Corona del Mar Today: 100 applicants want to lead Harbor View

About 100 people have applied to become Harbor View Elementary School's new principal, a district spokeswoman said.

The deadline for applications was Monday, said Laura Boss, a spokeswoman for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District.

The next step will be to screen all the applications and select candidates for first-round interviews.

"The first round interviews will be conducted by a panel of representatives, including teachers and parents from H[arbor] View as well as administrators and other personnel from throughout the district," Boss said. "Candidates selected from that interview will then be forwarded to the superintendent and his cabinet for a final interview."

John R. Caldecott, executive director of human resources for the district, told parents at a meeting last month that the new principal should be named by Oct. 1.

The new principal will replace Charlene Metoyer, who resigned in August to take care of her ailing father.

Currently, former Andersen Elementary School Principal Mary Manos is serving as Harbor View's interim principal.

At a Parent Faculty Organization meeting at the school Wednesday, the group's co-President Mindy Froehlich said she and co-President Cynthia Dickinson would represent parents during second-round interviews scheduled for Friday.

"We are a very special school," Froehlich said. "We have very strong parents, and we need a very strong principal to work with us."

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Martha Stewart finalist

DeAnna Reposa dropped her youngest child at Harbor Day School last week for the first day of class and headed for home, sad that summer was over and wondering how she would fill her day.

Then she opened her email and discovered she was a finalist in the Martha Stewart American Made contest, one of 100 entrepreneurs chosen from across the country, for her Simple Peace shopping bags.

"I am so excited," Reposa said this afternoon. "I'm not very good at tooting my own horn, but I'm proud of myself. I love the product."

Reposa was looking for reusable shopping bags and eventually founded Simple Peace and creating the bags herself. Today, the bags are made in Santa Ana and are sold on her website as well as in high-end groceries and shops like Fred Segel and Barney's.

The Martha Stewart contest "will honor 10 American Makers and one Audience Choice winner — creative entrepreneurs who are making products that are innovative, inspiring, and beautiful," according to the contest website. "These small-business owners will be honored at the American Made event in New York City and will be featured in Martha Stewart Living magazine."

Reposa said she heard about the contest and entered months ago (entries closed late last month) and then more or less forgot about it. She learned she was one of 100 finalists chosen from 2,000 entries. Voters can go online and select their favorites, with voting ending Sept. 24. The winner should by notified Oct. 8, the contest website states.

The grand prize winner will receive a trip for two to New York City and a $10,000 grant.

Now that she's a finalist, Reposa said she hopes she can get the votes to win.

"I've been happily and quietly under the radar," she said. "But it's nice to be finally recognized."

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Planners OK Ocean home

The Newport Beach Planning Commission recently held a quick, 10-minute hearing before voting unanimously to grant a variance for a new home to be built at 3225 Ocean Blvd.

The current plans for the home are smaller than those that were rejected by the California Coastal Commission last year. The new home would be built on three levels along with a detached garage and a new staircase and a funicular hillside lift.

The Planning Commission heard a staff presentation, then asked no questions before voting to approve a variance to allow the lower level of the house to encroach 10 feet into the 10-foot front yard setback.

The original plans, which called for a 4,715-square-foot home on four stories with an elevator and tunnel to a three-car garage, had received "approval in concept" from the city in December 2009.

The Coastal Commission in January 2011 voted no on the project, partly because it would have required too much bluff excavation.

The current project will need Coastal Commission approval before construction begins, but architect Brion Jeannette said in an interview this week that he has worked with Coastal staff and felt confident the new project plans would be found suitable.

amy@coronadelmartoday.com

Twitter: @coronadelmartdy

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