Natural History Lecture Scheduled For Sept. 2

posted: August 28th, 2015 04:47 am | 0No Comments

The next event in the Orange County Natural History Lecture Series will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday September 2, according to an event invitation.

Jayson Smith, a marine and conservation ecologist and assistant professor at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, will deliver a lecture called “Human Impacts and Conservation of Rocky Intertidal Ecosystems,” the invitation said.

Smith’s research “focuses on anthropogenic disturbances on ecosystem functioning and community structure of coastal habitats,” the invitation states. “Given the high population of humans in southern California, urban coastal ecosystems are subjected to numerous human impacts. Work in Smith’s lab attempts to understand how these systems are changing and functioning in the face of these disturbances.”

Recently, the invitation states, his research focus has been on introduced seaweeds and how they fit into native food webs.

The event will be held at Back Bay Science Center at 600 Shellmaker Road in Newport Beach. The gates will open at 6:30 p.m. and close at 7:15 p.m.

The event and parking are free, but organizers request that you R.S.V.P. to reserve a space by emailing marine education at newportbeachca dot gov.


Police Investigate Report of “Blood-Curdling Screams” in Flower Streets

posted: August 27th, 2015 06:03 pm | 0No Comments

Newport Beach police and a police helicopter responded to reports of a women’s screams about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday near Iris and Fifth avenues.

A neighbor reported on social media that she heard “two bloodcurdling female screams and ran outside.”

When she and other neighbors went to investigate, they saw someone shove something into the back of a car and slam the trunk or hatchback before speeding away. Nobody was able to read a license plate number.

Police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella confirmed that police received a call just before 10:30 p.m. about the incident.

“HB1 (Huntington Beach’s helicopter) and officers searched the area to no avail,” she said in an email. “A thorough search of the immediate area did not offer any indications that a crime had occurred. The resident called the station again shortly before midnight to request another officer response, but there was no new information. We documented the information in case any evidence of a crime appears at a later time.”


For Second Time in Three Years, City Shoots Down CdM Shooting Stars

posted: August 27th, 2015 01:26 pm | 0No Comments

Plans to add five shooting stars to Corona del Mar’s holiday decorations have once again failed to garner city permission, according to the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce president.

“The city did not approve the hanging shooting stars on palm trees,” Linda Leonhard told members of the Corona del Mar Business Improvement District board at a meeting today at the Civic Center. “There were just too many requirements…it wasn’t going to happen.”

The B.I.D. board voted last month to add the shooting star decorations that would have been mounted to palm trees, facing different directions, at the median at Marguerite Avenue and East Coast Highway. The board also had voted to add the same decorations in 2012, but a city arborist said the decorations could harm the trees.

At the July meeting, however, Stacey Jordan of the Dekra-Lite holiday decoration company told board members that city staff had agreed to allow the stars, and the board voted unanimously to add them; read our story here.

City staff had an “entire list” of problems with the stars, Leonhard said.

“It was weight on the palm trees, it was weather, it was all kinds of legal issues,” she said. “It was a big no.”

The B.I.D. spends about $30,000 a year on holiday decorations, including a 20-foot-tall Christmas tree, adding new decorations every year or so.

A private person or group also has applied for a permit in recent years to add a menorah in the same median. Leonhard said the menorah would stand out more if it were placed in the median across from the tree, but the group decided against asking that the menorah be moved.


DUI Checkpoint Scheduled For Friday

posted: August 27th, 2015 12:38 pm | 0No Comments

Newport Beach police will hold a DUI checkpoint beginning at 8 p.m. Friday though 2 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location, according to a news release.

“Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment with officers checking drivers for proper licensing delaying motorists only momentarily,” the release said. “When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving.”

Routine, well-publicized DUI checkpoints can reduce crashes involving impaired drivers by 20 percent, the release said.

Statewide, DUIs killed 802 people in 2012, the release said, and nationally, recent data shows nearly 10,000 people were killed by an impaired driver.

The checkpoint will be funded from a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


Mural Gone After Five Bright Years; New Artwork to Reflect “Redacted Endless Summer”

posted: August 27th, 2015 05:07 am | 0No Comments

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A monochromatic contemporary installation inspired by a movie ticket for “Endless Summer” will replace a brightly colored mural on the side of a building in the 3400 block of East Coast Highway.

The building at 3420 East Coast Highway, which has four apartment units above a gym and a now-vacant salon, has been undergoing renovations since late last year, said the property owner, James “Walkie” Ray. The renovations include seismic upgrades and other modernizing elements, and creating a contemporary facade that encompasses the front, back and side of the building is part of the plans, he said.

“We wanted something to wrap around and be an integral part of the building,” he said.

The building had been painted with beach-themed murals for about 15 years, beginning about 10 years ago when the owner of the adjacent 76 service station asked for permission to paint the side of the building with a whale and other sea creatures. When that faded, Ray requested an update, and a Hawaiian artist painted a mural of a tropical sunset; click here to read more.

Architect Gregory Ashton, who has done commercial and private work for Ray alongside his work as a principal architect at Walt Disney Imagineering, said he developed the plans for the new artwork first by considering the glass and stainless steel that will be on the front and back of the building. For awhile, he said, he played with the idea of doing abstract images of rippled water. But those ideas were all placeholders.

When Ray pushed him for a more specific plan, Ashton said he turned to a folder of clippings and notes that he saved for the project, searching for inspiration.

The folder included a pink movie ticket for the 1966 surf documentary “Endless Summer,” Ashton said.

“We were sort of taking this ‘Endless Summer’ theme and taking it off,” he said, describing how the beach mural was going to be removed. “That’s like a redaction of ‘Endless Summer.'”

Then he took the movie ticket and began to play, redacting all the images and text until he was left with a geometric pattern of black on pink.

“It was just geometric,” he said. “The process eventually ended up with this abstract, geometric pattern that connects with the architecture. It will be visually interesting.”

The old mural is gone, and the new artwork installation will begin next week, Ray said. First, the wall will be scraped and cleaned, then three layers of computer-cut foam will be installed, one on top of the other, to make the three-dimensional pattern. The project will take about three weeks, Ray said, including lining up the corners and finishing with a smooth stucco. The cost of the artwork part of the project, he said, was about $30,000.

Being west-facing, Ashton said, will mean that shadows will add to the visual effect of the all-white wall.

“It will pick up a lot of striking shadows,” he said.

The building renovation should be complete next month, Ray said.

Reaction to the removal of the beach mural was mixed. A 76 employee, who declined to give his name, said customers were evenly split, with most very curious about what’s to come.

Artist Anthony L. Carnabuci of Hawaii, who painted the old mural, said he had mixed feelings about the work being removed.

“Im so happy that my mural was up for 5 years,” he said. “Murals by nature are temporary and five years seems the right amount of time for something to be up. All my memories of that experience are great. I was treated like a rock star by the community and the people who commissioned the painting.”

The mural will remain alive on a special page of his website, he said, with photos of the mural in progress and complete.

Bottom photo of the artist and the mural in 2010 courtesy of the artist.


City to Host Movie Night on Friday at Grant Howald

posted: August 26th, 2015 11:19 am | 0No Comments

“Paddington” will be screened at a free event Friday at Grant Howald Park, according to a city email.

The City of Newport Beach is hosting the free Movie in the Park event, which will begin with activities at 7 p.m. followed by the movie at dusk.

“Grab your teddy bear and beach chair and head over to Grant Howald Park for a movie under the stars!” the city email said. “Complimentary popcorn and candy will be available and the CDM Yogurt truck will be on site selling frozen treats.”

The park in adjacent to the Community Youth Center at 3000 Fifth Ave.


Two CdM Items on Zoning Administrator’s Agenda

posted: August 26th, 2015 05:13 am | 0No Comments

The Newport Beach Zoning Administrator hearing scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Thursday will include two Corona del Mar items, according to the meeting agenda.

One item is a minor use permit for Go Greek Yogurt, a business that imports yogurt from Greece, along with biodegradable terra-cotta serving pots, that is opening in a new building at 3500 East Coast Highway; read our earlier story here.

Go Greek Yogurt has applied for the permit for a take-out service, limited eating and drinking establishment with six seats, a staff report states. There will be no late hours after 11 p.m., no alcohol sales and no more than three employees on duty per shift, the report states.

The other Corona del Mar agenda item is for a lot line adjustment to adjust the boundary between 2908 and 2914 Ocean Boulevard.

“Land taken from 2908 Ocean Boulevard will be reallocated to 2914 Ocean Boulevard,” a staff report states. “There will be no change in the number of parcels.”

The hearings are open to the public, and the public may make comments. They will take place in the Corona del Mar Conference Room, in Bay E on the first floor, of the Civic Center at 100 Civic Center Drive.


Alcohol License Issued to Fashion Island Starbucks — But Wine and Beer Are Not Yet on Menu

posted: August 25th, 2015 12:05 pm | 0No Comments

The Starbucks at Fashion Island, newly relocated near Macy’s, has been granted a state license to sell beer and wine. But the Starbucks Evening menu is not yet available.

“As you’ve probably seen, we’re in the process of considering our Evenings Menu at the Fashion Island Starbucks,” a Starbucks spokeswoman said in an email. “While we don’t have additional details to share at this time, I’d be happy to keep you up to date going forward.”

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control issued the license on July 29, according to the agency’s online records. The license will expire June 30, 2016.

In February, the Newport Beach Zoning Administrator issued a minor use permit that would let the relocated Starbucks sell beer and wine; read our earlier stories here and here.

The Starbucks, which moved to a location at 137 Newport Center Drive after relocating from near R+D Kitchen, currently sells the usual coffee drinks, pastries, teas and sodas. When the Starbucks Evenings menu is launched, the store also will sell wine by the glass and bottle, along with beer and dinner items.

At the Zoning Administrator hearing, consultants said that Starbucks Evenings on average sell just 12 glasses of wine per day and have no intention of converting the coffee shop into a lounge or a night club. City staff asked that a patio area be enclosed, with gates, and that a planter be added to create a buffer between a standup counter in the patio and the mall area, in order to prevent patrons with alcoholic drinks from passing them to underage people outside the shop.

A chalkboard sign in the Starbucks said that the Starbucks Evenings offerings are coming soon.


Lightning Possible Through 5 P.M. Today

posted: August 25th, 2015 11:49 am | 0No Comments

The National Weather Service has issued a Beach Hazards Statement, warning that lightning is possible near Orange County beaches through 5 p.m. today.

The alert was posted at 9:16 a.m. today, warning that showers and thunderstorms developing over the area will create the possibility of dangerous lightning along San Diego and Orange County beaches, but conditions should improve by early evening.

“Any thunderstorms that develop will be capable of producing deadly cloud to ground and cloud to water lighting,” the statement said. There also could be gusty winds and heavy downpours.


Meet Officer Clemente, CdMHS’s New School Resource Officer

posted: August 25th, 2015 05:05 am | 0No Comments

DSC_2675Officer Gary Clemente will be Corona del Mar High School’s new school resource officer beginning in September. But Clemente is no stranger to the campus, he said in a recent interview.

“I wanted to really experience what an SRO does,” he said. “So I’ve been shadowing on and off for the last six months.”

In May, the school’s former resource officer, Vlad Anderson, announced he was relocating to Newport Harbor High School after four years at CdMHS; read our story here.

Clemente applied to replace him and was selected for the position in July.

Clemente grew up in Virginia and attended George Mason University in Fairfax and later earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from National University. He worked as a police officer in Virginia until 10 years ago, when he decided he wanted to move to California.

“I spent 26 years of my life on the East Coast,” he said. “I was ready for a change.”

After a lateral move to become a Newport Beach police officer, Clemente worked in the Crisis Negotiation Team, the gang suppression unit and as a mentor for the volunteer policing group. This will be his first time working as a school resource officer, he said.

“I started working with Officer Anderson in June,” he said, while he was still a candidate for the job. He had been covering Area 3, which includes Fashion Island and the Eastbluff area where CdMHS’s campus is located, so when there was a call by school, he would often be there. He met the school’s administrators and some teachers, he said, and he talked to Anderson about the school dynamic, from the student body to parking and traffic issues.

“He (Anderson) knew every single kid’s name,” Clemente said, adding that he planned to do the same.

“They take awhile to warm up to you,” he said. “Kids have the ability to tell if people are genuine and if they care. In my opinion, this is one of the most critical assignments we have. Our most important mission statement is to protect children. And in this day and age, with the realities that kids have to face — online predators, bullying, Internet — they face a lot of pressure.”

Clemente said that like Anderson, he would have an open-door policy at his office on campus. He would attend PTA meetings, provide a cell phone number for parents and students to use, help with traffic control and would help with programs like Every 15 Minutes.

Clemente is married with one child. When he’s not working, he said, he enjoys spending time with his family as well as exercise. He as been a department runner for events including the Baker to Vegas desert run, and he recently was a Special Olympics Torch Run participant.

He also is a sports fan who supports the Washington Redskins and is a converted Angels fan.

“Mike Trout,” he said. “I mean, come on.”

Photo courtesy of the NBPD.