Store honors owner's wife
For 20 years, Corona del Mar's Concept Studio has reflected seasons and holidays with ever-changing lush displays incorporating greenery and apples, lemons and sunflowers.
This year, the Christmas decorations at the shop at 2720 E. Coast Hwy. pay tribute to the woman described as the genius behind the beauty, Karen Goddard, who died Sept. 22.
"My wife was very positive, very creative, very energetic," said Concept Studio owner Richard Goddard. "She just loved beauty. She was a genius at creating it."
Goddard and his team knew they needed an amazing Christmas display this year to honor Karen, who died at age 57. They flipped through her thick, jam-packed binders with photos and notes from prior year's displays, but in the end they drew inspiration from Karen's standard signature, which always included a heart with rays emanating from it.
They created 2-inch square white ceramic ornaments featuring the heart logo, then used the ornaments as their decor's focal point.
Heavy equipment was brought in so they could install evergreen arches on the front of the two-story brick building. Then they filled the greenery with ornaments and white fairy lights, with co-worker Gloria Ranzolin helping direct the installation.
"It looks like something she would have done," said Lindsay McVey, who was Karen's longtime assistant. "We were inspired by her."
Inside the shop, which sells custom tiles and stones, there are trees filled with more of the ornaments, along with simple decorations each with one word: Goodwill, Kindness, Understanding, Appreciation.
On the store's shelves, near clove-studded oranges and jars of miniature apples, are photos of Karen in silver frames, tucked here and there among books and vases filled with white flowers.
Richard Goddard said the ornament's heart would be the logo of a foundation he is creating in his wife's honor. The Mush Foundation, named for Karen's nickname, will focus on bipolar disorder and the importance of medication compliance. The foundation has not been formally created, but eventually it will feature a website that allows bipolar people to sign up for medication reminders and inspirational messages.
"Nobody talks about mental illness," he said. "It's a staggering issue in this country."
This Christmas, the ornaments will be used as client gifts, and a limited number are for sale for $5, with the proceeds going as seed money for the foundation.
Goddard said he hoped that Corona del Mar residents would take a moment to absorb the beauty of the shop and his wife's ongoing inspiration.
"She left her spirit here in all of us," he said. "It's an homage to Karen."
Reforestation of Fourth Avenue process underway
Residents along Fourth Avenue who saw the removal this fall of blue gum eucalyptus trees have been sent a packet with information about possible replacement trees, city officials confirmed.
In October, 33 blue gums were removed in Corona del Mar after inspections indicated that they were dangerous. The inspections came after another blue gum fell during a rainstorm Oct. 5, damaging two homes and three cars on Fourth near Goldenrod Avenue. That day, crews immediately removed another blue gum across the street.
After the Fourth Avenue tree removals, crews replaced damaged areas of private lawns and repaired damage to curbs and gutters, according to a city memo.
"With that work completed, it is time to start the process of reforesting the Fourth Avenue neighborhood," the memo states.
The Municipal Operations director sent homeowners a packet last week, listing the three choice they have for replacements: the gold medallion tree, the dwarf southern magnolia and the African tulip tree.
"Staff is planning to bring forward the change in tree designation to the Parks, Beaches, and Recreation Commission on January 3rd," the memo states.
The city's blue gums have been under scrutiny since Sept. 15, when a blue gum along Irvine Avenue fell and killed 29-year-old Haeyoon Miller of Tustin.
Big Corona Concessions Proposals Sought — Again
Newport Beach officials have issued a request for proposals to operate the Big Corona State Beach concessions stand, stating that "time is of the essence" and that the bidders should be prepared to open by Memorial Day.
The concessions stand has been vacant since Fuji Grill closed in November 2010.
Operators who wish to run the 1,043-square-foot concessions stand must submit applications by 5 p.m. Jan 5 and attend one of two site visits scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday or 10 a.m. Jan. 3, according to the request for proposals (RFP).
Rent will be based on a percentage of sales, or proposers "may offer alternative rent, terms and conditions based on proposer's assessment of the facility, the requirements of this RFP and market conditions," the RFP states. The agreement would be for five years, with two five-year extensions possible if the concessionaire and city agree.
The concessions stand should be open daily between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day, with off-season hours to be set at the concessionaire's discretion, the RFP states
The stand must sell refreshments and possibly offer rental of beach equipment such as boogie boards and umbrellas, the RFP states. Alcohol and pornography are banned
Last year, the city issued an RFP that yielded one application, which the city declined to accept. The stand was empty, but over the summer, the city arranged for a variety of food trucks to be at the beach to serve refreshments.
City staff last year had suggested that lowering the rent could help draw more applicants; the current RFP is more flexible.