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Fire Rings

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NEWS
By Amy Senk | February 8, 2012
After a 90-minute hearing, a 4 to 3 vote was taken to recommend removing fire pits. A battle over beachside bonfires — a topic considered too hot to handle for Newport Beach city leaders just a few years ago — moved a step closer to a permanent ban at this week's Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission meeting After a hearing that lasted about 90 minutes, commissioners voted 4 to 3 to ask the City Council to remove the city's 60...
NEWS
By Hannah Fry | December 26, 2013
A nonprofit group hoping to preserve wood-burning fire rings wants the Orange County Superior Court to stop the city of Newport Beach from removing them until a lawsuit on the matter is resolved. The Friends of the Fire Rings announced its request for an injunction Monday in response to the Newport Beach City Council's Nov. 26 decision to reduce the number of wood-burning fire rings and participate in a feasibility study that looks at fire pits fueled by natural gas or propane instead of wood.
NEWS
July 3, 2013
A California assemblyman is inviting fire ring supporters to Huntington Beach on Sunday for another round of hot dogs. Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) is hosting a rally from 4 to 7 p.m. at the pits at 21579 Pacific Coast Hwy. near Zack's. It will be the second time Allen has hosted an event to support fire rings at Huntington Beach. Hundreds of supporters, including Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa), showed up during the April 28 rally . The event comes days before the South Coast Air Quality Management District's July 12 hearing on proposed changes to Rule 444 that would create buffer zones between the rings and homes and allow greater local control.
NEWS
June 10, 2013
California lawmakers adopted a resolution Monday in support of beach fire rings as a California tradition, according to a news release from the office of the resolution's author, Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach). The action came as officials and residents throughout Southern California continued to debate a ban on beach fires proposed by regional air quality regulators, which has split those concerned about negative health impacts from living near the fires and those who fought to keep the tradition alive.
NEWS
By Jill Cowan | November 15, 2012
Corona del Mar State Beach and Balboa Pier visitors may soon play volleyball or monkey around on "interpretive play structures" where the beaches' hotly debated fire rings now stand, according to a letter the city of Newport Beach sent to the California Coastal Commission. The Oct. 19 letter - which was first reported by Corona del Mar Today - lays out the city's alternative plans for the fire ring areas if the commission approves Newport's application for a permit to remove the rings.
NEWS
By Jill Cowan | March 6, 2013
SAN DIEGO — Newport Beach residents holding their breath about the fate of the city's beach fire rings will have to wait a bit longer to exhale. The state Coastal Commission decided Wednesday to delay a decision on whether the city can remove 60 fire rings scattered around Corona del Mar and the Balboa Pier. Commissioners put the decision on hold after it came to light that the South Coast Air Quality Management District will consider in May whether to restrict fire pits. While a commission staff report had recommended rejecting the city's application because removing the fire rings would eliminate a free form of recreation, thus limiting public access to the beach, the city has contended that smoke from the rings poses a significant public health risk.
OCNOW
By Amy Senk, Corona del Mar Today | July 31, 2012
The California Coastal Commission needs more data about fire rings before staff will consider the city's application to remove them, according to a letter sent to the city. The requested information includes data on who uses the fire rings and when, what alternatives to removal that the city considered, the history of the rings and whether the city had conducted any air quality studies about the dangers of smoke from the fires. “The city's application states that 'fire rings clearly present a health and safety impact to the public…'” the letter states.
NEWS
January 9, 2013
Newport Beach has made application to the California Coastal Commission to remove the fire rings from its ocean beaches. This seems inconsistent with the city's recent actions to collect additional fees for tidelands use. Newport Beach officials have been lecturing the public on the importance of the city collecting fair-market rent for use of city-controlled tidelands. In recent actions, the City Council has made huge increases in the fees charged for moorings, commercial harbor users and private-docks on tidelands, changing the rent for private docks from a flat fee to a charge per square foot.
NEWS
June 29, 2012
I've read with much amusement about the 1% who has complained the loudest about the fire rings in Corona del Mar State Beach and at the Balboa Pier. From my long experience living on the Gold Coast for more than 50 years, as well as having been a Huntington Beach junior lifeguard for four years and an ocean lifeguard at Huntington City, Huntington State Beach, San Clemente City Beach and the Los Angeles County beaches from Redondo to Malibu for more than 14 years, the 99% deserves access to our beautiful coastline, including the enjoyment of the summer family ritual, school or church event of a barbecue and fire.
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NEWS
April 22, 2014
A 5-year-old boy was treated for second- and third-degree burns after he fell into a fire ring near the Balboa Pier on Sunday afternoon, authorities said Monday. The boy was taken by ambulance to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana at about 4 p.m. for treatment of burns on both feet and one arm, said police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella. Police said his injuries are serious but not life-threatening. Newport Beach police are investigating how the boy fell into the fire ring, Manzella said.
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NEWS
By Emily Foxhall | March 13, 2014
The filing deadline has passed for the 74th Assembly District candidates, setting the stage for a run between five contenders in the June 3 primary. Irvine community activist Anila Ali, Newport Beach Councilman Keith Curry, Huntington Beach Mayor Matthew Harper, small business owner Karina Onofre and Assemblyman Travis Allen's district director, Emanuel Patrascu, will face off for the seat currently occupied by Allan Mansoor. All but Ali submitted candidacy statements. Curry emphasized principles of determination and faith, highlighted his past experience managing the Newport Beach budget and explained that he believes decisions like fire rings and toll roads should be made by local elected officials.
NEWS
By Emily Foxhall | March 11, 2014
To help preserve a Persian New Year tradition, the South Coast Air Quality Management District has offered a slight reprieve to those who want to burn wood in Newport Beach's fire pits. Wood can be burned in the pits until March 24, said City Manager Dave Kiff, when the agency and city will begin enforcing new regulations that were originally scheduled to go into effect March 1. Thousands of people have flocked to Newport Beach around the holiday in years past, using the fire rings to fulfill a tradition that involves leaping over flames.
NEWS
By Michael Glenn | February 8, 2014
Recent City Council decisions on several key issues are going against the wishes of many Newport Beach residents and the Coastal Commission, which is tasked with protecting California's beaches against actions like these. Newport is having several problems in which the Coastal Commission is being called upon to intervene. The two most publicized problems are the blackball issue and the fire rings but we also have the issue of raising rates on the Corona del Mar beach parking lot in hot dispute.
NEWS
By Jill Cowan | January 31, 2014
An Orange County Superior Court judge Friday refused to issue an injunction that would have barred Newport Beach from moving ahead with plans to reduce the number of fire rings on its beaches. The move came as a battle over beach bonfires continues to play out between various regulatory agencies and in the state Legislature, with some groups calling for the wood-burning pits' removal because of smoke-related health concerns and others fighting hard to protect what they consider a low-cost Southern California tradition.
NEWS
By Emily Foxhall | January 29, 2014
Charcoal may be the only thing burning in Newport Beach fire rings come March 1. Trapped between two regulatory agencies, the Newport Beach City Council is taking steps toward regulating what's allowed to be burned in the city's fire pits, where everything from Christmas trees to old couch cushions have been known to fuel flames even though wood is preferred. The measure has been introduced as the city prepares to enact a long-term fire pit plan and aims to protect itself from being fined before that plan goes into place.
NEWS
By Jill Cowan and Melanie Mason | January 28, 2014
The state Assembly on Monday overwhelmingly approved a measure that aims to preserve beach fire rings. The gathering spots have been at the center of protracted battles in Southern California's beach towns, where regional air-quality officials have stepped up their regulation of the bonfires because of concerns over their effect on health and the environment. The issue was first raised by Corona del Mar residents living near the pits. Huntington Beach residents quickly took an opposite stance, leading the fight to maintain the rings.
NEWS
By Jill Cowan | January 24, 2014
A proposed state law that aims to undo controversial restrictions on Southern California's beach bonfires is expected to reach the Assembly floor for a vote next week. Assembly Bill 1102 passed out of the Appropriations Committee with a unanimous vote Thursday. "This legislation will ensure that every Californian has access to our beautiful beaches through the affordable attraction of a beach bonfire," Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) said in a statement. He co-authored the bill with Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton)
NEWS
January 20, 2014
In the Saturday edition of the Daily Pilot and in the Jan. 16, 2014, Huntington Beach Independent, Assembly candidate Emanuel Patrascu writes that it was Keith Curry and his fellow members on the Newport Beach City Council who brought the issue of the fire rings to the Air Quality Management District. This is false. Councilman Curry, the Newport Beach City Council and the city never initiated any request for regulation or rule making by the AQMD. If Patrascu has any evidence to the contrary, he should present it. If not, he should immediately apologize to Curry, the council and the voters of the 74th Assembly District for these false and reckless charges.
NEWS
This post has been corrected, as noted below. | January 17, 2014
I am writing in response to Newport Beach Councilman Keith Curry's letter regarding local control of beach fire rings ["Commentary: Each city should make its own fire ring decision," [Jan. 11]. I too want to discuss the important issues facing California, such as attempts to weaken Proposition 13 by the Legislature. Just as important, we must also protect Proposition 13 from local elected officials who use different mechanisms to circumvent it, such as a dock fee to increase taxes on homeowners.
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