What Raccoons and Cyclists Have in Common

I love my dog and he loves raccoons, so to get him going I turned on a TV documentary, Nature: Raccoon Nation. Usually he prefers movies with ponies, or movies about other dogs, even animated dogs get him barking and jumping at the screen, but during this raccoon show I had to restrain him. Too much teasing? He's a big-brained dog with a 200-word vocabulary if you believe what my wife claims; 20 might be more like it. He likes to sit on the couch and watch movies with us. This old ... Continue Reading

Breakers Drive Memories, Peg Parrott

Sisters Peggie and Bonnie grew up on Breakers Drive. They own homes next to each other. Recently they've both torn down the old homes to build beautiful beach homes. Peg's home is for sale and before she leaves the neighborhood I asked her to share some of her stories growing up at Big Corona beach. Mr. Tate ran the beach when we first moved to Breakers Dr. He lived in a one-story home at the end of the block on the sand side. He was a burly man and a little gruff. Every morning he would ... Continue Reading

New Hobby

It's another breezy day in Orange County, great for sailing, not for riding. I went for a ride after lunch; it felt like I was in a wind tunnel. Again. I can't remember when it's been so consistently windy. Every day. There's been one day of June gloom so far; the breeze keeps blowing away the marine layer. I tried sitting out on the deck with a book, but the wind blew the umbrella over, twice. Same yesterday, too. Since when did Southern California become such a sailing Mecca? Maybe I ... Continue Reading

Horse Trading Public Health

Mayor Curry

Read Mayor Curry's letter

The story heated up today when Newport Beach Mayor Keith Curry released a letter he wrote to his counterpart in Huntington Beach.

The topic is fire rings. The Newport Beach City Council voted unanimously to remove 60 local fire rings. The next step was a trip to the California Coastal Commission to acquire the necessary permit. That's when things got interesting because 4 members of the CCC also sit on their local air quality boards including Dr. Burke, Board Chairman of the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The AQMD has authority for 4 counties: LA, Riverside, San Bernandino and Orange; this region includes 41% of the population of California. Potentially, the AQMD could ban up to 836 fire rings along the coast. Things were going well, as the AQMD issued a draft proposal that would revise their Rule 444 to ban all beach burning. That's when Huntington Beach woke up and jumped into the fray. Mayor Connie Boardman wrote a strongly worded letter of protest and then last week at a public hearing at AQMD headquarters, several HB residents and employees of the HB Visitors Bureau attended to speak their mind. ... Continue Reading

Big Data at Big Corona

As you already know, I'm on a clean air kick of late, so you can imagine my excitement when the AQMD arrives and starts installing some pretty fancy looking air quality monitoring devices here at the beach. The District's got till May 3rd to gather data and make their decision. The board meeting was set before the issue of the fire rings even came up. They want to change Rule 444 to ban beach fires. The public backlash, especially in Huntington Beach, is causing them to gather more data. ... Continue Reading

Summit Sentiments

The Bloomberg Administration is in its final months, but NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn had nothing to say about where she'll land next. She has little to worry about; JSK will land on her feet in some major metropolitan area. Today vital cities are competing for the companies that provide the modern high-tech jobs that attract people who want to walk their neighborhoods and bike to work. The era of aspiring to a big house miles out of town that comes with a long commute ... Continue Reading

to the Summit

I'm off for a weekend in Washington, D.C. as the National Bike Summit begins. Today is all about getting there, then Sunday, a bike ride. The only problem is the temperature. I haven't confessed to my local pals that when it's this cold here in Newport Beach, which happens once or twice a year, I won't leave the house, let alone ride a bike. I don't deal with the cold like I once could. Yes, I'm a big baby and I've been fretting the weather ever since I registered. When I attended in 2011, ... Continue Reading

Parking: Price it Properly

There's talk of an automated parking system coming to Big Corona. It's early-on in the discussions, but I'm already impressed with the many opportunities. Why did I get so excited? What's the connection between optimizing car parking and bike safety? My intuition tells me this parking system might be a step in the long process of increasingly restraining parked cars from the jewel-like centers of our fair city. My interest piqued last month when the CdM BID's sidewalk widening ... Continue Reading

Moving from a Mono-Culture

We don't have a Naked Bike Ride here in Orange County. How far do you have to go to find such a ride? I know Portland has one, London, too. We certainly have a more appropriate climate for such an event, but we lack much in the way of a bike culture. We don't have a Tweed Ride in Newport Beach. Long Beach does. We have a mono-culture. Orange County is all about aging white guys looking to reclaim their youth by riding their bikes 60 miles each weekend morning in large peletons, ... Continue Reading

Wayfinding Webinar: Try Finding Your Way Out Of This Mess

I got an invitation to attend a webinar at OCTA. The subject interested me — pedestrian wayfinding signs and the cities that have undertaken big projects to make visitors more comfortable as they navigate tourist sites. Maybe 2 years ago I organized a webinar for Angel Capital Association, so I was familiar with the format. Unless someone, like I did, insists on something other than the typical format — show a slide and read the bullets to the audience — these webinar ... Continue Reading