Page 1

FEBRUARY 2019 BUSINESS

EDUCATION

Electric truck and SUV start-up Rivian does its battery R&D right here in Irvine

UCI ranks first in the nation for lowincome community college transfers

page 6

page 10

WHAT REALLY MATTERS irvinecitynews.com

Business

City

DINING

The Kebab Shop offers fast-casual Middle Easter fare at two Irvine restaurants page 7

IrvineCityNews Opinion

Education

Life

Sports

Community

Feature

Irvine mayor seeks O.C. supervisor seat DONALD WAGNER RUNNING TO REPLACE TODD SPITZER IN THE KEY THIRD DISTRICT FEATURE

I

by Irvine City News staff

SKATING AWAY T

debut in the next few months. The large FivePoint Arena will host a wide variety of sporting and entertainment events. Other features of the Great Park ICE complex will include

rvine Mayor Don Wagner is running for the Third District seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors, seeking to replace former supervisor, now O.C. District Attorney Todd Spitzer. Orange County will hold a special election on March 12 to select a replacement for Spitzer. “Encouraged by my family and so many amazing and supportive members of our community, I’m officially joining the race to become the next District 3 Orange County Supervisor,” Wagner said in announcing his candidacy. “I’m stepping forward to fight for Orange County families who deserve a genuine, proven leader who knows that

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 >>

CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 >>

PART OF THE ACTION DURING A YOUTH HOCKEY TOURNAMENT AT THE NEW GREAT PARK ICE & FIVEPOINT ARENA

wo sheets of ice are open at Great Park ICE and FivePoint Arena as completion of the entire 280,000-square-

foot, $104 million state-of-theart hockey, skating and sports facility draws near. The soft opening of the ice complex in January drew nearly 1,000 skaters to try out the ice on two of the rinks. FivePoint Arena,

an Olympic-sized ice venue that seats 2,500 people, is open, as is one of the other three National Hockey League-sized ice sheets. The two other ice rinks, a snack bar, restaurant and Anaheim Ducks team store are expected to

GREAT PARK ICE AND FIVEPOINT ARENA OPEN IN IRVINE FEATURE

by Irvine City News staff


FEBRUARY 2019 2

IrvineCityNews

irvinecitynews.com

Publisher’s Note

28 DAYS OF OPTIMISM

I

love the month of February. Perhaps because it’s a short month, or it comes so quickly after the election crush and holiday rush, but not that much seems to happen in its 28 days. And I’m okay with that. Oh sure, we have a special election coming up, and if one checks in on social media and online platforms there are still issues out there in Irvine getting folks riled up. “Useless chatter,” a friend calls it, and it’s hard to disagree. Some folks even take issue with the very improvements addressing issues about which they previously and vocally complained. Take the ongoing and upcoming improvements being made to address traffic in the city. Construction is underway on some projects, while many others are fully funded and in planning, including the widening of University Drive and improvement to the intersection

with Ridgeline Drive. Some folks with mansions on the nearby hill are diving deep into that process, with their self-taught expertise in urban planning and traffic management. While citizen oversight and participation is laudable, some of the micromanaging and attempts to create division where there really shouldn’t be any tend toward the tiresome. Still, the fact that folks have time to quibble about the details of issues professionals, experts in their fields, and our excellent city staff have well in hand is evidence that overall things are pretty great here in Irvine. While national politics, global issues, and hardships that too many face are deeply concerning, for this short month perhaps we can simply enjoy and appreciate all that we have. There will be plenty of time to worry and disagree about the empty half of the glass as we move forward into the year. n

IrvineCityNews Editor and Publisher

Jacob Levy • editor@irvinecitynews.com

5319 University Drive Suite #440 Irvine, CA 92612

Advertising

ads@irvinecitynews.com • 949.296.8338 Irvine City News is a monthly publication serving the city of Irvine, CA. Irvine City News distributes 100,000 copies monthly via direct delivery and at 45 news racks in select locations throughout Irvine.

KIDS AND PARENTS WALK THROUGH THE SPACIOUS FOYER DURING A RECENT HOCKEY TOURNAMENT AT GREAT PARK ICE & FIVEPOINT ARENA “SKATING” FROM PAGE 1

a restaurant/sports bar, event spaces, classrooms, and outdoor public spaces and amenities. The Ducks will continue practicing at the Honda Center, but will also use the Great Park rink when the arena is hosting other events. “We can’t wait to get the whole building open,” said Art Trottier,

vice president of the Anaheim Ducks RINKS, in an OC Register article. “We’d like the public to just come take a look at it.” The facility will be managed by the THE RINKS Ice Management Team, which has four other ice facilities in Southern California. Great Park ICE and FivePoint Arena have already hosted

hockey tournaments for youth and a sled hockey tournament for adult teams from the Pacific Sled Hockey League for physically disabled players. The teams from California, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado are sponsored by and often named after a National Hockey League team. CONTINUED ON PAGE 3 >>


FEBRUARY 2019

IrvineCityNews

irvinecitynews.com

“SKATING” FROM PAGE 2

Competing in Irvine were the San Diego Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Las Vegas Knights and the Colorado Warriors, a team comprised of injured U.S. servicemen. The teams include players on the U.S. Development Sled Hockey Team hoping to make the national team for the 2022 Beijing Paralympics. The tournament hosted by the Anaheim Ducks also welcomed four youth teams competing in the first West Coast Youth Sled Hockey Tournament. Great Park ICE will also give the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League (ADHSHL) a new venue. In anticipation, the league announced the expansion of its regular season to 20 games across all varsity divisions. The junior varsity division will also increase to 18 regular season games. With 49 teams now in the ADHSHL, increasing the regular season games is the next step for the expanding league. “Great Park Ice is a fantastic addition, and we will be using the facility every weekend during the regular season,” says Matt Blanchart, ADHSHL commissioner. “The excitement and growth continue in the positive direction for the league.” The Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League was established in 2008 with JSerra High School and has added 48 teams in the past 10 seasons. With the addition of this new facility, the Anaheim Ducks RINKS Program, which includes both ice and incline skating facilities, will now have 11 sheets of ice for use. The organization’s Learn to Play programs sponsored by NHL Ducks stars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry have had a six-month waiting list for ice sessions. Additionally, with all four existing RINKS located in north Orange County, the Great Park RINKS location fills the need of a more convenient location for

those who live in the southern part of the county. “All of our rinks are full from morning to night, so the ability to add four rinks is going to relieve some of the capacity,” Henry Samueli said at the groundbreaking for Great Park ICE. “So we can get more kids, more high school teams, more adult leagues. It will grow the sport of hockey from top to bottom.” And it’s far from just a hockey facility. The All Year Figure Skating Club, which has sent many skaters to the Olympics and other prestigious international figure skating competitions, is moving its base to the new Great Park ICE this winter, according to reports by L.A. Times reporter Helene Elliott. The club, which has been based in Culver City and Ontario has more than 600 members, and is the fifth-largest figure skating club in the country and the largest on the West Coast. Established in 1939, All Year

FSC has hosted over 15 regional championships, seven sectional championships, the 1997 Junior Olympics and was the host club for the 2002 U.S. Championships in Los Angeles. Some 50 competitive ice skaters from the club are expected to train at Great Park Ice on a daily basis, including elite skaters coached by Rafael Arutunian, who coached 2018 U.S. Olympians Nathan Chen and Adam Rippon. “Having four surfaces and a seating capacity of about 2,500 creates the potential of bringing in international events, as well as domestic events,” said Doug Williams, the club’s president, in the L.A. Times story. All Year FSC will host two competitions and two recitals at the facility each year. “Great Park ICE is going to attract premier figure skating talent to Orange County and will become one of the top training centers in the nation,” said Art Trottier.

Great Park ICE is financed by Irvine Ice Foundation, a nonprofit organization which will be made up of locally based civic leaders funded by Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli, and will be turned over to the city of Irvine after a lease of up to 50 years expires. “The opening of the Great Park Ice facility is an important milestone that adds to the already unparalleled recreational experiences for Irvine residents and visitors. Along with the other sports venues at the Great Park, the new skating rinks will contribute to the economic health of the city as it attracts visitors from throughout the region, the nation, and the world,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. Approved by the Irvine City Council in Nov. 2015, the Great Park ICE complex had an official “ice breaking” in Feb. 2017 and opened some 18 months later in Dec. 2018.

SLED HOCKEY AT FIVEPOINT ARENA, ONE OF THE FOUR ICE RINKS AT GREAT PARK ICE

3

At the ice-breaking. Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli spoke to an audience of dignitaries and local residents. “Building this from the ground up is a dream come true,” Henry Samueli said. “The Great Park worked out as a perfect partner for us because of the availability of the land and the openness of the city council to engage us in such a massive project. So we’re really thankful for them working so diligently with us to make this a reality.” “This is a great day for the city,” said Irvine Mayor Don Wagner at the groundbreaking ceremony. “We’re going to have four sheets of ice, one of the largest facilities in the country, and we’re going to have the opportunity for our local kids to come play hockey, figure skate and train with the best. This is a first-class operation, a thoroughly professional operation, and it’s going to be a community icon. I’m excited.” n


FEBRUARY 2019 4

IrvineCityNews

irvinecitynews.com

IRVINE MAYOR DON WAGNER IS RUNNING FOR THE OPEN THIRD DISTRICT ORANGE COUNTY SUPERVISOR SEAT “SUPERVISOR” FROM PAGE 1

excellent schools, low crime, a strong economy, low taxes, and a clean environment will move our region forward.” Many political insiders consider Wagner to be the favorite in the special election, because of his name recognition in the district—said to be the key to winning such elections, which don’t provide significant time for less known candidates. Wagner’s current and former political positions have significant overlap with the Third District, 35 percent of which is made up of Irvine voters. Wagner was re-elected mayor of Irvine by a 14-point margin in November. Wagner’s former assembly seat, AD-68, includes 65 percent of the registered voters in the district. Republicans hold a 4 percentage-point voter registration advantage in the Third District, which also includes Yorba Linda, parts of Anaheim, Orange, Villa Park, Orange Park Acres, Tustin,

and the communities in and around Santiago and Silverado Canyons. Most of Irvine is in the district, with Shady Canyon and Quail Hill among the most notable exceptions. While Democrats may be in the minority in the community, there is only one member of the party running for the seat: Former Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. Her former congressional district does not overlap with the Third District, however. So it’s uncertain how her name recognition will translate in the special election. Wealthy businessman Andy Thorburn, a Democrat, withdrew from the race to replace Spitzer, citing party loyalty. Former Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray is the other well-known Republican in the race. In an interesting side-note, both Sanchez and Spitzer rose to prominence when they were elected in 1996, she to Congress and he to his first term on the Board of Supervisors. The official candidate filing

period is open through Jan. 28. The newly elected supervisor would take office on either March 26 or April 9 for a term that would last until the 2020 election. If Wagner were to win the election, the method to replace him as Irvine mayor is undetermined, with options that include a special election or an appointment of his replacement, possibly from among present council members. Mayor Wagner’s release announcing his candidacy proclaims that “for the last two years, Don Wagner has led an Irvine renaissance without raising taxes, ever! Under Don’s leadership as Mayor, the Irvine Great Park is finally being built. Irvine has seen more parks, wilderness trails, and sports facilities open. Real planning for the long promised Cultural Terrace is now happening, while live music returned to Irvine at our new amphitheater. “Moreover, Don has implemented every step of the detailed traffic-improvement plan he

promised in the last election, including stopping all residential development contributing to our traffic problem. With Don Wagner as Mayor, Irvine has finally begun making real progress on getting our traffic under control. Imagine that – campaign promises being honored to make your life better.” Wagner’s campaign website (electdonwagner.com) lists numerous endorsements, including a “who’s who” of current and former county and city Republican luminaries. On her campaign website (electkrismurray.com), Murray touts her fiscal conservatism— ”As a champion of fiscal responsibility, Kris works hard to ensure Anaheim has a balanced budget and puts money away for a rainy day—all without raising taxes.” She also supports development in the Anaheim Resort District: “Kris has championed more than $6 billion in development projects that will bring economic benefits to the region

for generations to come.Projects include the recent expansion of the Anaheim Convention Center, ensuring its place as the largest convention center on the West Coast, multiple four-diamond hotels and the largest expansion of the Disneyland Resort in two decades with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, opening in 2019. Murray’s leadership helped create thousands of skilled jobs in Anaheim and will generate hundreds of millions in new city and county revenue – supporting quality of life services for residents and keeping local taxes and fees low.” Murray also lists her endorsements, which not surprisingly includes numerous Anaheim organizations and civic leaders, as well as (somewhat surprisingly) the Orange County Business Council. “The future of our county continues to be bright as we have accomplished leaders willing to serve on the Board of Supervisors,” says OCBC CEO Lucy Dunn in a statement. “We are excited to support a community leader who has been a part of the OCBC family for over 12 years where she led solutions on transportation, workforce housing and other critical issues to grow jobs and enhance the quality of life of Orange County residents. She remains active in her support and energy to Orange County’s success.” Loretta Sanchez has the nowDemocratic O.C. congressional delegation on her side, which she touts on her website’s homepage (sanchezforocsupervisor. com), perhaps hoping to ride in the wake of their 2018 election success. She also has a long list of labor and local politicians endorsing her candidacy. With Murray and Wagner already dividing up key endorsements, local Republicans wonder if the two will split Republican votes, resulting in the former congresswoman becoming the second Democrat on the Board of Supervisors after a long run as a 100 percent Republican board. n


FEBRUARY 2019

IrvineCityNews

irvinecitynews.com

5

ARTS AND CULTURE

POSTERS FOR PROGRESS

LAST CHANCE TO SEE A THOUGHT-PROVOKING GREAT PARK GALLERY EXHIBIT

During the years 1936-1943, the U.S. government hired thousands of writers, musicians, dramatic and visual artists as part of New Deal programs designed to help the nation recover from the Great Depression. Artists working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) designed more than 35,000 posters—of which the

government printed over 2 million copies—promoting local and national programs, travel and tourism, and WPA-funded cultural programming, as well as providing health-and-safety advice. The posters celebrated everyday American culture and values, and more than 80 years later their strong messages and striking beauty still remind us of the power and potential of our democratic values. The Great Park Gallery has an exhibit on display through Feb. 10 curated by Cal State Fullerton

professor Benjamin Cawthra that displays a number of these posters. It’s definitely with a trip to the Orange County Great Park, particularly for those intrigued by art, graphic design and history. Dr. Cawthra culled through nearly a thousand posters from those digitized in the Library of

Congress collection, choosing ones that reflect the breadth of the Federal Art Project, a division of the WPA created specifically to provide jobs for out-of-work artists. “The Federal Art Project posters are indeed representational, speaking clearly to the Common

Man,” Cawthra writes on the informative text included alongside the posters. “I find their bold lines and colors and intriguing use of colors projecting an artistic exuberance that defies the Depression itself,” while also possibly speaking to our own times. At first, artists hand-painted and signed each poster, but eventually the program came to rely heavily on silk-screening, which allowed the WPA to print multiple copies of a design. The posters were distributed nationwide to be displayed in federal buildings, libraries, public schools, airports, national parks, and in WPA-sponsored gallery exhibit. Their audiences were as diverse as their subject matter. The messages were often direct: “Planned Housing Fights Disease,” “Sew for Victory,” “Stamp out the Axis,” are a few of the posters on display at the Great Park. As far as speaking to our times, perhaps the most on point is also the least direct. An illustration of Lady Liberty holding a blazing torch set against a stars on a blue background says enigmatically: “Democracy… a challenge.” At the time in our history when Democracy was perhaps most at risk—the Depression, the rise of Fascism and World War II—the artists of the WPA helped remind American that for which the country stands. n FEDERAL ART PROJECT: AMERICAN DESIGN On display through Feb. 10 at the Great Park Gallery Thursdays & Fridays: noon–4 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Free admission n cityofirvine.org/orangecounty-great-parkpalm-court-


FEBRUARY 2019 6

IrvineCityNews

irvinecitynews.com

The electric company EV INNOVATOR RIVIAN IS PLUGGED INTO IRVINE EDUCATION

by Irvine City News staff

T

he company that generated the biggest buzz at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show doesn’t even have a vehicle to sell… yet. But come 2020, Rivian’s first two allelectric production vehicles may well disrupt the U.S. truck and SUV markets. While the headquarters of Rivian is near Detroit, and production will take place in a former Mitsubishi factory in Illinois, the company’s innovative battery research and development center is in Irvine, tucked away in a Spectrum industrial park. Why start an electric car company from scratch and focus on trucks and SUVs? Here’s what Rivian says about that on the company website: “Rivian is made up of 450

adventurous individuals and counting (editor’s note: now closer to 600, according to reports). We’re beginning by electrifying trucks and SUVs, because they are often the most-polluting vehicles on the road — a problem for people like us, who want to stay active and require a ride that is capable of handling every kind of terrain skillfully, and hauling all kinds of gear (and loved ones) effortlessly.” It also doesn’t hurt that the truck and SUV market is profitable, with no electric competitors in sight. According to electric vehicle website Teslarati, some 90 percent of Ford’s profits come from their truck division, which includes the F-150. GM’s Denali line of luxurious trucks and SUVs accounted for over 11 percent of GM’s U.S. sales in 2017. “As Porsche, Mercedes, BMW, and Audi play catch up to Tesla’s premium EV lineup, Rivian is working to reinvent an entirely different market,” Teslarati

reports. “The company is confident that their upcoming vehicles are built for the world of tomorrow and will shake up Detroit’s perspective on electric vehicles.” Rivian’s electric pick-up truck will have a range of 230 to 400+ miles per charge, depending on battery pack size, is capable of towing 11,000 lbs., and has a starting price of $69,000. The SUV is a seven-seater with a similar range, and is priced at $72,500, not counting tax credits. Those are the base models. The first production vehicles will be at the higher end of range and price. The vehicles are powered by four 147-kilowatt electric motors, one on each wheel. The most powerful of the Rivian battery packs under development in Irvine will provide 80 percent more energy than the Tesla Model S and Model X, according to reports. The largest is a 180 kWh battery megapack, as Rivian calls it, and reportedly stores enough energy to power a

RIVIAN R1S, THE ELECTRIC SUV IN DEVELOPMENT FOR 2020 RELEASE. THE COMPANY’S INNOVATIVE BATTERY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER IS IN IRVINE.

typical U.S. household for more than two weeks. Rivian says that the truck and SUV will have a charging capacity of 160 kW at fast-charging stations, which adds approximately 200 miles of range in around 30 minutes of charging. The vehicles will include an 11kW onboard charger for level 2 charging. Rivian’s Irvine-based team developed the battery modules, including the microchips that run its proprietary battery management system. It’s clear that as much thought has been put into the features and aesthetics of the vehicles, which offer an intriguing mix of the futuristic and the functional. The pickup truck includes additional storage dubbed the “gear tunnel” behind the cab, which extends from one side of the vehicle to the other, with space for hauling snowboards, golf bags or strollers. Rivian is also focused on selfdriving and intelligent features, with that part of the company based in Silicon Valley. “We combined electrification with self-driving capabilities and intelligent features to inspire people to truly explore the world in new ways, and we’re just getting started,” Rivian’s materials say. The startup was founded in 2009 by CEO R.J. Scaringe, a MIT graduate with a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. Major investors include Sumitomo Corp. of America and Saudi Arabian conglomerate Abdul Latif Jameel Co., which invests and owns renewable energy subsidiaries around the world and has a large automotive footprint in the Middle East. The investment has been spent wisely, it seems. The former Mitsubishi plant and all its machinery and assembly systems was purchased in 2017 for a reported $16 million. Mitsubishi and Chrysler spent some $1.6 billion building the facility in 1988. It was closed in 2015. Splitting the company up

between four key locations gives Rivian access to technical and design talent already located or willing to relocate to the areas. Notably, the company has attracted a number of engineers from McLaren, as well as VPs and directors. Rivian has also attracted talent from Tesla, Faraday Future, and the big three Detroit automakers, with Scaringe getting the credit for Scaringe is said to spend a good deal of time at the Irvine R&D location, and in and around the city itself. He says that Rivian is aimed at the automotive market that is “aspirational and high-performing but considerably more practical, inviting, and casual.” “It’s the ideal platform to go out and enjoy nature,” he said, pointing out all the extra gear space made possible by the lack of an internal combustion engine. “You can take kids to the beach, or go mountain biking, or surfing,” he told the L. A. Times. “It’ll be priced like a Range Rover but sold to customers who won’t mind getting muddy. It’s comfortable getting dirty. The interior design is rugged and cleanable.” Think of a Patagonia jacket versus an Armani suit or Hugo Boss overcoat, he says. While numerous publications compare Scaringe to Tesla’s Elon Musk, perhaps the Patagonia comparison is more apt and Scaringe will turn out to be more like Yvon Chouinard, visionary founder of that iconic brand, or perhaps Richard Branson. Or perhaps in our electric, self-driving future, commentators will be comparing other founders of promising startups to Scaringe. The fact that he and his company appreciate Irvine’s “electric” tech business climate and family-friendly, outdoor lifestyle shows great promise for Rivian. To learn more and to reserve a Rivian vehicle with a $1,000 refundable deposit, go to products. rivian.com n


FEBRUARY 2019

IrvineCityNews

irvinecitynews.com

a

7

DINING

A MIDDLE EASTERN MUST THE KEBAB SHOP’S TWO IRVINE LOCATIONS ARE NOT ENOUGH by ICN Dining Critic

Irvine is a large city, third largest by population in Orange County and the largest by area—66.4 square miles. Locals know that just because a restaurant opens in Irvine doesn’t mean it’s convenient for all of us to try, and especially frequent. In the past few years we’ve seen a few savvy restaurateurs realize this by opening more than one location of a concept new to the city, and in quick succession. San Diegobased Puesto debuted in the Los Olivos Marketplace center on New Year’s Eve 2016, quickly becoming one of the best dining experiences in Irvine. The second Puesto opened in January 2018, just seven miles up the 405 in Park Place. Perhaps the Los Olivos center is Irvine’s incubator to see how San Diego concepts fare in Orange County, as The Kebab Shop has followed a similar formula to Puesto’s, only faster. The first Irvine location of the growing chain serving fast casual Middle Eastern cuisine opened in Spring 2018 in the original part of the retail center across the 405 from the Spectrum. The second debuted just a few months later and only 7.5 miles away in the Harvard Place center, at Main and Harvard. No doubt there is expert advice and data-driven approaches to opening new locations, looking at consumer

BEBE CAPRESE SALAD, GRILLED CHICKEN KABOB, AND KALE & QUINOA SALAD AT THE KEBAB SHOP

demographics, commercial mix, and other factors. But all a restaurateur needs to do is drive the 405 from Jamboree to Irvine Center Drive at dinner time to see that the seven mile difference may as well be 20: if the food and service are good, they’ll have a captive and hungry audience for each. Luckily for the owners of The Kebab Shop, they’ve nailed it on all counts. The clean and welldesigned restaurants specializing in European-style döner kebabs, a Turkish dish made of roasted meat cooked on a vertical spit (think shawarma and gyros, though Turks often claim originating credit). The dish gained popularity in Germany in the 1980s, especially as wraps. The Kebab Shop offers them as wraps, as plates or wrapped in flatbread. There are also made-to-order grilled kebabs, the pieces of meat served on the stick many of us think of when we hear kebab.

The Kebab Shop’s fast-casual experience is often described as a Middle Eastern Chipotle, in that one chooses a protein (chicken, beef, lamb, falafel), a delivery method (wrap, plate, etc.), sides and sauces and the dish is created for you. But there is a key difference from the fast-casual Mexican chain born in Denver and now based in Newport Beach: service. The best way to elevate the fast casual experience is to have staff that actually seems to care about the customer, especially after they pick up their food or its delivered tableside. The better Mexican restaurant example is Wahoo’s Fish Tacos. At the Orange Countybased chain you of course order at the counter, and your food is dropped off. But have you ever noticed they don’t pick up your number right away? That’s because the servers are trained to come by a second or even third time to

“touch the table” and check to see if you need anything. My experiences at The Kebab Shop have all included high levels of customer satisfaction. The staff has been unfailingly friendly, with excellent service throughout the meal. Of the two locations, I prefer the one at Harvard and Main, mainly because it has more windows. Both have fun interiors will cool graphics, including an entire wall quoting the many accolades the restaurant has received, including one of “Best Cheap Eats in San Diego” by San Diego Magazine, “The 12 Most Important Restaurants in San Diego,” by Thrilllist, and “Top 20 Regional Chains We Wish Would Go National,” by Zagat. Orange County Register critic Brad A. Johnson has also given the chain his seal of approval, naming the chicken Doner wrap the “best thing he ate” last November. Johnson likes it when the wrap is

slightly charred, similar to the crust of a good Neapolitan pizza: “When it burns, that’s when this bread truly comes alive… just enough to char it around the edges, just enough to make dime-sized air pockets swell inside the bread, then burst open and catch fire. The Kebab Shop’s bread is incredible. The way it tastes, the way it feels in your hand, the way it smells, it’ll remind you of the street vendors in Istanbul. The fillings become almost inconsequential — but not irrelevant. In particular, the chicken döner is superb.” My experience with the wraps hasn’t been quite that poetic. It’s the combination of the chicken skewers and salads that sold me. I’ve had most of the salads on the menu. Favorites are the kale salad with quinoa, walnuts and cranberries, and the Bebe Caprese, with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Both were better than many salads from full-service restaurants. Note that while kids meals are not listed on the in-store menu, there is the option of a smaller serving of meat with two sides. And those meals are free on weekends with the purchase of an adult meal and drink. Yes, free! Middle Eastern food is having its moment, both locally and nationally—though several upand-coming chains prefer the “Mediterranean” moniker. Big money is pouring into chains like Cava, Naf Naf and The Hummus & Pita Co. It seems certain that one of them will emerge as a major Middle Eastern chain. We’d be happy if the winner of that particular competition is The Kebab Shop, so they add several more locations in Irvine, and throughout SoCal. n n thekebabshop.com


FEBRUARY 2019 8

IrvineCityNews

irvinecitynews.com

MY DRY CLEANING WAS JUST DELIVERED! It’s easy, convenient, and free.

25% OFF

YOUR FIRST PICK UP & DELIVERY DRY CLEANING ORDER

UP N G SI ODAY T VIEWCLEANERS.COM

Opinion

by ICN Editorial Board

“N

o characteristic of Irvine reflects the guiding principles of the Master Plan more fully than its villages,” says the Greater Irvine Chamber page on the Master Plan. “Radiating distinct personalities, they are designed to help residents enjoy life here to the fullest.” Few would dispute that the villages concept fosters community pride and identification, and serves the purpose as a method of marketing individual developments as they’re built. Bragging rights? Sure, there’s some of that too. But as the city has grown and prospered, it’s become more difficult to differentiate between all but the largest, oldest and most geographically distinct of the named villages. Most of us know where Woodbridge, University Park, Quail Hill , Shady Canyon and Northwood are, though the borders and boundaries of the certain villages may be more difficult to define. But how many among even the most in-the-know locals could locate Rosegate and Stonegate, Columbus Grove and The Colony, or the tree villages of Cypress, Walnut and the Willows?  We defy anyone but a city staffer, planning commissioner or Irvine Co. veteran to differentiate between the “parks.” College Park, Northpark, Park Lane, Parkcrest, Parkside, Westpark, University Park—did we miss any? Of course we did: the parks in the Great Park Neighborhood: Pavilion Park, Beacon Park, Cadence Park, Parasol Park and the upcoming Novel Park. Does the Great Park count as a village, or does a village have to be

Does it still take a village to live, work, study and play in Irvine? an Irvine Company development? Heritage Fields is on the village list, but only lawyers call the Great Park by that name. Check out the Altair website, and the word village is never used. Certainly residents who bought or rent in each village know. But who among us not a resident of the planning area nine neighborhoods really knows where Woodbury, Stonegate and Woodbury East begin and end? Ah yes, the planning areas. Should we simplify and use the designations, which at times track the villages? That would be simpler, right? Not so fast. (check out the map: gis.cityofirvine.org/pdf/ Map%20Gallery/Planning%20 Areas_11x17_landscape.pdf) Can anyone explain how the numbers were assigned? Certainly not in consecutive order: University Park is No. 20 while Woodbridge is No. 15. Which is No. 1, one might ask? Orchard Hills, with Limestone Canyon coming in at No. 3. And as for Planning Area No. 2… hmm. No such thing, as far as the map shows. Perhaps the planning area numbers were distributed geographically? Doesn’t seem so: UCI is No. 50 and the Great Park is No. 51. Other curiosities: why does Irvine Spectrum have six separate planning areas (No. 13, and Nos. 31-35) but the Great Park only has one? It is confusing, which is perhaps why the Irvine Police Department created a much simpler system back in 2003 by dividing the city up into three geographic areas. “After much discussion, research, input from members of the department and the community, and based on their geographic location, the names selected for each

area became ‘Portola,’ ‘University’ and ‘Crossroads,’” says the IPD webpage on the topic. We can imagine there was much discussion! Not sure how they came up with the names, candidly. University is obvious. But is Crossroads named for the El Toro Y, where the 405 and 5 Freeways merge/separate, depending on one’s direction? Or for the Crossroads retail center? Portola is everything north of the 5 Freeway, but that name is also pretty ubiquitous in the city, region and state. Why not just name the area 5 North? Perhaps simplifying the whole thing would make Irvine easier to understand for newcomers, as well as those of us who have lived here quite a while. One way to narrow it down: does the village have a retail center, whether named for the village or not? If it does, it counts. If not, it’s just a neighborhood. That list of centers includes Diamond Jamboree, Park Place, and Heritage Plaza, as well as the Irvine Co. centers. We refer to the areas of the IBC near the District as that center, even though that center is in Tustin. There are exceptions and complications, of course. The Great Park Neighborhoods retail center is yet to come, though we read recently that a cool pop-up version using shipping containers will be coming. And for some reason there are three centers with Alton in the name. So there may need some renaming to make it all make sense. No worries, that should be simple to work out. Hmm. Maybe not. We forsee “much discussion, research, input from members of the the community” before this crazy idea ever happens. n


FEBRUARY 2019

IrvineCityNews

irvinecitynews.com

Irvine geography 101: the big three

Park Elementary School • Oak Creek Elementary School • Springbrook Elementary School • Stone Creek Elementary School • Lakeside Middle School • South Lake Middle • Venado Middle School • Woodbridge High School • Irvine High School • Creekside High School • San Joaquin High School

COMMUNITY

Courtesy Irvine Police Department

T

he Irvine Police Department divided the city up into three geographic regions in 2003: University, Portola and Crossroads. As explained on the Irvine PD’s section of the city website, each geographic area is led by an Irvine Police Department area commander supported by a team of supervisors, patrol officers, traffic officers, investigators and civilian support staff. This policing model allows these personnel to be more familiar with the people that live and work in their area.

University

University encompasses nine residential communities, a region of mixed commercial and residential zones known as the Irvine Business Complex, 11 Irvine Unified School District campuses, University of California, Irvine, and a number of private schools and pre-schools. Communities Served Rancho San Joaquin • Turtle Ridge • Turtle Rock • University Park • University Town Center • West Park Village I • Bommer Canyon Open Space Preserve • Orchard Hills Open Space Preserve • Quail Hill Open Space Preserve School Served Bonita Canyon Elementary School • Culverdale Elementary School • Turtle Rock Child Development Center • Turtle Rock Elementary School • Vista Verde Elementary School • University

9

Portola

Park Elementary • Westpark Elementary • Rancho San Joaquin Middle School • University High School • Tarbut V’ Torah Community Day School • Village Montessori School

Crossroads

Crossroads encompasses 22 residential communities, Irvine Valley College, Irvine Spectrum and several other major shopping centers. Additionally, 18 Irvine Unified School District campuses and a number of private schools and pre-schools are located within the Crossroads boundaries. Communities Served College Park • Deerfield • El Camino Glen • Greentree • Harvard Square • Heritage Park • Los Olivos • Oak Creek • Old Towne • Orange Tree • Quail Hill • Shady Canyon • Smoketree • The Colony • The Meadows • The Ranch • The Spectrum • The Willows • Walnut Square • Westpark • Windwood • Woodbridge Schools Served Alderwood Elementary School • College Park Elementary School • Deerfield Elementary School • Early Childhood Learning Center School • Eastshore Elementary School •Greentree Elementary School • Meadow

REACH OUT AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON FACEBOOK AT @IRVINECITYNEWS

Portola encompasses 14 residential communities, 13 Irvine and Tustin Unified School District campuses, and a number of private schools and pre-schools. Communities Served Cypress Village • Lower Peter’s Canyon • North Park • North Park Square • Northwood • Northwood Point • Orange County Great Park • Orchard Hills • Portola Springs • Racquet Club • Stonegate • West Irvine • Woodbury • Woodbury East School Served Canyon View Elementary School • Northwood Elementary School • Santiago Hills Elementary School • Stonegate Elementary School • Woodbury Elementary • Rancho San Joaquin Middle School • Arnold O. Beckman High School • Northwood High School • Crean Lutheran High School • Orchard Hills School • Great Foundations Montessori • New Horizon School • Northwood Montessori School The Crossroads webpage at the city website also includes translations into Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese. n n legacy.cityofirvine.org/ipd/ geo/crossroads.asp

irvinecitynews.com


FEBRUARY 2019 10

IrvineCityNews

Open access

UCI RANKS FIRST IN IMPROVING ENROLLMENT OF LOW INCOME, COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENTS EDUCATION

by Irvine City News staff

U

CI’s commitment to increasing college access, especially for community college transfer students, was confirmed with a report citing the university as the leader in “using community college pipelines to increase socioeconomic diversity.” The report was issued by American Talent Initiative (ATI), a consortium

of 108 of the top colleges and universities in the U.S. that was founded in 2016 by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, and Ithaka S+R. ATI’s goal is to substantially increase the number of talented low- and moderate-income students at America’s undergraduate institutions with the highest overall graduation rates. Together, the members of the ATI have vowed to enroll and graduate 50,000 more low- and moderateincome students by 2025. The 2018 ATI Impact Report offers the first look at the progress achieved during the initiative’s first two years. Over two years, they have already increased their enrollment of students eligible for federal Pell grants by nearly 7,300—and that number is set to grow in the years ahead. UCI has made the single largest contribution to ATI’s 50,000-by-2025 goal to

irvinecitynews.com

UCI WELCOMES MORE PELL GRANT STUDENTS THAN THE ENTIRE IVY LEAGUE COMBINED. date, adding 2,323 Pell students from 2012-13 to 2017-18, with nearly 900 Pell students added in the last two years. Nearly half of these students enrolled as transfer students. The transfer cohort grew from 1,665 students in fall 2012 to 2,919 students in fall 2017, an increase of 75 percent. In fall 2017, 48 percent of incoming transfer students received Pell. “Higher education institutions have an obligation to reach out to

UCI IS A NATIONAL LEADER IN OFFERING ACCESS TO A DIVERSE STUDENT BODY, INLCUDING PELL GRANT RECEPIENTS. COURTESY UCI

overlooked communities and create a pipeline for them to attend,” said UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman. “We are honored to be recognized as the top contributor to the ATI nationwide enrollment goal for our work with transfer students,” said Michael Dennin, vice provost for the Office of Teaching and Learning and dean of UCI’s Division of Undergraduate Education. “At UCI, student success is our top priority; and it is nice to see the data proving the impact of our efforts.” One such effort is UCI’s Summer Scholars Transfer Institute, created in 1993, which invites 120 community college students per year to live and study on campus for 10 days, at no cost. The immersion experience aims to give potential transfer students “a sense that they do belong here, that a four-year university is reachable,” says Santana Ruiz, deputy director of UCI’s Center for Educational Partnerships. The need for such programs is clear. According to the ATI Impact Report, each year, tens of thousands of lower-income high school and community college students never apply to a high-graduation-rate institution despite their strong academic credentials. When high-achieving, lower-income students do attend these institutions, they have a greater chance of graduating and moving to the middle class and beyond than they otherwise would. Americans with bachelor’s degrees earn, on average, 66 percent more than those who only have high school diplomas, and $1 million more over the course of their careers. The benefits to society are evident too: college graduates vitally contribute to the economy, serve their communities, and create jobs and opportunities for the students of tomorrow. Yet there is a wide chasm in our country between who gets a bachelor’s degree and who does not. More than three-quarters of

bachelor’s degrees are granted to young adults from the top half of the income distribution. This disparity is compounded when many of our nation’s low- and moderate-income students never get the opportunity to attend the colleges and universities where they have the best chance to succeed. More than half of students at the colleges and universities with the highest graduation rates—those where at least 70 percent of entering students graduate—come from families in the top 20 percent of the national income distribution. Nationwide, statistics show that just 49 percent of Pell grant recipients earn a bachelor’s degree within six years. At UCI, in contrast, the graduation rate is a remarkable 85 percent. UCI also leads the country’s top schools in percentage of students who are Pell grant recipients (who typically hail from low-income families) with 37 percent, putting UCI near the top of all highgraduation-rate public institutions. That means UCI welcomes more Pell grant students than the entire Ivy League combined. The impact report from ATI adds to an impressive list of accolades that UCI has been recognized for in their commitment to the UCI strategic pillar of being first-in-class for upward economic mobility of underserved student populations. While continued progress is not guaranteed, the benefits of persisting are quite clear. By striving to reach the ATI goal, UCI and other member schools can “not only educate an increasing share of 50,000 untapped, incredibly talented lower-income students, but can prove that progress is achievable and sustainable in the decades that follow 2025, “the ATI Impact Report concludes. “We look forward to working together towards this common goal: contributing to America’s future as a diverse and prosperous nation where talent rises through higher education.” n


FEBRUARY 2019

irvinecitynews.com

IrvineCityNews

11

PICK UP A FREE COPY OF

IrvineCityNews We’re Among Top 10 in World

Irvine City News regularly reports on the city’s many top rankings and superb superlatives. We call it the “best city beat.” Most know that Irvine has been named the safest city in the United States by the FBI every year since 2005. The ranking is based on the amazing job the Irvine Police Department does to keep the rate of violent crime in our community the lowest per capita in the nation among cities with a population of 250,000 or more. Now, that effort is deservingly recognized as truly world-class: Irvine is one of the 10 safest cities in the world, according to statistical analysis reported by CEOWORLD magazine. Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is ranked the safest city in the world, with Doha (Qatar) close behind in 2nd place. The next eight safest cities in the world are Osaka, Singapore, Basel, Quebec, Tokyo, Bern, Munich, and Irvine, in that order. “Irvine has held the status of the Safest City of its size in America by the FBI for 13 consecutive years. It is no surprise to learn that our city is now ranked among the top ten safest cities in the world,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “This accomplishment is in large part the result of a visionary Irvine Master Plan set forth more than a half a century ago, excellent city management, a world-class police department, and engaged residents and business leaders that take pride in their community.” The safety index ranks 338 cities. Following Irvine on the list are Dubai (the UAE), Eskisehir (Turkey), Zurich (Switzerland), Nizhny Novgorod (Russia), and Aalborg (Denmark). The first U.S. cities on the list after Irvine are Madison, Wisconsin, at No. 35 and Salt Lake City at No. 38. The bottom five among the 388 cities analyzed are San Pedro Sula, Honduras; Caracas, Venezuela; Fortaleza, Brazil; Durban, South Africa; and Johannesburg, South Africa.

High OCTANe Economy

The top 10 ranking for safety in CEOWORLD magazine can’t help but add to Irvine’s recognition as a community that’s a great place to live, as well as to work and grow a company. A key Orange County incubator that supports the development and growth of innovative industries in Orange County is moving some elements of its business incubation operations to

Irvine from Aliso Viejo. OCTANe, which has helped hundreds of medical technology, information technology, sports technology, and clean technology companies get started and grow, will make the FivePoint Gateway Campus its headquarters for certain of its operations that support the acceleration and growth of early stage companies. The vision still being finalized will be to create the Orange County Great Park as the epicenter of innovation for all of SoCal, according to Bill Carpou, OCTANe CEO. More details to come. Carpou was a speaker at the recent Greater Irvine Chamber’s Business Outlook Breakfast. Attendees walked away informed, as well as entertained by the event’s keynote speaker Chris Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics. His insightful, detailed and amusing talk cut to the chase about the health of the U.S. and local economies: “It’s going to be a good year. Things are wonderful. You’re going to have a great 2019,” Thornberg said. In his economic forecast presented to more than 600 business and community leaders, Thornberg, who predicted the housing market crash in 2007, is optimistic regarding economic growth in the year ahead, thanks to rising wages, low unemployment, and increased consumer spending. Another key takeaway: we need to significantly increase housing throughout the state, but particularly in Orange County and Irvine.

Budget Boost

Irvine’s accolades aren’t always as eyecatching as being one of the safest cities in the world. To run a city well takes attention to detail, particularly to fiscal fitness and budgets. Thankfully, the city staff and council is top of its class at those financial factors. Irvine has been awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA), it was recently announced. The award represents the “highest form of recognition in government budgeting for a municipal entity,” according to the press release regarding it. In order to receive the budget award, the Irvine budget had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. The city also received the Excellence Award for Fiscal Year 2018-19 Operating Budget from the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers. Congrats! n

AT THESE LOCATIONS DIAMOND PLAZA BCD TOFU HOUSE

2700 ALTON PKWY. 2700 ALTON PKWY.

TOKYO TABLE BON EPI PATISSERIE CAFE

2710 ALTON PKWY. 2750 ALTON PKWY.

JAMBA JUICE HONEY MEE

17585 HARVARD 17595 HARVARD

PACIFIC MAIL EQUINOX IRVINE AIRPORT EXPRESS SANDWICH

17585 HARVARD 1980 MAIN 3198 AIRWAY # H

WAHOO’S FISH TACO AL PHILLIPS CLEANERS

2967 MICHELSON 2636 DUPONT # 30

IRVINE CO. APT. COMMUNITIES RACQUET CLUB OF IRVINE JUICE IT UP CHRONIC TACOS DONUT STAR SUNNY FRESH CLEANERS JOHNNY’S PIZZA

110 INNOVATION DR. 5 ETHEL COPLEN WAY 5365 #G ALTON PKWY. 5365 #D ALTON PKWY. 5366 #C ALTON PKWY. 5367 #E ALTON PKWY. 6721 QUAIL HILL PKWY.

KAISER PERMANENTE KAISER PERMANENTE WAHOO’S FISH TACOS AMTRAK STARWOK EXPRESS BEACON PARK ARBOR ANIMAL HOSPITAL THAI SPICE JUICE IT UP BIKRAM YOGA IRVINE IRVINE FINE ARTS CENTER HERITAGE PARK LIBRARY PIZZA 949

6670 ALTON PKWY. 6650 ALTON PKWY. 81 FORTUNE DR. 15215 BARRANCA 15215 BARRANCA #600 501 BENCHMARK 14775 JEFFREY 15455 JEFFERY 14031 JEFFERY RD. 680 ROOSEVELT 14321 YALE / WALNUT 14361 YALE 13925 YALE #135

NORTHWOOD MKT IRVINE FAMILY HEALTH CENTER SUPER IRVINE MARKET

13925 YALE #155 14150 CULVER DR. 14120 CULVER DR.

CASPIAN PERSIAN CUISINE CELEBRITY CLEANERS

14100 CULVER DR. 3963 IRVINE BLVD

WHAT REALLY MATTERS


FEBRUARY 2019 12

IrvineCityNews

Top Through 2.10 WPA Design Exhibit at Great Park

During the Great Depression, agencies like the Works Progress Administration (WPA) were established to fund programs that commissioned thousands of artists and designers to create work across mediums. Federal Art Project: American Design surveys the posters and other graphic illustrations to celebrate this critical era of American history. cityofirvine.org

2.1-2.2 Contemporary circus at the Barclay

With a unique and riveting mix of theater, circus, music and acrobatics, The 7 Fingers is known for its vibrant creativity and amazing physical prowess. The group has appeared on Broadway in the smash hit “Pippin” and at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as well as throughout the

irvinecitynews.com

Things To Do in February world, putting a human face on contemporary circus. thebarclay.org

2.6-2.9 Your Ocean, My Ocean at UCI An ambitious experimental art and design project concerned with oceans and coastlines, YOMO brings together a diverse group of artists and designers for five live performances of music, dance, drama and visual design, accompanied by a multi-channel video installation. arts.uci.edu/event/your-oceanmy-ocean

2.8-2.9 Norm Macdonald at the Improv

Perhaps best known for his years on “Saturday Night Live” anchoring Weekend Update, Norm is a Canadian comedian and actor who was included as one of the 100 best stand-up acts of all time by Comedy Central. Hurry, the Irvine Improv

CONTEMPORARY CIRCUS AT THE BARCLAY. COURTESY THE 7 FINGERS

shows are selling out fast. improv.com/irvine

2.9-3.30 Fine arts in Irvine

Two new exhibits debut this month at the Irvine Fine Arts Center featuring the work of artists Joseph Paul Gerges and Gary Brewer. It’s a 10-year retrospective for Brewer, whose paintings are meditations on the mysteries of life. Georges is a professor at IVC, and his work includes animal tableaus that “remind us of the sorrowful and the inevitable” and thus may not be for everyone. cityofirvine.org/irvine-fine-artscenter/upcoming-exhibitions

2.9 Steep Canyon Rangers at the Barclay

The Grammy Award-winning, North Carolina-based sextet has spent nearly two decades mixing bluegrass to elements of pop, country, and folk rock. Including

collaborations with Steve Martin, Steep Canyon Rangers offer a spirited, eclectic approach to string-based American music. thebarclay.org

2.15-2.18 Presidents Day Tourney at Great Park ICE

Watch kids in four divisions from 8 and under and up play hockey at the amazing new Great Park ICE facility. Finals will be on Feb. 18, with all championship games played in the 2,500-seat, state-ofthe-art FivePoint Arena. greatparkice.com

2.16 A night for Valentines

An evening at Concordia University featuring heart-warming love songs presented by Concordia Donne di Canto and Men’s chorus with festive decor and refreshments. cui.edu/arts/music/events/anight-for-valentines

2.21-2.23 Dance Visions at the Barclay

Artistic Directors Molly Lynch and Tong Wang present distinctive choreography by UCI Dance faculty featuring undergraduate and graduate dancers. The performances at Irvine Barclay Theater are presented by UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts. thebarclay.org

2.27 Martha Graham Dance Company

Performing The EVE Project at the Barclay, the company’s celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, affording women the right to vote. The evening of dance will feature new works by female choreographers and composers, and classic Graham repertory focused on heroines and anti-heroines. thebarclay.org

HOCKEY TOURNAMENT AT GREAT PARK ICE & FIVEPOINT ARENA

Profile for Irvine City News

Irvine City News 2.2019  

The community newspaper for the city of Irvine

Irvine City News 2.2019  

The community newspaper for the city of Irvine