Corona del Mar Today: Christmas comes early at Roger's Gardens

Roger's Gardens opened the 2012 Christmas Boutique last week, drawing crowds who were circling the parking lot and cramming the aisles for a sneak peak at the shop's holiday displays.

"It's crazy," said Eric Cortina, Roger's Gardens' creative director.

Cortina, who has a line of ornaments and decorations in the boutique, said he loved the shop's front room with its Victorian, H.G. Wells theme featuring clocks, gears and kaleidoscopes, and an enormous tree decorated in silver and gold.

Other rooms had trees, 25 in all, with different themes — some covered in seashell ornaments, others with crystals and silver and another with pinks and blues for babies. Shoppers filled their baskets with holiday towels, toys and ornaments, and shelves and trees were loaded with stuffed deer, polar bears, pillows, music boxes and more. Staff passed out snacks — mimosas, cakes and muffins, while overhead, silver mechanical deer nodded their heads.

Jeanine Weiss of Corona said she never misses a Roger's Christmas opening, although the recent heat wave made it feel "a tiny bit too early."

Her friend, Cindy Fredericks, disagreed.

"I'm all for celebrating, whatever the time," Fredericks said. "Year-round is good. You have to be happy, whenever it is."

Roger's Gardens is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The shop is located at 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road.

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CdMHS bell schedule

Corona del Mar High School administrators and teachers are considering ways to change the school's bell schedule in order to create time to help struggling students, Principal Tim Bryan told members of the PTA at a recent meeting.

"It's actually a gigantic undertaking for us," Bryan said. "Since the only real resource to help students is time, we have to carve out time."

Teachers and administrators are brainstorming ways to find the extra time. One idea is to cut the passing time between classes from six minutes to five, creating a 35-minute extra period. Students who need extra help in a class would use that time to work with teachers, while students who are excelling would use the time for enrichment.

Parents expressed concerns that the extra time would be a nothing more than study hall for many students, but Bryan said there would be more to offer, although that too is in the planning stages. He also said that the extra time might come later in the day, which would help student athletes who often leave for away game and events during the school's fifth period.

"There's going to be structure," said Middle School Principal Guy Olguin. "The end product is all of our students will be better students."

School officials will work with teachers on a plan, which will need to be voted on by teachers and approved by the district. The principals said they anticipate that the new schedule will be in place in September.

The new schedule also will likely provide different lunch periods for middle school and high school students, Bryan said.

The PTA meeting also included an update from Vlad Anderson, the school's police resource officer, who warned parents that marijuana and heroin use among teenagers is increasing.

School board member Karen Yelsey also attended the meeting and said work on the school's new theater likely would begin in January.

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Cameo Shores crime

An attempted residential burglary occurred in the 4600 block of Tremont Lane, with a window broken but nothing stolen, according to police.

The incident occurred while the resident was out of town between 10 a.m. Sept. 22 and 6:35 p.m. Sept. 29 and was reported at 6:39 p.m. Sept. 29, according to police.

"An unknown suspect forced open a window causing it to shatter," Kathy Lowe, a Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman, said in an email. "It did not appear that the suspect entered the residence, and no property was reported missing."

Lowe encouraged Newport Beach residents who will be on vacation to request the police department's free vacation check service, which notifies police about a planned absence or vacation so patrol checks may be made. The request can be made online or by calling (949) 644-3717.

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Power outage

An equipment failure caused 713 Southern California Edison customers in Newport Beach to lose power Thursday night, a company spokesman said.

The outage occurred at 10:08 p.m., said Paul Klein. By 12:30 a.m. Friday, all but four customers had power restored.

The affected area was between San Miguel and Bayside drives and between Santa Ana and Skysail drives, he said.

Customers outside the boundaries reported flickering lights at 10:08 p.m. Klein said the reports were likely connected to the outage but declined to speculate.

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