Corona del Mar Today: Harbor View grads win Evans Scholarship

Sarah Hostetler and Taylor Stefano, both graduates of Harbor View Elementary School, will each receive $600.

The Harbor View Parents Faculty Organization sponsors the scholarships, which honor former student Brad Evans, who was a UC Berkeley student when he died in 2001.

Students wrote essays that described how their experiences at Harbor View influenced their success in high school.

Hostetler, who will attend Tulane University in the fall, described a fourth-grade talent show that her teacher, Cindy Coon, decided to organize.

"I couldn't think of a talent," she wrote. "The only thing I was confident of was that I would not be up on that stage and be a part of the show. That was heart-breaking to a fourth-grader."

The teacher became overwhelmed with the details, however, and she asked Hostetler to be her assistant.

"I had not taken anything so seriously in my previous 10 years on Earth," she wrote. "Every recess and lunch for three weeks, I spent with Mrs. Coon working on the show. Even though I didn't have a traditional talent to perform, I discovered a passion in me — and a talent — for organizing an event. It probably wasn't a common passion for a fourth-grader, but I was hooked!"

In high school, Hostetler served as a student representative on the Newport-Mesa Unified School District board.

"It made me realize that I also like being involved with the big picture side of things," she wrote. "Looking to the future, I plan on continuing to be a student leader in the organizations that I join on my college campus."

Stefano's essay described transferring to Harbor View from a private school in fourth grade and how her teachers' sensitivity and patience instilled the ability and desire to help others.

"With this, I soon became a club president at my high school who is dedicated to helping the less fortunate children of Mexico," she wrote.

In August, Stefano was recognized as Volunteer of the Year by Corazon de Vida for her work.

"Attending elementary school at Harbor View has taught me bravery, confidence, and it has given me the knowledge I need to build a successful life for myself," Stefano wrote. "I believe that the foundation you are given as a child will carry you for the rest of your life, and I am very proud to have built mine at Harbor View Elementary."

Stefano plans to attend Texas Christian University in the fall, with major in business and minor in nutrition in the honors college.


Fire hazard warnings

Corona del Mar residents who live along Buck Gully have received letters from the Newport Beach Fire Department, reminding them that they live in a wildfire danger zone where vegetation needs to be cleared.

Newport Beach Fire Department is in its 15th year of managing the Wildland Urban Interface Hazard Reduction Program, which defines areas where vegetation near homes could threaten or destroy structures in a wildfire, the letter states.

According to the city's website, requirements include removal of dead trees and dead branches on trees, clearing gutters of combustible materials, not storing firewood under eaves or decks, not permitting vines to grow on homes and more.

Fire inspectors alternate inspection and enforcement, focusing one year on Morning Canyon and other years on Buck Gully. This year, homes being inspected are along Lower, Middle and Upper Buck Gully.

Letters were sent to 171 homeowners early in May, and inspection surveys are due to begin this week, said Newport Beach Fire Inspector Steve Michael.


B.I.D. ponders parking committee

Parking in Corona del Mar continues to be a concern for business owners, and the Corona del Mar Business Improvement District may form a new committee that examines the issue as well as possible solutions.

"We understand the challenge," B.ID. Chairman Bernie Svalstad said at the May board meeting. "We just have to solve the challenge."

In December, the group voted to send a survey to restaurant owners in Corona del Mar, asking them about how many parking spots they were required by the city to provide and whether they had other parking concerns.

The surveys went out in February, but to date, just four or five restaurant owners have responded, said Linda Leonhard, president of the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce.

"We're just trying to solve the parking problem," she said.

Jim Walker, a B.I.D. board member and owner of the Bungalow Restaurant, told the B.I.D. board that he had tried calling restaurant owners, but he was unable to reach most of the businesses.

Even then, he said, telephone conversations were not as useful as he hoped.

"It's like trying to get a haircut over the phone," he said. "We need to sit down with each one, one on one."

The group discussed other ways to alleviate parking congestion, particularly ways to find parking spaces for employees without crowding residential streets or taking up customer spots.

Svalstad suggested working with the city to allow the use of the new Civic Center parking garage when it's complete later this year, possibly using a shuttle for restaurant employees to get to work.

"It's an interesting idea," Mayor Nancy Gardner said, adding that other private lots have room and might also work in a shuttle system.

"Just to take employees out of neighborhoods would be a big help," said Councilman Ed Selich. But Selich said the Civic Center lot might not work because of security and promises to neighbors that the lot would close at 10 p.m.

In the end, the group decided to consider creating a committee that would explore different options.

Twitter: @coronadelmartdy

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