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Tales from the class struggle in Newport Beach

October 24, 2008 |  3:01 pm


Clearly the mindset is a little different in Newport Beach. Consider this crime caper: Vonda Simon forgot to lock her Bentley before going on a trip to Paris. Inside was $500,000 work of jewelry. I think we know what happened next (as told by the Orange County Register's Andrew Galvin):

Still, Simon -– a cosmetics entrepreneur who says she worked for 20 years to buy the diamonds rings, necklaces, watches and earrings –- feels "violated, raped, sick" that someone stole a small safe containing the items, which she had left behind in the passenger seat of her Bentley. The car was parked in the garage of her home in a gated Newport Beach community, but the garage door was left open the night of the theft. Simon, 47, and her husband, Scott, 48, estimate the jewelry, including her six-carat-diamond engagement ring and dozens of other pieces, is worth more than $500,000.

On the other side of the spectrum, a Newport Beach councilman is in hot water because his house might not be nice enough.

More than a few Newport Beach residents say Councilman Steve Rosansky needs to clean up his act. And by "act," they mean his house. The vacant property, purchased by Rosansky more than four years ago, sits in the Newport Shores neighborhood. Locals have long been miffed by the dwelling's battered stucco, peeling paint and occasionally knee-high weeds. In one oft-told anecdote, an opossum died inside and attracted rats.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times