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NEWS
By Emily Foxhall and This post has been corrected, as noted below. | October 7, 2013
The Newport Beach City Council will respond Tuesday night to one of two letters alleging violations of California's open-meetings law. In an email Sept. 17, Newport Beach resident Jim Mosher sent two "cease and desist" letters accusing the city of violating the state law, known as the Ralph M. Brown Act, in several instances related to the city's Sept. 10 decision to pursue a contract with a private company to outsource trash collection. City staff said they believed Mosher's allegations to be "largely without merit," according to the staff report, but they recommended that the council address one accusation in one of the letters to prevent litigation.
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NEWS
By Ken Kvammen | September 14, 2013
Re. Commentary: " Outsourcing trash collection would save $17M," (Sept. 8): A huge, lengthy commentary in the Pilot's Sunday Forum by our Newport Beach mayor and a councilman touted outsourcing trash pickup. In previous editions, and in letters to citizens, our city manager has also joined the chorus. However in their plethora of happy "facts," many of which are unsupported, they neglect the significant downsides. A loss they ignore is the universal satisfaction of existing customers with the outstanding service now rendered by city employees with their always dependable, on-time, clean and no-hassle work.
NEWS
By Carolyn Fitz-Gibbon | August 26, 2013
Why do I feel that the Newport Beach City Council is slowly turning into a replication of the dysfunctional Costa Mesa council? It's bad enough we have to witness the excessive and pointless antics of that neighboring body, which continues to make national news with its unwarranted actions. Now, in a gradual and devious manner, our city seems to be following Costa Mesa's dubious practices. Leading the way was Newport's attempt to ban the beach fire pits. Then Councilman Michael Henn called the costly and unnecessary bridge across Avocado Street "the bridge to nowhere" — which it is — but then unexpectedly changed his mind.
NEWS
By Emily Foxhall | August 23, 2013
When Jean Watt walked into the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club around noon Friday, she thought she had simply been invited to lunch with two friends. Instead, when Watt reached the bottom of the stairs leading toward the club's outdoor patio, about 20 people greeted her with applause. The longtime Newport beach environmentalist had been named, much to her surprise, the Newport Beach Citizen of the Year. Watt, known for environmental stewardship, placed her hand over her chest and looked confusedly across the smiling faces of those gathered, including past award recipients.
NEWS
By Jill Cowan | July 30, 2013
Newport Beach Library Services Director Cynthia Cowell, who helped oversee the more than $11 million expansion of the city's central library during the construction of its new civic center, will retire Oct. 5, according to a news release. Cowell said Tuesday that she plans to join her husband, who works in Nashville, Tenn. "We just wanted to start planning for retirement, and then a job opportunity came up for him in Nashville, back in late winter," she said. "We just said, 'Let's start looking for a house.'" That she and her husband were able to find a home close to his family, coupled with the end of the library expansion project, made for "a good time to jump.
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | July 24, 2013
A prevailing sentiment during Wednesday's Costa Mesa Charter Committee meeting was that the city's system of awarding public works contracts is sufficient and transparent, but that more first-hand information on that process is needed before any details are proposed for a new city charter. Although there was some confusion as to the definition of a public-works contract, the committee agreed that it wanted to hear from city staff - namely City Clerk Brenda Green and Public Services Director Ernesto Munoz - during a future meeting about how they deal with contracting procedures.
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | June 28, 2013
If Costa Mesa didn't become its own city 60 years ago, the border between Newport Beach and Santa Ana might have been right around Wilson Street. It's a theory that Art Goddard, lead volunteer at the Costa Mesa Historical Society, surmised Friday at the society's Anaheim Avenue headquarters, in the hours before the city began its three-day celebration to mark the 1953 cityhood milestone. The historical society has been busy lately, fielding questions from interested parties as civic leaders commence a 60th birthday bash that's turned out to be much bigger than the one 10 years ago. To Goddard, Costa Mesa's narrow incorporation success in 1953 amid the "annexation threats" from Santa Ana and Newport Beach demonstrates a self-determining character still seen decades later.
NEWS
By Jill Cowan | May 23, 2013
Newport Beach will probably change the way it tracks its public art pieces, updating records at least annually, City Manager Dave Kiff said in an email this week. Previously, the city hadn't regularly updated its inventory, he wrote, and as of Wednesday, five pieces - donated to the city or purchased at a combined value of $675 - were unaccounted for. Those were out of an inventory of 236 pieces with a total known value of $841,650. "We are not sure if the five are actually lost - it's generally our record keeping that has not been up to par," Kiff wrote.
NEWS
By Jill Cowan | March 28, 2013
DIAMOND BAR - An ongoing fight over beach bonfires pitted the interests of two neighboring cities against each other Thursday morning, as Huntington Beach residents asked South Coast Air Quality Management District staff members to put the kibosh on a proposed rule change that would ban open burning on all beaches in the district's jurisdiction - or at least explore other alternatives. The Newport Beach City Council supports removing the fire rings in Corona del Mar and near the Balboa Pier.
NEWS
By Jill Cowan | March 7, 2013
Keep Newport Beach looking good, City Manager Dave Kiff said Thursday morning, and the high quality of life residents have come to expect will follow. Maintaining "that feeling you get when you drive into town," he said, keeps "property values up and crime low. " Kiff, who addressed a couple dozen slightly bleary-eyed Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce members gathered in the Central Library's Friends Room at about 7:45 a.m., said that to do that, the city must continue to carefully evaluate its priorities to invest in community amenities - and cut other costs accordingly.
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