Corona del Mar Today: Harbor View parents want a top principal

A group of about 35 parents and teachers met with school district officials including Supt. Fred Navarro for 80 minutes last week, expressing their thoughts on Harbor View Elementary School and what they want to see in a new principal.

John R. Caldecott, executive director of human resources, led the meeting in the multipurpose room of the school at 900 Goldenrod Ave.

"We want you to be honest, open and critical," Caldecott told the group.

He then explained four questions, including listing the strengths of the school, the school's greatest needs and critical issues and leadership qualities sought in a new principal. The questions were written on oversized pieces of paper, and everyone in attendance was asked to write their answers on the sheets of papers, then to use color-coded stickers to mark the responses they felt were most important.

Some of the answers were to the point.

"Progressive," one person wrote.

"Upbeat," another wrote.

"Someone comfortable with working in an affluent demographic," one statement said.

"Real experience in modern classrooms," said another.

A few people wanted to keep the school's flag deck ceremonies daily while another wanted them limited to once a week. Some asked for no-bullying and open-door policies, while another wanted foreign language programs.

Many parents asked for a principal with experience both in primary and upper grades, with both gifted and special needs students.

The system, Caldecott said, was used during the recent superintendent search, and again within Andersen and Kaiser elementary schools during their principal searches earlier this summer.

About 100 people attended Andersen's meeting, and about 65 attended Kaiser's, but the summer holidays likely lowered attendance for the Harbor View meeting, Caldecott said.

"I think it's important for people to know their thoughts are being heard," said teacher Sabrina Ericastilla. "We need a good principal. We're open for some new growth and new change and great collaboration."

The responses will be tallied and used to create a pool of candidates to be interviewed, Caldecott said.

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More mystery noises

For the third time in three months, Corona del Mar residents reported suspicious noises Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning — noises that sounded like gunshots or fireworks, witnesses and police logs indicate.

"I heard it again at 12:50 a.m. this morning," according to an email from a Corona del Mar Today reader, who described the noise as explosions. "I live near Sherman Gardens and it sounded like it was within a block or two."

Newport Beach police received calls about possible illegal fireworks at 8:56 p.m. in the 300 block of Carnation Avenue, at 12:50 a.m. in the 400 block of Carnation and again at 2:07 a.m. in the 300 block of Carnation.

"The call at 8:56 was from someone who thought they heard fireworks at Begonia Park," Kathy Lowe, a Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman, said in an email.

An officer checked the area but didn't find anything suspicious, she said.

"The next call at 12:50 a.m. was from the same area and the reporting person saw a vehicle speeding away from the area and smoke," her email said. "The officer was unable to locate the vehicle."

The third call was logged as fireworks, but it appears that the person who reported the incident didn't hear or see fireworks but rather heard two people talking in the park and thought they might have been connected to the earlier reports, she said.

"It could very well be kids lighting fireworks in the park, but it's hard to say since we haven't been able to contact anyone involved at the time of occurrence," Lowe said in another email.

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Shrimp wash ashore

Local marine biologists and other experts have no definitive answer as to why a huge number of shrimp washed to shore during high tide recently at Big Corona State Beach.

A Corona del Mar Today reader sent photos of the shrimp to Michelle Clemente, the Newport Beach marine education supervisor. She then sent the photos to colleagues and other experts, looking for answers.

It was not known if the shrimp could have been affected by a recent sewer line break that dumped 2,800 gallons of sewage into the bay.

"From the feedback I received … bacteria is a possibility, but no one would commit to a certain answer … all agree that it is an unusual occurrence," Clemente said in an email.

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Afternoon tea

Sherman Library & Gardens along with Café Jardin will host an Afternoon Tea in the Gardens on Thursday, according to a news release.

Reservations are required, and seatings are available for 2:30, 2:45 and 3 p.m.

The tea costs $29 per person, plus tax and gratuity, and includes a fresh pot of tea, petite fresh currant and chocolate scones as well as a selection of tea sandwiches, chocolate truffles, cream puffs and fresh berries.

To make a reservation, call (949) 673-2261, ext. 300.

Sherman Library & Gardens is at 2647 E. Coast Hwy.

amy@coronadelmartoday.com

Twitter: @coronadelmartdy

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