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Fighting Back Against Bullying San Clemente family, high school club continue crusade after teen’s death E Y E O N S C / PAG E 5 Members of San Clemente High School’s Cool 2 Be Kind club help provide a safe environment to combat bullying in the school. The club is now led by the sister of Daniel Mendez, whose suicide led to the formation of the club. Photo by Jim Shilander

Council Provides More Direction on Beach Club Renovation

Japanese Exchange Student Finds Place on Triton Tennis Team

Vista Del Mar Principal Throws Out First Pitch at Angels Game







SC S a n C le m e n te

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO Zoomars Petting Zoo owner Carolyn Franks has agreed to give up her controversial apatosaurus replica to the owner of the Grand Canyon Caverns, located on historic Route 66, in Peach Springs, Ariz. The Grand Canyon Caverns encompasses 800 acres and is the largest dry cavern in the country, according to a press release. It was formerly known as “Dinosaur City” and still features several dinosaur replicas. An appeal to save the structure failed to pass on the City Council’s 2-2 vote on Tuesday, April 2, bringing to an end a nearly 10-month debate over its place in the Los Rios Historic District. Franks said she decided to give up the dinosaur to Grand Canyon Caverns at no cost—despite remaining payments on an initial $12,000 purchase—because of the existing dinosaur attractions.




A band of Dana Point citizens, armed with years of experience in local government and business have assembled to encourage city officials and staff act on plans and promises made regarding Town Center. “We aren’t official. We are not a part of the city. We are a group of involved citizens, interested citizens that are trying to move this forward,” said former mayor Harold Kaufman. Approved by the Coastal Commission in 2006, the downtown revitalization project to create a pedestrian-friendly destination was relatively stagnant until this year. In February, City Council approved a phased plan to jumpstart the $19 million project. Both city and South Coast Water District officials say project construction could begin this fall.


What’s Up With... 1

…the Ole Hanson Beach Club?

THE LATEST: The San Clemente City Council on Tuesday provided additional guidelines to architects on cost and scope of the upcoming building maintenance project at the Ole Hanson Beach Club, but the final cost is yet to be determined. The council approved moving forward with a slightly modified version of a $2.5 million proposal that calls for stabilizing the building and pool and taking care of maintenance needs with less than a five-year life expectancy. This includes a relocation of the current catering kitchen. The option did not include a number of “big-ticket” items such as replacement of the roof, re-plastering of the pool or new equipment for the relocated kitchen, due to concerns about the cost of the project if not done in phases. Members of the council expressed a desire to add some of those projects to the first phase, as well as changing the proposal to relocate the front desk and add double doors on both sides of the lobby, which council members believed created a better view of the pool. WHAT’S NEXT: The next version of the proposal will likely come before the council on May 21, to allow the architectural firm time to refine the design to council specifications, and to get specific costs for including the council’s preferred additions. FIND OUT MORE: For the complete story, visit — Jim Shilander


…Train Warnings?

THE LATEST: The City Council approved authorizing an agreement with the Orange San Clemente Times April 18–24, 2013

County Transportation Authority on a proposed contract for safety improvements along the beach trail and the installation of an audible train warning system, which community development director Jim Holloway said could be in place by September. The warning system would reduce the decibel level from oncoming trains from approximately 112 decibels to 80, he said. The city would be responsible for a maximum of $504,000 for the project. WHAT’S NEXT: Holloway said while OCTA had already approved the outline of the agreement, it also required the approval of Metrolink. The California Public Utilities Commission must also order trains passing through the area covered by the system to turn off their horns. Holloway said construction would have to be done in the summer, during peak beach usage, due to the need to coordinate with the track’s users. Busier areas would be worked on first, Holloway indicated, and the city would work to provide information to residents about when work would be going on. FIND OUT MORE: For updates, see www. — JS


…The SONGS License Amendment Proposal?

THE LATEST: The San Clemente Planning Commission approved the construction of a new Valero gas station on Avenida Palizada last Wednesday. Owner Mehdi Ghassemi indicated the proposal had been worked on for more than a decade before receiving approval. As part of the proposal, the current station, gas pumps and offices will be demolished to allow for the construction of a new station, which will include six pumps, a car wash and a larger convenience store.

Due to the new construction, however, the station will have to remove its large pole sign. The commission also approved allowing the sale of beer and wine at the convenience store. WHAT’S NEXT: The plan must still be approved by the City Council before it can move forward. Ghassemi did ask to keep the pole sign, noting that unlike other stations in the city, which had visibility from the freeway, his station sat well below the Avenida Palizada Interstate 5 exit. Commissioners praised the design of the facility, though they said they could not budge on the requirement to remove the pole sign due to recent precedent. FIND OUT MORE: For more information, visit —JS


…the State of the City?

THE LATEST: San Clemente city officials told members of the business community Friday that the city’s financial picture is positive, even as challenges with increasing public safety and park maintenance costs will be hitting the city. Mayor Bob Baker told the crowd at the annual State of the City luncheon at Bella Collina Towne & Golf Club that that the city had successfully weathered the financial recession better than many other cities, or the federal government and the state as a whole, as a result of careful planning and investments. WHAT’S NEXT: City Council workshops on the city budget will begin May 16. Council members met last month to discuss strategic and capital priorities for the coming year. FIND OUT MORE: For more on the event, visit — JS

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…a New Sister City?

THE LATEST: Mayor Bob Baker, City Manager Pall Gudgeirsson and City Clerk Joanne Baade on Monday met with a representative of San Clemente, Chile, who was looking to establish a relationship between the two cities. Justo Diaz, who manages that city’s nursery and landscaping, was tasked by the new Mayor of his city with helping to establish the relationship. The Chilean city hopes will include exchanges of tourism and of ideas to help the two cities run better. Earlier in the day, Diaz met with code enforcement officials to discuss ways to maintain cleanliness throughout the city, which he said was a significant issue in Chile. Diaz described his city as largely agricultural, but said the city had a growing tourism industry, related to a number of nearby lakes, rivers and a national park. WHAT’S NEXT: Diaz said the city would also send an official invitation to Baker and other city officials to visit, though the mayor noted that such trips aren’t in the city’s budget and such a visit would likely have to be made by a city employee on a side trip to South America. San Clemente has one sister city, in Chile’s neighbor, Argentina, San Clemente del Tuyú. San Clemente, Chile, has no sister cities at present, Diaz said. FIND OUT MORE: For more on the story, visit — JS

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Four Years Later, Mendez Family Moving Forward After suicide of Daniel Mendez in 2009, family has become anti-bullying champions By Jim Shilander San Clemente Times


he Mendez family has likely gone through the worst that a family can experience. Today, however, nearly four years after Daniel Mendez’s suicide, the family has dedicated itself to preventing other families from experiencing the same pain. Anna Mendez has finished writing a book on dealing with the aftermath of the death of her son, If These Halls Could Talk. The process, she said, began in the months after her son committed suicide on May 1, 2009, when the family began accumulating emails and other information they were given about what led to Daniel’s death. “We sensed that one day, this would all have to be revealed,” Anna Mendez said. “We had several very good friends who encouraged us to keep notes of everything because one day, there would be a story to tell.” Anna said it took about a year to begin writing, with additional work coming over the last three years. “It has been extremely painful to relive it, over and over again, as we try to write it, or edit it, or anything like that. But at the same time, it’s been very healing to see the story and how it all unfolded. From a 10,000 foot view, we can understand so much more,” she said. Anna said her son began being bullied in middle school, with classmates targeting his perceived sexual orientation and his status as a child of mixed Mexican and Italian heritage. Though there were a few instances of physical bullying in elementary school, Anna said, Daniel became isolated in middle school. According to depositions provided by students who grew up with Daniel as part of a lawsuit filed against the Capistrano Unified School District and several of the accused bullies (which have since been settled), that isolation happened almost overnight, Mendez said. “One of the kids said, ‘when we got to middle school, it just wasn’t cool to be his friend anymore,’” Anna reported. The bullying continued in high school. Mendez said her son talked to his parents less about the bullying in high school after being more open about what happened in middle school, even as his parents thought it might still be going on. The intensity of the bullying had increased after it was initially reported, the family said. Anna said her book notes the things that she and her husband missed as parents, and what school officials and Daniel’s therapists overlooked. Victoria Mendez, Daniel’s younger sister, now attends San Clemente High School. She walks the same hallways her brother walked and sees some of the same teachers and administrators. Unlike her brother, Victoria said she was never bullied growing up. She was 12 at the time of her brother’s death, in sixth grade, and said her brother made sure to put on a positive, fun outlook when they were together. That made the suicide all the more shocking, she said. “I knew it would be hard to be in the same place he was, with the same teachers. But Cool 2 Be Kind was there, the club his friends started, and I kind of felt like I was supposed to go there,” Victoria said. “And I wasn’t going to let what happened dictate what I was going to do.” Danny Mendez, Daniel and Victoria’s father, said his daughter told her parents that not attending the high school would mean the bullies won. San Clemente High School counselor Paul Harris said Daniel’s death certainly brought a heightened awareness to bullying at the school in the months afterward, as Daniel’s friends formed Cool 2 Be Kind, especially in the first San Clemente Times April 18–24, 2013

The Mendez family have become local and national advocates against school bullying as a result of son Daniel Mendez’s suicide in 2009. Photo by Jim Shilander

full semester in the fall of 2009. The club and issue has remained int eh forefront since. Though a number of Daniel’s good friends were involved with the formation of the club, Anna said, there was a perception that some were essentially trying to gain from what happened to Daniel, by getting something good for their college applications. In the opinion of Daniel’s friends, she said, that was actually true in a few cases. But those friends largely absolved those students for not having the best motives initially as the club’s activities went forward and they showed their hearts to be in the right place. With the graduation of many of Daniel’s close friends over the last couple of years, Victoria said she knows her presence means a lot to the club, in terms of keeping her brother’s memory alive. She was elected as the club’s leader this year. “As soon as they graduated I came,” she said. “There was never a period where the club didn’t know Daniel. And that I’m his sister has allowed the club to grow more because they know it was so personal for me.” The club has also expanded beyond San Clemente, with three chapters in Texas, another in Louisiana and another in Michigan. It sponsors an annual anti-bullying march and participates in the city’s annual Blue Ribbon Week. Just last month the club sponsored a dance at the San Clemente Community Center, which was also attended by a number of the club’ founding members home for spring break from college. On a daily basis, the club provides “safe rooms” for students at the high school, where students feeling ostracized or targeted might be able to eat lunch, Harris said. Victoria makes a potent spokesperson against bullying at the school Harris said. This year she began helping him with some of the presentations provided to freshman as they begin school. Putting a personal face on the problem of bullying had a real impact, he said. “It’s been much more relatable to students, much more Page 5

meaningful,” Harris said. “They realize it’s not something in another community, it’s ours.” Harris said that Daniel’s status as an average kid, rather than as the member of a stereotypically picked-on group, helped to bring the realization to the community that anyone could be the target of bullying. “I don’t think kids and parents really understood that,” he said. Anna and Dan Mendez have also founded an antibullying organization, the National Association of People Against Bullying, or, which provides advocacy and services on behalf of bullied children, including helping to pay for therapy and private investigation services. The group also provides presentations for students and educators and advocates for students to receive similar protections against harassment as employees receive in the workplace. Part of the organization’s website is devoted to keeping a running news feed about students who have committed suicide due to bullying. “We definitely reach out to the parents, we know they’re still in shock, but we try to let them know there are resources there to help them get through it,” Anna said. “But we’re also reaching out to families who have not yet lost a child, who still have a chance to save their child if they recognize how serious bullying can be. Because, we truly did not know. When I read those stories, it’s heartbreaking how similar to ours they are.” Danny said he’s heard the argument bullying has been around forever, and that there wasn’t anything to be done. He rejects that notion. “I equate that to the police,” he said. “Would they ever quit fighting crime because they’ll never be able to stop it all? No. You have to do something about it. Everybody has to do something about it.” Anna Mendez’s book is available through the publisher’s website, It will be released to and other booksellers May 28. SC


CITY AND COMMUNITY CALENDAR Thursday, April 18 Preschool Storytime 10:30 a.m.–11 a.m. Children ages 3-5 are invited to the library for stories and learning activities; sign-ups required. 242 Avenida Del Mar, 949.492.3493, Cholesterol and Glucose Screening 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Dorothy Visser Senior Center. 117 Ave. Victoria, San Clemente, 949.498.3322.

Friday, April 19 Spring Fling Luncheon Noon. Lunch and entertainment by Cowboy Jack at the Dorothy Visser Senior Center. Lunch will be served by Military Personnel. 117 Ave. Victoria, San Clemente, 949.498.3322.

Saturday, April 20 3rd Annual eWaste Fundraiser 9 a.m.2 p.m. Residents and business owners can drop off their eWaste at Shorecliffs Middle School and support the school. 240 Via Socorro, San Clemente, 949.498.1660.

Monday, April 22 Spanish Conversation 11 a.m. Meet at Café Calypso for coffee and conversation. 114 Avenida Del Mar, 949.492.9803. Toddlertime 10:30 a.m.-11 a.m. Stories for children ages 2-3 with adult participation at the San Clemente Library. 242 Avenida Del Mar, 949.492.3493, Investment Advisory Committee Meeting 5 p.m. City Hall, 100 Avenida Presidio, 949.361.8200,

Wednesday, April 24 Kiwanis Meeting Noon. The local Kiwanis Club meets at Carrows. 620 Avenida Pico, 949.290.8729, www.sanclementekiwanis. com. SC Rotary Club Noon. Irons in the Fire, 150 Avenida Magdalena, 949.361.3619, Preschool Storytime 10:30 a.m.-11 a.m. Stories for children ages 3-5 with adult participation at the San Clemente Library. 242 Avenida Del Mar, 949.492.3493, Read With Chloe 3:30 p.m. Kids can practice reading skills to Chloe, a certified therapy dog, at the library. 242 Avenida Del Mar, 949.492.3493, San Clemente Times April 18–24, 2013


Compiled by Jim Shilander

PROPS, RECOGNITIONS AND MORSELS OF INFO Handbell Choirs Set to Perform at FAM Benefit On April 28 at 4 p.m., the San Clemente Community Handbell Choir, in conjunction with the bell choirs of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, St. Andrews by-the-Sea Methodist Church and San Clemente Presbyterian Church are putting on a concert for the benefit of Family Assistance Ministries of San Clemente. There will be no charge for the concert, but a donation to FAM is encouraged. The concert has a variety of music and showcases several ways bells can be used. The concert is at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 200 Avenida San Pablo.

SC Choral Society Concert Tickets on Sale The San Clemente Choral Society will host its ninth spring season concert May 4 at St. Andrew’s by-the-Sea Methodist Church with a 2 p.m. matinee and a 7 p.m. evening performance. Titled “Best of Broadway,” the concert includes songs from musicals from the ‘40s through today. Featured music will include songs from Jersey Boys, Les Misérables, Chicago, Hair, Gypsy, and The Sound of Music. The 60-voice choral group,

SC Sheriff’s Blotter

accompanied by a jazz trio, will also include several member solos. As in previous concerts, the audience will be invited to participate in some singing as well. Drawings for items donated by members, community merchants and sponsors will take place at both concerts. Tickets for the concert can be purchased at the door and are $15 for adults and $5 for children ages 5 to 12. Presale adult tickets can be purchased for $10 through April 24. All tickets are available online by visiting or by calling 949.496.7456.

Casa Romantica Hosting Interactive Arts Event Casa Romantica will participate in Orange County’s annual “Imagination Celebration” event through an interactive arts festival held on the Casa grounds. The theme of this year’s event is “Full Steam Ahead.” Imagination Celebration is a countywide arts festival presented by Arts Orange County in partnership with the Orange County Department of Education. The goal of Imagination Celebration is to highlight creativity as the center of a livable, healthy community.

Choir of Orphans to Perform at Spiritual Center

INDECENT EXPOSURE Avenida Mariposa/El Camino Real (2:34 p.m.) A caller notified police of a man masturbating in his car. The informant said that the subject drove up to her and asked for directions when she noticed what he was doing. The man was described as being in his 20s, heavyset, with dark brown hair and facial hair.

CITIZEN ASSIST Avenida la Plata/Calle Amanecer (7:50 p.m.) A woman was locked inside of a selfstorage facility because her code for the security gate was not working.

WELFARE CHECK Avenida Monterey, 200 Block (2:12 p.m.) A man who staying at a treatment center told the caller that he was going to leave, buy a bottle of vodka, call police and attempt suicide. The man had been staying at the center for 11 days. He was eventually found and brought back to the facility.

COMPILED BY VICTOR CARNO 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.

Tuesday, April 16 DISTURBANCE Camino de los Mares, 600 Block (1:36 a.m.) A woman at the hospital was refusing to leave after she had been discharged. It was reported that she had become confrontational with employees and staff.

Monday, April 15 CITIZEN ASSIST Via Pacifica, 0 Block (8:31 p.m.) A man was calling residences pretending to be a representative of the Sheriff’s Department and asking for money.

Casa Romantica is calling its Imagination Celebration event “Color Mi Casa.” Professional artists will be on hand to “show and tell,” and children and families will have the opportunity to paint and create together. Artists volunteering their time for the event include notable plein air artist and former head of the San Clemente High Art Department, Rick Delanty, Isabelle Cordemans, Alise Pelham and Sandy Reid, all local professional artists and art teachers. The Bellagio String Orchestra, an Orange County youth orchestra operated through the Arts and Learning Conservatory based in Santa Ana, will perform in Casa Romantica’s main salon during the event and refreshments will be served. Color Mi Casa begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 20 and concludes at 4 p.m. Admission is $5 per person or $15 per family, with a maximum of five people for the family ticket price. For more information, contact Casa Romantica at 949.498.2139.

The Matsiko World Orphan Choir, which features 18 orphaned and at-risk children from Peru and Liberia, will make a concert stop in San Clemente at the Center for Spiritual Living on Friday, April 26, at 7 p.m. Cost to attend is a donation. The group performs original songs and cultural dances. The center is located at 1201 Puerta Del Sol. For more information, visit

WELFARE CHECK Avenida Pico, 800 Block (4:55 p.m.) A woman in her 30s was seen sitting on the sidewalk near the nail salon and was bleeding from her head. The woman as crying, but kept saying she was OK. She was last seen walking northbound on Pico, wearing a floral dress.

Sunday, April 14

ASSIST OUTSIDE AGENCY Calle de los Molinos/El Camino Real (9:47 a.m.) A man was found unconscious in his Jeep with a syringe in his hand. The car was parked in the alley behind the art store.

BURGLARY REPORT Avenida Fabricante, 200 Block (9:02 p.m.) A woman called police from a self-storage facility to report that she believes a man living on the property in his RV had stolen items from her storage unit.

WELFARE CHECK Calle Amistad, 100 Block (2:43 a.m.) A man called police and notified them that his friend was threatening to commit suicide and had a prior history with cutting himself.

PATROL CHECK Camino de los Mares/Camino del Rio (7:55 p.m.) A woman requested a patrol check for an older black convertible. The woman said the driver, who was described as having black hair and a stocky build, had been following her and her daughters around in the vehicle while they were on a walk.

Saturday, April 13

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WELFARE CHECK Avenida Florencia/Avenida de la Grulla (9:21 p.m.) A caller reported a woman in the street screaming that she was Satan and she wanted sins to get out of her body. The caller said this was an ongoing issue.


CITY EDITOR Jim Shilander, 949.388.7700, x109


S a n C le m e n te

San Clemente Times, Vol. 8, Issue 16. The SC Times ( ) is published weekly by Picket Fence Media, publishers of the DP Times ( and The Capistrano Dispatch ( Copyright: No articles, illustrations, photographs or other editorial matter or advertisements herein may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited manuscripts, art, photos or negatives. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.




34932 Calle del Sol, Suite B, Capistrano Beach, CA 92624 phone 949.388.7700 fax 949.388.9977



Tricia Zines, 949.388.7700, x107 BUSINESS OPERATIONS MANAGER Alyssa Garrett, 949.388.7700, x100

PUBLISHER Norb Garrett




Senior Designer > Jasmine Smith

Finance Director > Mike Reed


Business Operations Manager > Alyssa Garrett

Sports Editor > Steve Breazeale

Associate Publisher > Lauralyn Loynes (Dana Point)

Accounting & Distribution Manager > Tricia Zines

City Editor, DP Times > Andrea Papagianis

> Michele Reddick (San Clemente)

SPECIAL THANKS Robert Miller, Jonathan Volzke

City Editor, The Capistrano Dispatch > Brian Park

> Debra Wells (San Juan Capistrano)

CONTRIBUTORS Megan Bianco, Victor Carno, Elysia Gamo, Shelley Murphy, Tawnee Prazak, Dana Schnell

Group Senior Editor > Andrea Swayne City Editor, SC Times > Jim Shilander

Sales Associate Angela Edwards

GUEST OPINION: Wavelengths by Jim Kempton

Self Governance: The Great American Experiment Lack of self-control erodes freedom, invites regulation “I exercise great self control. I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast.” —W.C. Fields


or more than two centuries the American nation has been evolving its way through an astonishing central thesis: that every human is endowed with inalienable rights, the most essential of which are electing representatives and living in a free, self-governing society. What most governments have always feared was that giving every citizen full freedom and equal rights, would result in loss of all control—where those who were not in the “ruling class” would run riot in a state of anarchy. The United States proved them wrong. But the proof that humans can selfgovern in a land of liberty is rooted not in our ability to exercise our freedoms to the extremes, but to restrain from

pushing the envelope to the breaking point. We are currently testing that limit in our culture today. Whether we cheat on our taxes, drive after drinking, pad our exWAVELENGTHS penses, let our dogs out By Jim Kempton without a leash, abuse drugs, pour our used motor oil down the storm drain or just exploit a loophole that won’t be quickly noticed, our lack of selfrestraint slowly erodes our freedom. But when we allow our financial institutions to steal billions from our savings, our politicians to be influenced by the highest bidder, or our corporations to endanger our safety, we run the risk of a collective failure of control. It is easy to be excessive, undisciplined, greedy, selfish or reckless. What is the great challenge in a free and open society is to have the self-control not to be all of these things. It is the great experiment of the American century. Can we actually do the right thing without be-

ing involuntarily forced to do so? The final answer remains to be seen. Each time we as individuals or corporations fail to show self-restraint or practice honesty in our own actions, we push others to do it for us. When we as businessmen or citizens do not exercise self-control and respect for the safety of others, we invite regulation to insure these things are secured. And our collective failure to impose ethical behavior on ourselves brings increased rules and restrictions. Want a financial system that does not have Feds breathing down financier’s necks? Have Morgan Stanley’s brokers stop betting against the home loans where if the home owners failed, brokers made more money than if they made their payments. Want a set of elected representatives who do the best thing for our country or our city? Don’t shout them down when they have the courage to come and openly discuss the problems we all face. It’s been said that one of the penalties for refusing to participate in society is that you end up being governed by your

inferiors. In people as in nations, selfcontrol is the quality that distinguishes the fittest to survive. Jim Kempton is a devoted American citizen, whose lack of self-control is well documented by his credit card balance. SC PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to provide our readers with a wide variety of opinions from our community, the SC 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 SC Times or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! To submit a letter to the editor for possible inclusion in the paper, e-mail us at San Clemente 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. Please limit your letters to 350 words.


CALLING ALL ARTISTS: Enter the Inaugural 2013 Doheny Blues Festival and Dana Point Times T-shirt Design Contest


One lucky winner will win a pair of GOLD Weekend Passes to the 2013 Doheny Blues Festival and have their design printed on a limited run of T-shirts to be sold at the two-day concert May 18-19 at Doheny State Beach. The winner will also be presented an award by Dana Point Times on the Backporch Stage during the festival.


IMPORTANT DATES April 5 Competition opens and online entries will be accepted April 26 Competition closes (Entries due by noon) April 26 Judging begins April 26-28 Winner will be notified via phone and email between April 26 and 28 April 29 Winner must submit printer-ready artwork by 5 p.m.

S a n C le m e n te

Doheny Blues 2012. Photo by Andrea Swayne

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


GREASE - SPRING MUSICAL 6:30 p.m. San Clemente High School Theatre Boosters presents its annual musical “Grease” in the San Clemente High School Triton Center. Performances through April 26. Tickets $10-$12. 700 Avenida Pico, San Clemente, 949.492.4165,


ORGANIC COOKING CLASS 6:30 p.m. Chefs Caroline Cazaumayou and Lisa Soto teach you to cook a healthy meal at Antoine’s Cafe. $65. 218 S. El Camino Real, San Clemente, 949.492.1763,



ROUTE 66 8 p.m. Cabrillo Playhouse presents classic ’50s-’60s automotive songs. $20-$25. 202 Avenida Cabrillo, San Clemente, 949.492.0465,

BALLROOM BASH MONTHLY DANCE 7:30 p.m.-10:30 pm. Waltz lesson followed by ballroom dancing at the San Clemente Community Center. $10. 100 N. Calle Seville, San Clemente, 949.498.0233, GEORGE FRYER & ROBERT 4 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Music and wine tasting at DaVine Food & Wine. $15. 34673 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.493.4044, MOTHER EARTH BREW COMPANY 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Beer tasting at SC Wine Company that includes complimentary food pairing and chocolate. $18. 212 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, 949.429.7067,


THE NIGHT OF THE ARTS GALA 2013 6 p.m.10 p.m. The SJC Friends of the Library and the SJC Rotary Club present a fundraiser event with food, dancing, auctions, and more at Family Classic Cars. $50. 33033 Camino Capistrano, SJC, 949.212.4484,


San Clemente Times April 18–24, 2013

Visit for more information.

EARTH DAY SAN CLEMENTE 8:30 a.m.; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. A beach cleanup at the San Clemente Pier followed by an Earth Day celebration at Parque Del Mar (in the SC Pier Bowl). 949.366.2326, SAN CLEMENTE MICRO-BREW FEST Noon-5 p.m. Beer festival featuring SoCal microbrews and entertainment presented by Left Coast Brewing Co. $25. 1245 Puerta Del Sol, 949.218.3964 BACKYARD SKILLS WORKSHOP: NATIVE GARDENS 1 p.m.-3 p.m. The Ecology Center hosts the workshop to teach you how to use less water and support wildlife and pollinators. $10-$15. 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.443.4223, EDITOR’S PICK: CALIFORNIA WINE FESTIVAL 1 p.m.4 p.m. Tickets, $69 in advance and $80 at the gate, include unlimited wine tasting, Photo by Andrea Swayne craft brews, gourmet appetizers, music and keepsake wine glass. More about early entrance to the beachside festival and the free “Winedown” post-fest event is available online. Doheny State Beach, 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point,


EARTH DAY AT PANHE 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The San Onofre Foundation presents an Earth Day celebration at San Mateo Campgrounds with music, storytelling, speakers, food, demonstrations, kid’s activities, exhibits, artisans, vendors and much more. Go online for directions. 949.366.8599,


SALT CREEK HALF MARATHON 8 a.m. Wake up early and run by the beach at the half-marathon in Dana Point; there’s also a 10k, 5k and kids run. Entry fees $15-$99. More info: ART FOR KIDS SAKE 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Art auction at the Casino San Clemente to benefit the local Boys & Girls Club, also featuring wine, live music and art from local artisans. Tickets $40. 140 W. Avenida Pico, San Clemente, 949.369.6600, Page 10

LOCAL SUNDAY SESSIONS 6 p.m. Cabrillo Playhouse features three local musicians: Jesse Daniel Edwards, Sasha Evans, and Gal Musette. $5. Beer and wine served for cash donation. 202 Avenida Cabrillo, San Clemente, 949.492.0465, THE BRILLIANCE 7:30 p.m. Concert at San Clemente Presbyterian Church. Tickets $10-$15. 119 N. Ave. de la Estrella, 949.492.6158,


FOOD TRUCK: CURBSIDE BITES 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Head to San Clemente High School for some good eats with OC’s top gourmet food trucks. 700 Avenida Pico San Clemente, 949.751.6192,


COUNTRY DANCIN’ WITH PATRICK AND FRIENDS 6:30 p.m. Every Monday at Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, 949.493.3188,


HALF-PRICE WHALE WATCHING Noon & 2 p.m. Dana Wharf offers half-price whale-watching trips and more Tuesdays and Wednesdays this month. 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.496.5794,


RUBEN GONZALEZ 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Live music at The Cellar. 156 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, 949.492.3663,


MICROBREWS BY THE MISSION 4 p.m.-8 p.m. A 14-venue “pub crawl” featuring seasonal craft brews, live music, food, appetizers and more in downtown San Juan Capistrano. 949.493.4700,


THE ELI CHAPMAN BAND 7:30 p.m.-11 p.m. Live music at Iva Lee’s. 555 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente, 949.361.2855, *For our full calendar, visit the “Event Calendar” at Have an event? Send your listing to





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:


S a n C le m e n te

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

Principal Throws Out First Pitch at Angel Stadium Retiring Vista del Mar Elementary School principal crosses off ‘bucket list’ moment By Kevin Dahlgren San Clemente Times


cott Young, principal of Vista Del Mar Elementary School and life-long Angel fan, was given the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at Sunday’s Angel game against the Houston Astros. Young, who is retiring from education at the end of this school year, was given this opportunity as a token of gratitude for his 35-plus years of service in the Capistrano Unified and Orange School districts. Young began his teaching career at Truman Benedict Elementary School in 1978. Since then he has taught almost all grade levels from kindergarten through high school, including special education. He also coached and refereed both high school and college level athletics before spending his last six years as principal of Vista Del Mar Elementary School in San Clemente. During a weekly Friday flag ceremony on April 5, in front of over 1,100 students, faculty and Vista del Mar families, Young was presented with his retirement gift. VDM PTA President Bridgetta Chronister made an announcement about an upcoming Mako Angel Day, when students get to travel to an Angel game. Shortly after that announcement, Chaz Ramsden, a Vista del Mar parent and fellow Angel enthusiast, handed Young a Major League baseball and asked him to walk 60 feet 6 inches, the regulation distance from the pitcher’s mound to home plate on a Major League Baseball field. As a fifth-grade student dressed in full catcher’s gear crouched behind the chalk-drawn home plate, Young stood in awe. Ramsden then explained that this was just a practice throw for the real thing; a chance for Young to throw out the first pitch on the field at Angel Stadium. “I nearly fell over. I was completely taken aback,” Young said. “My first thought was San Clemente Times April 18-24, 2013

Retiring Vista Del Mar principal Scott Young throws out the first pitch at Sunday’s Angels game. Photo by Kevin Dahlgren

“I nearly fell over. I was completely taken aback. My first thought was I finally have the chance to cross that off my bucket list.” —Scott Young I finally have the chance to cross that off my bucket list.” Several faculty members at the school recalled seeing tears in his eyes as Young threw a strike to the student on the Vista Del Mar blacktop. Ramsden, who coordinated ticket sales, was told by Angel representatives that the school would need to sell a minimum of 250 tickets in less than a week. By the deadline, Ramsden, Chronister and the faculty at Vista Del Mar were able to sell more than 900 tickets to the game.

“When I told Bridgetta, she and the entire PTA stepped up big to help make the idea a reality,” said Ramsden. On April 14, in front of more than 36,000 fans at Angel Stadium, Young took time to visit with Houston Astros’ third base coach and long time friend Dave Trembley. Trembley, whom Young met while

Page 12

coaching at the Ken McMullen Baseball Camp, offered him a vital piece of advice. “I thought [he] was about to give me a deep, meaningful metaphor about how baseball is a reflection of life,” Young said. “Instead he put his arm around my shoulder and told me ‘now, in front of your family, friends, and students, whatever you do, do not bounce this pitch.’” Recalling the moments before his pitch, Young said, “The pregame coordinator told me the order of the events and what I was supposed to do before everything started. I was listening to him, but in all the excitement I didn’t process what he had told me. He then told me to just watch for the thumbs up, and then throw the pitch.” The time soon came for Young to walk across the infield to the freshly groomed pitcher’s mound, as Angels’ third base coach Dino Ebel crouched behind home plate, waiting for Young’s pitch. In the week leading up to the game, Young’s biggest fear was that his pitch would not make it all the way to the plate or he would throw an uncatchable pitch. “I saw the thumbs up sign, and next thing I knew, I was already throwing the ball to Dino. I didn’t have time to think about it, and I think that helped me throw a strike,” he said. On Tuesday, back at his office, we asked what was next for him after retiring, Young reached into his desk drawer and produced a manila folder simply titled “Bucket List.” “My life has been a dream come true,” Young said. “Thank you to all of our Makos and all of the students I’ve ever had the pleasure of teaching. Also thank you to the teachers, support staff and parents who have supported me. Thank you all for being a part of my dream. Now I can finally start working on crossing more things off my list.” SC

SC LIVING GUEST OPINION: Life’s a Beach by Shelley Murphy

Spring Break Stressful for College-bound Students Heart aches for kids who receive bad news from their dream schools


ost students in the Capistrano Unified School District enjoyed a relaxing spring break last week. But many college-bound high school seniors spent their spring break on pins and needles. After sweating through the winter recess, frantically finalizing and steadfastly submitting college applications, some seniors spent spring break anxiously waiting for the last of the triumphant acceptances and agonizing rejections to arrive. May 1 marks the deadline for seniors to commit to the college they’ll attend in the fall. This time of year, my heart genuinely aches for the kids—yes kids, in their tender teen years—receiving emails or letters with opening lines that read: “It is with genuine regret that we inform you the admissions committee is unable to offer you a position in the freshman class.” Last spring our older son awaited acceptance letters, and he received correspondences from a few colleges assuring him of a bright collegiate career—just not at their college. I vehemently remember each letter. Perhaps that’s why a recent essay written by a Pittsburgh high school

senior titled “To (All) the Colleges That Rejected Me” resonated with me. The essay, published in the Wall Street Journal, caused an outcry from college admissions officers and school officials who LIFE’S A BEACH criticized the author, callBy Shelley Murphy ing her whiny and bitter. She admits to feeling resentful, and rightly so in my opinion. Colleges continue raising the bar and students keep jumping over it only to find their 4.5 GPAs or stellar SAT scores aren’t enough, or they aren’t sufficiently diverse. The author faults her lack of diversity as one reason for her college rejections: “I offer about as much diversity as a saltine cracker.” I read the essay as I packed for a spring break trip to tour colleges with our younger son who, coincidentally, shares striking similarities with a Keebler cracker. At the first college we visited, we listened to a speaker echo the essay. We sat in an hour-long informational session led by a senior student recently returned from studying abroad in Japan. In his first 30 minutes of speaking to the capacity crowd,

he said the word diversity 23 times—each time he repeated it I made a tally mark in my brochure and my son elbowed me to stop. The speaker recommended students use the personal statement, or essay, to specifically state what sets them apart from the crowds of kids applying. In other words: Wow the admissions board with diverse socioeconomic, ethnic, geographic and personal experiences. I stifled my laughter when, after his passionate plea, he instructed students to demonstrate their diversity on the common application, the form a majority of colleges utilize for admission. The next college revealed they received nearly 40,000 applications for the class of 2017 and proudly accepted 5.69 percent of applicants—an acceptance rate lower than Harvard. The last school left us with a glimmer of hope; the campus received nearly 53,000 applications for the 2012-13 academic year and boasted an admittance rate of 21.5 percent. I tend to be a bit catatonic by the time the question-and-answer segment rolls around, but I vaguely remember one speaker suggesting students utilize their upcoming

summer vacation to participate in service projects, apply for internships, or develop the cure for cancer. I’m old enough to remember when summer vacation was just that—a vacation. Today’s college-bound students can forget about summers spent lazily building sandcastles and instead spend it crafting the diverse resume colleges crave. Back in the ring for round two of the college crap shoot, I’m a little smarter and slightly more cynical as I watch our Keebler cracker spend his summers becoming diverse enough to stand out so he can fit in with common kids sporting sweatshirts emblazoned with a bear, gaucho or tree. Shelley Murphy has lived in San Clemente with her husband and two sons for the past 14 years. She’s a freelance writer and contributor to the SC Times since 2006. SC PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to provide our readers with a wide variety of opinions from our community, the SC 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 SC Times or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at




SC S a n C le m e n te



The Salt Creek Half Marathon is one of the longest distance events of the season in the Orangeman Running Series circuit and is set to take place on April 21. There will also be a 10K, 5K and 1K kids run on the same day. The half marathon runners will travel 13.1 miles along the Salt Creek Regional Corridor Trail, which starts at Salt Creek Beach and loops back around. The half marathoners will make two loops throughout the race. The half marathon will stretch from the beach all the way north up to

The Salt Creek Half Marathon will stretch from the beach up north to Niguel Road. Courtesy photo

Niguel Road and back again, using parts of Pacific Coast Highway and the Corridor Trail.

Runners competing in the 10K run will complete only one loop of the trail while the 5K runners will complete the first half of the loop, turning around at Camino Del Avion. Cost for the half marathon is $99. The 10K is $60, the 5K $40 and the kid’s 1K is $15. Registration for the race(s) is still open and there will be on-site registration the day of the event. For more information on the race and to register, visit

A Double Transition Japanese foreign exchange student finds spot on San Clemente High School varsity tennis team By Steve Breazeale San Clemente Times


he only bits of English that 17-year-old Yuki Mizutani had a grasp of when he landed in San Clemente last September he learned through standardized tests. As a student in Nagoya, Japan, Mizutani spent four years studying English, but only the letters and words associated with homework. He was, and is, a tennis player, but his 10-hour school days got in the way of his practicing. Tennis fell by the wayside. Through a foreign exchange program called CETUSA, Mizutani decided to board a plane and spend a year abroad. He knew he wanted to go to America, but he didn’t know where he wanted to go. The program decided to send him to the sunny beaches of San Clemente, which was a dream come true for a high school tennis player. The San Clemente boys tennis team entered their spring 2013 season as the back-to-back defending South Coast League champions and were favorites to three-peat. Mizutani did not know about the American high school athletic system of dividing players from varsity to junior varsity when he went to try out, all he knew is he wanted to play. “A couple of players told me about him at first. When he came out to tryouts we didn’t see him making varsity or playing much,” head coach John Stephens said. “As prac-

Yuki Mizutani. Photo by Steve Breazeale

tices kept going, he kept picking it up and getting better.” Mizutani impressed the Tritons coaching staff with his athleticism and soon made the varsity team. He now plays a part rotating in and out of the No. 3 doubles team. “I love it here. The weather is so comfortable and I get to play tennis a lot,” Mitzutani said. “When I was in Japan

I couldn’t really play tennis because I had to study a lot… Now I play just about every day.” The transition from newcomer to teammate was not the smoothest. Stephens and his staff envisioned Mizutani playing doubles, a concept that was as foreign to Yuki as having a midday ceramics class (his new favorite subject). He had spent his life playing singles tennis and now had to learn the doubles style on top of learning how to communicate with his teammates. Stephens and assistant coach Jim Wilson figured out they had to slow things down in order to make things easier for everyone. Key words like “feet” or “toss” became simple signals that Stephens would yell to Mizutani so he would know that he needed to increase his foot speed or change his serve toss or be in a different position on the court. “We were trying to simplify it a little bit…He is a great learner and open to coaching. He wants to learn and he wants to understand,” Stephens said. Mizutani showed Stephens that he is a better match player than he is in practice and has played an important role on the Tritons team that won the South Coast League for a third consecutive year on April 16 with a win over El Toro. He will return to be back with his mom, dad and two older brothers in Japan at the end of the school year in June. SC

ADULT RECREATION LEAGUE TEAM REGISTRATION EXTENDED he City of San Clemente’s adult recreation league is wrapping up its winter season and has decided to extend the registration for the spring season to April 26, according to recreation specialist Randy Solar. The city offers six different leagues to those interested, a list that includes: mens/co-ed softball, co-ed soccer (seven on seven), mens soccer (seven on seven), mens basketball and flag football. Cost per team varies with each sport. Single players without teams will be assigned by the adult sports coordinator. For more information or to register, visit or email the league offices at


Jihad Me at Hello won the San Clemente Winter Adult Softball Mens D League on April 9. Courtesy photo

San Clemente Times April 18-24, 2013

Page 16 In other recreation sports news: Jihad Me at Hello took home the Tuesday Mens “D” softball league title by running the slate in the league playoffs. The team entered the playoffs as the fourth overall seed and won their first two games by a combined fourpoint margin on April 2 and April 9, respectively. The team defeated Surf-n-Sluggers 21-10 in the finals on April 9. The adult co-ed seven on seven soccer playoffs will kick off this weekend. As of April 17, Slammers FC had the best record heading into the tournament with a 7-0-1 record. The team scored a league-high 22 points. SC

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Page 19


Triton Report

By Steve Breazeale

THROWERS HAVE BIG DAY FOR BOYS TRACK AND FIELD San Clemente’s Kelsey Benoit continued his impressive throwing season on April 3 against South Coast League rival Dana Hills by unleashing a huge shot put throw of 59 feet, 6 ½-inches, good enough for a first-place finish. Benoit also finished second in the discus (160-feet), behind fellow teammate Rocky Fenton (163 feet, 2 inches). Benoit’s shot put throw is currently the fourth best mark in the state this season, according to Fenton holds the fourth best mark in the discus (180 feet, 1 inch) this season, which he set back on March 24. Jacob Morrison took home the high jump win by clearing the bar at 6 feet, 2 inches. Senior Corey Cassler posted a time of 15.80 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles and placed first. The San Clemente girls track and field team also competed against the Dolphins on April 3. Ally Lynn finished first in the 100-meter dash and was the Tritons lone firstplace finisher. She also finished second in the 200-meter. The Tritons did have several runners place second in their respective meets, including Melissa Eisele (1,600-meter), Brittney Thornton (100-meter hurdles), Amber Eisele (3,200-meter), Haley McCabe (shot put) and Anna Gillis (discus). Several Tritons girls runners went on to compete in the Irvine Distance Invitational on April 7. Jessica Erickson would go on to win the 800-meter while Briana Lehman finished fourth. Next Meet: 4/17 vs. Mission Viejo, 2:45 p.m. BASEBALL WINS BACK TO BACK WITH HAWKS The baseball games between San Clemente and Laguna Hills have been nothing short of tension filled this season. In the three games played between the two Sea View League teams, there have been a total of four runs scored between the first and fi fth inning. The pitching and defense has been so good that 13 of those 15 innings featured zero runs. It’s when the two teams face off in the final two innings of ball games when things get interesting. From the sixth inning on, the Hawks and Tritons have combined to score 11 total runs, which has made for dramatic finishes. After they won in walk-off fashion San Clemente Times April 18–24, 2013

Jordan Riggs (12) scored a goal and tallied four clears in the Tritons 16-14 loss to Tesoro on April 16. Photo by Kathy Renard

on April 9, it was the Tritons (17-3, 5-1 league) turn to withstand a late Hawks (13-8, 2-4) surge on April 10. Laguna Hills was trailing 5-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning but came back to score three and tacked on one more run in the seventh. It was a flurry of runs but the Tritons held on for a close 5-4 victory. San Clemente has now won eleven games in a row and is currently ranked No. 1 in the CIF-SS Division 2 coaches poll. The Tritons were set to host San Juan Hills on April 17. Results were not available at press time. Next Game: 4/19 at San Juan Hills, 3:30 p.m. BOYS LACROSSE San Clemente’s South Coast League title hopes were dashed on April 16 in a wild 16-14 loss at Tesoro. The Tritons rallied from an early 6-2 first-quarter hole, tied the game late at 9-9, and then had to rally from 16-11 down to close to 16-14 before time ran out. The loss drops the Tritons to 9-4 overall on the season. Tesoro improved to 10-1. The win wrapped up the league title for the Titans, who defeated San Clemente on the road back on March 21. San Clemente senior attack Robbie Burns put on an all-around performance, posting two goals and five assists to lead the Tritons offense. Collin Zines led all scorers with four goals, while Jack Renard had two goals and three assists. Peyton Garrett had three goals and one assist.

Junior middie Austin Streeter (two goals) led the team with eight ground balls while winning 12 face-offs and forcing two turnovers. Jordan Riggs (one goal) led the team with four clears while defenseman Stone Sims held Tesoro’s top scorer, senior Jacob Douglas, to just one goal. Freshman goalie Austin Boyer had six saves in the second half. The Tritons will have their senior recognition day during their April 18 home match against Mission Viejo. The event will take place at 5 p.m., half an hour before the scheduled start time. Next Game: 4/18 vs. Mission Viejo, 5:30 p.m. TRITONS TENNIS THREE-PEAT AS LEAGUE CHAMPS San Clemente head coach John Stephens has seen other teams throughout the South Coast League mix up their strategy when they take the court against the Tritons boys tennis team. An opponent’s top singles player suddenly switching to doubles in order to better their chances in that format has not been uncommon. So far the Tritons have responded to every opponent’s lineup change in-league with a win and on April 16, a 15-3 win over El Toro secured the team’s third consecutive South Coast League title. The Tritons doubles teams took care of business, winning all nine matches against the Chargers for the clean sweep. El Toro’s No. 1 singles player, senior Jayson Amos, accounted for all three of his team’s points. The only thing standing between the Tritons and an undefeated season is a

Page 20

Freshman Jay Yeam went 2-1 in the Tritons win over El Toro on April 16. Yeam has been one of the San Clemente boys tennis team’s top singles players in 2013. Photo by Steve Breazeale

match with rival Dana Hills on April 18. Stephens accredited his team’s depth to their ability to maintain their league win streak. “We’ve had good balance in singles and doubles. Teams have tried to change their lineups against us in league and it hasn’t worked because our balance is strong enough,” Stephens said. “It’s always nice to be the team that everyone tries to adjust to.” Next Match: 4/18 vs. Dana Hills, 3 p.m.




SC S a n C le m e n te

GROM OF THE WEEK Taj Peniata Age: 5, Marblehead Elementary

Taj Peniata loves to surf. Everything about it is fun, he said, especially since he gets to compete with his dad at his side in the Western Surfing Association Micro Grom U9 Push-in division. “It’s fun to be outside with my friends. I love playing in the ocean and going surfing!” he said. Taj went on to recall a happy memory of his best finish so far since he started competing only six months ago. It happened at the last regular season WSA event, April 6 in Oceanside. “We got stuck in a set and it took really long to paddle out. But then we made it finally and my dad pushed me in and I stood up and I made it to the semis for the first time!” Taj said. He is currently the No. 16 ranked surfer among a field of 42 in his division and has qualified to compete in the WSA West Coast Championships later this month. A few of his favorite surf spots are Upper Trestles and Tavarua, Fiji. Taj also likes to skateboard and practice on his Syck Trix indoor ollie trainer. “I want to jump out of the waves and do airs by the time I’m 10,” he said. Taj wants to be a fireman, like his dad, or a pro surfer. He was also Taj Peniata. Photo by Eric Peniata inspired to become a marathon runner after participating in his school jog-a-thon. Taj said he would like to thank his parents for supporting his surfing. “Thank you and I love you. That’s all,” he said.—Andrea Swayne

SUP Tour Success

McPhillips and Merrill win at new stand-up paddle tour event By Andrea Swayne San Clemente Times


everal local competitors found success at the first stop of the inaugural US SUP Tour, April 12 to14 in Huntington Beach. Among the local contingent, San Clemente’s Colin McPhillips and Emmy Merrill both rallied to first place finishes in Pro SUP Surf competition. “It was honored to take a win at this first event. The contest as a whole, set a great precedent for how the rest of the season will go,” said 2012 women’s world SUP surfing champion Merrill. “It was a first time for the competition but it was so successful that I think it got things off the ground nicely. I am very excited for the remaining contests and next season as well. It was a really fun and well run event. I hope it prompts more women to compete.” Since a low number of female athletes meant that the women’s division would go


San Clemente stand-up paddle surfers Colin McPhillips and Emmy Merrill each won their Pro SUP Surf events at the first US SUP Tour event, April 12-14 in Huntington Beach. Photo by John Alvarez/

straight to final, Merrill competed with the men where she made it to the quarterfinals. On fellow competitor McPhillips, Merrill said, “It is crazy how great Colin surfs. He always pushes the limits and is one of the professionals really responsible for advancing the sport. I think he’s the Tom Curren of stand-up paddle surfing.” The event was the first of three stops on the new stand-up paddle competition tour that will serve as the qualifying series for athletes to compete at the International Surfing Association World SUP and Paddleboard Championship as members of the USA Surf Team. Competition includes both SUP surfing and SUP racing events.

The tour, organized by Surfing America team coach Ian Cairns, is just what the sport of stand-up paddling needs, he said. He equates SUP now to what was happening with surfing in the early 1970s when the establishment of an official tour and the consistency of high caliber events led to tremendous growth in the sport. With the support of Surfing America, the official ISA-sanctioned governing body in the U.S., well-produced events with Association of Surfing Professionals judging and computer scoring and the assistance of World Paddle Association Director Byron Kurt, he is confident the tour will fill the void nicely. A $5 portion of each entry fee will also help the team make the trip to the ISA World Championships in 2014 after having to skip this year’s event due to financial constraints. Stop No. 2 in the series is set for May 17-19 in New Jersey, followed by Event No. 3, June 14-16 at San Onofre State Park. Log on to for full results and find out more about the tour at SC

SURF FORECAST Water Temperature: 57-59 degrees F Water Visibility and Conditions: San Clemente: 4-6’+ Poor. Catalina: 10-15’+ Fair Immediate: A mix of easing shorter period northwest windswell and south groundswell sets up knee-waist-shoulder high (2-4’) waves at many breaks on Thursday. Standout exposures see lingering head high (5’) sets. Offshore morning flow sets up clean conditions, before moderate+ afternoon onshore flow picks up out of the northwest. The swell mix continues to ease on Friday, setting up knee-waist-chest high surf, (2-3’+) at the better breaks. Long Range Outlook: A modest new south groundswell fills in for the weekend setting up more waist-chest-shoulder high waves (3-4’+) for best exposed breaks. Minor northwest windswell blends in for a few broken up peaks and sections. Our Coastal Eddy returns over the weekend. Check out Surfline for all the details!

KONA GALLERY TO HOST ART BREWER SHOW “Art’s Journey,” a retrospective of Dana Point-based surf photographer Art Brewer’s work, opens Saturday, April 20, 6 p.m. to midnight at the KONA Gallery and Photojournalism Center, 412 N. El Camino Real in San Clemente. The show features an in depth collection of images—more than 40 years in the making—capturing the surfing culture and lifestyle. The exhibit will remain on display through August 3. For more information, contact Scott Mc Kiernan at 949. 481.3747 or email

April 18, 2013  

San Clemente Times