Plans for 127th OC Fair announced as day one of the annual extravaganza is fast approaching

Mayor Katrina Foley and City Manager Tom Hatch recently attended a meeting at the OC Fair & Event Center to learn about some of the changes coming to this year’s event as well as details about the City Day at the fair.

The 2017 OC Fair runs July 14 – August 13 (Wednesday-Sunday).

City Day for Costa Mesa will take place on Friday July 21. The event, which will begin atwill include a raising of the Costa Mesa city flag as well as a performance of the National Anthem.

The theme of the 127th Fair is “Farm Fresh Fun,” and is a tribute to agriculture in the county. There are several new offerings including new weekend hours. Hours of operation are Wednesday-Friday: Noon – Midnight and Saturday-Sunday: 11 a.m. – Midnight. The Fair is closed on Monday and Tuesday. Pricing has also changed. Click here for more information on pricing and admission.

There will also be a new ride at the fair called “Endeavor,” as well as full-contact jousting, an olive oil competition, a mini-van demolition derby and an e-sports tournament.

Also new at the fair this year is the Heroes Hall veterans museum and the Pacific Symphony will have its summer concert series at the Pacific Amphitheatre.

New brochures highlight the economic advantages for businesses in Costa Mesa

The City continues to provide important economic information to the community and to potential investors in Costa Mesa.

The Community Economic Profile provides up to date information in a variety of categories, emphasizing the City’s strategic location, strong socio-economic indicators, temperate climate, and it also provides valuable contact information for important services.

A second handout, the Costa Mesa Advantage brochure, conveys the City’s vision for Costa Mesa. These handouts help to persuade businesses to establish here, attract investment to Costa Mesa and equip residents with reliable information about their community.

Upgrades to Angel’s Playground near completion

At its March 21, 2017 meeting, the City Council awarded a contract for removal and replacement of Angel’s Playground surface at Tewinkle Park.

This project is now nearing completion. Final color overlay of the playground surface was completed on Thursday May 11 and will need to cure for a period of five days. The area was cleaned on Tuesday May 16 and the fence will be removed today, Wednesday May 17.

Public Services staff will be installing a new bench, swings and other hardware after the fence is removed. The playground will be open for children by the afternoon of Wednesday May 17.

Costa Mesa to Celebrate Action Sports and Art with mural painting and skateboard event this Saturday

Highlighting the City of Costa Mesa’s ties to art and action sports, the Action Arts in the Park exhibition returns this year to TeWinkle Park and will feature the work of four muralists, a skateboard competition, a dance demonstration and interactive public art projects at TeWinkle Park.

The second annual event, scheduled this Saturday April 29 from 12 noon to 4 p.m., was the brainchild of the city’s Cultural Arts Committee.

“Costa Mesa is such a fun, diverse, interesting place to live and we wanted to put on a high-energy event that reflected some of the best elements of this City – the artists, the action sports and the opportunities for families to spend the day in the park,” said Cultural Arts Committee Chair Andrea Marr.

For the city’s Parks & Community Services Department the event presents another avenue to promote Costa Mesa as the City of the Arts and share the City’s unique vibe and melting pot dynamic, Recreation Manager Justin Martin said.

“The Action Arts in the Park event is a really unique event that serves to highlight Costa Mesa’s vibrant arts scene in conjunction with the City’s edgy and ever-growing action sports scene,” Martin said.  “The goal is to have community members of all ages come together in one of the City’s most beautiful parks to enjoy an afternoon that is artistic, athletic, adventurous, energetic and family oriented.”

Four muralists, Josh Madrid, Maxx Gramajo, Ben Brough and Janelle Hinshaw, will paint a new mural from scratch onto a plywood canvas. In addition there will be a skate competition; live music by Cali Conscious and Sturgeon Rock; a dance performance from West Coast School of the Arts; and interactive art stations where patrons can paint a car, design a skateboard and spin art.

Newport-Mesa Unified School District high school students will be demonstrating their clay throwing skills and there will also be a Kids Zone with an Extreme Jumper and a Mechanical Surfboard

On the culinary side, Inspired Art & Wine is offering a design your own bottle event and several food trucks will also be on hand including The Big Cheese Truck, Scooter’s Ice, and Burger Monster.

The title sponsor of the event is Segerstrom Center for the Arts and other sponsors include Vans, The Art Institute of California – OC, Inspired Art & Wine, Papa Murphy’s, Chuck Jones Center, Attic Skateshop, Raising Canes, Garcia Chiropractic and Urban Workshop.

City Manager Hatch provides update to Mesa Verde Community Inc.

On Tuesday Jan. 18, City Manager Tom Hatch gave a presentation to the Mesa Verde Community Inc. to update the group on several city initiatives.

Hatch brought them up to speed on the Fire Station No. 1 replacement efforts and noted that the groundbreaking for the new station will take place on March 11, 2017 with completion scheduled for the following spring of 2018.

He also told the group what was going on with the Lions Park improvements which includes a new library and community center. Hatch also gave updates on the new City Council, the Mesa Verde medians, city staffing, the homeless and the news that the Chargers are moving the team headquarters here.

City seeks volunteers to sit on Parks and Recreation, Planning and Senior Commissions

The Costa Mesa City Council is currently seeking interested individuals from the community to serve on the following Commissions:

Parks and Recreation Commission – This Commission assists the City Council and various City departments with issues related to parks and parkways.  Currently, there are five (5) vacancies, two (2) with a term expiration of February 2021 and three (3) with a term expiration of February 2019.  Applicants must be registered voters in the City.  For further information, please contact Recreation Manager Justin Martin at (714) 754-5065.

Planning Commission – This Commission derives its power from the provisions of the California Government Code, and has the power, by law, to act upon or recommend to the City Council: 1) the regulation of future growth, development, and beautification of the City in respect to its public and private works; 2) consistency with municipal plans to ensure that future growth and development do not impede upon sanitation, public utilities, and transportation facilities; 3) the location of any proposed buildings, structures or works; and, 4) the design and improvement of proposed subdivisions of the land.  Currently, there are five (5) vacancies, two (2) with a term expiration of February 2021 and three (3) with a term expiration of February 2019.  Applicants must be registered voters in the City.  For further information, please contact Interim Assistant Development Services Director Peggy Schneble at (714) 754-5182.

Senior Commission – This Commission serves as an advisory body to the City Council in matters related to the operation of the Costa Mesa Senior Center.  Currently, there are seven (7) vacancies, three (3) with a term expiration of February 2021 and four (4) with a term expiration of February 2019. Applicants must be a Costa Mesa resident.  For further information, please contact Recreation Manager Justin Martin at (714) 754-5065.

Application Process – Residents who are interested in getting involved in local government are encouraged to complete a Committee Application Form from the City Clerk’s Office or from the City’s website (  The completed application may be submitted online; mailed to Costa Mesa City Clerk at Post Office Box 1200, Costa Mesa, California, 92628-1200; faxed to (714) 754-4942; emailed to; or hand-delivered to the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall, 77 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.

The deadline is 5 p.m., Wednesday, January 18, 2017.  City Council will be holding special meetings on Tuesday, January 24 and Tuesday January 31 at 6:00 p.m. to interview applicants and make appointments to the Commissions.  For further information regarding Commission appointments, please contact the City Clerk’s office at (714) 754-5225 or

Downtown Recreation Center pool gets new equipment and deck

The pool at the Downtown Recreation Center has been undergoing some much needed updating.

The installation of a new pool pump VFD (Variable Frequency Drive), new chemical controller and new backwash controller was recently completed and all are performing up to expectations.

The rusted rebar areas in the plaster on the pool floor have been repaired by scuba divers from Underwater Unlimited and a new pool heater is scheduled to be installed soon.

All work is expected to be completed in January 2017.

Costa Mesa’s Snoopy House hits 50 years of making families merry for the holiday season


This year, the iconic Snoopy House will mark its 50-year anniversary in Costa Mesa and fifth year at City Hall with an expanded holiday display that will feature a new Main Street look and three nights of snow.

Snoopy House, which features holiday scenes populated by “Peanuts” characters, is a free event available for viewing at City Hall from 5:30 to 9 p.m. nightly from Dec. 10 through Dec. 23.

“It has been an honor to have Snoopy House here these past five years,” Costa Mesa Mayor Steve Mensinger said. “It’s a wonderful tradition that now further connects the community to City Hall.”

The opening night of Snoopy House will begin with a formal presentation by the mayor and City Council members at 5:30 p.m.

In addition, Jim Jordan, whose family started the display at their Eastside Costa Mesa home in 1966, will be honored for the 50-year tradition.

The Jordan family members and friends put together a series of Christmas scenes that eventually took up most of their front yard, side yard and even the roof of their home.

Since its inception, the display has attracted an estimated 80,000 visitors annually.

Snoopy House moved to Costa Mesa City Hall in 2011, when city officials learned the fate of the annual tradition was in jeopardy.

The city of Costa Mesa agreed to host the display and provide other assistance and has been doing so every year since with the help of devoted staff members as well as Jim Jordan and his wife Linda, who have worked to help create the City Hall display for the last five years.

Over the last five years, Snoopy House has added several new features including nightly live music, snow, free apple cider, free photos with Santa and free train rides for children.

To complement the Snoopy House, the city also puts on a nightly light show on the façade of City Hall.

The Santa visits take place each night between 7 to 9 p.m. beginning opening night, Dec. 10, through Dec. 23. Children and their families will have opportunities to receive free photos with Santa.

In addition, several youth nonprofit groups will have booths at the Snoopy House display each night selling beverages and snacks.


Players and coaches from Costa Mesa American Little League are big hit at council meeting

At the council meeting this Tuesday on Sept. 6, Mayor Steve Mensinger honored the players and coaches of the Costa Mesa American Little League with the Mayor’s Award.

The award comes on the heels of the league knocking off its rival Costa Mesa National Little League in a two game sweep at the annual Mayor’s Cup.

The American League was not only looking to defend its title from last year, but also to avenge a 2-1 loss to the Nationals in the District tournament. The mayor and council honored both teams on Tuesday.

“We have two great little leagues in Costa Mesa and we are not only proud of all the players and coaches, but of all the parents and volunteers that make Little League baseball such a great experience for the families of this community,” Mayor Mensinger said.

The Mayor’s Cup takes place every year following the District 62 All Star tournament where the two Costa Mesa leagues face off in a best of three series.

Five Questions with ‘The Age of Love’ Director Steven Loring

On Aug. 24 from 4:30 to 7 p.m., the Costa Mesa Senior Center will offer a free screening of the movie “The Age of Love,” which was produced and directed by Steven Loring. The film, which aired at the Newport Beach Film Festival in 2014, follows 30 seniors in Rochester New York who sign up for a first-of-its-kind speed dating event exclusively for 70- to 90-year-olds. Loring, who will answer questions from the Senior Center crowd afterward, via satellite, answered some questions we had about the film.


Director Steven Loring

 Where did you get the idea for The Age of Love?

This project was actually a personal journey for me. Just before I began, my dad suddenly passed away, and my mom, who was nearing 70, was left without the partner and the emotional intimacy she’d counted on during a half-century of marriage.

That same year, my 78-year-old uncle met an 80-year-old woman, and they fell madly in love. They basically locked the bedroom door—as if they were in high school again. Trying to understand the hearts of people so close to me, I was surprised to find almost nothing in popular media that looked honestly into the emotional lives and needs of that generation. TV and movies were filled with dated stereotypes and jokes about older adults’ desires. So when I heard about speed dating for people over 70—and especially when I heard everyone’s laughter at the idea—I thought, wow, what a perfect hook for a film into the hearts of that generation. Who knows what I might find?

What do you hope to accomplish with the film?
To break old stereotypes and attitudes about aging, and to bring new opportunity and growth to our booming older population worldwide. The film, being about our lifelong search for love, seems to speak to all generations. Older people find the film empowering and validating, in that it brings their true, overlooked voices and feelings to the screen for the first time. Baby Boomers tell me they watch and think about talks they should have with aging, single parents, who are rarely asked about their hearts and emotional needs.

Also, with people living so much longer, Boomers wonder what the future holds for them in terms of love, with perhaps 40 or more years to look forward to. And younger people, suddenly realizing that the 70 plus generation can feel the same hopes and fears when it comes to seeking companionship, tell me, ‘I’ll never look at my grandparents the same way again!’

Tell us a little bit about the directing process and how you decided who and what you were going to film?
The speed dating event I followed in the film was a real event for people 70 and older, and everyone had signed up without imagining they’d be part of a documentary. No one was ‘cast’, they were all real people from the World War II generation who decided to take a chance and enter the trendy dating scene of the new millennium.

I actually came to the project with my own preconceptions and assumed the speed daters would probably be embarrassed and not want to be in a film. After all, they might not have told their friends or children, and they certainly wouldn’t want their faces on movie screens all over the world.

But, when I called the first woman on the list and explained I was filming a doc on older people’s search for love, she stopped me and said, “Let me tell you something: I’m 74 and my children love me; they take care of me; we celebrate birthdays; we talk every day. But even my own children never ask me what’s in my heart at this stage in my life. It’s like I’ve become invisible to the world. So I’d be happy to talk with you.” I was really amazed that all 30 people gave me permission to film.

So then I plunged in and filmed all 30 participants during the preparation period, at the speed dating event, when they received their results and then on several real-world dates that resulted. I ended up with over 168 hours of footage that were edited down into a 78-minute film.

Do you think these people were looking for the same kind of love as they had when they were younger?
A big question on my mind throughout filming was: Does love change as we age? And, if so, how? There’s a general assumption, when we talk about older people, that they’re only looking for ‘companionship’, as if that’s some sort of diminished form of true, youthful love.

But, over the course of filming, it became clear to me that the need to connect with another person, to be truly ‘seen’ and appreciated, and to have someone who ‘sees’ and appreciates you, is the essence of love regardless of age. When we’re young, we’re thinking about building a home and career and family and how the kids will be brought up and physical beauty and cars and money and whatever else goes into selecting a partner. But, if you take all that away, isn’t what’s left essentially companionship? Having someone who will look at you and listen to you and understand you so that you’re not alone? I think love when you’re older is the same, just with the youthful concerns of creating a family and career stripped away.

What was the outcome for the seniors who attended the event?
Every speed dater who marked “Interested” on their card for at least one other person got a date – there were 48 follow-up dates that resulted from the event – and it was fun to see how open and excited everyone was. There wasn’t anyone involved who didn’t come up to the organizers afterward and ask, “When can we do this again?”

Even better, everyone who came left empowered to see themselves as someone with the potential to find new love. One character says near the end, “I haven’t found the love of my life yet, but I haven’t stopped looking — and I feel more aggressive now.” These people gave themselves permission to see themselves as potential lovers in a way that they hadn’t before. That’s a big message of the film: Regardless of age, given the opportunity, people still have the desire to be wanted and to connect in a deep emotional way.

City looks to fill vacancy on Senior Commission

The Costa Mesa City Council is accepting applications to fill one vacancy on the Senior Commission.

Applicants must live in Costa Mesa.

The Senior Commission serves as an advisory body to the City Council in matters related to the operation of the Costa Mesa Senior Center.

There is one vacancy with a term expiration of February 2021.

For further information on the commission, please contact Parks and Community Services Recreation Manager Justin Martin at (714) 754-5065.

Those interested must complete a Commission Application Form from the City Clerk’s Office or from the City’s website (

The completed application may be submitted online; mailed to Costa Mesa City Clerk at Post Office Box 1200, Costa Mesa, California, 92628-1200; faxed to (714) 754-4942; or hand-delivered to the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall, 77 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.

The deadline is 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. Appointment is tentatively scheduled for the Sept. 20, 2016 City Council meeting.

For further information, please contact the City Clerk’s office at (714) 754-5225 or

Justin Martin named as new Recreation Manager

Interim Recreation Manager Justin Martin has been named as the city’s new Recreation Manger.

Assistant Chief Executive Officer Tamara Letourneau announced that the vacant Recreation Manager position would be filled by Martin. Serving as Interim Recreation Manager for the past several months and with extensive knowledge in youth programming, teen programming, camps, contract classes, recreation needs and parks, Martin is the perfect candidate.

Martin has been the city’s Recreation Supervisor since December 2014 and filled the roll of Interim Recreation Manger over the last few months with a seamless transition.

“Justin brings many years of experience in recreation to this position,” Letourneau said. “He has shown the ability to create a vision and lead a team to accomplish that vision with the utmost professionalism, integrity and creativity.”

With his extensive knowledge of the community and programming, Martin will continue to shape the city and it’s recreation needs through his new role.