CdM Today: Condo development delayed until end of year

The AERIE condominium development may have cleared the Coastal Commission and City Council after nearly three years of hearings and debate.

But construction of the seven-unit building along Ocean Boulevard and Carnation Avenue won't begin until the end of the year at the earliest, owner Richard Julian said in an interview.

"We have to do working drawings," Julian said. "The final drawings are very detailed, very expensive and take four to five months."

Julian said demolition could begin before the end of the year, but he and his family members stay in the apartments currently on the site, so they want to wait until everything is set before they begin.

"We have to see how that goes," he said. "There will be a lot of little things that have to be done."

The Coastal Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved AERIE's plans after rejecting the project in April 2010, and having the plans withdrawn in March just moments before another no vote seemed imminent.

Since April 2010, the project was reduced in size by one unit with a 17% reduction in square feet and a 61% reduction in bluff excavation. Construction time was cut from 32 to 25 months.

Opponents said the project, at 51,124 square feet, was still too big for the neighborhood, and a few commissioners on Wednesday said they too had concerns. But in the end, the commissioners agreed with the staff recommendation of approval.

After the hearing in Marina del Rey, Julian and several supporters drove to Corona del Mar to the AERIE project site and had a party.

"Every time I turned around, there was somebody new there," he said. "Everybody was really excited. We had a lot of Champagne."

CdM quad drenched in senior prank

Corona del Mar High School seniors staged a water balloon fight this week as part of a senior prank that lasted about 10 minutes and drenched the campus quad.

Some students said they had warning before the prank and were able to run into classroom buildings to avoid being pelted by water balloons and water guns.

Several students posted photos and videos on YouTube and Facebook — including one wearing a gorilla mask — running around the quad before heading off to the swimming pool.

Seniors also placed lunch tables on the school roof and dumped sand in the quad. Earlier this month, some students said that seniors let crickets loose in the school.

Principal Tim Bryan said there was no damage, but six students went to the nurse for minor injuries including a black eye and "some really unfortunate scrapes and bruises."

"The water balloons began flying at 10, the start of break and everyone returned to class at the beginning of 3rd period, 10:15," he said in an email. "We are very concerned and disappointed that anyone got injured."

A daily bulletin issued to students advised them to check their textbooks to see if the were wet from the prank, and to bring them to the library today if they were wet.

"Your book needs to be dried or else it will be get moldy and you will have to pay to replace any textbook that is moldy," the bulletin said. "Do not wait until next week! Dry your textbook with a hair dryer or return it to the library for us to dry today!"

CdM seniors win Brad Evans scholarships

Two Corona del Mar High School students have been named the winners of the Harbor View School PFO/Brad Evans Memorial Scholarship.

Kimberly Billet and Alex Turney, both Harbor View graduates, were honored at the Harbor View school Flag Deck ceremony on Thursday, school officials said.

Alex plans to attend UC Berkeley, where he will major in mechanical engineering. He is an avid photographer.

Kimberly plans to attend UC Davis, where she will major in mathematics. She wants to become a pilot.

The students were chosen based on essays about how Harbor View experiences influenced their lives and prepared them for high school, college and beyond.

The scholarships awarded each winner $1,000. The Harbor View Parents Faculty Organization sponsor the scholarships, which honor former student Brad Evans, who was a UC Berkeley student when he died in 2001.

Evans' mother, Scottia Evans, attended the ceremony.

Tower 7 replaced at Little Corona

Lifeguard Tower 7 on Little Corona Beach was replaced last week.

"The tower is too large to transport in one piece, so the house was taken off of the base and transported in two pieces," said Jennifer Schulz, a Newport Beach Fire Department spokeswoman.

Crews spent several hours moving the old tower and putting together the new tower, using bulldozers to move sand to anchor it in place. The old tower 7 will be dismantled and disposed of, Schulz said.

Beach visitors played in the water and watched as the crews moved the towers.

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