Thursday, April 3, 2014

Costa Mesa Promotes Nick Cerciello to Fire Captain

Nick Cerciello promoted to fire captain
Capt. Cerciello 
Costa Mesa Fire Chief Dan Stefano has recently promoted Nick Cerciello to the position of fire captain.
Cerciello joined the Costa Mesa Fire Department in 2006, after holding positions with Ventura County Fire Department, Orange County Fire Authority and Tustin Federal Fire Department.
"Nick has demonstrated sound leadership qualities, relevant technical competencies and a strong commitment to professional development," Chief Stefano said. “We look forward to the many contributions Nick will bring to the organization in his new role.”
Photo caption: Captain Nick Cerciello (third from left) is welcomed on his first day assigned to Station No. 2 by (from left)  Battalion Chiefs Tim Vasin and Fred Seguin and Fire Chief Dan Stefano.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

OCTA Recommends $1.7 Mil Grant for Costa Mesa

$1.7 million grant proposed for multipurpose trail, bioswale along Arlington Drive
Arlington Drive project-cross section 
A Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) committee has recommended awarding $1.7 million to Costa Mesa to build a one-mile-long multipurpose trail and environmentally friendly bioswale along Arlington Drive.
The recommendation will go to the OCTA Board of Directors on April 14 for final approval.
The project—ranked No.1 out of 16 applications—will remove 70,000 square feet of asphalt to construct a decomposed granite trail and a landscaped, natural drainage area that will collect urban runoff and naturally filter the water as it trickles down to the water basin under Costa Mesa.
The bioswale will be used in lieu of curbs, gutters and storm drain pipes, which will reduce the long-term costs associated with storm water management facilities.
The funding will be proposed for Fiscal Year 2014-15. Once the budget is adopted, the project's design phase will begin. Construction would be expected to begin in late 2015.
The estimated cost of the project is $2.6 million. Match grant funding will be proposed from in-kind staff serves and drainage fee revenue equaling $910,000.
Arlington Drive Project-Rendering

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Costa Mesa Hosts SoCal Emergency Response Workshop

Costa Mesa hosts first multi-agency Community Emergency Response Team workshop
Posted Date: 3/13/2014
CERT workshop 2014-Fire chiefs 
Costa Mesa recently hosted the inaugural Southern California Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Workshop to connect, coordinate and train CERT instructors and program managers and to create more resilient communities.
More than 100 CERT programs throughout California were represented at the daylong event that was coordinated by Brenda Emrick, the Costa Mesa Fire Department's community education and CERT program manager.
Training courses included advanced programs, instructor development and crisis communications. As the host city, Costa Mesa was assisted by its own CERT program volunteers—Dottie Garrett, Bobbie Bradley and Cindy Brenneman—who helped organize and register the nearly 160 participants.
The event was sponsored by CaliforniaVolunteers, a state office that manages programs and initiatives aimed at increasing the number of Californians engaged in service and volunteering.
CERT educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
(Pictured in photo from left: Mike Staley, CaliforniaVolunteers; Chad Fitzgerald, State Workgroup Co-Chair, Clovis Fire Department; Wilson Lee, State Workgroup Co-Chair, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; Costa Mesa Fire Chief Dan Stefano; and  Brenda Emrick, Costa Mesa CERT coordinator.)
CERT workshop 2014-Volunteers 
CERT workshop volunteers (from left): Brenda Emrick, Dottie Garrett, Bobbie Bradley, Cindy Brenneman, Erica Arteseros (San Francisco CERT program manager), and Carol Parker (Menlo Park Fire District CERT program manager).

Monday, March 31, 2014

Costa Mesa's Fire Explorer Graduates

13 graduate from Costa Mesa Fire Explorers program

Class of 2014 
Thirteen Costa Mesa Fire Explorers recently passed a 100-question written exam and a skills test to graduate from a two-month-long program designed to give young men and women, ages 16 to 21, an introduction to a career as a firefighter.
The graduates were Emmanuel "Franky" Bello, Evan Bruski, Justin Day, Luke Fragale, Santiago Herrera, Cody LaTendresse, Thai Lawrence, Thien Nguyen, Jack Reilly, Jordan Robinson, Jonathan Rosales, Rey Soria and Juan Tapia.
Fire explorer with fire hose 2014The Class of 2014—which met on seven consecutive Saturdays beginning in January—learned a wide variety of skills from Costa Mesa firefighters, including basic medical aid, hose and hydrant operations, throwing and climbing ladders, how to use breathing apparatus and hand and power tools, and fire station etiquette.
“There are a number of impressive Explorer programs available throughout California,” Costa Mesa Fire Chief Dan Stefano said. “But there is no question that the Costa Mesa Explorer Program offers the highest quality of instruction, leadership, and mentoring.”

Fire Capt. Rob Gagne oversees the Costa Mesa Fire Explorer program, which is part of the Boy Scouts of America.

“All of the instructors are firefighters who were previously explorers at one time or another,” Gagne said. “Having been in their shoes, we knew what it would take to motivate them and keep their interest to where they would want to succeed.”

Applications for the Class of 2015 will be accepted in the fall. Those interested in the program—which costs $25 to join and about $250 for uniforms and books—can e-mail Gagne at to get on an interest list or via the Costa Mesa Firefighters website ( for more information.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Costa Mesa's Alley Repaving Ahead of Schedule

Alley repaving project expected to be finished two years ahead of schedule.

 Alley chart
The Costa Mesa Public Services Department is on track to finish the rehabilitation of the city’s worst alleys two years ahead of schedule.
In 2012, the City Council set a goal of fixing 6.1 miles of alleys rated “very poor” by 2019. Over the past two fiscal years, the council approved nearly $3 million to rehabilitate 2.2 miles of alleys. An additional $1.2 million in alley funding has been proposed for the fiscal year 2014-15 budget, which would allow work to be completed on 1.13 miles of alleys.

If progress continues at this rate, the city’s most problematic alleys will have been rehabilitated by the end of 2017.

“To rehabilitate 6.1 miles of alleys in five years will be a significant achievement,” said Public Services Director Ernesto Munoz. “We will continue to work hard to make this happen for our residents and those in the business community.”

The alley initiative has been paid for by capital outlay funds, gas tax funds, and Community Development Block Grant funds.

(Below: Before and after photos of alley behind Fullerton Avenue.)
 Alley 104 Before
 Alley 104 After

Monday, March 24, 2014

Costa Mesa's Preserve Our Neighborhoods Task Force

Mayor announces appointments to Preserve Our Neighborhoods Task Force Mayor Jim Righeimer announced this week the first seven appointments to his newly formed Preserve Our Neighborhoods Task Force, a group that will explore ways to lessen the negative impacts of group homes on Costa Mesa residential communities. The task force members are Jeremy Broderick, Kerry McCarthy, Scott McClane, Joe McGreevy, Lisa Morlan, Tim Sesler and Larry Weichman. “The city is committed to spending the resources needed to maintain the character of our Costa Mesa neighborhoods and their safety,” Mayor Righeimer said. “The City Council recently passed a nuisance ordinance that will help curb bad behavior in our neighborhoods, and we are looking to the task force to come up with other solutions that keep the integrity of our neighborhoods without discriminating against any group.” The task force will convene for the first time within the next few weeks and establish a regular meeting schedule.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Renew Your Costa Mesa Biz License Online

Costa Mesa business owners can now renew their business licenses online through the city’s website.

The new service, which began Monday, March 3rd allows those who already have business licenses to make their annual renewal online ( Business owners with expiring licenses only need their account number and PIN, which can be found on their renewal statement. They can also opt to have future renewal notices sent by e-mail.

The city expects to provide a similar online service by June for those applying for new business licenses.