Barbara Venezia's columns in the Orange County Register are like an oncoming train — strong, powerful and fast. Politicians find themselves having to jump off the tracks. But Venezia backs up her sharp tongue with a sharp mind, careful reporting and knowledge of Newport-Mesa. The Newport Beach resident has that ideal mix of guts, brains and humor missing from so much of today's whiney online discourse.
We have a confession about Costa Mesa blogger Geoff West: He scoops the Pilot more than any other news outlet. Although we hate being beaten, we also love his site, A Bubbling Cauldron, which mixes his views with breaking news. West is wired at City Hall and beyond. He also brings an involved resident's passion to his blog, and that's what makes it work. The guy cares about where he lives, and it shows.
"Rule of Law" Costa Mesa isn't known for opening its heart to immigrants. But Crissy Brooks may have a heart big enough for the whole town. The Mesa Verde native and Mika director, who lives in Shalimar, cares about the population she serves. Inspired by her faith, she closes out the political noise and helps people who need it. She writes well, too, on her blog and, on occasion, on the Pilot's Forum page.
When the Pilot's new editor took over, he realized that he wasn't going to be able to compete with Amy Senk, publisher of Corona del Mar Today, an online news site in one of Newport's key neighborhoods. So he quickly signed a partnership with her and started running Senk's work in the Pilot. Senk, who trained at the University of Missouri journalism school, embodies what it means to be "hyper-local" and professional.
Brunchgoers are still crying into their coffee cups over the closing of Costa Mesa Omelette Parlor, which was in business 27 years. On the restaurant's Facebook page, they tell owner Susan Adkins how much they miss the breakfast muffin sandwich, the Two to the Max, Paddy Cake Paddy Cake or whatever special dish they grew up ordering. They also suggest new locations for her to reopen the beloved eatery.
Joseph 'McG' Nichol