Blom.

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Outgoing Mayor Noah Blom offers parting comments

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Incoming Mayor Pro tem Joe Stapleton shares remarks

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Mayor Will O’Neill addresses the audience

Then, newly elected Mayor Pro tem Joe Stapleton shared his comments, followed by newly elected Mayor Will O’Neill, who addressed the audience. In addition to O’Neill and Stapleton, the City Council in 2024 will be comprised of Noah Blom, Brad Avery, Robyn Grant, Erik Weigand and Lauren Kleiman.

For more Mayor’s Reception photos by Ed Olen, go to the slideshow below:

{gallery}chamberMayor2023{/gallery}

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Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

O’Neill as mayor and Stapleton as mayor pro tem to lead the charge in 2024

TJ headshot AugWill O’Neill, excuse me, that’s Mayor Will O’Neill to you and me, has been unanimously selected by his peers on City Council to serve as Mayor of Newport Beach for 2024. He replaces outgoing Mayor Noah Blom.

Joining Will at the center of the dais is Joe Stapleton, who was selected as Mayor Pro tem.

First off, about Will…he certainly deserves another term as mayor. He served previously during the year that the world was virtually closed down because of COVID.

Two thoughts, most would agree that no one could have done a better job during that time as Will did. He handled controversial issues with aplomb, including the closing/reopening of our beaches, while always providing a strong voice.

The second thought is that Will, because of that year, missed out on all the public ceremonial duties that involve the mayor. He deserves that, too.

Will is entering his final year on council and has served the city well. Some might argue that on occasion Will perhaps was on the other side of an issue or two, me included, but what can’t be argued is how much better off the City of Newport Beach is today as a result of Will’s service and commitment.

As such, we should all expect 2024 to be a great year.

It’s also nice to see Joe “Stapes” jump into the pro tem role, which positions him as the favored candidate to follow Will as mayor in 2025.

Joe is arguably the most involved and engaged community member that has moved on to a role with City Council. Prior to council, Joe served on more committees than virtually anyone else previously had, and most often took leadership positions with each, while always getting things done!

The true role of the pro tem is to be prepared to lead a council meeting should the mayor be absent. Joe will be ready and capable.

Overall, Newport Beach today is represented by what appears to be an extremely talented council. Blom, former Mayor Brad Avery, Robyn Grant, Lauren Kleiman and Erik Weigand all represent us so well.

However, 2024 also brings with it an election season. Three council seats will be up for grabs – Noah Blom’s, which he should certainly be re-elected to, and then Avery and O’Neill’s seats which will each be open due to term limits.

Nancy Scarbrough and Michelle Barto have already announced runs for Avery’s seat, while a couple of candidates have been prominently mentioned and are reportedly waiting in the wings for an after-the-first-of-the-year public announcement.

Like always, expect the election season to be interesting.

• • •

Wednesday night Visit Newport Beach and the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce kicked off the 115th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade.

A wonderful party took place as a prelude to the parade, with comments from Visit Newport Beach President & CEO Gary Sherwin, Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Steve Rosansky and Mayor Will O’Neill.

Also introduced were Grand Marshals Andrew Walker and Nikki DeLoach, stars of the Hallmark Channel.

One other attendee who needed no introduction was Mr. Claus himself who took a break from the North Pole to check out the lights on and around the bay.

Fair Game SNN 12.15

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Photo by Ed Olen

Santa welcomes Curt Dell IV (4) and Kate Dell (7) to the Boat Parade festivities

• • •

My daughter, Victoria, recently went through the interviewing and hiring process with Hoag. First off, people know that I’m a huge Hoag fan, so it didn’t take any convincing on my part as to why she should consider the position.

She currently is a nurse practitioner at Long Beach Memorial, a great hospital in its own right, in the cardio-thoracic care department. And I’m told by those in the know that she’s excellent at what she does.

The job with Hoag is also in cardio thoracic care, so it would seem like a match made in heaven. Still, there are certainly other things to take into consideration. So I did some peeking behind the curtain.

Did you know that Hoag is ranked #1 nationally by Nurse Journal as the Best Hospital to Work as a Nurse; 87% of the Hoag nurses hold Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees or higher, meaning she’d be surrounded by others who certainly know what they’re doing; and 28% of Hoag nurses also have a specialty certification.

In addition, Hoag certainly appears committed to the nursing industry – they’ve awarded 2,900 nursing scholarships since 2004.

Just as I thought, they sound impressive.

Fingers are crossed, so we’ll see what happens.

• • •

Speaking of Hoag, most everyone knows they hold the Hoag Classic Newport Beach in March, when the best of the Tour Champions PGA golfers come to town to compete at Newport Beach Country Club.

This is a reminder that if by today you register to volunteer at the tournament that you’ll receive four additional Good Any One Day tickets for your friends or family. The tournament is March 18-24, 2024. Register here…TODAY.

• • •

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District is seeking nominations for outstanding District employees. Now through January 4, 2024, nominations are being accepted for their Employee Excellence Award program.

There are a lot of great employees throughout our schools and this is a way that anyone can nominate someone. Here are the considerations: someone who contributes to and enhances the district’s mission; contributes to a positive environment for students, staff, and community; and continuously displays initiative, going above and beyond in their work with a high degree of excellence, professionalism and integrity.

If this sound like someone you know, nominate them here.

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Commission denies appeal, upholds approval of Pine Knot Motel rehabilitation project

By SARA HALL

The Planning Commission last week denied an appeal and upheld a previous staff approval of permitting for a rehabilitation project of the Pine Knot Motel in West Newport.

Commissioners voted 5-0 (Brady Barto was absent and Tristan Harris abstained due to a business relationship with a member of the applicant on an unrelated project) on December 7 to affirm the zoning administrator’s September 28 approval of a coastal development permit to allow the addition of a partial second story and the rehabilitation of the 12-room motel, located at 6302 West Coast Highway, near the community of Newport Shores. The motel has been closed and was partially demolished after it was significantly damaged due to a fire in 2018.

It’s a difficult site for both staff and a developer to try and make work, commented Vice Chair Mark Rosene, who made the motion for approval.

“I look at everything about this project as being difficult to bring forward unless you make some accommodations,” he said. “I commend the applicant for actually bringing something forward and staff for coming up with a solution to make it work.”

If there’s an operational issue, staff can ensure that the applicant is aware and addresses it, Rosene added.

Pine Knot Motel historically provided 12 guest rooms, caretaker quarters, lobby, central courtyard, rooftop deck and nine onsite parking spaces. Due to room rates falling below the statewide average daily room rate, the motel meets the Local Coastal Program definition of a low cost overnight visitor accommodation.

On April 10, 2018, a structure fire occurred within the southwestern corner of the property. Several rooms were red-tagged (unsafe to enter) and later demolished. The remainder of rooms were yellow tagged (given limited access to retrieve personal items only) and were not demolished, but are uninhabitable. The motel has been shuttered and fenced off since the fire.

According to city staff, the owners of the motel at the time of the fire explored a variety of options to restore the property but ultimately sold the property to the current ownership.

The previous owners were unable to revitalize the damaged motel after the fire in 2018, noted Eric Aust, architect on the project.

“It’s been an eyesore for the city of Newport Beach for years and is in desperate need of repair,” Aust said sharing photos of the current derelict condition of the motel.

The goal from the outset of the project is to maintain the majority of the existing structure that wasn’t burned down or damaged from the fire while minimizing the impact on the surrounding neighborhood and enhancing the architecture of the site, Aust said. Residents of the area have been clamoring to repair the structure, which many have to drive by on a daily basis, he added.

“This unique, small hotel will provide a business and structure that the community can be proud of and will help revitalize a neglected part of the city,” Aust said.

The new structure will help block noise from Coast Highway to the Newport Shores neighborhood, while maintaining the lower scale at the rear of the property, Aust added.

Kevin Giz, owner of Pine Knot, noted the numerous letters sent to the commission in support of the motel plans.

“I’m passionate about this project and trying my best to make it work for the west side of Newport. A side of town that’s in need of improvement and truly deserves more. That is my goal,” Giz said.

After being destroyed by a fire, nonconforming uses and structures like this can typically be rebuilt by right, explained Associate Planner Joselyn Perez. However, this project involves adding a partial second story at the front of the building and increases the height by more than 10% and reduces the parking spaces (in order to include the accessible accommodations), therefore a CDP is required.

Commission denies appeal Pine Knot current and rendering

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach/Rendering by Eric Aust Architect

Pine Knot Motel current conditions and a rendering of the proposed rehabilitated motel

The current project involves repairing the existing damaged portion of the motel and constructing a new building to replace the demolished portion with a partial second story at the front of the property. Plans also call for a commercial trash enclosure and site improvements, including hardscaping, drainage and restriping of the existing parking lot. Restriping of the parking to comply disabled access standards will eliminate two parking spaces, resulting in a total of seven spaces provided.

Approximately 306 square feet will be added to the total gross floor area of the structure. The motel will maintain a relatively similar footprint and the same number of guest rooms compared to the previous motel. Although the layout of the rooms will be reconfigured to provide eight standard rooms and four suites, two of which will provide accessible accommodations for disabled persons.

According to project plans, the rehabilitated motel will feature a coastal modern architectural style that uses a mix of materials, such as wood siding and stucco, and will be painted white with black accents.

The proposed motel will feature a lobby with coffee bar, a courtyard with bocce ball and fire pit, a lounge, storage lockers, second-floor deck space, and laundry facilities. In addition, beach-friendly amenities such as bicycles, towels, and chairs will be available to motel guests.

The rehabilitated motel “will ultimately remedy a blighted condition and will provide a significant aesthetic improvement to the neighborhood thereby improving the visual quality of the coastal zone,” according to city staff.

Any new signage will have to be consistent with the city’s sign code and will return to the city for approval.

Resident and community watchdog Jim Mosher filed an appeal on October 12 of the zoning administrator’s decision. He had commented during the ZA meeting and suggested the Planning Commission should review the project and questioned some of the conclusions made by staff at the time.

At last week’s meeting, Mosher said he’s appealing the project to the Planning Commission because when it was before the ZA, he noted several concerns that officials might come to different conclusions regarding: Processed as a restoration of prior use; industry assessment was questionable; in-lieu fee was extremely low and parking was below standard.

In his additional written comments shared with the commission, Mosher questioned if the motel should be allowed to reopen without a conditional use permit, since the right to continue a nonconforming use normally lapses after six months of non-use and other hotels and motels currently require a conditional use permit.

Also, Mosher commented that the project being proposed is notably different, a high-cost hotel, compared to what existed previously, a low-cost motel.

Staff’s proposal of a one-time payment of $25,000 for each low-cost room lost or not provided is an inadequate effort to mitigate losing the low cost overnight visitor accommodations, he argued. The funds, which will be contributed to the city’s Fostering Interest in Nature program, were approved without explanation. It also appears to be far less than the cost of building a low-cost visitor accommodation in Newport Beach, Mosher explained.

Mosher also objected to the total number of rooms being assessed for the mitigation fee. This was apparently the site of the only 12 low-cost visitor accommodations in the Newport Beach coastal zone and, according to city code, there is doubt as to the number of accommodations that need to be mitigated for when the site is redeveloped. Staff asserts the number is three, but it could be as high as 12, he noted. Mosher also wrote in his appeal application that it is unclear if five years of unavailability, whether voluntary or involuntary, relieved the property of responsibility for the lost low-cost units when it is redeveloped.

The only other public speaker at last week’s meeting was Rene Rimlinger, president of Newport Shores Community Association, who supported the project moving forward. The NSCA board also unanimously supports the plans, he added.

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Sara Hall covers City Hall and is a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.

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O’Neill named 2024 mayor, Stapleton as pro tem

By SARA HALL

In the city’s annual changing of the guard meeting this week, Newport Beach City Council unanimously selected Will O’Neill as the 2024 mayor.

Councilmembers voted 7-0 on Tuesday (Dec. 12) for O’Neill to move into the role for the upcoming year.

In two rounds of separate votes, Joe Stapleton was chosen to serve as mayor pro tem, although the decision for the second seat on the dais was not unanimous. Stapleton, along with councilmembers Robyn Grant and Lauren Kleiman, were all suggested for the position. Due to multiple nominations, councilmembers used paper ballots to cast their votes. To be selected, a nominee needs to receive at least four votes, which didn’t happen during the first round of voting. In the second round, two councilmembers changed their votes and Stapleton received a majority in his favor.

ONeill named 2024 mayor ONeill and Stapleton

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Photos courtesy of City of Newport Beach

(L-R) Newly selected 2024 Mayor Will O’Neill and Mayor Pro Tem Joe Stapleton

After some re-arranging on the dais, O’Neill thanked the voters, his colleagues, and friends and family. It’s a privilege to be on the council and an honor to serve as mayor, he said.

It’s impossible to sit in the seat and not think of his previous stint as mayor in 2020, O’Neill said. When he was selected during the December 2019 meeting, he spoke about his goals and plans, not knowing what the upcoming year might bring and “it brought a lot,” he said.

“I sit here recognizing that I have no idea what this next year is going to bring. But I do know that we are Newport Beach and that brings with it resilience and really high expectations,” O’Neill said. “No matter the events of the coming year, we can and we should remain a beacon of good governance in a swirling world of uncertainty, chaos, and outside policies that undermine public safety and property rights of cities like ours.”

That means staying the course to improve public safety across the board, he said, noting the recent purchase of 1201 Dove St., which could be the potential site for a future state-of-the-art police station. This upcoming year is also the time to expand NBPD’s digital footprint to “help catch those who would prey on our community from outside.”

The city is also slated to replace the fire station and library at the end of the Balboa Peninsula in the upcoming year. He also noted that 2024 will be the first full year of a new ambulance service. They will also soon be cutting the ribbon for the new NB Junior Lifeguard headquarters.

At the time when he was first selected as mayor, he declared 2020 “the year of the volunteer” and had plans for the council to honor local heroes and helpers. Those plans were derailed, he noted, but that year still showed a spirit of volunteerism. He reignited the effort for 2024, asking residents to identify “helpers” in the community that deserve to be honored.

“This is going to be the year we look for the helpers in our community. It’s going to be a year that we recognize and celebrate them too,” O’Neill said.

He kicked off the idea by giving a key to the city, something that hasn’t been done in his seven years on council, to local resident, restaurateur and businessman Mario Marovic.

Marovic has exemplified what it means to be a helper, O’Neill said, and has made an impact in a number of ways throughout the city, including spearheading the recent effort through the Noble Vikings of Orange County to bring Tora the support dog to the Newport Beach Fire Department. Despite having his livelihood threatened by restaurant closures in March 2020, Marovic still helped his employees, low-income seniors and Newport Beach residents when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. He was also the Chamber of Commerce 2022 Business Person of the Year.

O’Neill took the position over from Noah Blom.

Blom served as mayor in a notably transitional year with four newly elected councilmembers coming on board in 2023, O’Neill commented. They needed stability and Blom stepped up and led. Meetings have moved efficiently and city business never skipped a beat, he added.

“We are all better having had you as mayor,” O’Neill said to Blom during the reorganization.

On behalf of the city, a gavel plaque (the customary gift for outgoing Newport Beach mayors) was presented to Blom. His fellow councilmembers also gifted him a personalized hammer that states “You nailed it” with his name and mayoral year.

It was an interesting and amazing experience, Blom said. He tried to bring his own understanding of how he runs his business and experiences from his personal life into the role, he added. Governing and being part of the process is more about the call to respond, rather than the need to do it, he said.

“This has been something where I get to add a little bit of my own understanding and know-how about the world,” Blom said, “and hopefully that imparted something on this city that it hadn’t yet had.”

Although the decision for the second seat on the dais, for mayor pro tem, was not unanimous. Stapleton, along with councilmembers Robyn Grant and Lauren Kleiman, were all suggested. Due to multiple nominations, councilmembers used paper ballots to cast their vote. To be selected, a nominee needs four votes. It took two rounds of voting until Stapleton received a 5-2 majority in his favor.

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“Christmas With a Cause” event raises $22,500 to benefit Human Options

 On December 7, Kelly Roberts, a long-time supporter of domestic violence organizations in Orange County, and her family, along with Bayside Orange County, hosted the annual holiday fundraising event in Newport Beach benefiting Human Options and OC Rescue Mission. All financial donations went to Human Options, a leading nonprofit devoted to ending the cycle of domestic violence in Orange County, which will enable the organization to continue supporting survivors of abuse with stable housing.

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Submitted photos

Guests taking photos with Santa, taken at the Roberts’ family home on Balboa Island

Roberts is continuing to raise money for Human Options throughout the month of December with the goal of reaching $60,000.

This holiday season, nearly 600,000 Americans will be spending it without proper shelter or food (according to www.benefits.gov). To support our Orange County neighbors without a home, the Roberts’ family is hosting a fundraiser all month long. Any financial donations will go towards the housing of domestic violence victims through Human Options, and toy donations will go to homeless children in Orange County. It’s the season to give back and this is the perfect opportunity to help our neighbors in need.

christmas with beverage cart

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Aerial photo of guests enjoying “Christmas With a Cause,” outside of host Roberts’ family home

The mission of Human Options is to ignite social change by educating Orange County to recognize relationship violence as an issue that threatens everyone, advocating for those affected by abuse, extending a safe place for victims and empowering survivors on their journey of healing. Now in its 40th year, Human Options provides a full continuum of services to stop the violence, such as a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency shelter and transitional living programs, education, awareness and prevention presentations and training in the community, and low-/no-cost services, including counseling, legal advocacy, children’s therapies and empowerment classes offered in six locations throughout the county.

Individuals seeking help can call 877.854.3594. For further information about Human Options, call 949.737.5242, ext. 211, or visit www.humanoptions.org.

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Pacific Chorale names Alex Nelson vice president of Artistic Production and Operations

Pacific Chorale Board Chair Craig Springer announced that the Board of Directors has named Alex Nelson to the newly created position of vice president of Artistic Production and Operations, effective December 4. In this expanded capacity, Nelson is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of Pacific Chorale, implementing the administrative, fiscal and organizational goals and strategies that deliver on the organization’s mission and strategic initiatives. He will also assist Artistic Director Robert Istad working on the Chorale’s long-term artistic planning and priorities. Currently in his sixth season with the 200-voice Grammy® Award-winning Pacific Chorale, Nelson previously served as director of Artistic Production.

pacific chorale Nelson

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Photo by Grayson Stamps

Alex Nelson assumes newly created position of vice president of Artistic Production and Operations

According to Springer, “During Alex Nelson’s tenure with Pacific Chorale, his creativity, dedication and commitment to excellence have been a vital part of the choir’s artistic success. We are pleased Alex has agreed to move forward with us in this new role and are confident Pacific Chorale will benefit from his leadership on this broader operational level.”

Istad added, “Alex Nelson’s superb organizational skills have transformed Pacific Chorale. His passion for Pacific Chorale’s musicians, artistic endeavors and community educational programs is palpable. I gratefully recognize his significant achievements on behalf of Pacific Chorale and am excited to collaborate with him in his exciting new role.”

“I am grateful to the board and Rob for the trust placed in me in this new role for the organization,” Nelson said. “Pacific Chorale is an exceptional community of singers, staff and patrons – a community I am honored to continue serving in a new capacity. Our forward momentum continues as we plan for a captivating 2024-25 season.”

Now in his sixth season with the 200-voice Grammy® Award-winning Pacific Chorale, Nelson has produced the ensemble’s annual performance season as well as many artistically significant individual projects. Highlights from 2023 include the single-concert capture of Monteverdi’s complete Vespers of 1610 as well as the Chorale’s highly successful 12-day tour of Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom in July. In 2021, he helped produce the Chorale’s first PBS program, The Wayfaring Project, one of the most novel and complex productions in the Chorale’s history. In 2020, the first Virtual Tis the Season! – a fully remote concert presentation – was one of the Chorale’s most successful fundraising events. Nelson is also recognized as ensemble manager on the Chorale’s 2022 Grammy® Award-winning 2019 recording of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony.

In early 2020 in response to California’s new AB5 legislation related to contractor/employee status, Nelson executed an extensive internal reorganization and strengthening of the Chorale’s 70-voice core ensemble. When the pandemic ended the Chorale’s in-person activities, Nelson remotely produced several high-quality virtual projects. With the conclusion of the pandemic restrictions, Nelson led the Chorale’s safe return to regular rehearsals and remarkable live performances in the 2021-22 season.

Nelson previously worked for the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, supervising all concert operations while serving as general manager of the Orange County Youth Symphony. Nelson also worked as production manager of Reimagining Opera for Kids, presenting commissioned child-friendly operas for 25,000 students in Central Indiana.

Born in Hollywood to an American father and Polish mother, Nelson was raised in San Pedro and Palos Verdes, later living in Bloomington, Ind. for eight years. Nelson holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Indiana University (IU) Jacobs School of Music and a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from the IU O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Nelson believes in the transformative power of choral singing to amplify and unite the personal beauty of every individual.

For more information about the Pacific Chorale, go to www.pacificchorale.org.

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Newport Dunes Fire & Ice Festival extends hours for more festive fun through New Year’s Day

Ring in the holiday season at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort’s inaugural Fire & Ice Festival, featuring one of Orange County’s most scenic ice rinks, with extended hours from 12-9:30 p.m. starting on December 15 (holiday hours vary). Gather friends and family and host a holiday get-together at the 4,000+-square-foot waterfront rink. Groups of 15+ skaters receive discounted pricing during certain sessions. Be amazed by fire dance performances Friday and Saturday evenings as the bay is aglow with lights. Sip on drinks from the rink-side Igloo Bar, open Wednesdays through Sundays from 4-9 p.m. Children love the Holiday Inflatable Garden, perfect for taking holiday photos. The resort’s Fire & Ice Festival, featuring the 33rd Annual Lighting of the Bay will continue daily through January 1, 2024.

Newport Dunes’ Fire & Ice Festival presents a variety of family-friendly activities this holiday season, including:

newport dunes ice rink

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Photos courtesy of Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort

Enjoy the 4,000+-square-foot waterfront rink through January 1, 2024

Experience the ice-skating rink at the Fire & Ice Festival, open daily through New Year’s Day (weather permitting). Glide on one of Orange County’s largest waterfront ice rinks and create lasting memories with friends and family. Enjoy a romantic skate with your partner or bring the kids for a fun-filled winter outing.

Group of 15 or more skaters receive discounted skating rates. Call 949. 375.8829 to arrange and secure your group’s booking. For more information, click here.

Tickets can also be purchased at the on-site ticket booth on a first-come, first-served basis. However, due to high demand, making reservations is strongly encouraged to guarantee your preferred skating session(s).

newport dunes igloo bar

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Igloo Bar

After skating, enjoy scenic views while savoring hot toddies, hot chocolate, coffee or festive cocktails at the rink-side igloo-styled bar. Open Wednesday through Sunday, from 4-9 p.m. Enjoy Happy Hour Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sunday from 4-6 p.m.

Get cozy while roasting marshmallows for s’mores around a rink-side fire pit. Fire & Ice Festival fire pits are available daily on a first-come, first-served basis and s’mores kits can be purchased from the Ice Rink Office or Igloo Bar.

Experience captivating fire dance performances by Wild Fire Arts Collective on Friday and Saturday nights. Prepare to be amazed by their shows at 5:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Enjoy live entertainment on select evenings.

Holiday Inflatable Garden

Stroll through the Holiday Inflatable Garden for festive photos with loved ones, and afterward, kids can write a letter to Santa and drop it in a magical North Pole Mail Box.

33rd Annual Lighting of the Bay

Be immersed in a winter wonderland as the waterfront ice rink comes to life with the backdrop of the Lighting of the Bay each evening. Delight in the sight of more than 50 illuminated Christmas trees and holiday decorations floating on the serene bay.

Holiday Tree Lot

As one of Southern California’s premier locations to pick top-of-the-line pines, Newport Dunes receives their trees from Salem, Ore. in five to six farm-to-lot deliveries before Christmas. The highest quality, fragrant trees are handpicked and delivered within 16 hours of being cut, given a second cut upon arrival and immediately placed in stands with fresh water. Fresh wreaths and garlands are also available for purchase. The tree lot will be open from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. daily through December 21, or until sold out. Find your perfect pine and stay to ice skate, view the Lighting of the Bay, and immerse yourself in the Fire & Ice Festival. For more information, click here.

Book a Stay

Escape to the beach this winter and rent a cozy, single-family, one-bedroom Beach Cottage, or reserve an RV campsite just steps from the sand. For those who do not own an RV, Newport Dunes can recommend local RV rental companies that will deliver an RV to your site, hooked up and ready to enjoy.

Newport Dunes is offering special seasonal pricing for guests booking midweek campsites from January 1 through March 15, 2024. Guests can receive 20% off Monday through Thursday night accommodations. Call 949.729.3863 and mention the New Year Weekday Offer to receive a discount. Available for phone reservations only. For details, click here.

Holiday Parties and Corporate Events

Newport Dunes offers a variety of venues to host private parties, corporate events, and holiday gatherings. The ice skating rink and Back Bay Bistro are lovely holiday event venues featuring sweeping views of the bay. Full bar and in-house catering are available to make holiday hosting a breeze. To learn more about hosting a holiday party at Newport Dunes call 949.729.3800, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For information details, pricing and parking, click here.

Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort is located at 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach.

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Meet NBPD Motor Officer Kelsey Parrish

The Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) Traffic Division is made up of seven motor officers, three traffic investigators and two sergeants. The primary purpose of the Traffic Division is to promote traffic safety through education and enforcement. NBPD motorcycle officers focus on maintaining the safety of everyone who uses the roads, sidewalks and boardwalk within Newport Beach. The division’s additional responsibilities include the investigation of traffic collisions and traffic-related crimes, DUI enforcement and checkpoints, parking enforcement, animal control and the coordination of special events. In April 2023, Officer Kelsey Parrish joined the Traffic Division as a motor officer.

Keep reading to hear more from Officer Parrish about what it’s like being a Motor Officer in Newport Beach.

Meet NBPD Motor Officer Parrish headshot 1

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Photos courtesy of NBPD

NBPD Motor Officer Kelsey Parrish

Q: Can you share a little bit about your background?

A: I have been a Police Officer for about five years. I began my career in Patrol. After a year and a half, I was selected for the Peninsula Enforcement Team, where I was on a team of three officers and a Sergeant who patrolled the Newport Peninsula. I returned to Patrol after two years on the Peninsula Enforcement Team and shortly after was fortunate enough to be selected for a spot in the Traffic Division as a Motor Officer.

Meet NBPD Motor Officer Parrish big bear 2

NBPD Officer Parrish in Big Bear on her long ride. Long rides are a requirement to pass the Motor Academy.

Q: What made you decide to pursue the role of Motor Officer?

A: I started riding bikes at a young age. When I was 5, my parents got me a dirt bike. Since then, I’ve wanted to be on anything with wheels. When I became a Police Officer, becoming a Motor was a career goal. I feel lucky every day to have achieved that goal.

Meet NBPD Motor Officer Parrish PCH 3

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(L-R) NBPD Officer Parrish and Traffic Investigator Laverty ride on Pacific Coast Highway

Q: What does a typical workday look like for you?

A: In the morning, we patrol the schools for drop-off to ensure traffic is moving steadily and the kids are getting to school safely. After drop-off, my partners and I will pick an area where we notice patterns of traffic violations (speeding, cell phones, stop sign violations, etc). After a few hours on the bike, we will return to the office and work on any paperwork or follow up we have from reports we have taken. When it’s time for school to get out, we return for traffic control. In the afternoons, we stay available for crashes and to assist patrol with calls.

Meet NBPD Motor Officer Parrish in parade 4

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(L-R) NBPD Officer Parrish with fellow Motor Officer Boehme-Decew get ready for a neighborhood July 4th parade

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?

A: Aside from riding a motorcycle at the beach every day, I love solving problems and thinking critically. I really enjoy investigating and helping people in need.

Meet NBPD Motor Officer Parrish lidar 5

NBPD Officer Parrish uses a LiDAR device to do speed enforcement

Q: Any highlights from your time as a Motor Officer so far?

A: Every day as a Motor is a highlight for me. My dad always said, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life” – he was right!

Meet NBPD Motor Officer Parrish at ocean and poppy 6

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(L-R) NBPD Officer Parrish (left) and Traffic Investigator Laverty patrolling Corona del Mar, at Ocean and Poppy

Want to get in touch with the Traffic Division? You can report chronic traffic problems directly to NBPD through the website. Your concern will be sent directly to the traffic sergeant and motor officers who can now add that spot to their list of places to proactively patrol. Here’s the link.

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Guest Letter

Carol Crane, President

Board of Education

Newport-Mesa Unified School District

Learning Beyond the Dais

Guest letter Carol Crane holding bell

Courtesy of NMUSD

The California School Boards Association recently recognized NMUSD as a Golden Bell Award winner for its Graduation Coach Program. (L-R) Superintendent Dr. Wesley Smith and Trustees Krista Weigand, Michelle Barto, Carol Crane and Lisa Pearson.

In late November, more than 4,000 elected School Board Trustees, superintendents and education professionals throughout California converged at the San Francisco Moscone Convention Center for the annual California School Board Association (CSBA) Conference.

Newport-Mesa USD (NMUSD) was well-represented by all seven trustees, Superintendent Smith and two executive assistants. Much was learned and discussed as we attended workshops, seminars and networking events. This year, NMUSD had the added privilege of receiving CSBA’s most prestigious award, the Golden Bell Award, for our Graduation Coach Program. Newport-Mesa was one of 60 out of 977 districts in the entire state to be granted this award, adding to our list of accolades. Click here for a list of NMUSD academic honors.

The conference provides us with an opportunity for professional growth. We improved as a governing team, and we acquired much insight and information from the breakout seminars. Sessions include updates on economic forecasts; fiscal management fair practices; current social and political trends impacting board policies; technology in education and effective governance. They are conversations that allow us to stretch our mindset and challenge us to innovate and focus on student performance and outcomes.

One thought-provoking keynote speaker was the founder of The Khan Academy, Sal Khan. Khan spoke on the topic of the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its anticipated impact on education and the classroom. He challenged us all to be proactive in this environment where technology is emerging faster than policy and institutional systems. He encouraged us to strategically welcome AI in education and be ready to build guardrails for this next frontier. With the rise of AI, NMUSD’s Ed Tech Department is working on safeguards and is conducting staff development sessions to equip our teachers with tools and methods to use AI productively in our classrooms.

As a team, we are encouraged to bring our best to the governing table so we can achieve the best for our students and district. We realize the necessity of working collaboratively to achieve the enumerated board priorities. We return home invigorated and motivated to continue to do better as a team. We are reminded that our work on the School Board is not just transactional but transformative.

I am grateful for the honor to serve my community and students.

Warmest Wishes for a happy, safe and fulfilling holiday season.

Carol Crane

Carol Crane is president of the NMUSD Board of Education for 2024. She was elected to the board in 2020 to serve Trustee Area 3.

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Guest Column

Hon. Will O’Neill, Mayor

City of Newport Beach

A Year to Look For the Helpers

Guest Column Will O'Neill

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Will O’Neill

To the voters of Newport Beach and my colleagues on the City Council, thank you for the honor and privilege of serving you as Mayor once again.

It was impossible to sit in the center chair again and not reflect on lessons learned the first time that I was Mayor in 2020. I remember sitting in that same chair at the same meeting in December 2019 where I spoke about goals for the coming year without knowing what the coming year would bring.

And it brought A LOT.

We obviously don’t know for certain what next year will bring either, but we do know that we are Newport Beach. Which brings with it resilience and high expectations.

No matter the events of the coming year, we can and we should focus on remaining a beacon of good governance in a swirling world of uncertainty, chaos, and outside policies that undermine public safety and property rights in cities like ours.

That means staying on course to improve our public safety across the board.  We made our first move last year buying a property that will turn into a new, state-of-the-art police station in the coming years. We have replaced multiple fire stations and will get out to bid this year for the Peninsula’s library/fire station too.

This will also be the year that we open the NBJG building, a year that will mark the 10th anniversary of losing Ben Carlson.

Which brings us to a discussion about heroes and helpers that is long overdue. The spirit of volunteerism was more obvious in our city during 2020 and these past few years than any I can remember.

That spirit was crystalized for me this past year when I read a biography of a childhood icon of many in this room, Mister Rogers.

One of his most famous quotes came in response to an interviewer asking him how he handles the hard realities of this world. He responded: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

Here in Newport Beach, we have a whole lot of people who are helpers.  People who run toward the danger, who aid the marginalized, who sit and hold the grieving.

We have people who experience loss and tragedy and wake up in the coming days looking for ways to make the world a better place.

We’re not just looking for the helpers in 2024, we’re honoring them. My hope is that you will help identify the Helpers who deserve our recognition. If you have folks who fit the bill, then let’s talk.

Enjoy the Christmas Boat Parade and please accept Jenny’s and my very best during this holiday season.

Mayor Will O’Neill is serving his second term as Mayor of Newport Beach.

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ENC presents Reading in the Redwoods this Saturday

Imagine a magical morning where the towering redwoods become the backdrop for a captivating oral legend called “Deer Mother,” as told by Education Coordinator Skyler Forche.

The Environmental Nature Center’s (ENC) next Reading in the Redwoods will be taking place this Saturday, Dec. 16, and there’s still some spots open! This is a fun, family-friendly nature exploration where a book is read and then participants engage in hands-on activities around a nature theme.

ENC presents Forche

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Courtesy of ENC

ENC Education Coordinator Skyler Forche will read “Deer Mother”

Please bring your own towel or blanket to sit on. Parents are expected to remain with their children at all times. All ages are welcome. Participants can register here.

Schedule: Check in from 9:45-10 a.m.; 10-11:30 a.m., Reading in the Redwoods and hands-on activities.

Cost: Child, pre-registered member, $5; Child, pre-registered non-member, $7. There is no charge for adults. Hope to see you there!

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

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Pet of the Week Dog and Cat print

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

The shelter is thrilled to announce the availability of Honey, a charming 1-year and 3-month-old terrier mix, for adoption. Honey is a unique and endearing canine companion with a shy disposition, and she is looking for a forever home that understands her need for a calm and patient environment. Honey’s shy nature adds to her charm, making her an ideal match for individuals or families who appreciate the subtleties of building trust and companionship. While she may take some time to warm up to new people, the bond formed with Honey promises to be a deeply rewarding experience for those who choose to welcome her into their lives.

Pet of the Week Honey

Courtesy of the Newport Beach Animal Shelter

Meet Honey

Due to her specific needs, Honey will only be placed in an approved home, ensuring that she can thrive in an environment that respects her temperament and allows her to reach her full potential. Prospective adopters are encouraged to visit the Newport Beach Animal Shelter to spend time with Honey and explore the possibility of providing her with a loving and understanding home.

For more information about Honey and the adoption process, please contact the Newport Beach Animal Shelter at 949.718.3454, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule an appointment.

The shelter does require completed application forms for their animals, so simply print one up from their non-profit’s webpage at www.fonbas.org. After it is completed, you can email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and upon review, they’ll call you to schedule an appointment. If you have any questions, call 949.718.3454.

Also, consider becoming a member of an incredible nonprofit that supports the city’s efforts with providing wonderful opportunities to stray, injured, ill and owner-surrendered domestic pets. Visit www.fonbas.org.

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City of Newport Beach, “Operation Christmas” to support military families this holiday season

The City of Newport Beach will continue is longstanding partnership with Operation Christmas this holiday season to collect gift donations for the families of military service members.

Residents are invited to bring unwrapped toys, sporting equipment and DVDs to City of Newport Beach facilities during regular business hours through Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 5:30 p.m. Drop boxes are available at the Civic Center, Police Department, OASIS Senior Center, community centers and all library branches.

City of Newport Beach group

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Photo by Lana Johnson

Community members gathered together for Operation Christmas at City Hall last year to deliver toys to military families

“Many military families are financially struggling this year,” said Brad White, founder of Operation Christmas. The gifts will be distributed to families of active duty and reserve National Guard members and the U.S. Space Force, White said.

Since 2005, the city has partnered with Operation Christmas to support the families of local service members. Last year more than 2,000 gifts were donated by the members of the public at Newport Beach drop boxes.

For more information, visit www.yellowribbonamerica.org.

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Newport Harbor Lawn Bowling Club elects new board for 2024

Held each week in December, the Newport Harbor Lawn Bowling Club (NHLBC) membership gathers for their annual general meeting to elect their board for the following year. This meeting took place on Saturday, Dec. 9. The board is critical to the successful operation of the NHLCB. This past November, the club and City of Newport Beach signed a new lease. This new relationship requires the full attention of the board.

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Photos courtesy of Newport Harbor Lawn Bowling Club

Front row (L-R): Diana Wenzel, director; Aileen Broccardo, director; Greg Alexander, president and Norma Goodhart, treasurer. Back row (L-R): Jim Wysopal, vice president; Bruce Williams, director and Seth Hettich, secretary.

The newly elected Board President is Greg Alexander. Alexander has been critical in the initial planning for paid lawn bowl lessons offered this coming summer through the Newport Navigator and the OASIS Senior Center quarterly class schedule. He also led the Thursday Night Novice Lawn Bowling games.

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Past President Andrew Dufresne will hand off the gavel to newly elected President Greg Alexander

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Club members preparing to vote

Vice President Jim Wysopal has been an active member of the NHLBC for the past 16 years. His knowledge of the club operations over that time as well as his close relationship with the majority of the club members, will help the board reach its goals this coming year.

Newport Harbor Lawn Bowling Club is located at 1550 San Joaquin Hills Road, Corona del Mar. For more information, visit www.newportharborlbc.com.

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Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade sets sail in all its glory, Hallmark Channel stars serve as Grand Marshals

The 115th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade kicked off in festive style on Wednesday evening (Dec. 13) at Marina Park with opening night hosted by Visit Newport Beach in partnership with the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, the Commodores Club, and the City of Newport Beach.

Hundreds gathered and warmly welcomed this year’s Grand Marshals – Hallmark Channel stars Andrew Walker and Nikki DeLoach – who led the opening night Parade, which runs December 13-17, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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Photos by Ed Olen

Hallmark Channel stars Andrew Walker and Nikki DeLoach, the Boat Parade opening night Grand Marshals

Walker and DeLoach were each presented City proclamations by newly elected Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill, and DeLoach shared that participating in the Boat Parade had been “on her bucket list.” Walker enthused that, “we can’t wait to share in the joy and love that this parade represents!”

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(L-R) Visit Newport Beach President & CEO Gary Sherwin and Commodore David Beek

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade ONeill proclamations 12

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(L-R) Boat Parade Co-Chair and Commodore Chris Delfs, Assemblywoman Diane Dixon, Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Steve Rosansky and David Beek

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(L-R) Andrew Walker, Mayor Pro tem Joe Stapleton, Julie Jacobs, Gary Sherwin, Nikki DeLoach, Chris Delfs, Steve Rosansky and David Beek

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(L-R) Newport Beach City Councilmember Robyn Grant, Santa Claus and Assemblywoman Diane Dixon

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade ONeill proclamations 12

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(L-R) Newly Elected Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill with his wife Jenny and their children Aubrey and Sean pay a visit to Santa Claus

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(L-R) Steve Rosansky, Santa Claus and David Beek

Attendees were welcomed by Visit Newport Beach President & CEO Gary Sherwin, Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Steve Rosansky, 2022 Newport Beach Citizen of the Year and Commodore David Beek, who shared his family’s history with the Boat Parade when they provided one of their ferryboats for the floating Christmas tree celebration, known then as the Tournament of Lights. Adding her holiday welcome was Assemblywoman Diane Dixon.

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Steve Rosansky at the podium welcomes opening night attendees

And we can’t forget Santa Claus, who warmly greeted passersby and participated in photo ops throughout the evening.

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Elves having some fun on the Marina Park lawn

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Elves from the Musical Theater Academy of OC perform on stage

The full evening of festivities included live entertainment by Performing Elves with the Musical Theater Academy of OC, who kept the crowd in the holiday spirit, an opening ceremony, front-row parade viewing and the third annual Holiday Market in partnership with Creative Communal. The Holiday Market featured more than 35 local makers, food vendors, live music, entertainment, photo ops and kids’ activities.

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Will O’Neill shares a few remarks with the crowd

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade ONeill proclamations 12

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(L-R) Newport Beach Councilmember and Outgoing Mayor Noah Blom, Mayor Pro tem Joe Stapleton, Andrew Walker and Nikki DeLoach, who hold up their City proclamations, while flanking Will O’Neill along with Councilmembers Robyn Grant, Lauren Kleiman and Erik Weigand

An estimated 100+ boats were decked out in their holiday finest with pyrotechnics, synchronized light shows, moving displays, singers, dancers and more as they began to line up in the Lido Isle turning basin to begin the parade. The boats first traveled down the south side of Lido before turning back to pass the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Marina Park, then up and around Bay Island, before continuing down the Peninsula past the Ferry crossing and the Fun Zone.

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Grand Marshals Andrew Walker and Nikki DeLoach greet attendees before heading out to lead the parade

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This Giant Snowman greets paradegoers as he passes by

A fireworks show launched from Newport Pier filled the skies over the bay. Through a partnership with Eagle Four Partners, Code Four and Skyworx Drone Shows, the first in-air drone show took place, in front of the Balboa Bay Resort. Two shows will light up the skies again on Friday and Saturday at approximately 6:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

What a memorable evening for paradegoers, truly welcoming the holidays to Newport Beach!

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A beautifully decorated yacht passing by Marina Park

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The Abominable Snowman atop a festive yacht in this year’s Boat Parade

For more information about the 115th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, a parade route map and to access an official digital program, visit www.christmasboatparade.com

For more Boat Parade opening night photos by Ed Olen, go to the slideshow below:

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“A Season for Stories” at The Resort at Pelican Hill celebrates the holidays; experience Holiday High Tea and more

By LANA JOHNSON

The holidays are indeed special during the month of December at The Resort at Pelican Hill, with myriad festive events and happenings – “A Season for Stories.”

One unique experience that will most certainly put you in the yuletide spirit is the Holiday High Tea & Songs of the Season in the former Andrea restaurant space, beautifully decorated for the holidays, continuing December 14-17. Here is a sneak peek of what you will savor…a blending of traditional tea, three courses paired with prestige Champagne, holiday classics sung by opera’s brightest stars accompanied by a virtuoso pianist to complement each course. The holiday program curated by Pacific Vocal Series features four artists rotated throughout the month: David Blalock, Taylor Raven, Samantha Hanley and Andrew Stenson, all accompanied by pianist Jocelyn Dueck. All this, topped with attentive, impeccable service, will make for a truly memorable evening.

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Submitted photos

The majestic Christmas tree in Pelican Hill’s foyer, decorated in the spirit of the season

I was invited to Holiday High Tea last Friday (Dec. 12), held from 4-5:30 p.m., which takes advantage of the ocean and golf course views, was well as the breathtaking sunset. In the main lobby, the exquisitely decorated Christmas tree which reaches to the ceiling, lends way to being greeted by the staff and offered a glass of Champagne, as we were ushered to a spacious booth, decked out with a tabletop confection tree of cookie/chocolate edibles, reminiscent of a croquembouche.

Guests were graciously welcomed by Pelican Hill Managing Director Gerard Widder.

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Pelican Hill Managing Director Gerard Widder welcomes guests to Holiday High Tea

Next the fun began…perusing four menus: one for traditional teas, the next for Champagne/wine pairings with each of the three courses, the holiday music program to accompany each course and a listing of the four performers during the month of December. From December 7-10, Mezzo-Soprano Taylor Raven and Tenor David Blalock performed. Their engaging vocals were evocative, powerful, moving and filled with nostalgia. And accompanied by Dueck on the piano …the performances were deeply meaningful. From December 14-17, enjoy the operatic holiday vocals of Mezzo-Soprano Samantha Hankey and Tenor Andrew Stenson.

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Tenor David Blalock and Mezzo-Soprano Taylor Raven singing a duet, accompanied by pianist Jocelyn Dueck

Let the tasting begin!

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A tree filled with cookies and chocolates graced the tabletop

Traditional & Royal Tea Selections: Choose from nine teas of which three are black, two green, two herbal with one rooibos and one oolong. I chose the rooibos, reminiscent of “The Nutcracker,” aptly named “dance of the sugar plum fairy.” Light and hand-blended it paired beautifully with each course. My dining companion enjoyed both the organic imperial (oolong) and the lemon verbena (herbal).

–Menu/Libation Selections and Musical Accompaniment:

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First Course - Beautiful Beginnings samplings

~First Course - Beautiful Beginnings, whereby a Perrier-Jouët Blanc de Blancs (light, fresh Prosecco) is poured to accompany: blueberry vanilla scones (with orange marmalade and Devonshire cream); jamon serrano (which Manchego, tomato jam and marcona almond); chestnut croquettes stuffed with boursin and chestnut honey – probably my favorite!); and smoked salmon mousse (with roe, chive and a crisp.) As soon as I sampled one item from the tiered tray, it seemed like the next bite was just as satisfying!

Songs: “Winter Wonderland,” “White Christmas” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

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Second Course - Delicious Interlude featured King Crab topped with kewpie and caviar on a brioche roll

~Second Course - Delicious Interlude, whereby a Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut (a rounded Prosecco) is poured to accompany: cranberry brie grilled cheese (with cranberry jam on toasted sourdough – a delightful combination!); uncrustable (duck mousse, port wine and fig jam – yummy!); Snake River Farms filet mignon with brioche and whipped chimichurri – delectable and light!); king crab roll with chives and avocado, topped with kewpie and caviar and nestled in brioche – refreshing!) and a vegetable terrine (with a red pepper romesco sauce).

Songs: “Ave Maria,” “The First Noel” and “Silent Night.”

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Third Course - Sweet Finale was an array of heavenly confections

~Third Course - Sweet Finale, whereby a Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé (a daring Prosecco) is poured to accompany these sweet treats: festive petite gateau (earl grey macaron); valentino (dark chocolate mousse); exotic (a pistachio and passion fruit mousse); peppermint fudge brownie 9holidsy shortbread – heavenly!) and merry mini-cupcake (a candied citrus madeleine).

Songs: A selection of carols, “Cantique De Noel” (“O Holy Night”) and “Joy to the World.”

Note: If you opt for a non-alcoholic beverage (which I did), the sparkling cider did not disappoint.

To book the Holiday High Tea & Songs of the Season experience, go here. Tickets are $300 per person.

Additional Holiday Events (Open to resort guests and the public):

–Sunday, Dec. 17: Gingerbread House Decorating Class with Sugared and Iced from 2-3 p.m. It was love at first bite when Pelican Hill discovered Sugared and Iced, one of Orange County’s sweetest bakers. Now, they are excited to feature their delicious gingerbread and artistic decorating skills in this holiday workshop. Each gingerbread house is intended for up to two guests (perfect for families, friends, or couples) and features a deluxe candy kit for decorating. Guests will enjoy cookies, candies and bubbles (21+). Location TBD. To book the Gingerbread House Decorating Class, go here. Tickets are $135 per person and include a gingerbread house, deluxe decorating kit, cookies, candies and bubbles for sipping and savoring (21+).

–December 27, 28 and 29: Traditional Afternoon Tea from 2-3:30 p.m. An abundant presentation of sweet and savory items presented along with a selection of artisanal teas. To purchase tickets, go here. Tickets are $193 per person.

–Saturday, Dec. 30: Princess Tea from 2-3:30 p.m. Join Pelican Hill for this grand afternoon in royal company. Guests will enjoy tea, bubbles and an array of sweet and savory bites before being joined by two princesses for a magical afternoon of songs and stories. Every young Princess-in-training leaves with a special gift to commemorate the day. Takes place in Andrea. To purchase tickets, go here. Tickets are $165 per person. Children must be accompanied by a paid adult at all times.

–Sunday, Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve Celebration - Black Tie Gala at Andrea (21+) at 7:30 p.m. An exclusive New Year’s Eve soiree, the Black Tie Gala at Andrea is the ultimate toast to exceptional taste. Limited to just 100 guests during one spectacular seating, the evening begins with a Champagne and cocktail reception featuring Ruinart Blanc Singulier followed by an exceptionally elegant six-course menu before a display of decadent desserts. A Ruinart Champagne tower signals the arrival of midnight in impeccable style. Six-piece band plays during the entire evening. To book your tickets, go here. Tickets are $450 per person.

For a full calendar holiday events, visit www.pelicanhill.com/calendar.

The Resort at Pelican Hill is located at 22701 S. Pelican Hill Road, Newport Coast. For more information, visit www.pelicanhill.com.

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Residential project for Airport Area gets green light from commission

By SARA HALL

A large residential project in the Airport Area received unanimous support from the Planning Commission last week as commissioners agreed that the thoughtful design will fit in well as the area is transformed over the next decade and more housing units are built.

Commissioners voted 6-0 (Commissioner Brady Barto was absent) on Thursday (Dec. 7) in support of the 229-unit Residences at 1400 Bristol. Plans from the applicant, The Picerne Group, call for the demolition of two existing two-story office buildings and surface parking located at 1400 and 1420 North Bristol St., and the construction of 229 apartment units atop of a 422-space parking structure.

Most of the comments from the dais revolved around the “beautifully designed” building, how the Airport Area will change in the coming years, and how the project will contribute to the city’s state-mandated Regional Housing Needs Assessment, in particular, the goals for affordable housing. Council adopted the 2020-2029 housing element and the state certified the document late last year. It includes an inventory of potential candidate housing sites by income category. As identified there, the Airport Area includes 62 new housing opportunity sites that could accommodate up to 2,577 housing units.

“The Airport Area is going to be a dramatically different place in the future,” said Chair Curtis Ellmore. “The quality of which this construction and this project brings – in terms of the finishes, the fixtures, and the thought – is trailblazing and I hope it sets a precedent for the other projects.”

It’s about time the Airport Area gets some attention, it’s ready for it, added Commissioner Tristan Harris, noting the applicant’s other local projects.

“I’m really excited about the area being transformed,” he said.

It helps that it checks off a number of the city’s boxes for housing needs, but he also appreciates having a good operator in there and taking charge, Harris added.

Several commissioners commended the applicant team for their work on the project. Commissioner Jonathan Langford applauded The Picerne Group, city staff, and others involved for the large design’s well-thought-out plans.

“We like to see local investment here in Newport Beach,” he said.

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Rendering by The Picerne Group/Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

A rendering of the Residences at 1400 Bristol looking at the main vehicular entry from Bristol Street

The Picerne Group feels a deep responsibility in creating the right mixed-use village environment, said Greg Nakahira, managing director at TPG.

“It’s not difficult to see that the airport market is the one area in Newport Beach that will go through a dramatic change in the next 10 years,” Nakahira said. “In addition to residential, we believe retail and entertainment development will occur organically as they recognize the spending power of the future residents that will live, work and shop in this area.”

“We truly want to look back in 10 years and feel like we made a positive difference in this city,” he added.

Mixed-income projects are the best method to start to meet the city’s affordable housing mandate, added Satish Lion, senior vice president of acquisition, entitlement and development at The Picerne Group.

“We’ve always believed that projects that contain affordability, if seamlessly integrated into the project, can be successful,” he said.

They’ve taken lessons learned and resident feedback from another local project TPG developed, One Uptown Newport, and utilized that into the projects they have in planning, Lion said. Residents have noted that they want a higher level of finishes and better service, he added.

“Our future projects are moving towards the next level of quality and interior specifications of luxury condos,” he said.

They’ve improved on several design elements compared to previous projects, including the unit plans, where the units are placed in the building, and how they approach the amenity spaces, added Cory Bitting, associate principal and studio director with TCA Architects and lead architect for the project.

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Rendering by The Picerne Group/Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

A rendering of the Residences at 1400 Bristol looking at the pedestrian bridge from Bristol Street and Spruce Avenue

The property, approximately 2.38 acres in size, is located in the Newport Place Planned Community, at the northwest corner of Bristol Street North and Spruce Street. The project also includes the construction of a pedestrian bridge that would connect to the approved residential apartment project at 1300 Bristol Street, across the Spruce Street right-of-way, being developed by the same applicant.

The bridge would be located on the second story, at the southern corner of the building. It would be a nine-foot-wide pathway and span approximately 108 feet and provide a minimum 17-foot clearance for emergency vehicles.

It will operate independently, but since the previously approved 1300 Bristol project is adjacent they have a unique opportunity to create a complementary building design and amenity package, Bitting said. There are different amenities at each building, he explained, 1300 Bristol will be more wellness and relaxation focused while 1400 Bristol is active and socially focused.

The applicant will be required to enter into a lease agreement with the city, subject to the payment of fees for the use of airspace over the city’s right-of-way. The pedestrian bridge has been conditioned to comply with Caltrans standards for bridge construction.

According to city staff, the proposed multi-unit residential building is designed as a “podium-style” structure that consists of five stories over one level of on-grade parking and two levels of subterranean parking. The building height would be approximately 85 feet, including architectural elements, parapet, rooftop mechanical equipment, and roof access, explained Senior Planner Liz Westmoreland.

The 229 apartment units include 40 studio units,126 one-bedroom units, and 63 two-bedroom units. The studio units would be 515 square feet, the one-bedroom units would range from 613 to 896 square feet, and the two-bedroom units are proposed to range from 1,049 to 1,469 square feet.

Of the 229 units, 23 units would be affordable and restricted to very low-income households. The remaining 203 units would be market-rate, for-rent apartment units.

Plans call for a design of modern contemporary architectural style with articulated facades comprised of a mix of stucco, fiber cement board siding and tile veneer facade accents. The color scheme would be white, dark grey and beige. Metal awnings and metal railings on the private decks would further provide facade articulation.

Vehicular access to the project site is currently and would continue to be provided from one driveway on Bristol Street (but relocated approximately 65 feet to the northwest) and one driveway on Spruce Street. The Bristol entrance will provide controlled access to the resident garage and the Spruce driveway will provide full access. The gated entry on Spruce Street would remain open during business hours for guests. After business hours, guests would use a free-standing call box for entry.

The project is required to provide 261 parking spaces (a reduction in the requirement allowed for providing affordable units, based on the density bonus law). Guest parking would be provided on the ground level from the Spruce Street entrance.

The sewer capacity study prepared by Tait & Associates, Inc. on August 11, concludes that there is insufficient capacity in a downstream segment of pipe to support the project along with other approved and planned residential development in the area.

A condition of approval requires that the applicant coordinate with the city to complete the required off-site improvements identified in the study. The applicant shall be responsible for their fair share cost of the improvements as determined by the city, which may include the payment and construction of the entire improvement, unless the city assumes the cost of the improvement.

The project will still need to be reviewed and approved by the City Council and the Airport Land Use Commission.

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Sara Hall covers City Hall and is a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.

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Capturing iconic Newport Beach and beyond: Royal Albert Dock

Capturing Iconic Newport Beach Royal Albert Dock

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Artwork by Don Krotee

This past summer I traveled to Liverpool to play Royal Liverpool Golf course, the site of this past summer’s Open Championship and to paint this great city. I was commissioned to provide a plein air painting demonstration and selected the Royal Albert Dock as the site. The dock received its most recent royal entitlement from a ceremony in 1980, but the original construction date was in 1846. The piece was sold to friends who enjoyed the painting in nearby Westport, UK.

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Don Krotee is a 36-year resident, a member of the city’s 2000 General Plan Advisory Committee, a resident of Corona del Mar and a board member of SPON. Krotee lives in Corona del Mar, is an architect, a sailor and a fine artist, providing paintings and drawings to “Stu News” from iconic Newport Beach and around the world.

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2023 Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade Ring of Lights winners announced

The judging for the 2023 Ring of Lights, a part of the 115th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, took place last evening, Monday, Dec. 11, thanks to the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce. The Ring of Lights is a contest judging the Best Decorated Homes on the bayfront.

The Bill Lusk Sweepstakes Award, given to the best overall decorated home, went to Jeff Moorad at 352 East Bay Front. Moorad, with the assistance of a large crane, dropped a McLaren Formula 1 race car into his bay-facing yard to add another touch to a wonderfully decorated home.

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Photo by Brett Hemphill

Members of the Ring of Lights judging committee hold up the Sweepstakes Award banner next to the McLaren Formula 1 race car in the Moorad home backyard at 352 East Bay Front

Additional winners selected throughout the course of the judging included:

Lights & Animation:

 ~First Place – Bruce & Viviana FaBrizio at 1407 Bayside Drive

 ~Second Place – Donna DiBari at 710 South Bay Front

Chairman’s Choice: Shirley Pepys at 526 South Bay Front

Best Traditional Lights: Essie Bootsma, 128 Via Lido Nord

“Green” Entry: Guy La Rocque at 56 Beach Drive

Photographer’s Choice: Rich & Susan Godfrey at 1802 South Bay Front

Mayor’s Award: Darcy Marshall at 1700 S. Bay Front

Commodore Award: Phil & Mary Lyons at 36 Harbor Island

Rookie Award: Caltech Kerchoff Marine Lab at 101 Dahlia Ave.

Best on Lido: Mike & Lori Gray at 309 Via Lido Soud

Founder’s Award: Jim & Judy Busby at 111 East Bay Front

Stu News Award: Craig Atkins at 928 Via Lido Nord

Best Yacht Club: Balboa Yacht Club at 1801 Bayside Drive

Hi-Tech Christmas: Geof Wickett & Norm Lessard at 309 East Bay Front

Best on Peninsula: Craig & Arlene Silver at 1601 E. Bay Ave.

Judge’s Award:

 ~First Place – Marcy Cook at 538 South Bay Front

 ~Second Place – Matthew Thomas at 409 E. Edgewater

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Photo by Debbie Snavely

(L-R) Newport Beach Fire Chief Jeff Boyles and Police Chief Joe Cartwright, standing in the Lyons’ home backyard, joined in for the Ring of Lights judging

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Photo by Bleu Cotton Photography

The Ring of Lights judges from the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce Commodores Club (L-R): Police Chief Joe Cartwright, Fire Chief Jeff Boyles, Chris Delfs, Paul Blank, Joe Stapleton, Brett Hemphill, Tom Johnson, DJ Martin, Don Yahn, Debbie Snavely, Mario Marovic and Gary Sherwin

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Photo by Bleu Cotton Photography

Stu News Award Winner – Craig Atkins at 928 Via Lido Nord

All homes receiving recognition were presented a banner signifying the honor to be displayed in the yard of their property facing the bay front.

Judging was done by members from the Commodores Club, who along with the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce organize the Boat Parade.

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Southern California Hospice event collects $40,000 for Heavenly Home

The Southern California Hospice Foundation (SCHF) celebrated a significant milestone on Wednesday, Nov. 1, as nearly 100 guests gathered at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach for the inaugural Dolled Up! marketplace and luncheon. This event, thoughtfully designed to raise crucial funds for SCHF and its Heavenly Home, Orange County’s first nonprofit end-of-life care home, garnered $40,000 from generous donors.

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Photos courtesy of SCHF

Heavenly Home Patient and Guest of Honor Jean Corcoran greeted by guests at Dolled Up! Luncheon

The day’s program was a blend of fashion and philanthropy that offered guests a full program that included a sparkling Champagne reception, a captivating silent auction, exploration of a vibrant marketplace featuring products from local women-run businesses, and a delightful, seated luncheon. During the lunch portion, Lydia McLaughlin, renowned faith-filled fashion editor, author, designer and Orange County Real Housewife, resonated as the keynote speaker. The event also held a special celebration for the 104th birthday of one of Heavenly Home’s cherished residents, Jean Corcoran, which included the guests singing “Happy Birthday” and enjoying birthday cake as dessert.

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(L-R) Speaker Lydia McLaughlin receives bouquet from Executive Director Michelle Wulfestieg

Michelle Wulfestieg, executive director of SCHF, eloquently expressed the event’s ethos, stating, “Women are remarkable philanthropic leaders, and this inaugural event was the perfect opportunity for women in Orange County to ‘get dolled up’ and support patients and families during their final days.”

The silent auction featured coveted items, from in-home wine tastings to luxurious skincare and self-care baskets, as well as high-end handbags from renowned designers like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Michael Kors, Fendi and more. Simultaneously, the pop-up marketplace offered unique items from local woman-owned retailers, including Urth and Sea, Grace and Succulents, Seaside Pantry and Lisa Marie Jewelry.

“My mother had cancer and was told she needed to be put on hospice,” said Keynote Speaker Lydia McLaughlin, “While she has since recovered, it has only highlighted to me and my family how necessary hospice care is, and Southern California Hospice Foundation is there for anyone who has been entrusted to their care.”

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(L-R) Terri Nguyen and Joanne Phan at vendor Amour Propre

Southern California Hospice Foundation has supported 7,106 patients and families in their last days, and Heavenly Home is Orange County’s first nonprofit residential care facility for the elderly (RCFE) with a dedicated focus on hospice residents, and also represents California’s only hospice-centric RCFE with the Assisted Living Waiver.

For more information about the Southern California Hospice Foundation and its initiatives, visit the website at www.socalhospicefoundation.org.

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Changing of the guard on council agenda

By SARA HALL

Newport Beach City Council has a light agenda for tonight’s meeting, with the highlight of the night being the annual changing of the guard as the councilmembers select a new mayor and mayor pro tem.

At tonight's regular meeting (Tuesday, Dec. 12), council will consider: The reorganization of the council; setting meeting dates for 2024; second reading of code amendments related to short-term lodging and vehicle purchase orders.

The main item of the evening will be the reorganization of the council as the council selects a mayor and mayor pro tem for the upcoming year. Council will also decide on an updated seating arrangement of the dais.

Public comments regarding the reorganization will be allowed prior to the presentations. The new mayor and mayor pro tem typically share some remarks as well. A gavel plaque (the customary gift for outgoing Newport Beach mayors) will also be presented to 2023 Mayor Noah Blom.

Changing of the guard on council agenda council

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Photo by Ashley Johnson

City Council during the 2022 reorganization meeting

There are only a handful of other items on the agenda, including the only item during regular business: Setting council regular meeting dates for 2024.

Earlier in the meeting, during matters which councilmembers have asked to be placed on a future agenda (no discussion, the council only votes on whether or not to hear the item at a future meeting), Blom is asking that the council consider forming an ad hoc committee to work with staff and provide guidance regarding citywide transit, transportation, parking and mobility enhancements to foster and improve connections and movement of residents and visitors between major activity areas, communities and villages. Further duties would be to review, seek and identify potential funding sources to support such enhancements including public and private grants and partnerships.

On the consent calendar, (items considered routine and usually voted in one motion without discussion unless a councilmember pulls the item), council will hear the second reading of code amendments related to short-term lodging.

On November 28, council unanimously approved an ordinance that changes local code in an effort to move short-term lodging units from residential zones to certain mixed-use zones.

Councilmembers voted 6-0 (Mayor Noah Blom recused himself due to a real property conflict) in support of several city code and Local Coastal Program amendments related to STLs that will establish regulations permitting the use within the MU-W2 (mixed-use water) and MU-CV/15th Street (mixed-use Cannery Village and 15th Street) zoning districts. The action will also change the maximum cap of STL permits from 1,550 citywide to 1,475 permits in residential districts and 75 permits within the MU-W2 and MU-CV/15th Street zones.

Also on the consent calendar, council will consider: Revised salary schedules for key and management and part-time employees; an amendment to the services agreement for helicopter services between the city and Huntington Beach; vehicle replacement purchase order for one utility truck with an aerial device from Terex Utilities of Watertown, S.D. for $205,935; the purchase and outfitting of police patrol vehicles for $281,093 and designation of city representatives (mayor and mayor pro tem) for purposes of labor negotiations with all unrepresented employees.

The council agenda is available online here. The meeting starts at 4 p.m.

The meeting can be watched live on the local NBTV channel (Spectrum 3 or Cox 852) or on the city’s website here.

Members of the public may speak in person in council chambers (there is not a remote or online option to participate).

Questions and comments can be submitted in writing for City Council consideration by sending them to the city clerk at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To give the council adequate time to review comments, written comments were submitted by 5 p.m. on December 11 (the day before the City Council meeting). Correspondence received by this deadline will be uploaded to the agenda packet by December 11 at 5:30 p.m. and can be viewed here.

Material received after the deadline and prior to 2 p.m. today (the day of the meeting) will be provided to the council in hard copy and will be available to the public at the meeting.

~~~~~~~~

Sara Hall covers City Hall and is a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.

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The Week in Review

A weekly newsletter from City Manager Grace L. Leung

Grace Leung

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Newport Beach City Manager Grace Leung

Community Members:

This week I would like to congratulate the city’s Community Development Department, which continues to maintain and improve customer service levels at the Permit Center even as demand has substantially increased.

According to November 2023 customer satisfaction surveys, Permit Center staff improved in both quality of service and wait times from the same month in 2022 (95% of respondents rated service “excellent” versus 86% in November 2022, and wait times went from 71% excellent in 2022 to 81% in 2023). The staff maintained its high marks for courtesy (92% excellent in 2023 and 93% in 2022) and completeness (89% for both years).

The high marks were achieved despite a tremendous growth in the volume of business at the Permit Center. The total value of permits jumped 190% from November 2022 to November 2023 ($10.1 million to $29.3 million).

Community Development staff has made customer service improvements a priority this year, introducing several new practices and technologies.

Customers can now monitor the Permit Center queue remotely from their smartphones through a smartphone app available at nbca.gov/queue. Plan checks for new solar panel installations and some residential projects can be submitted electronically through the new City Virtual Connect portal (CiViC). Residents can monitor building permit activity through the city’s online dashboard portal. A step-by-step guide to building accessory dwelling units (ADUs) along with free standard plans for download, is now available online.

City Manager, Grace K. Leung

Gift Donations for Military Families Now Being Accepted at City Facilities

The city is teaming up with Operation Christmas once again this holiday season to collect gift donations for the families of military service members.

If you would like to donate, please bring unwrapped toys, sporting equipment, gift cards or DVDs to City of Newport Beach facilities during regular business hours through Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 5:30 p.m.

Drop boxes are available at the Civic Center, Police Department, OASIS Senior Center, community centers, fire stations and all library branches.

The city has partnered with Operation Christmas to support the families of local service members since 2005. Last year more than 2,000 gifts were donated by the members of the public at Newport Beach drop boxes. Operation Christmas, organized by Yellow Ribbon America, supports more than 300,000 service members and their families.

NBPD Hosts Community Engagement Event at Harbor View Elementary

The Newport Beach Police Department recently hosted a Mobile Café community outreach event at Harbor View Elementary School. The event helped educate students and build relationships in a relaxed and friendly environment.

New Tide Gates Provide Enhanced Flood Protection

City staff recently installed new valves, also known as tide gates, at several strategic locations to help reduce flooding during high tides. The upgrades were installed at Lido Park Drive and Lafayette Avenue; E Street and Balboa Boulevard, and K Street and Bay Avenue.

During high tides, staff from the city’s Utility Department closes valves on the drainage system to keep bay water from backing up through storm drains and inundating streets and properties.

The new tide gates were successfully tested during the Thanksgiving weekend, when they held back a 6.8-foot-high king tide and kept the area streets dry.

Be Well Mobile Crisis Response Update

The Be Well mobile crisis response team operates in Newport Beach 12 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to mental and behavioral health crises. The mobile unit is staffed with mental health specialists and works closely with the city’s police and fire departments.

(Last) week, the Be Well team:

–Transported a person to the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.

–Transported a person to the Be Well campus for treatment.

–Transported a person to social services for assistance.

–Transported two people to the sobering station at the Be Well campus for treatment.

–Transported a person to a crisis stabilization unit for treatment.

–Collaborated with the Newport Beach Fire Department for a hospital transport.

–Collaborated with the County’s Psychiatric Emergency and Response Team for transport to a psychiatric facility.

TO REACH BE WELL: The mobile crisis team is dispatched through the Newport Beach Police Department. To request service, dial 911 or call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 949.644.3717.

Homelessness Update

(Last) week, the C\city’s homeless outreach and response teams:

–Completed a referral to the Yale Navigation Center.

–Enrolled two new clients into City Net’s social services.

–Referred a client to a recuperative care facility.

–Continued to shelter people. Twenty-one people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.

Click here to view the latest homeless dashboard, which includes key monthly and yearly data on the city’s homeless response.

Click here for information on the city’s Good Giving program.

On the Agenda: December 12 City Council Meeting

The next City Council meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 12. Items of interest are highlighted below. The entire agenda and reports can be viewed here.

–The regular meeting will begin at 4 p.m. The council reorganization will begin at about 4:15 p.m.

–Presentation of a gavel plaque to outgoing Mayor Noah Blom.

–Remarks by Mayor Blom.

–Election of 2024 mayor.

–Election of 2024 mayor pro tem.

–New mayor remarks.

This Week’s Events

Tuesday, Dec. 12

City Council Meeting

City Council Chambers

100 Civic Center Drive – 4 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 14

Zoning Administrator Meeting

Via Zoom – 10 a.m.

Hearing Officer

Newport Coast Conference Room, Bay 2E

100 Civic Center Drive – 1:30 p.m.

City Arts Commission Meeting

Newport Beach Central Library

1000 Avocado Ave. – 5 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 15

Marina Park Family Fun Night: 2023

Marina Park Community Center

1600 W. Balboa Blvd. – 5:30 p.m.

See Full Schedule

Editor’s Note: City Manager’s Updates was received Friday, Dec. 8 and is subject to editing so the information is current.

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There is a new marshal in town...a nostalgic look at the Christmas Boat Parade

By DUNCAN FORGEY

Mild winters are one of the treasures of a Newport Beach lifestyle. On occasion, December gets hit with a northerly storm producing rain, cold and on rare occasion ice. In the late 1980s, such a front arrived, just in time for the Christmas Boat Parade. The thunderstorm’s approach sent organizers of the event into high anxiety as they scrambled to adjust. The Commodore’s Club, an arm of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, met to coordinate and modify their plans. Coast Guard, Harbor Patrol, NBPD, Balboa Island Ferry, tow services and hundreds of media outlets needed data and information regarding a possible “storm parade.” Hundreds of volunteers and a million spectators could be vulnerable to the weather. The Commodores, experienced at running this remarkable event under any conditions, held organizational meetings at the Balboa Yacht Club. Specialized people were assigned specialized tasks and cancellation criteria was established.

What started out as a publicity stunt in the summer months of 1908, this parade was nothing more than a bunch of row boats led by an Italian gondola. It has since morphed into a winter extravaganza, modeled after as an aquatic Pasadena Rose Parade. Post WWII, carolers on a ferry adorned with a tall lighted Christmas Tree circled the bay with a scattering of boats. It was reborn as the Christmas Boat Parade and has since become a national pride.

There is a new marshal Commodores

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Photo by Duncan Forgey

Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce Commodores, circa 2000

Every December, Santa Clauses, reindeer and millions of sparkling lights strung on kayaks, masts, stanchions, tuna towers and transoms cruise the harbor. Today’s parade fills the bay with participants and spectators, along with the cacophony of boat engines, horns, sirens, Christmas carols and “Merry Christmases” shouted over dozens of bull horns. Each cold dark night is alive with screaming children and deep and hardy HO! HO! HOs!

I started “working the event” with fellow Commodores in 2000 and soon learned the culture” of this amazing club. Commodores are the backbone for business and civic promotions throughout Newport Beach and a true example of dedication. Their silent motto of membership is “hard work and lots of laughter.” Over the years, every parade has been successful, due to the watchful eyes of the Commodores. Proudly, Commodores spend many nights presenting stimulating Christmas spirit and joy, to millions and business opportunities flourish during that week.

One notable year was the night my “crew” called in sick. It was to be one of the busiest nights of the week. Add to that, bad weather and three hours in an open boat, I was silently hoping for a cancellation. But like everything the Commodores do – all hands-on deck is their credo – my job as a parade marshal, was too important to take lightly. It is a marshal’s responsibility to cruise in small boats, armed with only bright yellow flashing lights, and keep the parade organized.

Newport’s Christmas Boat Parade has an exemplary record for safety, considering the number of years and the thousands of boats that have participated. For safety and camaraderie, two marshals are required on each boat. Two sets of eyes watch for unannounced or dangerous situations that might arise. But tonight, I will be alone.

There is a new marshal Last Hurrah

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Photo by Bleu Cotton Photography

“The Last Hurrah” by Rob and Cathleen Vick, a previous Sweepstakes winner – Bill Lusk Award

Huge floating restaurants from as far away as L.A., wallow quietly in the center of major turning basins serving cocktails and food as the parade drives past them several times. Registered boats, decorated and festive, are skippered by professionals or experienced locals, who know the nautical rules of the road and carry a wealth of marine experience. Ironically, the greatest risk is not with the larger yachts – which set an impeccable example for the less-experienced skippers – but the mixture of sizes, the number of vessels, and the wide range of skills among the skippers can create scary times. As long as vessels stay in their lane, maintain the proper speed and do not encroach on others, the night will go without a hitch. On parade nights, party boats attack the harbor like schools of piranha, and these are the ones that marshals watch closely.

Most problems arise from the smaller participants. Paddlers and canoers in Santa hats can be hard to see, while other small boat skippers may have little knowledge of safety, etiquette and experience in heavy traffic. Duffys can be some of the worst. They run dark and are often overloaded with guests who are simply out for fun. Many think they are on a Disneyland ride and believe nothing can go wrong. The problems arise when naïve skippers wander in and out of the parade route or plug-up key turning locations. These tiny timebombs are of great interest to the marshals, especially when alcohol is involved.

The gathering storm arrived just as I arrived at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. Still hoping for a last-minute cancellation, the 43-degree rain and moderate gusts were uncomfortable, but not enough for cancellation. Parade marshals, the Coast Guard, and civilian assist boats know that like a Barnum and Bailey Circus – The Show Must Go On.

Dressed in long underwear, a sweater and parka, I found my 15-foot Boston Whaler, named Brian’s Song. I inventoried the necessities: a band radio, large flashlight and a working warning light that identifies me as a parade control vessel. The inky black bay was busy, but we all knew the number of boats would increase 10-fold by the start. Early boats circle the bay as passengers eat and drink, while parade participants are dockside loading up VIPs, family or friends.

I spent the entire cold evening, wet and alone, among swarms of others enjoying the companionship and celebration of Christmas. My assignment was to monitor the front of the parade, just behind patrol and the Santa Boat. Staying with the leaders, we passed the Pavilion, down the Peninsula, and out the entrance channel, where I assisted in turns. When a second marshal showed up, I hustled past Baby’s Beach, BYC and Bahia Corinthian. I held tight at the Balboa Island Bridge, helping avert delays by assisting larger boats making the turn in the narrow channel.

There is a new marshal Marvelous

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Photo by Bleu Cotton Photography

“Marvelous” by Saleem and Lori Massey, a previous Best Power Boat winner

The fleet moved well, as I shouted out to a couple of slow spectator boats with no lights or decorations. On occasion, marshals deal with “bad attitudes” resulting from ego or alcohol or both. But the Harbor Patrol is always close by, if needed.

Soaking wet and now very cold, I stopped for a moment below the row of beautiful homes along the bluff of Irvine Terrace. At one of the largest, I saw my wife and many friends drinking, eating, next to warming fires. Having been invited to this glamorous Boat Parade party, I couldn’t attend, because The Show Must Go On.

So, there I sat, rocking softly in the wake of the parade, pelted with small cold raindrops, soaked to my socks and alone on a night when the entire town is partying with loved ones, close friends and fellow employees. As I watched Madelynn (my wife) talk to good friends, my inner voice spoke up in a moment of self-pity. “I should be up there with them.”

This thought, however, was immediately crushed into tiny pebbles of insignificance by my lifetime of Newport Harbor memories. “Look at where I am,” I scolded myself. “In one of the most beautiful harbors in the world, surrounded by fabulous bayfront homes and million-dollar yachts. But even better than that, I am providing smiles, happiness and Christmas cheer to a million people each year. My insignificance on the dark waters made me think of the Wizard of Oz behind his curtain, and in that brief moment I saw the totality of what the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade represents to the city.

Moving to my next assignment near the ferries, I stayed there until the end of the parade. As the fireworks starting popping over the Pavilion I broke into a huge smile. I quickly thanked God that I was alive for yet another Christmas and privileged to be part of this beautiful evening.

This, my friends, is Christmas Newport-style.

~~~~~~~~

Duncan Forgey, long-time resident, photographer and historian of Newport Beach, makes his home on Kaua’i and is a regular contributor to Stu News Newport. His first novel “Flyin’ Kai: A Pelican’s Tale,” which received a recommendation by Kirkus Reviews, is available through his website – www.duncanforgey.com. He would love to hear from you.

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Regattas and Races…

Regattas and Races

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Photo by Bronny Daniels | Joysailing.com

Hot Rum Series

Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club

Sunday, Dec. 10

PHRF A Division (2 races)

1 Problem Child, Rossen, BCYC, 1-1=2

2 Legacy, Cooper/Doherty, BCYC, 2-2=4

3 Radical Departure, Rosene Family, BYC, 3-3=6

PHRF B Division (2 races)

1 Violetta, Hartley, BCYC, 1-1=2

2 XLR8, Nistor, BCYC, 3-2=5

3 Shadow, Fink, BCYC, 2-3=5

4 Lickity Split, Whittingham, WSA, 4-4=8

PHRF C Division (2 races)

1 Carioca, Wine, ALYC, 1-1=2

2 Silk, Hanscom, SSYC, 2-2=4

3 Valkyrie, Albrecht, SSYC, 3-3=6

2023 Portsmouth Folly

Balboa Yacht Club

Saturday, Dec. 9

Keelboat Fleet (2 races)

1 Moose & Squirrel, Moosmann/Moosmann, BYC, 2-1=Total 3

2 Amazing Grace, McDowell/Weightman, BYC, 1-5=Total 6

3 n/a, Simmons/Ullman, BYC, 4-2=Total 6

4 Past Due, Newman/Bretschger, BYC, 3-3=Total 6

5 Adios, Bretschger/Bretschger, BYC, 5-6=Total 11

6 Dulce Viento, Killian/Killian, BYC, 10-4=Total 14

7 Aquanesia, Hoffner/Alterman/Jennings, BYC, 7-7=Total 14

8 Tango, Reed/Bohn, BYC, 8-8=Total 16

9 n/a, Foreman/Boudreaux, BYC, 7-10=Total 17

Centerboard/Leeboard Fleet (2 races)

1 Coon, MBYC, 3-1=Total 4

2 Lynch, BYC, 2-2=Total 4

3 Luttrell, BYC, 6-3=Total 9

4 Schupak, NHYC, 5-4=Total 9

5 Vandervort, BYC, 1-9=Total 10

6 Acosta, DPYC, 7-6=Total 13

7 Jennings, BYC/NHYC, 10-5=Total 15

8 Luttrell, BYC, 4-12=Total 16

9 Ungerland, BYC, 8-8=Total 16

10 Stockman, BYC, 11-7=Total 18

11 Ware, SSC, 9-10=19

12 Kalscheur, BYC, 12-11=23

News relating to racing in or around Newport Harbor should be forwarded to Tom Johnson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Newport Beach – A Look Back

Photo series courtesy of Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach

Newport Beach A Look Back Collins Island today is a much different.jpeg 12.12

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Collins Island today is a much different scene than in this photo, where two of the five cottages can be seen that were built in the 1920s for visitors to rent. In front of the cottages, renters can be seen fishing off the sea wall towards Beacon Bay.

Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach and the Museum Store are located at 210 B Marine Ave., Balboa Island. They are open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free general admission on all days. Two-hour parking is available on Marine Avenue. For more information, call 949.675.3952, visit www.balboaislandmuseum.org or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Fast facts from Newport Beach Police to keep our community safe

A series courtesy of the Newport Beach Police Department

You, too, can participate in the next Citizens’ Police Academy

NBPD’s 50th Citizen’s Police Academy class graduated last month. Students in the Citizens’ Police Academy get to participate in informative classroom-style presentations as well as practical demonstrations with a variety of Police Department personnel. Activities include a police facility tour, a jail tour, a simulated car stop exercise, firearms instruction in the shooting range, fingerprinting and a crime scene investigation challenge. Each student will also be given the opportunity to go on one four-hour ride-along with a police officer during the course of the Academy.

If you haven’t taken part in this special program in the past, another opportunity awaits you this spring. The next class begins in March 2024, and the Newport Beach Police Department is accepting applications now. For more information about the class or to apply, click here.

Fast Facts photo 1

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Photos courtesy of NBPD

A member of last fall’s Citizens’ Academy class shows off his target after completing his chance to shoot after proper instruction in the NBPD gun range. He is pictured with NBPD Sgt. Steve Oberon, community relations sergeant (right).

Fast Facts photo 2

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The class also got to explore the ins and outs of working as a motorcycle officer on the Newport streets

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Segerstrom presents Hopelessly Devoted: The Music of Olivia Newton-John from January 11-13, 2024

Segerstrom Center for the Arts announces Hopelessly Devoted: The Music of Olivia Newton-John, performing for three nights, January 11-13, 2024 at 7:30 p.m. in Samueli Theater.

A starry cast of Broadway veterans, Jessica Hendy, Kelli Rabke, David Burnham, Blaine Krauss and Scott Coulter, with accompanist John Boswell, team up to celebrate the life and career of the beloved singer and actress Olivia Newton-John who passed away in 2022. For this special engagement, this show-stopping cast will perform their favorite songs from Newton-John’s incredible catalogue in an emotional celebration of her life and legacy.

segerstrom presents newton john

Courtesy of SCFTA

Grammy® Award winner Olivia Newton-John

With a 60-year career as an entertainer, Newton-John was a celebrated artist whose work impacted and inspired so many people around the globe. It all started with music, of course. She was a four-time Grammy® Award winner whose music career included 15 Top 10 songs, including five songs that made it to No. 1. Her enormous popularity carried over to the movies too, where she secured her legendary status by starring in such iconic roles as Sandy in Grease and Kira in Xanadu.

Jessica Hendy is a vocal powerhouse, who just closed the recent Broadway revival of CATS. She is the only person with the distinction of having been in the original Broadway production of CATS, the National tour and the Broadway revival. She recently made her Radio City Music Hall debut in The New York Spring Spectacular, alongside with the world-famous Rockettes.

Kelli Rabke has enjoyed a prolific career on the Great White Way, with a resume that can boast being one of the only Broadway stars to originate a role in both a Stephen Schwartz and an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. Her success on the stage and on daytime TV in The Young and The Restless has made her an incredibly popular concert artist and a staple in the NYC cabaret world.

David Burnham was last seen on Broadway in the mega-hit musical Wicked, playing Fiyero, a role that he originated in the early workshops of the show. OC audiences might also fondly remember Burnham’s starring turn in the Light in the Piazza at South Coast Repertory – a show he appeared in on Broadway as well.

Blaine Krauss has been “blowing us all away” with his talents on the national tour of Hamilton. Before that, he got his big break playing Simba in The Lion King national tour and was a member of the original Broadway casts of The Cher Show and Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812.

Center cabaret lovers will fondly remember Scott Coulter’s booming voice, wit and charisma from last season’s “The Broadway Hollywood Holiday” soundtrack and Segerstrom is truly delighted to have one of New York’s most honored vocalists back again. Coulter has won five MAC Awards, given by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs.

Hopelessly Devoted plays January 11-13, 2024, and all performances start at 7:30 p.m. at Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ Samueli Theater located at 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.

Tickets start at $79. To purchase tickets, go to www.scfta.org.

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Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

It was a gift you don’t often see on a Christmas list

TJ headshot AugHave you noticed that nearly everyone is asking for year-end donations. You have non-profits sending email requests and/or letters with return envelopes into our mailboxes; the Salvation Army has their red buckets out with bells ringing outside stores; many stores are doing receipt round-up asks with the extra change going to a charity; and then there are the unwrapped toy donations going to the needy or, in many cases, to the children of our military personnel…yup, it’s that time of year. And realistically, it’s hard to argue with any of it, because there’s so much need seemingly everywhere we turn.

It harkens me back to December 2004 and a different type of donation or gift that I was actually seeking. And I’m not afraid to say that this one was BIG…and personal!

Just two weeks before Christmas, December 10, 2004, to be exact, my brother Cliff answered my call and donated a kidney to me. Okay, to be honest, it wasn’t my call…he simply offered it out of the goodness of his heart as a result of my previous unfortunate medical news. It was an incredible, selfless gift.

Looking at a calendar, it’s hard to even fathom that it’s been 19 years since that time.

I remember it like it was yesterday. The night before surgery, we enjoyed a wonderful steak dinner together at a fabulous restaurant, just the two of us.

The dinner gave me a chance to thank him for what he was about to do early that next morning. And, to tell him how much I loved him, admired him and for the opportunity he had allowed me which was to grow up in his shadow as the younger of two boys just 16 months apart.

Life is funny. Back in those early days, as kids, we fought at almost every turn. Most often initiated by me. Okay, let’s be honest, it was ALWAYS started by me! He simply tolerated my actions up to a point, until he decided that enough was enough and then easily put me in my place.

I could never figure out that the 16-month difference just made him bigger, stronger and faster. And, as a result, I never gave up trying.

Still, we were always so close. Bunk beds, with Cliff on the bottom and me on the top. When the lights went out at night, we’d talk until dreamland took us away.

Sure, he had his friends and I had mine, but we always looked out and cared for each other first.

Then, when the time came almost two decades ago, there he was, sacrificing his potential overall health to donate a kidney to save and prolong my life.

I’d like to think that I would have done the same thing for him if the circumstances were different. But that’s so easy to say.

Today, all these years later, I’m lucky, the kidney is still going strong. Cliff, who has always been a beast of a swimmer is still doing well. Yup, he’s suffered from two formidable challenges with cancer, but ultimately beat both of them.

I wouldn’t have expected anything less, knowing he was “bigger, stronger and faster” than anything even cancer might throw his way…or so I choose to believe.

As Christmas approaches and the date of December 10 turns for yet another year on the calendar, it once again reminds me of what he did.

For those of you struggling with health issues of your own, or with just life itself…or for those of you who are just fine but see others around you struggling…I hope you’ll either find what you need or step up and help those that aren’t so fortunate.

Tis’ the season of giving…remember?

Life is good in Newport Beach…but we can all make it better!

Thank you Cliff! I want to once again remind you that I love you and thank you more than you’ll ever know.

Lucky for both of us, this story doesn’t end there. No, today Cliff and I are both grandfathers that enjoy watching our grandkids. Cliff enjoys being Poppy to his 6-year-old grandson Cal.

At the same time, I have three of my own: Kate (7), Curt (4) and Nick (3); and wouldn’t you know it that Curty and Nicky are just 15 months apart.

Can you say déjà vu all over again?

You guessed it, I get to watch a young version of Cliff and me seemingly do it all over again.

When those two little guys are awake, from morning to dusk, they’re fighting, wrestling, or teasing each other. It’s literally non-stop.

It’s funny, Nicky instigates almost everything (just like I did). And Curty is just cooler than cool (much like my brother), until he no longer can be. And then he lets Nicky have it and in an instant, it’s over.

Sound familiar?

And as much I as love, love, love Curty, there’s just a little part of me that quietly cheers for Nicky…but in actuality, I know it’s pointless…remember the “bigger, stronger, faster.”

Every time I see him lose the next battle, I shed a little tear, but with a smile on my face knowing they have each other for their lifetimes ahead. Trust me, there couldn’t be anything better than to have a brother to share it with.

• • •

It was another successful year of Ring of Lights judging last evening to select the best decorated homes on the bayfront, in advance of the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. Perhaps the highlight of the evening, though, was the addition of a McLaren Formula 1 race car to the yard of homeowner Jeff Moorad’s home at 351 East Bay Front. Reports are that Moorad had the car craned over his house to add to his decorations.

It worked! Moorad was awarded the Bill Lusk Sweepstakes Award…the highest honor. Who could argue with that effort?

Special thanks to a great group of judges, all Commodores from the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce Commodores Club. Thanks also to Paul Blank for skippering the group around the harbor in his wonderful boat and to City Councilmember and Commodore Joe Stapleton for heading up the judging committee.

• • •

The 115th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade kicks off five spectacular nights beginning tomorrow through Sunday (Dec. 13-17). Highlights are many, including notable guest grand marshals, special drone shows near the Balboa Bay Resort, a special music boat featuring Rolling Stones tunes performed by the cover band Satisfaction roving the bay, new boats, the usual fireworks and festive parties everywhere.

Make sure you join in the holiday fun.

• • •

Fair Game golf crowd SNN 12.12

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Submitted photo

Get four free tickets just by volunteering for March’s Hoag Classic Newport Beach golf tournament by the end of this week 

Finally, the Hoag Classic Newport Beach Golf Tournament returns to Newport Beach Country Club from March 18 through March 24, 2024. It will again feature the best players from the PGA Tour Champions.

As you might imagine, to successfully put on a tournament of this magnitude, volunteers are needed.

If you register to volunteer prior to this Friday, Dec. 15, you’ll receive four additional Good For Any Day Tickets to the tournament and be entered into an opportunity to win Two Weekly Clubhouse or Ground Badges.

Golf knowledge is not necessarily required.

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Changing of the guard on council agenda

By SARA HALL

Newport Beach City Council has a light agenda for next week’s meeting, with the highlight of the night being the annual changing of the guard as the councilmembers select a new mayor and mayor pro tem.

At the Tuesday (Dec. 12) regular meeting, council will consider: The reorganization of the council; setting meeting dates for 2024; second reading of code amendments related to short-term lodging and vehicle purchase orders.

The main item of the evening will be the reorganization of the council as the council selects a mayor and mayor pro tem for the upcoming year. Council will also decide on an updated seating arrangement of the dais.

Public comments regarding the reorganization will be allowed prior to the presentations. The new mayor and mayor pro tem typically share some remarks as well. A gavel plaque (the customary gift for outgoing Newport Beach mayors) will also be presented to 2023 Mayor Noah Blom.

Changing of the guard on council agenda council

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Photo by Ashley Johnson

City Council during the 2022 reorganization meeting

There are only a handful of other items on the agenda, including the only item during regular business: Setting council regular meeting dates for 2024.

Earlier in the meeting, during matters which councilmembers have asked to be placed on a future agenda (no discussion, the council only votes on whether or not to hear the item at a future meeting), Blom is asking that the council consider forming an ad hoc committee to work with staff and provide guidance regarding citywide transit, transportation, parking and mobility enhancements to foster and improve connections and movement of residents and visitors between major activity areas, communities and villages. Further duties would be to review, seek and identify potential funding sources to support such enhancements including public and private grants and partnerships.

On the consent calendar, (items considered routine and usually voted in one motion without discussion unless a councilmember pulls the item), council will hear the second reading of code amendments related to short-term lodging.

On November 28, council unanimously approved an ordinance that changes local code in an effort to move short-term lodging units from residential zones to certain mixed-use zones.

Councilmembers voted 6-0 (Mayor Noah Blom recused himself due to a real property conflict) in support of several city code and Local Coastal Program amendments related to STLs that will establish regulations permitting the use within the MU-W2 (mixed-use water) and MU-CV/15th Street (mixed-use Cannery Village and 15th Street) zoning districts. The action will also change the maximum cap of STL permits from 1,550 citywide to 1,475 permits in residential districts and 75 permits within the MU-W2 and MU-CV/15th Street zones.

Also on the consent calendar, council will consider: Revised salary schedules for key and management and part-time employees; an amendment to the services agreement for helicopter services between the city and Huntington Beach; vehicle replacement purchase order for one utility truck with an aerial device from Terex Utilities of Watertown, S.D. for $205,935; the purchase and outfitting of police patrol vehicles for $281,093 and designation of city representatives (mayor and mayor pro tem) for purposes of labor negotiations with all unrepresented employees.

The council agenda is available online here. The meeting starts at 4 p.m.

The meeting can be watched live on the local NBTV channel (Spectrum 3 or Cox 852) or on the city’s website here.

Members of the public may speak in person in council chambers (there is not a remote or online option to participate).

Questions and comments can be submitted in writing for City Council consideration by sending them to the city clerk at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To give the council adequate time to review comments, submit any written comments by 5 p.m. on December 11 (the day before the City Council meeting). Correspondence received by this deadline will be uploaded to the agenda packet by December 11 at 5:30 p.m. and can be viewed here.

Material received after the deadline and prior to 2 p.m. on December 12 (the day of the meeting) will be provided to the council in hard copy and will be available to the public at the meeting.

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Sara Hall covers City Hall and is a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.

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You Must Remember This: Simplifying divorce

By NANCY GARDNER

For those too young to remember, there was a time when you couldn’t just decide you were tired of your current partner and file for a dissolution. There had to be grounds, and in the eyes of the law, being bored with your spouse did not come within those grounds. You were stuck with your mate unless you could find something substantial to point to like adultery or physical abuse, and you couldn’t just accuse your spouse of these things. You had to either get him/her to admit to the charge or you had to prove it, but if you admitted it was your fault, you lost out financially. As a wife, that meant less or no alimony. As a husband, your settlement just got a lot more expensive. This being the case, confessions were rare. Instead, evidence was produced. Photos were a big help, witnesses even better.

My father tried one rather memorable divorce case during that time. On this particular day, it was Smith vs. Smith; Mrs. Smith being the party suing for divorce on the grounds of cruelty. When Mrs. Smith was called to the witness stand, my father was somewhat surprised at her appearance. Given the charge of cruelty, he had expected an average-sized woman, one an average-sized man might easily abuse. Mrs. Smith was not of average size. She was large and muscular or, as my father put it in not very diplomatic terms, if King Kong needed a mate, central casting couldn’t do much better. Looking over at the defendant’s table he saw a very average-looking Mr. Smith and wondered at the fellow’s nerve in challenging such an imposing partner, but he did his best to clear his mind of speculation and to focus on the evidence presented.

Mrs. Smith took her oath, and her attorney began to lead her through her grievances:

–Did Mr. Smith drink to excess? Yes.

–Did he gamble away the family money? Yes.

–Did he stay out late? Yes.

The grievances piled up, and as they did my father began to sympathize with poor Mrs. Smith. Physically imposing she might be, but if what she said could be substantiated, she had certainly suffered “extreme mental and physical cruelty,” underlined when her attorney asked if Mr. Smith had ever used physical force on her, and she said that he had.

However, as pointed out above, it was not enough for Mrs. Smith to tell the court the ills she had suffered. There had to be corroboration, so Mrs. Jones, a neighbor, was called, and the attorney carefully led her through the issues. Excessive drinking, gambling, a rotten husband in general – Mrs. Jones backed up Mrs. Smith on each of the claims.

Certainly at this point, Mrs. Smith’s attorney had made his case. The abysmal behavior of Mr. Smith had been described by Mrs. Smith and corroborated by Mrs. Jones but, as my father liked to point out, too many attorneys are like ham actors. They don’t know when to get off the stage or, in this case, to recognize the case as won and sit down. Despite having made a solid case, Mrs. Smith’s attorney seemed loath to give up center stage, so he plowed on:

“Are you aware,” he asked Mrs. Jones, “of Mr. Smith using physical violence on Mrs. Smith?”

“Yes,” said Mrs. Jones.

“Did you yourself witness this?” he asked.

Mrs. Jones hesitated. “Not exactly,” she finally replied.

“Not exactly?” the attorney prompted.

“I got there right after Mr. Smith hit Mrs. Smith and just before they took him to the hospital.”

Poor Mrs. Smith. Whatever she ended up getting, it was less than if her attorney had taken his bow a little earlier.

Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about any of this today. The legislature, concerned about how long, bitter and expensive the divorce process often was, decided to rectify this and passed the no-fault law. With no-fault divorce, you don’t have to prove infidelity or cruelty or anything else to get rid of an unwanted spouse. Of course that doesn’t eliminate every conflict. There’s always the sensitive issue of who gets the country club membership.

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

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NBPD Mobile Café: Community members interact with department staff in a relaxed setting

In July 2022, Newport Beach Police Sergeant Steve Oberon, along with a team of sworn, civilian and volunteer staff, launched the first NBPD Mobile Café. Sergeant Oberon’s vision was to bring police department employees and community members together in an informal space to discuss community issues and build relationships.

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Photos courtesy of NBPD

NBPD Sgt. Steve Oberon (right) with Newport Coffee Company owner Sean Farman (left) and Newport Coffee Company manager

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Newport Coffee Company has hosted multiple Mobile Café events

The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies or high-stress situations. Unfortunately, those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship-building with the community. The NBPD Mobile Café allows for relaxed, one-on-one interaction and a unique opportunity for community members to learn more about the department’s work. This is a comfortable setting for residents to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know the officers that work in their neighborhood. These interactions are the foundation of community partnerships.

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NBPD staff and Mobile Café attendees at a Saturday event at the Starbucks near Bayside Drive and Pacific Coast Highway

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You just might see the NBPD Mounted Unit at a Mobile Café

Since July 2022, the Police Department has partnered with businesses throughout the city to host 13 Mobile Café events to date. In the last several months, the Mobile Café vision has even spread to local schools – where officers, detectives, volunteers and other police department staff are given the opportunity to interact with school staff, parents and kids. In these settings, kids also get to see police vehicles up close, get relevant information about topics like using 911 or bike safety, and enjoy treats before heading into school.

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A neighborhood child testing out an NBPD motorcycle at a Mobile Café event in Newport Coast

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NBPD personnel gather with Lincoln Elementary parents, staff and students for the first NBPD Mobile Café at a Newport Beach school

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Motor Officer Boehme-Decew with a student during the Lincoln Elementary’s Mobile Café

The next Mobile Café event is going to be held at Roger’s Gardens on Thursday, Dec. 21 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. All Newport Beach community members are welcome to stop by for some festive fun!

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School Resource Officer Adam Gilbert shows an Eastbluff student the inside of a police vehicle

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NBPD Volunteer Gerson and Motor Officer Anderson let Eastbluff students sit in the driver’s seat of a police car

If you know have or know of a business in Newport Beach that would like to partner with NBPD for a Mobile Café event, reach out to Sgt. Steve Oberon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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School Notes

District seeking community participation in survey to determine facility priorities

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) is nearing completion of their DRAFT facility master plan. The plan will identify the district’s long-term maintenance and facility needs to continue to provide facilities that support their quality educational programs. It is intended to be the guide the district is planning to follow for ongoing facility maintenance, such as flooring, paint, roofs and long-term capital improvement projects.

The plan is being developed in collaboration with facility experts, school and district leadership, and in consideration of community input.

That’s where the community comes in. NMUSD would like to have you take their survey on facility priorities. The survey closes on Thursday, Dec. 21.

There will also be opportunities to provide feedback on the DRAFT Facility Master Plan in early 2024.

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Take Five: Steve Rosansky begins countdown to 115th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

By DIANNE RUSSELL

President and CEO of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, Steve Rosansky, has been at its helm for 11 years. He is also a board member of Visit Newport Beach, Inc. and Newport Beach 1st Battalion/1st Marines Foundation, served as City Councilman for nine years (one year as mayor) and is the president/broker of Newport West Real Estate Company.

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Photos courtesy of Steve Rosansky

Steve Rosansky

The Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, which starts on December 13, is the Chamber’s most spectacular – and beloved – of traditions. So, the timing seemed perfect for Stu News to catch up with Rosansky to gather insights into the challenges of the chamber and the parade, how they have both evolved and what’s in store for parade viewers this year. We also peeked into his life outside of his many roles in the community.

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(L-R) Steve Rosansky with David Beek at the Christmas Boat Parade kick-off at Marina Park last year

Q: You have described the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce as robust. What are your plans to keep it that way, and what are your biggest challenges?

A: The chamber has never been in a better position in the 11 years I have been the president & CEO. We just broke through the 770-member mark, and we are currently the largest chamber of commerce in the county. Our events sell out more than not and our reputation in the greater Newport Beach business community is stronger than ever. We do this by being a resource for our members through networking and educational opportunities, civic engagement and business advocacy. We offer a robust program of events that keep our members engaged so that they can see a return on their investment in the chamber.

Since membership in the chamber is voluntary, our biggest challenge every year is that every member has to make a conscious decision to continue partnering with the chamber. If we don’t deliver on the promise, they take their time and their dollars elsewhere. We constantly evaluate our programming to ensure that it is new, fresh, relevant, and most importantly, fun!

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Steve Rosansky at the newly launched event, State of the County Luncheon

Q: The Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce has a dozen (or more) major civic events each year – and 80 events. Is there anything new coming up in the future – additional groups, seminars or civic events?

A: This past July we launched a new event, the State of the County Luncheon, which was a huge sell-out success. Based on that, we will host that event again this July. We are also in the process of resurrecting the Newport Beach Restaurant Association which was disbanded when the city decided to terminate the Restaurant Improvement District. Hopefully, we will be able to bring back the very popular Restaurant Week that boosted business for many local restaurants. We will also continue to build our Inspire Women in Business and our Navigate Young Professionals groups and curate special programming for each of them.

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Setting up the Santa Boat prior to the Christmas Boat Parade

Q: The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is a popular and cherished tradition. Is there continued pressure to keep it that way? How has it evolved in the 11 years that you have been president and CEO of the chamber?

A: This year, we will celebrate the 115th Christmas Boat Parade and Ring of Lights. In the past 11 years, we have endeavored to improve the parade experience, both on the water and off. One of the biggest changes has been the partnership with Newport Beach & Co. to help us market the parade; thereby attracting more participants and visitors as well as increasing recognition for the City of Newport Beach.

One of the major new additions to the parade is holding our opening ceremonies at Marina Park early in the evening so that families can attend the event and see the parade and still get the kids in bed by bedtime. We also use it as a place for the local news channels to come, film the parade and interview parade watchers for the evening news. Last year, the parade was filmed from a helicopter and live streamed with a couple of guest hosts providing some color commentary. Not quite the Rose Parade, but we are getting there.

This year, we will have a drone show several nights over the Balboa Bay Resort as well as a “band boat” that will stop at places around the harbor with music provided by the Rolling Stones cover band, Satisfaction. Another newer innovation has been the featuring of Grand Marshals on a separate Grand Marshal boat every night of the parade. Our opening night Grand Marshals this year are two stars from the Hallmark Channel – Andrew Walker and Nikki DeLoach and on Saturday night, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Rose Queen and Court will sail around the harbor along with several past Rose Queens that live in Newport Beach.

We are also rolling out a new competition with its own trophy called Battle of the Harbor. It will be given to the yacht club that has the most parade participation over the five nights of the parade. Next year we hope to have several different Battle of the Harbor competitions, potentially pitting colleges like UCLA, USC, UCI and Chapman against each other or hotels like VEA, Balboa Bay Resort, Pendry or Hyatt. Maybe even CdM vs. Harbor high schools. The number of categories is limitless.

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Corona del Mar Beach Sandcastle Contest, another of the Chamber’s popular events

Q: What are your interests outside of your responsibilities with the chamber?

A: The chamber keeps me pretty busy, but I enjoy cooking, bread making, Ducks’ hockey games and going to the movies with my wife. I also try and get over to the beach at least once or twice a week to unwind and usually take an afternoon nap.

Q: Is there anything that readers would be surprised to know about you?

A: I’m pretty much an open book, so not a lot of surprises but I will share one short story. My wife and I just celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary. We met in high school when she asked me for a job application at my family’s Baskin Robbins Ice Cream store in the Arcadia Fashion Park mall. Good thing my dad hired her on the spot, or my life may have had a whole other trajectory.

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Enjoy holiday music this Sunday for free at the Newport Central Library

This Sunday, Dec. 10, enjoy an afternoon of holiday music with the Seraphour Vocal Quartet in the Friends Room of the Central Library as they present a concert of sacred Christmas music.

Enjoy holday music quartet

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Courtesy of NBPL

Seraphour Vocal Quartet performs Sunday, Dec. 10 at Central Library

With musical masterpieces from the Renaissance to present day – paired with a selection of Christmas carols – the afternoon enjoying the sublime voices of Seraphour is bound to put you in the holiday spirit!

The performance is free from 3-4 p.m. and no reservations are necessary.

The Friends Room at Central Library is located at 1000 Avocado Ave.

Sunday Musicales are funded by a generous donation from the Friends of the Library.

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Balboa Island Holiday Walking Tour this Sunday

Balboa Island decorated home

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Courtesy of Balboa Island Holiday Walking Tour

The Balboa Island Holiday Home Walking Tour takes place this Sunday, Dec. 10 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Eight beautifully holiday-decorated homes and cottages are available for viewing. Tickets can be purchased online at www.balboaislandnb.org. On the day of the event, you may purchase tickets at the Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach, located at 210B Marine Ave. when they open at 9 a.m. Get your tickets before they sell out! (Pictured is one of the residences on this year’s Home Tour, decked out with garlands and wreaths.)

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Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Whether it’s coffee with the cops or the new additions to this year’s boat parade…good things are happening around Newport Beach

TJ headshot AugHave you been to a Newport Beach Police Department Mobile Café? These casual gatherings have been held regularly throughout the community allowing residents the opportunity to interact with the men and women in blue during a time that isn’t necessarily stressful.

The next one will be held Thursday, Dec. 21 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m., at Roger’s Gardens. It will be a celebration of sorts, too, and not just because of the holiday season.

You see, for a period of time, security cameras at Roger’s Gardens were capturing an elusive thief that was sneaking into Roger’s in the middle of the night, long after closing, and taking prized bushes, trees, exotic plants, pots and even an entire bench.

If you’re thinking this happened once, you’re wrong! It happened on four different occasions over multiple months.

Then NBPD Detectives got involved and according to a department spokesperson, “worked tirelessly on the case.”

It was frustrating for everyone involved, including Roger’s Gardens Director of Operations Michael Sullivan.

Roger’s Gardens’ parking lot lighting didn’t allow for security cameras to capture license plates from the vehicle being used. And, police even tried staking out the grounds, but never encountered the thief.

Then, Sullivan introduced a game changer. He planted Air Tags in various trees and shrubs, and a just a week later, guess what, they got a ping.

The NBPD followed the tracker to Irvine and found the stolen items, $8,000 worth, decorating the front yard of 53-year-old Michael David Meek's residence. Meek was subsequently arrested on suspicion of grand theft.

So, as you might imagine, the folks at Roger’s Gardens and the NBPD will be celebrating a collective job well done (most likely without Meek in attendance!).

Kudos to all.

B-t-w, the mobile café is meant to offer good coffee, good conversation, all in good company. Officers will be there in uniform to greet holiday shoppers and even assist those needing assistance with carrying trees and other items out to cars.

That should provide customers with the safest walk they’ll probably ever take through a parking lot.

It’s a good time for all of us to go by, say thank you and wish those that keep our community safe a Happy Holiday.

• • •

Next week, the 115th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade begins its five-night run (Dec. 13-17), once again bringing to life on the bay one of America’s greatest holiday celebrations.

And while the parade has always been wonderful, this year several steps have been taken to make it even better! Our own Dianne Russell caught up with Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Steve Rosansky elsewhere in today’s Stu News to discuss just that and more in “Take Five.”

I personally was excited hearing about the new additions. And it’s also worthy of note to mention that Eagle Four Partners is the group behind some of those big efforts.

Here goes: watch for a special drone show originating over the Balboa Bay Resort for several nights; enjoy the “band boat” moving around the harbor featuring the Rolling Stones cover band Satisfaction, to add in a little music for the evening; watch for the notable Grand Marshals each evening, that will include the Hallmark Channel’s Andrew Walker and Nikki DeLoach on the first night, followed by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Rose Queen and Court another night.

And there’s even an effort to create Battles of the Harbor competitions in the coming years between yacht clubs, colleges, hotels and even the alumni clubs of the local high schools out on the water.

Just imagine a UCLA-decorated boat versus a USC boat…and don’t forget UCI, Chapman and even OCC. Or, Sage Hill vs. CdM vs. Newport Harbor. The challenges are almost endless, and would certainly add a lot of fun.

The idea is to continue developing and growing the parade in the years ahead making it even bigger and better!

I love it!

• • •

Congrats to John Yasko of the Tim Smith Real Estate Group who has been named 2023 REALTOR® of the Year by the Newport Beach Association of Realtors. The Tim Smith Real Estate Group is part of Coldwell Banker.

• • •

Last year, we periodically highlighted various homes around the community showing off the wonderful Christmas decorations on display.

The Kerstners’ home at 424 Redlands Ave. was one of them. After we posted the story, according to Chris Kerstner, they were getting 200-300 people passing by each evening.

The center of their decorations was a 40’ tall MEGASanta. This year, they added a 50’ tall Christmas tree, made up of more than 8,000 lights. They even have a gift “dropbox” benefitting Toys for Tots and Make-A-Wish.

So, drive by and enjoy…and take an unwrapped gift to support their efforts.

Fair Game SNN 12.8

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The Kerstner home is just one of many decorated to celebrate the season

• • •

If you are a female who wants to play some high school flag football, another school is joining the ranks. Daniel Langhorne, the Communications & Website Manager at Sage Hill School, informed Stu News that they will launch a girls’ flag football team in 2024 for play in the Pacific Coast League.

“It is a thrill to be on the cutting edge of a sport rapidly growing at high schools and beyond,” said Sage Hill’s Director of Athletics Megan Cid. “I’m so happy to support our female student athletes who have a passion for flag football and I cannot wait to see how the Sage Hill Lightning will bring their very best to the field.”

Langhorne also noted that one of the reasons behind the move is that “the sport also has legs to carry it well beyond Orange County.

“In October, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved the addition of flag football to the program for the 2028 Olympic summer games in Los Angeles. That decision paved the way for the USA Football’s U.S. Women’s National Team to make their Olympic debut.”

Sage Hill will soon announce details for an upcoming interest meeting for current students.

• • •

Patrick’s Purpose Foundation has announced its 5th Annual Walk With Us event, which takes place on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 11 a.m., beginning next to the pickleball courts at 1641 Ford Road.

The walk is for Patrick and mental health. Registration includes a T-shirt, one raffle ticket per registration, and a TK Burger. It’s $35 for a single walker, $125 for a family pack (4 walkers). Go to www.patrickspurposefoundation.org/eventsto register.

On January 27, 2018, Patrick Turner sadly died by suicide at the age of 16. He was apparently suffering in silence with a battle that he could no longer bear, while never showing any signs of depression, anxiety or struggle of any kind.

Monies raised go toward scholarships for high school seniors attending a community college or a trade school, to the donation of books to elementary schools focusing on social emotional learning, placing buddy benches at schools, or to fostering open conversations within the community about mental health and wellness.

• • •

Several months back, Laird Hayes and I started a group in town that meets once a month at the OASIS Senior Center with the sole purpose of talking sports.

We operate under three rules: no dues, no politics and EVERYONE gets an opportunity to speak.

It seems to have worked. Our group is growing with both men and women. We meet again this Tuesday, Dec. 12 from 3-5 p.m. We’re even attracting some great speakers. Next week, for example, we’re featuring Roy Englebrecht and Jim Zrake to discuss “The Production Side of Sports Broadcasting.”

Both men have extensive backgrounds in sports overall, and also from working extensively on the broadcasting side.

Join us…it’s casual and entertaining.

B-t-w, we initially named our group Just Sports, but recently changed over to Talking Sports, which we think better tells our story.

• • •

Speak Up Newport (SUN) has their 2024 Membership Sign Up & Renewal in progress. SUN is a non-partisan citywide residents’ group that presents monthly programs promoting the common good and general welfare of the community, including the annual Mayor’s Dinner.

The group draws attention to issues affecting the desirable and unique quality of life in Newport Beach; celebrates the good things that happen in Newport Beach and recognizes the people that make a positive impact on Newport Beach.

The annual membership is only $50, but SUN can certainly use the support. To find out more, go to www.speakupnewport.com/membership/.

• • •

Here’s an interesting little tidbit: According to Janet Godwin, CEO of the American College Test (ACT), of the U.S. high school graduates taking the test last year, just 3,376 students out of the 1.34 million scored a perfect score of 36.

Well, this week the Orange County Department of Education announced that six students from the OC have done just that this year – one being Newport Harbor High School senior Chandler Green.

Impressive!

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“Jamma Jingles” calling! Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach hosts December 9 Giving Day

Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach opens its doors on 210 B Marine Ave. on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 10 a.m.-12 p.m. The museum will be welcoming generous locals donating new unwrapped pajamas and children’s books in celebration of 20 years of Jamma Jingles for kids in need.

Donors will congregate over coffee, juice and donuts while helping children in Orange County with special Christmas jammies and their favorite holiday stories. Holiday donors may continue to drop off books until Saturday, Dec. 23 at the museum.

Sponsors include Magical Builders, Angels Baseball Foundation, Snell and Wilmer and the Scout Guide, Newport Beach.

Donations may also be made by emailing venmo@magicalbuilders.

For more information, contact Tiffany Pepys at 949.675.3952.

For more information on Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach, visit www.balboaislandmuseum.org.

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Pet of the Week Dog and Cat print

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

The shelter is thrilled to introduce Kiwi, a delightful 5-month-old cat, to the community. Kiwi is a charming grey and white feline, with a heart full of affection and a playful spirit that is sure to bring joy to any home.

Kiwi is described as exceptionally friendly and sociable. His vibrant personality shines through as he interacts with fellow feline friends and people alike. Kiwi is especially great with other cats, making him an ideal companion for those seeking to expand their fur family.

Pet of the Week Kiwi

Courtesy of the Newport Beach Animal Shelter

Meet Kiwi

What makes Kiwi even more special is his unique bond with his brother, Mango, who is also available for adoption. The two make an adorable duo, sharing a close friendship. While Kiwi and Mango are best friends, it’s important to note that Kiwi can be adopted individually and does not require being adopted with Mango. However, for those considering adopting two cats, Kiwi and Mango make the perfect pair.

If you’re interested in making Kiwi a part of your family or would like to meet him in person, please contact the Newport Beach Animal Shelter at 949.718.3454, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule an appointment.

The shelter does require completed application forms for their animals, so simply print one up from their non-profit’s webpage at www.fonbas.org. After it is completed, you can email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and upon review, they’ll call you to schedule an appointment. If you have any questions, call 949.718.3454.

Also, consider becoming a member of an incredible nonprofit that supports the city’s efforts with providing wonderful opportunities to stray, injured, ill and owner-surrendered domestic pets. Visit www.fonbas.org.

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Newport Beach – A Look Back

Photo series courtesy of Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach

Newport Beach A Look Back An Image of the 1000 block of South Bayfront between 1930 and 1950

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An image of the 1000 block of South Bayfront between 1930 and 1950

Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach and the Museum Store are located at 210 B Marine Ave., Balboa Island. They are open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free general admission on all days. Two-hour parking is available on Marine Avenue. For more information, call 949.675.3952, visit www.balboaislandmuseum.org or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Balboa Island rings in the holidays with snow, reindeer, music…and of course Santa Claus

The annual Christmas celebration on Balboa Island took place last Sunday (Dec. 3) afternoon. Festivities were held at Marine Avenue and Park Avenue, in front of the Fire Station.

Before things got rolling, the snow-making machine arrived and began to blow the frozen stuff onto the street alongside the Village Inn, where it was then fashioned into a slide and children were invited to take rides down on saucers.

Santa graciously loaned out two of his reindeer and his sleigh for photo ops!

The Salvation Army joined in for a few musical numbers, before giving way to the featured All-American Boys Chorus. About 50 boys sang many of the popular Christmas songs and carols, delighting the crowd.

At 5 p.m., Santa took to the microphone and began the countdown for the tree lighting, while the Chorus continued their musical program.

Thanks to the Balboa Island Improvement Association and their dedicated group of volunteers who made this annual event truly memorable.

Balboa Island celebrates snow arrives 1

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Photo by Scottia Evans

Snow arrives (perhaps in an unconventional way) on Balboa Island on Sunday, Dec. 3

Balboa Island celebrates snow fun 2

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Photo by Paul Evans

Snow fun!

Balboa Island celebrates saucer 3

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Photo by Paul Evans

A saucer is the way to slide…

Balboa Island celebrates reindeer 4.jpg

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Photo by Scottia Evans

Santa generously lent two of his reindeer for the Island festivities

Balboa Island celebrates sleigh and reindeer 5

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Photo by Paul Evans

Santa’s sleigh and reindeer attract passersby

Balboa Island celebrates chorus 6

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Photo by Scottia Evans

The All-American Boys Chorus gather before their performance

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The Week in Review

A weekly newsletter from City Manager Grace L. Leung

Grace Leung

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Newport Beach City Manager Grace Leung

Community Members:

For the 18th year, the City of Newport Beach is partnering with Operation Christmas to collect toys, DVDs, sporting equipment and other gift donations to support military service members and their families.

Please consider donating an unwrapped gift to Operation Christmas at City facilities throughout Newport Beach during regular business hours, now through Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 5:30 p.m. Drop boxes are located at the Civic Center, Police Department, OASIS Senior Center, community centers and all library branches.

Newport Beach City staff and elected officials will deliver the donated gifts to Operation Christmas for distribution to families of military service members. As in past years, uniformed service members will arrive at City Hall with decorated military vehicles to collect the toys for distribution to families. The drive supports the families of active duty and reserve military units, National Guard members and the U.S. Space Force.

Last year more than 2,000 gifts were donated by the public at Newport Beach drop boxes. Please consider making the 2023 holidays brighter for our troops and their families through a gift donation!

For more information on the campaign or to donate online, visit the Operation Christmas website.

City Manager, Grace K. Leung

City Launches Updated General Plan Website

The city has launched an updated “Newport, Together” website to serve as an interactive hub for community outreach and engagement during the comprehensive update of the Newport Beach General Plan. The General Plan Update is a long-term planning initiative that relies on community input. The city encourages and welcomes public participation.

This online platform at www.newportbeachca.gov/gpupdate provides information on the status of the General Plan update, state requirements, and ways for the public to get involved and stay informed. Residents are encouraged to sign up for email notifications of upcoming meetings and workshops.

The city is now collaborating with the General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) and the General Plan Update Steering Committee (GPUSC) to identify existing conditions and background information for each element of the General Plan. This data will inform meaningful community outreach and engagement opportunities. The “Background Analysis and Visioning” phase is expected to conclude in spring 2024, and the overall General Plan Update is scheduled for completion by late 2025.

The GPAC’s next meeting will be Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. in the Civic Center Community Room. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions or input.

Free Accessory Dwelling Unit Standard Plans Now Available for Download

The city’s Community Development Department is offering a new set of Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) standard plans for free download at www.newportbeachadu.org.

These plans provide residents with a convenient and cost-effective way to build ADUs.

The plans include three customizable floor plans and three architectural styles. The floor plans include two studio options and a one-bedroom option with a variety of optional elements such as a covered porch.

In addition, floor plans are available to convert a one- or two-car garage into an ADU.

Police Explorers Earn Top Overall Award in Regional Competition

The Newport Beach Police Explorers earned a 1st place overall award, defending last year’s championship performance, at the recent Orange County Law Enforcement Explorer Advisors Association Annual Police Explorer Competition in Rancho Santa Margarita.

More than 27 teams and 140 police explorers from throughout Southern California participated in this year’s event. Police explorer programs provide volunteer opportunities and training for teenagers interested in law enforcement careers.

The competition consisted of 14 scenarios hosted by representatives from Orange County police departments. The scenarios challenged the police explorer teams through simulated police-related calls for service. The teams were required to demonstrate teamwork, communication skills, split-second decision-making, knowledge of State laws, constitutional rights, case law, trauma care and more.

The Newport Beach team earned awards in 10 of the 14 competitions, including three 1st Place awards, four 2nd Place awards and the overall 1st Place designation:

–Overall - 1st Place

–Burglary in Progress - 1st Place

–Tubular Assault - 1st Place

–Hostage Rescue - 1st Place

–DUI - 2nd Place

–High-Risk Vehicle Stop - 2nd Place

–Crisis Negotiation - 2nd Place

–Domestic Violence - 2nd Place

–High-Risk Search Warrant Service - 3rd Place

–Active Shooter Response - 4th Place

–Down Officer Rescue - 5th Place

The team’s success was credited to hard work and dedication in preparing for the competition, under the instruction and mentorship of advisor staff.

Learn more about the Newport Beach Police Explorers at www.nbpdexplorers.com/.

City Recycling Event Draws Hundreds

The city’s America Recycles Day event on November 18 drew more than 200 residents to the City Corporation Yard and Bonita Canyon Sports Park for free document shredding, e-waste disposal and mulch giveaway.

More than 9,000 pounds of paper material was shredded, nearly 2,400 pounds of e-waste collected and about 11,600 pounds of mulch distributed. Thank you to all those who participated, including our partners at CR&R, California Electronics and Southern California Shredding and student volunteers from the Sage Hill School e-waste club.

Missed the event? Newport Beach residents can schedule free curbside e-waste pickup at any time by contacting CR&R at 949.667.4158 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Free mulch and compost is available year-round at the county’s Waste and Recycling facility located at 11002 Bee Canyon Access Road, Irvine, Calif. 92602, or by visiting oclandfills.com/compost. Our next shred event will be held as part of our Earth Day event in the spring.

Be Well Mobile Crisis Response Update

The Be Well mobile crisis response team operates in Newport Beach 12 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to mental and behavioral health crises. The mobile unit is staffed with mental health specialists and works closely with the city’s police and fire departments.

(Last) week, the Be Well team:

–Transported two people to the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.

–Transported two people to the Yale Navigation Center.

–Transported four people to the sobering station at the Be Well campus for treatment.

–Transported a person to a crisis stabilization unit for treatment.

–Transported a person to a substance use disorder treatment facility.

TO REACH BE WELL: The mobile crisis team is dispatched through the Newport Beach Police Department. To request service, dial 911 or call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 949.644.3717.

Homelessness Update

This week, the city’s homeless outreach and response teams:

–Housed a woman who was staying at the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.

–Transported a client to the DMV to obtain a photo ID and another to a hospital for treatment.

–Completed two referrals to the Yale Navigation Center for clients.

–Enrolled five new clients into City Net social services.

–Continued to shelter people. Twenty-three people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.

Click here to view the latest homeless dashboard, which includes key monthly and yearly data on the city’s homeless response.

Click here for information on the city’s Good Giving program.

This Week’s Events

Monday, Dec. 4

Civil Service Board Meeting

City Council Chambers

100 Civic Center Drive – 5 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 5

Parks, Beaches & Recreation Commission Meeting

City Council Chambers

100 Civic Center Drive – 5 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 6

General Plan Advisory Committee Meeting

Civic Center Community Room

100 Civic Center Drive – 5 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 7

Planning Commission Meeting

City Council Chambers

100 Civic Center Drive – 5 p.m.

See Full Schedule

Editor’s Note: City Manager’s Updates was received Friday, Dec. 1 and is subject to editing so the information is current.

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Regattas and Races…

Regattas and Races 12.5

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Photo by Bronny Daniels | Joysailing.com

2023-2024 Winter Series

Newport Harbor Yacht Club

Sunday, Dec. 3

Harbor 20 A Fleet (6 races, 1 discard)

1 Shna’s Scrt, Cnzlmn/Thmpsn, NHYC, 2-1-1-[4]-4-3=Total 15, Net 11

2 Ping, Wiese/Wiese, NHYC, 1-[4]-2-3-3-2-=Total 15, Net 11

3 Only Child, Bose/Elliot, BCYC, [9]-3-4-5-6-7=Total 34, Net 25

4 Sail Dates, Corkett, NHYC, 4-6-7-[12]-10-5=Total 44, Net 32

5 Jubilee, Yates/Kincaid, NHYC, 8-5-5-6-8-[12]=Total 44, Net 32

6 Dart, Menninger/Matzinger, NHYC, [16]-16-16-2-1-1=Total 52, Net 36

7 Zephyr, Legg/Helias, NHYC, [16]-16-16-1-2-4=Total 55, Net 39

8 Wood In It Be Nice, Reed/Reed, ABYC, 6-7-6-10-[11]-10=Total 50, Net 39

9 Blue Skies, Throne/Thorne, BYC, 3-2-3-[16]-16-16=Total 56, Net 40

10 Dragon Lady, Kimball/Kimball, ABYC, 7-8-[9]-8-9-9=Total 50, Net 41

11 No Travel Required, Campbell. NHYC, [16]-16-16-7-5-8=Total 68, Net 52

12 Downhill, Gloege, NHYC, 5-9-8-[16]-16-16=Total 70, Net 54

13 Smmr Drm, Cheadle/Schupak, BYC, [16]-16-16-11-7-6=Total 72, Net 56

14 Downhill, Gloege/Hause, NHYC, [16]-16-16-9-12-11=Total 80, Net 64

15 None, Weise, NHYC, [16]-16-16-16-16-16=Total 96, Net 80

Harbor 20 B Fleet (6 races, 1 discard)

1 WINGS, Boukather/Stemler, NHYC, [2]-1-1-1-2-1=Total 8, Net 6

2 MILI’APA, Watanabe, UCISA, 4-2-2-4-4-[5]=Total 21, Net 16

3 Whit’s End, Whitney/Whitney, NHYC, [8]-3-3-3-5-4=Total 26, Net 18

4 Haynes/Haynes, BCYC, 1-[6]-4-6-3-6=Total 26, Net 20

5 Tiger, Bubb, NHYC, 3-4-[7]-5-6-3=Total 28, Net 21

6 Joint Venture, Kinney, NHYC, [12]-12-12-2-1-2=Total 41, Net 29

7 First in Class, Chan/Logan, NHYC, 6-7-[9]-7-7-7=Total 44, Net 35

8 Sail N’ Win, Fuller, NHYC, 5-5-6-[12]-12-12=15 Total 52, Net 40

9 Symbo, Symes/Symes, NHYC, 7-7-5-[12]-12-12=Total 55, Net 43

10 Idros, Duncan/Duncan, NHYC, 9-9-8-[12]-12-12=Total 62, Net 50

11 Good to Go, Rastello, NHYC, [12]-12-12-12-12-12=Total 72, Net 60

Harbor 20 C Fleet (6 races, 1 discard)

1 Adios, Bretschger/Bretschger, BCYC, 3-1-1-1-1-[4]=Total 11, Net 7

2 Friday, Zorayan, LIYC, 1-2-2-4-[5]-3=Total 17, Net 12

3 Liberty, Brooks/Allen, NHYC, 4-4-[6]-5-2-5=Total 26, Net 20

4 Flexi Flyer, Hall, NHYC, 2-5-5-[6]-6-6=Total 30, Net 24

5 Kalani Ii, Ibbetson/Thornton, SYC, [11]-11-11-2-3-2=Total 40, Net 29

6 Whatever, Fschbchr/Hrlmnn, BSSB, [11]-11-11-2-3-2=Total 41, Net 30

7 Summerwind, Kovacevic/Kovacevic, NHYC, 6-6-4-[7]-7-7=Total 37, Net 30

8 Ferris Lives, Hrrsn/Hrtfrd, NHYC, 5-3-3-[11]-11-11=14 Total 44, Net 33

9 Shazam, Alfano/Shinrock, ALYC, [11]-11-11-11-11-11=Total 66, Net 55

10 Waratah, Bradley, NHYC, [11]-11-11-11-11-11=Total 66, Net 55

2023-2024 Sunkist Series – Outside

Balboa Yacht Club

Sunday, Dec. 3

PHRF A Division (2 races)

1 Carbon Footprint, Devling, BYC, 1-1=2

2 Spitfire, Glackinn, BYC, 4-2=6

2 TNT, Selby, BYC, 2-4=6

PHRF B Division (2 races)

1 Doubletime, Andrews/Lynch, BYC, 3-1=4

2 Amante, Richley Family, NHYC/LIYC, 2-2=4

3 Radical Departure, Rosene Family, BYC, 1-4=5

4 Table 9, Newman, BYC, 4-3=7

5 15, Ullmann, BYC, 7-5=12

6 Problem Child, Rossen, BCYC, 5-7=12

PHRF C Division (2 races)

1 Legacy, Doughery, NHYC/LIYC, 1-1=2

2 Rhythm, Gooding, n/a, 2-2=4

3 XLR8, Nistor, BCYC, 3-3=6

4 Cha Cha Cha, Walter, CYCA/LIYC, 4-5=9

5 Stella Maris, Barry, NHYC, 6-6=12

6 Boat Snack, Newcomb, ALYC, 9-5=14

7 Violetta, Hartley, BCYC, 5-9=14

8 Espirit de I’Eau, Holbrook, BYC, 8-7=15

PHRF D Division (2 races)

1 Altheris, Booth, BYC, 1-1=2

2 Kaizen, Camerini, WSA-OC, 2-2=4

4 Silk, Hanscom, SSYC, 4-3=7

3 Horsefeathers, Fuller, NHYC, 3-6=9

5 Pyxis, Jessup, NHYC, 6-4=10

2023-2024 Winter Series

Newport Harbor Yacht Club

Saturday, Dec. 2

Finn (8 races, 2 discards)

1 KInney, NHYC, 1-5-3-[7]-4-[6]-1-3=Total 30, Net 17

2 Dwan, NHYC, 3-1-1-[5]-[6]-5-5-4=Total 30, Net 19

3 Downing, NHYC, [12]-[12]-12-3-2-2-2-2=Total 47, Net 23

4 Humann, NHYC, 2-4-2-[9]-[7]-7-6-5=Total 42, Net 26

5 Marshall, NHYC, [12]-[12]-12-4-3-3-4-1=Total 51, Net 27

6 n/a, NHYC, [12]-[12]-12-2-1-1-3-[12]=Total 55, Net 31

7 Yonkers, NHYC, 6-2-4-[8]-8-8-7-[12]=Total 55, Net 35

8 Ramming, NHYC, [12]-[12]-12-1-5-4-12-12=Total 70, Net 46

9 Arrigo, NHYC, 5-3-6-[12]-[12]-12-12-12=Total 74-Net 50

10 Wood, NHYC, 4-6-5[12]-[12]-12-12-12=Total 75, Net 51

11 Connally, NHYC, [12]-[12]-12-6-12-12-12-12=Total 90, Net 66

Lehman 12 (5 races, 1 discard)

1 D’Eliscu/Jacobsen, NHYC, 1-[2]-1-2-1=Total 7, Net 5

2 La Dow/Dahl, NHYC, 3-1-2-[5]-4=Total 15, Net 10

3 Stemler, NHYC, [5]-4-3-1-3=Total 16, Net 11

4 Person/Peterson, NHYC, 2-3-[5]-3-5=Total 18, Net 13

5 Curtiss/Moore NHYC, 4-[5]-4-4-2=Total 19, Net 14

6 De Young/Ayres, NHYC, [6]-6-6-6-6=Total 30, Net 24

2023-2024 Sunkist Series – Inside

Balboa Yacht Club

Saturday, Dec. 2

Harbor 20 A Fleet (6 races, 1 discard)

1 Sail Dates, Corkett, NHYC, 4-6-[7]-3-1-2=Total 23, Net 16

2 Aquavit, Cmrini/Cnnigham/Holt, WSA-OC, [5]-1-4-2-5-5=Total 22, Net 17

3 Wood In It Be Nice, Reed/Reed, ABYC, 2-5-2-7-[8]-6=Total 30, Net 22

4 Spirit, Haynes/Haynes, BCYC, 7-4-3-8-[9]-8=Total 39, Net 30

5 Shna’s Scrt, Cnzlmn/Thmpsn, NHYC, 3-2-1-[14]-14-14= Total 48, Total 34

6 No Travel Required, Campbell, NHYC, [14]-14-14-1-3-4= Total 50, Net 36

7 12, McDonald, NHYC, [14]-14-14-5-4-1=Total 52, Net 38

8 Blue Skies, Thorne/Thorne, BYC, 1-3-9-[14]-14-14=Total 55, Net 41

9 Shana’s Secret, Thompson, NHYC, [14]-14-14-4-2-7=Total 55, Net 41

10 Downhill, Gloege/Harrison, NHYC, 6-7-5-[14]-14-14=Total 60, Net 46

11 Only Child, Bose/Eliot, BCYC, [14]-14-14-9-7-3=Total 61, Net 47

12 Hula Girl, Hill/Manning, BCYC/OSC, 8-8-6-[14]-14-14=Total 64, Net 50

13 Summer Dream, Chdle/Schpk, BYC, [14]-14-14-6-6-14=Total 68, Net 54

Harbor 20 B Fleet (6 races, 1 discard)

1 Jubilee, Kincaid/Yates, BCYC, [5]-2-5-1-2-4=Total 19, Net 14

2 Comfort Too, Richley/Richley, NHYC, [7]-6-3-3-5-2=Total 26, Net 19

3 Whit’s End, Whitney/Whitney, NHYC, [12]-7-7-5-4-3=Total 38, Net 26

4 Dragon Lady, Kimball/Kimball, ABYC, 1-1-1-[12]-12-12=Total 39, Net 27

5 Zephyr, Legg/Helias, NHYC, [12]-12-12-2-1-1=Total 40, Net 28

6 n/a, Symes/Symes, NHYC, 2-3-6-[12]-12-12=Total 47, Net 35

7 Chloe, Campbell, BYC, 3-8-2-[12]-12-12=Total 49, Net 37

8 Tiger, Bubb/Quigley, NHYC, 4-5-4-[12]-12-12=Total 49, Net 37

9 n/a, Nazzal/Wilke, BYC, [12]-12-12-6-6-5=Total 53, Net 41

10 n/a, Kennedy/Newman, BYC, 6-4-8-[12]-12-12=54 Total 42

Harbor 20 C Fleet (6 races, 1 discard)

1 Friday, Zorayan, NHYC, 1-1-1-[4]-4-2=Total 13, Net 9

2 Adios, Bretschger/Bretschger, BYC, 2-[3]-2-2-2-1=Total 12, Net 9

3 Independence, Ray/Boullon, SSC, 3-2-[4]-1-1-3=Total 14, Net 10

4 Summerwind, Kovacevic/Korvcevic, NHYC, 5-[6]-3-3-3-4=Total 24, Net 18

5 SkipHer, Waniek, BYC, [6]-4-6-5-5-5=Total 31, Net 25

6 Rascal II, Bacon/Wyatt BCYC, 4-5-5-6-6-[8]=Total 34, Net 26

7 Spiritus, Gable/Vorona, BYC, [8]-8-8-8-8-8=Total 48, Net 40

Thistle Fleet (4 races)

1 Foreman/Broconstone, BYC, 2-3-1-2=Total 8

2 White/Meyer, BCYC/LMVYC, 5-1-3-1=Total 10

3 Simons/Simons, BYC, 4-5-2-3=Total 14

4 Larzelere, BYC, 1-2-6-6=Total 15

5 Maxwell, BYC, 3-4-4-4=Total 15

ILCA Fleet (4 races)

1 Cook, BYC, 1-2-2-1=Total 6

2 Vandervort, BYC, 2-1=Total 6

3 Luttrell, BYC, 3-5-3-4=Total 15

4 Tilly, DPYC, 4-3-8-8=Total 23

5 Hemphill, BYC, 8-8-8-8=Total 32

5 Strasser, DRYC, 8-8-8-8=Total 32

5 Andrews, BYC, 8-8-8-8=Total 32

Lido 14 A Fleet (4 races)

1 Papadopoulos, WSC-OC, 1-2-1-1=Total 5

2 Lange/Mulcaire, ABYC, 3-4-2-2=Total 11

3 McRae/Gorski, ABYC, 2-1-6-6=Total 15

4 Long/Biram, BYC, 6-6-3-3=Total 18

5 Robertson/Batchelor, MBYC, 4-3-6-6=Total 19

Lido 14 B Fleet (4 races)

1 Waniek, BYC, 1-2-1-1=Total 5

Adult Sabot A Fleet (4 races)

1 Blank, BYC, 1-3-3-2=Total 9

2 Finkboner, SDYC, 5-1-2-4=Total 11

3 Lynch, BYC, 4-2-4-1=Total 11

4 Coon, MBYC, 3-6-2-3=Total 14

5 Luttrell, BYC, 2-5-6-7=Total 20

6 Beach, BYC, 7-4-9-10=Total 30

7 Heavrin, ABYC, 13-13-5-5=Total 36

8 Acosta, DPYC, 6-7-13-13=Total 39

9 Jennings, BYC, 13-13-8-6= Total 40

10 Bethel, BYC, 13-13-7-8=Total 41

11 Ungerland, BYC, 8-8-13-13=Total 42

12 Kalscheur, BYC, 9-10-13-13=Total 45

Adult Sabot B Fleet (4 races)

1 Descombes, SSC, 5-1-1-1=Total 8

2 Ware, SSC, 2-3-2-2=Total 9

3 Stockman, BYC, 4-2-6-6=Total 18

4 Power, BYC, 1-6-6-6=Total 19

5 Harmon, BYC, 3-6-6-6=Total 21

News relating to racing in or around Newport Harbor should be forwarded to Tom Johnson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Hanley Investment Group raises $33,639 for Movember, its 13th year of Movember fundraising to support men’s health

Hanley Investment Group Real Estate Advisors, a nationally recognized real estate brokerage and advisory firm specializing in retail property sales, announced that the firm raised $33,639 for Movember in the month of November. This marks the 13th consecutive year that Hanley Investment Group has joined the global movement to raise awareness and critical funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. Hanley Investment Group has raised a total of $368,039 since initiating the campaign in 2011.

Hanley Investment photo 1

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Photos courtesy of Hanley Investment Group

(L-R) Mario Marovic and Ed Hanley at the Muldoon’s Irish Pub fundraiser on November 28

Movember is the leading charity dedicated to changing the face of men’s health in the U.S. and around the world. Best known for its annual Movember fundraising campaign that takes place every November, Movember funds various projects and receives donations year-round. The men start clean shaven on November 1, and then, for the rest of the month, these men, known as “Mo Bros,” groom and trim their moustaches to effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November. The women, “Mo Sistas,” also participate in the fundraising efforts.

Hanley Investment Group’s campaign theme this year was “Axe the Stigma, Raise Awareness” as the team channeled their inner lumberjack, buttoned up their flannel and grew a “Mo,” standing strong together to raise awareness and support for men’s health.

Hanley Investment photo 2

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(L-R) Nathan Holthouser and Ed Hanley tending bar at the Muldoon’s Irish Pub fundraiser

Hanley Investment Group, along with Nathan Holthouser, president of Coastal Commercial, co-hosted a fundraising event on November 28, 2023, at Muldoon’s Irish Pub in Newport Beach. The event featured guest bartending by Hanley, Holthouser and Lounge Group’s Mario Marovic. The Lounge Group is a leading Orange County food and beverage consulting firm that owns and operates various Orange County establishments, such as the Wild Goose Tavern, The Country Club, and Muldoon’s Irish Pub. Last year, Marovic was awarded the 2022 Newport Chamber’s Business Person of the Year.

“We had a great time at Muldoon’s Irish Pub and are so grateful for everyone that supported us at the event and all month long,” said Hanley. “We raised $6,469 that evening and exceeded our month’s goal of $30,000. Thank you to Mario Marovic and Nathan Holthouser for hosting and helping with the event!”

Hanley added, “I am truly humbled by how much support we get from our clients, colleagues, friends and family. This cause is very important to me and our company, and we could not do this every year without the generous support of so many.

Hanley Investment photo 3

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The Movember Team

“We hope that by calling attention to men’s health, we can save lives and spare friends and family the heartache of loss,” said Hanley. “Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men in the U.S.”

Hanley lost his father to prostate cancer in 2009 and Movember gives him and the Hanley Investment Group team a chance to give back to the community and build awareness for men’s mental and physical health.

There is still time to donate to Hanley Investment Group’s Movember fundraising effort. Visit https://us.movember.com/team/2234814. Movember is a registered 501(c)(3) charity.

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SCR’s 2023 gala raises more than $367,000 for artistry and education

South Coast Repertory (SCR - Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei) celebrated their 60th season gala – Play On! – by raising more than $367,000. Those proceeds provide vital support to everything from on-stage artistry to educational programs that this year, included providing 4,000 free tickets to students from elementary school to college to see SCR productions, with a goal of cultivating the next generation of theater lovers and theater artists in the community. Adrian and Kristen Griggs served as gala chairs.

With a Creative Black Tie dress code, the night began at SCR, with a lively reception on Ela’s Terrace, where specialty cocktails from Batch 22 flowed and actors from SCR’s Conservatory represented the history of the theater, donning costumes from the 1960s to present day. The design included storyboards with collages of photos from productions over the decades. Gala designer for all design elements was Angela Calin.

SCRs 2023 gala raises Ivers foursome

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Photos courtesy of SCR

(L-R) SCR Artistic Director David Ivers, Founding Artistic Director Martin Benson, Managing Director Paula Tomei, Founding Artistic Director David Emmes

Celebrated actor/playwright/pianist Hershey Felder headlined the evening as the featured entertainer. He performed his Great American Songbook Sing-Along on the Julianne Argyros Stage, where he took guests through 100 years of music. Felder treated the nearly 200 guests to music from such American icons as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, and George and Ira Gershwin, along with songs from The Sound of Music, Showboat, Fiddler on the Roof, South Pacific and other noteworthy pieces.

SCRs 2023 gala raises gala chairs

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Gala chairs Kristen and Adrian Griggs

The special performance gave gala patrons a sneak peek at Felder’s artistry. Hershey Felder as George Gershwin Alone will have a limited engagement on Jan. 18-28, 2024. This special offering for SCR’s 60th season is part of the farewell tour for this production.

After the performance, gala guests moved to the Westin South Coast Plaza, where they entered a ballroom designed to honor SCR’s 60th season – complete with prominent storyboards representing the season’s plays – then dined on a three-course meal from Westin Executive Chef Antonio De La Torre that included a stacked tomato and mozzarella salad with pesto sauce, pink Hawaiian sea salt, chiffonade of basil and balsamic reduction. The main course was a duet of Filet Mignon in a merlot reduction sauce and jumbo shrimp scampi with parmesan risotto and seasonal vegetables. The dessert was the Westin’s signature chocolate decadent cake.

Shortly before dinner, Orange County Fifth District Supervisor Katrina Foley presented Ivers and Tomei with a proclamation recognizing SCR for 60 years of presenting world-class theater artistry in Orange County. In addition to a previous three-year commitment, she also announced a surprise $60,000 donation to the theater.

SCRs 2023 gala raises Foley proclamation

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(L-R) SCR Artistic Director David Ivers, Orange County Fifth District Supervisor Katrina Foley and SCR Managing Director Paula Tomei receiving a proclamation from the county, honoring SCR’s 60 years of providing world-class theater to Orange County

Foley was one of several luminaries attending the gala. She was joined by California State Senator Josh Newman, SCR Founding Artistic Directors David Emmes and Martin Benson, current Board of Trustees President Talya Nevo-Hacohen and several former Board of Trustees presidents, including Sophie Cripe, Samuel Tang and Tom Sutton. Other special guests included Emeritus Trustees Socorro Vasquez and Catherine Thyen. Also present were SCR Founding Members Hal Landon Jr. and Richard Doyle, and longtime SCR actor/director John-David Keller.

The evening also featured a raffle, which offered the unique prizes SCR’s galas are known for. Those prizes included a South Coast Plaza dining and shopping package containing a $2,000 gift certificate, a one-year ACCESS VIP Hospitality Suite pass, a two-hour styling session and a meal at Populaire, one of South Coast Plaza’s newest restaurants. Other prizes included a Chloé handbag, a David Yurman luxury chain necklace, and an Anaheim Ducks package that included four tickets to a game, dinner at the Jack Daniels Old No. 7 Club, seats in the penalty box to watch the pre-game warmup, a photo with a Ducks’ player and an autographed hockey stick, and an ice cream party catered by Atomic Creamery.

Elite Show Band/ESB Entertainment provided the after-dinner entertainment, bringing guests to the dance floor with a medley of songs from across the decades. The evening concluded with a lounge-style after-party and sundae bar in the Westin’s Terrace Pavilion. Guests took home delicious treats, courtesy of Läderach, South Coast Plaza.

SCRs 2023 gala raises Talya

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SCR Board of Trustees President Talya Nevo-Hacohen

“This year’s gala was a huge success, with lots of philanthropists providing their support for SCR’s mission of creating the finest theater in America through collaboration and education,” said Adrian Griggs. “As chairs of the gala, we were fortunate to work with an exceptional committee and we were able to see the dedication from the SCR staff. We really appreciate the impact that SCR has on the Orange County community.”

Joining Adrian and Kristen Griggs on the gala committee were Sophie and Larry Cripe, Wendy Hales, Michael Hards, Mariam Khosravani, Talya Nevo-Hacohen and Bill Schenker, Giulia Newton, Stacey Nicholas, Regina Oswald, Stephanie Rogers, Susan Shieldkret and Tammy Tang.

Gala underwriters were Diamond Underwriter – South Coast Plaza, Gold Underwriters – Apriem Advisors, Argyros Family Foundation, Steve and Laurie Duncan, Office of Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley, Talya Nevo-Hacohen and Bill Schenker, Pacific Life Foundation, Michael Ray, Sabra Health Care REIT, Inc., Elizabeth Segerstrom, Sandy Segerstrom Daniels and Samuel and Tammy Tang. Silver Underwriters – Leona Aronoff-Sadacca, Sophie and Larry Cripe, Geoff and Valerie Fearns, Mariam Khosravani/IAW Foundation, Stacey Nicholas, Stephen G. and Regina Oswald Foundation, Tom and Marilyn Sutton, and Jean and Tim Weiss.

SCRs 2023 gala guests dancing 5

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Guests took to the dance floor as Elite Show Band/ESB Entertainment provided the after-dinner entertainment

SCR Upcoming 2023-24 Productions: A Christmas Carol, Nov. 25-Dec. 24; Hershey Felder as George Gershwin Alone, Jan. 18-28, 2024; (Theatre for Young Audiences): Alice’s Wonderland, Feb. 10-25, 2024; Prelude to a Kiss, The Musical, April 5-May 4, 2024; Galilee, 34, April 21-May 12, 2024. Outside SCR at Mission San Juan Capistrano, July 20-Aug. 11, 2024. The annual showcase of new works, the Pacific Playwrights Festival, runs May 3-5, 2024.

For more information, visit www.scr.org.

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On the Harbor: Catching up with Harbormaster Paul Blank

By LEN BOSE

As winter approaches, I start to look back on the year, and to prepare for the new year. Very similar to looking aft while sailing downwind in a sailboat race. Doing this will keep you aware of the changing conditions. With this in mind, I checked back in with Harbormaster Paul Blank this last week.

On the Harbor Catching up Paul Blank on boat

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Courtesy of Paul Blank

Harbormaster Paul Blank

This is Part 2 in a two-part series.

Q: Can you talk about the Harbor Department’s (HD) objectives for 2024?

A: The objectives are as follows:

–Continue to improve the technology that supports our activities and operations allowing us to be more effective.

–Plan production of an introductory safety video suitable for posting on the city website, accessible on the MyNB app and made available to rental concession operators (communications, safety).

–Further improve data collection and reporting including:

~Location heat mapping.

~Additional metrics.

~Improve formats for reporting (month and year).

~Complete a new application and receive $175K grant from the Calif. Division of Boating and Waterways for the removal of surrendered and abandoned vessels from Newport Harbor.

~Replace the 2007 vessel in the HD fleet with a vessel that better meets the current department operational and functional requirements.

Q: Anything new going on at Marina Park?

A. The Harbor Department offices are getting some much-needed soundproofing. It’s a very active place with customers, constituents, and colleagues both in person in the office and over the phone. It can be very challenging to participate in a conversation or even just concentrate effectively enough to comprehend emails and other documents.

We also hope to implement a universal electric charging station for electric vessels here in the Marina Park marina. We are close to finalizing a contract with the vendor and are just waiting for final signoff from the City Attorney.

We did recently have an overdue inspection of our firefighting systems down on the docks. We got a very good report from the inspection agency and are pleased we are prepared in the event of an emergency.

Q: Of your objectives for 2023, which one are you most pleased with in terms of results?

A: The most important objective achieved by the department this year was elevation of six Harbor Services Worker and Harbor Services Lead positions to full time. The people who serve in those positions are professionals who have chosen this work as their careers. They deliver consistently excellent service and are dedicated to achieving the Harbor Department’s “clean, safe and well-enjoyed” mission. It is a huge step forward that they can now call these jobs their “full-time” professions and not have to supplement their livelihoods with other part-time work. In addition to the dignity and benefits these team members now enjoy, it has meant significantly less of my time is spent on recruiting and personnel development activities. That time has been redeployed on activities that are of greater value to the harbor community.

Here are the three other objectives I am most pleased the HD accomplished in 2023.

–Establish rapport and open a dialogue with representatives of the Harbor Charter Fleet industry to promote best practices for charter boat operations in Newport Harbor with particular attention to vessel specifications, noise and pollution control compliance and long-range plans for operations and berthing in Newport Harbor. (Clean, well-enjoyed, communications, community building.)

–Make full use of the $175K grant from the Calif. Division of Boating and Waterways for the removal of surrendered and abandoned vessels from Newport Harbor.

–Conduct Harbor Summer Summit recap in the fall after the very successful and well-attended Harbor Summer Summit in spring 2023.

Q: Has there been progress with Code enforcement this year?

A: The code enforcement team is firing on all cylinders at present. The team has distributed the responsibilities very effectively and are focused on their special areas of expertise. Their efforts have focused on stay limits in the anchorages, dye-tabbing of visiting vessels and operability of vessels in the harbor. We’ve achieved removal of a couple of unpermitted floats/dock extensions. We just received court approval to take nuisance abatement action on three inoperable and unsanitary vessels.

The code enforcement team initiated and is convening a Southern California Taskforce on Dilapidated and Inoperable Vessels. We’ve gotten positive responses and participation from essentially all the recreational harbors in SoCal.

The intent is to keep track and alert one another on vessels of concern moving from one harbor to the next.

The group will also attempt to make codes, rules and policies more consistent from harbor to harbor, so all visitors’ expectations are consistently set and they have a more consistent experience.

Q: It’s time for the Christmas Boat Parade. What should boaters on the water keep in mind, and how will the Harbor Department be involved?

A: The Christmas Boat Parade is an absolutely extraordinary event that brings joyful entertainment to more than one million people annually. The Harbor Department will be on the water all five nights helping to ensure a neat and orderly parade as well as ensuring everyone gets back to their berth safely.

All boaters are asked to do all they can to ensure that joyful entertainment is not marred by an irresponsible action:

–If you are going to imbibe adult beverages during or in association with the parade, please do so responsibly and when safely back at the docks.

–Noise and light from your vessel can impair visibility and ability to communicate with other vessels. Please be sure you can see and be seen by other vessels on the water.

• • •

I should get Harbormaster Blank to sail with me on my Harbor 20; I’d never miss a wind shift again!

Sea ya.

~~~~~~~~

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

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Hoag signs on as Title Sponsor of the OC Marathon

In its ongoing commitment to creating a healthier community, Hoag announced it will be the Title Sponsor of the 20th Annual OC Marathon, now dubbed the Hoag OC Marathon. The popular Southern California running festival will welcome more than 22,000 runners during the weekend of May 3-5, 2024.

A longtime sponsor of the Hoag Classic PGA Golf Tournament and OC Soccer Club, as well as the official healthcare partner of the Los Angeles Chargers and most recently the World Surf League in California, Hoag’s support of the OC Marathon is a natural extension of its commitment to prevention and wellness.

“We envision a world in which people are empowered to achieve their best health, to live their best lives and do their best work. By encouraging and promoting community-level sports, fitness and activities, we are living our mission,” said Robert T. Braithwaite, president and CEO of Hoag. “We offer the world-class care that people need when they are sick. By encouraging and supporting activities that bring the whole community together we are also putting in the ‘sweat equity’ needed to keep people well.”

Hoag signs on marathoners

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Courtesy of Hoag OC Marathon

Hoag OC Marathon is scheduled during the weekend of May 3-5, 2024

Science shows that the benefits of running increase your quality and longevity of life. Benefits include a decreased risk of certain cancers, improved mental health, weight loss, boosting of brain power and lowering the risk of diabetes, to name a few.

“The recipe for lifelong health is staying physically, socially and mentally active. By getting out in the community, participating in marathons, half-marathons, surfing, cycling – whatever your passion is – you are taking control of your health,” said Jeremiah Ray, M.D. FACEP, CQSM, with Hoag’s Sports Medicine. “My goal is to help others achieve their goals whether this is running a marathon or standing up on a surfboard. Everyone has a body and uses it in ways that bring them joy, and I’m here to help make that happen.”

The Hoag OC Marathon includes a variety of additional running distances with a 5K, half-marathon and Kids Run the OC Empowered by Hoag “Final Mile.” A two-day Health and Fitness Expo kicks off race weekend at the OC Fair & Event Center on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4. The free expo is open to the public and will feature the latest in running, health and nutrition products.

“Having a strong Orange County-based partner like Hoag as our Title Sponsor in invaluable to our continued success staging one of the most anticipated events in Southern California,” said Gary Kutscher, race director of the marathon. “Partnering with Hoag is a natural fit, as we share the same commitment to living a healthy and active lifestyle for all ages. We look forward to elevating the race weekend experience even more with this partnership as we prepare for our milestone 20th anniversary event.”

The three-day event that draws an international crowd of runners and running enthusiasts, and boasts one of the best destination courses on the West Coast, with a terrain that showcases majestic ocean views and stunning inland vistas.

“Hoag is proud to partner with organizations like OC Marathon that promotes whole-person health. Our sponsorship is a recognition that wellness is not a sprint. It is, in fact, a marathon,” Braithwaite said.

For more information about the Hoag OC Marathon, or to register, visit https://ocmarathon.com.

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Harbor Day School celebrates grand opening

Harbor Day School announced the grand opening of the final phase of Harbor Day School’s new school building, located at 3443 Pacific View Drive, Corona del Mar. The completion of this project has been years in the making. Harbor Day held its grand opening event on Sunday, Nov. 12.

Harbor Day School 1

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Photos courtesy of Harbor Day School

Head of School Angi Evans prepares to cut the ribbon marking the grand opening of Harbor Day’s new campus on November 12

The journey of Phase I of the new campus project began in 2019 when the Newport Beach City Planning Commission approved building plans. The Phase I building is nearly 66,000 square feet and the first major construction for the school since 2000, when the Blass Gymnasium was built. On December 16, 2021, the school held a historic ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the first building phase. The ceremony was attended by school faculty, staff, students, school families, the Harbor Day Board of Trustees, members of the Newport Beach City Council and extended members of the Harbor Day community. The impressive 66,000 square feet introduced the school’s main building, featuring state-of-the-art classrooms, outdoor learning spaces and a cutting-edge STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) wing.

Harbor Day School 2

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Community members gather for the ribbon cutting event at the front entrance of Harbor Day School’s new building

Phase II of the project has brought even more excitement to their school community. This expansion includes a theater, a gymnasium, an expansive athletic field, music classrooms, a modern kitchen, a playground and outdoor sports courts. With this addition, their campus now totals just under 100,000 square feet, making it approximately 50% larger than their previous buildings.

Angi Evans, Head of School, reflects on the campus building project. “Completing Harbor Day’s entire campus, after five+ years of planning and building, is really exciting for our entire community. This final phase brings dedicated spaces for athletics and performing arts to our students and their teachers,” said Evans. “Harbor Day has a great track record of graduating talented athletes and performers. We also have students who leave the school with a lifelong appreciation for sports, music and theater. These spaces will enhance both education and enjoyment for thousands of students in the future.”

Harbor Day School 3

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(L-R) Director of Facilities and Athletics Mike Coleman and Eighth Grade Student Leadership Team members Addison Stern, Emery Pelinka and William Shu parade through the campus with the Harbor Day community, accompanied by the UCI Marching Band

The completed school building represents a visionary approach to education and a commitment to providing students with the best learning environment. The grand opening ceremony was a significant event for their school community, city officials and project supporters.

Eighth Grade Student Council President Emery Pelinka had the opportunity to speak at the event. “It is an incredible honor to be a part of the completion of the new Harbor Day School Campus and to be the first graduating class in the new building. On behalf of the Harbor Day students, we are so excited for the new memories and opportunities this new campus brings.”

Harbor Day School is thrilled to have celebrated the last phase of their new school building and the bright future it holds for their students and educators.

Harbor Day School has partnered with design firm LPA Inc., general contractor DPR Construction, and Farmers and Merchants Bank. To learn more about Harbor Day School, go towww.harborday.org.

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Fast facts from Newport Beach Police to keep our community safe

A series courtesy of the Newport Beach Police Department

Fast Facts laptop

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Courtesy of NBPD

You can report certain crimes online via the NBPD website

Did you know there are certain types of crimes you can report via the NBPD website? Depending on the incident circumstances, they are able to take reports online, over the phone, at their front desk, or with a police officer. These types of crimes may be reportable on their website:

–Check Fraud

–Credit Card Fraud

–Custody Violation

–Harassing Phone Calls

–Identity Theft

–Lost Property

–Mission Persons

–Suspicious Circumstances

–Theft

–Theft from Vehicle

–Vandalism

–Vehicle Vandalism

Other types of crimes should be reported via the Non-Emergency Dispatch line at 949.644.3717, or via 911 for Emergencies. For more information or to make a report online, check out their website at www.nbpd.org/what-we-do/services/make-a-report.

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Corona del Mar Christmas Walk kicked off the holiday season with revelry, fanfare and even the Grinch!

On Sunday, Dec. 3, the 44th Annual Corona del Mar Christmas Walk took place from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., as crowds filled the CdM Village Business District with holiday spirit and merriment.

Every street corner from Avocado Avenue to Poppy Avenue exuded holiday cheer! From talented live entertainment, street performers and character artists to Santa visits and photo ops at Beach City Performance presented by Priestley Family Chiropractic, merchant celebrations & lively vendor booths, children’s activities and revelers decked out in their red and green finest (including festively adorned pets!).

The Newport Beach Fireman’s Grill served up hot dogs, the Beer & Wine Garden in the Lower Bandera parking lot was rockin’ all day with the Pinch Me! band, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve held their Toys for Tots Drive and the CdM Chamber held an opportunity drawing with more than $15,000 in prizes.

A special thanks to the CdM Chamber of Commerce for organizing the event, Presenting Sponsor Casey Lesher Coldwell Banker Realty, Visit Newport Beach for graciously provided the funding to light up CdM Village for the holidays with festive decorations and the many vendors, sponsors and volunteers who rolled up their sleeves as busy elves.

See you at next year’ CdM Christmas Walk, scheduled for December 8, 2024.

Corona del Mar Christmas Walk Grinch 1

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Photos by Lana Johnson

What’s a memorable holiday without the Grinch?

Corona del Mar Walk Bill Sharp 2

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(L-R) Tom Cozad with Bill Sharp, who is showing off his Christmas sweater!

Corona del Mar Walk moke 3

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Posing with the holiday decked-out Moke

Corona del Mar Walk festive and fun 4

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Festive and fun…even the pooch

Corona del Mar Walk Linda Leonhard 5

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CdM Chamber President and CEO Linda Leonhard stopped by the Edward Jones Investments table

Corona del Mar Walk Tubaloo Dixieland 6

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Tubaloo Dixieland performed at the corner of Marguerite and East Coast Highway

Corona del Mar Walk Rich and Cristy 7

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Rich and Cristy Fischbeck (on the left) pose with friends

Corona del Mar Walk Santas elves 8

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Two of Santa’s elves

Corona del Mar Walk CdM Chamber 9

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Volunteers at the CdM Chamber table were busy selling tickets to the Opportunity Drawing

Corona del Mar Walk CdM angels 10

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A trio of angels

Corona del Mar Walk CdM NBFF 11

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Newport Beach Film Festival Co-founder and CEO Gregg Schwenk (second from right) with his Film Fest gang

Corona del Mar Walk CdMRA 12

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The Corona del Mar Residents Association table with President Debbie Stephens (second from left) and friends

Corona del Mar Walk suit 13

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Now that is festive!

Corona del Mar Walk Foley 14

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Orange County Supervisor Karina Foley (left) was the Christmas Walk Ticket Sponsor

Corona del Mar Walk Coco and Co. 15

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Coco & Co. and their yummy dog treats

Corona del Mar Walk median 16

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Happy Holidays to all!

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Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

The Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University is planning a huge expansion for early ‘24…wait, why is this a local story?

TJ headshot AugSometimes, we here at Stu News report on things taking place outside our marketplace. Usually, the reason is that there’s a tie back to Newport Beach.

Case in point, the Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University. Now, Chapman is only a short jaunt down the 55 freeway of some 16 miles. Still, it’s not Newport Beach.

Early next year, on February 23, the Hilbert Museum will open its ambitious expansion that will triple the gallery and other space available for the 5,000-piece Hilbert Collection, considered one of the world’s largest and most preeminent collections of California narrative art.

Visitors to the new expanded, 22,000-square-foot, multi-building complex in the New Year will find nine opening exhibitions spread throughout the 26 galleries plus a café; community room for lectures, classes and events; research library, and outdoor courtyard and native gardens offering a dramatic new visitor experience.

Those nine opening shows range from Golden State icons Millard Sheets, Disney’s Mary Blair and local hero Emigdio Vasquez to Norman Rockwell, vintage radios, Navajo weavings, California regionalist scene paintings and the advent of California modernism. A special ninth exhibition showcases various artists’ views of Orange County.

So, who’s behind this huge gift to Chapman University? Why none other than Mark and Janet Hilbert of Newport Coast.

Bingo, you see that, a Newport Beach connection.

We’ll keep you posted as the opening draws near…but it definitely belongs on your Things to Do in 2024 list.

Fair Game SNN 12.5 museum rendering

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Courtesy of Johnston Marklee

Rendering for the new, expanded Hilbert Museum of the Chapman University campus

• • •

In the last issue in Fair Game, I talked about home security to help prevent or at least reduce the odds that your home will be burglarized. I closed the piece with, “and, finally, nothing says don’t pick this house like having a 125 lb. Rottweiler in the back yard. But I get it, this doesn’t work for everyone.”

Okay, as I said, that might not work, however, my friend Angela Cortright introduced me to Rex the Wonder Dog. Rex® II is “a barking dog alarm that is versatile and provides an excellent way to deter burglars, without the annoying problems of owning a real dog.”

First off, I love dogs, so I’m staying as far away from the “annoying” comment as I possibly can. Second, a little more on Rex – “with electronic radar eyes, this barking dog alarm can ‘see’ through thick doors, walls and glass. When Rex II detects movement, he starts to emit the selected sound. The closer the intruder gets, the more frequent the barking sound. As the intruder backs off, the barking decreases in frequency, stopping completely when movement is out of range. This barking dog alarm has also been known to scare a bear or two.”

Does it work? Heck, who knows. But I can almost guarantee you that no bears will break into your house.

The good news is that if you try it, you won’t have to clean up any dog poop…so that’s a big plus.

Fair Game Rex ll

Submitted photo

The Rex® II can be found on Amazon, but please understand that there’s no implied guarantee against burglaries here

• • •

Last week, I went to tree lightings at the Balboa Bay Resort, then the VEA Newport Beach, and finally to The Pendry Newport Beach. All were good and it was super fun to see so many residents getting into that holiday spirit.

After the tree was lit at The Pendry, we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to enter into The Elwood Club and dine at Viamara. It was special.

Joining me were my daughter Ashley and her mother Lana, who also serves as editor here at Stu News.

If I’m being honest, I can honestly say, I don’t believe I’ve ever enjoyed a meal more than the one at Viamara.

First the details: We started with oysters on the half shell served with a limoncello mignonette sauce…spectacular! Then moved onto our main courses that included Osso Bucco for me; Branzino for Ashley and Cacio e Pepe for Lana.

I can only speak for myself, but the Osso Bucco was absolutely beyond compare to ANYTHING I’ve ever enjoyed previously. As I raved about it at the table, my daughter said, “Dad, I think you actually only eat to subsist…tonight I feel like you’re eating to enjoy the food.”

She couldn’t have been more correct.

Add to the Osso Bucco a nice offering of crab legs sprinkled with bone marrow and a sausage pizza topped with truffles. It was all superb.

Please, please, please, if you are invited to Viamara, go! Or, better yet, spring for the Signature Membership to The Elwood Club and then dine there whenever you want.

I promise, you will not be disappointed! Oh, and ask to sit in Francisco’s area. His service, engagement and knowledge of the cuisine were superb.

• • •

My very talented, former Daily Pilot sportswriter Rich Dunn has just released his new book titled Press Pass Paradise, a “sportswriter’s memoir and collection of essays, features, profiles and spot reporting.”

Rich’s paradise, of course, means Newport Beach, which he and his cohorts covered better than anyone. Some of those Newport Beach personalities highlighted in the book are Rich Saul, Laird Hayes, Dave Grant, John Altobelli, Bruce Penhall, Al Irwin, Jim Newkirk, John Wayne, Roy Englebrecht, Paul Salata and Melanie Fitch-Salata, with chapters on Irrelevant Week, the Hoag Classic and the “Water Sports Capital of the World.”

Many other Newport “locations” are mentioned and/or featured.

Fair Game book cover

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Submitted photo

“Press Pass Paradise,” a collection of stories and profiles of local people and sports

Here’s a link to obtain your copy in hardcover, paperback or Kindle. All proceeds benefit Julian’s LEGO Corner at CHOC. Julian, of course, was Rich’s son who was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma in 2008 and passed in 2013, just a little over a month shy of his 10th birthday.

Ever since, the Dunn family has been relentless in their efforts and commitment to provide LEGOS to the children at CHOC in Julian’s name. It’s special.

• • •

Fair Game candy heart carnival

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Courtesy of Sherman Gardens

Candy Heart Carnival at Sherman Gardens

Fair Game candy land express

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Courtesy of Sherman Gardens

Candy Land Express Train at Sherman Gardens

Fair Game central garden tree

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Courtesy of Sherman Gardens

Sherman Gardens’ Central Garden Christmas Tree with the Sugar Crystal Cavern on the right

Visitors (and kids of all ages) are invited to experience the Candy Land-themed installations during regular garden hours at Sherman Gardens, open 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. daily (except for an early 1:30 p.m. closing on Monday, Dec. 11). The displays, which include Lollypop Woods, Peppermint Stick Forest, Candy Land Express Train and Sugar Crystal Cavern, are truly magical and exude the spirit of the holidays.

• • •

Finally, this is your last warning: NBPD will be holding a DUI checkpoint at an undisclosed within the City of Newport Beach this Thursday night (Dec. 7) from 7 p.m.-1 a.m. This is a reminder, you may drink, but don’t drive. It’s either a designated driver or Uber!

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Council OKs changes for short-term lodging aimed at moving use from residential to mixed-use zones

By SARA HALL

Newport Beach City Council this week unanimously approved an ordinance that changes local code in an effort to move short-term lodging units from residential zones to certain mixed-use zones.

Councilmembers voted 6-0 (Mayor Noah Blom recused himself due to a real property conflict) on Tuesday (Nov. 28) in support of several city code and Local Coastal Program amendments related to STLs that will establish regulations permitting the use within the MU-W2 (mixed-use water) and MU-CV/15th Street (mixed-use Cannery Village and 15th Street) zoning districts. The action will also change the maximum cap of STL permits from 1,550 citywide to 1,475 permits in residential districts and 75 permits within the MU-W2 and MU-CV/15th Street zones.

There was a lot of work on this issue several years ago, which accomplished what the city has now, and this refinement will support and add additional benefits to what’s already in place, said Councilmember Robyn Grant. The ordinance and code amendments meet “several critical milestones,” she said.

“Our city has grappled with the short-term lodging and its impact on our residential communities for a lot of years and there have been revisions over the years to how we address this,” Grant said. “This particular revision, I think, accomplishes a lot in advancing what I think is the primary responsibility of this body and that is to protect the quality of life of our residents and to make sure that we have proper business administration in our city.”

There are a lot of very well-managed properties throughout the city, she noted, and they welcome those. But there are properties that negatively affect the residents, with respect to the parking, trash and noise.

“This is a constant give and take and struggle to manage properly and make sure that the residents and the businesses are working together effectively,” she said.

Although he wasn’t involved in the earlier discussion of STLs, he’s on “the same team” as the residents, added Councilmember Joe Stapleton.

“The reality is that I’m all in favor of removing short-term lodging from residential areas and stopping the commercialization of our neighborhoods,” he said. “There’s got to be a balance.”

There has to be an opportunity for people to come visit, especially in areas like District 1 with visitor-attractive uses like easy ocean access, but there also needs to be opportunities to remove some of the units and place them where they fit better, Stapleton said.

The use is appropriate for the mixed-use zones, agreed Councilmember Lauren Kleiman.

“This is a completely compatible use in these zoning areas, which invites reinvestment – much needed – and offers some relief for the residential zones,” she said.

It also allows for better and more accountable operators, which the city is also in need of, she added.

In concept, these changes are great in terms of trying to gradually move these into more commercial areas and mixed-use areas and give some relief to homeowners who are being impacted by this, commented Councilmember Brad Avery. Everybody is in support of protecting neighborhoods, he added, echoing the comments about balance.

“We have a real obligation to not oversaturate the city with STLs, I believe, but everyone’s got a different opinion of what oversaturation would be,” he said.

The new zones are particularly active areas, Avery pointed out. There’s virtually no parking, so it’s probably going to increase some of those issues, but that’s what all beach communities are faced with, he added. It will increase the impacts of having a lot of visitors in a very concentrated area, which Newport Beach already has, so it’s just “stepping up” in that sense, he commented.

A notable downside is that a number of small apartments that were more or less affordable housing, where people have lived for many years, are being turned into short-term lodging units, Avery said.

“It would just be nice to keep that mix of people who are living there as permanent renters, if you will, as opposed to all of it being STL,” he said.

Stapleton likened the ordinance changes to a pilot program.

“I see this as an opportunity to see how this works, see how we can remove these units from residential neighborhoods, put them in mixed-use and review,” he said.

Council OKs changes for short term lodging zoning map

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Rendering courtesy of City of Newport Beach

A map showing where short-term lodging would be an allowable use within the MU-W2 and MU-CV/15th Street zoning districts

Council initiated the amendments at their May 23 meeting and directed the Planning Commission to identify opportunities to modify Titles 20 and 21 of the municipal code to facilitate new visitor-serving accommodation opportunities within the MU-W2 (Mixed-Use Water) and MU-CV/15th Street (Mixed-Use Cannery Village and 15th Street) zoning districts. Council asked the commission to consider: Applicability to multi-unit residential developments with 20 or more residential units under common ownership; requirement for professional management; requirement for project amenities and where there are no parking impacts that could reduce the availability of parking in residential neighborhoods.

Commissioners discussed the idea at their June 22 meeting and focused on what uses are currently allowed with a conditional use permit and what other uses are permitted. They asked staff to return at a future meeting with recommendations. At the October 19 Planning Commission meeting, city staff presented the proposed amendments to allow short-term rentals in specified mixed-use zones (not currently allowed). Some commissioners were not supportive of a proposed permit criterion requiring a permit holder to own 20 or more eligible properties and ultimately a majority of commissioners approved the item with the removal of the ownership. According to the minutes of the meeting, they also directed to change the unit count to a minimum of one unit.

After this week’s council action, the proposed amendments will reinstate short-term lodging as an allowable use within the MU-W2 and MU-CV/15th Street zoning districts, subject to existing short-term lodging regulations and additional eligibility criteria identified by the council at the May 23 meeting.

The amendment will not increase the total number of permits (1,550 allowed citywide), but it would allow up to 75 permits in the MU-W2 and MU-CV/15th Street zoning districts and 1,475 permits in residential districts.

There are currently 546 applicants on the citywide waiting list. With the proposed change to create two separate maximum caps, each maximum cap would maintain a separate waiting list.

To be eligible for a new STL permit in these zones, the amendment requires the applicant to: Employ professional management to ensure code requirements are met and to increase accountability; and create a management plan that ensures, among other things, that on-site amenities are provided to guests and no parking impacts are created in surrounding residential zones, and own 20 or more units within the same statistical area located in the MU-W2 and/or MU-CV/15th St. zoning districts (removed by the Planning Commission, but recommended by city staff and ultimately approved by council).

While he can appreciate the planning commissioners’ concerns, Mayor Pro Tem Will O’Neill said he initially proposed this as an A-1 item (the city policy that allows councilmembers to ask for an item to be placed on a future agenda) and specifically used the idea of 20 or more units in the area in order to contain the use to an appropriate space.

“The idea is not to expand out too far, the idea is to draw out permits into more commercial areas than residential, and by allowing it per one unit instead of 20 it expands out farther than I would prefer, which is why that was the original thought on the A-1,” he explained.

Grant is generally in favor of lowering the cap. Newport Beach has a very high cap compared to other cities in the county or even across the state, she said.

“We’re working to find the sweet spot with this,” she said.

The one-time allowance for reinstating a permit is sufficient, Grant commented.

“One thing we do want to do is weed out the bad operators and if there’s people who are operating without paying the proper fees, without a permit, or continually violating the residential character of our neighborhoods, that needs to be taken care of proactively,” she said.

The city can be very proactive in collecting fees, she added, and not allow a cycle of violation and appeals. The city’s financial status is not based on people violating city laws and then being reinstated, she said.

Also, congregating the short-term lodging in commercial and visitor-serving districts is helpful in the effort to avoid impact on the community, she noted.

“In accomplishing at least those three goals this is a step forward,” Grant said.

Council and public commenters also emphasized the importance of a strong and proactive code enforcement program.

The current code enforcement program is robust, but reactive, Murillo said. The 24-hour hotline allows people to file complaints and the STL operator has to have a contact person available to respond within 30 minutes (along with city code enforcement staff), he explained. Citations and fines progressively increase with each violation: $1,000 for the first violation; $2,000 the second time and $3,000 on the third offense.

It’s important to levy significant fines when there are violations, especially repeat violations, Avery said. Having robust code enforcement is crucial. Considering the increased revenue, the city shouldn’t hesitate to spend money to protect residents as well as other visitors. This might include hiring more code enforcement officers, he suggested.

“We sort of created it, so we have an obligation to manage it, from that perspective,” Avery said.

Considering the potential boost in TOT and sales tax, there’s an opportunity, in the future, to see what enforcement would look like with the increased revenue, Stapleton agreed.

Answering a councilmember question, Murillo said in 2023 the city revoked a total three permits, suspended four permits, and closed (due to inactivity) approximately 25 permits. They also investigated 196 cases of violations and issued a total of 58 citations.

Prior to issuing or renewing a permit, staff uses a tracking program to check for any existing or past violations, and any outstanding fines or fees that are due to the city, Murillo added.

Currently, staff will close a permit if it’s identified that the STL operator hasn’t paid any TOTs for two years, Murillo explained, answering another council question. They will provide a notice to the permit holder and they have 30 days to request reinstatement of that permit. Under the existing policy, it’s unlimited how many times that happens, he noted. The STL operator can continue doing and essentially hold that permit without paying any TOT. So, as part of this amendment, staff proposed to limit them to a one-time reinstatement and after that their permit would be deemed abandoned, Murillo explained.

During public comment, a handful of speakers commented on the item, almost all in favor of the idea of moving STLs out of residential zones, but concerned about how and when units would actually be reduced in the communities they’re currently impacting.

STLs are more appropriate in mixed-use than residential zones, said local Nancy Scarbrough. The use has long posed a problem for neighborhoods.

“The quality of life for Newport Beach residents really should be the primary focus for all of our decisions,” she said.

Although she was concerned about the potential increase in the number of permits and the likely long wait to get back to the cap of 1,550 through attrition, to actually see it reduced back down to what the ordinance allows.

“I just don’t see that happening very quickly, I think it could take years,” she said.

This might be a good time to modify the entire policy, she suggested.

Other comments include support of the 20-unit ownership requirement, request for more robust code enforcement, questioning why other mixed-use areas weren’t considered and suggesting the council hold off on a decision.

The only speaker opposed to the idea was Russell Adnoff, who owns and operates a number of residential vacation rentals on the Balboa Peninsula. His concern was that after only three years of implementation of a cap there was already discussion of a reduction in the residential area. This could create issues by trying to regulate two types of uses within the industry.

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Sara Hall covers City Hall and is a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.

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NBPD offers helpful tips: Shop safely this holiday season

The holiday season is upon us, and the busiest shopping days of the year are here. Whether you are out and about hunting for gifts, grocery shopping for your holiday recipes or doing your shopping online, the NBPD encourages you to keep safety in mind. Remember that a little planning and preparation can save you from potential headaches and heartache later. Below are some tips that can help protect you, your loved ones and your property this holiday season.

NBPD offers shopping bags

Photos courtesy of NBPD

When out shopping, don’t buy more than you can carry. If you know you will be getting more that you can manage on your own, plan to take a family member with you or ask a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car.

Prevent crime when you hit the stores:

–Never leave your valuables unattended (phone, purse, wallet, etc.)

–Wait until asked before taking out your credit card or checkbook. An enterprising thief would love to shoulder surf to get your account information.

–Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or package. The same applies if you are using mass transit.

–Carry a purse with a zipper. Deter pickpockets by carrying your purse in front of your body and keeping it zipped closed.

–If you carry a wallet, keep it in an inner coat pocket or front pants pocket.

–Pickpockets utilize distraction to create an opportunity to snatch your property, so be aware when someone gets into your personal space. Always try to keep your property in your line of sight whenever you are out and about.

–Do not buy more than you can carry. If you know you will be getting more that you can manage on your own, plan to take a family member with you or ask a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car.

–Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.

–Do not leave anything in your car. If you must leave property in your car, place it in the trunk when you leave and before you get to your destination.

–Once you get home, do not park your car outside your home with shopping bags left inside.

When Shopping with small children:

–If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you are separated from each other and select a central meeting place.

–Teach them to know they can ask mall personnel, security or store employees if they need help.

–Keep a current photo of your child in your phone.

Protect Your Personal and Financial Information while Shopping Online:

–Before you jump on the internet, secure your computer by updating your security software. Everyone’s computer should have anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-spam software, as well as a good firewall installed. Also, make sure all your internet-connected devices – cell phones, tablets, etc. – are running the most updated versions of software and apps. These updates fix security issues and protect your device from vulnerabilities that hackers could take advantage of.

–Keep your personal information private and your password secure. Your passwords should be long and unique. Do not respond to requests to “verify” your password or credit card information unless you initiated the contact. Legitimate businesses will not contact you in this manner. Whenever possible, use multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA provides additional security to your accounts using authentication tools (such as biometrics or one-time codes sent to your phone or other device) to help verify that the user is authorized to access the account.

–Do not use public Wi-Fi when making online purchases. When out and about, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or your phone as a hotspot. Another option would be to add the items you want to your cart, then wait until you get home and are on your own secure network before you checkout.

–Beware of “bargains” (especially in the form of email or text message links). If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! If you get one of these promotional offers and are interested in it, go to the company’s website directly and confirm that deal is legitimate. If you can’t find it on the website, it is probably a phishing attempt and you can report it to your email provider.

–Shop with companies you know and trust. Check for background and customer service information if you plan to buy from a new or unfamiliar company. Companies with customer service phone numbers or emails and clearly stated return and exchange polices are more likely to be legitimate. A quick google search can also tell you if someone else has discovered that website to be a scam.

–Use secure websites for purchases. Look for the icon of a locked padlock next to the URL address or “https” in the URL address.

–When completing your purchase, be aware of the data the merchant is collecting. If the site requests more information than you are comfortable sharing, cancel the order. Only complete the required fields at checkout and do not save your payment information to your profile (you can go back and delete saved payment details stored to your account if it was auto saved).

–Using a credit card for online transactions is more secure than a debit card as credit cards offer more consumer protections. You may also want to consider using alternate options to pay for your merchandise, such as PayPal or Google Pay, at online stores.

–Save all receipts and confirmations from your online purchases. Start a file folder to keep all receipts together and to help you verify credit card or bank statements as they come in. Setting up alerts on your credit card so that you are notified by text or email when it is used is another way to catch and address any fraudulent activity quickly.

Avoid Package Theft:

The NBPD tends to see an increase in reports of stolen packages during this time of year. Avoid becoming a victim of package theft by considering the following tips:

–If you can’t be home to receive your deliveries, have packages sent to your workplace if possible or the home of a friend or family member who will be home for the delivery.

–Use local pick-up options if available such as in-store pick up, Amazon locker, etc.

NBPD offers packages

Consider adding a doorbell camera near your front door and track your delivery online. Both UPS and FedEx offer customers the ability to customize the time and date of the delivery for a time when they will be home.

–Consider adding a doorbell camera near your front door.

–Track your delivery online. Check your package’s deliver status for an estimated delivery time and try to be home when it arrives.

–UPS and FedEx both offer customers the ability to customize the time and date of the delivery for a time when they will be home.

–To help combat package theft, please call the Newport Beach Police Department if you see the following:

~An individual taking packages from a doorstep.

~Someone who appears to be following a delivery truck and then going up to a porch after a delivery has been made.

As always, don’t hesitate to call NBPD if you observe anything suspicious whether you’re out shopping or even in your own neighborhood. Your vigilance can help prevent a crime or help police to catch a criminal. NBPD’s non-emergency line: 949.644.3717.

The Newport Beach Police Department wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

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Holidays officially kicked off at the Balboa Bay Resort

Holidays officially kicked off at the Balboa SNN 12.1

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Photo by Lana Johnson

Retired, longtime St. Andrews Presbyterian Pastor John Huffman (right) leads off festivities at the Balboa Bay Resort/Club’s Christmas tree lighting event with a holiday prayer. He’s joined on stage by (L-R) BBC Board of Governor’s Chair John Wortmann and Devon & Kevin Martin, founding partner of Eagle Four Partners, the ownership group of BBR.

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Christmas tree lights up the night at VEA Newport holiday festivities

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The beautiful Christmas tree lit up the front lawn of the VEA Newport Beach

Christmas tree lights up the night photo 2

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In anticipation of the evening ahead, (L-R) City Councilmember Joe Stapleton joins Devon Martin and Kevin Martin, founding partner of Eagle Four Partners, the ownership group of the VEA Newport Beach

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Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals enjoy NHLBC event

Navigate is a committee within the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce dedicated to giving young professionals the opportunity to meet like-minded business owners.

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Photos courtesy of NBCC

Young Professionals Mike Schmitt, co-chair and Samantha Dalby, chair

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Ben Beeri getting ready to throw a bowl

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Nick Pardini checks out his roll

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On the lawn – (L-R): Newport Harbor Lawn Bowling Club VP Steven Glyer, Aubrey Antvioch, Mike Schmitt, John Patton and Krystal Yu

Newport Harbor Lawn Bowling was an outstanding event highlighted by the many young professionals in attendance. TK Burger provided delicious catered food that helped keep those in attendance energized for the intense competition. The fantastic staff at Newport Harbor Lawn Bowling Club made it a wonderful gathering.

Newport Harbor Lawn Bowling Club is open to families, kids and anyone who wants a great time. It is located at 1550 Crown Drive N, Corona del Mar. For more information, visit www.newportharborlbc.com.

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Passenger traffic is down at JWA, as numbers approach annual maximum allowed

John Wayne Airport (JWA) management is requiring airlines utilizing the airport to reduce flight capacities that will allow JWA to remain under the maximum annual passenger cap for 2023 of 11.8 million.

Recent trends showed that JWA was in jeopardy of exceeding the maximum number of passengers to finish the year, which would have violated the 1985 Airport Agreement. That agreement was crafted between the AWG (Airport Working Group), SPON (which at that time referred to themselves as Stop Polluting Our Newport versus today where they’re known at Still Protecting Our Newport), the City of Newport Beach and the County of Orange.

passenger traffic refueling

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Courtesy of JWA

As such, airline passenger counts at JWA decreased year-over-year comparing October 2023 with October 2022. In October 2023, the airport served 1,015,935 passengers, a decrease of 5.9% when compared with the October 2022 passenger traffic count of 1,079,792.

Commercial aircraft operations decreased 3.7% and commuter aircraft operations decreased 37.4% when compared with October 2022 levels.

Total aircraft operations decreased in October 2023 as compared with the same month in 2022. In October 2023, there were 25,252 total aircraft operations (take-offs and landings), a 2.9% decrease compared to 26,005 total aircraft operations in October 2022.

General aviation activity, which accounted for 66.2% of the total aircraft operations during October 2023, decreased 1.2% when compared with October 2022.

The top three airlines in October 2023 based on passenger count were Southwest Airlines (307,509), American Airlines (164,118) and Alaska Airlines (158,617).

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School Notes

NMUSD seeks businesses to take survey to show interest in providing workplace learning opportunities

According to the Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD), students benefit when they are able to connect classroom learning to the real world. Individuals and businesses benefit by cultivating skills that are lacking in the workforce and creating a pipeline of quality employees with needed skills and competencies. It’s also an excellent way to give back to the community.

NMUSD is looking for individuals and/or local businesses to provide work-based learning experiences. Those interested are encouraged take the Work-Based Learning Partnership Survey and indicate your level of partnership in support of NMUSD students.

If you seek more information, contact Lisa Snowden, coordinator, Work-Based Learning, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 714.424.5036.

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USC alums take the “Cheers For Literacy” crown at celebrity mixologist bar battle

It was a packed house with more than 150 guests attending The Literacy Project’s “Cheers For Literacy” celebrity mixologist battle at the Lounge Group’s Country Club in Costa Mesa. USC’s Alexandra Taylor (ATeam Agency), Frostee Rucker (Fortuna Investments) and Jacob Ullman (FOX Sports) competed for the coveted crown against UCLA’s John and Kathy Ursini (Newport Rib Company) and Jodi Salerno (Tudaloo) in a fierce battle collecting the most tips from their signature craft cocktails, fondly named, “I miss the 9-0,” “Happy Dad Happy Trojan” and “Gutty Lil Bruin.” Cocktails were generously sponsored by Happy Dad Hard Seltzer, Bushwood Spirits, Celaya Tequila, and Proper Whiskey, thanks to Taylor’s lead for the cause.

USC alums Frosty Alex and Jacob 1

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Photos by Trenton Aschoff

The Winning Mixologist USC Team – (L-R): Frostee Rucker, Alexandra Taylor and Jacob Ullman

Returning champs USC took the coveted crown again and together both teams helped raise $6,365 for The Literacy Project that serves struggling readers in Orange County school districts.

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UCLA Mixologist Team – (L-R): Kathy and John Ursini with Jodi Salerno

The underserved children from low-income families are the true benefactors of this event with proceeds affording them the opportunity to participate in The Literacy Project’s reading program at “no-cost” to the student and the school. To date, The Literacy Project has served more than 10,500 struggling readers with increased critical phonetic skills which significantly improve academics and self-confidence in reading.

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(L-R) Alexandra Taylor with The Literacy Project CEO/President Sue Grant

Newport Beach legend Bob Miller served as the emcee for the event, narrating each round of competition. In the crowd was Lounge Group Owner/Founder Mario Marovic, who also popped behind the bar to show some skill. Newport Beach City Councilmember Joe Stapleton, Celebrity litigator Bobby Samini, Mayor Pro-Tem Will O’Neill, JDRF’s Co-Chair Marie and Roger Hogan, Mark Burkhart of Burkhart Bros Construction, Code Four/Pacific Airshow’s Eric Schmidtz, Tiny Tooth Founder and USC Dentistry board member Dr. Andrew Vo, FOX LA’s Christina Pascucci, Former “Cheers for Literacy” celebrity bartender and USC football Alum Craig Gibson and Chuck Finley popped in for a toast.

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(L-R) Newport Beach Councilmember Joe Stapleton, Alexandra Taylor, Craig Medici, Jacque Sparks and Bobby Samini

UCLA alums Mario 5

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Lounge Group Owner/Founder Mario Marovic shows his bartending skills with Alexandra Taylor

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Emcee Bob Miller with Alexandra Taylor pouring a cocktail

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(L-R) Roger and Marie Hogan, Christine Penkwitz-Taylor, Craig Medici, Jacque Sparks, Robert Penkwitz, Bobby Samini and Bob Miller

The Literacy Project’s mission is to serve under-resourced second and third grade students from low-income families who are functionally illiterate. The organization accesses and enhances key phonic skills among struggling readers; promotes learning in a fun, social and interactive environment; uses proven methods to maximize the learning experience, and fosters self-sufficiency and economic success through academic and attitudinal achievement. Founded in 2009, The Literacy Project has changed the lives of 10,500 struggling readers throughout California, Utah and Arizona by providing their effective reading program, at no-cost to our most vulnerable children and impoverished elementary schools. For more information, visit www.literacyproj.org and Instagram @theliteracyproj.

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Orange County United Way’s Alexis de Tocqueville Philanthropic celebration raises more than $250,000, honors Newport Beach resident

Orange County United Way’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society hosted their “It’s Showtime” red carpet philanthropic event on Saturday, Nov. 4, raising more than $250,000.

Funds raised will support Orange County United Way’s key initiatives and services aimed at ensuring local students succeed, struggling local families gain financial security, the unhoused find a place to call home, and Orange County’s most vulnerable residents are connected with health and human service resources.

Orange County United Ways Johnson duo

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Photos courtesy of Orange County United Way

Cindy Canale with Newport Beach resident Mike Johnson, Taking Action Medal awardee

The eventful evening consisted of music, a live auction and recognized honorees who have continually exemplified “The OC Way” by caring for the Orange County community.

Medals were presented to these honorees:

Taking Action Medal was bestowed upon Newport Beach resident Mike Johnson, Orange County United Way board member, for his leadership role at Auto Club to build widespread employee engagement while also lending his expertise to 2-1-1 OC.

Legacy Medal was given to Melinda Masson and Masson Family Foundation, member of Orange County United Way’s Million Dollar Roundtable, for her deep commitment to their community and being a catalyst for instilling in her children the importance of giving back.

Orange County United Ways Gardner fivesome

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(L-R) Max and Artyn Gardner (Newport Beach residents and President’s Circle co-chairs), Melinda Masson, Pierre Masson and Susan B. Parks

Inspiration Medal was awarded to Ken and JoAnn Lickel, who are inspirational in their support of Orange County United Way’s Endowment Fund, as well as the Journey to 100 Campaign. Ken also serves as an Orange County United Way board member.

The evening also recognized the Million Dollar Roundtable, a group of individuals and family foundations that have donated a million dollars or more over the years to support the impactful work of our organization and our community.

“Orange County’s philanthropic spirit certainly took the spotlight at this year’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society celebration. I continue to be amazed by the generosity of this community and the passion displayed to make positive changes in the lives of those residents who need a helping hand,” said Susan B. Parks, president and CEO of Orange County United Way.

“It is an honor to be a part of Tocqueville Society and to aid in the wonderful work being done in the community. It warms my heart to be a part of this amazing group of leaders who are all working to ensure Orange County residents have the support they need to thrive,” said Shirin Behzadi, CEO, Shirin Behzadi, LLC, and the 2023-2024 Alexis de Tocqueville Society co-chair.

Orange County United Ways Greg Backley

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Greg Backley, COO, Automobile Club of Southern California, 2023-2024 Alexis de Tocqueville Society co-chair

“I’m proud to be a part of this tradition of philanthropy. It’s remarkable how Orange County United Way is not only focused on advancing its mission in the community, but also provides opportunities for donors and partners to contribute their talents and passion for doing good,” said Greg Backley, COO, Automobile Club of Southern California, 2023-2024 Alexis de Tocqueville Society co-chair.

During the evening’s live auction, a video of several former foster youth shared the impact of having a place to call home thanks to the support from Orange County United Way’s United to End Homelessness initiative and its housing navigation program, WelcomeHomeOC. Among them was a single mom who grew up in foster care and struggled to provide a safe place to call home for her and her son. Now, she has a solid foundation and stability where she can pursue her dreams. “Having a home makes me feal peaceful and safe, with a stable place to be and to sleep. It feels really nice,” she said.

Orange County United Ways Churm foursome

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(L-R) Newport Beach residents and Muse Sponsors Steve Churm and Cinda Churm with Dula Cheruvatath and Nanda Kumar

Benefactor Sponsors included AAA Automobile Club Southern California and Tarsadia Foundation. Director Sponsors were Disneyland Resort, The Masson Family Foundation and Reed Smith. Muse Sponsors included Alcon, Banc of California, BMO, Cinda and Steve Churm, Eaton Aerospace, KCOMM, Pacific Life, Shirley and Steve Quackenbush and Ware Malcomb.

To learn more about the Alexis de Tocqueville Society, go here.

For more information about Orange County United Way, visit www.unitedwayoc.org.

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NBPD looking into possible relationship between NBA player and local minor

The Newport Beach Police Department  (NBPD) is aware of information being circulated online involving an alleged relationship between professional basketball player Josh Giddey and a local female minor. The department is actively seeking additional information related to the allegations and is pursuing all leads and evidence to obtain facts of the case.

Last week, allegations against Giddey, a 21-year-old player for the Oklahoma City Thunder, began surfacing on social media, reportedly also drawing attention from the NBA’s league office.

Giddey apparently posted videos and photographs thought to be a local high school junior on his social media, which have since been deleted.

The NBPD is working to ensure a fair and thorough investigative process while maintaining the privacy and dignity for those involved.

Anyone who may be able to provide additional information on the case is encouraged to contact Detective C. Carter at 949.644.3783, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Reports are that Giddey has declined to comment concerning the allegations and he remains in Oklahoma City’s starting line-up.

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City of Hope Orange County patients receive gifts of thanks from Rotary Club

Patients with cancer marked the season of thanks when the Rotary Club of Orange County L.A. visited City of Hope Orange County Lennar Foundation Cancer Center with a gift of 100 blankets made by the service club’s members.

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Photos courtesy of The Rotary Club of OC

Five patients receive blankets from the Rotary Club of OC

The Rotarians joined City of Hope Orange County leaders, patients and their family members, and Orange County community leaders at the advanced cancer center in Irvine for the presentation, themed “Grateful for Hope.”

Each patient in attendance received a blanket as a personal gift and an expression of gratitude on behalf of other patients who will receive one of the blankets in the future.

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The Rotary Club of Orange County L.A. gifts City of Hope Orange County with 100 blankets as a symbol of hope and warmth from the community

“We want you to know you’re not alone in this fight, we’re behind you 100 percent, and as you go through treatment you are warmed by the care of others,” said Beth Fujishige, president, Rotary Club Orange County L.A., to the patients.

The lovingly created blankets will be distributed to patients receiving chemotherapy at City of Hope’s advanced cancer center in Irvine and its Orange County regional network of advanced cancer care.

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Newport Beach resident Bob Brookes, a lung cancer patient, receives a blanket

“What a beautiful way to begin this holiday season,” said Annette M. Walker, president, City of Hope Orange County. “Our patients come to us for the science that will defeat cancer, but what they talk about most with family and friends is the compassion and humanity they have found here. On behalf of all of us – our City of Hope Orange County staff, physicians and patients – thank you for being our partner in bringing warmth, compassion and hope to Orange County.”

Chemotherapy can be difficult, and the blankets represent a thoughtful, practical way to offer comfort and ease stress during or after infusion.

“I will fondly think of the kindness and effort that went into making these lovely blankets each time I use mine,” said Fran Troy, a grateful patient of City of Hope Orange County who attended the ceremony.”

The significance of the blankets in providing comfort and warmth to patients that are fighting cancer is heartwarming. Thank you, Rotary Club of Orange County!”

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Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach’s “Denim & Diamonds” event raises more than $100,000

On Friday evening (Nov. 17), under the threat of stormy coastal skies, some 250 patrons and friends of Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach, turned out for their annual party and fundraiser on the grounds of the Fun Zone at the Pavilion.

The 3rd annual community gathering at the Iconic Balboa Peninsula Fun Zone took on a western theme, raising more than $100,000 to support museum programs year-round.

In a nod to modern-day Biblical lore, the skies parted revealing a foot stompin’ western roundup, artfully designed and executed by the talented team at Elite O.C. Productions led by Linda Young and produced by the creative and talented museum executive director, Tiffany Pepys Hoey.

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Photos by John Watkins

(L-R) Kathy Belsby, Keri Dugan, Danielle Rivas, Tiffany Viale, Renee Pepys Lowe, Kim Day, RexAnn Hill and Molly Davin all front and center for “Denim & Diamonds” 2023, benefitting Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach

Guests arrived primarily via the Balboa Island Ferry entering the party under the glow of the brightly lit Fun Zone Ferris Wheel on the Newport bayfront. Donors including museum Board President John Conners and his wife Diana, Cynthia Shafer, F&M Bank, Scott Sibley, Laguna Beach community leader Heidi Miller, Balboa Island’s Diane Mondini, Newport Beach VIPs Keith Curry and his wife Pamela, Seymour Beek, Bobbie Daniel, Dick and Eleanor Dixon, and museum board member and local artist Barbara Abbott with her husband Daniel Abbott. All were greeted with “high five” western hospitality by museum founder Shirly Pepys with beau Matt Leonetti.

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 (L-R) Matt Leonetti and Museum founder Shirley Pepys helped raise $100,000 for Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach programs

Busy Producer Tiffany Pepys put the emphasis on “Fun.” The crowd arrived to the western sound of the James Kelly Band, later in the evening fronting a big-time turn out for line dancing, only interrupted for fast refills at the adjacent Margarita Bar. Multiple rooms, all open to the outside terrace, featured carnival games galore all designed to give away a maximum number of prizes. Balloons popped and balls tossed as prize-winning guests yelled out with every win.

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(L-R) Former Newport Beach Mayor Keith Curry and his wife Pamela

Event guest emcee Chef Jamie Gwen of culinary TV and radio fame wandered the various games and party rooms chatting with guests Kim Day, RexAnn Hill, Catherine Lowe, Jack Callahan, Alyssa Norwood, MaryJo Winkelman and Kendra Puryear with the Orangewood Foundation. Also turned out in their “Levi-best” were friends of the museum John Scudder, Heather James, Balboa Bay Club’s Denise Schuler, Sue Sibley and Kathy Tierney.

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Museum Board President John Conners and Diana Conners

Generous donors including many local members of the museum collected amazing silent auction items on display for the crowd to peruse. “Big Ranch” support came from principal underwriters of the event Julia and George Argyros and daughter Lisa Argyros. Lugano Diamonds offered a diamond bracelet for auction valued at $15,000 and made a significant donation to the museum fund.  Also, up for bid was a legendary Newport fire boat, Old #9, which came with lots of local history and sold to a local boat enthusiast. Super sponsors of the museum deserving thanks include Paula Castanon, Richard G. Castanon, Don and Gwen Abrams, Jack and Joan Northrup, John Scudder, Lorraine Leavitt, Jeff Gehl, Jack and Kingsley Croul, David Pyle, James and Marleen Quandt, The City of Newport Bach and Supervisor Katrina Foley representing the County of Orange, to name only a few.

Between bidding on auction items, line dancing, prize winning in the game booths and stepping up to the bar for refreshment, the best western BBQ dinner was prepared and served by the Naples Rib Company. The crowd raved over the food, displayed and served at checkered red/white covered tables in the “chuck wagon” room. Perfect BBQ brisket, grilled filet bites over mashed potato martinis, smoked sausage, BBQ chicken kabobs, fabulous sides and salads were served a-plenty by Naples Rib Company owners Dave and Krista Ursini. Enjoying the spread were Pepys family members Renee Pepys Lowe, Noel and Liz Pepys, joining Linda and Burton Young, Glenna McKeown, Jane Chizmas, Annette Gierman and Laurie Sloan.

For more information on Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach, visit www.balboaislandmuseum.org.

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The Sacramento Chronicles

By ASSEMBLYMEMBER DIANE DIXON

December 1, 2023

Hello Newport Beach!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It is one of many life blessings to live in Assembly District 72 and especially to enjoy the many new friendships I have made this past year.

The days are passing quickly and we are already preparing to begin the Legislative Session on January 3, 2024. I will be introducing new bills to address key platform issues related to public safety and the environment. I will continue to keep you updated on my legislative journey.

Diane Dixon The Sacramento Chronicles

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Courtesy of Diane Dixon

Assemblywoman Diane Dixon (R-Newport Beach)

During the fall recess, I have been traveling around Assembly District 72 to meet with constituents and local elected officials. It is a top priority of mine to engage with community and civic leaders of each of the eight cities that I represent. I’ve enjoyed learning about the key issues that concern these cities and how I can be helpful.

I have also had the pleasure to attend many community events that are held across the district nearly every weekend. I have met many great community volunteers and residents who enjoy giving back to their communities or simply attending an information session on current issues and programs offered by the state of California. I’ve learned so much about our cities and am proud to be your Assembly representative.

This month, I was honored to be recognized by the Orange County Business Council as OCBC’s 2023 Legislator of the Year. Additionally, I proudly received a 100% score from the California Chamber of Commerce for my voting record throughout the year on pro-business policy priorities. I am committed to protecting businesses large and small throughout the state from over-regulation by Sacramento that limits innovation and economic growth and drives up the cost of doing business.

In fact, I recently interviewed with California Insider regarding two proposed Constitutional Amendments on the November 2024 General Election ballot. The measures will, if passed, increase taxes and make it easier to do so in the future. You will be hearing about these measures in the months ahead. To learn more, watch a segment of the interview here.

As the proud daughter of a Purple Heart World War II U.S. Army veteran, and in support of the large veteran population who live in my Assembly District, I was honored to join with the Veterans Resource Center in bringing a Veterans Resource Fair to constituents this month. Additionally, in November, I had the distinct pleasure of honoring Michael Seeley as our 72nd Assembly District 2023 Veteran of the Year. Seeley is a proud United States Marine who served from August 1964 to August 1993 and is a Vietnam veteran who received two Purple Hearts, a National Defense Medal and a Vietnam Service Medal. Congratulations and thank you for your brave service and sacrifice to America.

Happy Holidays! Please mark your calendars: I will be hosting a Holiday Open House on Thursday, Dec.14 at my District Office, located at 4100 MacArthur Blvd. Suite 340 in Newport Beach from 8-10 a.m. Please join us. There will be coffee and light breakfast, as well as an opportunity to write a letter thanking a serviceman or servicewoman for protecting our country at home and abroad.

For more information or details on upcoming events, please watch your emails. If you would like to sign up to receive Sacramento legislative and district updates, check out my website: Diane Dixon website link. I am active on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, so please follow for updates on legislation and upcoming events.

Thank you Stu News! I am honored to reach Stu News readers with highlights about my life and times serving you in Sacramento.

And, lastly, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all for a safe and wondrous holiday season.

Until next month.

Diane Dixon is a two-term Newport Beach City Councilmember and two-time mayor. She is currently serving her first term in Sacramento.