A Dike for Newport Beach?


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boy finger dike

Little did young Ron know that he would someday grow up to be a famous author!

[No, NOT "dyke" as in the original title - LOL - ed.]

We love the local Newport Beach news in our two local newspapers.  The Daily Plot (Pilot)…….stopped printing our comments many years ago.  Perhaps it was the change of Editor…or Publisher…or the bankruptcy of the LA Times…..that made them do it.  Hard to remember.  We were busy covering national and international celebrity folks…….and finding one important issue to cover after another to worry about our local fal-der-all much.   Meanwhile, the OC Register has seemed to have a pretty good staff of investigative reporters that are pretty good at getting the inside information and letting a little out.  The OC Register does not print our comments either – in fact – never have……but at least they are straight forward about it.  Sad about all newpapers in bankruptcy…really.

As far as Newport Beach is concerned;  We seemed to have a pretty good City Manager that we liked.  After an initial tantrum……..we got along with Homer Bludau….just fine.  Then we got the young pretender to the throne….Dave Kiff.  Hey, we love Dave……he is just so efficient.  Sensitive?  Perhaps?  But then, we are talking Newport Beach here and maybe that is the reason that Dave recently changed the Charter which included a requirement for the City Manager to reside within the city limits of Newport Beach.  Dave now lives comfortably in Laguna Beach.  We loved Kevin Murphy and certainly never got along with Bob Birnham.

OK, today - Keith and Pam Curry are the current Mayor and First Lady of Newport Beach.  Keith used to answer our e-mails but, it seems he has been busy with other important city business.  Hey, the new City Civic Center is about to open on May 4th and we can imagine how many meetings and things have to be attended to….to make sure the Grand Opening works without any glitches.  Hey, the $45 Million dollar facility is now up to $135  to $146 Million bucks.  Hope that includes our Security Center for the entire facility and the camera systems to monitor all forms of goings on.  So, that being said…..it is kind of interesting to discover that we have much more to consider than the annual search for Federal and State funds for Harbor Dredging.  Seems we do!

Fire rings are big issue……involving toxic smoke, fumes and of course fugitive dust and burnt remains.  A couple of years ago, the City Council listened to a few local residents that live in multi-million dollar homes on the beach at Big Corona.  These folks thought they were victims.  Oh they didn’t mind the drunk folks from inland or even on the top of the hill……..urinating on their garden plants….or throwing their plastic bottles, aluminum cans and fast food boxes on their front porches.  No, they just didn’t like folks using those fire rings to cook up dirty diapers and blue bag dog feces.  Narrow minded…..but then…..they did choose to live there.  They probably knew all about this type of behavior from the previous owners or maybe even by calling the City Code Enforcement folks.

Well, Fire Rings have now become Regional.  We are talking Los Angeles County, Orange County and the next thing you know it will include San Diego County and Santa Barbara County.  A brief aside:  “Why didn’t the Orange County Board of Supervisors…..come up with finding about this?”  Anyway, the AQMD, the EPA and the Coastal Commission are all in a fluff and puff about Fire Rings.  Don’t we have a State Park Regulation on this issue?  What about our Local Electeds representing Huntington Beach and Newport Beach?  Laguna too!  Seems like someone could jump in and take charge of this decidedly public health issue…shouldn’t they?  Who is the Supervisor for Newport Beach and Huntington Beach anyway?  Could it be John Moorlach?  Nah….he is probably too busy trying to find lost Los Alamitos Golf Carts…at Meadowlark Golf Course.  Probably!

Well, enough trivia.  Newport Beach has a serious Global Warming issue to deal with and it just may oblique the opening of the new Civic Center or even Fire Rings.  Rising Tides!  What do they say:  “A rising tide raises all ships!”.  Well, the problem seems to be one of those rising tides exceeding the seawalls that have been put in place throughout the Newport Harbor over they years.  If you take a walk around Balboa Island  you will quickly notice that along the sidewalk which you can take all around the island…..is a cement wall.  As far back as 1960 and before……we can recall high tides which were so high that the water came right on to Marine Avenue and flooded out Hersey’s Market and got pretty close to going inside the Jolly Roger …and the Jolly Roger Taco Shop.  So, the City Fathers determined that after the 10th time….those rising tides were getting out of hand.  Of course, they had forgotten that because they were so cheap, that they had Dredged aroung Balboa Island enough…..so obviously the tide was going to get there ….even quicker.  Never mind…..questioning the tide tables of years gone by.

Most importantly, as the annual winter storms hit, the berms on the beaches on the Newport Peninsula also got worn down and pretty soon, even the parking lot at the Pier on 19th Street was flooded along with several stores.  Finally, realizing that sand berms would be needed each year….that process only took about 20 years to figure out.  Don’t worry, our General Services folks now have a pretty good handle on this issue……at least for now.

OK, looking for a new policy and a new solution to the rising tides is starting to get serious.  Seems like they may eventually have to raise those little walls between sand and sidewalks on Balboa Island upwards to maybe six feet….if things keep going as they are.  So, as usual…….great minds are seeking great solutions to apparently some fairly critical Global Warming Assumptions…..that means;  ”imminent flooding and catastrophe may soon be in our headlights”.  This has to be fairly shocking to our new elite from Newport Coast.  They are all thinking…..”Whew….glad we live up here on the hill.”  So, there maybe some disconnect when it comes to this issue for those folks.    The people in Dover Shores and Eastbluff…..also are a little than less concerned about all the hubbub.

In today’s Local Section of the OC Register……Taylor Hill got a pretty good investigative look at what was needed for our own Han Brinker to put his finger in the Newport Beach dike….and save our City.  Hill quotes the National Research Council that states that the California Coastal Tides will rise about 6 inches by 2030 and as much as 3 feet by the year of our lord 2100.  So, in their wisdom – some great mind has come up with “A Gate across the Breakwater at CDM”.  950 feet long and $250 million dollars to build.  In the words of Rusty in National Lampoon’s Vacation:  “Think Mom is goin buy that Dad?”  “Good talk…Rusty!” says Chevy Chase.  $250 Million dollars to hold back the tide?  How about under water seepage folks?  Ever heard of brackish water…folks in Florida have?

This little project better be vetted by the Army Corps of Engineers.  This little project better be guaranteed to work or we get our money back.  This little project better take another 15 years to consider.  We might want to worry about this issue…..in 2028 when the tide is supposed to rise another three inches….ya think?

Hey, we love people that think out of the box and come up with innovating and creative solutions.  Sort of reminds us of an International Airport at El Toro.  Sounds good, as long as it doesn’t affect us directly.  The company proposing this are Raider fans…..the Oakland based Ben C. Gerwick Inc. says the “The Little Golden Gate” would protect the harbor from “King Tides”.  It would use inflated rubber bladders that would lift the the gate to the closed position.  How long do those bladders last?  Who will be responsible for the annual upkeep?  What kind of warrantee for parts and labor do we get?  Do we have an Indemnified Equity Trust Escrow…..which is there for the life of the project?

Where do these people get their grand ideas?  Did they ever send a man to the moon?  Did they invent the Saturn V, the Space Shuttle,  i-PAD, Amazon, Facebook or Google?  We think not.

City of Newport Beach……….get a grip …eh?  You haven’t even done the “Shakedown Cruise” for the new Civic Center yet.  What is the annual cost of keeping that “Whale of an Idea”….up and running every year?  Add six inches of concrete to the seawall on Balboa Island and call it a day.   Every year you can document the flooding in each of the so-called target areas and bring that info to the City Council when you have it.  One thing is certain, the so called “Tide Gate” is going to wind up being fixed or repaired daily.  Show us what other communities in the world use this system and show us and survey the water table to be sure that there would never be any tidal leakage or seepage into the Harbor…in spite of the “Gerwick Dike”.  A Dike for Newport Beach…..how about Hans Brinker instead?


About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk show...is the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.