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MARCH 2019 EDUCATION

BUSINESS

IPSF celebrates 100 businesses that support education for Irvine kids

Terry Walker’s State of the IUSD speech. Plus, Woodbridge and Uni are academic winners

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WHAT REALLY MATTERS irvinecitynews.com

Business

SPORTS

City

Is this the season that sees UCI men’s basketball team make a mark in March Madness? page 7

IrvineCityNews Opinion

Education

Life

Sports

Community

Feature

15 Things to Know About the California Housing Crisis WILL GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM USHER IN A NEW YIMBY ERA? FEATURE

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by Irvine City News staff

STATE OF THE CITY

“Good evening, everyone, and welcome to our remodeled City Hall, a remodel done without spending a dime of public money. This is my third State of the City talk; the message I took from the recent election was that the Council and I are on the right path. We’re seeing progress and improvements on many fronts;

alifornia Gov. Gavin Newsom took office and immediately set out to solve the state’s housing crisis with a goal of 3.5 million new units of housing built by 2025, some 500,000 units per year. Gov. Newsom also proposed a state investment of $1.75 billion for new housing initiatives. The plan is ambitious, so ambitious as to be unachievable, many experts have said. Even if they are not all reached, the new policy goals could change the landscape

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IRVINE MAYOR DON WAGNER ADDRESSING THE AUDIENCE AT CITY HALL

MAYOR WAGNER CITES SUCCESSES AND CHALLENGES IN PAST YEAR FEATURE

by Irvine City News staff

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n Feb. 26, Irvine Mayor Don Wagner delivered his third State of the City address to an enthusiastic gathering at City Hall. The mayor joked that,

unlike the Oscars, this evening was going to have a host: him. In the speech, the mayor highlighted the city’s many successes over the last year, including maintaining excellence in public safety, education, quality of life, and economic vitality, as well as the challenges the community faces.

Here are major excerpts from Mayor Wagner’s State of the City address. Go to irvinecitynews.com to read the entire transcript:


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Publisher’s Note

VOTE NOTE

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his publication endorsed Mayor Don Wagner in both of his campaigns, first to become mayor in 2016 and then to continue on with his good work in the election last November. We believe he is a welcome force for progress and prosperity in the city. We have admired the way his professionalism, sense of humor, and no-nonsense sense of decorum and collegiality have served this city. At his State of the City speech, which we excerpt at length in this issue, the mayor thanked his colleagues on the council, and the city commissioners and partners sitting in the audience. Then he thanked his wife Megan, “the first lady of Irvine.” Wagner described “the unique and touching experience of having her administer the oath of office to me in December at the start of my second term.” It was a nice moment for the mayor, made even sweeter by a photo of he and his wife embracing and kissing after

the swearing-in ceremony, which was displayed on the new, nearly jumbotron-sized video screen in the remodeled council chambers. “That wasn’t the photo up there during our runthrough,” the mayor said, a tad bit embarrassed but also seemingly pleased. Who doesn’t like mayors who love their spouses, and aren’t afraid to show it? See, that’s why we’re torn. Wagner has done a great job for the city. We have no doubt he’ll continue to serve this constituency well if he’s elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors on March 12, the date of the special election to fill the vacant District 3 seat. We wish the mayor well in the election. We always support those who pursue and accept opportunities to improve their lives and advance their careers. Godspeed, Mr. Mayor! Still, if Don Wagner is still our mayor this time next month, let’s just say we won’t be terribly displeased. n

IrvineCityNews Editor and Publisher

Jacob Levy • editor@irvinecitynews.com

5319 University Drive Suite #440 Irvine, CA 92612

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and we plan more of the same. There is a new energy and commitment to the people of Irvine evident in City Hall: evident in a city council that reads agendas, takes meetings with staff, and comes prepared; evident in our commissioners who have rolled up their sleeves and immediately gotten to work for you; and evident in the dedication we see every day in the staff. There was a lot to celebrate in Irvine last year, and a lot to look forward to this year. But I want to start on perhaps what could have been a dark note but ended up in a strong showing of community resolve and mutual support. ‘What you do to any of us, you do to all of us, and we’re not going to stand for it.’ Those were my words last year in response to two disheartening hate crimes visited upon the city several months ago … first at Irvine Valley College, and then Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine. Our community responded beautifully: religious, political, public safety, and community leaders joined us at City Hall to express our joint resolve to stand against hate crimes; a reward from the ADL, doubled by the council, was offered for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrator of the Beth Jacob vandalism. We then began the new year with an invocation by Rabbi Yisroel Ciner of Beth Jacob in the Council Chamber with leaders from our local Jewish, Christian, Muslim communities, and the Orange County Human Relations Commission. My Council colleagues and I, and the entire Irvine community, know that this was not an attack on one small group, but was an attack on every one of us of good faith and good will. It cannot and will not be tolerated in Irvine. So, let me talk for a minute

about the strengths of Irvine. We remain the safest big city in America, according to the latest FBI statistics on violent crime. And recently, we were ranked as the 10th safest city IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. I want to thank Police Chief Mike Hamel, his command staff, and each and every member of the Irvine Police Department, for their daily diligence. Being a safe city is hard work. They do that work every day and make it look easy. As to our schools, about 15 percent of our city’s residents, more than 40,000 pre-teens and teens, attended class today in Irvine Unified and in Tustin Unified’s Irvine campuses. Cadence Park K-8 School opened in the Great Park Neighborhoods last August, and Loma Ridge Elementary opens this August in Portola Springs. The Loma Ridge campus will bring us to a total of 45 public schools in Irvine. A few months ago a group of teens from our six Irvine high schools sent a small satellite into space. The Irvine CubeSat, a STEM program made up of teams from the Irvine and Tustin districts, had a perfect launch. The students were able to watch the launch on their phones from India streaming over the Internet. When I was in high school, streaming wasn’t a thing. Phones had cords, were mounted on the wall, and the only cubes were Rubik’s. Today, Irvine students are preparing for the future and preparing to be our future leaders. They get support in this from businesses such as the Irvine Company and FivePoint Communities; from the great work of the Irvine Public Schools Foundation led by President and CEO Neda Eaton; and through the continuing commitment of this city council. We stand alone among American cities in the financial support of our public schools. This school year, the city council has allocated more than $10

million in direct and indirect support. We are very fortunate to be able to offer that continued support. But that money merely supplements the daily efforts of the teachers and administrative staff of the IUSD and TUSD who work tirelessly on behalf of our children. Also on the list of Irvine strengths are our parks. One of our public-private projects continues as the Orange County Great Park takes large strides forward. Last September, we had a second-phase grand opening of the 194-acre Sports Complex. In all, 12 new baseball and softball fields, each with one championship stadium, opened to thousands of players, their families, and our community. Hopefully, you have been there to see it for yourself. I especially want to urge you to get out to the Soccer Stadium to see our professional team, the Orange County Soccer Club, and cheer them on as they play their home games right here in Irvine. All of this has occurred through our steadfast publicprivate partnership with FivePoint Communities. Together we are developing 688 acres in the Great Park. And last month, the city council approved an agreement with Pretend City Children’s Museum to move from a nearby leased building and into a larger permanent location to be built at the Great Park. Separately, this city council will soon determine the future uses of the 248-acre Cultural Terrace. The Cultural Terrace lends itself to any number of artistic, cultural, and entertainment components – museums, a library and community meeting space, a concert venue, botanical gardens, and the like. In 2018, just outside the Great Park boundaries, the temporary FivePoint CONTINUED ON PAGE 3 >>


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Amphitheatre, managed by Live Nation, had its first full season of concerts. In 2019, the city council and senior staff met with American Museum of Natural History to begin exploring a possible presence for them on the Cultural Terrace. And much more work will be done this year to bring arts, entertainment, and culture to the Orange County Great Park. Finally, as we go through Irvine’s strengths and the reasons this diverse community is so vibrant, I have to touch on our business environment. The Orange County Business Journal ranked Irvine as the No. 1 major city in terms of jobsto-population ratio. We have approximately 275,000 residents, and more than 200,000 jobs. We thank all of our Irvine businesses who have moved here, maybe have just started up here, are innovating here, are hiring here, and are expanding here. None of this is to ignore our challenges, of course. Although our strengths somewhat inoculate us from the depths of problems some other communities may experience, we are not certainly not immune to those challenges. Perhaps the two biggest issues facing us in the last year were homelessness and continuing traffic congestion. I addressed both last year at this time and am happy to report this year that both problems are seeing progress – albeit slow – but real progress towards real solutions. First, homelessness is a national issue. We are not immune. The county’s homeless Point in Time count before I became mayor was 199, meaning that the actual physical count of homeless in Irvine was 199 individuals. A new count was done a few weeks ago. We don’t have final numbers, but a very senior county executive officer told me our count today is likely less than 50, and I think

LUXAIRA AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMMUNITY AT GREAT PARK NEIGHBORHOODS

even that is high. In other words, over the last few years we have seen a 75 percent reduction in the homeless population ... because we have worked hard to help those community members. We have also worked extremely hard in Irvine to address a very tough component of the problem by providing permanent affordable housing. In 2018, 237 more affordable housing units opened in Irvine, largely reserved for the most at-risk citizens, the extremely low-income, very low-income, and low-income residents, some of whom would be homeless without this support. We will be at 5,500 permanent affordable units – about five and half percent of our total housing stock! – by the end of 2021. We have helped create, for some in our community, very real housing security. The Irvine Community Land Trust, which was started in 2006 by the city for the purpose of providing permanent affordable housing, continues its forward progress. The nonprofit is chaired by our Councilmember Melissa Fox and includes Board member and Councilmember

Anthony Kuo. Last year, the Irvine Community Land Trust opened the 80-unit Parc Derian, which has a number of units reserved for veterans and the disabled. This year the Land Trust is developing Salerno. The 80-unit Salerno begins construction this summer for completion in June 2020. In all, the Land Trust is receiving $29 million from the city over several years for the purpose of permanent affordable housing.Elsewhere in the City in 2018, the 157-unit seniors affordable housing complex, Luxaira, opened. Meanwhile, the City supports nonprofit agencies – Human Options being one – that provide emergency shelter to those most at risk, including abused women and their children. The second important unresolved issue is traffic congestion. As I have said before, the first role of holes is to stop digging. The council that I lead has stopped the digging that led to our traffic problems. The city council has not approved a single new housing proposal. There has been no

reluctance on the part of me or the council to say no to development that makes our traffic worse. Now, Irvine did not get into this situation overnight. And the fixes are not going to be felt overnight. But those fixes have resulted in a smoother traffic flow. Just last week, Transportation Commissioners Chairman Carrie O’Malley and Vice Chairman Steve Greenberg shared with me the results of a study showing improvement in commute times from the steps we have taken. For example: In data collected last spring, average travel speeds within 10 of our key corridors showed improvements … in eight of the 10 corridors during the morning rush hour … and in seven of the 10 corridors during the evening rush hour. We have committed more than $79 million towards traffic mitigation, with 21 specific improvements underway, or completed. For example, we have just completed flashing yellow left-turn lights at five intersections, with more to come, so you don’t have to sit staring at a red arrow when there is no

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oncoming traffic. Additional travel lanes, such as along University Drive between Campus Drive and MacArthur Boulevard, and new turn lanes, such as on Alton Parkway at the Alton/Jeffrey Road intersection, are being constructed. We have an agreement with Caltrans that now synchronizes lights at our freeway onramps and off-ramps. And city staff is exploring an adaptive signal system to monitor traffic conditions and automatically adjust signal timing. Expect these and other construction projects to be completed this year and in 2020. I can’t end this talk about the state of the city without a brief mention of ice hockey. Because who doesn’t think of ice hockey when you think of Irvine? Well, we have a place for you if you’re thinking right now of ice hockey or figure skating. Great Park Ice, a second public-private partnership, this one between the city of Irvine and an affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks, opened last month at the Great Park. This is a one-of-a-kind, $100 million, 270,000-squarefoot facility, with ice hockey tournaments already under way, and figure skating and public skate hours filling the ice; the Ducks themselves will occasionally train here. We hope that some of the players make an appearance when Great Park Ice is formally dedicated next week. But in case you can’t make the dedication, we brought a piece of the team to you tonight. Let me introduce the most famous Anaheim Duck of them all – Wild Wing! I can’t top that. I’ve got nuthin’ else. Wild Wing is going to explain icing to me and help me with my slapshot. “Go Ducks,” and, “Go Irvine.” Good night everybody. n


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California Association of Realtors data. And local residents paid 44 percent of their income toward housing, which is more than any other large county in California. In O.C., 79 percent of households cannot purchase a median-priced home, according to the data, which is higher than Los Angeles County’s 75 percent.

SAN DIEGO IS HOME TO MANY TALL RESIDENTIAL TOWERS, INCLUDING THE BROADWAY BLOCK. COURTESY JWDA.

“HOUSING” FROM PAGE 1

for affordable and market-rate housing. Here are some facts, thoughts, notes and quotes about the housing crisis, and possible civic and business responses to it. 1. Less than 80,000 homes have been built in California annually over the past 10 years. Since 1954, developers have constructed more than 300,000 units in a year only two times. To reach 3.5 million units by 2025, California would have to build housing at a rate not seen even in the best years. —California Housing Assessment 2. Fifty-three percent of Gov. Newsom’s housing goals are assigned to developing homes around transit hubs; eighteen percent for adding units to multifamily homes in areas zoned for denser development, and only 4 percent on vacant land zoned for multifamily homes.

3. Just 27 percent of California households could afford the median-price single-family home ($588,530) at the end of Q3 2018, according to the California Association of Realtors. Among Southern California counties, Orange County was the least affordable, with a scant 20 percent of households able to afford the region’s median-price home ($830,000). 4. “Orange County is experiencing a substantial shortage of housing, which is creating a significant negative impact on household budgets and the quality of life of its residents, as well as diminishing our county’s workforce. Orange County’s housing shortage threatens our ability to attract and retain a talented workforce, undermining Orange County’s long-term economic competitiveness. As civic leaders we vow to work collaboratively

“WE HAVE UNBELIEVABLY TALENTED PEOPLE COMING OUT OF OUR UNIVERSITY SYSTEMS WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO LIVE HERE.... WE WANT TO TAKE THAT TALENT AND KEEP IT IN ORANGE COUNTY.” —Lucy Dunn,

president and CEO, Orange County Business Council

with public, private, nonprofit, and faith-based partners to meet our regional housing needs.” —Orange County’s Declaration on Housing, a resolution of the OC Board of Supervisors 5. Orange County has the largest share of people who cannot afford to buy homes among the six Southern California counties, according the

6. “In 2018, 237 more affordable housing units opened in Irvine, We will be at 5,500 permanent affordable units – about five and half percent of our total housing stock! – by the end of 2021. The Irvine Community Land Trust, which was started in 2006 by the city for the purpose of providing permanent affordable housing, continues its forward progress. Last year, the Irvine Community Land Trust opened the 80-unit Parc Derian, which has a number of units reserved for veterans and the disabled. This year the Land Trust is developing Salerno. The 80-unit Salerno begins construction this summer for completion in June 2020. In all, the Land Trust is receiving $29 million from the City over several years for the purpose of permanent affordable housing. Elsewhere in the city in 2018, the 157-unit seniors affordable housing complex, Luxaira, opened.” —Mayor Don Wagner, State of the City speech 2019 7. “The lack of adequate housing is regularly raised as the top concern of O.C. employers. It causes workers to over-pay, over-commute by driving long distances between affordable housing and work, and over-crowd by doubling up in existing homes, impacting city services, local traffic, family health and educational attainment. Orange County is, indeed, a great place to do business. We’re on track to build nearly 150,000 new homes by 2040, but really the county needs to grow that to 250,000 to keep up with a projected 13 percent population increase and 24 percent jobs

increase. And that does not include the 65,000 homes the County is currently short.” —Lucy Dunn, president and CEO, Orange County Business Council 8. In his January State of the City address, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, a Republican, proposed some of the most aggressive strategies of any California city to promote apartment and condominium construction, including changing height restrictions and doing away with requirements that developers include parking with projects in areas near transit, rules that drive up costs by as much as $90,000 per spot. The mayor also wants to relax limits on the number of homes that can be built on sites near transportation hubs. Other California cities are making similar changes. Los Angeles voters passed a plan three years ago that allows developers to build taller and more densely and receive permits more quickly for projects near Metro stations that set aside some units for low-income residents. In December, San Francisco eliminated the requirement that developers install parking spots alongside new homes in the city. Sacramento is phasing out car-centric developments like drive-throughs in its downtown and near transit stops as part of a plan to make it easier to build apartments and condominiums. 9. Jamboree Housing, a nonprofit housing development company based in Irvine, supports the focus on building housing near transit stations. “A focus on land use that combines housing with public transportation can reduce residents’ commute time and overall reliance on personal vehicles, mitigating a generation of vehicle-related carbon dioxide, a leading ingredient in greenhouse gas. It also reduces CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 >>


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ARTS AND CULTURE

COMMERCIAL CREATIVITY

ART ON DISPLAY AT THE BOARDWALK OFFICE CAMPUS ADDS CULTURE TO IRVINE’S COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SCENE The creative office buildings known as The Boardwalk on Jamboree Blvd. in the Irvine Business Complex have an artistic element that goes beyond what’s usually seen in the city’s office towers: a significant collection of California contemporary art. Both building lobbies include major, full-wall LED light sculptures by San Franciscobased artist Jim Campbell. The

Boardwalk also features Orange County’s first major public installation of a significant marble sculpture by Elizabeth Turk; an O.C. native and MacArthur Foundation Genius Fellowship grant recipient. Additional artworks by artists Eric Johnson, Pierce Meehan, Andy Moses, and Suzan Woodruff are included throughout the building’s conference center. Highlights of the collection and artists were introduced at a reception hosted by curator Jeannie Denholm; art advisor and owner of SCAPE gallery in Corona Del Mar. “I don’t know of any corporate

lobby in Orange County that can rival these art installations. I’m beyond thrilled to think that these artworks are a part of our community now.” It’s an auspicious time for Irvine to score work by Jim Campbell, whose work is in the collections of museums

that include the Smithsonian, LACMA, and the Met and MOMA in NYC. His 2018 installation Day for Night tops the Sales Force Tower, redefining San Francisco’s city skyline and making it one of the world’s tallest artworks. The Boardwalk’s south building features Main Beach by Campbell,

GUESTS VIEWING WORKS OF ART AT THE BOARDWALK, INCLUDING A SCULPTURE BY ELIZABETH TURK (TOP) AND A PAINTING BY ANDY MOSES (ABOVE)

which includes lovely, slightly abstracted video images that one can make out as activity at Laguna’s Main Beach. Campbell’s second installation in the offices is titled Eroding Wave in the entrance of the north building. The installation is comprised of aluminum panels from which delicate black LED posts protrude. The posts, which Campbell refers to as “pixels,” take the form of luminous white spheres, hung at varying lengths from an exposed aluminum grid. Set against a matte black wall, the orbs collectively form the shape of a parabolic wave and, when viewed at a distance, the flickering of the pixels reveal the silhouettes of swimmers moving across its surface. “The Boardwalk environment bridges who you are, how you want to work and where you want to be,” says Tom Bak, senior managing director of Trammell Crow Company, the project developer. The buildings are “reinventing the traditional office with an abundance of architectural innovation, significant works of art and outdoor design rarely, if ever, seen in contemporary commercial developments,” he says. Designed by Gensler, The Boardwalk is an innovative commercial development featuring indoor/outdoor workspaces, modernist architecture, and a growing collection of contemporary California art. The 7.5-acre corporate campus includes two nine-story towers with 545,000 square feet of premier office space, plus two acres of landscaped outdoor space with al fresco work and meeting areas. The two main buildings are connected with interior bridges and outdoor terraces. n n theboardwalkoc.com


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transportation expenses, making limited income more available for healthcare, education and food. Transit access is also key in connecting low-income seniors who no longer drive with public transportation to reach necessary medical services, and qualified workers with available jobs in the community where they live.” 10. “The Sierra Club Orange County Conservation Committee urges each municipality exercising land-use authority within the county to approve appropriate new housing developments, including housing within proximity to transit stops, schools, child care centers, parks and commercial areas; multifamily housing in walkable communities; and housing in mixed-use developments.” —Sierra Club OC 11. To encourage new housing, Gov. Newsom says the state will increase the availability and amount of tax credits for affordable housing developments. He’s also following through on his promise to hold cities accountable when they fail to meet housing goals, suing Huntington Beach for allegedly failing to meet its Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) allocation. Newsom’s administration says it will offer incentives to cities that reach housing goals; cities that don’t meet those goals could lose out on state dollars for transportation projects. 12. For the planning period of October 15, 2013 through June 30, 2021, Orange County was allocated an overall RHNA of 37,966 units, with the city of Irvine being allocated a RHNA of 12,149 units. In the previous planning period, Irvine sued the Southern California Association of Governments, alleging that its allocation of 35,000 housing units was unfair, as

it was 43 percent of Orange County’s entire allocation. Irvine lost the lawsuit, with the appellate court stating that a municipality’s RHNA allocation is “immune from judicial intervention.” 13. “What’s behind California’s anemia in new home construction? Principally, the drawbridge mentality of arrived Californians — the NIMBYs. To watch a land use application for a new housing development — particularly in Southern California — navigate a crucible of angry NIMBYs is like watching a ‘Game of Thrones’ episode.” —Byron de Arakal, chairman of the Costa Mesa Planning Commission, in an OC Register opinion piece 14. Possible solutions: “Update residential and mixed-use zoning standards to bring them in alignment with the cost of acquiring and developing land. Allow for higher floor area ratios and unit densities. Sweeten density bonus incentives as part of a mechanism to integrate affordable unit allocations. Work with the development community to identify obsolete land uses (shopping malls and mid-century strip centers, for instance) and overlay the mixed-use zones to encourage redevelopment.” —Byron de Arakal 15. “One of the most important issues for me is, how do I keep young people from leaving Orange County? We have unbelievably talented people coming out of our university systems who cannot afford to live here. We know that the county is aging, and as long as we’re investing in these young people’s education, we want to take that talent and keep it in Orange County.” —Lucy Dunn, president and CEO, Orange County Business Council n

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Top 10 Healthiest in U.S. IRVINE EARNS TOP MARKS FOR ACTIVE LIFESTYLE COMMUNITY

by Irvine City News staff

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he list of accolades earned by Irvine and its residents gets longer every month. This just in: Irvine is one of the healthiest cities in the United States. WalletHub, a personal finance website that crunches civic data to create a wide variety of lists, recently released its “2019’s Healthiest and Unhealthiest Cities in America” ranking. Irvine was named the 10thhealthiest city in the country as part of the study. To identify the places where health is a priority, WalletHub compared more than 170 of the largest U.S. cities across 42 key metrics. The data set includes the cost of a medical visit, fruit and vegetable consumption and fitness clubs per capita, among many other factors. The top 10 cities out of the more than 170 studied are San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, Portland, Washington, D.C., New York City, Denver, Honolulu, Scottsdale and Irvine. The least-healthy city in the U.S. out of those studied? Brownsville, Texas. A closer look at where Irvine ranks in the numerous categories used for the WalletHub study is intriguing. The highest rankings for the city include second in the nation for highest percent of physically active adults. Seattle ranked first. We were also second best for percentage of obese adults. All that physical activity, no doubt. Another high ranking: we’re 9th best in the percentage of adults

who checked their cholesterol in the past five years. Irvine has the third-lowest rate of premature death in the country according to the study, which makes sense given the physical activity and obesity rankings. The two cities where fewer years of potential life are lost than Irvine are San Jose, CA, and Yonkers, NY. The category is given triple weight in the overall score, helping push Irvine into the 10th place overall. Our excellent parks are among the reasons we’re one of the healthiest cities in the nation. The WalletHub report ranks us 5th in the country in the quality of our parks, based mainly on how much we spend on them per capita. We’re 4th in the country for how “green” a city we are. Environmental factors, they mean. Not the nice hue of our hillsides with all the rain we’ve been having. Irvine ranks 21st for parkland acres per capita, which seems a bit low. Perhaps those stats were compiled before some of the Great Park Sports Park acres opened. The study says we have 22 parkland acres per capita. We’ll let someone else check their math. What about the categories in which Irvine did not earn winning marks? According to the WalletHub study, the city ranks at 170th in the

study for hospital beds per capita. Maybe we’re so healthy we don’t need as many hospital beds? Irvine ranks toward the middle of the pack in gourmet/specialty food stores per capita (85) and Farmers Markets per capita (46th). Quality over quantity in this category. We’d put the Irvine Farmers Market at Mariner’s Church up against all the best farmers markets in the country. Plus, we do much of our organic and gourmet shopping at our many markets, including Whole Foods, Mother’s, Sprouts, Wholesome Choice, Zion, Mistsuwa, H Mart, Trader Joe’s and Gelson’s. Those should count as gourmet food stores if they don’t already! Another odd category disparity: Irvine earns a bike score of 7th in the nation but a walking score of 70. Even more confusing are these rankings: Hiking trails: 17th Running trails: 34th Walking trails: 23rd Most if not all of the trails in the city would be included in all three categories, one would think. On the other hand, those are high scores compared to most of the 170 other cities. So let’s all get our cholesterol checked, go for a hike, bike or run, and eat some healthy food so we break the top 5 in the nation on the next study. n


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March Madness UCI HAS WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE THE NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT THIS SEASON. BUT CAN THEY WIN A GAME, OR TWO? SPORTS

by Irvine City News staff

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ith two games left in the basketball season as Irvine City News goes to print, the UCI men’s basketball team has a record of 25-5, has won eleven games in a row, and is 13-1 in the Big West Conference. Will this be the year the team makes it back to the NCAA tournament? The Anteaters have only enjoyed March Madness once, back in 2015 when the team had 7 ft. 6 in. Mamadou Ndiaye on the team. UCI won the Big West Tournament title and were the 13th-seeded team in the East bracket where they put perennial powerhouse and 4thseeded Louisville on upset alert, before losing 57-55. That was the closest game Louisville had before losing to Michigan State in the Elite Eight round. While UCI has been a solid team in recent years, winning the regular season standings five times, the Anteaters have won only one Big West Tournament men’s basketball title. They lost the last two tournaments in the championship game to Cal State Fullerton in 2018 and UC Davis in 2017. UCI is currently ranked 92nd in the NCAA, and only 64 teams make it to the first round of the NCAA Tournament. But the Big West Tournament champion is one of them. The Big West Tournament is at the Honda Center in Anaheim

MAX HAZZARD IS ONE OF THE KEY’S TO UCI’S MARCH MADNESS GOALS. COURTESY UCI ATHLETICS

for the ninth straight year. The men’s tournament begins on March 14 with four quarterfinal games. The semifinals and championship games for both men and women will take place on March 15 and 16. Led by head coach Russell Turner, UCI has 20 or more wins in six of the last seven seasons.

This team is one of his best, with size, depth and talent, and a great defense. UCI’s opponents are shooting under 40 percent and getting badly out-rebounded most games. Jonathan Galloway is a twotime Big West Defensive Player of the Year and leads the Anteaters in rebounding. Max Hazzard is

a 6-foot guard who shoots and defends well. “He’s a passionate coach and that’s what I wanted,” Hazzard said about Turner in an OC Register story. “Plus, I could stay local and go to a world-class university.” He is the grandson of the late, great Walt Hazzard, who was the first pick in the NBA draft by the L.A. Lakers, after starring on John Wooden’s first championship team at UCLA. Overall, UCI has won 28 national championships in nine different sports. Basketball is not one of them. While it’s not likely UCI will win a NCAA Championship anytime soon, making the tournament, and even winning a game or two would be a tremendous coup for the program. OC Register reporter Mark Whicker wrote in a story

about the team that, “maturity, composure and depth are three major ingredients for NCAA Tournament mischief-making.” The Anteaters have all three attributes. The NCAA Championship will be close to home this year as the Big West Conference hosts the NCAA Sweet 16 and Elite 8 at the Honda Center on March 28 and 30. Make the tournament, win a couple of games and the Anteaters would be making history before what we hope will be a raucous crowd in Anaheim rooting for the Orange County underdog. Hey, we can dream. Check the team out at the Anteaters last home game of the regular season, March 9 against Cal State Northridge at Bren Events Center, and at the Big West Tournament March 14-16. n n ucirvinesports.com


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Irvine Animal Care Center Seeks Foster Parents for Baby Animals COMMUNITY

Courtesy City of Irvine

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nimals too young to be spayed or neutered are extremely fragile creatures with relatively low survival rates, especially when separated from their mothers. Underage animals are often euthanized in other shelter environments due to insufficient human or financial resources needed to provide them with specialized, around-the-clock care. The Irvine Animal Care Center aims to make a positive impact on this underage animal population and invites the public to join the mission of saving homeless pets by becoming a pet foster parent. Foster parents provide temporary care for kittens,

puppies, and baby rabbits, or animals recovering from a medical procedure, in their own homes. This includes time, energy and a quiet secure space away from any pets you may otherwise have. The Irvine Animal Care Center will provide the training, supplies, food and veterinary care. Fostering can last from a few days to several weeks. The success of programs like Third Chance for Pets, which brings animals in from other shelters where their chances for survival are limited, relies heavily on the number of fosters the center has available. The more foster volunteers supporting the center, the more animals it can help. Foster Care Requirements: • At least 2 hours per day, for up to 9 weeks (special needs animals may require additional time)

• A quiet and secure place away from other family pets • Ability to transport animals to the center for routine vet care • Willingness to implement basic behavior training routine (provided) • Flexibility to accept animals with minimal notice • Desire to make a meaningful impact on a temporary basis Once an underage animal has reached its mandatory age and weight, and receives a clean bill of health, it will be spayed/neutered and made available for adoption. Current Volunteer Opportunities The Irvine Animal Care Center currently has new volunteer recruitment opportunities available in the Foster Care program. Learn more and sign up for one of the volunteer workshops at the web address below. Foster Care Volunteer Workshops March 24, 1:30–4 p.m. n n cityofirvine.org/irvine-animalcare-center/foster-care-program


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REACH OUT AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON FACEBOOK AT @IRVINECITYNEWS ALEX AND ERIC ADLER, CO-FOUNDERS AND MANAGING PARTNERS OF PUESTO, WITH NEDA EATON, PRESIDENT & CEO OF IPSF. BRITTANY KEENE PHOTOGRAPHY

A+ for Education IPSF HONORS 100 BUSINESSES THAT GIVE BIG TO IRVINE STUDENTS AND SCHOOLS BUSINESS

by Irvine City News staff

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ompanies that are committed to the education of Irvine kids were honored at The Resort at Pelican Hill during the sixth annual Top 100 Reception presented by Irvine Public Schools Foundation. The diverse group of businesses on the IPSF’s Top 100 List include two $100,000-plus donors Maruchan and the city of Irvine, global brands such as Google and Konica Minolta, as well as some of Orange County’s most influential corporations, including Hoag Hospital, Angels Baseball, Broadcom, Wells Fargo, FivePoint and Ingersoll Rand/Trane. “We are proud to live in a

professionally diverse community that allows us to build rich partnerships with companies across many industries,” says. Neda Eaton, president and CEO of IPSF. “With their support, we are able to fulfill our vision of providing students with opportunities that prepare them for the future workforce.” Corporate giving to IPSF last year, including the city of Irvine Challenge Match Grant funds, totaled more than $2.6 million. Not all of the Top 100 companies are household names, or based in Irvine. We had to research the company that’s No. 4 on the Top 100, Howard Core Company, a donor at the $50,000-$99,000 level. Turns out they make string instruments and related products, including bows, strings, cases and more. But the many musicians and music teachers in IUSD schools already knew that! One could dine out well by visiting restaurants that help Irvine schools and made the top 100, including Puesto, Break of Dawn (a favorite for breakfast, located in Laguna Hills), Arc Food & Libations at SOCO,

Habana, In-N-Out Burger and TAPS Fish House & Brewery. With Total Wine & More also a donor, adult beverages would also be available. Need to dress for dinner? Fashionable donors include Neiman Marcus, Tillys and South Coast Plaza, with jewelry from Gorjana and Michael John Jewelry. All of these socially responsible companies and the many others on the Top 100 list are investing in Orange County’s future by ensuring local youth have access to educational resources that will enhance their academic and future success. “These partnerships have provided a foundation for IPSF to fund grants that allow teachers to bring new, innovative curriculum to the classroom, build maker spaces to foster creativity and collaboration, and bring the Irvine CubeSat STEM Program to every high school in Irvine,” Eaton says. For a full list of the IPSF Top 100 businesses, visit: https://ipsf.net/wp-content/ uploads/2019/01/2018-19-Top100-List-8.5x11.pdf ) n

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The State of the IUSD is Strong EDUCATION

by Irvine City News staff

“H

aving outrageous expectations is powerful,” said IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker whle delivering his second annual State of the District speech in recent weeks. Big wins by academic teams from Woodbridge and University high schools prove his point. “Preparing students for this rapidly evolving world is what we are trying to accomplish,” Walker told the audience gathered at the Northwood High School Performing Arts Center. “I want our schools to prepare kids not just for something,” he said. “I want them to be prepared for

anything because we don’t know what they might face in a world where 70 percent of jobs have not been created yet.” The event kicked off with performances by the Northwood High theater dance students, followed by introductory remarks from Board President Lauren Brooks. Walker’s speech to IUSD Board Members, teachers, administrators, students, parents, local dignitaries, business leaders and Irvine community members focused on the future of education in the Irvine Unified School District. Walker thanked and acknowledged IUSD Board Members Paul Bokota, Lauren Brooks, Betty Carroll, Ira Glasky and Sharon Wallin for their leadership and the strategic investments they have made in teaching and learning, technology and facilities. He also thanked community partners, including the city of Irvine, the PTA, Irvine Public Schools Foundation, FivePoint, and the Irvine Company. As a result of IUSD’s rapid growth in recent years, the district has hired 1,156 teachers since 2011. This

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astounding growth has enabled IUSD to hire teachers and staff who share IUSD’s core values. Walker said, “They are passionate, compassionate, flexible and adaptable, student-centered, reflective, collaborative, relationshipcentered and courageous.” IUSD receives $8,266 per student, compared to the state average of $10,036 and the national average of $12,156, Walker explained. That means the district would have an additional $139 million per year to spend on students if it received the state and national average funding. To meet this funding challenge head-on, Walker outlined how the district leverages its limited resources, time and focus to best meet the needs of students. As a result, in the past year, IUSD received numerous awards including being ranked No. 3 in the nation for education by WalletHub, being named a Best Community for Education by the prestigious NAMM Foundation, and being ranked No. 1 in Orange County by Niche. And for the third year in a row, IUSD has finished second in California for the percentage of students who met or exceeded

IUSD BOARD MEMBERS PAUL BOKOTA, BETTY CARROLL, LAUREN BROOKS, IUSD SUPERINTENDENT TERRY WALKER, CADENCE PARK PRINCIPAL CARLO GRASSO, IUSD BOARD PRESIDENT SHARON WALLIN, AND IUSD BOARD MEMBER IRA GLASKY AT THE OFFICIAL DEDICATION CEREMONY FOR IRVINE’S NEWEST K-8 SCHOOL, CADENCE PARK.

standards in both English and math. IUSD SAT scores continue to outperform state averages and the district is consistently ranked high on Newsweek’s list of America’s Top High Schools. At the end of the day, the reason why we do something is that it benefits students,” Walker said. “We have an overlying belief that every single child can achieve at a high level with the right supports.” As examples of achievement at the highest level, two Irvine high school teams achieved academic success recently. University High School won its regional round of the U.S. Department of Energy National Science Bowl for a second straight year and will compete in the national tournament in Washington D.C. in April. The team has three students returning from last year’s team, which placed fifth at the national competition. Meanwhile, Woodbridge High School’s Academic Decathlon team took first place at the Orange County Academic Decathlon for the third consecutive year, advancing to the state competition this March. University High’s Science Bowl team of Seniors Michael Diao, Anton Ni, Maggie Zhang and Jerry Li and junior Nyle Wong went undefeated and took first place among 24 teams from around Greater Los Angeles. “I was incredibly happy for the team and proud of what they have accomplished,” said David Knight, Science Bowl coach and science department chair at University High. In Science Bowl, teams are asked questions on math, physics, Earth and space, chemistry, biology and energy during 16-minute long rounds. They aren’t allowed to use calculators, books, notes or the internet. The Jeopardy-style competition was held at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena for the 27th year. “It is difficult to win

back-to-back because the competition in our region is so good, ” Knight said. “Any of the top three or four schools at the competition would have represented Southern California well at the national competition.” But it will be University High School battling for the national championship. Woodbridge High School’s three-peat at the O.C. Academic Decathlon puts them in elite company as one of only three schools in the 51-year history of the county competition to win three times in a row. University High School placed second in the competition. The Woodbridge team was comprised of Seniors Hannah Hui, Sachin Pathuri, Ramanuj Sarkar, Sugnan Suresh, Mark Diamond, and Austin Diamond; Juniors Snigdha Saha, Chris Lin, Kaylie Tran, Vishnu Menon, and Dena Nikjoo; Sophomore Yana Khetiya; and Freshman Iris Shen. Nine-member teams compete for the highest scores on multiple-choice exams, speeches, interviews and essay assignments, concluding with the Super Quiz Relay, a Jeopardy-like competition. Subjects range from mathematics and social science to speech and an interview on this year’s competition theme of the 1960s. Each team must include three “Honor” students (those with GPAs of 3.75 or above), three “Scholastic” students (GPAs of 3.00 to 3.74) and three “Varsity” students (GPAs of 2.99 or below). Woodbridge team member Hannah Hui had the highest score in the competition for the second year in a row. She was awarded the Dr. Robert Peterson Scholarship for her exceptional decathlon career that started when she was a freshman. Founded in 1968 by former Orange County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Peterson, the first decathlon was held at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove in 1969. n


MARCH 2019

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Campus popularity contest

UCI has made a major leap forward with the incoming class of students set to arrive in Irvine this fall: for the first time it’s the most popular of the University of California schools based on applications from California high school students. A total of 70,540 aspiring in-state freshmen applied to attend UCI this fall, more than applied to any of the other eight UC undergraduate campuses. Additionally, UCI was the top choice for first-generation students and those from low-income families and underrepresented groups that historically have not had access to a world-class university education. UCI topped all the UCs for the most Chicano/Latino (25,794) and Asian American applicants (27,611). And almost half of its in-state, first-year applicants (48 percent) were first-generation students. Since 2015, overall applications to UCI have increased by 32 percent. “This exciting news is a result of what we have set out to achieve: sending the message to California residents of all cultural and economic backgrounds that an exceptional education is not only available, but affordable at UCI,” says UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman. “Twice The New York Times has selected UCI as the college ‘doing the most for the American dream,’ and these applicants exemplify our continued commitment to inclusive excellence.”

Shuttle diplomacy

The weekday commuter iShuttle vans have two new routes connecting to Irvine Station and Tustin Metrolink Station. “My commitment to reducing traffic is helped each workday with the longtime success of the iShuttle from our two stations,” says Irvine Mayor Don Wagner. “Hundreds of Irvine workers arrive daily from other cities and hop aboard for the ‘last mile’ ride to their destination. Some Irvine residents, of course, also are taking the iShuttle to the

stations, to work elsewhere. These two new routes will make the daily trips to and from numerous Irvine locations even more convenient.” The new Route E from Irvine Station runs along Barranca Parkway to Muirlands Boulevard, down Bake Parkway and Irvine Center Drive, ending at the Los Olivos Apartments off Irvine Center Drive. Key employers along the route include Broadcom, Five Point, Wyland Worldwide, Tropitone Furniture, Auto Nation, Toyota, Vizio, and more. The new Route F from Tustin Metrolink Station runs down Jamboree Road, west on Barranca Parkway and circles along Armstrong Ave. Key employers along the route include The District, Cummins, Fox Racing, Collins Aerospace, Harvest Orange County, St. John Knits, Baxter Healthcare, and more. Stops also include Amalfi Apartment Homes across from The District. There are now six iShuttle routes – three each from Irvine Station serving the Irvine Spectrum, and Tustin Metrolink Station serving the Irvine Business Complex and John Wayne Airport. The new routes are the result of a cooperative agreement between the city of Irvine and Orange County Transportation Authority. The iShuttle is free with a Metrolink or OCTA bus ticket; $1 per boarding otherwise. n octa.net/Bus/Routes-and-Schedules/ iShuttle-Bus-Service/

Cylance stays secure in the city

We doubt those with equity in Cylance are taking public transit to the office tower at 400 Spectrum Center after Blackberry completed its purchase of the Irvine-based artificial intelligence and cyber security company for $1.4 billion. Smartphone users under a certain age may not recall a time when Blackberry cell phones were so popular then gained the nickname “Crackberry” because of it. Now the Canadian company is out of the device business, instead devoted to cyber security. Cylance’s AI technology will accelerate the development of Blackberry Spark, a secure communications platform for the Internet of Things, the company said in a press release. One of the twin glass towers at the Spectrum will continue to bear the name Cylance for the foreseeable future. The company will maintain its Irvine address, where it leases six floors, and will continue to be led by Scott McClure, who founded the company in 2012. n

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Top Through 3.30 Fine arts in Irvine

Two exhibitions at Irvine Fine Arts Center feature a 10-year retrospective of work by painter Gary Brewer and QUIETUS, featuring the work of artist and IVC professor Joseph Paul Gerges. cityofirvine.org/irvine-finearts-center

Through 3.30 Art of the California Coast

Irvine Museum presents Upon a Painted Ocean, an exhibition that features works by important historical artists and contemporary painters, the subjects of which are the Pacific Ocean and coastline. irvinemuseumcollection.uci.edu

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Things To Do in March 3.1 Del Sol Quartet at UCI

San Francisco’s critically acclaimed Del Sol String Quartet presents a program focusing on young Iranian and Iranian-American composers, as well as Moving Houses by UCI professor Lukas Ligeti, and Ben Johnston’s String Quartet No. 4 Amazing Grace. arts.uci.edu/events

3.2 Los Olivos Park Dedication

The public is invited to the grand opening of Los Olivos Community Park from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The new 12.5-acre park features a 6,700-square-foot community center, lighted fields and courts, and a musical-themed playground inspired by the former Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre. cityofirvine.org/play/ community-servicesdepartment/city-special-events

3.5 Arts Lecture at The Barclay

MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Vijay Gupta will present a free lecture at The Barclay titled “Restoring The Human Spirit Through Artistic Engagement.” The morning lecture will include a string quartet performance by high school students, led by Vijay. Registration required.

3.9-3.17 ‘Parliament Square’ play at UCI

This hard-hitting and adultthemed play written by James Fritz asks whether political protest can ever effect change. How can one individual hope to make a difference and what are we willing to sacrifice for our beliefs? arts.uci.edu/event/parliamentsquare

JOSEPH PAUL GERGES’ CURRENT BODY OF WORK, QUIETUS, EXPLORES NOTIONS OF MORTALITY, VULNERABILITY, LOSS, AND SURVIVAL. COURTESY CITY OF IRVINE

3.23 Gala Fundraiser for City of Hope

Chaired by cancer survivor Frank DeBella, the Let’s Be Frank about Cancer event at Hotel Irvine honors FivePoint Chairman and CEO Emile Haddad and Dr. Hazem Chehabi. cityofhope.org/giving/ fundraising-events/lets-befrank

3.23-3.24 Festival Ballet Theatre’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’

Celebrate spring with a fulllength production of the beloved classical ballet, Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece “The Sleeping Beauty.” This timeless love story will feature special guests from prestigious professional ballet companies in the lead roles. thebarclay.org

3.25 IUSD High School Jazz All-Stars

Five high school jazz ensembles from Irvine, Northwood, Portola, University and Woodbridge high schools will perform on the Barclay stage for one night of dynamic music-making. thebarclay.org

3.30 Kathy Mattea at The Barclay

The two-time Grammy Award winner intertwines Celtic, gospel and bluegrass influence with folk and acoustic music. Twice named Country Music Female Vocalist of the Year, Kathy Mattea is a storyteller with gorgeous, heartwrenching songs. thebarclay.org

CELEBRATE SPRING WITH A FULL-LENGTH PRODUCTION OF THE BELOVED CLASSICAL BALLET, TCHAIKOVSKY’S MASTERPIECE “THE SLEEPING BEAUTY.” COURTESY ARTIST

Profile for Irvine City News

Irvine City News 3.2019  

The community newspaper of the city of Irvine

Irvine City News 3.2019  

The community newspaper of the city of Irvine