When police officers blocked one young blonde from entering the Newport Beach Peninsula, they probably didn't expect the police chief to hear about it. They were, after all, just following orders.
But Newport Beach Police Chief Jay Johnson walked the streets of West Newport and talked with Independence Day partygoers. Lindsay Johnson (no relation), 28, was annoyed she had to take a new route from Huntington Beach, so she griped straight to the chief.
"It was kind of a pain," she said, cussing to make her point. But Johnson wasn't fazed. On his second day on the job, he was putting a friendly face on Newport's strong police presence.
Perhaps the most visible measure in the city's new push to tame Fourth of July activities was a barricade that prevented people from entering Balboa Boulevard at West Coast Highway. They had to disperse and walk to Newport Boulevard or Prospect Street, which killed many buzzes and warmed a few beers.