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AUGUST 2018 EDUCATION

CALENDAR

DINING

UCI’s innovative Science & Engineering Building is coming page 9

Lady Antebellum & Darius Rucker at FivePoint Amphitheatre page 12

Left Coast Brewery is a fun-loving flight above

WHAT REALLY MATTERS irvinecitynews.com

Business

City

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IrvineCityNews Opinion

Education

Life

Sports

Community

Feature

SOCCER, SOFTBALL, AND SWIMMING ADD TO IRVINE’S GLOBAL ATHLETIC APPEAL Irvine or

Anaheim? THE QUEST FOR A VETERANS CEMETERY SITE IN ORANGE COUNTY CONTINUES FEATURE

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by Irvine City News staff

Rams gathering for training camp at UCI, and a large crowd of global fútbol fans watching the World Cup Finals on the scoreboard screen at the Great Park Soccer Stadium. France defeated Croatia 4-2 as hundreds of festive fans filled most of the field at the soccer stadium. The Orange County Soccer

n a strong endorsement of Irvine’s heralded master plan, the Irvine City Council directed city planners on July 10 to immediately begin a series of studies to determine if a long-awaited veterans cemetery should be built adjacent to the Orange County Great Park. In the latest twist to the cemetery saga, all five Irvine councilmembers agreed that the Southern California Veteran’s Memorial Park should be located in the city. However, the council was divided on how to move forward on the emotional issue. In the end, Mayor Donald Wagner, along with Councilmembers Christina Shea and Melissa Fox, voted in favor of city planners and members of the city’s planning, finance and transportation commissions studying the cost and impact of a 125-acre cemetery on the ARDA site near Irvine

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 >>

CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 >>

YOUTH SOCCER PLAYERS PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE AT THE GREAT PARK SOCCER STADIUM

THE WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS

FEATURE

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by Irvine City News staff

rvine’s evolution into a global center of sports is evident this summer, with the USA Softball International Cup and U.S. Nationals Swimming Championships held in the city, the Los Angeles


AUGUST 2018 2

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Publisher’s Note

GOLDEN WAY

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veryone who has written about restaurants and food in Southern California in the past 20-plus years was strongly influenced by Jonathan Gold, including the writers and editors at our publication. The L. A. Times restaurant critic who won the Pulitzer Prize while at the LA Weekly was a wonderful writer. Gold made the many enclaves and corners of Southern California more accessible by writing about the restaurants there, especially those serving traditional food in ethnic neighborhoods. “I’m trying to democratize food,” Gold was quoted as saying. “I’m trying to get people to be less afraid of their neighbors.” Gold died recently, leaving behind a rich legacy and many mourning fans. So what does that have to do with Irvine? We believe that certain truths Gold understood about L.A. are also true of Irvine: “The thing that people find hard to understand, I think, is sort of the magnitude of what’s here, the huge number of multiple cultures that live in the city who come together in this beautiful and haphazard fashion,” Gold wrote. “And the fault

lines between them are sometimes where you find the most beautiful things.” Irvine’s geography and cultural diversity may not be as extensive as what Gold explored, and our master-planned community is certainly not “haphazard.” But it is important that we appreciate the magnitude of Irvine’s diversity, too, and see the beauty in it. One way is to explore the multitude of restaurants and markets featuring the food of the many people who live here. Whatever your culture or country of origin, Irvine makes it easy to try a difficult-topronounce dish at a restaurant you’ve never visited. Take a cooking class. Shop at a market unfamiliar to you. Bring friends and family together for the meal you make from new ingredients. Maybe even invite the nice neighbor to join the party, the one you usually only nod to. “Jonathan believed that food could be a power for bringing a community together, for understanding other people,” esteemed food writer and editor Ruth Reichl wrote in an L. A. Times story about Gold. Togetherness and understanding—couldn’t we all use a bit more of both? n

IrvineCityNews Editor and Publisher

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5319 University Drive Suite #440 Irvine, CA 92612

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FANS ENJOY THE GAME AT THE GREAT PARK SOCCER STADIUM “SPORTS” FROM PAGE 1

Club, the professional team that plays its home matches at the stadium, hosted the morning event. There were lines for food trucks, face painting and free soccer balls, and many attendees dressed in the colors of their favorite teams. Those in the red, white and blue of France enjoyed the experience the most, but the event was a huge success. Given the excellent attendance, next time a higher definition and larger screen would be welcome for the crowds further from the scoreboard screen. On the same weekend as the World Cup, the best softball players in the world were in Irvine competing at the inaugural USA Softball International Cup. Held at the Bill Barber Memorial Park ball fields, the USA Red team won the tournament with a 10-5 win over Japan on the final Sunday, finishing the event undefeated. The USA Blue team took bronze, defeating the team from China. Many Southern California women competed in the tournament, including on international teams. Irvine’s own softball superstar and two-time

Olympian Natasha Watley was one of the coaches. The U.S. National Softball Team next heads to the WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship in Chiba, Japan, the winner of which will qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020. Irvine is also the center of the U.S. Swimming scene the last weekend in July, when emerging swimming superstar Caeleb Dressel is expected to show off his speed (and his Speedos—he recently signed a deal with the swimwear company) at the Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships. The meet takes place July 25-29 at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center, where a 3,000seat grandstand has been constructed for the Irvine swim meet. The aquatics center has hosted multiple U.S. National and Junior National Championship events, including the 2010 Pan Pac Championships. Insiders and swim fans won’t be surprised to see records fall at the event (the meet occurs after this edition of Irvine City News goes to press), both U.S. and possibly world records, too.

“THERE WERE LINES FOR FOOD TRUCKS, FACE PAINTING AND FREE SOCCER BALLS, AND MANY ATTENDEES DRESSED IN THE COLORS OF THEIR FAVORITE TEAMS…THE EVENT WAS A HUGE SUCCESS.” Dressel, who is called the fastest swimmer on the planet, won seven gold medals at the 2017 World Championships, has two Olympic gold medals, and was the first swimmer to break the 40-second mark in the 100-yard freestyle and the first to go less than 18 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle. He also holds seven American long and short-course records. His deal with Speedo reportedly includes financial incentives for record-breaking, so expect big things from the 21-year-old phenom—in Irvine, CONTINUED ON PAGE 3 >>


AUGUST 2018

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“SPORTS” FROM PAGE 2

as well as at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Katie Ledecky is also expected to excel in Irvine. The fivetime Olympic champion smashed her 1500m freestyle world record by five seconds at a meet in May where she also swam the secondfastest 400m freestyle ever, after her own world record in Rio. Other world-class and worldchampion athletes expected at the meet include Missy Franklin, Lilly King, Simone Manuel, Chase Kalisz and Ryan Murphy. Irvine’s prominence as a sports destination is certain to accelerate as more fields and venues debut at the Orange County Great Park Sports Park. The 2018 and 2019 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championships will be held at the Orange County Great Park Soccer Stadium, with the college championship tournament running Nov. 26-Dec. 1. The softball and baseball fields and stadiums are debuting soon at the Sports Park, with five fields dedicated to softball, including a championship softball venue with seating for 500 spectators. The baseball complex will include seven fields, including a championship stadium with seating for more than 1,000 spectators. No doubt these fields of dreams will be the venues of choice for championships in the future. And toward the end of 2018 or early 2019 the incredible new Great Park Ice and Sports Complex will debut, Irvine’s new $100 million frozen ice facility. Great Park Ice will include four ice rinks—three National Hockey League-sized ones and one that’s designed to Olympic dimensions, and will include the FivePoint Arena with seating for 2,500 spectators. The 280,000 square-foot community ice and sports facility will no doubt be a destination for national and international competitions, as well as recreational skating, hockey, curling, broomball and other “cool” sports. n

THE CROWD AT THE WORLD CUP FINALS VIEWING PARTY AT THE ORANGE COUNTY GREAT PARK SOCCER STADIUM

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IrvineCityNews

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“CEMETERY” FROM PAGE 1

Boulevard. Mayor Wagner later sent a letter to the California Department of Veterans Affairs confirming the decision. “In response to Irvine voters’ recent decision rejecting the location of a veterans cemetery at the Strawberry Fields site, the City Council has directed the immediate start of a citywide effort to evaluate the ARDA site or find an alternate site in or near the Great Park for creation of the cemetery,” Wagner wrote. “The Council’s decision was in keeping with Irvine’s commitment to foresight and diligent planning.” Irvine has long been recognized as one of the most carefully planned and managed cities in America and as a result it has been lauded for its solvency, safety and beauty as a global model for master-planned communities. At the city council session, Wagner said his motion calling for a series of feasibility studies on the cemetery plan at the ARDA site reflects the “prudent planning” that has been a hallmark of Irvine’s planning process since the city’s incorporation nearly 50 years ago. The council’s 3-2 vote followed more than three hours of debate about the future of the cemetery in the city. More than 60 speakers, many of them veterans, urged the council to push forward with plans to locate a cemetery in Irvine to honor military servicemen and women. A month ago, Irvine voters essentially nixed a plan to put the cemetery on agricultural site known as the Strawberry Fields, just south of the Great Park when they defeated Measure B, a zoning referendum. Councilmember Jeffrey Lalloway proposed moving the cemetery project to the ARDA site, which was first approved by the council in 2014. The site was ultimately abandoned because of the $78 million price tag to clean up the parcel and construct the first phase of the cemetery. Lalloway also proposed immediately

MEMORIAL DAY 2018 AT RIVERSIDE NATIONAL CEMETERY, THE NEAREST VETERANS CEMETERY TO ORANGE COUNTY.

allocating $40 million in city taxpayer money for the clean-up effort. But his motion, supported by Councilmember Lynn Schott, failed to win a necessary third vote for passage. Echoing the council majority’s opinion, Wagner said he was a strong proponent of building the cemetery in Irvine. “But we have to do it right,” he said. “It’s all about the planning process and this motion puts that process in play.” Since the June 5 vote, the Orange County Board of Supervisors have offered up an alternative site outside Irvine on county-owned space in Anaheim for a veterans cemetery. Several veterans attended

the June 26 Board of Supervisors session in Santa Ana and spoke in support of studying the county land, including long-time leaders of the effort to find a site for a veterans cemetery in Orange County. “We need a cemetery,” said Nick Beradino, the president of VALOR, an advocacy group fighting for a veterans cemetery. “When our country asked us to stand up and fight, we fought. We never asked questions, we went. Now, when we came over here today, we could barely walk, most of us are disabled.” “We ask you to now be our heroes,” Beradino asked the supervisors.” We cannot do it without you.”

Procedurally, there was no vote on the issue. Supervisor Todd Spitzer, who brought the matter to the board’s agenda, directed the staff to perform the study, after each supervisor spoke in support of the process, and thanked the veterans for attending. “I am a direct beneficiary of your sacrifices,” said Supervisor Andrew Do, whose family emigrated from Vietnam. “I’ve had the privilege of living my entire life free,” Do said in thanking the veterans, most of who had served in Vietnam. “It’s long overdue. We need a veterans cemetery.” On July 17, the Anaheim City Council voted 7-0 to support the county and other stakeholders in

evaluating the feasibility of developing a veterans cemetery in that city. “We’d be honored, and we’d be welcoming,” Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait said about honoring veterans with a cemetery, while also making clear that the council’s unanimous vote wasn’t meant to slow down or interfere with efforts in Irvine. “The important thing is that Orange County gets a veterans cemetery…soon,” Tait said. “This is one way our council can come together and galvanize the community,” Councilmember Kris Murray added. “This is not about competing. If Irvine does not reach a consensus, this gives an alternative which is viable.” n


AUGUST 2018

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Easterseals Moves SoCal Headquarters to Irvine

DAVID AND MOLLY PYOTT WITH MARK WHITLEY (RIGHT), PRESIDENT/CEO OF EASTERSEALS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. THE PYOTTS ARE MAJOR SUPPORTERS OF THE NONPROFIT, NEWLY BASED IN IRVINE. COURTESY REGGIE IGE COMMUNITY

by Irvine City News staff

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rvine is home to many nonprofits doing great work in the city, as well as and the wider region. Now, Easterseals Southern California (ESSC) joins the illustrious list. The organization that serves more than 10,000 people with disabilities in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Kern, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura counties, has moved its headquarters from Santa Ana to Irvine, consolidating many of its services in so doing. For nearly 100 years, Easterseals has been an indispensable resource for individuals with developmental disabilities or other special needs, providing exceptional services, education, outreach and advocacy. ESSC offers innovative autism therapy, adult day programs, child development services, living options, employment services and the Bob Hope Veterans Support Program. The organization helps make it possible for children and adults with disabilities to reach their full

potential and to live, learn, work and play in our communities. To celebrate the opening and the move, Easterseals will host the inaugural Sip and Savor summer fundraiser Saturday, Aug. 18, at the new headquarters building. With all proceeds benefiting ESSC’s programs, the evening will feature an array of delicious tastes from popular local restaurants; specialty wines, brews and spirits; live music and dancing under the stars; entertainment; an opportunity drawing; silent auction; and a tour of ESSC’s new Autism Therapy and Disability Services Center. Celebrity chef Andrew Gruel, founder and executive chef of Slapfish restaurants and a judge on Food Network’s Food Truck Face Off and a host of FYI’s Say It to My Face! will be on hand to prepare his signature lobster roll. “Community is the foundation of Easterseals’ cause,” says Mark Whitley, president & CEO of ESSC. “When we help someone reach their potential, we become stronger as a whole. We are grateful to those who support our mission and enable

us to continue to empower those we serve to fully participate in their communities as they lead fulfilled, independent lives.” With 2,700 employees, 60+ service sites and hundreds of community partnership locations, ESSC assists more than 10,000 people, providing adult/ senior day services; autism therapy; child development/early education; employment services, veteran employment support; independent living options; and more. At Easterseals, 88% of income is spent on services. The new Easterseals headquarters is located along the

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Change the way you see disability. CelebrateDontSeparate.org

55 Freeway across from First American Title and a few blocks from the Edwards Lifesciences campus; the extensively remodeled building will be the Autism Therapy and Disability Services Center. The center’s facilities and programs reflect the latest in research and best practices to help children with autism. Easterseals began providing autism services in 2012, following a change in state law mandating insurance providers cover autism therapy services. The program has grown tremendously to provide 20,000 people with behavior analysis, speech, physical, and occupational therapy services over the past five years Over the past five years, hundreds of participants have successfully graduated from the autism therapy services and other programs Easterseals Southern California provides. “It’s incredible to see the individual success stories on a daily basis,” says Dr. Paula Pompa-Craven, Chief Clinical Officer/VP Autism Services. “From a participant who says ‘mommy’ or ‘daddy’ for the first time, to someone who enters into a traditional kindergarten class, to an individual who socializes for the first time.” While autism services are also provided in the home, the 1,200 talented team members that comprise Autism Therapy Services will now have the Irvine location as a home base to serve clients as well as to meet with colleagues. “I am extremely proud of the team

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that we have built – from interventionists who are learning behavior analysis to therapists who are collaborating in new ways, and leaders who are continuously striving for quality improvement,” Dr. Pompa-Craven says. With the move from Santa Ana, the former headquarters building is being transformed into new ESSC Adult Day Services Center, thanks in large part to a generous $1.75 million gift from the David and Molly Pyott Foundation. Molly Pyott is the chair of the ESSC board, while husband David Pyott is a philanthropist and former CEO of Allergan, long based in Irvine. Once opened next year, the Santa Ana center will serve up to 200 individuals through on-site and community-based programs, providing them with the opportunity to become active members of the community by learning work-related skills and engaging in regularly scheduled volunteer work, community service projects and other ventures. “The original Santa Ana corporate office location holds a special place in the hearts of the staff and board members of Easterseals Southern California,” said Molly Pyott. “Transforming the property into a state-of-theart, adult day services center has elicited tremendous feelings of pride for us all. The expansion of important, life-changing services will create profoundly positive differences for people with disabilities in our community.” n

In 2018, Easterseals Southern California launched a thought-provoking new awareness campaign—featuring SoCal residents who receive services from Easterseals—aimed at Changing the Way You See Disability. With a goal of inclusion, the multi-faceted campaign asks people to reconsider how they view people with disabilities with such challenges as: Celebrate. Don’t Separate; Dialogue. Not Doubt; Encourage. Don’t Exclude; Include. Don’t Isolate; Be Supportive. Not Sorry; and Spread Awareness. Not Assumptions. The campaign encompasses print, outdoor and internet ads, as well as a grassroots social media component with a “Make the Promise” call to action to support the campaign under the hashtag #CelebrateDontSeparate. Learn more at: CelebrateDontSeparate.org n


AUGUST 2018 6

IrvineCityNews

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DINING

LEFT COAST COOL

IRVINE’S FIRST BREWERY/ BARBECUE/DISTILLERY DEBUTS by ICN Dining Critic

As Irvine’s culinary world has expanded exponentially in recent years, there’s been a bit of a backlash on social media and message boards like Nextdoor: “Where are the American restaurants,” they say, at times including a critique of the city’s major lessor. The restaurants folks mention missing are often venerable chains like Denny’s and Mimi’s Café that offer comfort food at a decent price, but certainly aren’t breaking any new culinary ground. In Irvine some of those old favorites have been replaced with critically acclaimed and cutting-edge restaurants, including Meizhou Dongpo and Kang Ho Dong Bakjeong. The city’s culinary scene is stronger for the change, we believe. But we also appreciate the yearning many have for familiar food. We find it helpful to remember that a dish that might seem unusual or even exotic to one person may be traditional comfort food to another, offering a favorite taste not easily found elsewhere in the area, or inspiring memories of friends and family gathered for a meal someplace far away. Like Kansas City, for example. While barbecue is easily found in Irvine—the Korean variety, especially—we haven’t had a restaurant focused on the

A SAMPLING OF SIDE DISHES FROM THE LEFT COAST MENU

style made famous at places like Joe’s Kansas City, B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ, and other favorites found in Missouri and Kansas. So when we read that Left Coast Brewing Company wasn’t just going to be a great place to enjoy the San Clemente brewery’s craft beer, but was also going to specialize in the style of barbecue that originated in KC, we were intrigued. Who doesn’t crave pulled pork, brisket

and burnt ends—other than vegans, of course. The restaurant’s executive chef Jason Tsiames is from Kansas City, though he’s lived in California for some time, heading up Oggi’s Pizza, the sister company of Left Coast. The Left Coast food menu is not extensive. There are ribs, of course, and brisket, chicken and pulled pork. The meat is served

as platters or as the filling in two kinds of sandwiches. One is simply your choice of meat, sauce and pickles on a nice brioche bun. The other is called a Specialty KC Sandwich, and includes hot links, onion rings and “spicy” barbecue sauce on a brioche bun. The quotes around the word spicy are mine. Left Coast offers four sauces available at the self-serve containers on the back

counter: original, tangy, spicy and white barbecue sauce. I was surprised that the white version is my favorite, with a nice vinegar and pepper bite. Perhaps it’s a personal bias based on an affinity for Texas barbecue, a prejudice I’ll readily admit, but the sauces at Left Coast aren’t spicy enough. Traditional Kansas City barbecue sauce does tend toward the sweet side, certainly. But an extra spicy option would be a welcome addition. Other menu items of note include three types of Mac-ncheese, including a tasty “Mac Daddy” that includes caramelized onions and smoked pulled pork on top. There’s a tasty cornbread served in a cast iron skillet (it’s hot, so don’t let the kids grab the handle!), three varieties of salad, fried pickles, French fries (though they still call them “freedom fries” here), sliders and chili. Burnt ends can be sampled several ways, on their own either fried or in sauce, or added to select dishes. For those unfamiliar, burnt ends aren’t really burned. It’s fatty bits of brisket cut into small cubes and caramelized in sauce, drippings and usually some brown sugar. There are two ways to order at Left Coast. If your party is small, it’s easiest to sit at the bar, where you can get food and beer at the same place. Otherwise, the food ordering line is just inside the front door, with dishes brought to your table fast-casual style. To order beer, you have to go to the bar. The two-station ordering is a bit of a hassle, especially when the place is packed, which has been often. Switching to fullservice would seem to be the best solution.


AUGUST 2018

IrvineCityNews

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THE BAR AT LEFT COAST

So how is the food? It’s mostly fine, if considered as bites to go with the beer rather than dishes that support the new restaurant as a dining destination. It’s not the definitive take on barbecue we were hoping would open in Irvine. There’s no smoke in the air as one enters the restaurant— considered the sign of serious barbecue. The fried side dishes and simple sandwiches, especially the pulled pork, work best. The KC ribs were more or less inedible, sadly. When we couldn’t pull the slab of ribs apart by hand we took that to be a bad sign. We couldn’t cut a single rib off with a steak knife, either. We tried gnawing around the edges of the bone instead, and got a few bites that way. Alas, it had the appearance, texture and taste of well-boiled-meat—and not in a good way. Overall, we wish there was more of a bite to the sauce, more bark on the meat. While the restaurant is quite busy now, based on several visits and multiple tastings, we don’t anticipate hours-long lines like at Franklin Barbecue

in Austin or other spots with cult-like followings. And that’s ok with us, because we’ll mainly be here for the beer, and the fun-loving ambience of the place. This might be Irvine’s best bar, with an open design and inviting interior. The service has been welcoming and quick, while the clientele include craft beer lovers out to have a good time. Left Coast offers 24 beers on tap, including Trestles, Asylum and Hop Juice, a triple IPA with a strong 10% alcohol by volume. The Irvine location also offers seasonal and speciality beers brewed on site. While spirits are not available yet, Left Coast will be the first distillery in Irvine. The location’s license will allow not only limited tasting and bottle sales, like at many distilleries, but a full craft cocktail menu. The owners are SoCal locals, it’s not a big chain and the food and drink are decidely American—all things many Irvine residents have asked for. Hopefully, the menu will evolve over time so as to measure up to the rest of the experience. n n leftcoastbrewing.com

YOUTHFUL VOLUNTEERS OUT IN NATURE

Scouts S Honor IRVINE KIDS HELP CLEAN UP ORANGE COUNTY CREEK COMMUNITY

by Irvine City News staff

ome 50 Irvine-based Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and other community volunteers gathered at Irvine Regional Park to remove trash and debris from a dry creek bed before next season’s rains wash it into the ocean. The volunteers worked with Orange County Coastkeeper and the Irvine Ranch Conservancy. The scouts and community members removed 150 pounds of trash, while learning firsthand how inland water pollution affects the ocean’s health. Creek cleanups are especially important

for Orange County’s water quality because streams and flood control channels drain with the winter rains into the region’s bays and ocean. Between 60-80 percent of debris in the ocean comes from inland sources. Coastkeeper will use data from the day’s cleanup to evaluate community cleanup effectiveness and promote best practices for the public to reduce litter in local streams and rivers. Coastkeeper is a nonprofit clean water organization that serves as a proactive steward of our fresh and saltwater ecosystems. n


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IrvineCityNews

Opinion

by ICN Editorial Board

W

hen it’s as hot as it’s been this summer, and the hills on the edge of our lovely city are baked brown by the sun, it’s hard not think about wildfires. That’s especially true when the past year has been one of the most destructive ever when it comes to fires in California. The Tubbs Fire last year in Sonoma County killed 22 and destroyed more than 5,000 structures, making it the mostdestructive wildfire in California history. The Thomas Fire, also last year, burned nearly 282,000 acres across Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, making it California’s largest wildfire ever, and was followed by deadly mudslides in Montecito a month later. This summer the Ferguson Fire near Yosemite National Park has already burned more than 33,000 acres. At press tiem, more than 3,000 firefighters from as far away as Virginia are fighting the blaze, including one who died. While Irvine hasn’t been impacted directly, we have had Orange County fires come close enough to cause alarm. Last year’s Canyon 2 Fire in mountains north of Irvine burned 9,200 acres and destroyed a dozen homes east of Orange. Beckman High School in Irvine was closed, and many Irvine residents watched the fire’s progress into Peters Canyon Regional Park and toward the 241 Toll Road with deep concern. The Aliso Viejo fire burned 175 acres in Wood Canyon this past June, with the smell of smoke putting Irvine residents on high alert.

irvinecitynews.com

Preparing for Wildfires is a Must for Irvine Residents Wildfire preparation resources: ocfa.org/RSG firewise.org readyforwildfire.org Volunteer for OC Fire Watch: letsgooutside.org/activities/ fire-watch Download a copy of Irvine’s emergency management plan here: cityofirvine.org/ office-emergency-management Those pale in comparison to the worst fire in the memory of those who lived in the area 25 years ago: the Laguna Beach Fire in 1993, which advanced relentlessly across 16,000 acres in and around what is now Laguna Wilderness/Irvine Conservancy land before it destroyed or damaged 400 homes causing $528 million in damages. No Irvine homes were damaged or destroyed in that fire, but back in 1993 Turtle Ridge, Quail Hill and Shady Canyon did not exist. The fire burned in or near land where those neighborhoods now are. A sobering aspect of the Sonoma County fire was how deeply it reached into subdivisions and neighborhoods that were not bordering on canyons, hills and wilderness, where we often think of fire most affecting homeowners. High winds drove hot embers for miles, with fires erupting as embers got under eaves and beneath roofs or by igniting fences and shrubs beside houses, before spreading to the structures. The takeaway from the past few fire seasons is we all need to be prepared, whether we live next to open space or near the heart of the city. The more informed we all are the more likely we’ll be able to

keep our families, neighbors and ourselves safe. Luckily, Irvine is the safest city in the U.S., not only for low violent crime rates, but also for excellent public safety programs. OCFA opened a new fire station at the Great Park recently. See “News and Notes” for details. The city’s disaster preparedness plans include wildfires, and the city’s website has an abundance of information about all forms of disaster preparedness. In addition to our public safety professionals, there are volunteers on fire watch in vulnerable areas around the city, especially during hot weather and Santa Ana winds. Called Orange County Fire Watch, the goal of the program is to reduce wildland fire ignition sources. Fire Watch program volunteers are stationed at highrisk areas of Orange County. They watch for fires, assist with early detection and reporting of ignitions, and report suspicious or dangerous behaviors or activities—people, either through accident, negligence or malice, start some 84 percent of wildfires. The visibility of Fire Watch volunteers is designed to be a deterrent to behavior that, intentionally or unintentionally, could result in wildfire ignitions. The OC Fire Watch program is sponsored and supported by the Irvine Ranch Conservancy, OC Parks, Irvine, Newport Beach, and the Orange County Fire Authority. One last note: many of us in Irvine have a secret weapon when it comes to fire protection—stucco. Experts recommend the building material as a preventative to the ignition and spread of wildfire. So take that, beige bashers. And let’s all stay safe this season. n

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AUGUST 2018

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Engineering the Future at UCI EDUCATION

by Irvine City News staff

I

f forced to choose the top two or three most-important factors in making Irvine the dynamic, culturally vibrant and economically powerful city it is today, the nexus between UCI and the city would be near the top. While that civic/academic connection includes the arts and many other areas, it’s hard to argue that the technology, engineering and computing are the most impactful disciplines. UCI’s Invention Transfer group fosters faculty/industry alliances, taking UCI technology to the public. More than 100 companies have been founded to commercialize innovations that grew out of research at UCI, many of them based in Irvine. There are 950 inventions in the UCI intellectual property portfolio, with more than 400 active U.S. patents, and 143 active license or option agreements. Research and innovation at UCI will most likely accelerate once the new Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Building, a $120 million project that broke ground last month, is completed in 2020. The center is designed to foster collaborative research in engineering, physical sciences and computing, with a focus on addressing complex global issues that include biomedicine for human health, energy use and the environment. Slated to be one of the largest interdisciplinary research buildings west of the Rocky Mountains, it will bring together faculty, students and staff from the university’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering, School

of Physical Sciences and Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences. “The overarching vision with this exciting facility is to provide spaces that foster the convergent integration of knowledge, tools, techniques and, most importantly, modes of thinking from faculty, students and staff across these disciplines,” said Pramod Khargonekar, vice chancellor of research at UCI. “Co-locating faculty and students from three

schools in the same building is a major next step as we build on our rich tradition of interdisciplinary research.” The new addition to the campus was made possible by a $30 million gift from the Samueli Foundation, along with $50 million in state funds and $40 million in UCI funds. According to UCI officials, potential projects could include developing chemical and material sensors to better diagnose and treat cancers; using big data, environmental engineering and organic chemistry to improve water supply or solar energy; testing driverless vehicles; and having cybersecurity coders and mathematicians collaborate on

military or medical challenges. UCI’s commitment to bringing more students into engineering, especially low-income candidates was strengthened when the university was granted $5 million from the National Science Foundation in July. The grant will provide scholarships to some 200 community college transfers to attend UCI and study advanced manufacturing. “I am delighted that the National Science Foundation is recognizing UCI’s innovative efforts to support transfer engineering students,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman.“With this important grant, 190 talented young engineers will be able to achieve their dreams

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of a world-class education in advanced manufacturing.” Each participating undergraduate will receive up to $10,000 annually over five years. In addition, researchers from UCI’s School of Education will try to identify the factors that lead low-income community college students to pursue engineering degrees. UCI professor Lorenzo Valdevit, who will lead the program, says that the UC Irvine Pathways to Engineering Collaborative will benefit U.S. employers as well. “In today’s global economy, it’s crucial to expand and diversify America’s manufacturing workforce,” he said, “and this program will help accomplish that goal.” n

A RENDERING OF THE $120 MILLION INTERDISCIPLINARY SCIENCE & ENGINEERING BUILDING NOW UNDER CONSTRUCTION AT UCI. COMPLETION EXPECTED IN 2020. COURTESY UCI


AUGUST 2018 10

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Culture Class

IRVINE SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS HONORED FOR ART EDUCATION EDUCATION

ON FACEBOOK AT @IRVINECITYNEWS

by Irvine City News staff

A

s summer vacation comes to a close and kids return to class this month, IUSD students will be focused on core academics, of course. But, unlike what has happened in too many public school districts, the arts remain an area of emphasis in Irvine schools. So much so that the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM) again named Irvine Unified School District one of the nation’s Best Communities for Music Education in 2018, the sixth straight year IUSD has received the honor. IUSD is the only district in Orange County and is among four percent of

school districts nationwide to be honored by NAMM for its commitment to music and education. “This honor is representative of the district’s commitment to the arts,” said Brad Van Patten, IUSD Fine Arts Coordinator. “Despite being one of the lowestfunded school districts in the nation, fine arts have flourished in IUSD schools under the Board of Education’s visionary leadership.” Nine IUSD educators who bring that vision of arts education to life were also honored recently at the 2018 Orange County Music and Arts Educators Awards, held at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The Orange County Music and Arts Educator Awards are presented annually to teachers and administrators who guide and direct art programs at schools throughout the county including instrumental, theater, visual arts, choir and dance. Catherine Holmes, IUSD’s executive director of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Learning, was named District Administrator of the Year for her ongoing support of more than 130 visual and performing arts teachers and teacher

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leaders. “Holmes’ commitment to arts education has had a direct impact on students who are realizing their dreams of becoming musicians, artists, actors, dancers and lifelong arts enthusiasts,” IUSD noted in a release about the event. Eight IUSD teachers were honored as Outstanding Arts Educators at the event: • Sue Anello – Rancho San Joaquin Middle School Visual Arts Teacher • Danyelle Dunavold – Northwood High School English and Drama Teacher • Randi Haynes, Joanna Casucci and Allison Matthews – District Fine Arts Specialists • Kim Rohrs – Northwood High School Visual Arts Teacher • Laura Schultz – Vista Verde Elementary Vocal Music Teacher • Matt Takeno – Woodbridge High School Visual Arts Teacher Orange County Music and Arts Administrators, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and the Orange County Department of Education sponsor the Orange County Music and Arts Educators Awards program. n

irvinecitynews.com IUSD STUDENTS PERFORM AT THE RENÉE AND HENRY SEGERSTROM CONCERT HALL. COURTESY IUSD


AUGUST 2018

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Fighting fire

Fire Station 20, the newest fire station in Irvine, was dedicated at a ceremony attended by civic leaders, Orange County Fire Authority leadership and the community. The new station will be home to a paramedic company, a fourperson truck company and a battalion chief. It also will be home to one of two OCFA hazardous materials response teams. It will support the health and safety of residents by reducing response times to the Great Park Neighborhoods, as well as visitors to the Great Park. The facility is located at the Orange County Great Park, near the new ice complex that is currently under construction. Irvine City Councilmember Melissa Fox spoke at the fire station dedication ceremony, noting new fire station’s role in continuing to keep Irvine among the safest and most-protected cities in the nation. Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel, as well as Fire Chief Brian Fennessy, also offered remarks about the safety milestone that Fire Station 20 represents for the city. Bob Blankman, a former Marine who was stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in 1943, had the honor of holding the scissors for the ribbon cutting. Regular visitors to the Great Park may recall the ABC Green Home that was located in the vicinity of the new station. It was a demonstration project by Southern California Edison designed to show California’s goal of making new homes “net zero” (producing as much energy as they consume) by 2020 is attainable.

Managing change

John Russo is Irvine’s new city manager, replacing Sean Joyce, who retired in February after a nearly 13-year career in Irvine. Russo was a city councilman and city attorney in Oakland, served four years as city manager for the city of Alameda, and most recently was city manager of Riverside. Russo is “a forward-thinking manager who helped shore up the city’s financial position and brought more openness to city government,” according to Riverside City Councilman Mike Gardner, who was quoted in the OC Register. The new city manager says he plans to publish meeting agendas 12 days ahead so the public and the city council have more time to read and analyze them, and he hopes to move Irvine to a two-year budget cycle. “Among our priority goals, this city council will turn to him to forge traffic improvement initiatives; support of public safety and our schools; the opening of large sections of the Orange County Great

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Park; and the continued high service to our community,” says Mayor Don Wagner in a statement about Russo’s hiring.

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Dining debuts

BEACON PARK501 BENCHMARK

The city’s culinary scene is seeing a wave of anticipated new openings this month. The second location of the always-busy 85°C Bakery Café is opening at Irvine Spectrum Center, part of the $200 million remodel there to replace a shuttered Macy’s store. Other foodie finds coming to the center include Hello Kitty Café, Falosophy, Afters Ice Cream, Robata Wasa and BLKdot Coffee (which has another new location at Irvine Market Place). Several of the new dining options will be in a family-friendly area near Target where the carousel has been relocated. Also opening soon are Pizza Press, a welcome addition to the Woodbridge Village Center, and JimBoy’s Tacos coming to Oak Creek. The taco shop offers old-school ground beef tacos in a corn tortilla shell that’s griddled, not fried, and dusted with Parmesan. They’re delicious and addictive, and just like those first created at the original location in Lake Tahoe in the 1950s. Pizza Press may seem like another build-your-own pizza place, but we love the 1920s newspaper ambiance, complete with signature pizzas named after major newspapers. We plan on creating an Irvine City News selection soon. Go to thepizzapress.com/gpg to register for a free pizza voucher redeemable at the Great Pizza Giveaway event on Aug. 2, the opening of the Woodbridge location. n

WAHOO’S FISH TACOS81 FORTUNE DR. AMTRAK15215 BARRANCA STARWOK EXPRESS15215 BARRANCA #600 ARBOR ANIMAL HOSPITAL14775 JEFFREY THAI SPICE15455 JEFFERY JUICE IT UP14031 JEFFERY RD. BIKRAM YOGA IRVINE680 ROOSEVELT IRVINE FINE ARTS CENTER14321 YALE / WALNUT HERITAGE PARK LIBRARY14361 YALE PIZZA 94913925 YALE #135 NORTHWOOD MKT13925 YALE #155 IRVINE FAMILY HEALTH CENTER14150 CULVER DR. SUPER IRVINE MARKET14120 CULVER DR. CASPIAN PERSIAN CUISINE14100 CULVER DR. CELEBRITY CLEANERS3963 IRVINE BLVD

WHAT REALLY MATTERS


AUGUST 2018 12

IrvineCityNews

Top Through 8.19 Cliff Cramp at Great Park Gallery

The influential Cal State Fullerton professor is a painter and illustrator whose commissioned and original artwork includes paintings and digital media inspired by “Star Wars,” “Stranger Things” and others. The show also includes Cramp’s lovely plein air paintings and a selection of work by his students. cityofirvine.org/orange-countygreat-park/palm-court-artscomplex

Through 8.31 New Swan Shakespeare

Experience the bard’s best in the intimate surroundings of the New Swan Theater, outdoors on the UCI campus. The

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Things To Do in August 2018 season features “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” and “A Winter’s Tale.” newswanshakespeare.com

Through 10.4 Drawing on the Past at Irvine Museum

The exhibit includes drawings, pastels, watercolors and etchings by California artists that include Phil Dike and Emile Kosa. Some works date as far back as the 1880s, many produced while the artists were students in Europe. irvinemuseumcollection.uci. edu/event/drawing-past-workspaper

8.5 and 8.12 Sizzlin’ Summer Concerts

Come out to Mike Ward Community Park For Sunday evening

concerts featuring Undercover Live on Aug. 5 and The Emperors on Aug. 12. Events include food trucks. cityofirvine.org/play/ community-servicesdepartment/special-events

8.5 National Night Out

Irvine Police Department hosts festivities at three locations in Irvine— Cypress and University Community Parks and The Ranch Neighborhood Park— featuring officers and animals from mounted and K9 units, crime prevention tips, and activities for kids. cityofirvine.org/news-media/ news-article/irvine-policedepartment-host-three-nationalnight-out-events

TAOLI WORLD DANCE SHOWCASE AT THE IRVINE BARCLAY. COURTESY TAOLI WORLD DANCE COMPETITION

8.7-8.8 Taoli World Dance Showcase

Dancers from China and the U.S. who have won awards at the international dance competition will perform at the Irvine Barclay. thebarclay.org

8.11 The Side Deal at the Barclay

Members of Sugar Ray, Train and PawnShop Kings play rock music together as The Side Deal. thebarclay.org

8.24 FivePoint Concerts

The summer of live music at FivePoint Amphitheatre in Irvine continues with several shows in August, including country stars Lady Antebellum

on a bill with Darius Rucker. fivepointamphitheatre.com

8.25 Splash-In Movie Night

A summer tradition at Woolett Aquatic Center draws families to swim and float in the pool or lounge on the deck while “Secret Life of Pets” plays on the big screen. cityofirvine.org/news-media/ calendar-of-events/event/splashmovie-recreation-swim-2018

8.31 Senior Fitness Expo

Free health and fitness screenings, information and demonstrations take place 9 a.m.-noon at the Rancho Senior Center. cityofirvine.org/seniorservices/senior-fitness-expo

COUNTRY STARS LADY ANTEBELLUM ON A BILL WITH DARIUS RUCKER (ABOVE) AT FIVEPOINT AMPHITHEATRE. COURTESY DAVID MCCLISTER

Irvine City News 8.2018  

The community newspaper for the city of Irvine

Irvine City News 8.2018  

The community newspaper for the city of Irvine