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March 15-21, 2019




Dana Point Native Opens E-Fit Business PAGE 5 VOLUME 12, ISSUE 11

SurďŹ ng Waves of Change Surfers will represent Dana Point shops in upcoming competition S U R F/ PAG E 1 8

Pictured above are Eric Diamond of Dana Point Surf Club and several of the surfers who will be representing five Dana Point surf shops to compete in the first Spring Classic Dana Point Shop Challenge on March 30. Photo: Fred Swegles

Festival of Whales Hosts Second Weekend DP LIVING/PAGE 13

Guest Opinion: Politics or Priority? DP LIVING/PAGE 12

Del Prado Projects Approved for Permits EYE ON DP/PAGE 3


DP EYE ON DP Dana Dana Point Point


What’s Up With...

ing those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning. The course is open to the public, and attendees need not be affiliated with a particular synagogue, temple or other house of worship. WHAT’S NEXT: Interested students may visit for registration and for other course-related information. The exact location will be provided upon registration. —LB

Five things Dana Point should know this week Planning Commission Approves Permitting for Town Center Development THE LATEST: The Planning Commission unanimously approved a coastal development permit, site development permit and conditional use permit for the developments at 24442, 24452 and 22470 Del Prado Avenue in the Lantern District of Dana Point. City staff recommended that the commission approve a request to demolish the existing structures and develop a new mixeduse development with roughly 10,000 square feet of commercial space and 68 residential units, including 12 age-restricted senior citizen housing units and a subterranean garage. The developments are located within the coastal overlay district, meaning the commission’s approval is required. Following city staff’s presentation on the project, Karen Martin of Pacific Planning Group spoke on behalf of the applicants in regard to questions on parking options and history on the property. It is important to note that the site is currently legal nonconforming, and 30 residential units do not share parking requirements with retail space, she said. “The property owner owns this property as a family trust,” Martin said. “They’ve owned it for 13 years and have every intention of holding the property. It’s being developed by grandchildren of the original owners. The same owners redeveloped Coastal Kitchen with a smooth-faced stucco color scheme and high-quality materials. The same high quality will be implemented into this development.” Several members of the community spoke during the public hearing for the application. “Thank God we have storey poles. The height just looks like it will be enormous. Will we lose that ocean breeze? We have a lot of tourists that come to Dana Point for that experience,” said Carol Kelly, a Dana Point resident. “The design looks sterile and boxy. If the design could be more warm, be reduced in height . . . I don’t want our Town Center to be cold-looking.” Jason Check of Raintree Partners spoke during the hearing as well. “We are here in support of another project that brings more business to Dana Point,” Check said. “We are very committed to the downtown plan. We’re excited to see a project that conforms to that plan.” Dana Point Times March 15-21, 2019

Community Choice Energy Meeting Looks to Establish JPA for Power in South OC Proposed developments on Del Prado Avenue received unanimous approval from the planning commission to move forward on Monday, March 15. Photo: Lillian Boyd

Planning Commissioner Scott McKhann commended the attendees of the meeting for taking the time to look at the details of the project and consider its impact on the community. “I’m grateful to live in a community where there is so much public interest,” McKhann said. “(This project) will become a future fabric of Dana Point. . . . But there are some concerns we cannot address.” McKhann said the commission’s hands are tied in regard to zoning code, height setbacks and parking requirements. “We evaluate a project in relation to compliance and how it fits into the (Town Center) plan,” McKhann said. Commissioners echoed enthusiasm for the project and appreciation for public interest before they unanimously approved the requests for permits. WHAT’S NEXT: The next regularly scheduled Planning Commission meeting will be held Monday, March 25 at 6 p.m. at the Dana Point Council Chamber at city hall. To view the full agenda and hearing notices for more information on the projects, visit—Lillian Boyd

Body Found on Rocks Below Dana Point Headlands THE LATEST: The body of an adult male was found on the rocks below the Headlands Conservation Area in Dana Point shortly before 3 p.m. on Friday, March 8. Orange County Sheriff’s Department received a call in the afternoon from a person passing by, reporting what looked to be a body. According to OCSD spokesperson Carrie Braun, the body was of a male adult, and the death did not look to be suspicious. A coroner went to the scene, and a helicop-

ter was dispatched to extricate the body. —LB

New Hebrew Reading Class Offered in Dana Point THE LATEST: Chabad of Dana Point will be offering a five-week Hebrew Reading Crash Course beginning Monday, March 18 at 7 p.m. A flashcard-based language course developed by the Jewish Learning Institute promises users that if they follow the program, they can learn to read Hebrew in only five weeks without any prior knowledge of the Hebrew alphabet. The program runs for five weeks each Monday and will be taught by Rabbi Eli Goorevitch. “Many people feel lost in synagogue, because they don’t know how to read Hebrew,” said Rabbi Eli. “We have found that learning how to read Hebrew strengthens one’s feeling of connection to Judaism in a powerful way. ‘Read It in Hebrew’ fills a tremendous need.” Already a hit with communities around the world, “Read It in Hebrew” has been tried successfully in more than 150 Jewish Centers, camps and schools, enabling more than 1,000 students to read Hebrew. Using flashcards portraying the letters alongside catchy mnemonics that make the information memorable and easy to digest, “Read It in Hebrew” allows students to absorb information quickly and efficiently. “Read It in Hebrew” utilizes a teaching method espoused by the Jewish sages for generations, according to a Chabad of Dana Point press release. In addition to reading skills, students get a glimpse into the holiness and depth of the Hebrew language, including brief Kabbalistic explanations of the Hebrew letters. “Read It in Hebrew” is designed to appeal to people at all levels of knowledge, includ-

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THE LATEST: Members of the South Orange County Community Choice Alliance, along with Surfrider Foundation, hosted an informational meeting about community choice energy (CCE) on Thursday, March 7, at the Dana Point Tennis Club. The movement has gained momentum in the past few years throughout the state of California, which is to provide options to residents about which energy sources they use. The goal of CCE programs is to create joint powers that would negotiate prices and purchase or create renewable energy from a portfolio of sources and transfer that energy to existing infrastructure, which in South Orange County’s case is through SDG&E’s transmission lines. With the state of California’s goal to be 100 percent renewable by 2040, more than 18 of the state’s counties have set up or are exploring plans to establish such utility means. WHAT’S NEXT: Technical studies can take at least a year before communities start implementing procedural plans. A full story on CCE will be in The Green Issue from Picket Fence Media on April 11. —Eric Heinz

San Clemente Mayor, Radio Hosts Blast TCA after LA Times Article on Toll Roads Consultant Costs, Payments THE LATEST: An explosive article that was published in the Los Angeles Times on Monday, March 11, regarding Transportation Corridor Agencies’ (TCA) cost of consultant fees and payments got the attention of San Clemente’s highest elected official, who addressed the matter on the John and Ken Show on KFI 640 AM on Tuesday. San Clemente sued the TCA over public (Cont. on page 4)

EYE ON DP (Cont. from page 3) records requests that it believed were not fulfilled back in June, and according to the Times report that reviewed the financial documents, some consultants were paid about $185 per hour to read “emails from transportation stories (and) evaluate reporter perspectives.” The Times reported “more than 1,300 hours” were billed for that reading at a total cost of “nearly $230,000,” according to the invoices. In addition, sometimes the work was double-billed. Officials with Venture Strategic, the main public relations firm contracted by the TCA, stated in the article that much of the additional costs were related to outreach to combat what it claims was “misinformation” from the San Clemente base. The city has been battling against the TCA for years, this time to stop roads that could go right through the city’s residential areas. “There are very few fans of the TCA down in San Clemente, let me tell you that,” San Clemente Mayor Steve Swartz told the radio hosts on March 12. “Basically, for 30 years almost, they’ve been talking (about) the need to connect the 241 to the 5 . . . and San Clemente has grown over the last decades.” Swartz was the San Clemente representative on the San Joaquin Hills Trans-

Mayor Steve Swartz, pictured here in December at a Community Engagement Panel Meeting in Oceanside, blasted the Transportation Corridor Agencies over an article in the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday on the John and Ken Radio Show on KFI 640 AM. Photo: File/Eric Heinz

portation Corridor Agency portion of the board in 2018. “I sat on the board for a year and left in disgust, but the board doesn’t see anything. There are special committees that make all the decisions,” Swartz said. “How do you like this statistic? They were $2.6 billion in debt 10 years ago, when they were supposed to start paying down

the debt; now (the debt) is up to $6.4 billion.” John and Ken didn’t hold back their own feelings of irritability with the TCA, calling the expenses “idiotic” and “absurd.” “A lot of us didn’t know. We got frustrated,” Swartz said in regard to the consultant payments. “We don’t need the (toll) road . . . nothing tells us that. We spent money ourselves (on studies that show) that we don’t need it and that we have arterials.” The Times reported that a document showed $380,000 was spent to maintain content for two websites and social-media platforms. The article also shows possible conflicts of interest, as consultants related to Venture Strategic operators were paid for 28 hours of double-billed work in one day. A representative of Venture Strategic, who spoke on background because the person was not authorized to speak on the record on March 12, said an audit that was compiled by an independent firm showed that the TCA had a 99.9 percent accuracy rate and that some stats from the Times article were cherrypicked. The spokesperson said that the way in which San Clemente has conducted its own PR campaign could be a violation

of Fair Political Practice Commission (FPPC), as campaign forms were not filed for what Venture Strategic sees as campaign content. The source also pointed to the firm the city of San Clemente hired for public relations against the TCA—Los Angeles-based Englander, Knabe & Allen—as lashing back at the agency after the board did not hire it and instead opted for Venture Strategic, saying that the effort hindered much-needed traffic alleviation in the area. On Tuesday, Rep. Mike Levin, D-49, wrote a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom asking for oversight and examination of the operations of the TCA. “TCA’s actions appear to be a betrayal of the public trust,” Levin stated in the letter. “I urge you to ensure that appropriate ethical and transparency measures are in place for Joint Powers Authorities authorized by the State of California, such as TCA.” Levin’s letter did not specify beyond that as to what enforcement or oversight should be exercised, but it was clear that the freshman Congressman wanted to put a stop to the reported actions. WHAT’S NEXT: Another TCA joint board meeting was held on Thursday, March 14, at the agency headquarters, 125 Pacifica in Irvine. —EH


Community Meetings SATURDAY, MARCH 16

FARMERS MARKET 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Each Saturday, California farmers bring fresh produce to sell at the Dana Point Farmers Market. Craft vendors are available the first Saturday of the month. La Plaza Park, Pacific Coast Highway near the Clock Tower. MONDAY, MARCH 18

DANA POINT CITY COUNCIL MEETING 6 p.m. Dana Point City Council will hold its regularly scheduled meeting in City Hall’s Council Chamber, 33282 Golden Lantern, Suite 210, Dana Point. Colleen McNutt, a 29-year-old Dana Point native, opened Lightning Fit this month. She uses electrode technology to maximize workouts for her clients. Photo: Lillian Boyd


les and beyond later this year. For more information, visit or call 949.791.9165.

Dana Point Native Uses Electrode Technology for Fitness

Two Dana Point Students Named as Semifinalists for Spotlight Program

A Dana Hills High School alumna has opened the second location for her efitness business, Lightning Fit. E-Fit is an electro muscle stimulation system that targets muscle groups and stimulates them while you exercise. In studies conducted at Bayreuth University and the German Sports University in Cologne, it was found that E-Fit technology stimulates up to 95% of the body’s muscle fibers by reaching areas in the body that conventional exercise rarely targets. Colleen McNutt, 29, grew up in Dana Point and went on to graduate at Columbia University, where she played NCAA Division 1 volleyball. Early in her career in accounting, McNutt began to experience fatigue and weight gain. When she was diagnosed with a rare mitochondrial dysfunction, she sought treatment to reclaim her health and was introduced to E-fitness strategies at a facility in Florida. In 2016, McNutt decided to leave accounting and open a personal training studio in Costa Mesa using E-Fit technology. “When I was first introduced to this, I was definitely skeptical,” McNutt said. “But I wanted my health back and kept an open mind. The results are mind-blowing. Now I want to help others feel as healthy as I feel.” Lightning Fit’s newest location in Dana Point is located at the Piazza Wellness Center at 24941 Dana Point Harbor Drive, C 120. She plans to expand to Los Ange-

The Music Center has named 110 of Southern California’s most talented high school students as semifinalists in The Music Center’s 31st annual Spotlight program, including two students from Dana Point. The Music Center named semifinalists in each of seven categories, including acting, ballet, non-classical dance, classical voice, non-classical voice, classical instrumental and jazz instrumental. The Spotlight Program is a free nationally acclaimed scholarship and arts training program for teens. The program provides Southern California high school students the opportunity to acquire the skills to pursue their dreams in the performing arts. Students work on the development of their performance abilities in numerous genres, learn about careers in arts management and receive college preparedness and workforce readiness skills. Dana Point students Alyssa Carol and Demmi Ross have been recognized as two of the 110 semifinalists. Carol is competing in the acting category, and Ross is competing in the classical voice category. Both attend the Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA). The Music Center’s Spotlight program awards more than $100,000 in cash scholarships annually. Both Grand Prize Finalists in each category receive $5,000 scholarships, with one Honorable Mention in each category receiving $1,000.

Dana Point Times March 15-21, 2019

Semifinalists each receive $300. The Music Center also celebrates five students in each category with the Merit Award, which acknowledges students who inspire the judges by their commitment and dedication to their art form. Spotlight Merit Award recipients each receive $100. For more information, visit musiccenter. org. Follow The Music Center on Facebook, and follow @MusicCenterLA on Instagram and Twitter.

Congressman Levin Introduces First Bill U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) introduced the bipartisan Ensuring Safe Housing for our Military Act, his first bill as a Member of Congress. The legislation aims to increase accountability and oversight over private contractorprovided housing for military families who have suffered from serious health, safety, and environmental problems. The bill is cosponsored by Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Katie Hill (D-CA), Elaine Luria (D-VA) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA). The bill was introduced after a Reuters investigation found some instances of poor living conditions in privatized military housing at Camp Pendleton and other military bases throughout the country, including service members and their families living in homes with persistent mold blooms, water leaks, and rodent and insect infestations. “Servicemembers and their families sacrifice to keep our country safe, and we owe them a debt of gratitude. The last thing they should have to worry about is housing that jeopardizes their health and safety,” Levin said in his press release. “It is unacceptable that some military families around

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MONARCH BEACH SUNRISE ROTARY CLUB 7 a.m. Every Wednesday, the Monarch Beach Sunrise Rotary Club welcomes people interested in making a difference in the local community and changing the world at their weekly meeting. Doors open and breakfast begins at 7 a.m. Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa, 25135 Park Lantern, Dana Point.

the country have little or no recourse when private contractors provide substandard housing. This bipartisan legislation is an important step in holding private housing companies accountable and empowering military families, and I will continue to work with members of both parties to support America’s servicemembers.” The legislation proposes to create stronger oversight mechanisms, allow the military to withhold payments to contractors until issues are resolved and prohibit contractors from charging certain fees. It would also require the military to withhold incentive fees from poorly performing contractors. The legislation was originally introduced by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Tim Kaine (D-VA). The bill is supported by the Military Officers Association of America and the National Military Family Association.

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CONTRIBUTORS Megan Bianco, Jake Howard, Tim Trent

Dana Point Times, Vol. 12, Issue 11. The DP Times ( is published weekly by Picket Fence Media, publishers of the SC Times ( and The Capistrano Dispatch ( Copyright: No articles, illustrations, photographs or other editorial matter or advertisements herein may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited manuscripts, art, photos or negatives. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.



Dana Point Times March 15-21, 2019

Letters to The Editor



The 2018 election with districting has created a dangerous situation for Dana Point’s residents. Elected councilmen Joe Muller, Richard Viczorek and Jamey Federico became the council’s voting majority for at least the next four years by receiving a total of 4,700 votes in three districts. Councilmembers Debra Lewis and Paul Wyatt received 15,422 votes citywide in 2016, but are now the voting minority. Lewis and Wyatt were elected by Dana Point residents to represent their concerns over those of developers or special interests. Muller, Viczorek and Federico were backed by the Dana Point Taxpayers Association (DPTA) and other Orange County PACs. No Dana Point individuals are listed as donors to the DPTA in 2018 FPPC filings. DPTA donations of approximately $28,000 are by Orange County PACs and outside special interests, primarily the California Real Estate PAC. From reported expenditures, it seems apparent that the goal of the DPTA’s multiple campaign ads was to influence the outcome of the city council election by waging a malicious smear campaign against candidates Jaeger, McGinn and Payne. Unfortunately, one of the DPTA’s negative campaign ads was printed on the front page of Dana Point Times at a critical time in the election. PACs and special interests donated over $70,000 helping Muller, Viczorek and Federico get elected, (including) $32,000 against Payne alone. There was no limit to the amount of money that was donated to PACs, while there was a limit of $760 per donor to candidates. PACs, with the ability to provide this unlimited financial and surreptitious support for candidates, will be a major factor for anyone willing to run for city council in the future. It remains to be seen if the DPTA coordinated with the campaigns of Muller, Viczorek and Federico, which would have been illegal. The DPTA has been sued regarding their ad campaign. Residents deserve the truth about DPTA actions in the election: who was involved and the self-serving influence PACs and special interests may have over Councilmen Muller, Viczorek and Federico. What do the DPTA and the other PACs and special interests expect in return for their generosity?

I just finished reading the response letter to the “Wavelengths” column published in the Feb. 21-27 edition. Like him, I, too, wish Sen. John McCain were here to help us out of this mess. As a former member of the Armed Services, Foreign Relations and Homeland Security committees, Sen. McCain possessed some insight regarding our current president and those who disparage our intelligence and law enforcement professionals. In February 2018, Sen. McCain said repeated verbal attacks on the FBI and our intel services serve the interest of Russia and not the people of the United States. Like him, I trust the integrity of those institutions. They cannot and have not moved forward without first having evidence from multiple sources that corroborate accusations. The evidence has convinced Federal judges and grand juries to indict many individuals and entities for crimes against the U.S. The letter writer need not worry about lessons our young people will learn from witnessing these events. It is not an “attempted coup.” I think because of his previous statements, Sen. McCain would approve of democracy in action in the defense of the rule of law.


We are responding to the letter “Reports Cast Cloud on Desalination” letter regarding desalination. Unfortunately, the author has confused the Doheny Desalination Project with the Huntington Beach Poseidon Project. These are two very different and separate projects. The following is the cost for the Doheny Desalination Plant: • Estimated construction cost: $107 million. • Estimated cost of water from project: $1,566 / AF at the start of the project in 2022. • The facility could produce up to 5 million gallons per day of potable water. • Approximately $5 to $7 per month impact to the average household. The California Department of Water Resources awarded South Coast Water District (SCWD) a Prop 1 $10 million grant, and the United States Bureau of Reclamation short-listed the district for a grant up to $20 million. SCWD convened a Water Reliability Working Group made up of residents to look at possible options for ensuring a safe, drought-proof, high quality and locally controlled source of water. The working group concluded that the Doheny Ocean Desalination Project ranks far above all other water reliability options. South Coast Water District is committed

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to conservation, water efficiency, recycled water, desalination, and stormwater capture to provide its residents with the most cost-effective, safe, drought-proof, high quality and locally controlled source of water today, tomorrow and into the future.


Dear Mayor Brian Maryott, City Council and Staff: We have lived in the San Juan Hills area for over 20 years and our house is far from the freeway. This morning, before 7 a.m., as I sat inside my house, with the windows closed, it was blissfully quiet as usual. Then at 7:05, the rumbling overhead signaled the start of the morning jet rush hour—and I knew the noise would recur on and off, all day, and into the evening. Despite the FAA’s claim that only “safety and efficiency” determined this route over our city, this new freeway for planes heading east follows a path that no pilot would take; that is, it runs south from the airport for 20 miles before finally turning east. It is no wonder that many pilots asked to “cut the corner” and head due east from the airport— that is, until Laguna Beach’s lawsuit forced the FAA to veto most of those requests. Our city council at the time mistakenly trusted the county to protect our interests— the same county that is now behind the new homeless services lawsuit facing us. This council must now act to clean up the mess. There are many demands on the time and budget of the council and city management, so I urge you to band together with Dana Point and Laguna Niguel to share the expense of exploring the legal and political paths to at least share the noise and air pollution burden with the cities north of us. We are justifiably proud of our historic rural and equestrian heritage and our open spaces and hiking trails. They are a major part of our “brand.” That brand has been damaged, along with our property values—we must now disclose to home buyers that we live under a flight path. This dumping of noise and air pollution on our city is an insult. We should not stand for it.


Have something you’d like to say? Email your letter to no later than 8 a.m. on Monday morning. Dana Point Times reserves the right to edit reader-submitted letters for length and is not responsible for the claims made or information written by the writers. Limit your letters to 350 words or less. Please send with your valid email, phone number and address for verification by staff. Your address and phone number will not be published.



The List

What’s going on in and around town this week COMPILED BY STAFF

HAVE AN EVENT? Submit it to Dana Point Times by going to, and clicking “Submit an Event” under the “Getting Out” tab.

Friday | 15 SIP INTO THE SUNSET 4 p.m. Sip into the Sunset with Seaworthy Outreach. Bring 2-4 guests for a two-hour boat cruise for $200 per group. For more information or to book a trip, contact First Mate Vanessa at 808.256.8672. Dana Point Harbor, 34624 Golden Lantern Street, Dana Point. LIVE MUSIC AT IVA LEE’S 7 p.m. Join Iva Lee’s for live music every Wednesday through Sunday. For the ultimate live music experience, be sure to reserve a lounge table on Fridays and Saturdays. 555 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente. 949.361.2855. Check their website for the latest scheduled performances. ‘MOON OVER BUFFALO’ AT THE CABRILLO PLAYHOUSE 7:30 p.m. (2 p.m. on Sunday). This madcap comedy centers on George and Charlotte Hay, fading stars of the 1950s. On the brink of a disastrous split-up, they receive word that they might just have one last shot at stardom. Unfortunately, everything that could go wrong does go wrong, abetted by a visit from their daughter’s clueless fiancé and hilarious uncertainty about which play they’re actually performing. Cabrillo Playhouse, 202 Avenida Cabrillo, San Clemente. 949.492.0465.

Saturday | 16 EL PRESIDENTÉ BALL 6-10 p.m. Join the Fiesta Association for a celebration of San Juan’s early California heritage with dinner, dancing, live music and a best-dressed contest—Spanish, early California or Western attire. Tickets are $75. El Adobe de Capistrano. 31891 Camino Capistrano. 949.493.1976. DESIGN & WINE 4 p.m. When you need to unwind, Design and Wine Painting Classes are a stroke of genius. Craft the perfect evening in the Dana Point Times March 15-21, 2019


SUNDAY, MARCH 17: ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARTY AT HENNESSEY’S TAVERN 8 a.m.-2 a.m. Get in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations at Hennessey’s Tavern. Special menu items will include a variety of corned beef dishes with meat prepared in house, Irish stew and your favorite St. Patrick’s Day libations such as Guinness beer and Jameson Irish Whiskey. Hennessey’s Tavern, 34111 La Plaza, Dana Point. 949.488.0121.

the night away with favorites from the 1980s. StillWater Spirits & Sounds, 24701 Del Prado, Dana Point. 949.661.6003.

Spa Café every Saturday through May. Admission is $50 per person and includes canvas, paints and one glass of house wine. One Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point. 949.234.3900.

Monday | 18

SOUTH OC CARS AND COFFEE 9-11 a.m. The car show attracts hundreds of car enthusiasts each week. No registration is required and spectators are welcome. Outlets at San Clemente, 101 W. Avenida Vista Hermosa, San Clemente.

BINGO AT GOODY’S 7 p.m. Every Monday, Goody’s hosts a bingo night for a charity of the month. This month’s beneficiary is the San Clemente Art Association. Cards are $1 per sleeve, and raffle prizes are offered. Goody’s Tavern. 206 S. El Camino Real. 949.492.3400.

FINANCIAL PLANNING AND WELLNESS This lecture will be presented by Kelly Morris, J.D., director of the Council on Aging, Southern California’s Senior Protection and Financial Abuse Specialist Team (FAST). Admission is free and open to the general public. Snacks will be provided. Register through the San Clemente Village Event Calendar or by calling 949.441.1348. San Clemente Community Center, 100 N. Calle Seville.

ADULT BEGINNERS FLAMENCO DANCE CLASS 6:30 p.m. This beginner dance class will cover footwork, choreography and rhythm of traditional flamenco dancing. Tickets can be purchased at Held every Monday at the Dana Point Community Center. 34052 Del Obispo St., Dana Point.

Sunday | 17

Tuesday | 19

FLOCK OF 80’S LIVE ON ST. PATTY’S 5-8 p.m. To close out St. Patrick’s Day, Flock of 80’s will be performing at StillWater Spirits & Sounds. Eat, drink and dance

ST. JOSEPH’S DAY/RETURN OF THE SWALLOWS 9 am.-3 p.m. Join Mission San Juan Capistrano in celebrating St. Joseph’s Day and the

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Return of the Swallows with music, performances and activities. Admission is free for Mission members, $12 for adults, $11 for seniors and $8 for children. 26801 Ortega Highway. 949.234.1317. BEND AND BREW 6-7 p.m. This is a one-hour yoga class, followed by a pint of beer. It’s a great way to get to know your local fellow yogis and beer drinkers. Cost is $10. Left Coast Brewing Co. 1245 Puerta Del Sol, San Clemente. 949.76.2699. ART GALLERY OPENING Rock Newcomb paints in acrylics, working primarily with semi-opaque colors and very thin washes of acrylics. He uses techniques that he acquired working with oils and watercolors. His work incorporates many artifacts of the Southwest. His exhibition will be on display from March 19-April 28. Gallery free with general admission ($5). Casa Romantica, 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente. 949.498.2139.

Wednesday | 20 FIESTA GRANDÉ 6-9 p.m. Eleven contests and a night of (Cont. on page 8)

GETTING OUT (Cont. from page 7) Wild West entertainment are rolled into one evening of fun at the Fiesta Grandé. Join your friends and make new ones at the Swallow’s Inn, 3176 Camino Capistrano, and enter to win one of the categories being judged. Spectators are welcome. Entry fee is $5 per person per category. Participants can pay when they arrive. Winners will receive a $50 gift certificate from the Boot Barn, a plaque and ribbon, as well as bragging rights. For more information, visit IHEARTYOGA IN THE PARK 10 a.m. Donation-based outdoor yoga for everyone. A variety of classes and styles are offered every day at 10 a.m. in front of the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa in Lantern Bay Park. Join hundreds of yogis weekly at this beautiful oceanfront class. Bring your dog, kids and friends to Dana Point’s most popular yoga class. Suggested donation $8. No reservations needed. Lantern Bay Park. 25111 Park Lantern, Dana Point. FREE COMEDY AT BLOOMS IRISH SPORTS BAR 8:30 p.m. Every Wednesday, free comedy

at Blooms Irish Sports Bar, with food and drink specials. There will be local and professional talent. 2391 S. El Camino Real, San Clemente. 949.218.0120.

Thursday | 21 THE SPRINGSTEEN EXPERIENCE 7-10 p.m. Come out for the Springsteen Experience as the band plays all of Bruce Springsteen’s greatest hits. This cover band is known for exuding the same spirit as The Boss. StillWater Spirtis & Sounds, 24701 Del Prado, Dana Point. 949.661.6003. ECO-TOTS SERIES 10-11:30 a.m. This creative workshop will lead the next generation of tiny farmers through a series of multisensory stations. Toddlers and their parents will focus on a different eco-skill each week that encourages creative thinking, problem-solving and nature-based learning. Enjoy local, organic snacks and guidance from eco-experts. The series takes place March 14, 21, 28 and April 4. The Ecology Center, 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano.

At the Movies: Captain Marvel Is ‘Ms.’ No More BY MEGAN BIANCO, DANA POINT TIMES


t’s no coincidence Captain Marvel was released on International Women’s Day, so it hurts me to say that the movie mainly just left me fatigued. The film mostly proves what every naysayer has been tossing around for years: Marvel movies are just too safe and pedestrian and don’t take any real chances. The film stars Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson from Short Term 12 (2013) and Room (2015) as the title character, who is super powerful, strong and from a galaxy far away. She also has various flashbacks of a previous battle that included her former superior, Dr. Wendy Lawson (Annette Bening). The second act has Carol “Vers” Danvers (Larson) crashing into a late-1990s-era Earth, where she discovers that she had amnesia six years earlier and is actually a human U.S. Air Force pilot. Because the 1990s are now appealing to modern middle schoolers and high schoolers, there are a lot of shoehorned-in pop culture references during the Earth scenes. It’s

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Photo: Focus Features

a little awkward, but not entirely eye roll-inducing as it could be. What is annoying in Captain Marvel is the nownormal use of “de-aging” CGI on actors to make them look like their younger selves. No matter how advanced CGI becomes, those young faces still don’t look genuine to me. Now, let me say what does work: Larson, even with as little development as she’s given, proves she’s still a memorable actress; and there is a pet cat who is adorable. Captain Marvel is called “Ms. Marvel” no more, but her first film could’ve benefited from more risks taken. Now, we wait to see if Vers/Carol/Marvel fare better this summer in Avengers: Endgame. DP

DP Dana Point



GUEST OPINION: On Life and Love after 50 by Tom Blake

11 ‘Multiple Marriages’ Factors to Consider


n 25 years of writing about senior dating, there’s one topic I’ve been asked about at least 200 times, and I feel particularly qualified to address it. The topic surfaced again last week, when a single woman, age 69, emailed this question: “I’ve had three ‘failed marriages.’ Should three divorces matter to the men I meet? Might they be a deal-breaker? Turnoff? Red flag? Or, (hopefully) a non-issue? Should I disclose the number in my online dating profile?” ON LIFE AND Why do I feel qualiLOVE AFTER 50 fied to tackle that topic? By Tom Blake Because when I met my partner, Greta, 21 years ago, I’d been married three times, and so had she. My response to the woman: “There’s no automatic answer; here are 11 ‘multiple marriages’ factors to consider: 1. What is your dating goal? To marry again? Or, simply to meet a nice man friend with whom you can have a committed relationship? Your answer could determine how a potential mate might feel about your three marriages. 2. What is his dating goal? If he wants marriage, your three marriages may be a red flag to him. 3. However, if he doesn’t want marriage—

most older men don’t—and only seeks a committed relationship, your three marriages may be a non-issue with him. 4. If you meet a nice man, you’ll want to know how many marriages he’s had, how long they lasted and why they ended. You wouldn’t want to become involved with someone who has a history of terrible marriages or relationships. You need to protect yourself.

Photo: Courtesy of @Matthew_T_Rader on Unsplash

5. Or maybe he never married. If not, why didn’t he? Was he unable or unwilling to commit? 6. If a person is widowed, he or she had no control over losing that spouse. Should that loss count in the number of previous marriages tally? Of course not. (However, if the person had four or more marriages, and each spouse died under suspicious circumstances, that would be a red flag). 7. You said you’ve had three “failed marriages.” I don’t like the term “failed.” Most marriages were the right thing to do at that time. But as years pass, people change. and marriages can fade. Does that make your marriages failures? No. They just didn’t last forever, although they were likely successful for a while. 8. Often, a marriage that ends in divorce turns out to be a blessing in disguise, although at the time of the breakup, it didn’t seem that way. Hence, your three marriag-

es that ended may have been blessings. 9. Before a new relationship turns serious, the number of prior marriages isn’t as important as the disclosure of them. But, on your online dating profile, simply state, “Divorced.” Also, people who’ve remarried had the courage and were willing to take the risk and try again, which are positives. 10. Understanding what happened in your three marriages can help you build a more solid relationship the next time around. 11. There are many other factors to consider besides the number of former marriages; a potential mate’s attitude, happiness and outlook on life are significant. Most importantly, how would he treat you?” For Greta and me, having the same number of marriages was one of the things we revealed when sharing information on our first date; so for us, “multiple marriages” was something we had in common.




Last week’s solution:

Dana Point Times March 15-21, 2019

PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to provide our readers with a wide variety of opinions from our community, Dana Point Times provides Guest Opinion opportunities in which selected columnists’ opinions are shared. The opinions expressed in these columns are entirely those of the columnist alone and do not reflect those of the Dana Point Times or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at

Pet of the Week: Phoebe


Each Sudoku puzzle consists of a 9x9 grid that has been subdivided into nine smaller grids of 3x3 squares. To solve the puzzle, each row, column and box must contain each of the numbers 1 to 9. Puzzles come in three grades: easy, medium and difficult. Level: Medium

And despite three marriages each, we’ve enjoyed the best relationship we could ever have hoped for. We live together but aren’t married. In senior dating, should the number of marriages matter? I don’t think so. But when the number reaches four, it’s time to scratch your head; five or more, well, the issue gets cloudy. Still, don’t call them “failed marriages.” Simply call them “marriages that ended.” Tom Blake is a Dana Point resident and a former Dana Point businessman who has authored several books on middle-aged dating. See his websites; and www.travelafter55. com. To receive Tom’s weekly online newsletter, sign up at www.findingloveafter50. com. Email: DP

See the solution in next week’s issue.

Phoebe. Photo: Courtesy of the San Clemente/ Dana Point Animal Shelter

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y name is Phoebe and I am looking to win my way into the hearts of my new forever family. I ended up at the Shelter after my last owner moved and could not take me with her. I am hopeful to find a place to call my forever home. I am a 3-year-old female, spayed, shorthair kitty with beautiful blueish fur. I am very sweet and seek attention from people. I’ve also been bunking with another kitty at the shelter and we’ve been getting along great. For more information, call the San Clemente/Dana Point Animal Shelter at 949.492.1617. DP

DP LIVING GUEST OPINION: Community, Sustainability, Prosperity by Hoiyin Ip



Plastic: Politics or Priority?


ana Pointers, you surprised me again. The 2018 Community Survey showed “there is room for growth in residents’ satisfaction with storm drain maintenance” as “maintaining storm drains to keep beaches clean” has been considered one of the top two important services by the city. But do you know how generous the city is on this service? The 2017 report showed Dana Point spent $791,727. Putting it into perspective, Laguna Beach spent $30,220, and Newport Beach spent $170,000. (The 2018 data was in a slightly different configuration, but the pattern across the cities was the same.) What should be done is not to increase the service (i.e., cost) by the city, but to reduce trash by everyone, starting with single-use plastics. Some immediately think of a ban. Well, Dana Point has a track record of making oceanfriendly policies: plastic bag ban, Styrofoam ban, smoking ban. And “there COMMUNITY, is room for growth.” SUSTAINABILITY, To-go utensils should PROSPERITY By Hoiyin Ip be served on request. Plastic stirrers should be banned. Yes, we can do more.  Because most of the single-use plastics have compostable or biodegradable alternatives commonly available and affordable, plastic bans have been popping up locally and internationally—so frequently that I no longer think such news is new. But people keep “liking” and “sharing” it on social media. Does it say something about the public’s position on plastic policies? Last September, then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed the “straw on request” bill to be effective on Jan. 1. Restaurants didn’t bother to wait. It’s a shame that Dana Point “missed the bus.” Last May, the Dana Point Ocean Water Quality Subcommittee decided to write a letter to support the straw bill. I asked why support someone

Dana Point Times March 15-21, 2019

Photos: Zara Flores

with our words rather than action? I believe city council could be on board for action: • Councilmember Debra Lewis led the smoking ban effort. Okay, it’s been said that Lewis and Wyatt are the minority on the council, but not on all issues. • Councilmember Rick Viczorek has demonstrated his action, quietly. Once in 2017, I told him he should not drink singleuse plastic bottled water. Ever since then, I have seen him with a reusable bottle. Real change doesn’t happen unless one really wants to do it.      • Over a year ago, I talked to Councilmember Joe Muller about a plastic campaign. He introduced me to the Chamber of Commerce for help. The Chamber gets it. But this is a small office, with the biggest expectations set by the community. I don’t know how they keep their cool. • Then there’s the new councilmember, Jamey Federico. When I spoke at the city council, his body language clearly showed he was on board. Okay, not solid proof. But my bottom line is it’s not politically correct to deny the need to reduce plastics.  So I believe that the city council’s lack of action is not because of politics, but a matter of priority. Right now in Sacramento, at least three bills have been introduced to address plastic waste: SB-33, SB-54 and AB-1080. If 2018 taught us anything, we should come up with a policy now. It will be good (publicity) for Dana Point. Hoiyin Ip is often recognized on the street as the plastic lady for her cleanup work. But she likes to think of herself as a guardian of the ocean. She is often reminded of a quote by former California Coastal Commission Executive Director Peter Douglas: “The coast is never saved. It’s always being saved.” DP


Matthew Laurence Knott is a Dana Point local artist whose talents range from the classic canvas to digital work to 3-D art. His work can be seen at Street Art House in Playa Vista. Q: How did you begin doing art? A: I was mainly a doodler growing up, but as I got older, I decided I wanted to make paintings. I began training myself in traditional painting methods and slowly incorporated cartoon and street art styles into my work. It’s evolved now from just canvas paintings to murals. To me, you really have to be a jack of all trades. Q: What do you think stands out about your work? A: It’s inherently comical, and it really represents my personality. I like comedy, and in my heart I’ve always wanted to make people laugh. I know what kind of emotion I want people to have when people look at my art, and if it can make just one person laugh, then I feel accomplished. Q: How has your art evolved? A: For the longest time, I just wanted to paint something that looked cool, but now I don’t want people to buy what I do; I want people to buy why I do it. Part of selling art is selling the story behind it, and storytelling is something I’ve worked

hard to include in my pieces. I like to build my characters and my pieces into something people can get emotionally attached to and feel connected to. Q: What has been your most memorable experience so far in your art career? A: I created a design for Armani featured on a shirt and traveled to do a show in Cambodia. It was the most amazing show I’ve been in. The show was a combination of a rap show and fashion event with Armani, and I was able to design the stage with my artwork. I did a live painting in front of the whole audience and improvised my supplies and ideas. It’s more so about the process than the outcome to the audience. I slipped into my improvisation mindset that I’m not creating art, I’m performing it. You can follow Knott’s art on his Instagram, @MatthewLaurenceKnott. DP Matthew Laurence Knott Instagram: @MatthewLaurenceKnott EDITOR’S NOTE: Dana Point Times will be spotlighting artists based in Dana Point or whose work is featured in the community. If you are an artist (musician, painter, sculptor, etc.) whose creativity contributes to the Dana Point community, or if you know of a candidate, contact Lillian Boyd at

PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to provide our readers with a wide variety of opinions from our community, Dana Point Times provides Guest Opinion opportunities in which selected columnists’ opinions are shared. The opinions expressed in these columns are entirely those of the columnist alone and do not reflect those of the Dana Point Times or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at

Page 12


Final Weekend of Festival of Whales BY LILLIAN BOYD, DANA POINT TIMES


he 48th Festival of Whales concluded its final weekend of celebratory events on Saturday and Sunday, March 9-10. Saturday kicked off with the Cardboard Classic & Dinghy Dash. The Dinghy Dash teams worked through the morning to design and assemble their boats made of cardboard and duct tape. Race categories included 8-12 years, 1317 years, adult contestants and the Business Barge, which allowed businesses to create their boats ahead of time. Team Lrg., Pod Squad, the Trash Bandits and iHeartYoga took first place in each of their categories, respectively. On Sunday, the festival hosted the Diamond Dig at Baby Beach. The public had the opportunity to dig for treasure. Those dressed in pirate costumes were given a head start and for $10, participants were

The Festival of Whales concludes its weekend with events like the Diamond Dig, the Cardboard Classic & Dinghy Dash and the Whale of a Clam Chowder Cook-Off. Photos: Lillian Boyd and Jenna Ross

given a special Diamond Dig shovel. The event was sponsored by Monarch Beach Sunrise Rotary Club, and all proceeds benefited local children’s charities.

This year’s Festival of Whales came to a close with its Whale of a Concert BBQ and Spirits Garden, with live music performed from a specially designed floating

stage. The concert featured Neon Nation — The Ultimate Live 80s Experience; Keston & The Rhythm Killers and DSB: The Next Best Thing to Journey. DP


TO A DV E RT I SE : 9 4 9 . 3 8 8 . 7 7 0 0 , E X T. 1 0 0 • FAX : 9 4 9 . 3 8 8 . 9 9 7 7 PUBLIC NOTICE CITY OF DANA POINT NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT a public hearing will be held by the Planning Commission of the City of Dana Point to consider the following: Coastal Development Permit CDP18-0010 and Minor Site Development Permit 18-0045(M): A request to allow the demolition of an existing single-family dwelling and construction of a new house over two lots and a five foot, six inch, tall wall in the front yard setback located in the City’s Coastal Overlay District (the California Coastal Zone) and the Appeals Jurisdiction of the California Coastal Commission, located at 2-3 Ritz Cove. Project Number: Project Location: Applicant: Environmental: Hearing Date: Hearing Time: Hearing Location:

CDP18-0010, SDP18-0045(M) 2-3 Ritz Cove (APNs 672-467-15, 672-461-16) Jason Atkins, Marmol Radziner The project is Categorically Exempt from the provisions set forth in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) per Section 15303 (Class 3 – New construction). Monday, March 25, 2019 6:00 PM (or as soon thereafter as possible) 33282 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, CA 92629 (Dana Point City Hall)

All persons either favoring or opposing the subject project are invited to present their views to the Commission at this hearing. Note: This project may be appealed to the City Council. If you challenge the action taken on this proposal in court, you may be limited to raising only those issues you or someone else raised at the public hearing described in this notice, or in written correspondence delivered to the City of Dana Point prior to the public hearing. This project may also be appealed to the California Coastal Commission in accordance with Dana Point Municipal Code Section 9.69.090. The process includes, but is not limited to contacting the Coastal Commission for the appropriate forms and instructions to file an appeal. For further information, please contact John Ciampa at the City of Dana Point, Community Development Department, 33282 Golden Lantern, Suite 209, Dana Point, (949) 248-3591.

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Page 15




For in-game updates, scores, news and more for all of the Dana Hills High School sports programs, follow us on Twitter @SouthOCsports.

Baseball Battling in South Coast League The South Coast League is generally regarded as one of the toughest competitions in Southern California baseball, and through two weeks, the standings couldn’t be any tighter. One game separates first from last in the five-team league, with three teams holding a .500 record as of press time. Dana Hills (7-5, 2-2) is one of those teams in the middle, along with Capistrano Valley at 2-2-1 and El Toro at 1-1-1. Tesoro leads the pack at 2-1, with Mission Viejo one game back at 1-2. The Dolphins have alternated tight wins and losses in league play. Last week, Dana Hills toppled reigning league champion El Toro, 4-2, on Thursday, March 7. Because El Toro knocked off Dana Hills in the first round of last season’s CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs, it was a small measure of revenge for the Dolphins. After defeating San Juan Hills, 6-1, in an El Dorado Steakhouse Tournament game on Monday, March 11, Dana Hills locked up with Tesoro on Wednesday, March 13. The Titans prevailed, 1-0, to claim the league lead. Dana Hills hosts Mission Viejo on Friday, March 15 before a nearly two-week break from its league schedule. The Dolphins play Coast View rival Aliso Niguel in a road doubleheader on Wednesday, March 20 and play in two El Dorado Steakhouse games after that. Dana Hills returns to South Coast League play on March 29 at Capistrano Valley.

Boys Lacrosse Continues Unbeaten Start The Dana Hills boys lacrosse team scored three wins in five days to continue its hot start.

Dana Point Times March 15-21, 2019

The Dana Hills baseball team is in a tight competition in the South Coast League. One game separates first from last in one of Orange County’s better baseball leagues. Photo: Zach Cavanagh

The Dolphins (5-0, 1-0) posted wins over Santa Barbara, 11-8, on Saturday, March 9; Centennial of Corona, 14-9, on Monday, March 11; and San Juan Hills, 15-7, in their Sea View League opener on Wednesday, March 13. First-year head coach Trent Cooper has dialed up the offense, with Dana Hills scoring 11 or more goals in each of its first five games of the season for an average of 13.8 goals per game. The Dolphins averaged only 8.3 goals per game last season. Dana Hills’ league-opening win matched its league win total from last season, and the Dolphins are already halfway to their overall win total from last season. Dana Hills was 9-10 overall and 1-7 in league in 2018. The Dolphins play their second road game of the season at Edison on Friday, March 15 before returning to league play at home against Aliso Niguel on Tuesday, March 19 and Capistrano Valley on March 26.

Track Shines as South Coast Defeats Trinity The South County Classic pits two of Orange County’s better track and field leagues against each other, and this season, the public schools came out on top. The Dana Hills boys finished second out of 11 teams, and the Dolphins girls finished fifth out of 10 teams as the South Coast League defeated the Trinity League in the boys (425.5-214.5) and girls (384.5251.5) standings, respectively, at Trabuco Hills High School on Friday, March 8. The Dana Hills boys stood out in the distance races and in the throws. The Dolphins started their way up with junior John O’Melveny posting a personalrecord 1:59.09 to take the 800-meter title. Junior Carrick Denker won at 1,600 meters with a time of 4:20.56, and senior Cole Stark posted the state’s second-best time in the 3,200 meters with a winning personal-record time of 9:21.95. Sophomore Gianni Viola took third in the 3,200

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at 9:52.22, a personal record. In the relays, the Dolphins won the distance medley relay (1,200-400-800-1,600) in 10:46.9. Dana Hills finished third in the 4x400-meter relay in 3:26.13. Dana Hills took the top two spots in the discus as junior Jack West won at 140 feet, 8 inches and junior Mason McKhann earned second at 139 feet, 11 inches. Both marks were personal records. Senior Nathan Pellini was third in the pole vault with a personal record of 11 feet, 9 inches. On the girls side, it was the usual cast leading the way for Dana Hills. Junior Anisa Rind earned silver in the 400 meters at 57.85, and junior Mia Lawrence finished third in the 400 with a personal record time of 58.08. Dana Hills finished third in the 4x100meter relay at 49.77 and second in the 4x400-meter relay at 3:58.9. Dana Hills competes in the Laguna Beach Invitational on Saturday, March 16 and hosts Trabuco Hills in a dual meet on Wednesday, March 20. DP

DP DP SURF Dana Point


Baja by Hand A tale of two brothers who have paddled the entirety of the West Coast BY JAKE HOWARD, DANA POINT TIMES


ou just never know whom you’re going to meet. During a swim workout at the Ole Hanson Beach Club pool a couple of years ago, former Laguna Beach lifeguard Scott Dietrich acquainted me with a pair of brothers from the San Luis Obispo area, Ryan and Casey Higginbotham. They were on the final leg of a journey that had them swimming from Alaska to the Mexican border. Over the course of seven months, they’d paddled their Joe Bark-shaped paddleboards more than 2,200 miles with little to no assistance. They easily could have been swallowed up by the wilds of the Pacific Northwest and disappeared. Last year, the Higginbotham brothers decided to pick up where they had left off and paddle the entirety of the Baja peninsula—1,100 miles of remote, desolate, unforgiving coastline. They finished their mission on Jan. 2. I was driving up Pacific Coast Highway last month when they gave me a call. I promptly pulled into the Doheny parking lot so we could get properly caught up. “It took us two years to forget how miserable the first one was before we decided to do it again,” Ryan said, laughing, when I asked him why they’d decided to paddle Baja. “We learned so much and packed so

A golden moment for Ryan Higginbotham somewhere between Tijuana and Cabo. Photo: Courtesy of Ryan Higginbotham

much life into such a short period of time. I really wanted to get back to that again, learn more and experience more.” The Higginbotham brothers have now covered more than 3,300 miles of the West Coast by hand. I can’t imagine it’s ever been done before. “One of the biggest things is to be able to compartmentalize goals,” Casey said. “I think with something that takes so much time and is so extended, you have to shut down the view of the end and think about a small piece of it.” Baja is a completely different environment compared to the cold, wet Pacific Northwest. Instead of paddling with foul-weather gear and thick, heavy wetsuits, this time they had to factor in the elements that make Baja so raw, where drinking water is scarce and isolated fish camps are the only human outposts. “There were definitely times where we were just out there with nothing around but trash and whale bones,” Ryan said. “There are fish camps all the way down. Less so in the southern part, but we en-

countered more people than I thought we were going to. They were able to give us water and food. That was a huge help.” The Higginbotham brothers aren’t professional adventurers with big-time corporate sponsors. They’re seasonal lifeguards, and Ryan has started working the fishing boats up in Alaska. Their two epic paddles have been largely self-funded. “This time, I think the hardest part was the grind—the slow, physical breakdown,” Casey said. “We didn’t have enough calories, and the food deprivation was definitely worse than last time. I feel like we maintained our weight, then we hit Baja Sur and just started dropping it. But you have to keep going south, you have to keep paddling, so there’s no recovery. Being hungry every day takes a toll on everything—your mind and your body.” “We assumed we would be caloriedeficient, but we weren’t ever able to hit a down and just go crazy and eat like we did last time and bring in all those calories into our bodies,” Ryan said, echoing his

brother’s sentiments. “And after a week of only having 1,800 calories a day while paddling for six hours a day, we were pretty beaten down and hungry. And then you do that week after week, you start seeing weird stuff. That was a bizarre experience, but I’m glad I went through it.” So, what’s it like to finish a 1,000-mile, open-ocean paddle? “The finish was weird. You’re going through Baja and then you get to Cabo, and Cabo is nothing like the rest of Baja,” Casey said. “You show up, and it’s a massive beach party going on. It was a little bit confusing. There was a lot going on. We went through the arc at Cabo when we came in, and there were like 600 tourist boats bouncing around out there with people trying to take pictures of the arc. It’s a full tourist zone, so that was a trip.” The Higginbotham brothers are currently wrapping up production of a documentary detailing their Alaska-to-Mexico paddle set for release this fall. Find them on Instagram at @byhandproject. DP






edication pays off. Sacrifices pay off. Hard work pays off. Those are the lessons that San Clemente’s Max Beach is learning as he continues to strive for success in the water. Last week at the NSSA Explorer contest in Huntington Beach, 16-yearold Beach won every heat en route to a statement-making contest victory. “(His) surfing has improved so much in three years, but his competition results haven’t matched his level of surfing. So, this is a great confidenceDana Point Times March 15-21, 2019

builder. Contest surfing is a whole other animal,” Brad Gerlach, Max’s coach, said on Instagram. “Max has arguably one of the best styles in the world of any kid his age. That goes for out of the water, too. If you see him somewhere, say hello. He is the epitome of a rad kid.” Before the contest, Max swung by the Timmy Patterson shop in San Clemente and scored one of World Tour surfer Italo Ferreira’s used boards. Finding some magic in the sled, he rode it to glory. Max has been getting after it all winter. Before it went flat for a month, he was on every swell, and he just released a new video clip last week, which was picked up by surf pub Epic surfing, Max, keep grinding! DP

Water Temperature: 55-58 Degrees F Water Visibility and Conditions: 10-15’ Outlook: Fun size combo of SSW and NW swells through the weekend and early next week. Waist-shoulder high (3-4’) surf continues with some plus sets at top combo exposures. Offshore winds persist in the mornings, followed by light to moderate afternoon onshores. So be sure to check Surfline. com for all the details and the longer range outlook.

Max Beach. Photo: NSSA

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Surfing Waves of Change Surfers will represent Dana Point shops in upcoming competition BY LILLIAN BOYD, DANA POINT TIMES


t a time when Dana Point is undergoing change, Eric Diamond of the Dana Point Surf Club says he wants to use the spirit of competition to bring the local surf industry closer together. The club will hold the first Spring Classic Dana Point Surf Shop Challenge on March 30 at Salt Creek Beach, in which five surf shops of Dana Point will be represented by 26 contestants each: Hobie, Infinity, Killer Dana, Girl in the Curl and Jack’s Surfboards. Men and women will compete in age divisions ranging from 14-and-under through 50-and-older, including a longboard division. The surfers will compete for a coveted

spot on the Dana Point Surf Club, and top finishers in each age category will automatically qualify to represent Dana Point in the West Coast Board Riders series. Diamond is the surf club’s Executive Committee Chairman. In alignment with a theme of change and new beginnings, Diamond is working alongside members of the Acjachemen Nation for a special ceremony. “The event will be held the first week of spring, the season for rebirth and transformation. A spiritual leader of the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians (Acjachemen Nation) will conduct an opening prayer and blessing with the competing surfers and tribal members,” Diamond said. Surfers tend to gravitate toward tribalism and localism, Diamond said. This competition aims to give young surfers a chance to see how powerful a community can be. “I’m looking forward to making this an important annual event and cultural celebration that we will always be able to call our own,” Diamond said in a city news release. “It doesn’t get any more local than this, and it really demonstrates what makes Dana Point so special: our hometown surfers competing and celebrating together, our shops supporting this event, along with many of our local businesses who have stepped up to sponsor,” said Dana Point

Surfers representing the five surf shops of Dana Point will compete in the first-ever Spring Classic Dana Point Surf Shop Challenge. Photo: JP Van Swae/JPVS Photo

City Manager Mark Denny. “Dana Point is a city with a heart and soul blessed by the ocean. The Spring Classic will be an opportunity for everyone to share in it.” The Monarch Beach Resort will provide breakfast, and The Beach Hut Deli will

provide lunch. Many of the surf shops with teams competing will also be hosting tents on site. The March 30 event will begin at 8:40 a.m. There will be an awards presentation at 5 p.m. DP

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