Top 10 stories of 2010

10. Newport-Mesa election: Costa Mesa Councilwoman Katrina Foley won a seat on the Newport-Mesa school board and 30-year incumbent Judy Franco dispatched another challenger, showing that voters wanted both familiar and new voices.

9. City attorney arrested: Newport Beach City Atty. David Hunt was arrested following a domestic disturbance call to his home. He was not charged and kept his job.

8. Solar panel glare: Homeowners off Bayside Drive covered their private hillside in solar panels, harnessing the sun and the anger of neighbors irked by the glare.

7. Immigration reform: Costa Mesa declared itself "A Rule of Law" city against illegal immigration. Mayor Allan Mansoor, who backed the declaration, won an Assembly seat.

6. Medical marijuana: Costa Mesa enforced its prohibition on medical marijuana establishments, getting sued by med-pot users along the way.

5. Mooring fees: The Newport Beach City Council challenged entrenched mooring holders, who had been selling access to their floating cans for tens of thousands of dollars.

4. Newport Beach plane crash: Three men returning from a Baja surf trip died in November when their small plane ran out of fuel and crashed in the Back Bay.

3. City Council elections: In a battle over pension reform, Costa Mesa's Jim Righeimer took a beating from the police association, and Wendy Leece took it on the chin from GOP elders. Both candidates went the distance. Over in Newport, community insider Rush Hill bested GOP insider Ed Reno while Leslie Daigle dispatched a challenger.

2. Hubbard charged: L.A. prosecutors charged Newport-Mesa schools chief Jeffrey Hubbard with two felonies concerning financial decisions in his last job as Beverly Hills superintendent. He has denied wrongdoing.

1. Orange County Fairgrounds: Political and legal wrangling over the state's decision to sell the fairgrounds to private investors consumed most of 2010. Expect more in 2011.

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