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OCNOW
From the Los Angeles Times | July 2, 2012
Orange County's Great Park balloon has been grounded for inspection after a giant balloon in Hong Kong made by the same manufacturer sprang a leak and dropped from the sky last week, injuring five people. Great Park officials shut down the ride for an immediate inspection Friday after learning about the Hong Kong incident, said Great Park spokesman Marcus Ginnaty. Crews didn't discover any issues with the balloon, but Ginnaty said it will remain grounded until inspectors sent by the manufacturer - Paris-based Aerophile - arrive in Irvine to conduct their own investigation.
NEWS
By JIM DE BOOM | February 10, 2007
Costa Mesa Newport Harbor Lions Club members are working on plans for the 2007 Lions Club Fish Fry being held June 2 and 3 at Lions Park in Costa Mesa. It's a wonderful family event with carnival rides, homemade pies, corn dogs, deep fried fish and chips, and a baby contest. Visiting the Fish Fry website, www.cmnhlions.com/fishfry ,  this week, I came across the story of the balloon caper. "The Fish Fry has its roots in the Scarecrow Festival, which was held from 1941 to 1945.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Kelly Strodl | October 28, 2007
With a quick but solid swig of air, Todd C. Baron puffed into a long green balloon, creating the stem to a fragile but mystifying flower. The balloon artist and longtime Costa Mesa resident just spent the last three hours twisting and turning balloons of all shapes, lengths and colors into almost any item an child could imagine for the 16th Annual Pumpkins and Pancakes breakfast at South Coast Plaza Sunday. For the last five years, Baron has taken charge of decorations for the event, although his heart will always be in balloon art. Whether for weddings, proms, or special events, Baron uses the thin pieces of expandable rubber as the focal point of all his jobs.
FEATURES
By JOSEPH N. BELL | February 28, 2008
As I write this, I’ve just returned from the annual meeting and dinner of the Airport Working Group, where the featured speaker was Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach. In my column last week, I urged local citizens to attend the meeting, which was public, and suggested that Moorlach — who has consistently supported our efforts to check the expansion of John Wayne airport — would give us “marching orders” to that end. Well, that isn’t exactly what happened.
NEWS
October 3, 2002
It was an evening with Brian Jones, world-renowned pilot of the Breitling Orbiter 3, a hot-air balloon that traveled around the world in 20 days. Lula and Marion Halfacre, owners of Traditional Jewelers in Fashion Island, joined with Breitling, the family-owned, century-old Swiss watch-making firm, to host the Newport-Mesa crowd at an elegant evening at the Palm Gardens. The recent mid-week cocktail and dinner event introduced Jones to the crowd, which included David Muller, Karen Fleming, Russell and Kathy Lowe, Mary Petersen, John Rossi, John and Ursula Braeger, Eve and Clarence Barker, Tom Casey, Beth Kania, Ann and Viji Sadasivam, and Vera Oxblood of Dover Shores.
NEWS
June 26, 2003
Enormous balloon art sculptures swam in the pool of the Hyatt Newporter. Balloon palm trees, jumping dolphins and more set the festive tone for the sixth annual Crean Lobster Clambake to benefit the kids assisted by the Children's Bureau. It was an evening of summer fun without the sun. Hundreds of locals dressed in tropical tones converged on the resort as the music of a steel drum band blended with icy mai tai cocktails. It was a recipe for a summer blast that raised big dollars to make a big difference for kids lost in a world that can be as cold and tough and miserable in unimaginable ways.
FEATURES
By Brianna Bailey | April 7, 2010
As he sat in his wheelchair outside the Mother’s Market in Costa Mesa on Wednesday morning, Willie Boyd’s calloused hands twisted long, skinny party balloons into the shapes of dogs, butterflies and flowers. “You’re a ray of sunshine,” said Irvine resident June McGucken as she slipped Boyd $5 for making her a red balloon dog. Like many people who see Boyd on the street, McGucken pulled her car over on 17th Street to chat with the toothless, homeless man without legs and a bag of balloons.
NEWS
February 19, 2000
Jenifer Ragland NEWPORT BEACH -- The Newport Dunes' revised proposal for a resort hotel that debuted at Thursday's Planning Commission meeting has, not surprisingly, received mixed reactions. While commissioners seemed impressed with the proponents' effort to address some of the project's critical issues, one opponent compared it to a bad experience at a used car lot. "It's like asking an insane amount of money for a car so the lowered price seems reasonable," said Bob Caustin, a local environmentalist and Dover Shores resident.
NEWS
By Michael Miller | July 13, 2006
UC IRVINE ? More than 100 yellow balloons filled the Bren Events Center's lunch room at noon on Wednesday, tied around the back of each chair. Servers carted cupcakes around the room, and a graduate from the Claire Trevor School of the Arts sang a solo. It may not have been a kid's birthday party, but to many of the UC Irvine leaders present, it probably felt like one. For an hour at the Bren center, Chancellor Michael Drake, Provost Michael Gottfredson and other campus officials gathered to celebrate a singular moment in the history of UCI. Over the past year, the university set a record by garnering more than $101 million in private donations.
LOCAL
By Steve Smith | May 11, 2007
Forget about diamonds from Tiffany's or a trip around the world. Time after time, moms everywhere say the one thing they really want for their special day is time with their family. With that in mind, here are some very special gifts for Mother's Day. A Grape Escape Let mom experience peace and serenity — something she may not get a lot of at home — while drifting over vineyards as the sun rises over the mountains in Temecula. Take flight with the birds and observe wildlife marveling at the sight of a beautiful hot air balloon floating overhead.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By Mike Whitehead | January 3, 2014
Ahoy! I want to wish everyone a very happy New Year, and I know that 2014 will be a great year for boating. As we leap into the New Year, let us reflect for a moment on the people you know personally who are boaters and those who work in the maritime field. You will be surprised how boating touches almost everyone's life at one time or another. Sailors are a very superstitious group and just what kind of resolutions should boaters make anyway? We can easily cast off into this dialogue with the No. 1 resolution that all boaters will be courteous to everyone while on the water, whether sailing or in a power boater or on any type of floating craft.
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NEWS
By Rhea Mahbubani | March 15, 2013
The Orange County Great Park once again raised the Irvine's City Council's hackles. The carousel and balloon rides starred prominently at Tuesday's meeting, as did the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. These items, pulled from the meeting's consent calendar, led to a heated debate, pockmarked with insults, from both factions of the divided council. The lengthy discussion, in which the audience was given yet another walk through the park's history, ended in a 3-2 vote; Larry Agran and Beth Krom dissented.
OCNOW
From the Los Angeles Times | July 2, 2012
Orange County's Great Park balloon has been grounded for inspection after a giant balloon in Hong Kong made by the same manufacturer sprang a leak and dropped from the sky last week, injuring five people. Great Park officials shut down the ride for an immediate inspection Friday after learning about the Hong Kong incident, said Great Park spokesman Marcus Ginnaty. Crews didn't discover any issues with the balloon, but Ginnaty said it will remain grounded until inspectors sent by the manufacturer - Paris-based Aerophile - arrive in Irvine to conduct their own investigation.
NEWS
By Alexandra Baird, dailypilot@latimes.com | June 3, 2011
NEWPORT COAST — When Olivia Simon sat down in Cha for Tea to write the speech she would give at her graduation from Sage Hill School, she wasn't sure how to explain her time there, but all that changed when three junior girls walked in. Simon, who will attend Washington University in St. Louis in the fall, said although she didn't know the girls well, they recognized each other from school and immediately sat down and started talking. "We laughed together like we were old friends," she said.
NEWS
By Joanna Clay, joanna.clay@latimes.com | April 8, 2011
On Sunday, local Indian Princess tribes will attempt to make a world record with water balloons while enjoying their annual Family Fun Day. Naranja Nation craftmaster Ron Semon of Newport Beach has been organizing the event at Mason Regional Park in Irvine since November. "The whole family and siblings can come out, not just the dads and daughters," he said. "I wanted to do something different last year and I thought of the world record for most people to participate in a water balloon toss.
FEATURES
By Brianna Bailey | April 7, 2010
As he sat in his wheelchair outside the Mother’s Market in Costa Mesa on Wednesday morning, Willie Boyd’s calloused hands twisted long, skinny party balloons into the shapes of dogs, butterflies and flowers. “You’re a ray of sunshine,” said Irvine resident June McGucken as she slipped Boyd $5 for making her a red balloon dog. Like many people who see Boyd on the street, McGucken pulled her car over on 17th Street to chat with the toothless, homeless man without legs and a bag of balloons.
SPORTS
By BY TONY LEE | July 18, 2009
NEWPORT BEACH — Many champions are greeted with flowers and fanfare, but in the 43rd annual Governor’s Cup International Junior Match Racing Championship, the final four teams are welcomed with water balloons. However, the water balloons were as innocent as the children and teenagers throwing them and epitomized the fun nature of the Gov Cup in and out of the competition. “The Gov Cup’s probably the funnest event I’ve ever been to,” Cruising Yacht Club of Australia bowman Keiran Searle said.
FEATURES
By Mike Whitehead | October 2, 2008
Ahoy, Is it just me, or did anyone else notice that the front page of Wednesday’s Pilot showed Temple Isaiah congregants releasing latex balloons into the air from an area directly next to Newport’s Back Bay, which is an ecological reserve and California Fish and Game Department’s Ecological Reserve System? Now, I am not one to stop tradition, but releasing balloons that are known to harm wildlife is not the usual Tashlich ritual. When I am at skippering yachts on the ocean, I constantly have to keep diverting my course due to objects floating in the ocean; many are strings of rubber or Mylar balloons.
FEATURES
By JOSEPH N. BELL | February 28, 2008
As I write this, I’ve just returned from the annual meeting and dinner of the Airport Working Group, where the featured speaker was Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach. In my column last week, I urged local citizens to attend the meeting, which was public, and suggested that Moorlach — who has consistently supported our efforts to check the expansion of John Wayne airport — would give us “marching orders” to that end. Well, that isn’t exactly what happened.
FEATURES
By JIM RIGHEIMER | December 1, 2007
One of the toughest parts of writing this column every week, while also holding down a real job and raising a family, is finding something interesting to write. Then sometimes a story just falls right in your lap. In June I wrote about the Great Housing Project — ex cuse me, The Great Park in Irvine. The former El Toro airport will soon be a 9,500 home project. Not exactly what the voters of Orange County were told when they voted down the airport use and voted for the Great Park.
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