Newport Beach City Manager Update: Balboa Trolley, Movies in the Park

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Grace Leung

By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

This Memorial Day weekend marks the official start of summer and the launch of a new City anti-litter campaign that will run for the next few months, through Labor Day.

The theme of the campaign is “Make a Splash, Pick up Trash: Keep Newport Beach Beautiful.”

Over the course of the summer, you will see the colorful signs at the entrances to beaches, around public parks and City facilities in beach areas, and displayed by participating private businesses.

The purpose of the anti-litter campaign is two-fold:

  • Education and awareness. Our City crews and contractors do a great job of cleaning and maintaining our public spaces, but they can’t be everywhere at all times. One of the goals of this campaign is to create awareness and remind everyone that all of us — residents, business owners, visitors and City government – need to work together to “Keep Newport Beach Beautiful.”
  • Highlighting an expanded volunteer program. The City has updated and expanded its volunteer program to better align individual volunteers and groups with the areas of the City that need the most attention. This effort is being coordinated by Theresa Schweitzer in our Public Works Department.

To learn more, please visit To contact the City regarding volunteer cleanup opportunities for individuals and groups, email [email protected].

As a reminder, there will be no street sweeping or trash collection on Memorial Day. For the remainder of the week, street sweeping will be on its regular schedule and residential trash pickup will be delayed by one day.

With gratitude for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, let’s enjoy the Memorial Day weekend!

Free Balboa Peninsula Trolley Returns for Summer Run

The Balboa Peninsula Trolley will resume operations on Memorial Day weekend, beginning Saturday, May 28, with free service continuing throughout the summer on weekends and holidays.

Beginning on May 28, the trolley service will be available from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays as well as Memorial Day (May 30), Independence Day (July 4), and Labor Day (September 5). The trolley is a fun and free way to explore the peninsula.

There are 22 designated stops along the trolley route. Trolleys are scheduled to arrive in 15-minutes intervals, which may vary slightly depending on traffic conditions. Riders are invited to climb aboard or exit the trolley at any of the stops along the way to and from the Balboa Pier and Fun Zone area.

The Balboa Peninsula Trolley. — Photo courtesy city of Newport Beach ©

For those planning a day at the beach, the trolley can accommodate bicycles, surfboards under six-feet long, and beach gear. Trolley riders traveling from outside the area can utilize free parking at the City’s Avon Street municipal parking lot located near the Tustin Avenue and Avon Street intersection within Mariners’ Mile along Coast Highway.

This service is provided by the City of Newport Beach and funded through grants from the Orange County Transportation Authority (Measure M2 funds). For more information visit

Mountain Lion Captured Near Ports Streets, Relocated

A mountain lion reported in the Port Streets neighborhood on Friday, May 20 was found within several hours, tranquilized and relocated safely by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The mountain lion was reported at about 1:30 p.m. around the 1900 block of Port Cardigan Place. The Newport Beach Police Department, Animal Control and local Fish and Wildlife officers deployed personnel in the area Friday afternoon to locate the mountain lion and used drones to search the area.

At about 5:30 p.m. the mountain lion was found in the side yard of a home on Port Cardigan. A Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist was able to successfully tranquilize the lion. Fish and Wildlife personnel removed the cat and loaded it into a truck to be relocated.

If you see a mountain lion or other dangerous wildlife, please report it to the Newport Beach Police Department through the non-emergency line at (949) 644-3717, or in the event of an emergency, call 9-1-1.

Newport Pier Restaurant Demolition Completed

Demolition work to remove the vacant restaurant building at the end of Newport Pier was completed this week. The final step — adding concrete to a below-grade area beneath the former building (shown in the photo below) — is expected to be completed by June 1.

The restaurant was constructed atop a concrete pad that sits slightly below the rest of the pier deck. Next week, crews will add concrete to create a level surface.

This weekend, the end of the pier will reopen with smaller safety barricades surrounding the concrete area. The main pier will remain open during concrete placement, as crews will use a series of pumps to move concrete from the parking lot area to the end of the pier.

In October the Newport Beach City Council voted to demolish the former restaurant building and study options to enhance the McFadden Square area at the base of the pier, adjacent parking lots and the pier itself. Later this summer the Council will consider a recommended proposal to study potential improvements.

The Newport Pier construction activity has received significant media attention recently, with news coverage on ABC7, the Orange County Register, Daily Pilot and more.

City Names Longtime Employees Hartson, Levin to Leadership Team

Two longtime City employees, Melissa Hartson and Sean Levin, have been named as the new directors of Library Services and Recreation & Senior Services, respectively. Hartson and Levin succeed Library Services Director Tim Hetherton and RSS Director Laura Detweiler, who recently retired.

Hartson brings more than 26 years of experience with the Newport Beach Public Library. She began as a library page and has held multiple positions in the department during her long tenure. Levin has 25 years of experience providing recreational services for cities, including the last 20 years with the City of Newport Beach. He began working for the City as Recreation Manager before being promoted to Recreation Superintendent, and served for the past 8 years as Deputy Director. He served a short stint as interim director since Detweiler’s retirement last month.

NBPD’s Prince, Schiavi Recognized at Promotional Ceremony

During a promotional ceremony on Monday, May 23, Sergeant Jason Prince and Lieutenant Mike Schiavi were recognized for their accomplishments at the Newport Beach Police Department.

Prince joined the NBPD in 2012 and worked as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Economic Crimes detective, and Crimes Against Persons Detective. Additionally, he has served as a member of the Crisis Negotiations Team and the Peer Support Team and is the department’s Polygraph examiner. In November 2021 he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and was assigned to the Patrol Division as a field supervisor.

Sergeant Jason Prince and Lieutenant Mike Schiavi (in photo with Police Chief Jon Lewis, left)

Schiavi was hired by the Newport Beach Police Department in 1999 as a Police Recruit. After completing training he held several positions including Patrol Officer, Accident Investigator, Motor Officer, and Traffic Detective. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2012. In this capacity, he worked as a Patrol Sergeant, Motorcycle Sergeant, Special Events Sergeant, and the Special Victims Unit Detective Sergeant. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in April 2022 and is currently assigned to the Patrol Division as the Area 2 commander.

More than 300 Attend First ‘Movie in the Park’ Event of the Summer

On Friday, May 13, more than 300 guests viewed the movie “Luca” at Marina Park, the first of several “Movie in the Park” events scheduled for this summer. Free popcorn, candy, crafts and activities were available to enjoy under the stars.

Please join us at the upcoming “Movie in the Park” events scheduled for July 15, August 19, and September 16.

Be Well Mobile Crisis Response Update

The Be Well mobile crisis response team is now operating in Newport Beach 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to mental and behavioral health crises. The mobile unit is staffed with mental health specialists and EMTs, and works closely with the City’s police and fire departments.

This week the Be Well team:

  • Transported two people to the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.
  • Transported two people to crisis stabilization units for treatment.
  • Transported a person to the Sobering Station at the Be Well campus.
  • Reunified an elderly person with family members in Los Angeles County.
  • Collaborated with the Newport Beach Police Department to place a person on a psychiatric hold for treatment.
  • Rendered First Aid for two people experiencing homelessness.
  • Transported ten people to services, shelter intakes, and appointments.
  • Conducted 32 outreach interactions with residents and people experiencing homelessness.

Homelessness Update

The City of Newport Beach provides a comprehensive response to address homelessness through a coordinated effort by City staff, contractors, partner agencies and nonprofit groups.

This week the City’s homeless outreach and response teams:

  • Completed assessments with four people experiencing homelessness to determine disabling conditions.
  • Continue to place people in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter. Fifteen people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are now sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.
  • Enrolled two people into services .
  • Completed housing paperwork for two clients matched to housing vouchers.

To donate to those experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach, please visit our Good Giving Program web page:






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