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We’re crowing a bit at Firebrand Media (Newport Beach Independent’s parent company) this week with the introduction of our new web portal,

Check it out. The website is intended to become the marketplace for lifestyle, features and news solely dedicated to our coastal communities.

You also need to get to know two very talented people who are assigned the task of developing the site, Firebrand’s digital media director Scott Sanchez and new managing editor Kim Zepezauer.

As with anything we do, your comments, criticisms and praise will be duly noted.

And, if you’re curious, the site will offer a direct link into the site.

While we’re on the subject of Firebrand Media, the company is re-launching Newport Beach magazine in the middle of September, which will include a new, larger, livelier format.

The Indy’s own Lynn Selich has signed on as the magazine’s Associate Publisher and will bring a new, fresher look at the local society scene.

The first cover will feature the always popular Joseph McGinty Nichol.

Who? you ask.

C’mon, McG is a noted local and one of the owners of the A Restaurant and a Hollywood star with such credits as director of “Charlie’s Angels” and “Terminator Salvation,” and numerous TV shows including “The O.C.” and “Supernatural.”

The special focus of the issue will be the local dining scene.

Elsewhere around town, there’s other worthy news of note that needs to be aired, so here we go.

Judy Franco is running for reelection to the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board this fall.


First off, Judy is a wonderful woman and should be credited for her service of almost 30 years on the school board. That being said, isn’t 30 years just about enough for any elected official?

I think so.

Judy’s opponent is Loretta Zimmerman, who four years ago failed in her first attempt against Franco.

With the school facing potential shortfalls and layoffs, Judy’s campaign slogan points to this being a bad time for change.

But really, if we’re facing shortfalls and layoffs, won’t new opinions at the dais be welcomed?

Also of note, Costa Mesa’s Katrina Foley, a longtime city activist and councilwoman, has also decided to run for the school board.

She’s committed, opinionated and just what the doctor has ordered.

I believe new blood is important for all organizations, the school board being no different.

Rise up Newport-Mesa, let’s get this done.

In other politics, Jim Fisler, running for a director’s seat on the Mesa Consolidated Water Board, announced this week the “endorsement of the Orange County Republican Party.”

Let me see if I have this right, the OC Republican Party is now endorsing water board candidates?

What’s next, endorsing the senior class president at Newport Harbor High School?



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