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Civics and the City


Deep Thoughts

Turkey or Brisket?

Thanksgivukkah * There will be chaos in the kitchens on Thursday November 28, 2013. According to the Religious News Service (RNS) it “last happened in 1888 and, according to one calculation, won’t happen again for another 77,798 years: the convergence of Thanksgiving and...

Guns and Cell Phones

GUNS, GUNS AND MORE GUNS * Regarding the fatal LAX shooting–there is now a lot of discussion on how to improve security. In spite of this tragedy the emergency police response was admirable. The shooter could have killed dozens or hundreds. It seems to me that the search...

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Letter to the Editor: What the Old Guard Cost Us

With our city council elections approaching, you’ve been reading a stream of letters to the editor yearning for the old days of big, expensive, and bloated city government. The small and loud old guard lost power in 2014, and they don’t like it. There was a time when you had to...

Letter to the Editor: Retaining the Unique Character of Newport Beach

It seems that most projects and remodels in this town are built by exception . . . exception to the existing General Plan and Zoning Codes. Why is that? Why do we bother with plans, codes and a building department? All we really need is a big red rubber stamp that ...

Letter to the Editor: We Need Change on the City Council

As a former member of the Newport Beach City Council, I have a unique perspective on this year’s election. During my first two years, I was privileged to serve with dedicated public servants who put the city first and worked in a spirit of collegiality to accomplish important...

Left of Center

A Savary Choice for 48th Congressional District

A column or two ago I voiced some bravos and a brava to candidates who are willing to submit themselves to the political process. Here’s another: Suzanne Savary enjoys a comfortable lifestyle. She lives in a Balboa Island cottage half a block from the beach and belongs to the...

Grass Roots Democracy: The American Way

Last summer, after Hoag Hospital announced it was ending elective abortion on the heels of its affiliation with St. Joseph, I wrote a flurry of columns about why this was a terrible decision. The words I wrote upset some at Hoag and in the community. Others, including some of...

Lynn's Spin

Lynn’s Spin: Newport Residents to be Honored at Philanthropy Day Luncheon

The National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon is one of my very favorite annual events held each year at the Hyatt Regency Irvine in celebration of select Orange County philanthropists, business leaders and individuals. What I love most about the event is hearing the stories,...
Posted On 25 Oct 2013

Lynn’s Spin: Invictus — Made in the USA

For those of you who read my column with regularity, you know that I am an unapologetic patriot. I support our troops, believe in capitalism, feel freedom is one of God’s greatest gifts, and despite the challenges that the United States of America is facing, that we are the...
Posted On 12 Oct 2013

Mom's Voice

Mom’s Voice: Synergy in Motherhood

Greek Philosopher Aristotle believed that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” The technical term is ‘synergy’ and it means that working together, some things accomplish more than what you would expect from adding up what they can do separately. A house...
Posted On 07 Oct 2013

Mom’s Voice: Playing with Food

Don’t you think we’ve crossed some line somewhere when an eating contest is televised on ESPN? I love food as much as the next food lover, but when the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest can be viewed on a sports channel, should we be worried or take it with a grain of salt?...
Posted On 29 Sep 2013

Mom’s Voice: Shear Madness

Just before Wyatt came out of the bathroom at Great Clips I quickly whispered to the woman about to cut his hair, “He’s phobic of haircuts.” “What?” I tried to give her the eight year history in three seconds: He’s extremely ticklish and can’t sit still, one time at t...
Posted On 26 Sep 2013

My Turn

Fish Stories

There is a story about a young student who, pressured by his parents to go to law school, rebelled by never going to class. So the professor of his International Law class was surprised when he showed up for the final exam. He began to write furiously and continued long after all...
Posted On 07 Apr 2013

Six Degrees of City Hall and Cyprus

BAD DOG AND THE DUKE Passage of time has turned two city halls in our region into recognizable landmarks: Los Angeles and Pasadena. It will be interesting to see if the new Newport Beach City Hall has that kind of staying power. Of course the new building is not without its...
Posted On 31 Mar 2013

Sugar Mama

The Straight Scott

Council Should Pay Back Compensation

(Note: This post has been edited to correct incomplete or misstated information. It is up to the reader to decide how these changes affect the basic premise of the post. The Friday print edition of the Newport Beach Indy will have more on this issue. -Editor) A City Charter is...

The Best Choice

If you remember the old Remington Shaver commercial, it started out with the statement that he went looking for the best razor and he liked it so much he bought the company.  Well that is similar to what happened to me regarding the 74th Assembly District.  I looked around and...

Has the Planning Commission Gone Rogue?

The Newport City Council has overruled the Planning Commission on several key votes this past year.  It kind of makes you wonder if we really need a Planning Commission. Hey, if the City Council is going to overrule the commission anyway, why put an applicant through th...

That's My Take

Reflection on 2012: What I Will Miss

I have been getting rid of things the last two weeks like old newspapers, financial statements, pictures, magazines, clothes, and a host of other things so I can start the year fresh and organized. I have also been thinking about local restaurants, and people I will miss this...

Up Close with Mayor Nancy Gardner

Mayor Nancy Gardner took time out of her very busy schedule in October to do an early interview with me so I could have this column ready for the changing of the guard in December. As most of you know, we do not elect our city’s mayor. They are chosen annually by their council...