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Week in Review

May 13, 2007

NEWPORT BEACH

O.C. Grand Jury report criticizes harbor policies

The Orange County Grand Jury on Thursday issued a report saying the city should tighten up the policies and review the fees charged for the roughly 1,200 moorings in the harbor. The report criticized the fact that although it's illegal to sell moorings, boat owners and brokers get around this by selling a boat and transferring the mooring permit with it.

City harbor officials already have been studying the issue raised in the report and may bring forward changes in the next six months. One likely result is that mooring permit fees will be raised to market rates.

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  • Former state Assemblyman Gil Ferguson, a combat veteran who served for 26 years in the Marine Corps, died Sunday. He was 84.

    Known for his unswerving conservatism, Ferguson always stuck to his beliefs during his varied careers, friends said. The longtime Newport Beach resident also founded a popular political club, Principles Over Politics, and wrote, edited and published its newsletter himself.

    The legislator will be remembered at a memorial service at 10 a.m. May 19 at Newport Harbor Lutheran Church, 798 Dover Drive, Newport Beach.

  • Architect Bill Ficker and other proponents of building Newport Beach's city hall next to the central library filed papers Monday to put the issue to a public vote. The Newport Beach City Council has rejected the library-adjacent site as a city hall location because it's been promised as a park, but Ficker and others believe it should be considered.

    Proponents must gather about 9,000 signatures to qualify for the February ballot. Councilman Keith Curry called the effort a "diversion" that won't stop the council from considering a site down the street from the library.

  • Wendy Jawor of Newport Coast, a teacher at Newport Heights Elementary School, discovered a meowing cat stuck underneath the engine of her BMW SUV before she left for work Monday morning.

    Jawor called animal control officers, but they couldn't remove the cat from the car. She then contacted Crevier BMW, and its roadside assistance service dispatched mechanic Josh Sorenson.

    Sorenson, who is allergic to cats, freed the feline by removing the "belly pan" from under the BMW's engine, and despite suffering an allergic reaction, secured the cat in a crate before he left.

    The cat was checked out at the Cat Clinic of Orange County in Costa Mesa, where it was identified and returned to its owner.

    PUBLIC SAFETY

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