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Corona del Mar Today: Newport mayor reads to kids

April 14, 2012|By Amy Senk
  • Newport Beach Mayor Nancy Gardner reads to a group of kids at the Corona del Mar branch library as part of a celebration for National Library Week.
Newport Beach Mayor Nancy Gardner reads to a group of kids… (Amy Senk, Daily…)

Newport Beach Mayor Nancy Gardner read to a group of about 20 toddlers, preschoolers and babies Wednesday morning at the Corona del Mar library branch as part of a celebration of National Library Week.

She discussed favorite animals and the importance of wearing rain boots before jumping in mud puddles with the children, who called out answers and appeared entirely engaged in the conversation.

Gardner then read three books, including "Homer the Library Cat" and sang several songs with the children, including the ABC song and the Hokey Pokey.

The mayor traditionally reads during National Library Week at the Central Library, but Gardner is a Corona del Mar resident who has been credited for saving the branch from closure and opted to return to the branch on Marigold Avenue this year.

"What's not to love about reading stories," Gardner said after the half-hour story time event. "I really enjoy the interaction with the children, watching them laugh, sing and enjoy the stories."

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National Library Week takes place every April to honor the contributions of our nation's libraries, to promote library use, library officials said.

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BID offers financial help for traffic study

The Corona del Mar Business Improvement District is willing to help pay for a traffic study of the impact of moving the squeeze lane at East Coast Highway and MacArthur Boulevard, and the group's chairman this week urged the City Council to allow that study to go forward quickly.

"We'd like to expedite it and not wait until July or August," said BID Chairman Bernie Svalstad, who has been involved in the entryway beautification plans since they began in the late 1990s. "The BID is willing to participate financially on that. Maybe that channelization will or will not work, but it's important to know. That's pretty important."

The entryway plan would remove a third lane, converting the extra space to expanded sidewalks and landscape upgrades. The council agreed in February to consider the entryway project for its next fiscal budget, but those discussions won't take place for a month or two.

The project would cost $1.2 million, but the traffic study would cost about $25,000 to $30,000, city staff said. The traffic study would involve cones and paints to simulate the lane change, as well as the relocation of nine East Coast Highway parking spaces that will be lost if the project moves forward.

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