There were no major power outages last week, especially in the water.
Surfers were riding high as a southwest swell brought in large waves,
some six to seven feet high, on south-facing beaches.
One Costa Mesa man hurt his back Thursday while surfing at 36th
Street. Lifeguards received the call around 11 a.m. about a man yelling
for help in the surf line.
Officials said he was treated for cervical spine injuries as a
precaution because he was complaining of lower back pain.
It was also a week that called for number-crunching crime figures.
Costa Mesa Police Department reported to the City Council that
February's crime rate increase, about 16.8%, was probably the biggest in
several years. However, officials said there is no need to panic because
one month's statistics do not reflect or forebode a negative trend for
Officials also warned citizens about the increasing number of auto
thefts in Costa Mesa. They said, although the number of auto thefts for
the year is still low, February saw a citywide surge. That could have
also bumped up the overall crime figures, police said.
-- Deepa Bharath covers cops and courts. She may be reached at
(949) 574-4226 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Finally getting the Greenlight
Mayor Gary Adams, who's a professional transportation engineer and
planner, might be a little disappointed that he no longer gets to talk
about "peak-hour car trips" and "floor area ratios."
But his council colleagues seemed relieved last week after they
finally approved guidelines for Greenlight, the city's slow-growth law.
Newport Beach's voters had approved the initiative in last November's
election. As a result, all general plan amendments that add 100 peak-hour
car trips, 100 dwelling units or 40,000 square feet to the general plan's
allowance will have to go before a citywide vote.
Council members spent five meetings to fine-tune the law, adding
definitions and settling on a 2000 starting date for Greenlight's
look-back provision, which considers prior amendments to decide whether a
project triggers an election.
While Greenlight supporters disagreed with city officials on certain
guidelines, they said they liked the overall result.
And luckily the six council members present at the meeting all
supported the guidelines -- that's the minimum number of votes Greenlight
requires to put definitions in place.
Westside center coming soon
UC Irvine announced Thursday that it plans to open a community
outreach center on Costa Mesa's Westside this summer.
Officials said the center will wed the community and the university,
which already have a committed relationship that includes educational
outreach and research projects.
The Costa Mesa Senior Center also announced the beginning of a
movement to attract more Latino seniors. It translated parts of its
newsletter, The Chronicle, into Spanish for the first time this month and
has applied for grants to hire a Latino nurse and a bilingual
The news isn't looking too good for business and nonprofits that do a
ton of bulk mailing.
The bulk mail department at the Adams Avenue post office is closing
this month, and some customers have sent in complaints about the
inconvenience of having to drive to the Sunflower Avenue post office in
Santa Ana, less than two miles away.
Saturation bulk mailers, such as Real Estaters, will have to pay more
to send the mail from Santa Ana or take the mail first to Sunflower
Avenue and then to Adams Avenue, but most customers will not suffer
higher rates, U.S. Postal Service representatives said.
More money for teaching
It was a week to remember for thousands of people in the Newport-Mesa
Unified School District.
More than 1,100 school employees found out that they will be receiving
a check for $591.32 from the state. It was the latest round of funding
doled out as part of Gov. Gray Davis' 1999 School Accountability Act.
This one-time windfall went to all full-time employees at schools where
the target Academic Performance Index score was met.
Many teachers said that while they won't hesitate to cash the check,
they don't like the reason they got it. They felt that tying the reward
to those scores was not right.
Although the staff at what was, until Tuesday, Kaiser Primary Center
did not get a check, they got a treat of their own. The school board gave
its permission for the school to change its name back to its' original
name -- Woodland Elementary School. There was much rejoicing.
A bit of a wait at Crystal Cove
It's looking more and more likely that the California Department of
Transportation will have to make sure Coast Highway by Crystal Cove is
clean -- but maybe not as soon as Caltrans originally feared.
A preliminary report from the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control
Board recommends denying a Caltrans appeal of a cease-and-desist order
that set a two-year timetable for cleaning up runoff into the protected
But the report also suggests pushing back the deadline for three years
The Irvine Co. and the California State Parks, which were also named
in the order, both have begun work to clean up the cove.
It's unclear if they, too, will have more time to tidy up.
-- Paul Clinton covers the environment and John Wayne Airport. He
may be reached at (949) 764-4330 or by e-mail at