Corona del Mar Today

Mayor to Antenna Company: Plans to Add Poles "Offensive"

A company's plans to add five freestanding poles in front of Crystal Cove State Park, the Cameo Highlands neighborhood and other locations along East Coast Highway "is about as offensive to as many people in the city as it could possibly be," Mayor Keith Curry said at Tuesday night's City Council meeting.

The City Council voted unanimously to deny the company permission to add the poles.

Officials with the NextG Networks company declined to comment after the meeting. They had testified that they would prefer to use existing city poles for the antennas they use to boost connectivity among wireless service providers, but they want to pay $500 per year, not the city's fee, $1,500 per month.

A few residents of Cameo Highlands testified about health concerns from the antennas that would be added to the poles.

"I do know of problems from this kind of stuff," said Linda Primrose, who described herself as a "little grandma in tennis shoes." She carried an oversized purse that she said was filled with 20 years' of research on the health impact of low-energy emissions, including cancer clusters, immune system issues and more.

Most people, who testified, however, were upset with the idea of adding 30-foot poles to the community.

Crystal Cove State Park Supt. Todd Lewis told the Council that park friends were working to remove poles, but NextG added one near the Shake Shack and shouldn't be allowed to add another in the vicinity of a historic state park.

"I can't think of a more inappropriate place to place a pole," he said. "It does have a direct negative impact on the coastal viewpoint."

In the end Curry said he agreed, telling company officials, "I find that the eagerness of your firm to put poles in the shadow of Crystal Cove Park and at El Moro to be particularly insensitive and incompatible with our community values…It seems to me we're offering you the option to co-locate on city poles. You just don't want to pay the money to do so, and perhaps the only thing more flawed than your business plan is your public relations strategy."

After the council's vote, the audience clapped and cheered, and many of the residents who testified stopped to shake hands and thank the park superintendent.

Corona del Mar Residents, Councilwoman, Complain About Dog Messes

Over the holiday weekend, residents near a Jasmine Avenue park wanted to put out an inflatable pool for their two small children.

"We had to pick up six piles of poop before we could put the pool down," a Corona del Mar woman said. "Some people refuse to do their part."

There is a city-installed sign, warning that dogs need to be on leashes and that owners are required to clean up their feces. But dog messes are there, all the time.

Councilwoman Nancy Gardner noted the problem in her July newsletter.

"Our new civic center will have a dog park, and there is a proposal to extend the hours when dogs can be at the beach," she wrote. "As a dog owner, I understand the appeal, but I worry about that small percentage who try to ruin it for everyone."

She described the poop outbreak in the park and said she added a sign to the city's that said, "Pick up after your dog."

"Didn't make any difference," she wrote. "A neighbor, perhaps feeling a little warmth would help, added: 'Please. Children play here.' Still no response. Someone then affixed a roll of poop bags to the sign to take away any excuse–and there still was a problem! We dog owners are going to have to cover for our non-compliant peers if dog parks and extended hours are to succeed."

"An Evening With Literary Agents" Salon to Be Held Tuesday

The July Pen on Fire Speakers Series, "An Evening With Literary Agents," will feature a chance to have experts review a first page from a novel or memoir, organizer Barbara DeMarco Barrett said.

Submissions were due Saturday and will be selected randomly in advance, she said.

"Agents will respond off the cuff," she said. "This way, attendees can see first hand how agents respond to a submission: what works, what they like, what turns them on and what turns them off."

The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday 13 at SCAPE Gallery in Corona del Mar.

Agents Jamie Weiss Chilton, Jill Mar and Sally van Haitsma will participate, and Laguna Beach Books, will be on hand selling books.

At the salon, Alex Salamatipour, a Corona Del Mar High School senior, will be presented a $300 scholarship.

"A part of the mission of the Pen on Fire Speaker Series is to encourage creative writing as a lifelong vocation," DeMarco-Barrett said.

For more information on the event or how to submit your work, and to buy tickets, visit the Pen on Fire website. Tickets cost $20 and include refreshments.

SCAPE Gallery is located at 2859 East Coast Highway.

— Kristin Mathuny, CDM Today intern

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