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Council OK’s Later Alcohol Service Hours for Port Theater

After about 45 minutes of discussion Tuesday, City Council approved extended hours for a local theater to serve alcohol.

Council voted 6-1, with Councilwoman Nancy Gardner dissenting, to allow Port Theater in Corona del Mar to serve alcohol until 1 a.m., several hours past it’s current 11 p.m. cutoff time.

Gardner had appealed the Planning Commission’s approval of the permit. Gardner expressed concern for the surrounding residents.

Several residents spoke in opposition during public comment.

Regulations include only selling if a film is still playing and serving the entire theater, including during an all-age showing.

If any problems arise, police could change the rules or revoke the permit.


Police Warn Residents of Scammers

The Newport Beach Police Department sent out a Nixle scam awareness advisory Thursday warning residents about aggressive scammers calling businesses and residents throughout Orange County.

The scammers use a variety of guises, including pretending to be from a utility company (i.e. Southern California Edison) or a government agency, or to be a family member in distress, according to the alert.

“The scammers may harass the persons they speak to, escalating to threats that utilities will be disconnected, or that a warrant or arrest is imminent, if payment is not received,” police explain in the message. “In other cases, the scammers impersonate family members who are in trouble and need funds quickly.”

They often request payment via a Green Dot Money Pak card or a wire transfer.

“Both of these payment methods should be highly suspect if requested by an unknown person,” the alert states.

Neither the IRS, local law enforcement, nor utilities companies will contact residents demanding immediate payment, according to NBPD.

Southern California Edison has provided the following list of “red flags” to help recognize a possible scammer: “Phone numbers. Phone scammers often use “off” phone numbers like 888 or different number combinations. SCE uses 800 numbers for any customer contacts; Extension numbers. Imposters use extension numbers to make themselves appear more legitimate.  SCE does not use extension numbers; Threats. SCE does not threaten customers with service shut-off for two-weeks; Reloaded Debit Cards. SCE does not accept Green Dot or Vanilla reload debit cards; Weekends/Holidays.  SCE does not call customers on weekends or on holidays.”

Police also included a few other tips in the alert.

First and foremost, do not give out personal information.

Ask the caller for their name, department, and business phone number. Call the police if they refuse. Confirm that information by calling the organization at a phone number found on the internet or through official correspondence/billing statements.

For calls from an alleged grandchild, or other family member, ask callers to identify themselves. Also, verify the whereabouts of the alleged caller by contacting other family members – or use a number already on file to reach the person they claim to be.

Do not use telephone numbers provided by the caller.

Be wary of anyone attempting to collect a debt by telephone or email.

Seniors are more susceptible to be victimized in these types of scams, so keep elderly relatives informed about these incidents.

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