Two homes that are part of a controversial Ocean Boulevard lot merger were demolished last week — a move the owners hoped would protect them from the liability of owning uninsured vacant homes but which angered neighbors fighting the project.
"This kind of behavior is indefensible," said Jeff DuFine, whose mother-in-law lives on an Ocean Lane home that is part of a 1951 agreement impacted by the lot merger. "She's pretty devastated. She was crying."
The homes at 2808 and 2812 Ocean Blvd. are part of a five-home private agreement that restricts three homes in front to one story, protecting the ocean and park views from two homes in back on Ocean Lane.
The Newport Beach City Council will consider the lot merger appeal at its June 26 meeting.
Pit bull attack rare
Three pit bulls that bit two people last week near Newport Coast Drive and East Coast Highway could have been abandoned and don't reflect a wider problem, police said this week.
The dogs bit a woman, 57, and her son, 16, about 5:30 a.m. June 8. A police officer arrived at the scene, and the dogs advanced. The dogs attacked his car after he got back in it.
"We do not believe there are other packs of dogs running loose in the city," Animal Control Officer Valerie Schomburg wrote in an email. "We do not know where the dogs came from. It is possible that the dogs were abandoned in the area together. We don't routinely receive calls reporting loose dogs, especially in the area of the Marriott Newport Coast Villas."
The dogs were taken to Orange County Animal Control for testing, she said, adding that there has not been a dog with confirmed rabies in the state of California in more than 50 years.
The dogs had been seen running on the golf course before police located them and euthanized them.
Nearby hiking trails are considered to be very safe from animal attacks, Schomburg wrote. However, anyone who is confronted with a vicious dog should never try to run to escape, she said.
"It is recommended that you yell, scream and try to make a big presence," she wrote. "If necessary, you can grab something to throw toward the animal to try to frighten it away. Please, don't turn and run."
Scholarship winners named
Two Harbor View Elementary School alumnae were honored last week at a flag deck ceremony as winners of this year's Brad Evans scholarships.
The Harbor View Parents Faculty Organization sponsors the scholarships, which honor former student Brad Evans, who was a UC Berkeley student when he died in 2001.
Evans' parents, Paul and Scottia Evans, attended the event at the school's campus Wednesday morning to congratulate Corona del Mar High School seniors Sarah Hostetler and Taylor Stefano. The winners, both Harbor View graduates, will each receive $600.
Hostetler encouraged the Harbor View students to take advantages of the opportunities they will have at Harbor View and in high school.
"Don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone," she said.
Stefano told the students never to give up.
"Everyone has their off days," she said. "Just think every time you have a bad one that a good one is coming."
Teacher Cindy Coon, who was featured in Hostetler's winning essay, embraced her after the ceremony.
"It's all that matters," Coon said. "For a student to come back and say I made a difference and touched them — it's the only thing that matters in teaching."
Petty thefts reported
Newport Beach police took reports of two petty thefts from vehicles in the 700 block of Poinsettia Avenue last week, according to reports.
The incidents occurred between Tuesday and Wednesday morning and were reported at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. There was no loss in one incident and an $80 loss in the second.
Police also arrested a 36-year-old Costa Mesa man at 8:06 a.m. Wednesday in the 900 block of Newport Center Drive on suspicion of appropriation of lost property valued at less than $400; bail was $500. A 42-year-old Mission Viejo man was arrested in the same location on a parole violation, according to a report.
Clothing store moves
A Corona del Mar clothing boutique is moving one door away, replacing the Bear Investments & Property Management business.
Westerly Boutique at 2908 E. Coast Hwy. is having a "mega moving sale," according to signs in the shop's windows.
Bear Investments had been at 2912 E. Coast Hwy., replacing the Pine Trader antique furniture shop that closed in January 2010.
A message left with Bear Investments' answering service was not immediately answered. The Newport Beach online business license page does not show an active license for the company.