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Parking Part and Parcel to Town Center Development Dana Point’s downtown improvements progress but parking questions remain E Y E O N D P/ PAG E 4

Long after initial plans to revamp Dana Point’s downtown were approved, the city is now taking steps to design parking strategies for future urban development. This image shows the city’s core from the Harbor in the south to Town Center in the north. Google Earth image

Great White Shark Spotted Basking North of Dana Point

Dolphin Report: Girls Tennis Repeats as League Champs

INSIDE: Crib to College Education Guide








D a n a Po i nt

CITY AND BUSINESS CALENDAR FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25 Halloween Spooktacular & Movie 4:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. It’ll be a night of silly, spooky fun for the whole family at Lantern Bay Park, 25111 Park Lantern Road, filled with carnival games, cupcake decorating, crafts and story times. Come dressed in costume. The event is free and Hotel Transylvania will be shown at 6:30 p.m. For more information call 949.248.3530.

public hearing on updates to the Housing Element to comply with California law, and on amending zoning ordinances to allow short-term vacation rentals where residential uses are designated. Meetings are held at City Hall, Council Chambers, located at 33282 Golden Lantern.

fun, safe environment with crafts, a fun zone and an array of booths at Doheny State Beach, 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive. Admission is free and donations of non-perishable food items will be collected. For more, visit Farmers Market 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Admission is free, for this market at La Plaza Park, 34111 La Plaza Street, featuring local produce, fresh flowers and more.



Halloween Haunt 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Celebrate Halloween in a

Planning Commission Meeting 6 p.m. The commission will hold a

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29 Preschool and Toddler Storytimes 10:15 a.m., 11 a.m. Dana Point children’s librarian Ericka Reeb hosts two story hours each Tuesday for preschoolers and toddlers. Find out more by calling the library at 949.496.5517.


What’s Up With... 1

… the Rack Case?

THE LATEST: Former Shorecliffs Middle School teacher Richard Rack was sentenced to eight years in state prison Friday on four charges related to the sexual abuse of three students. Rack, wearing a dark suit, made no sign of emotion as Judge Sheila Hanson read his sentence, and as the mother of one of his victims read a statement describing the impact his actions had on her daughter. “This incident has robbed her of her innate happiness and left her untrusting of others,” she said. Both Rack and his mother made statements on his behalf. “There’s no excuse for my actions,” Rack told the court. “I’ve had more time to reflect … I acted inappropriately.” The former math teacher pleaded guilty to four of eight charges in August, after prosecutors rested their case. Rack initially pleaded not guilty, but did not present a defense. WHAT’S NEXT: Hanson called Rack’s actions “predatory,” and noted Rack’s crimes took place with multiple girls over a prolonged period. She said he engaged in behavior to “groom” victims, including attempts to conceal his actions. Rack was ordered to pay restitution to the victims and will be placed on the National Sex Offender registry. FIND OUT MORE: Read more at www.—Jim Shilander


… the Island Way Bridge?

THE LATEST: With approval from the Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, county staff is moving forward to collect construction bids to revamp Island Dana Point Times October 25-31, 2013

Way Bridge. The existing bridge stretches over Dana Cove, linking together Dana Point Harbor and Dana drives. According to a county staff report, it was built in 1969 during construction of the OC Dana Point Harbor and was seismically retrofitted in 2001. The bridge, one of more than 50 owned by the county, has been identified as needing repair, which county engineering estimates place at a $1.1 million cost. “There is not anything wrong with the bridge as far as safety goes,” said Kalid Bazmi, road section manager for Orange County Public Works. “It is like maintenance on your car, you have to make changes to keep it running longer.” The proposed project will replace existing pavement, resurface the bridge deck and improve ramps and crosswalks to conform to the American with Disabilities Act. Additionally, protective mechanisms will be installed on bridge piers to prevent future corrosion. WHAT’S NEXT: A majority of the project’s funding will come from the $61 million in county monies, allocated by the state in 2006 as part of Proposition 1B, for local streets and roads improvements. The money was dispersed in four increments, and as of June 2014, any remaining funds must be returned to the state.

WHAT’S NEXT: The local legion will host a holiday fundraiser and Harbor Boat Parade of Lights watching party on Saturday, Dec. 14 at Adventura, 24707 Dana Drive. FIND OUT MORE: Visit, for more information.—AP


FIND OUT MORE: See for more. —Andrea Papagianis


American Legion Post 281, serving Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo and Laguna Hills, gathered at the post’s new Harbor home on Monday, at Adventura Sailing Association, to officially welcome members to town. “We are privileged in Dana Point to have the 5th Marines supporting our troops and families at Camp Pendleton, the VFW being named one of the top posts in the nation, and now we are represented by the American Legion,” said Councilman Bill Brough, who serves on the post’s board. Longtime legion member, Bill Leber, commander of the new post, saw the need for a local arm of the organization. It began with 10 members establishing bylaws, and in just six months the post has grown to include a Ladies Auxiliary, Sons of the Legion, Color Guard and Legion Riders.

… the American Legion?

THE LATEST: Dana Point has long been represented by military support groups, but until April the nation’s largest wartime veterans’ service organization, the American Legion, was absent. Local leaders and members of the

… SDG&E?

THE LATEST: On Wednesday, at a government affairs meeting hosted by the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce, Duane Cave, external relations manager of San Diego Gas & Electric, updated area leaders on the utility’s proposed $500 million project to rebuild south Orange County’s electric infrastructure. Currently, the Talega substation on Avenida Pico acts as the region’s electric gateway, Cave said, lending the system to vulnerabilities. The proposed project would rebuild the San Juan Capistrano substation and upgrade transmission lines throughout the region. Cave said, changes would reroute major

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circuits from Escondido and Talega to the San Juan station, which would run on a “redundant system” with the Talega substation to provide system stability. Members of the San Juan Capistrano City Council and community have expressed concerns in the past regarding the demolition of a 95-year-old building, the effects on nearby business, homes and traffic and the possible health effects brought on by electromagnetic radiation. WHAT’S NEXT: A draft environmental impact report is expected to be completed late this year, meaning the California Public Utilities Commission could see and decide on the proposal sometime in 2014. FIND OUT MORE: Stick with for updates.—AP


… the I-5 Project?

THE LATEST: An open house for south Orange County residents interested in the Interstate 5 widening project, slated to begin next year, will be held Thursday, November 7 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at St. Andrew’s by the Sea Methodist Church in San Clemente. The project will ultimately lead to the reconstruction of the Avenida Pico interchange, as well as the introduction of a high occupancy vehicle lane to the Pico exit. WHAT’S NEXT: The project will break ground in phases beginning early next year in San Juan Capistrano. The first phase will widen the area between San Juan Creek Road and Pacific Coast Highway. The second phase, between PCH and Avenida Vista Hermosa, is slated to begin in the spring of 2014, and the third phase including the Pico project will follow. FIND OUT MORE: For updates, visit www.—JS


Parking Part and Parcel to Town Center Development Town Center changes progress but parking questions loom for Dana Point’s downtown By Andrea Papagianis Dana Point Times


nine-month parking debacle delayed the opening of a gateway development project to Dana Point’s Town Center, and now with Tavern on the Coast open, owner Veronica Scala hopes the city’s parking ordinance doesn’t deter others from taking the downtown development plunge. Real estate ventures and restaurant investments are risky. No one knows that better than Scala, who, for threequarters of a year, jumped through hoops to satisfy city parking requirements. Aside from the restaurant being open, she is nearly right where she started. Tavern opened for business with a 40-spot parking lot to be shared among their customers, employees and other businesses. Parking has long been a concern of many in town. From special events at city parks, sunny days at beaches and weekends at the OC Dana Point Harbor, a sentiment of frustration is echoed as visitors and residents navigate the roads and parking lots in search of an open spot. Since Town Center revitalization plans were approved by the California Coastal Commission in 2007, parking has remained on the back burner of planning, but at the forefront of community discussion. “You cannot talk about changes coming to Dana Point’s Town Center without parking being brought up,” Councilman Bill Brough said at a recent Dana Point City Council meeting. That night the council took measures to kickstart the city’s parking planning process. Much of Dana Point’s 6.5 miles of coastline lie within the Coastal Zone, meaning the city falls under the Coastal Commission jurisdiction. Dana Point along with the Orange County coastal towns of Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and Laguna Niguel have Local Coastal Programs approved by the commission on hand that act as a development guide for the local governments. The city’s LCP gives it more flexibility and development decision-making power, said Ursula Luna-Reynosa, the city’s community development director. So, each time a new development comes in, the city’s Planning Commission and council can award Coastal Development Permits, so long as the project conforms to state agency approved standards in the LCP, she said. Initial plans to create a pedestrian-friendly downtown, in order to promote mixed-use developments, were approved by the City Council in 2006, but changes to the streetscape required an amendment to the city’s LCP. Designs to make Pacific Coast Highway and Del Prado Avenue two-way roads and to create bus stops, add medians and change the landscaping, got the OK from the Coastal Commission the next year. Absent from the amendment were changes to the city’s parking layout, leaving outside developers and city planners to default to an existing parking ordinance created for an isolated business, not one where people are parking and walking from business-to-business in an urban area, Luna-Reynosa said. In Scala’s case, this meant she needed more parking, but being landlocked on the site of a former Hollywood Video on the corner of PCH and Alcazar Drive, her options were limited. Scala proposed an underground parking structure, but costs associated with a project of that scale didn’t pan out. She opted to buy an additional property. Scala purchased a plot less than a block from her restaurant location, across Magala Drive, but being that the land wasn’t attached to Dana Point Times October 25-31, 2013

As Town Center revitalization progresses, parking needs along Del Prado Avenue (pictured here) and Pacific Coast Highway, which will become twoway roads, must be addressed. Photo by Andrea Swayne

her current property, any parking spots created didn’t fulfill the quota needed. If it weren’t for an agreement with the South Coast Water District, that land would sit vacant. The utility is currently leasing the land to store construction equipment being used to upgrade underground water and sewer lines, to account for future development needs in the Town Center corridor. The Tavern owner and city staff worked out an arrangement and the eatery opened its doors in April. But long-term measures for Town Center parking are still up in the air. “The Town Center plan is a vision for a community, for the heart of the city, a gathering place that is pedestrianfriendly,” Luna-Reynosa said. “In order to make that come to fruition, the private sector development needs to occur. It cannot just be the public sector, streetscape project.” Luna-Reynosa said there is no guarantee this will happen because of uncontrollable outside factors. “With private developers there are so many factors that the city does not control that goes into their decision making process, such as the cost of land and labor,” she said. “But what we do control is our regulatory environment and our policies, including parking standards.” The City Council unanimously approved a contract with the San Francisco-based Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates on October 2, to assist with the development of a downtown parking plan. The consulting firm also worked with San Clemente on Avenida Del Mar parking solutions, which city staff have looked to for inspiration. On a recent trip to the neighboring community, LunaReynosa and City Architect John Tilton spent time with San Clemente city staff, walking the streets and viewing their strategy in action. In downtown San Clemente, an array of parking measures are utilized, such as limited parking durations in high-traffic areas, metered lots and street spots, all-day parking zones and a leasing program with private property owners, said Cliff Jones, the city’s assistant planner. For the latter solution, the city was honored by the American Planning Association. “We developed private parking lot agreements and now the lots are open to the public on a first come-first served basis,” said Michael Kaupp, a planning commissioner in San Clemente. “Now the lots’ usages are being maxiPage 4

mized, but unfortunately, we have reached our capacity.” Kaupp, who also serves as president of the Downtown Business Association and owns properties along Del Mar, said while the leasing arrangements have been a good tool, they are a “Band-Aid” approach to finding real solutions to parking management. According to Kaupp, many of the leases stretch month-to-month and don’t offer enough incentive to property owners, who receive maintenance and enforcement of the lots by city workers. And now, with parking maximized in downtown, existing businesses cannot park their customers, he said. “You get a lot of circling of blocks and frustration,” Kaupp said. “The city has not taken a proactive approach to address parking.” Heather Johnston, the executive director of the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce, has seen downtown San Clemente transform. As a resident, she’s experienced the progression from parking abundance to none at all. As opposed to San Clemente, Dana Point has a clean slate, she said, and an issue with finding parking, due to increased patronage of local business and growth, is something the community will be “lucky” to see someday. “One day it is going to be great to see the development, but we are rapidly going to outgrow our parking,” she said. “If you build it they will come, but where will they park,” Johnston asked. A 2008 Town Center parking study showed Dana Point’s current downtown parking is underutilized by about 55 percent, Luna-Reynosa said. As was the case in San Clemente, the city didn’t initially have a parking supply problem, what they had was a parking management issue, she said. Luna-Reynosa added that Nelson Nygaard, who specializes in parking solutions for mixed-use urban centers, will assist the city in developing a plan. Consultants will visit the city on November 18, 19 and 20 to meet with stakeholders and do recon work, she said. They will then take information gathered along with city data, parking ordinances, trolley plans and studies for their final report. “Right now we don’t know what parking will look like, but it is something we hope to determine with this report that will be generated,” Luna-Reynosa said. “One of the purposes of us moving forward is that parking is a critical component of development.” DP



Great White Shark Fins off Laguna, Dana Coast

Compiled by Andrea Papagianis

PROPS, RECOGNITIONS AND MORSELS OF INFO Goodies Needed for 5th Marines Trunk or Treat The Dana Point 5th Marine Regiment Support Group is seeking wrapped candy donations or small goodies to be handed out during a Camp Pendleton Halloween event on Wednesday, October 30. Local volunteers are decorating five vehicles for a 5th Marine “trunk-or-treat” event for military families on base, and manning their themed rides during the fun, to promote a safe holiday environment. Donations are being collected at Coffee Importers in the OC Dana Point Harbor, at 34531 Golden Lantern Street, and at Jack’s Restaurant, located at 24462 Del Prado Avenue. Nancy Jenkins, a support group director, will also accept donations. Email her at to find out more.

Dentist to Buy Back Candy for Deployed Troops One local dentist has partnered with Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit volunteer organization that sends packages to deployed troops, to buy back Halloween candy. Collected candy will be sorted and sent along in care packages to troops.

DP Sheriff’s Blotter SPONSORED BY

Dana Point Police Services COMPILED BY ANDREA PAPAGIANIS All information below is obtained from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department website. The calls represent what was told to the deputy in the field by the radio dispatcher. The true nature of an incident often differs from what is initially reported. No assumption of criminal guilt or affiliation should be drawn from the content of the information provided. An arrest doesn’t represent guilt. The items below are just a sampling of the entries listed on the OCSD website.

SUNDAY, October 20 DISTURBANCE-MUSIC OR PARTY La Cresta Drive, 24600 Block (12:15 a.m.) An informant reported a loud homecoming party and believed the hosting parents were allowing underage attendees to drink.

SATURDAY, October 19 DISTURBANCE Del Prado Avenue, 24600 Block (11:49 p.m.) A caller claimed a man in his 30s Dana Point Times October 25-31, 2013

On Friday, November 1 and Saturday, November 2, Dr. Judy Tiffany and her staff will buy candy from neighborhood kids at $1 per pound. Candy will be weighed and paid for from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days at Monarch View Dental, Inc., located at 28 Monarch Bay Plaza, Suite C.

Crew spots shark 2-miles off Laguna Beach coast By Andrea Papagianis Dana Point Times


San Onofre Foundation presenting ‘Woofstock’ The San Onofre Foundation is presenting the inaugural “Woofstock: People and Paws for our State Parks” fundraising and community outreach event benefitting the San Onofre Foundation and Pet Project Foundation on Sunday, October 27 from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are on sale now for $15 online or $20 at the door. Additional tickets are $5 per person, children under 12 are free. Tickets can be found at www.sanofoundation. com. The event will be held at San Clemente State Beach Campground, Campfire Center & Nature Area, 225 Avenida Calafi in San Clemente. Free parking is available at Concordia Elementary School. Have something interesting for the community? Send your information to

and wearing a white T-shirt had assaulted him at a bar.

high-pressure system left the water clear and calm last Thursday, like the Pacific Ocean had transformed into a lake. And as Capt. Todd Mansur headed north out of the Harbor to Laguna Beach tracking three blue whales, he scanned the horizon and a distinct fin broke the water’s surface. “I was moving pretty fast,” Mansur said. “When you are in my position, you are always looking at the water, not directly but at the horizon, you are constantly scanning and looking for something different.” Immediately he knew, a great white shark was basking. Passengers aboard a Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching vessel got up close to a great white around noon, and for 15 minutes the shark stayed near. The shark, measuring an estimated 14 feet in length, was spotted 2-miles off the coast in 500-foot waters, the longtime captain said. It is only the second time in two years Mansur has seen a great white in these waters. A member of The Gulf of Catalina PETTY THEFT REPORT Valley View Court, 33400 Block (10:49 a.m.) The caller reported a missing backpack with prescription medications and a debit card inside.

DISTURBANCE Doheny Park Road, 34200 Block (6:20 p.m.) A female customer was taking a shower in the restroom and refused to leave. The caller said the woman became aggressive.

DISTURBANCE Pacific Coast Highway, 34100 Block (9:41 a.m.) An informant called authorities after a woman repeatedly entered the caller’s place of work and demanded she return an ex-boyfriend’s wallet.

DISTURBANCE Street of the Golden Lantern, 34400 Block (1:52 p.m.) Three males subjects, described as “redneck hillbillies” by the caller, reportedly started yelling in The Brig Restaurant and shoved two customers. They were last seen heading toward the OC Dana Point Harbor’s commercial boat docks in an older, light blue Jaguar.

SUSPICIOUS VEHICLE Del Prado Avenue, 24000 Block (9:06 a.m.) Two small dogs were left inside a car for more than an hour. The caller reported the vehicle’s windows were cracked but noted it was warm outside.

RECKLESS DRIVING Camino Capistrano/Camino de Estrella (1:46 p.m.) A road raged driver of a raised, white Ford F-150 was called in for recklessly tailgating, making unsafe lane changes and speeding. The driver was described as being in his 40s with a blonde hair and a buzz cut.

SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCES Calle Naranja, 34500 Block (12:35 a.m.) Three or four subjects were reported running around a vacant residence with flash lights.

FRIDAY, October 18

MEDICAL AID Pacific Coast Highway/Street of the Blue Lantern (11:26 a.m.) The Orange County Fire Authority responded to a downed bicyclist. A witness said the biker fell headfirst onto the pavement and was lying unconscious in the street.

SUSPICIOUS PERSON IN VEHICLE Danapine, 32900 Block (7:52 p.m.) Sheriff’s deputies were asked to look for an older gold Pontiac Sunbird that a man had been parked in for more than an hour. PATROL CHECK El Encanto Avenue, 33800 Block (7:41

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A great white shark near the surface last week, 2-miles off the Laguna Beach coast. Photo courtesy of Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching

Grey Whale Preservation & Education Foundation and captain for more than 35 years, Mansur has seen his fair share of marine life, but said seeing a great white near the surface was, simply, “amazing.” Regional shark expert Chris Lowe, with the Shark Lab at California State University Long Beach, said normally large adult sharks stay further out to sea, but if conditions stay nice as the fall months roll in sharks could be seen moving to aggregate sites throughout the Southern California coast. Both Mansur and Lowe said beachgoers have little to fear with great whites. For more on the story, visit DP p.m.) Water was reported bubbling up from under the street. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCES Calle la Primavera, 33900 Block (7:15 p.m.) A caller was concerned children attending a church dance would mess with a motorcycle parked nearby and get hurt. SUSPICIOUS PERSON IN VEHICLE Calle la Primavera, 34000 Block (5:42 p.m.) Authorities were alerted of a man sitting in a gray van who appeared to be taking pictures of children playing in the park with a cellphone. The caller said the vehicle had no license plates. DISTURBANCE-MUSIC OR PARTY Buccaneer Street, 32900 Block (3:07 p.m.) Deputies were asked to perform a patrol check for a subject loudly playing a guitar at a halfway house. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCES Granada Drive, 33800 Block (10:31 a.m.) Authorities were alerted of a possible stalking incident involving exes. The caller said her ex-boyfriend had made threats in the past. UNKNOWN TROUBLE Sherwood Way, 24800 Block (9:22 p.m.) An informant contacted authorities because a male neighbor was screaming like he was being hurt.



Andrea Papagianis, 949.388.7700, x112 ADVERTISING


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Dana Point Times, Vol. 6, Issue 43. The DP Times ( is published weekly by Picket Fence Media, publishers of the SC Times ( and The Capistrano Dispatch (www.thecapistranodispatch. com). 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 2013. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.





Senior Designer > Jasmine Smith

Finance Director > Mike Reed


Business Operations Manager > Alyssa Garrett

Associate Publisher > Lauralyn Loynes

Accounting Manager Distribution Manager > Tricia Zines

Group Senior Editor > Andrea Swayne


City Editor, DP Times > Andrea Papagianis

Tricia Zines, 949.388.7700, x107

Sports Editor > Steve Breazeale

BILLING Alyssa Garrett, 949.388.7700, x100

City Editor, SC Times > Jim Shilander City Editor, The Capistrano Dispatch > Brian Park

> Michele Reddick (San Clemente) > Debra Wells (San Juan Capistrano) Sales Associate > Angela Edwards

SPECIAL THANKS Robert Miller CONTRIBUTORS Megan Bianco, Victor Carno, Tawnee Prazak, Dana Schnell, Tim Trent

GUEST OPINION: The Water Column by Lisa Zawaski, Senior Water Quality Engineer, city of Dana Point and Linda Homscheid, Communications Officer, South Coast Water District

Happy Hallows Green Tricking ourselves into treating our environment with respect


re you an environmental zombie or a Good Witch of the West? Please do not be afraid to try some of these tips to protect our beaches and ocean and set an example. Some of us may have to trick ourselves into new habits but following the tips below will help us treat our beautiful beach community with respect. Brooms aren’t just for witches. Remember, hosing down your driveway or sidewalk wastes water and is prohibited for water quality protection. Pesticide residue is often introduced this way into our waterways. So, use that broom and sweep it up. What’s scarier than sewage backing up? Many of us don’t think about our sewer lines until they back-up and create a mess. Talk to a licensed plumber about inspecting‚ assessing, cleaning and repairing your private sewer line that connects your home to the public sewer system. Please remember to call the South Coast Water District at 949.499.4555 before you clean your sewer line. The water district will

happily send a crew the day of cleaning to remove any roots or debris that may be pushed into the public sewer system to avoid blockages and sewer overflows. Beware of the bag monster. Remember to carry your reusable shopping bags when purchasing goods. In the spirit of water quality protection and sustainability, the city of Dana Point passed an ordinance prohibiting the distribution of single-use plastic bags at retail stores. Please refer to for more information. Properly dispose of spooky hazardous waste. Many common household products require special disposal and cannot be thrown in the regular trash. These items are termed, “household hazardous waste” and include, but are not limited to, cleaning products, paints, batteries, appliances, fluorescent tubes, garden and pool chemicals and vehicle fluids. The closest hazardous waste facility is the Prima Deschecha landfill in San Juan Capistrano on La Pata Avenue. Disposal is free. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday,

from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The landfill is closed on holidays and rainy days. See www. for more information. Prevent the witches’ brew of toxic runoff. • Water from sprinklers can carry ghoulish garden chemicals and whatever else it meets to the streets and storm drains, where it flows to our beaches and pollutes the water. To prevent over-watering and runoff, take control of your sprinkler controller by creating a customized watering schedule at • Always pick up after your pet werewolf (or any other pet, for that matter). Leaving domestic animal droppings on public property is illegal, a nuisance and contributes to bacteria pollution at our beaches. • Avoid washing your Batmobile (or any other vehicle or equipment) in your driveway, where wash water drains to the street, resulting in beach pollution. Take your wheels to a commercial carwash that recycles the wash water or use a mobile detailer who contains it. Learn the benefits of creepy crawlies.

PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to provide our readers with a wide variety of opinions from our community, the DP 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 DP Times or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at

violating the Health and Safety Code and Unfair Competition Law, and its owner to pay $41,100. Beach Cities Collective, and its founder, have judgments in favor of the city, in the amounts of $304,000 each, with appeals pending. In 2012, a California Appellate Court reversed a $2.4 million dollar judgment against Beach Cities. On August 13, 2013, just prior to a trial by jury, Dana Point filed a notice of settlement with Holistic Health and agreed to a $1 million fine against the dispensary itself, and $40,000 dollar fine, which was $50,000, but Dana Point violated seizure laws and agreed to pay $10,000 in res-

titution to the owner of Holistic Health, according to the settlement agreement between the two parties. The frequent claim, by City Attorney Patrick Munoz and staff, that Dana Point has millions in judgments apparently has diminished significantly. Is it impossible to collect a debt from a nonprofit mutual benefit corporation that no longer exists? Dana Point has led the public to believe it can. In March 2011, City Manager Doug Chotkevys recommended the city council increase their risk-management department budget by $410,000, adjusting the

Those wiggling worms won’t seem so creepy when you see how they can make home composting fast and easy for you. Composting is the best thing you can do with your Jack-o-Lantern waste, too. Check the city’s community news or call 949.248.3571 about the 2014 free composting workshops now scheduled for April 26, May 17, June 14 and September 6. Remember, green is the new black. Happy HallowGreen. This column is a cooperative effort of the city of Dana Point and South Coast Water District to cultivate conscious living to protect and preserve our coastal neighborhoods and resources. If you have any suggestions for topics, please feel free to direct questions to or lhomscheid@ DP

Letters to the Editor MILLIONS SPENT FIGHTING MARIJUANA SHOPS, WAS IT WORTH IT? DAVID LAMBERT, Dana Point, Founder of Beach Cities Collective

Dana Point’s pursuit to eliminate medical marijuana dispensaries has been a waste of time and money as well as a massive violation of the public trust. In 2009, Dana Point subpoenaed private patient information from six dispensaries operating in the city. After months of battling through Orange County Superior Court and the California Appellate Court, the California Supreme Court ruled the Dana Point Times October 25-31, 2013

dispensaries were entitled to an appeal, at which time the city dropped all the cases. The city then claimed the dispensaries were not permitted according to the municipal code and filed civil lawsuits. Dana Point could have saved years’ worth of battling and wasteful spending had it shut these facilities down by simply enforcing the city code. Instead, the Dana Point City Council voted to spend taxpayers’ funds to sue these facilities and seek civil penalties from them. In April 2011, an Orange County Superior Court judge ordered The Point Alternative Care to pay $1.9 million for

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Letters to the Editor (cont.) fiscal budget by decreasing Police Services by $115,000 and dropping salary and retirement benefits for city staff by $100,000. Let’s not forget, every medical marijuana dispensary had been shut down and were no longer in operation. “We expect to recover much, if not all, of it,” Chotkevys told councilmembers. November 2012, Munoz was quoted to have spent over $1 million litigating these three cases, the exact number has yet to be disclosed, and maintained that these cases are “money makers,” insinuating all the money that has cost Dana Point taxpayers will be justified. Decisions and comments like these are violations of the public trust. From the beginning of this legal battle, Dana Point has portrayed these dispensaries as “for-profit illegal operations,” convincing the public and, more importantly, the city council that it’s in the city’s best interest to sue the dispensaries because there is money to be made. It’s a shame Dana Point has used taxpayer funds to pay Rutan and Tucker over $1 million—which could easily be closer $2 million—for legal services in the medical marijuana battle, when administratively, through code enforcement, they could have achieved their goal. Good luck collecting $3.2 million from collectives that don’t exist. I wonder how

much they have collected so far. Further, there is still a pending appeal.


We have five hotels and motels within a half mile. Putting yet another hotel at the corner of Del Obispo Street and Pacific Coast Highway at the busiest intersection in town doesn’t make sense. The residents of Dana Point need a city council that is looking out for its residents, not the vision of added tax revenue. Dana Point isn’t Newport Beach. We don’t want to be Newport Beach. It will be a traffic nightmare. Just say “No.”


I have a small boat in the OC Dana Point Harbor that I take out two to three times a week. Every time I go out I find Mylar balloons, coffee cups, plastic water bottles and, just this past Thursday, a basketball floating within a few miles of the Harbor. I’ve bought a net and now collect anything I find. My record is 13 balloons. I’m glad people go out to watch the whales and dolphin and to celebrate weddings,

birthdays and baby showers. However, what comes onto a boat when you depart the dock should come off the boat when you return.


I have an idea that everyone says is a great one. We have been in the OC Dana Point Harbor for about 25 years where we have had two boats and raised two kids. Recently, like many others, we got into stand-up paddleboarding. I discovered it’s tougher to pick up plastic trash on the board than it was with our kayak. I am getting better at picking it up, but what to do with it until I get back to the boat where we store the boards? I tried just setting it on the board but it gets brushed off whenever a wake washes over. We all know what a problem plastic is in the world’s oceans. I personally have seen way too much plastic out there and find it depressing to paddle past it in the Harbor, so here is my idea. Place trash cans strategically around the Harbor reachable from a board with an outstretched paddle. I have found several strategic places where trash cans already exist, and other sites on the waterside that would be easy to deal with. To make this

really work well the cans could be painted very visibly and show some type of cool image from the water creating some buzz. Ideally, the lid would be modified with a type of sweep effect to remove the trash from the paddle as you draw it back, it shouldn’t be too tough to rig something up like broom inserts inverted downward. Here’s the great part, the paddlers now have a purpose. They will have earned the right to be there. By doing something positive for the Harbor, for that deserted beach down in Baja or that sea life that won’t be killed by eating that very piece of plastic, we will all benefit. Hopefully, the boaters will cut them a little slack knowing the good they’re doing. God knows they need it. The labor to clean the Harbor would be free and the paddlers would have a better overall experience as well. I am sure the county can afford to make this improvement if we tell them it’s important to us.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU To submit a letter to the editor for possible inclusion in the paper, e-mail us at letters@danapointtimes. com or send it to 34932 Calle del Sol, Suite B, Capistrano Beach, CA 92624. Dana Point Times reserves the right to edit reader-submitted letters for length and is not responsible for the claims made or the information written by the writers.





D a n a Po i nt


A day-by-day guide to what’s happening in and around town. COMPILED BY TAWNEE PRAZAK



HIKE TO THE FLAG 9 a.m.10:30 a.m. “Take a Hike OC” leads a hike at the East End of Camino Las Ramblas. $10. San Juan Capistrano, 714.801.3976,

KIDS BOO CRUISE 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Families are invited to Dana Wharf for their annual 20-minute “haunted” Halloween boat cruises in the Harbor featuring goody bags for children and prizes. Wear your costume. $5. 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.496.5794, HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR & MOONLIGHT MOVIE 4:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Free Halloween event at Lantern Bay Park with carnival games, crafts, stories, costume parade, pumpkin decorating and a festive movie at 6:30 p.m. with free popcorn and treats. Wear your costume. 25111 Park Lantern Road, Dana Point, 949.248.3530, WILLIAM SHATNER 8 p.m. William Shatner will be performing his new record “Ponder the Mystery” at The Coach House. Tickets $30. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930,


SPOOKFEST: TRICKS AND TALES 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Club Literacy hosts Halloween storytelling for pre-K through fourth-grade students. Reservations required. $20. A second event will be held October 27, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. 34085 Pacific Coast Highway, Ste. 105, Dana Point, 949.717.6624,


ADULT BOO CRUISES 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Head to Dana Wharf for their new adult boo cruise on the Dana Pride with music by DJ Krissy, “witches brew,” a costume contest and more fun. Tickets $25; for ages 21+. 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.496.5794, HALLOW’S EVE BOWL BASH 3 p.m. The 10th annual skate contest at Etnies Skatepark with multiple divisions, prizes, a costume-friendly skate environment and more. Entry fee $20. 20028 Lake Forest Drive, Lake Forest, 949.916.5870, Dana Point Times October 25–31, 2013

AT THE MOVIES: WHICH OLD WITCH? In 2009, vampires seemed to infest pop culture to the point of oversaturation. Zombies took over as the go-to monster in entertainment in 2011. Now, with the television premieres of “American Horror Story: Coven” and “Witches of East End,” witches seem to be taking over. Although Harry Potter was a major phenomenon featuring adolescent wizards and witches, most would probably associate the magical group with the likes of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.” Here are a few film favorites to cast a spell on you for All Hallow’s Eve. Veronica Lake reps early celluloid sorceresses as Fredric March’s wife in 1942’s I Married a Witch, while Kim Novak enchanted Jimmy Stewart in Bell, Book and Candle (1958), for those into classic movies. Romantic comedy lovers might go for Jack Nicholson’s attempt to seduce Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Veronica Lake in ‘I Married a Witch.’ Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures Pfeiffer in The Witches of Eastwick (1987), or Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman trying to bewitch a bad boyfriend in Practical Magic (1998). Viewers in the mood for some 1990s childhood nostalgia will remember Anjelica Huston, feared by every child in The Witches (1990), and Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy brought back from the dead in Hocus Pocus (1993). Fairuza Balk has not only claimed to be a Wiccan in real life, but also played a witch twice in film with cult movies The Worst Witch (1986) and The Craft (1998). So whether on TV or feature film, any of these enchantresses make for wicked fun Halloween viewing. —Megan Bianco

FARMERS MARKET 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Produce, crafted goods, flowers and more at La Plaza Park in Dana Point. 949.248.3500, DOHENY STATE BEACH HALLOWEEN HAUNT 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. The 20th annual Halloween event featuring good ol’ fashioned spookiness, arts and crafts, a fun zone, an array of booths and more. Donation of one non-perishable item per person is appreciated. 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, 949.496.2704, SOUTH COAST ROLLER DERBY’S HALLOWEEN SCREAMAGE 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Catch the “bone-breaking action” in this must-see women’s skate match with a Halloween twist at the Laguna Hills Community Center & Sports Complex. Admission $10, or bring five canned food items and get in for $5. 25555 Alicia Pkwy. Laguna Hills, 949.707.2680.


WOOFSTOCK 2013 FUNDRAISER Noon-5 p.m. Dogfriendly extravaganza to benefit pets and the environment at San Clemente State Beach campgrounds featuring costume contests for dogs and humans, animal rescue groups, dog parade, entertainment, demonstrations, pet vendors, raffle and much more. Tickets $20 at the door, additional tickets $5 and kids free. 949.366.8599,


JOHN WATSON’S BODY 5 p.m. A Sherlock Holmes mystery on Stage II at Camino Real Playhouse. Tickets $18; shows through Nov. 3. 31776 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.489.8082, MARINE MAMMAL CRUISE 10 a.m. Ocean Institute marine biologists lead the cruise aboard the Sea Explorer, in search for blue whales. $22-$35. 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, 949.496.2274,


COOKING CLASS: CASUAL AUTUMN FARE 6:30 p.m. Cooking class at Antoine’s Cafe. Featured dish: Roasted Chicken in Creamy Lemon-Herb Sauce. Cost $50 each; includes recipes, dinner and a glass of wine. 218 S. El Camino Real, San Clemente, 949.492.1763,


FAMILY STORYTIME 7 p.m. Wear your PJs to The Dana Point Library and hear bedtime stories. 33841 Niguel Road, Dana Point, 949.496.5517, Page 10



DUSTIN FRANKS 7 p.m.10 p.m. Live music at The Cellar. 156 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, 949.492.3663,

CURIOSITY CARTS 10 a.m.-Noon. A hands-on learning experience for kids with replicas of mission artifacts used by the Juaneno Indians at Mission San Juan Capistrano. 26801 Ortega Hwy., 949.234.1300,


FOOD TRUCK FARE HALLOWEEN FOODTACULAR 5:30 p.m.9 p.m. Halloween-themed food truck event at the OC Fair & Events Center also featuring a DJ, cash bar for adults and trick-or-treating truckto-truck for kids. Family-friendly costumes are welcomed. 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.708.1500,



WICKED WINE TASTING PARTY 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Special event at DaVine Food & Wine featuring a “Pick Your Poison” blind tasting. 34673 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.493.4044,


BEACHFIRE HALLOWEEN PARTY 8 p.m. BeachFire hosts a Halloween party with music by DJ Eric, a costume contest with prizes (10 p.m.), food and drink specials and more fun. 204 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, 949.366.3232, STARVE A VAMPIRE DAY 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Kaleidoscope and The American Red Cross host blood drive. 27741 Crown Valley Pkwy., Mission Viejo, 949.582.1948,, BIG 80’S HALLOWEEN BASH 8 p.m. Halloween party with live music by Flashback Heart Attack at StillWater. Cover $5. 24701 Del Prado Ave., Dana Point, 949.661.6003, *For our full calendar, visit the “Event Calendar” at Have an event? Send your listing to

Learning to Read Should be F-u-n Fun Hearing, seeing and moving are key to successful phonics instruction

By Katie Kohn Many kindergarten students struggle with reading but there are amazing phonics and literacy programs around that can make cracking the code fun and simple. There seems to be a big disconnect between our preschools and kindergartens when it comes to preparing a child to read. Too often students come to kindergarten knowing all the letter names and writing in all upper case letters. Upper case letters are used infrequently in reading and writing. I understand that capital letters are easier for younger children to form, but I have, as a reading teacher, seen many 3-year-olds make perfectly good lower case letters too. I stress to parents and teachers that we should teach the lower case letters first. It is confusing to a 5-year-old who has just mastered their capital letters to then be told that they must switch to mostly reading and writing in lower case. Why not start them writing in lower case and then teach upper case half way through kindergarten? Students also learn the names of the letters before the sounds they make, causing even more confusion for their immature brains to deal with. Teaching d-o-g using letter names is not the approach to take. We don’t read with letter names, we read by blending the sounds, or phonemes. Again, we should start by introducing the sounds first (phonemic awareness) and later the names, which all children learn easily from the alphabet song. When choosing a reading program for your student, look for one that teaches more than just the alphabet. The English language has many diagraphs—when two letters make one sound—that can be included in a literacy program. Examples of these are: ai, oa, ou, ie, ee, ue, oi. Children are taught, “When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking and says its name.” This is not

Au Pair: For Early

Language, Multicultural Education

By Sabina Crane, San Clemente mom Our family is a multi-cultural and multi-age mix. Grandma is from Norway, Opa and mom from Germany, our oldest son is studying in South Africa and the youngest, Alex, is now 6 years old and in kindergarten. Both mom and dad work in the professional world, so early on we decided to host an au pair for Alex for several reasons—to expose him and our family to different cultures, to encourage a young adult to observe the American way of living and to afford ourselves, as parents, flexibility with ever-changing work schedules. Our first au pair was from Thailand, and the educational process for everyone, including us as parents, was radically different. We are now hosting our third au pair from Cultural Care, Natascha from Germany, and the benefits for Alex are obvious. We value the chance to be matched with an au pair with German background so Alex can learn more about his heritage now that he is a little 3 | CRIB TO COLLEGE

Katie Kohn teaches her daughter Annabel, 5, phonics at her in-home tutoring classroom. Photo by Andrea Swayne

the case for ones such as ou and oi. Find a program that teaches all the sounds of the English language in a fun, systematic and multi-sensory manner. Some of us learn through listening (auditory), some through looking (visual), but many learn through movement (kinesthetic). When I am working with an older student who is struggling with reading, the problem is almost always that they are kinesthetic learners and the literacy program they used left that modality out. The other missing piece is that they never learned the sounds of the digraphs, just the 26 alphabet sounds. These students should be retaught all the sounds (42 of them), with movements and songs added to each sound. The songs and movements make it fun and meaningful and from then on it sticks. Movements that go with the letter sounds can also be taught to help children master blending (putting the sounds together to form words). Miming games that use several actions in a row help students to blend them in their head and then produce the

older. As a result he is much more understanding of foreign cultures, and even more important, he is learning to be very patient as our newest family member learns English. Through his time with various au pairs Alex has been exposed to new foods, a wider array of hobbies and interests, and of course, a new language. Ultimately these invaluable experiences are creating a more wellrounded cultural education for our son while also addressing our childcare needs. We’ve found it’s a myth that au pairs are only for the wealthy, as au pairs cost an average of $355 per week per family, not per child. This is less than most nannies and day care or pre-school services. Plus, day care staff is usually spread thin watching 10 to 20 children whereas an au pair offers one-on-one quality care. And nannies often have scheduling limits, whereas an au pair is 100 percent vested in your family and life. Natascha’s integration into our family has been smooth and all of us enjoy the differences we discover. Natascha is exploring a new world, while Alex is learning more about his German heritage and the language. She is genuinely interested in our family and as parents we have peace of mind as

word. Another trick that helps students blend is to say the first sound of a word very loud and the following ones quieter. Otherwise, by the time they have gotten to the last sound, they have forgotten the first. Saying the first sound louder helps children remember it. Making sure various learning modalities are included is crucial to helping all students crack the code. Some will learn to read with ease no matter what system they use, but many will struggle unless they are taught in a meaningful and systematic way. Struggles with reading can result in poor comprehension skills, low self-esteem and difficulties with all subjects, as fluency is needed for math, science, etc. Research shows that children who are taught using a systematic phonics program that is multi-sensory and teaches all 42 sounds, are up to 12 months ahead of their peers in reading and writing. These types of literacy programs also help English Language Learners to be as competent in reading as their native speaking peers, and girls and boys to read at the same level. Don’t be afraid to ask your child’s teacher questions about the reading program being used in the classroom. And, if your child is struggling or just doesn’t seem to enjoy learning to read, seek out a supplemental program to use at home or a tutor specializing in multisensory phonics. When a fun, multisensory and systematic phonics program is chosen, children will love learning to read, develop confidence and have a strong base on which to build a successful education. Katie Kohn has a master’s degree in education and a California Multiple Subject Credential with crosscultural language and academic development (CLAD) emphasis. Kohn is a Jolly Phonics, www.usaphonics. com, and grammar teacher and tutors in all subjects. She can be reached via email at jollyphonics.katie@

Sabina Crane shot this photo of her son Alex, 6, au pair Natascha and husband Richard Crane as the family kicked off the fall season together carving jack-o-lanterns at their San Clemente home. Sabina said hosting an au pair is a great choice for childcare as well as providing educational experiences and positive cultural exchanges for the whole family.

our new “daughter” cares for Alex in our absence. We are already hoping that Natascha wants to do a second year with our family! Sabina Crane is the mother of three ranging in age from 6 to 29 and runs a pet toy and treat company. The Crane family lives in San Clemente and is hosting their third au pair from Cultural Care Au Pair, DANAPOINTTIMES.COM

Your Road to College Academic advisors from local high schools share tips and advice for high school students Building Your Resume: College Admissions and the Well-rounded Student Colleges are looking for students who work hard and dream big By Bonnie Borden, Academic Advisor, Dana Hills High School College entrance requirements vary. SAT scores, your high school grade point average, where you rank among your high school class and the size of your high school class are all factors. Hard work and success in high school paves the way to college acceptance. College admissions counselors want to see students start strong as freshmen and continue on through senior year. Math is an extremely important part of your academic resume. Three years of math are required; however, colleges want to see students stay in math throughout high school. Admission counselors are also looking for well-rounded individuals, who have completed substantial contributions in several areas. Athletics, volunteering, employment and involvement in clubs are important and necessary. They are looking for leaders, club presidents and student government participation. All are impressive. Colleges want students who will contribute to their school and make it a better place. So while still in high school, work on those grades, improve your test scores, take advanced placement (AP) classes and choose a meaningful extracurricular activity. Internships and significant summer experiences are also impressive and play an important part in building a comprehensive resume. As a junior, you should be making a list of intended college visits, preparing for the SAT and or ACT, and test in the spring. Your resume should be fine-tuned, and a rough draft of your

college essay should be in the works. Visit as many schools as possible and try to do so when students are on campus. Organization and dedication are key this year. Colleges look very closely at the junior year but remember it is important to finish strong and keep shining through senior year. Admissions offers can be rescinded due to a significant downturn in senior year grades. Be realistic when applying to schools and always include a safety school, meaning a school you are certain to be offered admission to. Apply only to schools you would attend if accepted. College websites give averages—the percentage of applicants accepted versus those who applied, average test scores, average GPAs, etc.—for the prior class admitted. Use this information as guidelines when deciding where to apply. Even if you have your heart set on attending a college out of state, don’t neglect the opportunity to also explore your many options here in California. Check out the California State University system. State schools look only at a student’s GPA and either the SAT or the ACT test scores. Students will find the value of a CSU education means one of the lowest public university tuitions in the nation, many financial aid options and low debt upon graduation. Private schools and the University of California look at grades, test scores, difficulty of the classes you took and all activities. Remember, no matter where your college search leads, a continuing education brings the promise of a stable economic future. The more education you obtain the better off your job prospects and future earnings.

Top College Admission Testing Questions Answered By Roland Allen, Director of College Counseling, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School College admission officers universally agree that the single most important piece of information in a student’s college application file is the high school transcript. That is, successful progress in rigorous college-preparatory courses in high school is the best indication 4 | CRIB TO COLLEGE

of an applicant’s future success in college. Other factors are important as well. In my experience, however, concern about college admission testing produces the most acute anxiety among college-bound students and their parents. While college admission testing and college planning requires thoughtful conversations with students, counselors and parents, here are answers to six of the most commonly asked questions about testing. (Continued on page 9)

How Important Is a College Visit? By Rachele Ross, Academic Advisor, San Clemente High School College visits play a pivotal part in the college selection process. When you are trying to figure out which college is the best fit for you, visiting a campus can help narrow your decision. I have worked in guidance for many years and each person takes a different approach to how and when they take these college tours and what to expect. Visiting colleges in the spring/summer of your junior year seems to be the best time. It allows you to compare if you are a qualified candidate, if the school offers everything you are looking for and if it is a good fit for you. Having these visits done before the beginning of your senior year will also allow you to apply with a little more information and confidence in the fall. College visits come in many forms and you have to plan for all of them. 1. Make sure you plan your visit when school is in session. Going when no one is around defeats the purpose. 2. Set up an appointment to speak with an admissions counselor, especially for impacted majors. It can only help you, so bring a copy of your most recent transcript and test scores. A college visit demonstrates to a school that students are interested enough to come and find out whether the college is right for them. 3. Look to social media like Facebook. All universities have accounts. Getting a real perspective gives you some insight. 4. Connecting with a former student from your high school can give your tour a personal touch. You can see the real campus and a little piece of home helps. 5. If possible, sit in on part of a class pertaining to your major. Class schedules are online so you can plan your day, and after class, a quick introduction to the instructor can’t hurt. 6. Traditional guided tours will allow you to see all the highlights of the campus. 7. An overnight visit is an option that gives you more of the whole campus experience. 8. Go visit schools that offer what you are looking for (majors, campus size, athletics, Greek life, etc.). Big names don’t always mean a good fit. The importance of visiting college campuses cannot be over emphasized. Brochures, websites, presentations by college representatives and guidance counselors can help to form an opinion of a school, but a visit allows you to see first-hand the environment and evaluate the academics, athletics, housing and the social life of that school. Seeing for yourself is the best insight of all. It is not uncommon for a student to think that a college is right for them based on all the hype but then find that it is not the right fit. It is more important that students choose a school that is the right fit for them. It is not the name of the school, but the experience you have as an undergraduate that will contribute the most to a successful future. Better to find that out before you arrive than in the fall with your bags and books in hand. DANAPOINTTIMES.COM

MORE FROM OUR EXPERTS... Losing Sleep over the Cost of College? I ask families all the time if they’re worried about the cost of college for their kids, and with no exceptions their answer is a resounding “YES”! The reality is that more and more families are completely stressed out over the quickly rising cost of college. Are you one of them? Hope is NOT a Strategy When I ask moms and dads what their plan is for paying for college, here are the top five answers I get: • We hope to get scholarships • We hope to get a Cal Grant • We’ll borrow against our home • We’ll borrow against our retirement • Student loans Hoping for scholarships is NOT a strategy! And borrowing for college has proven to be financially devastating, for both students AND parents. Students are graduating from college burdened heavily with student loans, often being forced financially to move back home with mom and dad. Others find their dreams of getting married or starting a family horribly delayed, all because of debt. So What’s the Solution? You’ve got to have a deliberate, intentional PLAN in place to pay for college, before your student gets stuck

St. Anne School St. Anne School in Laguna Niguel is an independent Catholic school that fosters the intellectual and character development of its students, preschool through eighth grade. St. Anne provides unparalleled academics and extracurricular activities designed to challenge, educate and nurture the whole child in partnership with parents. Founded in 1992, St. Anne is a National Blue Ribbon School and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the Western Catholic Education Association (WCEA) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). St. Anne welcomes students of all faiths and offers two-, three- and five-day preschool options, full-day kindergarten and extended day-care. Call today to schedule a tour. For preschool, please contact LuAnn Wilson at 949.276.6783 or via email at For kindergarten through eighth grade, please contact Lil Ray-Reed at 949.276.6753 or at 32451 Bear Brand Road, Laguna Niguel,


on a dream school or becomes stricken with “brand name paralysis.” Your plan must begin with an understanding of today’s college admissions and financial aid process. It’s nothing like when YOU were in college! Surprisingly, few families have such an understanding, so it’s no wonder they’re severely disappointed in March when the financial aid “awards” arrive, and their stellar student has been offered nothing but loans.  Loans Are NOT Financial Aid The colleges and government have successfully convinced moms, dads, and students that borrowing for college somehow equates to “financial aid.” This is ridiculous! True financial aid comes in two flavors, scholarships and grants. Referred to as “gift aid”, these represent the only TRUE forms of financial aid, because it’s the “free money” families are looking (and hoping) for. So WHO Gets the Free Money? Herein lies the $64,000 question! To answer it correctly, you’ve got to know which “Financial Aid Quadrant” your student falls into. Quadrant No.1 gets the most money. Quadrant No. 4 gets the least. Very few families have even heard of these quadrants, let alone know which one they’re in. Whether you have a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior, you must know your quadrant and what that means to you in terms of FREE MONEY.


Don’t Be Normal Don’t let your college-bound student be “normal!” Here’s what normal looks like in the landscape of college graduates today: • 6+ years to get an undergraduate degree • $32,000 in student loans • 50% chance of being unemployed or underemployed • 85% chance of moving back home Let the Admissions and Financial Aid Experts at GetCollegeFunding help your student achieve his/her dreams and help YOU catch up on all that sleep you’ve been losing. — Text the keyword freemoney to 949.234.6495 or go to to get started today — By Tom Bottorf Founder & President GetCollegeFunding Dana Point Harbor 949.340.2675

Saddleback Valley Christian Schools

Santa Margarita Catholic High School

Founded in 1997, Saddleback Valley Christian Schools is an independent, college preparatory, WASCaccredited Christian school serving preschool through 12th grade. Blessed with nearly 70 acres in San Juan Capistrano, facilities include two new education wings spanning 66,000 square feet of classrooms and labs. SVCS seeks to prepare young minds for leadership with hearts for service. Rigorous college prep academics are integrated with athletics, the arts, service opportunities and a Christian perspective to develop the whole child. Our academic program consists of instruction from talented and qualified teachers, emphasizing Biblical truth and a balanced curriculum to challenge each student. Our High School is a University of Californiaapproved college prep program, emphasizing coursework necessary for competitive college placement. The academic and elective campus features inspiring musical performances, creative art programs, quality science equipment and state-of-the-art computer labs. The athletics program includes 19 sports and boasts over 80 championships, including two CIF titles. 26333 Oso Road, San Juan Capistrano, 949.443.4050, www.

Santa Margarita Catholic High School offers a well-rounded, college-preparatory education developing students who are people of faith, skilled lifelong learners, healthy individuals and involved citizens of our world. Whether you have specialized learning needs or thrive in the most rigorous of programs, Santa Margarita’s academic tracks are tailored to meet the needs of varied learners. The school offers 18 AP courses, an Interdisciplinary Program caters to hands-on learners and an Auxiliary Studies Program provides students with specialized learning needs the opportunity to reach their full potential. Santa Margarita is also the only Catholic high school in Orange County to offer the challenging International Baccalaureate program. Students are accepted to the nation’s top universities, frequently earning scholarships. Faith development and extracurricular activities are an integral part of the Santa Margarita experience. Students are encouraged to explore their passions through the school’s thriving activities, arts and athletic programs. 22062 Antonio Parkway Rancho Santa Margarita, 949.766.6000, DANAPOINTTIMES.COM

MORE FROM OUR EXPERTS... Tutor Toes Club Literacy A solid reading foundation is the key to higher academic performance and success in all curriculum areas. No learning center knows this better than Club Literacy. Established in 1998, Club Literacy, an educational enrichment center dedicated to the development of lifelong readers, has helped thousands of students improve their reading and writing skills. Club Literacy’s unique learning environment is a great confidence builder for its many young students. Amazingly, even kindergartenaged children who attend the center publish their very own books! 34085 Pacific Coast Highway, Ste.105, Dana Point, 949.717.6624,

St. Michael’s Christian Academy St. Michael’s Christian Academy is a private school serving the parents of preschool through eighth-grade students in the heart of San Clemente. For over 30 years SMCA has been preparing students to achieve excellence by laying a solid foundation for lifelong learning. Our school is blessed to have loving and skilled teachers who enrich a traditional curriculum with music,

Tutor Toes provides the best practices in education while nurturing students to be successful, lifelong learners. All students shine with confidence as they realize their own strengths and individual skills. Believing that each child has the ability to learn and succeed, we provide all students with the necessary tools for success at their optimal level while nurturing thier love for learning. Come visit us and let us share our love for learning with you! 111 W. Avenida Palizada, San Clemente, 949.429.6222,

technology, art and sports. Our small class size, with an average of 12 students per class, allows our teachers to mentor and nurture students with individualized attention, encouraging them to achieve their full potential. Working with caring parents in this close-knit community provides an atmosphere for our students that infuses responsibility, integrity and respect, along with exceptional academic achievement. St. Michael’s Christian Academy is not just a school—it’s a way of life! 107 W. Marquita, San Clemente, 949.366.9468,


Capistrano Valley Christian Schools Capistrano Valley Christian Schools focuse on growing leaders with a Biblical Worldview. Our size matched with our many specialized programs creates a community atmosphere while providing a high standard of academics and opportunities to develop every student’s leadership potential. Here at CVCS we find no greater pleasure than leading students into success in every arena of their growth process. All of the CVCS educators seek to show children how every discipline finds its source in God and His Word. In attending CVCS, students learn that God’s handiwork is revealed in science, His goodness and justice in history, His beauty in art and music, and His order and design in mathematics. For 40 years CVCS has been providing a loving Christcentered and nurturing environment for learning in the San Juan Capistrano community. We provide three-day and five-day junior kindergarten, full-day kindergarten through 12th grade as well as a homeschool co-op and ISP for families looking for flexibility. You are invited to stop by and see what makes CVCS a very special school. WOW is “Welcome on Wednesdays.” Stop by between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. for a tour and meet some of our staff. No appointment necessary! 32032 Del Obispo Street, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.5683,

St. Margaret’s Episcopal School Founded in 1979, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School is the premier, independent college-preparatory day school in Orange County, situated on a beautiful 22-acre campus in historic San Juan Capistrano, educating 1,250 students from preschool through grade 12. Graduates of 2013 attend colleges and universities across the nation, including Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, University of California, Los Angeles, New York University, Stanford University, Tufts University, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania and Yale University. The Upper School offers 25 Advanced Placement courses and innovative, challenging academic courses such as engineering, marine science, multivariable calculus and software engineering. Every graduate is prepared and qualified to enroll in a four-year college or university, and because of the school’s reputation for the depth and quality of its academic program, more than 125 colleges and universities across the country visit St. Margaret’s annually to recruit its graduates. The school invests heavily in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), with robotics and engineering programs beginning in Lower School 8 | CRIB TO COLLEGE

in a dedicated engineering and robotics lab. By Middle School every student learns, studies and works on iPads. In Upper School students innovate and create in a state-of-the-art design and fabrication lab. The early childhood program focuses on cognitive, physical, social, emotional and creative growth. The Preschool curriculum develops exploration and foundation skills, receiving the highest marks from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The differentiated curriculum evolves in Lower School to a dynamic academic classroom experience in reading, writing, and math, along with science, STEM, social studies, world languages, physical education and art. Educating the whole child best prepares young learners for future social and academic success. A hallmark of St. Margaret’s is how its renowned faculty—more than 60 percent hold advanced degrees— are engaged in the life of each student. Teachers, advisors, three full-time college counselors, chaplains and coaches provide a solid framework of guidance and support. Through small class sizes, every student is known and nurtured. The new, reimagined library, a modern communal learning hub, provides dedicated spaces to support student learning, research and study needs, to work independently or collaboratively with classmates, and to seek guidance from expert researchers and information

specialists. Physical education and athletics emphasize active and healthy living, integrity, teamwork, high expectations and mutual respect, from gross motor development in preschool to 24 CIF varsity sports. The “Tartans” have achieved 29 team CIF-SS championships and five team state championships. Opened in 2012, St. Margaret’s 45,000 square-foot Performing Arts Center supports a vibrant arts curriculum in theater, dance, orchestra, band, choir and visual arts challenging students to be creative thinkers, problem-solvers and deepen their voice. St. Margaret’s students and alumni are easily recognized for their integrity, leadership, character and values. The school’s Episcopal identity guides its inclusive community that values faith and reason, embraces debate and differences, and emphasizes the spiritual and intellectual development of each child. Alongside rigorous academics and a breadth of student programs, St. Margaret’s fosters lives of understanding, respect, compassion, responsibility and the courage to lead and serve others. St. Margaret’s, 31641 La Novia in San Juan Capistrano, is hosting an Admission Open House on Saturday, November 9. For more information, contact the school at 949.661.0108 or log on to DANAPOINTTIMES.COM

Top College Admission Testing Questions Answered (Continued from page 4) What are college admission tests? The SAT and ACT are the two college admission tests offered in the United States by separate education non-profit organizations. The SAT, from the College Board, is administered on seven test dates in October, November, December, January, March, May and June. The ACT administers its test on six test dates in September, October, December, February, April and June. Every college and university in the United States that requires standardized admission tests accepts either the SAT or ACT with no preference for either test. “Does every college require standardized admission tests?” The National Center for Fair and Open Testing ( maintains a list of hundreds of colleges that are either test optional or de-emphasize standardized testing in making admission decisions. Some colleges offer alternatives to the SAT and ACT, such as the recent decision by Bard College in New York that allows students to take an examination that is composed of a series of essay questions. Which test should I take? This is the big question, and there’s no standard answer. Some students initially take both the SAT and ACT and compare the results before deciding which test they prefer.

How do I prepare for the tests? Every student should become familiar with the SAT or ACT prior to taking the test. I recommend using the preparation resources on the College Board and ACT websites. Students who want more disciplined preparation should look into test preparation services. is a free service that is recommended by some colleges and universities. When should I begin college admission testing? Most students take the PSAT as their introduction to college admission testing. The “P” stands for “preliminary.” The PSAT is low-stakes testing in that the scores are not reported to colleges nor used in college admission decisions. The results provide students with valuable information. Students receive PSAT results with a full analysis of their strengths and weakness on the test and specific recommendations on how to improve their score when they sit for the SAT. Students who take the PSAT in grade 11 are entered into the National Merit Scholarship competition, which adds more weight to the test. The PSAT is administered by individual high schools in the middle of October each year. My colleagues at St. Margaret’s and I develop a testing plan with our students individually since “one size fits all” doesn’t apply to college admission testing. Our recommendations take in consideration a student’s placement in particular courses, especially mathematics, and we review results of the PSAT. Generally speaking, students should sit

for the SAT or ACT in the spring of junior year. That allows ample time for adjusting the testing plan since colleges use the highest scores when making admission decisions. How many times can I take the SAT or ACT? There are many opinions on how many times a student should take the SAT or ACT. Students should approach testing thoughtfully, in consultation with their college counselor, and take the tests until they feel their scores best represent their testing ability. Keep in mind that test results are only a fraction of what college admission officers take into account when making admission decisions. Other considerations are the high school transcript, essays, recommendation letters and extracurricular involvements. Roland Allen has over 20 years of college counseling experience. His background includes college admissions and counseling experience at Colby College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, The Branson School and Sidwell Friends School. He actively participates in professional organizations, including the College Board, National Association for College Admission Counseling, and the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools. Mr. Allen serves on the review committee for the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and volunteers with College Summit. At St. Margaret’s, Mr. Allen leads a team of three full-time college counselors.

From Crib to College In the Blink of an Eye Parent of two reminisces as second son’s graduation nears By Shelley Murphy

For years I’ve taken comfort in the rituals of September—buying school supplies, shopping for clothes and attending back to school night. I can’t count how many September nights I’ve spent in classrooms over the years, but I know precisely how many remain—one. My younger son is a junior in high school, and for me, it’s déjà vu all over again. When my older son started his junior year, I began an official college countdown. Now, I’m calculating my younger son’s gradual slide down a slippery slope toward his freshman year of college. Friends say since I’ve sent one son off to college this time should be easier. In fact, it’s just the opposite; this time around I know exactly how quickly the calendar races and the agonizing heartaches. I long for my lost ignorance. It seems like only yesterday we brought our high school junior home from the hospital to his awaiting crib and big brother. As our young son grew, we celebrated each milestone as he learned to roll over, then crawl and eventually walk. In the blink of an eye, we went from my son sitting on my lap reading stories at “Mommy and Me” to my son sitting behind the wheel of my car learning the rules of the road. So far, my son is starting his junior year, like 9 | CRIB TO COLLEGE

his brother before him, and researching potential colleges. My boys won’t attend the same college, but my younger son is following the same familiar timeline to reach his collegiate destination. He’ll start by sending out applications, and I’ll once again anxiously anticipate the arrival of thrilling acceptance or agonizing rejection letters. After my son chooses his college to attend, we’ll celebrate his accomplishments by hosting a high school graduation party complete with balloons bearing his new school colors. On my boy’s last day at San Clemente High School, he’ll cross the stage amid the pomp and circumstance to accept his well-earned high school diploma. Or, as I refer to it, my parenting pink slip. Graduation passes and the days of summer end their downward spiral. After one last homemade meal, we’ll pack up the extra-long bed sheets and move our son from his bedroom to his dorm room. The trip to college could be a quick drive or a long flight, either way it results in changing our family forever. Freshman move-in day is a systematically scheduled, well-oiled machine. Throughout the day, waves of families arrive with freshmen gripping their belongings and parents clutching their hearts. As afternoon gives way to evening, university administrators hold a parent meeting at the

same time the dorm staff hosts a new resident meeting. There’s nothing left to say; it’s a thinly veiled ploy to purposefully separate parents from their students. Before they begin breaking up families, school officials graciously grant a minute for a quick goodbye. Parents, who spent the day running up and down stairs balancing boxes and wiping sweat from their brows, stand quietly in a corner hugging their children while wiping tears from their eyes. Unceremoniously, parents begin leaving campus, clinging to the hope that if well-behaved, they can come back in six weeks for Parents’ Weekend. No amount of planning adequately prepares parents for the drive away from the college. In an instant, chaotic commotion gives way to deafening silence followed by a flood of tears and a rush of heartache. At holidays, college kids return to their nests, but they’re never really home. They don’t ask, “Can you quiz me for my science test?” or “Where’s my favorite football jersey?” Instead, it’s, “Can I have your car keys?” or “Will you leave the front door unlocked?” Time passes; they thrive and you survive the freshman year of college. Life resumes. A different life—a life without back to school nights, but with Parents’ Weekend and the promise of new milestones and memories shared with our young adults. Shelley Murphy has lived in San Clemente with her husband and two sons for the past 14 years. She has been a freelance writer and contributor to the SC Times since 2006. DANAPOINTTIMES.COM

No Education is Complete without Music By Kimberly Dean Williams, Kenny’s Music Music education is a necessity for a well-rounded education. It is also one of the great joys in life. Any music teacher or music student can expand upon the significance and profound effects that music has had on their intellectual, spiritual and creative being. However, anecdotal knowledge is now shown to be fact, with all the new and compelling behavioral studies and groundbreaking neurological research, showing conclusively that music studies actively contribute to brain development. The evidence of the positive effects music has on a student’s education has not only been seen by me personally in our award-winning music school, but is shown in many notable studies. The College Bound Seniors National Report profiled SAT program test takers and found that those students involved in music appreciation scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math scores, in impressive contrast to students who had no art education participation. Recognized as an invaluable way to connect with others and build bridges through a common language, music provides children the opportunity to not only connect with themselves but also build on their creative, cooperative and communication skills. In this age of advanced technology, our young people are forgetting the art of communication. The sight of our children obsessed with their cell phones while texting and avoiding conversation with others is disheartening. However, ob-

Kenny’s Music owners Kimberly Dean Williams and Kenny Williams bid students (L to R) Bella Lino (guitar), Catherine Glass (violin) and Tyler Tracy (drums) farewell following their Tuesday evening lessons. Photo by Andrea Swayne

serving a child’s achievement as they learn to play a musical instrument alongside their peers is a joyous experience to behold. Music may soon be one of the few group activities in which students can develop their minds and increase their ability to socialize and communicate. People will always respond and draw from the energy of others when playing and singing music, emphasizing that computers will never take the place of that true human connection. Music is truly a universal language that everyone can understand. Those with early musical training are better able to comprehend and memorize

After-school Programs Help Kids Reach Full Potential By Andy Brosche, Boys & Girls Club of the South Coast Area After-school youth development programs are a positive choice for bridging the gap between school and home by providing academic support, positive adult mentorship, friendship and a safe place to be a kid. In today’s world of raising a child with both parents working full-time even small assignments, like reading for 30 minutes a night, can easily slip through the cracks. Unsupervised after-school hours can become a detriment—kids will always find something to do, but may not make the best, or healthiest, use of their time. Technology, whether lack of access or too much access, also poses challenges. During these tough economic times, several families in our community are without a computer and lack the ability to access the Capistrano Unified School District’s online communication system, School Loop, or to correspond with teachers via email. On the other hand, with so many distractions like social media, television, video games or smart phones available to children, face-to-face socialization seems completely abandoned and homework can be neglected. It is for reasons like these that community after-school 10 | CRIB TO COLLEGE

Members of the Boys & Girls Club of the South Coast Area are all smiles as they work on their homework. Photo by Andy Brosche

programs are such a valuable resource. Most after-school organizations have technology centers and offer computer access for research, reports, email and for accessing School Loop. If technology resources are easily accessible to kids, they take advantage of it. Technology is becoming more and more important to a student’s success. After-school programs also provide safe and positive mentorship. Kids can participate in highyield activities that encourage healthy lifestyles, academic success, good character and leadership. When children are provided so many options to participate in a variety of activities, they are deterred from burying their noses in Instagram, Facebook and other social media outlets. When utilizing these resources, excuses for missing assignments become nonexistent. Also, students see adults take interest in their studies, and in turn, start taking a greater interest themselves. Great futures happen when teachers, parents and after-school youth development professionals

abstract concepts. It is the only language that encompasses a full spectrum of educational studies including math, science, history, foreign language and art, not to mention the physical improvements of hand-eye coordination required to play an instrument. Music expounds upon ingrained natural human emotion. From the early development of mankind, music has also served as a pathway in religious ceremonies which strengthens the emotional and social communication of the worship community. A well-respected German philosopher, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche stated, “Life without music would be a mistake.” This validates my own belief that life without music education would, therefore, also be a mistake. Clearly, the obvious benefits of early and continuous music education— both within schools and through group or private instruction—has not only been proven in studies, but can be witnessed first-hand in every aspect of a child’s daily development. Kimberly Dean Williams has more than 30 years in the professional music industry and is the co-owner and manager of Kenny’s Music Store, 24731 La Plaza in Dana Point. Her husband and business partner Kenny Williams has been playing guitar for 52 years and teaching music for 25 years. Kenny’s offers music instruction for many instruments including guitar, bass, ukulele, strings, piano, keyboards, drums, woodwinds, brass and voice. For more information call 949.661.3984 or log on to work together and share in academically raising a child. Homework assistance is offered to our community’s youth from so many organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs, HELP, San Clemente Youth Collaborative, the YMCA and even on select days, at our local high schools. I believe youth development is the responsibility of all adults, not just parents, teachers and administrators. Our community is full of so many extraordinary people whom our kids can benefit in learning from. Volunteer, mentor or tutor at any youth development organization. Help better our kids’ futures and in turn enjoy a rewarding experience. There is no such thing as a bad kid. All kids have the potential to be great. Youth development programs play an important role in reaching, encouraging and developing that greatness. Andy Brosche is the Director of Operations and club alumni at the Boys & Girls Club of the South Coast Area. Fifty-seven percent of Boys & Girls Club alumni credit the Club to saving their lives. Andy Brosche is one of them. The Boys & Girls Club is focused and determined to help all club members graduate high school and attend college. Programs are centered around three core areas: academic success, good character and leadership, and healthy lifestyles. The club’s mission is to enable all young people, especially those most in need, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. Learn more about the Boys & Girls Club of the South Coast Area (San Clemente), at The Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley (San Juan Capistrano) can be found online at DANAPOINTTIMES.COM

From Crib to College Preparing for a Higher Education Starts Early A handy checklist to help keep your child on track INFANTS AND TODDLER S Read to your child every day. Log on to the Department of Education’s parent information page at parents. This website is a rich source of resources and information on everything from early childhood through college age. From a month-by-month guide on infant development, to strategies for raising a reader from the start, this site is one to bookmark and return to often throughout your child’s upbringing.

PRESCHOOL Continue reading to your child daily. Choose the most enriching childcare options available to you. Consider enrolling your child in preschool and other enrichment programs like music, art and other classes.

ELEMENTAR Y SCHOOL Keep reading to your child. See for tips on helping children learn to read. The site also has information on what to do if you suspect there may be a problem affecting your child’s progress. Stay engaged in your child’s education by checking/helping with their homework and keeping an open dialogue with teachers. Start saving for college. Research prepaid tuition and savings plans. A good place to begin is

MIDDLE SCHOOL Discuss the importance of college to your child’s future often. Make discussions exciting, emphasizing all the wonderful possibili-

ties. Talking about the stress of paying for a college education and the need to compete academically should be discussed realistically, but not to the point of causing undue anxiety. Encourage your child to speak with adults whose careers interest them and do other research to learn about the education necessary to land such jobs. Speak with teachers and guidance counselors to find out about special interest programs or academies offered at the high school level and what classes need to be taken to prepare. Support your child in developing strong study skills. Help your child find activities in the community that will allow them to explore areas of interest outside of school. Keep a close eye on school progress—behavior and grades—and if necessary, find tutoring to help keep studies on track. Review your college savings program and adjust as necessary to stay on track. Familiarize yourself with college tuition rates. A good way to estimate how much federal financial aid your child may qualify for is available online at The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is one of the first steps you will need to take when beginning the college application process. This website will give your family an early look at what to expect and help clarify plans for financing college.

HIGH SCHOOL Students should meet often with their academic advisor to make sure they are taking the right mix of classes to meet college entrance requirements. Choose challenging courses in the core academic subjects. Consider attending specialized academies, taking Advanced Placement classes and enrolling in other advanced programs, such as the International Baccalaureate Diploma. Students, get involved in your community.

Choose a few quality volunteer groups or special interest programs to participate in, rather than going for quantity. Begin the college search. Campus visits are important. Explore as many scholarship opportunities as possible. Students, start taking the standardized tests required for admission to the colleges you are interested in applying to. The four main tests are the PLAN (pre-ACT), PSAT/ NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test), the ACT and SAT. Some colleges and scholarships may also require SAT subject tests. Stay in close contact with your academic advisor to keep yourself on track with testing. Keeping in close touch with your academic advisor is also important with regard to financial aid and scholarship application deadlines. Make sure you are clear on when to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, and other forms. Application requirements vary greatly among colleges. Students should research every school they want to apply to for information on application deadlines, fees and other specialized requirements. Students should spend plenty of time and energy on preparing the most outstanding essay they are capable of. A stellar essay can be the tipping point that convinces a college admissions officer to accept a student. Plenty of information about the road to college is available online. Check out websites like the American Council on Education’s Four Steps to College page at





SUDOKU by Myles Mellor 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 Last week’s solution:


D a n a Po i nt

See today’s solution in next week’s issue.

GUEST OPINION: On Life and Love After 50 By Tom Blake

Rebuilding Trust Takes Time


Opening up and trusting once again takes time, patience


or people age 50 plus, building trust is one of the hardest things to do after getting unexpectedly dumped. However, if ever there was a blueprint on how to rebuild trust, today’s story is a good one to follow. Trent was happily married for seven years, or so he thought. Then one day his wife reconnected with a high school boyfriend on Facebook and moved to Virginia to be with her old flame. Trent said, “She took my money, car and a majority of the belongings in the house while I was out of town.” I can relate to Trent’s situation. A similar experience happened to me in Dana Point on Christmas Eve in 1993, when my wife of six years cleaned out the house and moved out of my life. Trent spent many sad months filled with loneliness and deep issues of feeling abandoned. He thought he could never trust another woman. “I slowly began to understand that it is through trials in life that we do most of our growing and changing for the better,” he said. “Through this process of refinement, I gained hope that love might enter my world. After taking time to heal and grieve, I decided I was partially to blame for my failed marriage. I began attending classes for singles and eventually went to some dances and began making single friends so that I was not sitting at home each week with my dog.” Trent’s comment about his dog made me laugh. The first newspaper column I wrote 18 years ago after my wife left was titled, “Home Alone with Only My Dogs for Company.” Thank heavens for pets. Trent continued, “As I began dating, I took it slow, with little to no expectations. I looked for a woman who was kind, of low drama, who knew who she was, someone who had a good family with strong parents and siblings with stable lives, who was emotionally and financially independent and someone with shared values and interests. A woman’s mind, when used properly, is a much sexier thing than her curves. “Eventually, I met a woman online,” he said. “After several dates with her, I shared most of my past problems and brought out the skeletons for her to see. I wanted her to know that I was not perfect and that I had been deeply hurt but that I was open to loving and trying again. I also did not want to invest myself emotionally with someone who could not handle the real me and my past. She did the same and we both ended up having a much deeper connection from that point forward. You have to risk being Dana Point Times October 25-31, 2013

hurt and trusting again to find true love. “I believe you need a year or two of dating and being in many day-to-day real world situations to see a person in their true light,” Trent said. “Be with them in their homes, on trips, camping and with no makeup. Be with them after a long day working, when they are in financial or emotional distress. See them when ON LIFE AND LOVE AFTER 50 they are having kid issues, health issues By Tom Blake and also let them care for you as you struggle with sickness or pain. We did all those things.” Trent married on September 6. Because Trent and his new bride lived in different states, they had a tough decision to make, they had to decide who would move. He said, “During our courtship, we discussed living arrangements and since my kids are grown and gone, and she still has two at home, we decided that I would move. I put my home on the market, packed a moving truck, and moved from Utah to San Diego. I have been here a little over a month and things are settling in and wonderful.” Trent shared another aspect that he felt important in building trust. “Despite becoming very close physically, we chose to not sleep together until we got married,” he said. “It may seem old-fashioned but we made a decision to not have it be about personal gratification all of the time, but about companionship first. It worked out well with a lot less complication and huge amounts of trust between us. “Isn’t that what single and widowed people want most? Someone who has our backs? Someone we can trust and confide in? I have to pinch myself every day to think how sad and miserable I felt and how different my life is now, two years later. My message: Don’t give up, ever,” Trent added. Similar to Trent and his situation, when I met my life partner Greta, I was able to trust again. Now, we’ve spent 15 glorious years together. Let’s wish equal success to Trent and his new bride. To comment, email Tom at Tom Blake is a Dana Point business owner and San Clemente resident who has authored books on middle-aged dating. See his website at DP PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to provide our readers with a wide variety of opinions from our community, the DP 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 DP Times or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at

Page 11

“There’s Still Hope” by Chris Hoy


family road trip from Anaheim to Canada sealed Chris Hoy’s fate. With a stop at his aunt and uncle’s safari park in Bandon, Ore., Hoy had his first face-to-face encounter with endangered wildlife. The budding artist’s journey to a career of depicting wild animals in captivity and in their natural habitats continued as the family traveled north. It was 1979 and the bald eagle was all but extinct in the California landscape. But upon his arrival in Canada, Hoy spotted the nearly extinct creature. The trip sparked his passion and led him on a decade’s long journey around the globe studying ELEPHANT: “There’s Still and painting wildlife. Hope” ARTIST: World Earlier this year, Hoy was traveling wildlife artist approached by an Elephant and advocate Chris Hoy Parade: Welcome to AmerLOCATION: Lantern Bay ica organizer to participate Park, 25111 Park Lantern in an open-air exhibit around Road Dana Point. With just three weeks to transform a fiberglass statue of a baby Asian Elephant into a piece of art, Hoy lived in the studio. His finished work tied his years of travel and documenting wildlife onto one canvas, as illustrated cats, primates, bears and birds share in the elephant’s plight. The elephant’s name, “There’s Still Hope,” was inspired by Hoy’s introduction to the bald eagle. Today, through conservation and breeding efforts, bald eagle populations are on the rise, “meaning there is still hope for other endangered species,” Hoy said. Hoy will host an artist’s workshop at the Ocean Institute on Saturday, October 26 and will assist guests ages 3 and up in painting their own miniature elephant sculpture. Supplies will be provided for free with paid admission to the Ocean Institute. Advanced registration is required. More information is available at DP


Members of the State Farm team have a little fun during the 24-hour relay at Lantern Bay Park on Saturday.

(L to R) Nicole Wilson, Natalia Odebralski and Vickie McCurchie.

More than 250 walkers relayed at Lantern Bay Park this weekend to support the American Cancer Society’s fight against cancer.

HUNDREDS RELAY FOR COMMON CANCER CAUSE Relay for Life participants raise nearly $50,000 Text by Andrea Papagianis Photos by Lauralyn Loynes Dana Point Times

A Members of team Craig the Crab, honoring Craig Brandmeier who died in August 2010 after a battle with Leukemia, gather at the Relay for Life opening ceremony.

Relay for Life event on Saturday, October 19 brought hundreds of participants to Lantern Bay Park to walk a continuous 24-hour stretch in the American Cancer Society’s fight against cancer. More than 250 walkers on 31 teams raised nearly $50,000, according to the event’s website. Survivors and others impacted by cancer shared their experi-

ences during opening ceremonies, and Dana Point Councilman Scott Schoeffel played a rendition of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” on the electric violin. The annual relay was kicked off with a cancer survivors’ walk through the encampment set up by participants, whose dedication to the cause kept them at the park throughout the night. Walkers continued to trace the survivors’ path throughout the day and night, when luminaries were lit for a lap of silence, remembering those who lost their battle with the disease. DP


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As a Professor of Kinesiology at Saddleback College, Jan Duquette has been teaching fitness classes for over 30 years and happens to be an avid hiker and amateur historian of the trails in southern California. Duquette is now bringing her knowledge and love of the outdoors to the public in the form of Take a Hike OC. Duquette acts as a tour guide for those interested in traversing the trails that dot the area. She is currently taking interested walkers and hikers on trips through San Clemente, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Mission Viejo and other neighboring cities. The walk-

Jan Duquette guides walkers and hikers along the trails of southern Orange County. Courtesy photo

ing trips cater to the casual enthusiast while the hiking trails offer more of a challenge. For Duquette, exploration is in her blood. In the 1980s she would go on cattle roundups with her father, who was connected to the equestrian

The Dana Hills running game was impressive and it was ignited by solid offensive line play. On Brian Scott’s biggest carry of the night, a 39-yard run in the first quarter, 6-foot-3-inch 280-pound offensive tackle Jake Hannah was a full 10 yards out in front of Scott downfield, providing a crucial block. The run set up a four-yard Scott touchdown on the next play. Rusinkovich has praised his line throughout the season and is liking what he’s seeing from his big men. “The offensive line does a phenomenal job. It’s unbelievable in high school to have an offensive line like that… it’s phenomenal to lean on them,” Rusinkovich said. The Dolphins are on their bye week and will return to play Laguna Hills on November 1.

Dolphin Report

By Steve Breazeale

Follow us on Twitter @SouthOCsports for updates on all the Dana Hills fall sports programs. DOLPHIN DEFENSE STYMIES TRITONS For most of Tuesday’s South Coast League match between the San Clemente and Dana Hills boys water polo teams, defense was the name of the game. But a third period offensive push by the home team Dolphins, coupled with the play of their goalie, ensured an 11-7 Dana Hills victory. The Dolphins (12-6, 4-0 league) defense pressured the Tritons (11-12, 2-2) early, forcing shots to be taken from the perimeter. Outside of an early goal by San Clemente junior Chase Hamming, which made it 1-0, the Tritons did not score another goal until three minutes into the second period. The Dolphins, however, benefitted from five unanswered goals from four different players to take a 5-1 lead. The Tritons were held in check during that stretch by Dana Hills senior goalie Brody Zachary. Zachary recorded nine straight saves that started after giving up the first-period goal and stretched midway into the second. He would end up with 24 saves on the night. “He is a great goalie and does a great job,” Dana Hills head coach Matt Rosa said. “When he knows where the shots are coming from, he’s really good and I thought he shut down those shots and knocked them down. I think he did exactly what he was supposed to do.” The Dolphins put an emphasis on marking San Clemente standouts Drew Papilion and Hamming, the Tritons main offensive weapons. For the most part, the Dolphins defense slowed them down. Papilion and Hamming both netted three goals apiece and were responsible for a late-game Dana Point Times October 25-31, 2013

world in the area. Some of those same trails Duquette and her father used to round up cattle, like near Bear Brand Ranch in San Juan Capistrano and Rancho San Clemente, are still intact and she takes the groups along the same paths, providing insight to how it used to be. “I used to know all the original trails. The cities have done a great job maintaining them … The people love it and the biggest thing is being outside and meeting other people,” Duquette said. For more information on Take a Hike OC visit —Steve Breazeale

Dana Hills senior attack Spencer Likins scored four goals against San Clemente on October 22. Photo by Steve Breazeale

flurry. San Clemente was trailing 10-3 with five minutes to go and Papilion and Hamming accounted for three of the Tritons final four goals. Spencer Likins scored four goals for Dana Hills and Marko Asic contributed three. Asic also had three assists and five steals on the night. DOLPHINS FOOTBALL ERUPTS IN FOURTH QUARTER IN WIN OVER COUGARS In what was an offensive shootout the Dana Hills football team came from behind against Capistrano Valley on October 18, erupting for 28 fourth quarter points to propel the Dolphins to a 57-32 Sea View League win. The Cougars (4-3, 0-1 league) were trailing for most of the first half, but scored 14 unanswered points to take a three-point lead into the final twelve minutes against the Dolphins (4-4, 2-0). One big Dana Hills play after another soon followed. Senior quarterback Mac Vail threw a short pass to senior Sean Schulte, who turned what could have been a decent gain into a 58-yard highlight reel play. Schulte’s dash after the catch to the end zone put the Dolphins up 36-32. Capist-

rano Valley quarterback Matthew Gordon then threw an interception and the Dolphins capitalized. Senior fullback Andrew Dunn scored on a 32-yard burst and, after Gordon fumbled on the ensuing Cougar drive, Dunn caught a five-yard touchdown pass to make it 50-32. It was a ferocious comeback for the Dolphins, who have grown accustomed to putting up big points lately. In their last three games the Dolphins have outscored their opponents 151-42. “The offense is really clicking right now. The way we can run the ball is incredible and Vail has a great arm so when we need to throw, we can,” Dana Hills head coach Todd Rusinkovich said. The Cougars jumped on a Dolphins error after punting away and recovering when the Dolphins botched the catch late in the second quarter. Junior Jordon Bocko ran in a one-yard touchdown on the following drive which narrowed Dana Hills’ lead to 23-17 at the half. The Dolphins built their lead in the first two quarters behind the power running game of Brian and Justin Scott. Brian had 117 first-half rushing yards and scored a touchdown. Justin had 28 yards and Dunn contributed 21.

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DOLPHINS CROSS COUNTRY AT OC CHAMPIONSHIPS The Dana Hills boys cross country team are steadily building steam down the final stretch of the 2013 season and on October 19, they claimed second-place at the Orange County Championships. Sophomore Jake Ogden finished fourth and senior Gavin Diem placed ninth to give the Dolphins two top-10 finishes. Sophomore Mason Coppi placed 19th, senior Timothy Wilson finished 31st and senior Joey Benrubi came in 34th. The Dana Hills girls squad had a tight scoring bunch come through at the mid-18 minute mark, propelling them to a sixthplace overall finish. Emma Kao took 16th overall while Christina Wright, Camille Fodor, Lyndsey Cullen and Sienna Serrao all finished within 26 seconds of one another. DOLPHINS GIRLS TENNIS REPEAT AS LEAGUE CHAMPS The Dana Hills girls tennis team ran the slate of South Coast League games and as of October 23, held a perfect 7-0 record, ensuring they will repeat as league champions. The Dolphins defeated El Toro 11-7 on October 17. They were set to play San Clemente on October 24. Results were not available at press time.





D a n a Po i nt


Age: 10, Concordia Elementary Since riding his first waves with his dad at the age of 3, Liam Mateer has become one of south Orange County’s up and coming groms to watch. Since “really getting into” the sport, Liam has been dedicating at least five days a week to practicing. Surfing has become a passion, but he also remains dedicated to practicing with his soccer team twice a week. Liam recently embarked on his first competition season in the Western Surfing Association Championship Tour. “I’m looking forward to trying out for the Shorecliffs Middle School surf team next year,” he said. “I don’t really think I want to be a pro surfer but I definitely want to be good at it and know what I’m doing in the water. Surfing will be a part of my life forever.” In school, Liam is a star fifth-grader who earns mostly 4s (on a scale of 1 to 4, 4 being best) and is especially Liam Mateer. Courtesy photo fond of math. One of the best things about growing up in San Clemente is the abundance of great surfers living here, Liam said. “I’d like to thank the Gudauskas brothers especially, for being good role models and holding the Stoke-o-Rama contest to help the community. I really look up to them because they are really cool guys and super nice and great surfers,” he said. “I’d also like to thank my dad for teaching me how to surf and both of my parents for taking time out of their day to take me to the beach and to contests.” —Andrea Swayne

Hobie to Celebrate Silver Medal-winning Team Rider A party and open house for Rachael Tilly will be held Friday at the new Hobie Surf Boutique By Andrea Swayne Dana Point Times


he new Hobie Surf Boutique, 151 Avenida Del Mar in San Clemente, is hosting a celebration for team rider Rachael Tilly of Capistrano Beach, Friday, October 25 at 6 p.m. Tilly brought home a silver medal from the International Surfing Association World Longboard Championship in Peru last month. The event is free and food and refreshments will be served. The party will also provide an opportunity for event-goers to check out the changes the shop has undergone recently as it transitioned from what was formerly the Hobie Green Room into a new shop dedicated to women and girls. According to Tracey Engelking, social media marketing specialist and team rider for Hobie Surf Shops, the Hobie store at the top of Del Mar—on the corner of El Camino Real and Del Mar—is now dedicated to carrying products for men. And the new Hobie Surf Boutique—in the former mid-Del Mar location of the Hobie Green Room—has been transformed into a space dedicated to women and girls.

RESULTS Scholastic Surf Series, Orange County Middle School and High School, Event No. 1, October 19, San Onofre State Park, Church Beach MIDDLE SCHOOL TEAM: 1. Shorecliffs-275; 2. Thurston-158; 3. Bernice Ayer-152; 4. Marco Forster-97; 5. Vista Del Mar-68; 6. Niguel Hills-64; 7. Don Juan Avila-59. BOYS: 1. Curren Dand, Shorecliffs; 2. Gunner Day, Shorecliffs; 3. Dana Point Times October 25-31, 2013


SURF FORECAST Water Temperature: 65-68 degrees F Water Visibility and Conditions: San Clemente: 10-15’ Fair Catalina: 15-20’ Fair+ Forecast: Easing blend of south and northwest swells will continue to offer fun-zone waves on Friday, with a new blend of west-northwest and southwest swells likely showing over the weekend. Expect mainly knee-waist-chest high waves (2-3’+) for better breaks then, along with generally favorable conditions. Check out for all the details!

PUMPKIN CARVING CONTEST AT T. PATT The new Hobie Surf Boutique has opened on Del Mar in San Clemente in the space formerly known as the Hobie Green Room. The female-centered shop will host a celebration on Friday for Hobie team rider Rachael Tilly who recently won a silver medal at the ISA World Longboard Championship. Photo byAndrea Swayne

“This new store has everything thing for a beach girl’s lifestyle,” Engelking said. “It is not only a boutique but also a full-service surf shop carrying surfboards designed specifically with female surfers in mind. The Hobie Surf Boutique pays

careful attention to the needs of every girl, from beginner to professional-level athletes, like our silver medalist team rider Rachael Tilly.” For more information, call 949.542.3400. DP

Noah Hohenester, Bernice Ayer; 4. Noah Atwood, Shorecliffs; 5. Gus Day, Shorecliffs; 6. Crosby Colapinto, Bernice Ayer. BOYS LONGBOARD: 1. Gus Day, Shorecliffs; 2. Noah Atwood, Shorecliffs; 3. Ricky Foder, Marco Forster; 4. Finn Beard, Shorecliffs; 5. Jared Bernier, Bernice Ayer; 6. Noah Beato, Don Juan Avila. GIRLS: 1. Alexxa Elseewi, Bernice Ayer; 2. Samantha Sibley, Shorecliffs; 3. Bethany Zelasko, Shorecliffs; 4. Zoe Mortensen, Shorecliffs; 5. Kayla Coscino, Thurston; 6. Lily Benjamin, Marco Forster. GIRLS LONGBOARD: 1. Cameron Duby, Marco Forster; 2. Alexa Elseewi, Bernice Ayer; 3. Alexis Morgan, Shorecliffs; 4. Ma-

son Grey, Niguel Hills; 5. Olivia Stokes, Thurston; 6. Megan Mathews, Thurston. COED BODYBOARD: 1. Nick Furlotte, Shorecliffs; 2. Noah Hammond, Shorecliffs; 3. Osvaldo Rodriguez, Bernice Ayer; 4. Sabino Lopez, Bernice Ayer; 5. Nathan Elsner, Niguel Hills; 6. Logan Brown, Marco Forster. HIGH SCHOOL TEAM: Tesoro-46 def. JSerra Catholic-44; St. Margaret’s-58 def. Aliso Niguel-0; El Toro, Win, Bye. MEN: 1. Liam Galligan, JSerra; 2. Colin DeLaPena, JSerra; 3. Sean Galligan, JSerra; 4. Vince D’Angelo, Tesoro;

Page 18

T. Patterson Surf Shop, 1407 N. El Camino Real in San Clemente, is hosting a pumpkin carving contest on Tuesday, October 29 at 4:30 p.m. This all-ages event is free and will include food, prizes and live music. For more information call 949.366.2022 or find them on Facebook at T. Patterson Surf Shop.

5. Wade Hoy, El Toro; 6. Ryan Kelly, JSerra. MEN LONGBOARD: 1. Vince D’Angelo, Tesoro; 2. Thomas German, JSerra; 3. Grant Deane, Tesoro; 4. Nick Scheel, St. Margaret’s; 5. Jake Salvat, El Toro; 6. Chaz Hoy, El Toro. WOMEN: 1. Ashley Beeson, Tesoro; 2. Kortney Jones, Tesoro; 3. Dana Morris, El Toro; 4. Michaela Xu, St. Margaret’s. WOMEN LONGBOARD: 1. Kortney Jones, Tesoro; 2. Kara Monaghan, Tesoro; 3. Dana Morris, El Toro; 4. Michaela Xu, St. Margaret’s. COED BODYBOARD: 1. Eric Parkhurst, El Toro; 2. Aidan Smith, St. Margaret’s; 3. Ethan Orlaska, Tesoro; 4. Brandon Gold, JSerra.


October 25, 2013  
October 25, 2013  

Dana Point Times