online at newportbeachindy.com Links Inside the Indy Independent “For Locals, by Locals” PHOTO BY JIM COLLINS NEWPORT BEACH SEPTEMBER 2, 2011 | Volume II, Issue 35 Russo’s Owner: Bren Bowed to Pressure By Eric Longabardi | NB Indy Dan Digiacomo knows the pet store business. He’s been in it for nearly four decades as the owner of Russo’s Pet Experi-ence, a xture for decades in the Fashion Island retail center. In an exclusive interview with the New-port Beach Independent, Digiacomo, who also operates a separate Russo’s store in the Irvine Spectrum Center, spoke extensively about his business and the decision last week by the Irvine Company to ban the sale of dogs and cats in its retail centers. Digiacomo said he was blind-sided by the decision not to renew the leases on his stores when they expire, and believes Irvine Company senior executives, including Chairman Donald Bren, bowed to direct pressure from animal rights activists who have been trying to drive him and other pet stores out of business for years. e Irvine Company last week acknowl-edged it had decided to quit leasing at its retail centers to stores that sell dogs or cats, “e ective immediately.” As a practical matter, that means Di-giacomo’s lease in the Spectrum will not be renewed when it expires next year. e Fashion Island lease, according to sources close to the situation, still has at least ve years to run. Irvine Company spokesperson Erin Freeman said this week that the company’s RUSSO’S, Page 19 PHOTO BY GEOFF WEBSTER CdM in Art History The papers of CdM artists Rex and Joan Irving Brandt have been donated for pres-ervation and study. Page 9 Living It Rick and Ann Chatillon’s documentary about the early Newport surf scene has been a dream for them. Page 4 Trees of Life Jill Fales and her family visit family and the great redwoods, and she sees the roots and branches of both. Page 6 FROM THE PUBLISHERS OF “Our Town-Our Paper” Whoa! Dude! Monster surf stirred up by a South Paciﬁ c storm hit Southern California beaches Thursday morning, including this 20-plus-footer at the Wedge that sent one boogie-boarder airborne, and not in a good way. No injuries were reported! Blind Team Fulﬁ lls Hawaiian Vision By Sara Hall | NB Indy A Newport Beach-based paddling team is proving you don’t need sight to realize your vision. e OC Makapo Aquatics Project, an all blind and vision-impaired outrigger canoe paddling team based out of the Newport Aquatics Center, will participate in the 40th Annual Queen Liliuokalani Race in Kona, Hawaii, on Saturday. ey are returning to where the project’s founder, John Chavez, made history six years earlier as part of the rst all-blind team, along with a sighted steersman, to ever compete in the race. is year, the now stronger and better trained team, is once again forging ahead to meet the challenges of the popular 18-mile race, known as the largest long-distance outrigger canoe race in the world. ere will be nearly 150 other teams on the water this weekend. MAKAPO, Page 19 Real estate guide coastalrealestateguideoc.com | Serving Laguna Beach & Newport Beach Communities SEPTEMBER 2, 2011 | VOL. 1, ISSUE 43 Coastal featured HOMe CraftsMan Built tO HigHest standards 765 gaviota: top Quality in ‘the Village’ coastalrealestateguideoc.com one on one With Ryan Powers LOCATION: 765 Gaviota Drive, Laguna Beach OFFER; $8,750,000 AGENTS: Liz Comerford, Ray McAfoose CONTACT: Call 949-499-8957 or email info@ mcafoose.com Oceanfront with private steps to the beach and close to restau-rants, galleries, salons, beaches and shopping. A 4-year-old, top-quality, approximately 4,200-square-foot, Craftsman-style home, constructed to the highest standards. Thoughtfully designed with subterranean parking for more than five cars, with elevator to all floors. Floor plan facilitates privacy and gracious comfort for owners and guests, including a separate guest suite. Handsome, light hardwoods grace high-ceilinged spacious rooms, with an abundance of ocean view windows, doors and decks. Two fireplaces, crown mouldings, granite counters, custom shutters, wainscoting ... all top quality! Rarely is a home of this newness and quality available in “The Village.” Living Decor The pullout Coastal Real Estate Guide this week fea-tures a look at home saltwa-ter aquariums. BEACH CITIES AqUATICS, HOME AqUARIUMS Hovering silently, staring straight at me as its fins fluttered delicately against its vivid green and bright pink and yellow body, I wondered just who was watching who through the glass tank wall. The parrotfish soon tired of me (or just was satisfied I wouldn’t make a meal of him) and glided away to bother another brightly colored fish cruising around the tank. What is it about watching fish swim around chasing each other, rising to the waterline to pop a drink of air and then turn back down in a kamikaze dive to the bottom, halting instantly to peck at a morsel of sand lining the bottom of the tank as if its slender body had been floating down there all along? There is no doubt having an aquarium enhances the quality of your life and adding one to your home design would bring peace, harmony, relaxation, and as I see it, a big smile to your face. Just looking at a longhorn cowfish cracks me up (Google it, you’ll laugh too). And it isn’t that hard to get one started. Really it isn’t. Just hire an expert. Enter Ryan Powers of Beach Cities Aquatics. He can place an aquarium in a business office, private residence, or even a retirement home. This guy knows all about saltwater life in a tank and how to create the aquarium of your dream. I spoke with Ryan and got the lowdown on what he does and some advice for putting one in your home. There were also aggressive surgeon (tangs) and triggerfish chasing other fish, and parrotfish clowning around in the tank that made working at the Gallery very amusing. Q: OK, I have to ask this: I know all animals have their own distinct behaviors and some are perfectly hilarious. Describe the funniest moments you had while at the Tropical Reef Gallery in Long Beach. A: We have a specific place we call the feeding station where we throw the food to the gathering crowd of gills below us. Our tank houses the porcupine fish which is a funny fish in itself because when it feels the least bit threatened it sucks up water and blows up into a balloon triple its size, more accurately a balloon with sharp spines all over it. Well, this fish learned a way to get our attention so it can be fed first over the other fishes. It filled its mouth full of water, aimed and -bull’s-eye! -spit right on CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Q: You were the assistant curator at the Tropical Reef Gallery at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Very cool. What was that like? A: It was an awesome experience. One of the most interesting aspects of my job was getting in the tank with all the sea creatures. Oh my gosh, there were big 250-pound green sea turtles that required vet exams These animals are very powerful and there needed to be four of us divers to handle them, get them in slings and lift them up for the exams. MacDonald Sails Through Canada e 29er North American Championships were won by Newport Beach’s Tyler Mac-donald sailing with Mike Deady ( Menlo Park). e regatta was held In Kingston, Canada, also known as “CORK” (Canadian Olympic Regatta Kingston), which is the Olympic Sailing Center. Fi y teams from Canada and the United States competed for the championship and 12 races were sailed, with varied winds over the four days. Macdonald and Deady won the event a er sailing with a 1,1,1 nish on the last day to secure their victory. e rst day of the regatta, the only quali-fying day, the breeze was 8-12 knots with gusts to 14 knots. On Day 2 the weather failed, and a er four hours on the water, sailing was cancelled. e next day the cham-pionship rounds began with light and variable breeze. On Day 4, the last day of the event, the breeze lled in early and the ski s had their best day of sailing. Fresh a er sailing the 29er North Ameri-cans , Macdonald and Deady competed in the Olympic Class Regatta at CORK. For this event they competed in the Olympic class ski , the 49er, a larger, faster and more powerful version of the 29er. e regatta was sailed in medium to heavy breeze over ve days of racing. is was Tyler and Mike’s rst regatta sailing in this ski and they learned a tremendous amount about the boats. A er ve days of sailing, they were excited to nish in the medal round, in 10th place. NEW LISTINGS/HOMES IN ESCROW-CLOSED ALSO INSIDE CG_9-2-11-2.indd 1 • According to the MLS, the number of homes newly listed for sale in Newport Beach during the two-week period of 8/15-8/29 was 51 homes. • According to the MLS, the number of homes newly listed for sale in Laguna Beach during the two-week period of 8/15-8/29 was 24 homes. • According to the MLS, the number of homes that went into escrow and/or closed in Newport Beach for the two-week period of 8/15-8/29 was 43 homes. These homes were categorized in the MLS as backup offers, pending sale, or closed sale. • According to the MLS, the number of homes that went into escrow and/or closed in Laguna Beach for the two-week period of 8/15-8/29 was 29 homes. These homes were categorized in the MLS as backup offers, pending sale, or closed sale. • Of the 54 new homes on the market in Newport Beach, the highest priced property was listed at $13,995,000. The lowest priced property was listed at $314,900. • Of the 23 new homes on the market in Laguna Beach, the highest priced property was listed at $15,000,000. The lowest priced property was listed at $380,000. • Homes identified in the MLS as being short sale offer submitted, short sale/subject to lender approval, in the foreclosure process, notice of default, REO/Lender-owned, or REO Offer(s) submitted. These homes are currently either active listings, accepting backup offers or pending sales: Newport Beach: 119 homes in the above categories; Laguna Beach: 67 homes in the above categories Police Blotter Friday Report Lynn’s Spin Digital Insider Mom’s Voice Forum Stepping Out Calendar Beneﬁ t Slideshow On Faith Under Sail Waterfront 3 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 13 14 16 17 18 8/31/11 5:01 PM Tyler Macdonald and Mike Deady in a 49er in the Olympic Class Regatta.