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Corona del Mar Today: Girl Scout troop creates benches for Harbor View

Girl Scout Cadette Troop 57 members were honored at a recent Harbor View Elementary School Flag Deck ceremony for their creation and contribution of "potty benches" for preschoolers.

"The idea came about after seeing all the adorable little ones sitting on the cement in the hallway throughout last year outside the restrooms," said Troop Leader Jan Parker.

Troop members McKyla Buettler, Katie McCullough, Brooke Gelgand, Gabby Lau and Jodi Parker, who are all eighth-graders at Corona del Mar Middle School, met with preschool teachers Tori McRae and Rene Tedford in June to discuss the specifics of what was needed, Parker said.

"Then they worked over the summer so the benches would be ready when school started in September," she said in an email. "They designed, measured, cut, screwed and glued the wood they purchased at Home Depot. Then they hand painted the desired designs on each individual bench to coordinate with the preschool classrooms — sea horses, starfish, friendly bugs and a happy school bench."

The girls earned both a woodworking patch and a Cadette Community Service pin for the project, Parker said.


Election event

The Corona del Mar Residents Assn. will host a State of Corona del Mar & 2012 City Election Information Meeting from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the OASIS Senior Center.

"It's another election year for the city of Newport Beach, … and this one is unlike any others," according to an announcement made in the Fall 2012 CdMRA newsletter. "We have three candidates for three council positions and no opposition for any seat. … That won't stop us from having a forum though. We just need to be more creative."

Instead of a traditional council candidates forum, the CdMRA will host an event that includes a brief social session for residents to meet Mayor Nancy Gardner and the three unopposed candidates — Ed Selich and Keith Curry, both whom represent parts of Corona del Mar, and newcomer Tony Petros.

There also will be information available about neighborhood watch and CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) programs, followed by a formal program that will examine the state of Corona del Mar.

"We discuss fire safety as a result of the recent house fire and fatality on Marguerite, crime statistics here in CdM, street safety issues, such as 'same road-same rules,' traffic and parking concerns, noise issues and more," the newsletter said.

If you have questions, CdMRA board members advise you to submit them as soon as possible. Email any questions to info@cdmra.org or call (949) 719-9390.

The event begins with hosted refreshments from 6 to 6:30 p.m. followed by the hourlong program. The event will be in the Evelyn Hart Event Room at the senior center at Marguerite and Fifth avenues


Fire cause unknown

Investigators have ruled the cause of a fire that killed a Corona del Mar man a month ago as undetermined, Newport Beach Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Kitch said.

"We won't pursue it any farther," he said.

Some lab results remain outstanding, he said, but those results would not help determine the origin of the two-alarm fire that broke out at 2:38 p.m. Sept. 10 in the 600 block of Marguerite Avenue.

Donald Lee, 57, died a day after being pulled from the fire in his home. An Orange County coroner's spokesman said the cause of death is still under investigation.

Two police officers also were injured in the fire. Witnesses described trying to help extinguish the fire and reach Lee, who was on a second floor and appeared badly burned.

Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman Kathy Lowe said that detectives worked with arson investigators on the case.

"There's no indication of any criminal activity or signs of foul play," she said. "We can definitely say that there wasn't anything suspicious."


Martha Stewart contest

Corona del Mar resident DeAnna Reposa's Simple Peace bags garnered more than 11,000 votes in a recent Martha Stewart "American Made" contest, but a New York-based candle maker ultimately won the audience choice prize.

Simple Peace's Facebook page today congratulated the Bee Man Candle Co.'s owner, Brian Howell, who won $10,000, a trip to New York City and a feature in Martha Stewart's magazine.

"Although it would have been exciting to win the trip to NYC and hang out with Martha it has been a fun few weeks!" the Simple Peace Facebook page said. "In the coming months look for Simple Peace Bags in the pages of Martha Stewart Living and on MarthaStewart.com as we have been chosen as a favorite and a company that Martha Stewart wants to promote. That is a WIN in my book. Thank you again for all of your support!"

In an interview, Reposa said it was incredible to watch votes for Simple Peace bags pour in, especially on the last day of voting, when Simple Peace overtook the leader in its category to take first place in design. The Bee Man ultimately had about 20,000 votes, she said.

"It was a long shot," she said. "But it was really fun."

She also said she has reached out to other American Made finalists.

"I thought they had really cool products," she said. "This has worked out well for all of us."


Twitter: @coronadelmartdy

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