Median Sign To Go Back To City Council
Striking a balance between what looks like bedsheets hanging between two saggy poles and a $42,000 electronic message board, the Corona del Mar Business Improvement District board approved a new sign proposal that will go before the City Council for approval.
The latest plan involves permanent metal posts, powder-coated in a dark green, that will go in the East Coast Highway median at Marguerite Avenue near the dolphin topiaries. Banners would be standardized in size and material, and they would be installed using cross bars so they fit properly and don't sag. The cost will be about $2,000, board members said at their June district meeting.
The group rejected a signpost model that had a decorative scroll and "Corona del Mar" added on the top.
Community groups, the Chamber of Commerce and city events planners use the sign to advertise community events, and city officials install the banners on a first-come, first-served basis. Currently there is no standard for signs, so often they droop and sag in a way that looks like a bed sheet, City Councilwoman Nancy Gardner has said.
Last summer, the district asked for city staff to come up with possible solutions, and staff proposed an electronic message board that could have cost as much as $42,000. But city council members said the cost and the "Las Vegas-ish" appearance of such a sign was not appropriate for the Corona del Mar village.
Groups that want to use the space for events will have to provide banners that fit the sign posts according to specifications that the city will provide.
"People are going to have to spend more money on the banners," Gardner said. "But some of them have been pretty cheesy. If they don't want to do it, they don't have to use this site."
She added that other areas with banners, like near the Oasis Center on Fifth and Marguerite avenues, could follow the Corona del Mar example.
Banners in the new format would cost about $125.
The district board will work with Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce President Linda Leonhard to make a proposal to the City Council, possibly in late July. That proposal will be for the sign posts to be installed, and for the Corona del Mar events to have priority in advertising.
When no signs are installed, the green poles will remain but blend in with the background, district members said.
Vandals Damage New Mural At Surf Shop
Vandals have covered a brand-new mural with four- and five-letter words and pejoratives at the Hobie Surf Shop at 3140 East Coast Highway.
The mural, which was completed less than two weeks ago, is part of a makeover of the old Becker Surf Shop. Painters spent days on the project, which turned out so well that families had begun using it as a backdrop to snap photos of their kids.
The graffiti were on all areas of the wall and also on the front of the store. By 9 a.m., a worker was using rags and cleaning solvents to remove the paint.
"It will have to be touched up," he said, "but I'm getting the worst of it."
Hobie President Mark Christy said news of the vandalism was "incredible."
The store now is slated to open July 31 instead of the original opening date of July 10. Read our earlier stories here and here.
Cyclist victim of road rage
A Corona del Mar man who was bicycling down Fernleaf Avenue toward Bayside Drive was the victim of road rage about 11 a.m. June 27, according to online police logs and the victim.
The man said two men, about 40 to 60 years old, were in a white Chevrolet truck when the truck began tailgating him as he rode his bike.
"I turned left on Bayside Drive and proceeded through the S-curves about 25 mph, and the truck continued to follow and tailgate me," he said. "The truck pulled alongside me on Bayside Drive, and both occupants began yelling at me via the passenger's open window. The driver of the truck reached in front of the passenger and threw his full drink in my face and sped away."
The men were wearing cycling shirts and drove down Bayside Drive away from the scene, he said. The drink contained ice cubes and a soft drink and did not injure the man. Police arrived within a few minutes to take a road rage report.
High school Senior Wins "Pen on Fire" Writing Contest
Corona del Mar High School senior Ashkan "Alex" Salamatipour has won the first Pen On Fire Speakers Series scholarship, school officials have announced.
Salamatipour will receive a $300 prize and be honored at the next Pen on Fire Speakers Series event, said Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, who founded the series and wrote a book by the same name. The July 13 Pen on Fire theme will be "An Evening With Literary Agents." The salon will be held at the SCAPE Gallery at 2850 East Coast Hwy. For more information or to reserve a spot, click here.
Salamatipour, who plans to pursue creative writing at UC-Berkeley, wrote the winning essay called "Commanding Composure."
"Part of the mission of the Pen on Fire salon is to promote creative writing amongst teens," DeMarco Barrett said. The contest was open to Corona del Mar High School seniors who plan to pursue writing in college.