Local Republican activists are planning a rally to greet President Obama when he visits Corona del Mar on Thursday morning for a breakfast fundraiser.
"I'm hoping what we can make this one of the most significant political rallies in the history of Newport Beach," said organizer Laura Dietz. "Our goal is to leave him with the distinct impression that California is not going to sit here idly by, that he has California totally in the bag. This is a hard-core campaign. Chicago politics is coming to Corona del Mar."
Dietz held an organizational meeting in her home and plans a Sunday meeting, where Republican supporters will spend six hours making signs for the rally, which she hopes will attract hundreds of people.
"I'm on a million email lists, and we're blasting everyone with information," she said.
Tea Party groups and other conservative clubs and organizations will be invited, she said.
"We've started doing a grass-roots effort to reach as many people as possible," she said. "People are enthusiastic. Our future is on the line. Our country is self-destructing."
The rally will include "interesting visuals" beyond signs, Dietz said, but she declined to discuss the specifics of what the protesters are planning.
She said groups would be stationed near Poppy Avenue and East Coast Highway, as well as other locations near Shore Cliffs, where the president is planning to attend the fundraiser at the home of Jeff and Nancy Stack.
The protesters, she said, may shift positions in order to work with police and Secret Service agents. The group does not need a permit to protest in Newport Beach but will not be permitted to impede pedestrian or vehicle traffic.
Many Shore Cliffs residents have called Dietz, concerned about possible traffic closures, she said.
Dave Murray, resident agent in charge of the Orange County office of the Secret Service, said that plans are being finalized for the president's visit.
"We don't discuss our security ahead of time," he said, although he added that some information may be released closer to the event.
"We make every effort to limit or mitigate the disruption to the public," he said.
The protesters will gather at 6:30 a.m., Dietz said.
The breakfast begins at 7 a.m. Tickets to the event cost $2,500 to $35,800 per person.
Presidential visit changes meeting time
The Corona del Mar Residents Assn.'s monthly board meeting will meet a day earlier this month because of possible traffic concerns related to President Obama's visit.
"We don't know what the impact will be, we're assuming there will be some traffic-flow issues," said CdMRA President Karen Tringali. "We changed the date so our guest speaker program would not be adversely impacted."
The meeting will be at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday in Room 5 of the OASIS Senior Center.
The board meeting will feature guest speakers from the Corona del Mar Citizens Advisory Panel of the Newport Beach Revitalization Committee, who will review the proposed plans for the entryway project at East Coast Highway and MacArthur Boulevard.
The board usually meets Thursdays, but this month the regular meeting time fell when Obama will attend a breakfast fundraiser in Corona del Mar.
Newport Beach police have said they do not expect major traffic delays.
Coastal Commission hearing postponed
The California Coastal Commission has postponed a hearing on whether to permit a home to be built on steep bluff along Ocean Boulevard, according to its meeting agenda.
The applicant asked for the postponement, sources said.
The item had been scheduled for the next commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday in Santa Cruz.
The proposed 7,354-square-foot home would replace a 1950s home at 3725 Ocean Blvd. In May, the Newport Beach Planning Commission unanimously granted variances for the home, which would exceed current height restrictions despite being lower than the current home.
The Coastal Commission staff has recommended denial of permits, stating that the home should not exceed those height restrictions, that the site is hazardous and unstable and that it excavates too much coastal bluff. The applicant and his architect have said the staff report's findings are in error.
It is not known when the item will be rescheduled.
Pet grooming business to open
A new pet grooming business will replace Dog Wash at 3838 E. Coast Hwy., the new owner has confirmed.
Happy Tails Pet Grooming will open within a few weeks, said owner Humberto Padilla. Dog Wash closed in December.
Padilla said he has worked with animals for 20 years, most recently at a Laguna Beach animal hospital. He plans to offer full-service grooming but may provide tubs for clients who want a place to bath their animals themselves.
Padilla said he needs to install equipment but hopes to open later this month.
The owner of Dog Wash did not respond to emails and messages seeking information about whether she would relocate.