Corona del Mar Today: Residents complain about airplane noise

About a dozen Corona del Mar residents attended Monday's monthly meeting of the Newport Beach Aviation Committee and expressed concern over increased noise.

Corona del Mar Residents Assn. President Karen Tringali said she has received 13 pages of e-mails from concerned residents.

"Many of us have observed planes that appear to be on a more diagonal path," she told the committee. "Last Thursday, one appeared to fly over the clock tower at Marguerite and Coast Highway."

Commercial planes leaving John Wayne Airport in March began using the so-called STREL flight path, which takes planes over the Back Bay to a turnaround point over the ocean. City officials and airport consultants have tracked flight data from the airport and conducted observations, and they say that the flights appear to be taking the correct path. Optical illusions, they said, might make planes seem to be closer to Corona del Mar than they actually are.

At the committee meeting, the group discussed whether the flights were turning too soon, which might be creating more noise.

Committee member Tom Anderson said he'd like to see collaboration of data showing flights adhering to the new flight path.

"Nobody seems to be happy with STREL," he said.

Barbara E. Lichman, executive counsel for the Airport Working Group, said residents should remember that ongoing negotiations to keep flight curfews is a major concern.

But she agreed that STREL did push planes closer to Corona del Mar.

"The current solution has been far worse for everyone," she said. "I do sympathize with what people are saying."

She reiterated a suggestion she made in April that concerned residents investigate whether they could request an environmental impact review for STREL as it relates to noise.

The 60-day statute of limitations might have expired, she said, but the matter could be investigated. Robert Hawkins suggested that the Airport Working Group study the possibilities.

City Council member Leslie Daigle said the committee would continue to address the issues raised during the meeting. They could be discussed again at the 8 a.m. June 27 meeting in the Friends Room of the Central Library.

Several residents who attended the meeting said they hoped more people concerned with airplane noise would get involved.

"People are just becoming aware," said one Newport Coast man who did not want to be named. "It's important for concerned citizens to make themselves heard."

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CdMHS to add mountain biking team

Corona del Mar High School mountain biking students will be able to join a new team that will begin in spring of 2012, school officials have announced.

Students in ninth through 12th grades of all levels may join the team; there will not be tryouts.

"Everybody participates," according to an e-mail sent to parents. "Everybody races. There is no 'bench, (only a small seat, and it's going to be moving)."

An informational meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. June 11 in Room 322 for anyone with questions.

"The team will be managed and coached by volunteer staffers who will offer organized training and skill-building exercises," according to a school e-mail. "Formal training starts after winter break and leads up to competition in a local high school race series operated by the Southern California Interscholastic Cycling League …"

New high school mountain bike leagues are growing in popularity throughout the country, the email states. The SoCal league has been operating for three full seasons after spinning off the NorCal league, which has existed more than a decade.

"Here at CdM, students have been competing in SoCal mountain bike races as members of the Newport Beach Composite mountain bike team for the last three years," the e-mail states. The students have performed well, and organizers believe the time has come for a school team to form.

The SoCal league races are cross-country mountain bike races, and there are no downhill or free ride categories.

"The races generally go to the athlete who is light, strong, and fit and can handle a bike on the single-track downhill as well," the e-mail states.

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Wahoo's serving at Big Corona

Wahoo's Fish Tacos will be the temporary food vendor at Big Corona State Beach, city officials said.

"Wahoo's will be there Saturday, Sunday and Monday, weather permitting," said Tara Finnigan, the Newport Beach spokeswoman. "They are helping us temporary basis until the city can get a seasonal or permanent vendor in there."

Wahoo's will sell tacos and other snacks, likely using a truck for food preparation because the concessions facility is lacking refrigeration, an oven and other items that Fuji Grill's owner had purchased and removed when it closed in November.

City officials tried and failed this spring to find a replacement for Fuji Grill. A request for proposals to take over the space yielded just one applicant, so officials plan to revise the terms of the deal and try again in the fall.

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to allow the city manager to approve the temporary food vendors and to revise the terms of a long-term lease.

Details about Wahoo's short-term agreement with the city were not available, and it is not known whether other vendors might fill in over the summer season.

Both Big and Little Corona beaches will be staffed with tower lifeguards during the holiday weekend, said Jennifer Schulz, a Newport Beach Fire Department spokeswoman.

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OASIS rummage sale collection underway

The OASIS Senior Center has begun collecting items for a rummage sale scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

If you have donations, you can drop them off every day through June 1 in the parking lot. The drop-off times are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday. There will be a $2 entry fee for early birds who want to shop the first day.

The OASIS Center is located at Fifth and Marguerite avenues.

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Grand theft in Cameo Shores

A thief stole a $4,000 bronze toad from a house in the 300 block of Cameo Shores Road earlier this month, police said.

According to a police report, the theft occurred between May 1 and May 22. Police did not give a description of the stolen toad.

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