Corona del Mar Today: Interim principal takes over at Harbor View

The Harbor View Elementary School principal's office has an autographed photo on the wall showing the late John Wooden with Charlene Metoyer and Mary Manos. The picture was taken years ago at a luncheon where Wooden was a guest speaker.

The photo belongs to outgoing principal Metoyer, who announced her retirement last week.

"That's hers," Manos said, "but I have one as well."

Manos, who retired two years ago from Andersen Elementary after 11 1/2 years as principal, began work this week at Harbor View as interim principal.

Her goal, she said, is to make a seamless transition while a permanent replacement is found for Metoyer, who retired to be with her ailing father.

The matching photo of the women with Wooden was just one example of the connections that Manos and Andersen had with Metoyer and Harbor View, she said.

Metoyer spent part of Monday on the Harbor View campus, showing Manos around and making introductions.

But Manos already was deeply connected to the school and its staff.

Office assistant Patty Steeves had worked at Andersen while Manos was principal, and teachers at the two schools frequently interacted through training seminars, she said.

Metoyer and Manos, she said, knew each other years ago at National University in Costa Mesa, where Manos' husband was one of Metoyer's teachers. And as principals, she said, they spoke on a daily basis.

"It'll be good," she said. "Everything will be the same for the children. I have met several children, and I explained that I'm just like a substitute and they say, 'Oh, OK…'"

Teachers return to campus next week, and Manos plans to meet with parental leaders as well. No major changes are planned, she said.

"I don't want to change customs," she said.

Finding a permanent principal could take about two months, said Laura Boss, a Newport-Mesa Unified School District spokeswoman.

An online survey has been posted on the school's website for parents, and an all-call was issued to remind parents about a community input meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the school's multipurpose room.

"That's a really important meeting," Boss said. "Parents really need to show up and share with the district administrators what they want to see in their next principal."


Lower Buck Gully construction complete

The Newport Beach City Council, as part of a consent calendar vote at Tuesday's meeting, agreed that the Lower Buck Gully erosion project construction has been completed.

The project's final cost was $1.263 million, according to a staff report included in the meeting's online agenda.

The project's goal was to protect nearby hillsides by slowing water flowing toward the ocean, using metal cages filled with rocks. The project also included removal of non-native vegetation and trapping of non-native cowbirds. Plans were in the works for about a year before the city received Coastal Commission approval, and construction began in September.


GOP HQ opening

Signs in the window of the former John Blom photography studio space indicate a Republican Headquarters office will be opening on Aug. 20.

"Volunteers welcome," says one sign in the window of the space at 3732 E. Coast Highway.

Other signs in the window include political posters for Elizabeth Emken, who is opposing U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and for presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Last week, a psychic shop opened in the building.

The building owner, Bryan Seigel, has said he is working on negotiating a long-term lease with a client that would be very appealing to Corona del Mar residents. Other leases are month-to-month, he has said.

Photographer John Blom closed the studio in April and sold the building.

Johnny's to expand

Johnny's New York Pizza will open its second location in the Bluffs shopping center off Bison Avenue, owner John Younesi said today in an interview.

"It'll be like the Johnny's in Corona del Mar on steroids," he said. "It's going to be a destination." In an email, he added, "We intend to be the pizza-of-choice for all of the students, their friends and families. We believe in no time the Bluffs will be called the 'Johnny's Center.'"

The new location will be twice the size of the original Johnny's at 2756 East Coast Highway, with four Bakers Pride pizza ovens instead of the two ovens at the Corona del Mar location.

The menu will expand to include hot meatball and chicken parm subs and pastas, and Younesi said he is working to secure a license to serve beer and wine. He also is purchasing a fleet of about five delivery vehicles, which will be customized Fiats painted in New York classic taxicab colors of yellow with black checks.

The Bluffs location should open within two months, Younesi said.

"It's going to take off," he said. "No one has this kind of product. I want to open across the country and the globe."

Younesi lives in Newport Beach, but he grew up eating 35-cent slices of pizza at Tony's in Queens, N.Y. He uses family recipes, special ovens and a water filtration system to create authentic pizza pies.

"New Yorkers cry — they literally get emotional when they taste it," Younesi said.

Johnny's opened its Corona del Mar location in July 2010 and ran out of dough by 4:30 p.m. that day.

Twitter: @coronadelmartdy

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