Around Town: Costa Mesa fire captain is named battalion chief


The Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue Department said Friday that Capt. Chris Coates is being promoted to battalion chief. His official start date is Jan. 21.

Coates joined the city of Costa Mesa in 1998 and has been a captain since 2003. He most recently served as the administrative and training captain and acted as the department’s spokesman since October 2015.

As a battalion chief, Coates will return to the field and oversee an entire shift of personnel as well as becoming part of the department’s executive management team. The city has three fire battalion chiefs.


Coates will be based at the city’s new Fire Station No. 1 and will fill the position vacated by the recent retirement of Battalion Chief Kevin Diamond.

O.C. fairgrounds hosts bridal expo Saturday

The Bride World Expo, a day for brides- and grooms-to-be to put their wedding plans in high gear, is coming to the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa on Saturday.

The show will feature up to 150 vendors, including florists, photographers and DJs, plus fashion shows, a gown sale, decor ideas, honeymoon packages and do-it-yourself seminars.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach buildings at 88 Fair Drive.

Tickets are $12 for general admission, $6 for active military personnel with ID and free for children 12 and younger. Parking is $9.

For more information, visit

Fundraising effort aims to help Costa Mesa boy with rare disease

A GoFundMe page has raised more than $13,700 from about 200 donors to help pay medical bills for 13-year-old Costa Mesa resident Jacob Fesili, who has been diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare disorder in which the immune system attacks healthy nerves.

In November, the Costa Mesa Middle School eighth-grader fell ill during a band competition and within a few days was paralyzed and on a ventilator.

Jacob’s mother, Carrie Smith Fesili, and father, Andrew, have been using vacation and sick days to be with him and care for their two other children.

In addition to the GoFundMe campaign, which seeks to raise $25,000, the family has received help from Costa Mesa police and firefighters and from a fundraiser Sunday hosted by Costa Mesa resident Stan Isaacs at “Stanta’s Village,” the elaborate Christmas display at his home on Redwood Avenue.

Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley told KCBS-TV/2 that “I’ve known this family for many years; they’re always the family that’s there to volunteer for a booster group or to come out and help with the band or the community cleanups. They’re always there for us. It’s our turn to be there for them.”

Jacob told the station that he keeps repeating to himself that “I can do hard hard things.”

“Remember that it’s gonna be over soon, and just push through it so that you can enjoy everything,” he said.

The GoFundMe page is at

Make your own bath products at fairgrounds classes

Visitors to the OC Fair & Event Center can make their own organic scented bath and spa products on Saturday.

Participants can head to Centennial Farm’s Silo Building to make bath fizzies and shower melts with goat milk, sugar and salt scrubs with essential oils and dried flowers, plus a bonus project.

Classes will start at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. A $45 fee covers materials.

To sign up, visit

Day of the Kings celebration Sunday at Argyros Plaza

A free celebration of Dia de los Reyes, or Day of the Kings, will help close out the holiday season from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.

The celebration stems from the story of the three kings — Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar — who traveled from the Far East following a star that guided them to Jesus in Bethlehem.

Sunday’s event will include live music, face painting, a caricature artist, storytelling from a local “abuelita,” free rosca de reyes (kings cake) and a procession of the three kings.

The Segerstrom Center is at 600 Town Center Drive. For more information, visit or call (714) 556-2787.

Newport group to hold reception for new councilwoman

Women in Newport Networking will hold a meet-and-mingle reception for newly elected City Councilwoman Joy Brenner on Monday at the Bungalow, 2441 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar.

The event will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and include appetizers and a no-host bar.


Toll roads to be topic of meeting in Corona del Mar

The Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce will present a free community meeting Thursday addressing the Orange County toll road system and the Transportation Corridor Agencies’ plans for it.

The “Good Morning CdM” meeting will be from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, 1601 Bayside Drive. Coffee and pastries will be available.

Presentation in Newport will focus on Marine Protected Areas

Costa Mesa-based environmental group Orange County Coastkeeper will offer a presentation on California’s Marine Protected Areas and Coastkeeper’s MPA Watch volunteer program at 7 p.m. Thursday at Discovery Cube’s Ocean Quest Newport Beach.

To register for the free event, email Devon Ohlwiler at It also will be shown live at

Ocean Quest is at 600 E. Bay Ave.

Bill Gross donates $1.1 million to O.C. Teachers of the Year awards

Bill Gross of Laguna Beach, co-founder and former bond fund manager for Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co., or PIMCO, announced a donation of $1.1 million to the Orange County Teachers of the Year awards, adding to the $3.38 million he previously donated to the program.

Sixty-three educators from Orange County school districts and community colleges were honored in November at a dinner coordinated by the Orange County Department of Education. Six 2019 Orange County Teacher of the Year finalists announced in May received special recognition at the ceremony.

“As a father and longtime resident of Orange County, I have always admired and respected the role of educators in making a difference in our community,” Gross, a sponsor of the Orange County Teachers of the Year awards since 1992, said in a statement.

Panel in Newport Beach to discuss homelessness

A panel Wednesday featuring representatives of the Newport Beach Police Department, Orange County Health Care Agency and City Net will discuss how Newport is approaching the homelessness issue.

The free event, with a Q&A session, will run from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Community Room at City Hall, 100 Civic Center Drive.

Newport Dunes donates $32,000 to charities in 2018

The Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort contributed $32,000 to local charities and nonprofit organizations in 2018, according to the resort.

Recipients included the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, Newport Bay Conservancy, Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center, Project Hope Alliance for homeless children, Laura’s House for families affected by domestic violence, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Blind Children’s Learning Center and Standup for the Cure for breast cancer detection, treatment and education.

Newport lifeguard applications open

The Newport Beach Fire Department is accepting applications for seasonal ocean lifeguards.

Applications are due by Jan. 28 and tryouts are scheduled for Feb. 10. Candidates must be at least 16 years old by March 1 to be eligible.

To apply, visit and select “Lifeguard trainee P/T.”


This article was originally published at 3:50 p.m. Jan. 3 and was later updated with the Chris Coates, toll road and Marine Protected Areas items.