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By Jill Cowan | January 24, 2013
Organizers of the 104th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade will celebrate one last hurrah - more specifically, the Last Hurrah - at the event's annual awards dinner and auction Friday night. Topped by a VW surf bus made of LED lights, the 84-foot yacht of that name won the 2012 Sweepstakes - as it has done four out of the five years it's appeared in the parade. Newport resident Rob Meadows, who owns the craft with his family, said doing up the boat with structures covered in more than 50,000 LED lights that move and change color is a months-long endeavor.
By B.W. Cook | December 27, 2012
The 2012 Christmas Carol Ball benefiting Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian was exceptionally festive this season. The event has always had a warm, community-based feeling as citizen donors come together with hospital staff, nurses and physicians for a collective year-end hug. After all, what is more vital to any community than health? Chaired by Terry and Bob Callahan , the evening at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort also marked the Callahans' 20th anniversary of their first date, which coincidentally also took place at the Christmas Carol Ball in 1992.
By Jeremiah Dobruck | December 22, 2012
About 300 homeless or down-on-their-luck individuals wrote Christmas lists at Lighthouse Church & Christmas Ministries in Costa Mesa this November. Their ream of requests went to Stanbridge College in Irvine. The college's president, Yasith Weerasuriya, read them aloud Thursday. "A pair of shoes would do me well. Encouragement and a blanket. A job and lots of work. A down jacket. Bus passes. Can I get possibly black shoes? Dental work. Work and love. I am working and could use a bus pass," Weerasuriya said, as he flipped through hundreds more.
By Bradley Zint | December 20, 2012
The scene was quiet in a large lot off Bristol Street, not far from where the 55 Freeway meets the 73. On that weekday afternoon of clear blue skies, there were a handful of workers, no customers and plenty of room for expansion. The remaining inventory of Christmas trees needed only a small corner of that unpaved and barely noticed slice of Costa Mesa. In future days, the acreage likely will be built upon, and no longer will have room for selling Douglas firs. But in the meantime, it's the holiday home base of Noonan's Christmas trees, a family business since 1944 that was started after Harry Noonan Sr. got home from World War II and there was nothing for him to do. Nowadays, four generations of Noonans are carrying on with the tradition that Harry Sr. took part in until he died.
By Bradley Zint | December 18, 2012
News that the city officially rescinded almost 70 layoff notices brought good cheer, according to one labor leader. "It's great news for the employees," said Helen Nenadal, president of Costa Mesa City Employees Assn. "It's great news to come up in the holiday to receive the rescinding of these layoff notices. " Mayor Jim Righeimer echoed her sentiments. "It's just something that we felt strongly about," he said. "We wanted to make sure it was done before the Christmas holiday … to get it done and get on a brand new, fresh year.
December 10, 2012
Newport Beach's Christmas Boat Parade and Ring of Lights will shine on as planned, a Visit Newport Beach news release said Monday. In spite of threats of a boycott from harbor stakeholders in protest of the city's efforts to increase public tidelands use rents, the release emphasized that the show will go on, and that participation isn't diminished. More than 60 boats have already committed to participate, according to the release. "There is absolutely no change in plans," Gary Sherwin, president and chief executive of Visit Newport Beach, said in a statement.
By Jeremiah Dobruck | December 5, 2012
About 150 Corona del Mar Middle School students got a chance to play Santa on Wednesday at the Veterans Administration in Long Beach. They handed out gifts with hand-written cards, feasted on a donated Christmas dinner and put on a variety show in the VA's packed community room. "It's really nice to have a chance to serve them because they served us so much," said eighth-grader Sarah Lawson. CdM has a long-lasting relationship with the hospital, putting on the Christmas party for 34 years under the steady hands of Kathy and Jim Roberts, whose children have long since graduated.
By Jim de Boom | December 4, 2012
Christmas has inspired great music from many of the world's great composers. So, as angels heralded the first Christmas, the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant will present a program of great selections performed by the choir, the Da Capo Orchestra, soloists, piano and organ beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday. Bach's Third Orchestral Suite opens the program and will be followed by Vivaldi's Gloria in Excelsis Deo, a contemporary cantata and beloved carols — music that will lift your heart with the joy and spirit of Christmas.
By the Rev. Sarah Halverson | November 30, 2012
As I write, my church choir is rehearsing for Christmas. I've literally got the sounds of the season ringing in my ears. Christmas is definitely coming! Of course, the stores started their celebrating before they even cleared out their Halloween merchandise. This year, Black Friday started on Thanksgiving Day, a phenomenon that, quite frankly, makes me sick. Our culture is busy hustling and bustling, selling the heck out of Christmas, and seems to have forgotten that Advent comes first.
By Jill Cowan | November 27, 2012
A group opposed to the city of Newport Beach's ongoing effort to increase fees for the use of public tidelands is urging harbor denizens to boycott the city's annual Christmas Boat Parade in protest of a new round of proposed rent hikes for residential docks. The council will consider voting on the proposed changes, which would raise residential dock rents from a flat $100 per year to 52.5 cents per square foot per year, at 6 p.m. Wednesday in City Hall, 3300 Newport Blvd. In a news release Tuesday, backers of the group Stop the Dock Tax asked property owners who normally participate in the parade to keep their vessels and homes dark during this year's parade, an event that has lit up the harbor each holiday season for more than a century.
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