Newport Beach City Manager Week in Review for Dec 11

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City Manager Grace Leung

By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

On Sunday, December 6, the stay-at-home order tied to regional intensive care unit (ICU) capacities went into effect. The order places Orange County in a larger Southern California region that is experiencing increases in hospitalizations and ICU admittance.

The restrictions will remain in effect for at least three weeks. Visit https://newportbeachca.gov/Home/Components/News/News/38869/2720 for more information on the current restrictions.

Coming so close to the holidays, the stay-at-home order presents a serious hardship for many of our local, small businesses.

Please continue to support our local businesses by ordering take-out from Newport Beach restaurants (pick up the food yourself if you can) and visiting retail establishments safely, in compliance with State guidelines. Retail is permitted to stay open at reduced capacities during this stay-at-home order.

The City’s goal is to be supportive – not punitive – for the many small businesses who are doing their best to survive.

We are continuing to distribute grant funding to qualified small businesses (more than 300 have received assistance in the past several months). Together with our partners at Newport Beach & Co., the chambers of commerce and local business groups, we have launched the “S.H.I.P. Shape” initiative to encourage alignment with public health recommendations and promote a “shop local” message for our residents.

As the number of COVID-19 cases increases and regional ICU capacity becomes more limited, we must all remain diligent in preventing the spread of the virus.

Thankfully, the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines promises an end to the pandemic in 2021. However, the initial shipments will be prioritized first for healthcare personnel; the County anticipates it will be March when the vaccine is available to the general public. Therefore, we are not out of the woods yet, and the next few weeks will be critical as case rates are continuing to increase. Please continue to wear face coverings and wash hands frequently, and limit contact with those outside your household during the holiday season.

COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach

As of December 10, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach was 1,654 and the total cases in Orange County was 94,647. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of December 10 was 64,054. These figures are provided to Orange County by the California Department of Public Health.

Avery Elected Mayor, Muldoon Named Mayor Pro Tem

At the City Council meeting on Tuesday, December 8, the City Council elected Brad Avery as the Newport Beach Mayor for the 2020-21 term. Kevin Muldoon was elected Mayor Pro Tem. The Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem positions rotate annually among Council members, by vote of the City Council. The Council also welcomed its newest member to the dais, Council Member Noah Blom, elected November 3 to represent Council District 5. Avery and Council Member Will O’Neill were both sworn-in to a second term of office.

Avery was elected to Newport Beach City Council in 2016, and was reelected in the November 3, 2020 general election to represent District 2. Muldoon was elected to the City Council in 2014 and reelected in 2018 as the District 4 representative. O’Neill, elected in 2016 and reelected in 2020, represents the 7th Council District.

Community Invited to Upcoming Circulation Workshops December 15 and 16

The City will be seeking input from the community on the movement of goods and people throughout Newport Beach at two interactive, virtual workshops on December 15 and December 16 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The workshops will cover themes from the current Circulation Element in two parts and will provide the ability for the community to have a discussion with staff on the themes and issues that are most important to community members. Each of the two workshops will be different, so participation at both is encouraged!

Participants can register at https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0kfuqrqDIpE9Z5ZT63g2JdBt8q9eAn_iP2 for the virtual workshop, hosted on Zoom. The entire community is invited and encouraged to attend. If you are unable to make it, the workshops will be recorded and made available on www.newporttogether.com. Check it out and sign up to stay informed!

NBPL Earns Four Stars from Library Journal

The Board of Library Trustees are proud to announce that Newport Beach Public Library was once again named as a Star Library in a national ranking compiled by Library Journal. The Library has attained 4 Star status, according to the 2020 Library Journal Index of Public Library Service and Star Library ratings.

Based on seven indicators from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Public Library Survey (PLS) – usage of online content, physical circulation, circulation of electronic materials, library visits, program attendance, public internet computer use, and Wi-Fi sessions – the Newport Beach Public Library joins other top performing libraries in the $5M-$9.9M expenditure range as a 4 Star Library.

NBPL is the sole Orange County public library to achieve this status, and 1 of 9 in the State of California. This is the 11th occasion in 13 years that NBPL has been honored in this manner, and represents a jump from 3 Star status to 4 Stars.

Cultural Arts Grant Applications

Each year, the City of Newport Beach distributes funds to arts organizations, enabling them to expand arts programs offered to the local community. To apply, arts organizations are required to meet the following criteria:

  1. Only arts organizations are eligible; we do not award grants to individual artists.
  2. Arts organizations must propose projects/programs for funding that directly benefit children and adults living in Newport Beach, and schools only within the City’s geographic boundaries. Collaborative events, such as public performances or programs implemented in conjunction with the City of Newport Beach are also eligible for grants.
  3. The Arts Commission funds only arts projects/programs which will be presented before the designated dates (to be announced), not general operating expenses.
  4. Because of COVID-19 related restrictions on public gatherings, arts organizations that received cultural arts grants during 2019-20 will not be required to complete and return their Cultural Arts Grant Completion Report until the arts organization presents the grant-funded programming.
  5. All applications must be typed or word-processed and complete with requested attachments. You may reformat on the computer as long as the font and pagination appear the same.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, arts organizations are strongly encouraged to submit proposals utilizing 2020-21 Cultural Arts Grant funds for virtual programming.

Application materials are available at https://www.newportbeachca.gov/government/departments/library-services/cultural-arts/cultural-arts-grants.

Homelessness Update

Addressing homelessness continues to be a priority in the City’s ongoing COVID-19 response, working closely with contractor City Net and regional partners throughout the county and state. The City Net hotline number is (714) 451-6198. Those who call the hotline may leave a detailed voicemail message for themselves or for others in need and City Net staff will respond within 48 hours. For immediate assistance call the County’s Crisis Prevention Hotline at (877) 7-CRISIS or (877) 727-4747.

Success Stories

  • City Net referred a man staying by Channel Place Park into the Santa Ana Armory emergency shelter on Thanksgiving Day. He lost his job due to COVID-19 and could no longer afford rent in a sober living home. He plans to re-enter a sober living program when he exits the Armory.
  • City Net staff helped a person staying by the Newport Pier area apply for Medi-Cal for health care services. Medi-Cal provides health insurance for medical and dental care.
  • City Net staff completed two housing assessments for people enrolled in their services.
  • A client staying by the Newport Pier was reconnected with his case manager from Telecare, which provides several programs to assist people with serious mental health conditions.
  • Staff continues to provide support and case management to several people sheltering in motels while they await placement into permanent, supportive housing.
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