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Opinion

Corona del Mar Today: Anti-airplane noise site takes off

A Corona del Mar woman has created a website, called Stop Airplane Noise, in response to a new John Wayne Airport flight path that many residents believe has planes flying over the village and creating unprecedented noise.

“My webpage and petition is meant to give CdM residents a central place to post their comments and sign a petition,” said Kay Rackauckas.

Rackauckas said that after she was quoted on the Corona del Mar Today site and later wrote a letter to the editor of the Daily Pilot about 20 people approached her, asking what to do to make their concerns known.

“These people live in different areas of CdM and were all being negatively affected by the planes,” she said. “They told me that the planes had never bothered them before STREL. I have raised my concerns with our council members and the JWA representative but was met with denials and ultimately no action. Residents don’t know where or who to complain to.”

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The STREL flight path was implemented March 10 and takes about half of JWA’s departing flights over the Back Bay to a turnaround point over the ocean. City and airport officials have said that flight tracking data shows that flights are complying with rules, and several observations of planes’ takeoff patterns has confirmed this, they said.

Rackauckas said her petition currently has just two signatures, but she wants to get the word out to residents who have heard more aviation noise since March.

“Once we have a sufficient number of (signatures) then we can seek action from the Board of Supervisors, JWA and the FAA,” she said. “The only way to get the planes out of our community is from the ground up.”

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Newsletter provides Civic Center update

Construction of the new Newport Beach Civic Center complex is on schedule and within budget — despite storm damage this winter and a small landslide that cost nearly $100,000.

Groundbreaking for the $128-million complex was one year ago, and city officials outlined progress to date in a May project newsletter.

The shoring wall along MacArthur Boulevard is complete, which will allow for crews to begin work on the foundation of a parking structure, which should be complete by fall.

The Civic Center project includes a 16-acre park with a dog park, a 17,000-square-foot library expansion, a 450-space parking structure, an emergency readiness center, a Council Chambers with seating for 150 people and more.

According to the May newsletter, as of April 30, the city spent $9.2 million on construction.

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Planners OK exceptions for Ocean Boulevard home

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The Newport Beach Planning Commission voted unanimously on Thursday to approve variances for an Ocean Boulevard home that will allow the structure to exceed height restrictions.

Commissioners agreed to the exceptions to the city’s zoning code because of lot constrictions and the fact that the new home at 3725 Ocean Blvd. would be far lower than the current one.

“The impact of height has been resolved to the greatest degree that is possible,” said Commissioner Michael Toerge.

Toerge said he visited the site, and while there were ways to build to curb height restrictions, it would reduce livable space and would not be “an acceptable solution.”

The vote followed a hearing that included a presentation by the homeowner, the project’s architect and public comments.

The owner, Dr. Desmond Fisher, said he owned the property since 1991 and was eager to replace the current dilapidated home.

“It’s quite frankly a blight on the neighborhood,” he told the commissioners. “For that I apologize.”

Fisher said he considered his neighbors during the project’s design, creating a roof that would blend into the ocean when seen from across the street. And his architect, John McInnes, said that construction would not need to close Ocean Boulevard — a concern of some neighbors.

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CdMHS music audition schedules announced

The Corona del Mar High School music department has announced audition schedules for the drum line, jazz ensemble and madrigal singers for the 2011-12 school year.

Students interested in auditioning for drum line must attend a June 2 workshop, which will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. in room 412. The formal audition will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. June 9, also in room 412. Organizers advise that students should bring snare sticks and a practice pad.

The jazz ensemble has openings for piano, trumpet and trombone. Interested students should contact music teacher Val Jamora.

The Madrigal auditions will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. June 6 and 7 in room 414. All interested students should sign up for an individual 10-minute audition slot; the sign-up sheet will be available outside the music room.

For more information, call (919) 515-6025.


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