Balboa Island Docks & Boats

It’s unfortunate that the city council recently threw a monkey wrench into our harbor dredging plan. Whether intentional or not, they voted 6-1 (Duffield voting no) to slow down and potentially kill our harbor dredging project. I grew up on the harbor and have a business on the bay. I’ve seen the results of benign […]

Newport Harbor Fiscal Area

Lower Newport Bay’s main channel (the harbor) has not been dredged to its required 25-foot “design depth” since 1938. Our harbor is the primary economic, recreational and water quality resource asset in Newport Beach.

We haven’t had the money or political will to dredge the harbor’s main channel to its federally required design depth, until now.

As part of the U.S. system of waterways, Newport Harbor’s dredging is ultimately the responsibility of the federal government.

But we are in competition for federal funds with the nation’s major ports and naval bases.

Finally, after decades of lobbying, we are receiving nearly $16 million in dredging funds thanks to the hard work of Representatives Michelle Steel and Ken Calvert.

With funding in the bank, it’s now the city’s job to deliver a dredging plan that passes regulatory muster with the multitude of agencies that must approve the project. As the former Harbor Master, I can attest to the fact that the actual dredging will take less time than the permitting process.

We are at an inflection point in this critical process.

Dozens of Harbor Commission and City Council meetings with robust public input have resulted in a certified Environmental Impact Report It lays out a plan to bury and cap nominally contaminated dredge material (sand) in a hole between Lido and Bay Islands. It’s the same process used across the U.S. since the 1980’s to decommission landfills.

At last week’s city council meeting, the council majority agreed to allow an open-end third-party review of the City’s approved dredge project and one advanced by well-intentioned Lido Island residents.

This 11th hour review is a bad idea. It jeopardizes the federal funding and scheduling of the multi-million dollar dredging project for Newport Harbor.

A delay for an independent third-party review could set this whole project back years by putting a halt to all the momentum the process has at this time.

This in turn could make the cost rise substantially if the City could get it back on track with the Federal and State governments dredging contractor.

Our window to dredge is open now. Confusing state, local and federal agencies will close it.

Dennis Durgan / Chairman, Newport Harbor Foundation and Former Newport Beach Harbor Master

This letter first appeared in the Newport Beach Independent…

William “Skip” Kenney

Newport Harbor Foundation Chairman Dennis Durgan has announced the addition of Newport Beach Harbor Commission Chairman William “Skip” Kenney to the Foundation’s board of directors.

Kenney joins former Newport Beach Harbormaster Dennis Durgan, Val Lyon, and Devon Kelly.

“As we build out our board of directors Skip Kenney’s almost eight years of service as a harbor commissioner and over forty years of business experience is a welcome addition to the Foundation’s board,” said Dugan. “Skip was instrumental in the complex redrafting Title 17 of our Harbor Code so it reflects current conditions in the bay. He listened to the multitude of stakeholders and worked with his colleagues to help create a blueprint for the harbor that helps the Foundation with our goal of taking it to the next level.”

“My service on the Harbor Commission will end next June,” said Kenney. “I am excited about transitioning to the Newport Harbor Foundation and their mission to preserve our most important asset while improving it for future generations. I appreciate the Board’s confidence in me to help realize their mission.”

Kenney has been involved in the shopping center industry for over 40 years, many of which were spent at Donahue Schriber, a well known Southern California based shopping center developer. He formed The Kenney Company in May 1995 to pursue new development opportunities and challenges.

He is a past Chairman, President, and Treasurer of the California Business Properties Association, and a past State Governmental Affairs Chairman for the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

He currently is the Chief Financial Officer of Balboa Yacht Club and has been serving on the City of Newport Beach Harbor Commission since 2014, including three terms as Chairman.

The Newport Harbor Foundation was incorporated in 2019 as a 501C3 non-profit educational corporation dedicated to the preservation and improvement of Newport Harbor. At a recent kick-off luncheon, the Foundation raised $550,000 towards their goal of $2.5 million to purchase police boats and fire boat for the harbor.

Original published on the Newport Beach Independent…

Board Member Devon Kelly

Longtime Newport Beach resident Devon Kelly has joined the Newport Harbor Foundation board of directors.

“Devon brings a wealth of harbor history and knowledge to the Foundation’s mission. She has spent her entire life sailing on the bay and volunteering in the community. Her boundless energy is welcome as we push towards taking our harbor to the next level for all to enjoy,” said Newport Harbor Foundation Chairman Dennis Durgan.

“I’ve sailed throughout the United States and Mediterranean and believe Newport Harbor is a treasure that needs to be maintained and managed properly for future generations,” said Kelly. “I look forward to working with the Foundation to develop programs to improve water quality and enhance the harbor’s ecosystem for recreation, boating, and commerce.”

Kelly was born and raised in Newport Beach and grew up sailing and cruising to Catalina. She attended Newport Harbor High School and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She and her husband Gregg have two children who live locally. Kelly taught school at Carden Hall Elementary in Newport Beach, and coached field hockey at Newport Harbor High School. She has served on the Newport Harbor High School Educational Foundation and also was a Board member on the Lido Isle Community Association.

The Newport Harbor foundation was incorporated in 2019 as a 501C3 non-profit educational corporation dedicated to the preservation and improvement of Newport Harbor. At a recent kick-off luncheon, NHF raised $550,000 toward their goal of $2.5 million to purchase police boats and fire boats for the harbor.

First published at the Newport Beach Independent.

It’s been more than five decades since Newport Beach City Councilman Marshall “Duffy” Duffield started his Duffy Electric Boat company.

Duffield built his first boat when he was 16 years old. His company has sold tens of thousands of boats and become synonymous with Newport Beach, where Duffy rides on the harbor are the norm.

“I’ve had to endure decades of laughter,” he told a crowd — also laughing — on Thursday at the Balboa Bay Resort. “To be known as a builder of the world’s slowest boat is something that I really didn’t think I wanted on this planet. I wanted to be a famous sailboat designer and racer dude, and I sort of kind of am, but not really.”

Still, Duffield now hopes the Newport Harbor Foundation can also similarly be built from the ground up.

The foundation, launched in 2019 before being curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic, held a kickoff champagne brunch Thursday.

It announced that it had raised more than $275,000 at the event, which also served as a celebration of 50 years of Duffy boats. That number was doubled to $550,000, as foundation chairman Dennis Durgan said there was an anonymous matching gift.

The Newport Harbor Foundation’s stated goal is to take back local control of Newport Harbor, which is now patrolled by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and start a Newport Harbor Public Safety Department.

Durgan, himself a former harbormaster, said the foundation wants to initially raise $2.5 million for the purchase of a fire boat and four police patrol boats.

Continue reading at the Los Angeles Times…

Marina Park

Last week 175 residents, political leaders, and Newport Harbor supporters donated over $550,000 to kick off the Newport Harbor Foundation. The Foundation’s goal is to return local control of our harbor to the city.

We celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Duffy Electric Boat. Duffy’s passion for the harbor spans decades.

With 25 miles of frontage, almost 10,000 boats of all shapes and sizes, kayaks, paddle boards, sailing clubs, and charter boats the harbor resembles the 405 Freeway on a busy weekend.

An estimated seven million visitors per year use Newport Harbor’s complex ecosystem that generates an estimated $1 billion per year of economic activity.

Our harbor is essentially a city within the city.

We believe our harbor asset needs to be properly managed by the city.

Our mission is to “Take Back Our Harbor.” It begins with Newport Beach creating our own Harbor Public Safety Department operated by our city, not the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

The Foundation will raise over $2.5 million to purchase and donate a fire boat and police boats to the city for a Harbor Public Safety Department.

This plan does not displace the Sheriffs Harbor Patrol They will continue to use their Homeland Security grant to police the coastline for drug runners and illegal immigrants. They will be available for large-scale emergencies in the harbor through existing mutual aid agreements.

Our Harbor Public Safety Department will use the city’s existing police, fire and lifeguards to make the harbor safe for residents and tourists. We believe local control of the harbor is best achieved by Newport Beach running the show.

If you agree, sign up for regular updates at www.newportharborfoundation.org.

Dennis Durgan / Chairman, Newport Harbor Foundation, Past Newport Beach Harbor Master

This first appeared at NewportBeachIndy.com

Some 175 community leaders, harbor residents and elected officials gathered at the Balboa Bay Resort yesterday for a kickoff luncheon acknowledging the fundraising success of the Newport Harbor Foundation (NHF). The NHF announced that they’ve raised more than $275,000 to support an effort to have the Newport Beach Police, Fire and Harbormaster assume sole jurisdiction over controlling our harbor.

What made the $275,000 announcement even more exciting was the fact that an anonymous donor gave a matching gift, immediately making it $550,000.

Former Newport Beach Mayor and current City Councilmember Marshall “Duffy” Duffield was also recognized at the luncheon for his longtime service to the community and in particular to the harbor. The timing, coincidentally, celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Duffy Electric Boat.

“Today, I was touched by the community’s outpouring of financial support for my family business and Newport Harbor – the heart of our city. Now the hard work of ‘Taking Back Our Harbor’ begins,” said Councilmember Duffield.

Duffy built his first electric boat as a 16 year old growing up on Newport Harbor. Then, over the next half-century, Duffy followed up building and delivering 30,000 Duffy Boats throughout the world.

So, what’s ahead for the NHF? In 2019, a group of concerned Newport Harbor residents organized, recognizing “decades of benign-neglect of the harbor and the need to begin creating our own Harbor Public Safety Department. The Foundation plans to purchase a fire boat and four patrol boats to jump start the effort. This is the first step to “Taking Back Our Harbor.”

Why do it?

Duffy said, “We want to make our harbor healthier, cleaner and to get the public educated on what makes this harbor so special.”

Continue reading at https://www.stunewsnewport.com/

Duffy House

By Sandra Barrera, Orange County Register

Remember the waterfront mansion on Newport Beach’s Balboa Peninsula that generated international buzz with a YouTube video that spoofed Cali Swag District’s viral dance hit “Teach Me How to Dougie?”

The video for “Teach Me How to Duffy” helped sell the house for $35.008 million – about 22.2% less than the $44.995 million asking price when it hit the market in Oct. 2018.

Even so, the house, which sold on Aug. 28, set a record.

The sale is highest-priced home to ever sell in Newport Harbor, said Tim Smith of Coldwell Banker, the listing agent. The record previously was held by the home of actor Nicolas Cage, which sold in 2008 for $35 million.

But Smith expected as much.

The house was designed by Robert Sinclair, built by Patterson Custom Homes and finished by Blackband Design.

“The type of buyers that buy these (homes), and the buyer that bought this isn’t going to go through the five-year entitlement process and build a house,” he said. “They’d rather have something turn-key and they’re OK paying for it. That’s why we had more than one offer.”

The towering 14,000-square-foot, five-bedroom house presented as party central in the “Duffy” video stretches across three lots, with 90 feet of bay frontage. It boasts a theater, sauna, solar system with three Tesla batteries, 57-foot-long pool with underwater speakers and a private beach with a dock.

“You can park eight Duffies on the dock just for starters,” goes the song in a viral video that starred Smoove da General and Mr. Swag of Cali Swag District and a variety of young Instagram influencers, models and dancers.

Other highlights include a floating underlit staircase illuminated from above by a large skylight, 16-foot stone fireplace and 1,100-gallon aquarium.

There’s also a five-car garage with EV plug-ins.

“The job of the ‘Duffy’ film was to let everybody in real estate, especially, know about this house,” Smith said. “It did its job and because of that it gave us exposure that we never would have got.”

More than half of the showings, he added, were people from outside of the area and saw the film first.

Tara Foster Shapiro of Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty represented the buyer, whom she wouldn’t identify.

But she said, “Their interest in the house stemmed from their admiration in architect Rob Sinclair’s work. That is why we toured the property.”

Photo Credit: Tim Smith, Coldwell Banker

Newport Harbor Channel

Visitors to Newport Beach today might know the coastal Southern California city from “The Real Housewives,” “The O.C.” and “Arrested Development,” all of which were set amid its rolling green hills and picture-perfect beaches. But I had come to Newport Beach to commune with the stars of Old Hollywood, who began staking their claim to this idyllic spot just one hour south of Los Angeles during the silent film era.

In the Golden Age of Hollywood, Newport Beach’s lure was not so much its land, dotted as it was with big-band ballrooms and smoke-filled cocktail bars. It was its water, and specifically the sprawling recreational harbor where the stars docked their yachts and sailboats.

Continue reading at The New York Times…

Photo Credit: Beth Coller/The New York Times

Balboa Ferry

After taking over management of the moorings from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Harbor Patrol last summer, Harbormaster Dennis Durgan provided a “Year in Review” summary for the Newport Beach Harbor Commission on Wednesday.

Commissioners asked a few questions and expressed support for the work the Harbormaster team has done over the past 15 months.

“I think your numbers speak for themselves,” Commissioner John Drayton said. “You’ve really done a fantastic job.”

Among many other reported statistics, between July 1, 2017, and June 30, the Harbormaster team has recorded 2,144 general assists, 962 wake or speed advisements, 662 mooring checks, 253 pier/dock/bridge issues (includes jumping, fishing, time limits, and gangway issues), and 19 emergency calls to either OCSD Harbor Patrol or NB police.

Continue reading at Newport Beach Independent…