Volume 8, Issue 24  |  March 24, 2023Subscribe

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Fair Game


Tomorrow, 78 candidates will compete for a seat in a lifeguard tower come summer

TJ headshot AugIt’ll be fun times on the beachfront tomorrow morning for participants and spectators alike as candidates battling for a 2023 City of Newport Beach Lifeguard Trainee position attempt to qualify.

Those trying out will gather to check in at 8:30 a.m. at the Benjamin M. Carlson Lifeguard Headquarters located next to the Newport Pier.

Spectators wishing to view the event should probably arrive by 9 a.m. 

According to Newport Beach Fire Chief Jeff Boyles, there were 82 applicants this year, with 78 of them completing their application process correctly and meeting the minimum qualifications. All 78 have been invited to participate in tomorrow’s tryouts.

One big change for tomorrow’s tryouts that the Chief explained to me. Prior to COVID, all candidates would enter the ocean swim at the same time, battling for position, and as he said, “elbows and feet moving wildly.” I call it flailing. The swimmers would then directly compete against the opposition. No longer.

Now, the department has “adjusted that practice and began using ankle timers so the applicants can enter the water in staggered phases.” The applicants will swim around the jetty located near 28th St. and continue swimming through the Blackies area and south of the Newport Pier

Then, once they’re done with that, after a short rest period, they’ll compete in the Run, Swim, Run phase along the shoreline and water south of the Newport Pier.

Of those trying out, approximately 40 will be invited to interviews, depending on staffing needs.

The Chief encourages residents to come out and watch. 

• • •

The Coastal Conservancy meets next Friday, Feb. 3 at the YMCA Camp Surf in Imperial Beach. Item 9 on their agenda is “consideration and potential authorization to disburse up to $685,546 to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority to develop a Tribal Access and Engagement Plan and update environmental assessments for the Frank and Joan Randall Preserve/Genga (formerly known as Banning Ranch) property in Newport Beach and unincorporated Orange County.

What staff is proposing is the development of a detailed work program, schedule and budget; and, names and qualifications of any contractors to be retained to carry out the project.

The project entails a number of things, including a “serious effort to engage tribes” that historically go back on that land, including a “potential discussion of a land return to the tribes.”

The broader plan includes “habitat restoration, public access, tribal access, tribal stewardship and potentially lower-cost overnight accommodations.”

The 384-acre property is part of the “several thousand-year-old Native American Village known as Genga. Documented evidence shows that indigenous people inhabited Frank and Joan Randall Preserve/Genga property for at least 3,000 years and that the land is sacred to multiple tribes in the region.” 

To find the complete agenda, go here.

• • •

Do you have a vehicle that should be on display at a local car show? If the answer is yes, check this out. The Corona del Mar High School Student Government is hosting its inaugural Car Show in the CdMHS pool parking lot on Sunday, March 26, beginning at 9 a.m.

The contact person is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To enter your car, go to

• • •

Assemblymember Diane Dixon (R-Newport Beach) is doing more than just keeping her new chair warm in Sacramento. This past week she introduced Assembly Bill 276 which she says is “intended to save lives.”

The Bill will prohibit the use of a mobile device while driving for those aged 18-21. Sounds simple enough…but isn’t that already the rule of the land?

Currently in California, motorists under the age of 18 are forbidden from using a mobile device while driving, regardless of whether it is operated in a hands-free capacity. This bill expands the age group of motorists prohibited from using their cell phone while driving. That means NO use of a cell phone, hands-free or not.

“As a mother and grandmother, I know it is imperative that we make our roads safer,” Dixon said. “This bill prioritizes public safety by eliminating a major distraction that seems to impact many young adults while they are driving.”

A 2021 survey by the California Office of Traffic Safety discovered that 74.3% of Californians identified distracted driving as one of their biggest traffic safety concerns on California roadways. The use of a mobile device is a common source of distraction for drivers, particularly teenagers. 

In fact, data shows distraction occurs significantly in drivers ages 15 through 20. Among drivers in this age group involved in fatal crashes, 9% were distracted at the time of the crash. According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA), teen drivers are 1.6 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than older drivers.

To make matters worse, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 30,000 fatalities occur annually in the United States because of a distracted driver.

So, what happens now? Next, AB 276 should be referred to a policy committee in the Assembly and set for a hearing for public input.

• • •

Our friends running the OC Fair & Event Center might be looking for a new trophy cabinet. This past week it was announced that the OC Fair team earned 14 Achievement Awards from the Western Fairs Association, including eight first-place honors. 

The annual program recognizes innovation and excellence among fairs and festivals in the Western U.S. 

OC Fair & Event Center also received four second-place awards, one third-place and an honorable mention. 

Five of the first-place awards were in the photography categories. The top animal photo was also selected as an overall winner and the best entertainment photo also received an award of excellence. Other top photo winners were in the exhibits, community outreach and people at the Fair categories.

First-place honors also went to the OC Fair’s new miniature donkey competition, a television ad for the Fair, and the Heroes Hall speaker series that was part of the Fighting for the Right to Fight exhibit.

Second-place photo awards were received in the carnival and food categories. The OC Fair’s overall marketing campaign and logo also won second-place honors and the Fair’s commemorative poster received a third-place award. An honorable mention was given to a special event logo for the culinary program at the Fair. 

The Western Fairs Association presented the awards last week in Reno, Nev.

• • •

Sunday afternoon (3 p.m.), Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy, will continue his march toward what many would consider an impossible dream in attempting to lead the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl date with destiny on February 12 in Glendale, Ariz.

Purdy, the final draft pick in last year’s NFL Draft, which led to a trip celebrating Irrelevant Week in Newport Beach, has led the Niners to seven straight wins since replacing injured quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The streak includes two straight playoff victories.

Sunday it’s for the NFC Championship versus the Philadelphia Eagles in the City of Brotherly Love. Whoever wins will move on two weeks later to the Super Bowl where they’ll play the winner of Cincinnati and Kansas City.

And, to be completely honest, the 49ers are not playing with any attempt to hide Purdy and his inexperience. He’s been nothing short of spectacular during the run and, obviously, far more than 31 other teams ever imagined he could.

Go Purdy! Do it for Paul (Salata)!

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