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SPON Announces New Campaign

Stop Polluting Our Newport was formed in 1974 by a group of Newport Beach citizens dedicated to preserving and protecting the environmental and residential quality of life in Newport Beach.

Now, as part of its 40th Anniversary, SPON will officially announce the roll out its new campaign: “Still Protecting Our Newport – Inspiring the Next Generation” at the upcoming SPON Annual Meeting on May 17.

This campaign is intended to accomplish three goals: Highlight SPON’s achievements which span more than four decades; identify Newport Beach treasures (those places and features that make Newport Beach a true gem of a community); and inspire today’s generations to actively engage in the conversation of stewardship with the city and civic leaders so that the legacy that has been built over 40 years continues for future generations.

For more information about SPON, its Anniversary Campaign or Annual Meeting, visit


Keith Curry Calls for Protections for OC Fairgrounds

Saying it is time to eliminate the risk that the Orange County Fairgrounds could be sold or leased to a private party, 74th Assembly District candidate and Newport Beach City Councilman Keith Curry called for the repeal of state legislation adopted in 2009 to allow for the sale or long term lease of the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa.

“The Fairgrounds belong to the people; selling vital state assets as a one-time budget balancing strategy was one of the misguided and ineffectual ideas of the Schwarzenegger administration.  While the efforts in Orange County were bungled and unsuccessful, the legislation authorizing such a sale or lease is still on the books.  Repealing Assembly Bill 22 would remove the risk that future fair boards may be tempted to sell this essential public asset in the future,” said Curry.

As part of his budget strategy in 2009, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger sought authority to sell and lease back several state assets including the Orange County Fairgrounds. The Fair Board at the time pursued this strategy until public outcry forced its abandonment.

“Repealing the authorization contained in AB 22 is consistent with the recommendations of the Fair Sale Review Board that evaluated this process after the sale failed. If this law is still on the books when I take office, my first bill will be to repeal this authorization. Any future consideration of selling the Fairgrounds should first have to proceed through full legislative review and authorization before being pursued. Removing this authority will give greater certainty to the current fair board in negotiating financing and facility improvements on the Fairgrounds,” Curry continued.

Fair Board Chairman Stan Thaczyck welcomed Curry’s initiative.

“Selling the Fairgrounds was a bad idea and we need to remove this poorly thought out authorization from the books,” he said. “We welcome Councilman Curry’s support in this effort.”


Dixon Raises $70,000 for Council Race

Diane Dixon has raised $70,000 in donations and pledges for her Newport Beach City Council campaign, she said this week.

Dixon, who began her campaign in January, spoke to a group of supporters last week at the home of Peggy and Michael Lanni. Among those present were former Newport Beach mayors Evelyn Hart and Dennis O’Neil, businessmen Buck Johns and Walkie Ray, former city manager and councilman Robert Shelton, and two dozen others.

“I am so very grateful for the support I’ve received,” Dixon said. “I have been meeting and listening to people from all parts of the city and each area has its special concerns: Corona del Mar, Balboa Peninsula, West Newport. But everywhere I go, the overriding issue is quality of life. Newport Beach is an exceptional, extraordinary city. It’s paradise. My goal is to keep it that way. Together, we will.”

Dixon also fielded questions from her audience on a range of issues, including the city budget and pensions, public safety, John Wayne Airport, and group homes in the city. She spoke about “the need for a city government that is more responsive, respectful and resourceful with taxpayer dollars.”

“Present company excepted,” said Shelton, with a wink at his two former Council colleagues, “Diane is the most knowledgeable and best prepared candidate in my memory.”

In a 30-year career with Avery Dennison, Diane Brooks Dixon created, led and managed global corporate communications and governmental affairs for the Fortune 300 corporation with $6 billion in sales and operations in more than 60 countries. Since 2011, she has offered her expertise to select corporate and nonprofit clients through Diane Dixon Global Consultants.

She lives on Lido Isle with her husband, Patrick Dixon, who served as Assistant District Attorney after his long-time role as head of the Major Crimes Unit of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.


Wedge Documentary to Air on PBS SoCal

A new dramatic documentary reveals how a young heir to a dynasty makes a tragic mistake that changes a family, a local community and the sport of surfing forever.

PBS SoCal will premiere “The WEDGE: Dynasty, Tragedy, Legacy” on its PBS SoCal Plus channel (50.2 over-the-air) on May 23, 2014 at 6:30 p.m., the 78th anniversary of the re-opening of the Newport Harbor and the creation of The Wedge.

A century ago the Rogers Brothers’ built Union Rock, a Southern California empire based on rock, gravel and road building. But tragedy struck in 1926 when the oldest son of George Rogers, president of Union Rock, was tragically killed in a boating accident in the notoriously dangerous Newport Harbor entrance.

At the time, that harbor entrance was the greatest surfing spot on the west coast of North America, but it was also a deadly hazard to boats and ships.

. George Rogers’ efforts to permanently improve the harbor entrance destroyed the greatest surfing spot on the west coast of North America, but it also created a new legendary surfing spot, The Wedge.

“The Wedge: Dynasty, Tragedy, Legacy” is written, hosted and co-produced by Newport Beach native and Academy Award-nominated film maker, Bob Rogers, son of former Newport Beach mayor, Howard Rogers.

From the Rogers’ family’s personal film and photo archive, and other sources, come extensive and never-before-seen photos and 16mm film footage showing the early long board surfing in the treacherous Newport Harbor entrance, and the opening of the improved Harbor in May of 1936.

For more information, visit


Sherman Library & Gardens Hosts 3rd Annual Fuchsia Festival

Sherman Library & Gardens will be celebrating its signature flower, the fuchsia, on May 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the 3rd Annual Fuchsia Festival.

Guests will enjoy strolling the grounds while admiring a huge variety of blooming fuchsias and a collection of more than 1,400 plant varieties.

This horticultural family event will feature a fuchsia sale, fuchsia seminars by John Bishop and Jane Deeming, free raffle, and tours of the Gardens. Children’s activities will be ongoing throughout the day: snail races, hula hoop, crafts, games, face painting, and seed planting.

The Tea Garden Creperie will feature live music, delicious handmade crepes, wine, champagne, coffee, juices, and a selection of kid friendly choices.

For more information visit or call (949) 673-2261, ext. 300.

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