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Civics and the City


Deep Thoughts

Paying College Football Players is Out of Bounds

The debate over whether college football players should be paid has been around for a long time. On first hike it seems like a good idea. It seems correct legally, but if we look deeper I will argue that the federal ruling this year could change the entire college experience for...

Doggy Bites

* Doggy Identification A friend of mine has a West Highland Terrier otherwise known as a “Westie.” The dog’s name is Mackie. Another breed, the “Scotties,” look very similar to the Westies but are easy to tell apart as the Scottie is black and the Westie is white. Another...

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English 101

A Civic Center Chairy Tale

I have written several times about the infamous $1,073 chairs purchased for the Newport Beach City Hall. After multiple requests, I finally received the invoice from the city dated March 1, 2013. Tara Finnegan, Public Information Manager for the city of Newport Beach, said that...

Playing Loose with City Election Rules

It appears that Newport Beach City Clerk Leilani Brown misstated an important city election rule. The issue is about the rights of minority owners of businesses to donate to city council campaigns once their company makes a maximum donation, or vice versa. Four owners of Woody’s...

City Hall’s $1K Chairs, Take Two

Two months ago, I wrote about the new city hall building that, according to a report in the OC Register, was “furnished with high-end furniture and fixtures, including 204 leather Herman Miller chairs designed by modernist designers Charles and Ray Eames, at a cost of $1,073...

Inbox

Letter to the Editor: City Council is Nonpartisan Office

If the question was asked of Joy Brenner (running for District 6 on the City Council) do you favor Cheerios or Wheaties for breakfast, the answer would be that it has nothing to do with the Newport Beach City Council. The same can be said if questioned about her political party...

Letter to the Editor: Focus on the Positive

Tired of the election hit pieces? Try focusing on the positive and you’ll feel better. We live in a beautiful small city, population 80,000 vs Huntington Beach at 202,000 and Costa Mesa at 114,000. Some would even go so far to say “small town” because in many ways we are. Many of...

Letter to the Editor: No on Measure T

Why I am voting NO on Measure T in Newport Beach. There is no other city in the nation which has adopted this kind of restriction, although lease obligation debt has been validated in court decisions as far back as 1942. Do we really need to hold an election when we will rebuild...

Left of Center

Peotter, Privilege and a Line in the Sand

 You’ve likely seen recent ads in our local print media announcing the formation of the political action committee (PAC) called Line in the Sand. The PAC may be new, but the names behind it are familiar: Jean Watt, 2013 Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year and...

Somewhere Over the Rainbow with Scott Peotter

A note to the reader: The responsibilities of running a city are complex and demanding. It’s regrettable that Councilmember Scott Peotter has obliged the City Council, the citizens of this city, and this writer to divert our attention from working together to make Newport Beach a...

Lynn's Spin

Lynn’s Spin: Tales of an American Granddaughter

Like most Americans, I come from a family of proud immigrants. My grandmother’s family made the harrowing trip across the Atlantic from Ireland in the late 1800s and opened the Murray Baking Company in Los Angeles. As a kid I remember the story of my great-grandfather, having...
Posted On 11 Jul 2014

Lynn’s Spin: Tales of an American Granddaughter

Like most Americans, I come from a family of proud immigrants. My grandmother’s family made the harrowing trip across the Atlantic from Ireland in the late 1800’s and opened the Murray Baking Company in Los Angeles. As a kid I remember the story of my great- grandfather, having...
Posted On 03 Jul 2014

Mom's Voice

Mom’s Voice: Doing Errands, Mom Style

Hallmark has done a great job branching out with Christmas ornaments and family-friendly, made for TV movies. But they’ve missed the boat on washing cars. All the best greeting cards I purchase are from the car wash. Just the other day, as my minivan, covered in foamy white suds,...
Posted On 30 Jun 2014

Mom’s Voice: A Wrinkle in Time

A friend of mine who teaches kindergarten posted on her Facebook wall: “One of my students asked to draw a self portrait of me today and she promised she would not include the wrinkles!!!” It received 14 likes. Among the handful of comments “Got to love it! Right from the mouth...
Posted On 03 Jun 2014

Mom’s Voice: Town and Country Sisters

Remember the tale of Town Mouse and Country Mouse? A recent email exchange between my sister and me offered a reminder of how her life (married with no children, painter, and working at a wolf sanctuary in Washington State) and my life (married with four kids in Orange County)...
Posted On 27 May 2014

My Turn

Water and Money

Back in April (Pump Priming, 4/15), I wrote “the jury is still out on the Great Drought of 2013. Still, surveyors in the Sierras just reported the snowpack is about half normal after the driest January-March since they started keeping records in 1895.” Well, the jury...
Posted On 03 Jan 2014

Naughty or Nice

“He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, So be good, for goodness’ sake.” Now you can’t say you haven’t been properly warned. I know, you’ve been awfully busy, and you really didn’t mean to leave it to the last minute,...
Posted On 22 Dec 2013

Sugar Mama

Naked Mondays

Remember when Christina Aguillera went on “Ellen” a few years ago and told America about her and her new husband’s quirky little ritual they coined “Naked Sundays”? Apparently, at the end of every week, she and that darling Jason Bratman spent the entire day in the nude, cooking,...
Posted On 31 May 2012

That’s Missus to You, Missy

I know this is controversial, and that many of you roll your eyes whenever I bring this up. And I get your side – really. You want to be accessible to our children, cultivating an open forum for free dialogue as a proactive disciplining measure – if we’re “pals” with our...
Posted On 18 May 2012

The Perfect Mother’s Day Card

Unlike most moms, Mother’s Day fills me with anxiety. It’s the card thing, mostly – that profound disappointment over Hallmark leaving me out, yet again. “You, Mother, always know what to say…You, Mother, make right my disarray,” or whatever the sentiment du annum may be. My...
Posted On 11 May 2012

The Straight Scott

If the Government Shuts Down

If the Government Shuts Down and no one is there to hear it does it make a difference? Did anyone miss the government? Outside of the National Park Service using armed park police to prevent anyone from “recreating” on NPS property, I thought the government was starting to...

Vindictive Government

Last week on the first day of the government shutdown, a group of World War II veterans that were part of the “Honor Flight” Network showed up at the WWII memorial on the mall. This is a nonprofit group that assists veterans in visiting Washington DC to visit the war memorials at...

The Jewel of Newport

While serving on the Planning Commission, I was struck with how different Newport Beach is FROM Newport Beach. Newport Beach has several distinct and very different communities all within the city limits.  Unlike South County which is somewhat monolithic. With apologies to those...

That's My Take

More Fuel for Fire Rings Debate

Many Newport Beach residents do not pay attention to what is going on with major issues across the city as long as it does not affect them—or so it seems. We are divided into seven districts and each district has its own council representative.  While the council votes on all...

Interview with the Newport Beach Bunnies

The bunnies that live at the Newport Beach City Hall (also known as the Newport Beach Bunnies) called me and asked if I would interview them so that they could give the community their perspective on all the controversy that is taking place about them. I did not want to weigh in...