Newport Beaches newest Harbor Commissioner Paul Blank
I trust that all my readers are having a good Fourth of July week?
On June 26, the City Council selected Paul Blank as the new harbor commissioner who will be filling "Duffy" Duffield's Topsiders.
I first noticed Paul back in 1985, when he was sailing for UCLA and I was coaching the Orange Coast College sailing team. It was the last event of the season, and we were trying to qualify for the Pacific Coast Championships when Nick Scandone (sailing for OCC) told me he could he could win this event if he could stay in front of Paul.
Ever since then, I have recognized Paul for his advanced sailing skill level. Paul's still a very good sailor, and I have recognized his advanced management skills.
During the last two years, Paul as been the fleet captain at the Balboa Yacht Club and has chaired the Race Council, which I am a part of.
He owns a 36-foot boat, a Sabot and a paddleboard. Most weekends you will find him on the harbor paddling his board in the morning, cleaning his boat in the early afternoon and maybe even going out and racing his sabot — all before noon. He's very responsive, truly loves our harbor and will make a great harbor commissioner.
I checked in with Harbor Resources Manager Chris Miller this week to get an update on some of the activities that involve his office.
Of course, dredging is always on the top of his list this year, and Chris reports that about 75% of the projected removal of contaminated sediment has been removed and barged to thePort of Long Beach.
June 30 was the cutoff date for Long Beach to accept any more sediment. Odds are very good that Long Beach will allow us to complete our project within the next couple of weeks once they get a better feel of exactly where their fill has leveled out at.
In the meantime, dredging is continuing in the uncontaminated areas and proceeding on schedule.
I also asked Chris if we had any complaints this summer regarding fishermen being rather territorial on the public docks and not allowing boats to accesses the docks. If it were me and I was approaching a public dock packed with fishermen and I had to offload or pick up passengers, I would ask the dock users if they would make room for me.
If you do not get the response you are looking for, I would look for another option and then give the Orange County Sheriff's Department a call. Tell them about your problem and, if that does not work, you can always call the harbor resources department.
"By the way"
I stopped by the celebration of life for Staff Commodore Doug Mills last Sunday at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. When I walked in and noticed the size of the crowd, I was taken back. The club was full.
At the end of March, Doug lost his long battle with leukemia at the age of 71. I am not sure if the word "lost" is the proper word here. How can anyone lose with more than 200 people attending your celebration of life?
That kind of tells you what type of person Doug was.
If I had one word to explain this celebration, it would be cheerful. I have never seen so many people happy to have known someone. I only met Doug a couple of times, and what comes to mind is how much he cared about introducing the sport of sailing to people.
He went out of his way to make sure that new club members were greeted with open arms and encouraged to participate at the club and on the water. It kind of feels like I lost one of my best salesmen.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.