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Mailbag: Former mayor asks for Civic Center updates

September 01, 2011

Now that our new Newport Beach City Hall project is well underway in Newport Center, and the focus locally and nationwide is for government to be more transparent, efficient and cost-effective, it seems worthwhile that the city of Newport Beach provide us at the end of each calendar quarter with a current status report on the progress of that important project, as well as answers to these suggested questions:

1) What is the current estimated total project completion cost? How does that compare to the initial total estimated project cost when work started?

2) What is the expected completion date when City Hall services can commence from the project? How does that compare to the initial estimated project completion date when work started?

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3) What has been spent to date on the project? How much of that has been city cash funds and how much is from borrowed funds?

John Heffernan

Newport Beach

The writer is a former Newport Beach mayor.

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Traffic woes start with school

Re. "Apodaca: CdM High's online preregistration a breeze (Aug. 27): While I appreciate Apodaca's personal observations regarding Corona del Mar High School's new and improved online protocol preregistration making it easier for students, both Apodaca and George Knight (Newport-Mesa's K-12 director) appear to be woefully obtuse to an altogether different "fiasco" (Apodaca's word).

I am speaking of traffic that deprives access to certain public streets near the school that our property taxes contribute to maintain, and which provide ingress and egress for those of us who own homes in the immediate vicinity of CdM and Our Lady Queen of Angels, which also has a school.

Compounding the issue is that neither CdM nor Our Lady Queen of Angels made provisions for adequate parking, which leads to students commandeering street parking that was designed for residents, not the school. And if the construction of the new church wasn't underway, they would continue to trespass onto that property as they have since St. Mark's vacated the property.

Parking issues notwithstanding, we are forced to deal with students' reckless disregard for others when they hijack the city streets during their mid-morning and lunch breaks to race to Starbucks or the Eastbluff Shopping Center for their jolt of java and Red Bull.

This in and of itself is reason enough for Knight and others to seriously reconsider a closed campus, which existed when I attended CdM High. Failing that, it's about time that the city built a new school in another location that is more apt to handle the volume of traffic.

Kevin Doremus

Newport Beach

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