Around Town: UCI Law School ranked No. 30 on U.S. News list

The UC Irvine School of Law debuted at No. 30 in U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of 198 accredited law schools nationwide — the highest debut ranking of any new law school in the list’s history.

Additionally, UCI Law’s clinical program ranked No. 11 and UCI Law placed among the top 10 in student diversity, according to the U.S. News Diversity Index.

In another study, the law school’s faculty ranked seventh in the country for scholarly impact, behind Yale, Harvard, Chicago, Stanford, Columbia and New York University.

The UCI School of Law opened in 2009 as the first new public law school in California in nearly 50 years.

“I am very proud of UCI Law’s accomplishments in building a top law school in only six years,” Dean Erwin Chemerinsky said in a statement. “We have so much to be proud of, thanks to the hard work of faculty, administrators, students, alumni and supporters, both on campus and in the legal community.”

The university had set a goal of debuting as a U.S. News top-20 law school but encountered a lack of financial support from the state Legislature that resulted in in-state tuition of almost $45,000 a year and out-of-state tuition of about $51,000, according to a report in The Washington Post.

Also, a slow job market for young attorneys made many students less inclined to enroll in a new law school, the Post said.

“I expect that we will rise significantly in U.S. News rankings in the years ahead,” Chemerinsky said.


Sewer project restricts traffic on Coast Highway

Westbound traffic on Coast Highway in Newport Beach is reduced to one lane except during peak traffic hours for the rest of this week, and possibly through next week, as Orange County Sanitation District contractor Kiewit Construction continues work on a sewer main rehabilitation project near the Newport Boulevard bridge, the city says.

The southbound Newport Boulevard ramp to Coast Highway is closed from 7 p.m. to 3 p.m. daily through Friday. Motorists are advised to detour to Hospital Road to Superior Avenue to access Coast Highway.


Police practices topic of luncheon Friday

The March luncheon of the League of Women Voters of Orange Coast will present Rusty Kennedy, founder and chief executive of the Orange County Human Relations Commission, speaking about “Equal Treatment and Protection Under the Law: Do Police Practices in Orange County Measure Up?”

The event will begin at noon Friday at Marie Callender’s restaurant 15363 Culver Drive, Irvine. The cost is $20.

For reservations, email


Dance competition to benefit Assistance League

Orange County community leaders will pair with professional ballroom dancers in Saturday’s “Dancing for Tomorrow’s Stars” dinner gala to benefit the Assistance League of Newport-Mesa.

The event at City National Grove of Anaheim will begin with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. and feature a dancing competition similar to TV’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

The six “celebrity dancers” — Cate Heck, Milena Kitic, Dennis Kuhl, Lynn Pyle, Mario Rodriguez and Sean Williams — have had complimentary dance lessons with professionals under the supervision of Eddie Alba of Century Dancesport in Tustin, preparing two 90-second routines.

The dancers will compete for titles such as Best Male Dancer, Best Female Dancer and Fan Favorite.

Tickets are $200 and are available through the Assistance League of Newport-Mesa, which is celebrating its 75th year of philanthropic services for children in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa.

For tickets or more information, visit


Newport town hall focuses on building projects

Improvements to Balboa Village in Newport Beach were highlighted during a town hall meeting Monday night presented by Mayor Pro Tem Diane Dixon.

The city has been working to polish neighborhoods along the Balboa Peninsula for several years in an effort to modernize the area, Dixon said.

On Tuesday, the City Council will discuss using revenue from the Palm parking lot to issue small grants to business owners as an incentive to improve their building facades, many of which are decades old.

“We’re trying to give business owners an incentive to dress them up a bit and refresh the community,” Dixon said.

Public Works Director Dave Webb spoke Monday about other projects on the peninsula, including pavement reconstruction on Bay Avenue, which is set to begin in April, and the Marina Park project, which is expected to be finished by the end of the year.


Boys chorus to welcome visitors

Boys age 8 to 10 are invited to learn what it’s like to sing in the All-American Boys Chorus during a free “shadow day” on Saturday.

The event runs from 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Orange County fairgrounds, 1055 Arlington Drive, Costa Mesa. Activities will include singing, music classes and recreation.

For details or to sign up, contact artistic director Wesley Martin at (714) 708-1670, Ext. 12, or


UCI professor gets $9-million NASA grant

NASA awarded $9 million to a UC Irvine professor to lead a national study of the short- and long-term effects of space radiation on the central nervous system, the university said Tuesday.

The study builds on earlier research on rodents that suggests that astronauts who spend significant time in space may suffer impaired cognitive abilities. Charles Limoli, a UCI professor of radiation oncology, will look into the behavioral impairments of rodents attributed to space radiation exposure and the underlying causes.

Other UCI researchers on the project are Ivan Soltesz, professor and chairman of anatomy and neurobiology; Munjal Acharya, assistant professor of radiation oncology; and Janet Baulch and Vipan Kumar, project scientists in Limoli’s research group.


Costa Mesa resident wins performing-arts scholarship

A Costa Mesa resident won a $1,000 scholarship from Musical Theatre West’s Footlighters, a nonprofit that supports performing-arts education.

Cole Wachman, who attends Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts, was among 10 winners from Orange and Los Angeles counties.

The students were nominated by their performing-arts teachers and selected from among 43 applicants.

The Footlighters Scholarship Awards luncheon will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at The Centre at Sycamore Plaza, 5000 Clark Ave., Lakewood. The winners will perform at the event.

Tickets are $45 and are available by calling (562) 856-1999, Ext. 229.


OCC preschool enrollment is open

Enrollment is open for the Orange Coast College Early Childhood Lab School for the 2015-16 school year. Families can tour the preschool, off Fairview Road and Merrimac Way in Costa Mesa, from 1 to 4 p.m. April 18 during an open house.

The preschool is open to children ages 2 to 5. Morning, afternoon and extended day programs are available, as well as a summer camp.

For more information, call (714) 432-5517.


Golf club to donate $6,500 to developmental center

The Costa Mesa Men’s Golf Club will donate $6,500 to the Fairview Developmental Center in Costa Mesa. The funds are from the social club’s annual golf tournament in December.

The Fairview Developmental Center is a state-owned facility that aids developmentally disabled people.


Boy Scouts salute local volunteers

Three local residents were among 21 people honored last week with the 2014 Silver Beaver Award by the Orange County Council of the Boy Scouts of America for their volunteer efforts.

Honorees have been involved with Scouting as youths or adults, earned Scouting leadership awards and volunteered with organizations throughout Orange County.

Local award recipients are Michael Kent Bergler of Irvine, a merit badge counselor coordinator and committee chairman of Troop 691 who founded Pack 672; David Braun of Irvine, a member of the Orange County council’s board of directors the past 11 years; and Bruce Krochman of Costa Mesa, assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 106 and unit commissioner and committee member in the Del Mar District.


Newport student honored for work with Komen

Gigi Woodall, 16, a Newport Harbor High School student, was among eight volunteers honored last month by Susan G. Komen Orange County, a breast-cancer charity that holds the annual Race for the Cure at Fashion Island in Newport Beach.

Gigi began volunteering with Komen last year, assisting with the Race for the Cure. She also established a Pink Ribbon club at the school to raise awareness of breast cancer and to support students with family members being treated for the disease.


Diabetes Alert Day set for Tuesday

The American Diabetes Association Alert Day is scheduled for Tuesday, when the association will urge people to take its Diabetes Risk Test to determine their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The awareness campaign will run through April 21.

The risk test is available at