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November-December, 2009 Volume 11, Issue 8


Fri Dec 4 Christmas Walk - Westcliff Court—1649 to 1831 Westcliff Drive
Sun Dec 6 31st Annual Corona Del Mar Christmas Walk—11 am-4:00pm
Sun Dec 6 Balboa IslandChristmas Tree Lighting—2:30pm - 6pm Fire Station Snow, Apple Cider, Cookies, Pictures with Santa and Mrs.Claus.  Music by Rick Sherman & Alan Remington
Sun Dec 13 Holiday Home Tour
Dec 16-20 101st Newport Harbor Boat Parade 6:30 pm—9:30 pm

There is one thing I’ve learned in my life.  You’re young, you’re middle aged, and then people tell you you look good.- Bobby Kahan

SHOOTING THE BREEZE.  . . . . . . . . .  . . Carolyn Carr

OK, Ok, I know I have been writing only about Balboa Island for the past many years.  It has been suggested that I branch out—so here is our first issue to go to the outer reaches of Newport Harbor—we are starting with Lido and parts of the Peninsula.  We hand deliver all these copies and this involves walking by yours truly (at 60+ years old smile ) As a result we are not trying to do the whole Newport Harbor.  Just different areas on a quarterly basis (areas I have actually done before without the newsletter) and expand the interviews and business information to other parts of the Newport Harbor Area.  So if you have a favorite person you would like to see interviewed let me know—I am open to suggestion.

Newport comes alive with activity this time of year.  From the Christmas Walk in Corona del Mar to the Chamber of Commerce Boat Parade.  The Holiday season is everywhere.  Uniquely decorated boats, fabulously decorated houses, parties on the giant boats in the harbor, Christmas music, Fashion Island and its huge Christmas Tree (which will be a little smaller this year).  All this makes our city a relaxing, magical place to come to at Christmas time. 
By this time next year I hope to know more about the decorated houses in other parts of Newport, however if you haven’t been to Balboa Island during the Christmas season you are in for a treat.  Greg Zimmerman’s at 327 Sapphire Avenue really stands out. 
This house even has its own website—www.zimchristmas.com Just in case you can’t make it to see the house in person. If you can, the lights are on from 5:00-9:00 pm daily (9:30 during the Boat Parade). Greg works on this labor of love all year long—it
is a sight to behold!!!

A few observations from October :

On my anniversary I went to a local restaurant, which shall remain unnamed, for dinner.  It happened to be during the World Series.  They had High Definition TV—on at least FOUR TVs.  Now what makes these baseball players think we want to see them spit and chew in high def??? It spoiled my appetite.  Put these guys back on radio until they clean up their act.

I went to my doctor in October.  She is overweight.  She wants to have insurance.  She can afford insurance.  The insurance companies will not accept her or a friend who has a skin rash.  I am fearful of the shape of our future ‘government’ plan as long as they involve the insurance companies—it isn’t a good thing for any of us.  And I am the daughter of a doctor.  The best comment I heard lately was, “Whatever the plan.  Make all the Congressmen be on the SAME PLAN with the rest of us.  Wouldn’t that change things!!

Bill Stewart . . . Newport Beach Entrepreneur Personified.

Bill Stewart Loves Balboa Island.  I asked him what he would be doing in 5 years and he said “Living on Balboa Island” , “Working on Balboa Island “ and “Making Balboa Island a more beautiful place to live.”

I have known Bill Stewart for years—we are neighbors .  Only recently did a I really get to KNOW the man who has been the treasurer of the BIIA for seven years.  He is a fascinating man with a “fun” life.

Bill first came to Newport Beach when he was sent here by Price Waterhouse to redo Hoag Hospital’s business system as a CPA and a hospital business expert.  When he finished the reorganization the Hoag Hospital Board asked him to become Controller.  Having fallen in love with Newport Beach and sailing—Bill was quick to accept.  He lived the bachelor life for four years at the Channel Reef Apartments with his boat docked below.

Bill was hired away from Hoag to work as financial advisor to the Space Division of Ford Aeronutronic.  He later joined forces with Ira Dowd, developer of the Newport Dunes and operator (at that time) of the Catalina ferries—Catalina Aloha and Catalina Island Lady—which operated out of the Fun Zone in the early 1960s.

Bill, Ira and two associates formed HYRDO-CAPITAL to build America’s first certified passenger hydrofoil boats.  These boats flew just 2-1/2 feet above the water with 24 passengers at 30 mpg.  The Harbor Patrol permitted them to enter the jetty at high speed—slowing down just past the Coast Guard Station. 

Bill left Newport and moved to Santa Maria with his first wife, Barbara.  He developed real estate in that area and when he returned he was hired by FCB Cable Vision who built the underground cable TV system in Newport Beach.  When his children were in grammer school he moved to the Santa Ynez valley and developed high-end ranch properties and raised quarter horses and long horn cattle.

Bill’s wife died of cancer in 1984 and a year later he married his college sweetheart, Bobbi.  They now live in the Stone Building, next to Beek Center Park.  Bill operates Bill Stewart Realty and a 501 charity named Earth Sentient for cleaning up the earth.  Currently he is also helping people secure reverse mortgages to obtain needed cash in these hard times.

Bill left me with his favorite quote—about the
Balboa Island Boardwalk—I think of it as ”Two and A Half Miles of Boardwalk Smiles”. 

BALBOA ISLAND ICONS—Doris Lee, Coldwell Banker

Tis’ The Season to be “Jolly” - renew old and new friendships, memories and enjoy the Christmas Spirit which prevails here in Newport Beach.

Thus it is fitting to pay tribute to “The Balboa Bachelors” - a homegrown group of men who enjoyed Balboa Island growing up and formed a trombone ensemble in high school.  They have donated and performed heart warming holiday music at the Christmas Tree Lighting, the Home Tour and every night of the Newport Harbor Chamber of Commerce Christmas Boat Parade for the last 25 years. 

As children, Randy Wallen, and other members of the group recall spending great times on Balboa Island.  Eating burgers at the Jolly Roger (now Wilma’s), riding the Ferry back and forth to the Balboa Peninsula Beach, filling their tires at Jim Jenning’s gas station (now the Fire Station) and sailing their sabots in beautiful Newport Harbor.

The most poignant, impacting event for “the Bachelors” was in 1984—the first year they played music on South Bayfront for the boat parade.  Cathy Alden, a South Bayfront resident, saw them playing and invited them in to perform for her friends and family.  She insisted that they return each night from then on for dinner and warm cider.  They continued to do so until 1991 when Cathy, ill with cancer, heard her last concert.  Randy asked 50 caroling Girl Scouts to join the group in singing “Silent Night” for Cathy.  Cathy’s nurses, and everyone else within earshot, wept.

The Bachelors were so touched by this event they have been playing at Hoag Cancer Center all through the holidays every Christmas since.  They also play an evening of Christmas songs at Someone Cares Soup Kitchen.

The Bachelors have all become successful businessmen—some have families. Their accomplishments range from playing for Ronald Reagan, for the Reagan Library Tree Lightings, and for the Wheel for Fortune TV show.  They come to Newport Beach from as far away as San Francisco, New York, Wisconsin and even Tokyo every Christmas to donate their time and music and keep that intangible Christmas Spirit alive.


Holiday Gift Wrap Service
Available at…

The Persimmon Tree

Come in for special holiday gifts,
cider, and cookies too!!


229 Marine Ave.  Balboa Is.


Don’t forget to call Damon Burris and Mike Mc Cleur for fabulous Christmas Lights.  They have done mine for years and I love their service and smiling faces.  They will even provide the lights if necessary.  Call them at 949.307.8613 or 949.903.9018 to get your house ready for the holidays.  Tell them I recommended them!!


Jeff is keeping me updated on the happenings at the Post Office.  We are still on schedule for termination if we don’t raise our revenue in the next year.  So . . . Don’t forget to run down and see Jeff and open a PO Box, buy stamps, mail those Christmas Cards and Letters.  Everything in one place—with much shorter lines than anywhere else in Newport Beach!!!

Jeff did mention than 4 new post office boxes have been opened as a result of last month’s issue—so let’s try for 10 this month!!  In the Christmas Spirit.

Win a Balboa Bar from Dad’s Donuts!!!
I have partnered with long time resident Randy Seton (Amelia’s son) to create a new and fun column for The Island Breeze!!
The First person who brings the answer to all three of these questions to Island Flooring WINS. 
What was the previous name of Amelia’s restaurant in 1961?
What was the “Brass Beacon”?
What was Borola’s/Giorgio’s Italian Restaurant back in 1962?


PUT YOUR AD HERE FOR $40.00 per Issue—Great for Housecleaning, Handyman, Rentals, Etc. 
Also Uploaded to http://www.balboa-island.com

30 Years Serving Newport Harbor
Yacht Maintenance
Dock Painting and Repairs
Flagpole Painting


Bright, Airy, Quiet Studio Apartment w/Sleeping Loft. 
Queen Sized Bed– Super Comfortable!!
DirecTV in Living and Sleeping Areas.
Wireless Internet Access.
We Supply the Linens and the Coffee!!!


Great Food—Eat Chow, 1802 Newport Blvd. Costa Mesa 949.650.2469.  Reviewed in Westways Magazine this restaurant deserves all the raves it gets. Hidden in the back of The Closet clothing store it has a fabulous Truffle parmesan fries, fried green tomatoes, and a to die for French dip among other great sandwiches.  Mmmmmm!!

The 30/50 Project—Saving the Brick and Mortars Our Nation is Built On—Save your Local Economy . . . Three stores at a time.  If just 1/2 the employed US population spent $50 each month in independently owned businesses, their purchases would generate more than 42.6 billion in revenue.  For every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 returns to the community.  If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here.  Online—Nothing comes home! (ed note. I am guilty of the online thing :( )
Visit http://www.the350project. net


It is that wonderful time of year once more—Holiday season on Balboa Island!! November ushers in Thanksgiving which quickly turns into a “Winter Wonderland” of our own.  We can count on our corner icon, Hershey’s Market, for a perfectly roasted Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey.  Orders will be lining up quickly so it is advisable to reserve yours ASAP—phone orders welcome at 949.673.0330.  Don’t forget to drop by and see their lovely collection of new items for your perfect holiday table.  Easy to wipe up ‘Oilcloth’ tablecloths in glossy floral prints, festive paper napkins and, as always, a fabulous variety of wines to choose from.

One longstanding favorite on Balboa Island is The Gift Box, 208 Marine—well known for their exclusive collection of unique ‘traditional’ Holiday-Home items.  I was pleased to see the return of the charming ‘Pilgrim Family’ - complete w/Tom Turkey himself—gracing their window.  (Buyer’s Choice) The famous Dickens’s Carolers should be here by the time this newsletter goes to print.

For those of you needing to ‘sneak in’ a much needed trim or color service—head down to Andiamo’s Hair Salon—now located inside the Courtyard at 307 Marine Avenue.  Call 949.673.4013 soon to schedule your appointment.

Being a dedicated ‘fashionista’, I cannot skip a stop at one of our many fantastic clothing stores on Marine Avenue.  New neighbor and perfectly timed for Holiday gift-giving on a shoestring is Tango Rose. I dropped in on this unique collection of designer-inspired handbags and fabulous costume jewelry as merchandised by owner ‘Bobbi’.  The store was flooded with eager gals snatching up these one-of-a-kind treasures.  Most items modestly priced under $50.00 Stop in at 225 Marine Avenue and shop ‘til you drop!

Another awesome collection of women’s apparel jewelry can be found across the street at Etc. Etc. Etc.  312 Marine.  I spoke with Amy and she showed me some most unusual jewelry pieces—many like objects d’art.  Lots of familiar clothing labels we all recognize and love from the ‘larger’ retailers can be conveniently purchased at Etc., Etc.  For special orders or sizes not immediately available call 949.673.5321.


118 Agate Avenue
Balboa Island, CA 92662
949.422-8569 (Cell)

118 Agate Avenue
Balboa Island, CA 92662
949.422-8569 (Cell)

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