Corona del Mar Today: Neighbors participate in organized clean-up

About 70 residents of the Cameo Shores and Highlands neighborhoods, along with a team of city refuse workers, gathered Nov. 13 for a trash pickup event.

"I thought about it four and a half years ago, and I finally thought it was time to do it," said organizer Carolina Prichard. "We want our kids to remember to pick up trash. You don't just walk over it."

Prichard organized meeting spots for volunteers, and after passing out trash pickers, bags and blue gloves, she sent them to areas from the streets in the highlands to the beach and the mouth of Morning Canyon.

"We got all the beach balls, cans and foam," said Art Mitchell, one of eight Newport Beach refuse crew workers who came on their day off to help.

"We got a call from Carolina, asking to pick up the bags on Monday," he said. "And we said we'd come here today."

Some of the men wore waders and ventured into the thigh-high runoff at Beach Three. They noted several heavy, waterlogged pieces of plywood that they said they would report to city officials because it was too difficult for them to remove by hand.

Residents Virginia and Larry Goelman said they heard about the effort from a neighborhood flier.

"I just love it," Virginia Goelman said. "I thought, 'What a great idea.'"

"We do it ourselves," Larry Goelman said. "But it's a great teaching tool. If everyone did their share, our beaches would be clean."

Participants said they were surprised not to find more trash during their 90-minute event. They considered whether the storm on Nov. 12 washed trash to sea, or if the neighbors were doing a good job of keeping things neat.

"We haven't found much," Sandi Marino said. "I think it's because people are respectful of the neighborhood. I'm glad someone organized this. It gives us such a great sense of community."

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Council could hear Ocean Boulevard home appeal in 2012

The Newport Beach City Council could hear an appeal regarding an Ocean Boulevard lot merger at its Jan. 10 meeting, city officials have said.

The date is tentative, said Tara Finnigan, a city spokeswoman.

John and Julie Guida own two homes in the 2800 block of Ocean Boulevard and have submitted plans to build a single home. In September, the city's zoning administrator granted them a lot merger, but in a 6-1 vote Oct. 20, the Planning Commission overturned that decision.

Late last month, the couple appealed the commission's decision with the city clerk.

Neighbors say that the Guidas' planned home would violate a 1951 agreement that limits the height of three Ocean Boulevard lots, including the two the Guidas own, to one story, therefore protecting expansive ocean views of two Ocean Lane homes directly behind them.

Neighbors said there was a scissor-lift truck in place this week on the Guidas' property, and a photographer was snapping photos.

They also said they met with Coralee Newman of Government Solutions Inc., a Newport Beach-based business that works to "secure government approvals for complex real estate land use issues with creative, strategic solutions that bring long-term value to our clients' business objectives," according to the company website.

"As a government and community relations specialist, we have been hired by the Guida family so that they can have meetings with their direct neighbors in a manner best serving all parties concerned," Newman said in an email this week. "The architects took pictures last week from the neighbors' homes so that we could better understand the relationship between the properties. We will be in contact with the neighbors by early December to continue our community meetings and to share the results of our photo survey."

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CdMHS announces Reflections Contest winners

Corona del Mar High School's PTA officials have announced the winners of the 2011 Reflections art contest.

Reflections is a national PTA arts recognition and achievement program that includes film and video production, dance choreography, musical composition, photography and visual arts or literature. This year's contest theme is "Diversity means…"

The first-place winners will advance to the next round of competition, PTA organizers said.

This year's winners in the high school visual arts category were Jacob Lobel, a freshman, who won first place for his piece titled "Showing Your True Colors"; Nick Ontiveros, a freshman, who won second place for his piece titled "Solder"; and Ann Kim, a sophomore, who won third place for her piece, "The World We Live In."

The middle school visual arts winner was Lynne Fong, seventh grade, for "Diversity is Colorful."

The high school/musical composition winners were Jared Eckenweiler, a sophomore, who won first place for "The Rising"; and Nick Furgatch, a junior, who won second place for "Rise."

The high school/film production winner was Gannon Bond, a sophomore, who won first place for "Skateboarding."

The high school photography winners were sophomore Kacie Kline, who won first place for "Apples"; freshman Ariana Currim, who won second place for "Diversity in Religion"; and sophomore Amanda Penna, who won third place for "The Smiles of Life."

Middle school photography winners included JT Russell, seventh grade, who won first place for "Chairs and Boat," second place for "Mailboxes" and third place for "Crosses."

High school literature winners were sophomore Rachel Rosenblum, who won first place for "What Could Have Been"; junior Austen Boyce, who won second place for "Diversity"; and sophomore Cayla Yasukochi, who won third place for "Bones."

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Twitter: @coronadelmartdy

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