Police last week warned residents about an increase in thefts and home
burglaries in the Eastbluff area.
Most of the break-ins have occurred in homes next to greenbelt areas,
Newport Beach Police Sgt. Steve Shulman said. Police have not received
any descriptions of the burglars. Shulman said residents should pay
attention to suspicious people coming or going from homes near parks.
In other news, Corona del Mar had a rare visitor last week -- a masked
booby from the distant tropical Galapagos Islands. The rare bird was
found in Big Corona beach with a fishing hook and line lodged in its
She was taken to the Wetlands and Wildlife Center in Huntington Beach,
where she continues to receive treatment.
Center officials say she will stay for a couple of weeks or until she
is strong enough to be released. The last time a booby was sighted in
Newport Beach was in June 1992.
* Deepa Bharath covers public safety and courts. She may be reached at
(949) 574-4226 or by e-mail at o7 email@example.com .
Are you sure this is an RV solution?
Costa Mesa police have pitched a new solution to the recreational
vehicle debate that dominated City Hall discussions in the past two
Police Lt. Karl Schuler suggested dated, florescent placards be placed
on vehicles to allow for loading and unloading of the rigs. Permits would
be issued and time-stamped by the city and any vehicle without one would
be subject to a citation, he said.
Mayor Linda Dixon seems to think it is a compromise that may work.
Dixon said the suggestion allows for recreational vehicle owners to
prepare for trips, while protecting other residents against the dangers
of large vehicles on the street for long periods of time.
Another citywide debate -- the cable issue -- moves one step closer to
resolution as AT&T; Broadband officials delivered their customer service
report to the city.
The cable giant was granted a 48-hour extension to ensure accuracy and
completeness, but the report was only a page long and encompassed data
from the Southern California region as a whole.
City officials will meet this week to discuss what steps will be taken
* Lolita Harper covers Costa Mesa. She may be reached at (949)
574-4275 or by e-mail at o7 firstname.lastname@example.org .
Ships and torches
Two replica 18th century ships sailed into town Tuesday for a stay at
the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum. The Hawaiian Chieftain and the Lady
Washington will be in town until Tuesday at the museum.
A decades-old ordinance that offers free parking Sunday mornings at
meters adjacent to churches is the subject of a constitutional challenge
after a Newport Beach man sued the city over the matter. Arguing that the
ordinance is a disservice not just to freedom but to all religions, John
Nelson met with city officials before filing suit last week.
Planning Commissioners got their first formal look at a luxury resort
slated for the Marinapark property on Balboa Peninsula. Though the
commission action was routine, it kicked off what's sure to be a
controversial approval process that includes a long-term lease for the
American Legion hall.
And the Olympic torch blazed through Newport Beach and Costa Mesa on
Wednesday, uniting the cities with others along the 65-day journey from
Atlanta to Salt Lake City for the Winter Games.
During a brief ceremony at City Hall, Newport Beach Mayor Tod Ridgeway
said the city was proud to be one of the stopping points. The raucous
crowd shouted out support and waved small flags handed out as a show of
A handful of runners carried the torch, including 'N Sync member Lance
Bass. The teen idol was chased by screaming girls as he headed up Newport
Boulevard in Costa Mesa.
* June Casagrande covers Newport Beach. She may be reached at (949)
574-4232 or by e-mail at o7 email@example.com .
Buck Gully sullied
About 3,000 gallons of raw sewage dribbling down Buck Gully on Monday
closed Little Corona on Wednesday.
The spill reminded residents and officials of the price the
environment pays for heavy coastline development.
The Orange County Health Care Agency, which ordered the closure, said
it was probably caused by paint, drywall mud, silt and other refuse from
a construction site.
It was not surprising, considering the widespread building of
bluff-top homes in Newport Coast.
The spill occurred when an Irvine Ranch Water District line became
The beach was still closed Friday afternoon.
* Paul Clinton covers the environment and John Wayne Airport. He may
be reached at (949) 764-4330 or by e-mail ato7
UCI slaps fraternity
For the first time ever, UC Irvine officials decided last week to
suspend a fraternity after a pledge complained that he was subjected to
hazing during a nightmare weekend at Big Bear a year ago.
Officials said the decision was a result of an investigation the
university undertook after sophomore film major Jeff Warden filed a
lawsuit against members of the Delta Sigma Chapter of the Beta Theta Pi
fraternity in November at Orange County Superior Court.
Warden said he suffered a seizure and had to be hospitalized as a
result of the hazing.
The university, after the two-month investigation, determined that the
fraternity violated two policies relating to student conduct -- hazing
and serving alcohol to minors, spokeswoman Lori Brandt said.
"Hazing is strictly prohibited on and off campus," she said. "So is
distributing alcohol to a minor."
After Jan. 1 2004, the university will consider discussing the
reestablishment of the fraternity provided several conditions are met,
Nine of the 13 students who were enrolled at UCI were disciplined, but
nobody was expelled, she said.
* Deirdre Newman covers education. She may be reached at (949)
574-4221 or by e-mail at o7 firstname.lastname@example.org .