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NEWS
By JOSEPH N. BELL | March 30, 2006
I was glad to see the recent Pilot editorial tossing a bone to the Newport-Mesa Unified District School Board for the improved ranking of a dozen local schools in the Academic Performance Index compiled annually by the state Department of Education. I was wondering if any of the people who had been sticking it to the board over the past year for every perceived educational shortcoming would allow any of the credit for this positive news to accrue to board members. This is not to overstate the progress represented by the new numbers.
NEWS
November 18, 2007
It’s peculiar, even paradoxical: Newport Beach, with its idyllic coastline, thriving business community and stellar schools, as close to paradise as a city gets, is also a magnet for sober living homes that some say make for a nightmare on the peninsula. The very qualities that draw the rich and the famous also draw those who have plunged to the depths due to their addictions. Because, after all, what better place to make peace with one’s inner demons? So goes the thinking of those who run such homes.
NEWS
June 3, 2002
It's strange how the most vocal of our critics seem to hide in the shadows. Usually, it's an anonymous voice on the other end of the phone, criticizing us for reporting on a touchy subject, for putting things into perspective or the worst of all sins, because we forgot the crossword puzzle or the bridge column. Anonymous and, dare I say, cowardly calls. It happened again last week to our Costa Mesa City Hall reporter Lolita Harper. In a front-page Reporter's Notebook column, Harper shared her observations of how at least two women on the Costa Mesa council seem to be the main targets of council critics these days.
NEWS
July 13, 2004
I find it interesting that the most fervent critics of the movie "Fahrenheit 9/11" seem more obsessed with attacking Michael Moore than in taking on the points he makes in his film. Moore's film offers a dramatic and unapologetic critique of Bush and his administration. But the facts that serve as the basis for Moore's critique have yet to be disputed. In fact, most, if not all, of the claims he makes are well-known and part of the public record. If people think the case Moore makes is flawed, then they should debate the merits of that case.
NEWS
By: | August 31, 2005
Writer buys into talking points In a letter to the editor on Saturday ("Let's not forget," Mailbag) Stella Klinger offers an addition to a Burbank Leader story regarding Cindy Sheehan ("Honoring a mother's son," Aug. 20). Klinger recites a number of Republican talking points regarding the subject. Unfortunately, most of them are wrong. The Bush administration attempts to dissuade criticism by branding all opposition as either hypocrites or traitors by their comments or their associations.
NEWS
January 11, 2003
Public needs watchdogs patrolling school districts Kudos to the Daily Pilot for allowing critics of our powerful public school monopoly to voice publicly some of their concerns. I have no way of knowing if the local teachers' union used questionable methods to remove one of their critics, Wendy Leece, from her Newport-Mesa Unified school board position, but the facts certainly indicate there is corruption in the system, starting at the top, and few members of the media and/or government officials are willing to inform the public of such abuses.
NEWS
By Michael Alexander | October 30, 2008
Coast Community College District board members featured in an independently funded campaign mailer that some groups are criticizing say they have nothing to do with it and shouldn’t be criticized for its content. A mailer sent out by the independent United Citizens for Better Community Colleges features a photo of incumbents Mary Hornbuckle and Armando Ruiz standing with student representative Michael Battistone, urging voters to reelect Hornbuckle and Ruiz. Trustees Jerry Patterson and Jim Moreno, as well as candidate Lorraine Prinsky, and the Coast Federation of Educators faculty union said that putting a student on a mailer like that was unethical.
NEWS
June 10, 2005
JOHN DEPKO Editor's note: Today the Pilot presents an occasional feature, Reel Critics Double Take: two movie critics providing opinions of one movie. We all know the offbeat boxing movie "Million Dollar Baby" knocked out the competition to take the 2004 Best Picture award. Cynics might argue that win was the rationale for making "Cinderella Man," which looks like this year's top contender for the same honor. It's a more conventional fight film than "Baby," but the gritty true story at the heart of this drama gives it real-life punch.
FEATURES
By Joseph N. Bell | February 10, 2010
Thoughts from this past Sunday while waiting for the torrent of commercials to play out so the Super Bowl could get underway: Many women of my acquaintance regard dedicated viewing of TV sports in general — and football in particular — with contempt for many of the wrong reasons. They consider such addiction a mindless waste of time that could be devoted to intellectual exercises or household repairs. Or paying more attention to the critic. A little snowboarding or ice dancing — the sort of things we’ll be seeing in the upcoming Winter Olympics — are acceptable to these critics in reasonable doses, as long as the trash is taken out on time.
NEWS
By Mike Reicher, mike.reicher@latimes.com | September 23, 2010
Councilwoman Leslie Daigle on Thursday called for an independent review of the $130 million Newport Beach Civic Center project in a response to persistent criticism of the project's management. In a letter to the other members of the City Council, Daigle said she believes the Civic Center project is so complex that neither the city's paid staff, its hired construction manager, nor its elected officials can adequately assess the project's budget and execution. Her call for a "development advisor" comes during the election season, when Daigle and the other incumbents up for reelection have found themselves defending the Civic Center, the largest public works project the city has seen in generations.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 2014
Disney's acclaimed nature films offer vivid portrayals of animals in the wild. They entertain and educate young viewers in the biological realities of Earth's habitats. But for many years, this documentary style of observation has taken a back seat to the amplified world of zany computer animation. Silly cartoon animals dominate screen fare for our children. Talking birds, dogs, donkeys and penguins wisecrack jokes in trivial screwball plots. But Disney's new wildlife film "Bears" is an outstanding counterpoint to all that nonsense.
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NEWS
By Bradley Zint | April 29, 2014
The Costa Mesa Planning Commission examined a proposal Monday evening that could significantly reduce the number of allowable long-term motel tenants. Because the city has largely met its most recent requirement to provide affordable housing, "it is no longer essential to authorize long-term stays" at motels to satisfy that mandate, according to city staff. A state-mandated document called the Housing Element, which addresses citywide housing needs from 2013 to 2021, says Costa Mesa needs only two more low-income housing units.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2014
Wally Pfister is one of Hollywood's most renowned cinematographers of complex visual screenplays. He won an Oscar for his work on the groundbreaking sci-fi twister "Inception. " He was nominated for "The Prestige" and two Batman movies. He was director of photography on "Memento" and "The Italian Job. " With those credentials, he looks like the perfect fit to direct the mind-bending science fantasy "Transcendence. " Technology runs wild as artificial intelligence is taken to astronomical levels through digital connections of the Internet.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 17, 2014
There's plenty of real tension, drama and humor in the convoluted dealings of NFL teams preparing for the college football draft. Opportunities for triumph, failure and embarrassment are rampant as teams jockey for position in the annual selection ritual. Deception and strategic attacks are all part of the intense negotiation process. Clearly, this premise could be a great basis for a screenplay documenting the nasty interplay between sports rivals. Unfortunately, Ivan Reitman's new film "Draft Day" is a pale shadow of what might have been.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 10, 2014
A buffed Chris Evans returns to the screen as Captain America, the most wholesome and righteous character in the Marvel Comics lineup. He perfectly fits the role of an honest super soldier whose physical powers were enhanced by experimental Army drugs. Fighting Nazis in World War II was his first mission. After being placed in suspended animation for six decades, he emerges in the present day to battle new threats to mankind. "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" takes the franchise fully into the 21st century.
NEWS
By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times | April 6, 2014
Matthew Vella certainly doesn't look like a troll. Vella is the regular-guy chief executive of Acacia Research Corp., which calls itself a patent outsource licensing company. The Newport Beach firm links up with inventors who fear that others are elbowing in on their patents or whose patents aren't making the money they could. "Our clients often can't afford to hire specialists that will help turn those patents into money," Vella said. "They are not looking to sell them necessarily, but if they are looking to get money because people are infringing their patents, we want to be their partner.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 3, 2014
Director David Ayer is known for his ultraviolent police epics like "Training Day" and "End of Watch. " Screenwriter Skip Woods ("A Good Day to Die Hard") is also no stranger to action movies with a high body count. These two masters of death and treachery join up with an aging Arnold Schwarzenegger to create a new cop thriller with lots of blood and guts. "Sabotage" has a subdued Arnold playing the legendary leader of a team of undercover DEA agents. As the strong but quiet godfather of the operation, he puffs his cigar while the younger actors do the stunt work.
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | April 1, 2014
Christopher Bunyan's candidacy for Costa Mesa City Council is, in his words, about "climate change. " He's not referring to greenhouse gases, but rather to the political climate in which the City of the Arts finds itself in 2014. He cites the two council members suing the police union over alleged extortion, the municipal employees union suing the city over a failed pink slip attempt, the staffing problems at the Police Department and the threats of development at Fairview Park and Banning Ranch.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 26, 2014
When it comes to family-friendly entertainment, the Muppets are one of the most successful franchises ever created. Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy are on the celebrity A-list of many parents and their kids. Disney's "Muppets Most Wanted" is an elaborate effort to create a multilevel comedy that appeals to all ages. It starts as an old-fashioned musical with vaudeville overtones. Kermit is arrested on flimsy pretenses because he looks like a criminal frog mastermind from Russia. The story then turns into a slapstick mistaken-identity farce.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rhea Mahbubani | March 20, 2014
For as long as Frank Bruni can remember, food has played a lead role in his life. In his Italian-American household in White Plains, N.Y., every family gathering was marked by culinary creations. He was a ravenous eater, with chubbiness to show for it. And bulimia made an early appearance - when he was still a toddler. A look into the rearview mirror reveals that it wasn't competitive swimming or the Atkins diet that helped him break the cycle of binging and purging. It was professional eating as the restaurant critic for the New York Times, a position he took the calculated risk of accepting.  The Newport Beach Public Library will host the 49-year-old veteran journalist, an op-ed columnist since 2011 and former Rome bureau chief for the Times, on Friday and Saturday.
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