Troop members McKyla Buettler, Katie McCullough, Brooke Gelgand, Gabby Lau and Jodi Parker. (Amy Senk, Daily Pilot / October 12, 2012)

Girl Scout Cadette Troop 57 members were honored at a recent Harbor View Elementary School Flag Deck ceremony for their creation and contribution of "potty benches" for preschoolers.

"The idea came about after seeing all the adorable little ones sitting on the cement in the hallway throughout last year outside the restrooms," said Troop Leader Jan Parker.

Troop members McKyla Buettler, Katie McCullough, Brooke Gelgand, Gabby Lau and Jodi Parker, who are all eighth-graders at Corona del Mar Middle School, met with preschool teachers Tori McRae and Rene Tedford in June to discuss the specifics of what was needed, Parker said.

"Then they worked over the summer so the benches would be ready when school started in September," she said in an email. "They designed, measured, cut, screwed and glued the wood they purchased at Home Depot. Then they hand painted the desired designs on each individual bench to coordinate with the preschool classrooms — sea horses, starfish, friendly bugs and a happy school bench."

The girls earned both a woodworking patch and a Cadette Community Service pin for the project, Parker said.


Election event

The Corona del Mar Residents Assn. will host a State of Corona del Mar & 2012 City Election Information Meeting from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the OASIS Senior Center.

"It's another election year for the city of Newport Beach, … and this one is unlike any others," according to an announcement made in the Fall 2012 CdMRA newsletter. "We have three candidates for three council positions and no opposition for any seat. … That won't stop us from having a forum though. We just need to be more creative."

Instead of a traditional council candidates forum, the CdMRA will host an event that includes a brief social session for residents to meet Mayor Nancy Gardner and the three unopposed candidates — Ed Selich and Keith Curry, both whom represent parts of Corona del Mar, and newcomer Tony Petros.

There also will be information available about neighborhood watch and CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) programs, followed by a formal program that will examine the state of Corona del Mar.

"We discuss fire safety as a result of the recent house fire and fatality on Marguerite, crime statistics here in CdM, street safety issues, such as 'same road-same rules,' traffic and parking concerns, noise issues and more," the newsletter said.

If you have questions, CdMRA board members advise you to submit them as soon as possible. Email any questions to or call (949) 719-9390.

The event begins with hosted refreshments from 6 to 6:30 p.m. followed by the hourlong program. The event will be in the Evelyn Hart Event Room at the senior center at Marguerite and Fifth avenues


Fire cause unknown

Investigators have ruled the cause of a fire that killed a Corona del Mar man a month ago as undetermined, Newport Beach Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Kitch said.

"We won't pursue it any farther," he said.

Some lab results remain outstanding, he said, but those results would not help determine the origin of the two-alarm fire that broke out at 2:38 p.m. Sept. 10 in the 600 block of Marguerite Avenue.

Donald Lee, 57, died a day after being pulled from the fire in his home. An Orange County coroner's spokesman said the cause of death is still under investigation.