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Talegans Get Rehearing CUSD board will reconsider controversial refinancing decision EYE IN SC/PAGE 5

Many Talega residents have banded together to advocate for a rehearing on whether to return funds from a recent refinancing of the development’s bonds by the Capistrano Unified School District. Photo by Jim Shilander

TOP 5: Council Approves SONGS Resolution

Former Tritons Set to Appear in Upcoming Bowl Games

CUSD Superintendent Farley Retiring




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SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO The San Juan Capistrano City Council voted Tuesday, December 3, to delay its decision on whether to allow a developer to build a 100-unit apartment complex, including 26 affordable housing units, near San Juan Hills High School after the developer presented a plan to alleviate traffic concerns in the area. Traffic consultants and representatives from the developer Woodbridge Pacific Group offered a plan proposing to designate two right-turn lanes from La Pata Avenue onto Vista Montana and extend two left-turn lanes on Vista Montana. The council rescheduled their consideration of the project to January 21 to allow city staff time to review the proposed improvements. While some residents urged the council to approve the project to bring more affordable housing into the city, others said the proposed improvements would not alleviate difficult commutes and that the development would worsen the situation.




The South Coast Water District board unanimously approved moving forward with a self-development plan of an 11-acre boat and recreational vehicle storage site along the Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano border. The board directed staff to plan a 5- to 7-acre storage site, and work with Dana Point to permit 11 acres of the 30-acre site on Stonehill Drive along San Juan Creek, allowing for expansion. The site contains the district’s groundwater recovery plant, water and sewer lines and industrial storage for about 42 tenants. The development of the site would be utilized by Orange County during its $140-million Dana Point Harbor revitalization project, with long-term boat and RV storage options after. The board also held its annual reorganization, unanimously selecting Wayne Rayfield and Bob Moore to serve in their current seats, president and vice president, respectively.


What’s Up With... 1

…Council SONGS Resolution?

THE LATEST: The San Clemente City Council approved a resolution asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, federal Department of Energy and Southern California Edison that spent fuel be removed from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station as soon as possible. Following an hour of input from residents and activists from outside the city, the council debated language of the resolution before deciding to ask that spent fuel from SONGS be prioritized due to the threats from earthquakes, the decommissioning of the plant and the large population around the plant. The resolution also encouraged the development of a repository for spent fuel. As of September, Edison has stored 2,776 fuel assemblies (which serve as containment for nuclear waste) in spent fuel pools and 800 in dry cask storage. The council also voted to send a letter to the NRC asking for a public comment period on its Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement be extended. WHAT’S NEXT: The resolution also asked the city be included in future discussions of the decommissioning process. FIND OUT MORE: For more on the debate, visit – Jim Shilander


…La Pata?

THE LATEST: The Orange County Board of Supervisors has named the contractor to finish work on Avenida La Pata, connecting San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano. The supervisors selected Sukut Construction, Inc. of Santa Ana, which bid $72.7 San Clemente Times December 19-25, 2013

million for the project, $5 million below the county’s estimate. An initial round of bids was rejected by the supervisors last month due to irregularities between the three bids received. The first phase of the project will close the gap between the two cities. It will include four lanes and stretch from the current terminus of the road at Calle Saluda to the Prima Descecha Landfill in San Juan.

Farley said in a prepared statement. Farley was the district’s seventh superintendent in four years when he was hired.

WHAT’S NEXT: The county expects to break ground on the project in March 2014. City Councilwoman Lori Donchak, who also serves on the board of the Orange County Transportation Authority, said the project was a significant one for the city. “This is a big milestone,” Donchak wrote in an email. “It takes a lot of effort and talents to get a project of this size to actually happen. I am so pleased San Clemente will finally have a backdoor and improved travel paths.” FIND OUT MORE: For updates, visit – JS


…the CUSD Superintendent?

THE LATEST: Capistrano Unified School District Superintendent Joseph Farley announced Wednesday that he will be retiring from the district at the end of the school year on June 30. Farley, who came on the job during a period of disruption for the district in 2010, said he had done his best to steer the district through “very financially trying times.” “I was asked to stabilize the district and return the focus back to instruction and kids, and to earn back the trust of our employee groups. This was done,”

WHAT’S NEXT: The board voted to continue an item to name a subcommittee to help in the search process. Several members of the board indicated they either wanted to serve on the committee or have input on what the subcommittee and search firm should be looking for in a new superintendent. Farley said getting the input of the entire board was important. FIND OUT MORE: For more on the story, visit – JS


…the Clean Ocean Fee?

THE LATEST: San Clemente property owners have narrowly approved the renewal of the city’s Clean Ocean Fee. City Clerk Joanne Baade sent results out Thursday indicating a majority of property owners who returned ballots actually rejected the renewal, by a vote of 5,709 to 6,094. However, because votes of timeshare unit votes are calculated at a value of 1/50 of a vote, the result flipped, with 5,005.36 yays to 4,436.68 nays. The vote approves the first fee increase in the program’s history. The fee pays for ongoing city efforts to reduce the effects of urban runoff, including operations of the treatment system located near Poche Beach, ongoing street sweeping, catch basin cleaning and other activities. The fund also supports efforts of other city departments to reduce runoff and increase water conservation. Had the vote failed, the city could have had to pay for these from the general fund. WHAT’S NEXT: For single family resi-

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dences on public streets, the fee increase is to $6.23 from $5.02. Residents on private streets will pay less due to not having streets cleaned. Commercial properties and industrial and business park properties pay at different rates based on their footprint. The fee will not have to be renewed again for another six years. FIND OUT MORE: For more on the story visit and search “clean ocean fee.”—JS


…School Facilities?

THE LATEST: The Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees approved moving forward with bids to replace the roof at San Clemente High School and the the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at Dana Hills High School, but where the funding will come from is still to be decided. The two projects were labeled by district officials as high priority, based on the maintenance needs of the two schools. The roof repair at SCHS is estimated to cost more than $1.3 million. A general survey of other needs for the district found more than $6 million in total repair needs at the school. WHAT’S NEXT: Due to confusion about whether funds from a community finance district, funded by Talega residents, could be used for maintenance at the high school, the trustees voted to move forward with the bid process but to resolve the financing at a later date, when the funding source was clearer. FIND OUT MORE: For more on the story, visit –JS Have a story idea or topic you would like to read about? Send your suggestions to


Talegans Get Rehearing CUSD Trustees to reconsider Talega tax vote after outcry from citizens By Jim Shilander San Clemente Times


alega residents seeking redress on what they saw as a mischaracterization of their intentions were given a victory last week as the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees voted to rehear a resolution approved last fall that failed to return funds from a recent refinancing to taxpayers. But long term questions remain to be settled for the development and its schools. In August, members of the board approved a refinancing of a community finance district, or Mello-Roos fund, for the area, along with a CFD for the Las Flores area of Rancho Santa Margarita. The refinancing would have allowed savings to be returned to taxpayers, or the difference in a facilities fund or to keep half the savings in the fund and return half to the taxpayers. The board approved returning the funds, about $133 a year, to the Las Flores residents. The board voted to keep Talega CFD funds, pending the result of a district-wide survey assessing the maintenance needs of its schools, including San Clemente High School. The savings to Talega residents was believed to be about $344 per year, on average, per parcel. Complicating the matter, CUSD Board President John Alpay of San Clemente, a Talega resident, had to recuse himself from the discussion due to his financial interests as a homeowner. During last week’s meeting, Alpay was present for a discussion of the CFD as it related to the funding needed for repairs at San Clemente High School, but recused himself during the consideration of the rehearing. Talega residents began voicing their displeasure to trustees last month, pointing to the recusal of their district’s representative, as well as a lack of publicity about the vote. Residents complained they only received word on the vote, after the school year began via discussions with other parents. One trustee, Jim Reardon of San Juan Capistrano, noted a lack of Talega residents speaking for the fund’s return played a role in his vote to hold onto them in August. A number of Talega residents also noted remarks by Trustee Amy Hanacek at the August meeting intimating that taxpayers in Talega would be happy to see the funds kept in place for at least a year in order to provide for facilities needs at SCHS. Resident Laura Ferguson said when residents found out about the vote, she and others began organizing Talegans on a door to door basis, gathering more than San Clemente Times December 19-25, 2013

Vista Del Mar was one of two schools built with funds from the Talega Community Finance District. It is the only public school located in the Talega development. Photo by Jim Shilander

300 petition signatures and more than 400 online signatures. Realtor Laura Ginn said paying additional taxes in Talega served to make the area less attractive for home purchases. She noted that Talega residents also paid into the district’s general funds as well. “We already pay the basic tax levy, just like they (the residents of other parts of San Clemente) do,” Ginn said. “In effect, we’re being taxed twice.” She noted Talega students made up a small percentage of the students at SCHS. In effect, Talega residents were being asked to pay for a roof for students in a city of nearly 70,000, she said. The number of Talega residents protesting the board’s vote only increased at last Wednesday’s meeting, as questions about funding repairs at SCHS with funds from the Talega CFD were addressed. Susan Hattan, a tax attorney who lives in Talega, said the district should not view the Talega CFD as a handout it can use for just any project. “This is not about a tax break for Talega residents,” Hattan said. “It’s about responsible spending and following the law. And where there’s a perceived windfall, with all due respect, it’s very easy for government officials to spend other people’s money. The needs and desires of Talega residents do not get trumped by the needs of the district.” Hattan said she and others felt the district was unreasonably relying on funds from the CFD. The board determined in 2006 Talega taxpayers have already paid for the facilities it was supposed to, including Vista del Mar Elementary School, San Juan Hills High School and improvements at San Clemente High School. Mark Veale, a Talega resident and certified public accountant, said Talega residents were being asked to pay above and beyond their assessments, which he said was up to $6 million. He asked the board to reduce the assessment to the amount needed to service the bonds. “We are done with funding facilities,

there is no doubt Talega has met its commitment,” Veale said. Resident Jason Yewell said he and his neighbors understood there was a need at SCHS, calling the campus “neglected,” but the CFD funds could only be used for the construction of new facilities or the acquisition of land for those facilities. “It is for construction of new facilities to mitigate the needs of new students coming from Talega, not for fixing leaky roofs of existing buildings,” Yewell said. “Maintenance is the responsibility of the general fund.” Other residents said they felt the district had made the funding “a zero sum game,” allowing the board to vote to reduce the tax burdens elsewhere in the district by relying on Talega residents. Another resident indicated legal action might be sought if the board did not reconsider. After hearing from residents on two different occasions, the board, minus the recused Alpay, voted 5-0 to rehear the issue in January. The board has two regularly scheduled meetings that month, on January 8 and 22. What is a CFD? Community finance districts are a way for districts to pay for new developments. Because Proposition 13 limits the ability to raise funds with additional property taxes, cities or special districts can place special taxes on new developments (or in older developments) to pay for new or improved facilities. CUSD has used a number of CFDs over the last few decades, as areas from Mission Viejo to Talega were built up. The oldest and largest CFD is located in Mission Viejo. It began in the 1980s. The district recently came to an agreement with Rancho Mission Viejo’s developers creating a CFD to pay for construction of at least one school for that new development. This allows fund availability districtwide for maintenance and other projects. At the meeting last week, Board members voiced confusion about what, exactly the CFD could pay for. Board Vice Presi-

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dent Lynn Hatton, a resident of Mission Viejo, said she paid her Mello-Roos funds as just another fee with her home. Hatton asked that the board hold a workshop with district legal counsel in order to parse out what exactly could be spent. “No one is trying to take anyone’s money, we’re trying to do what’s best for our schools,” Hatton said. Reardon noted that an explanation of the CFDs was included in a previous packet given to the trustees. “The information in that document is very clear,” Reardon said. “This money can’t be spent any way we want, and it’s important we don’t keep putting this decision off.” Board member Ellen Addonizio said the district couldn’t simply use the excuse that the district’s children needed better facilities to justify taxing Talegans at a higher rate than necessary. “Obviously it’s about the students, but it needs to be legal and equitable as well,” Addonizio said. “We can’t use that as an excuse all the time to burden people.” Addonizio said the district had “grown up” on CFD monies, and it was time for the district to “unwind” from that. Board members also said the district needs to look for better methods of financing the whole district, rather than relying on a patchwork of CFDs. Future Also a Question The issue of where Talega students will end up for high school is still not entirely decided. Children from the development currently attend San Clemente High School. However, upon the completion of the Avenida La Pata extension, students would be slated to attend San Juan Hills High School, which is located on the completed portion of La Pata in San Juan Capistrano. Funds from the Talega CFD helped build San Juan Hills, and the fact that Talega students have thus far been unable to access a school that taxpayers in the area paid for remains, a sore subject. Hattan, whose children attended Vista del Mar, said she had been under the impression her children would ultimately attend San Clemente High School until this year, when she was first told Talega students were slated to attend San Juan Hills. “They better figure it out,” Hattan said. “That’s a side issue, but it’s not going away.” Alpay agreed at the meeting that the district needs to come to a final resolution about where students from Talega will go. “We’re relying on Talega money for San Clemente High School, but we don’t know how much there is to take,” Alpay said. “In 18 months, La Pata’s going to go through. Are we going to send the students to San Juan Hills or to San Clemente High School? If we send them to San Clemente, I would want the money refunded from San Juan Hills to go back to the Talega CFD. If we’re going to San Juan Hills, then we don’t need it. We need to figure out the feeder patterns with regard to Talega.” SC


CITY AND COMMUNITY CALENDAR Thursday, December 19 Photos with Santa 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Bring your cameras for a picture and visit with Santa in the Dana Point Harbor. More info:

Friday, December 20 Dark Friday City offices closed; Christmas Lunch Noon. Holiday luncheon at the Dorothy Visser Senior Center with Rick McClellan entertaining. 117 Ave. Victoria, San Clemente, 949.498.3322.

Saturday, December 21 South Coast Singers: “Sleigh Bells Ring” 7 p.m. The South Coast Singers present their annual holiday concert at South Shores Church featuring traditional favorites, new tunes and more to celebrate the season. Tickets $15-$20. 32712 Crown Valley Pkwy., Dana Point 949.613.7840, visit

Sunday, December 22 San Clemente Farmers Market 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Fresh produce, flowers and more every Sunday along Avenida Del Mar. Rain or shine.

Monday, December 23 Winter Recess Students and teachers in Capistrano Unified School District schools are on break today through Friday, Jan. 3. More info:

Tuesday, December 24 Furlough Day City offices closed; Ukulele Class 10:15 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Seniors can learn to play ukulele at the Dorothy Visser Senior Center. 117 Ave. Victoria, San Clemente, 949.498.3322. SC Sunrise Rotary Club 7:15 a.m.– 8:30 a.m. Meeting at Signature Grille at the Talega Golf Club, 990 Avenida Talega, 949.369.0663, Toastmasters 7 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Practice public speaking every Tuesday in a friendly and supportive atmosphere at the library, 242 Ave. Del Mar, 949.361. 8463, San Clemente Times December 19-25, 2013


Compiled by Jim Shilander

PROPS, RECOGNITIONS AND MORSELS OF INFO Fundraising Effort Raises Funds for 18 Bikes

City Providing Holiday Parking Grace Period

A fundraising effort to bring bikes to area children resulted in 18 bikes being purchased for a toy drive for San Clemente homeless advocacy group iHope. Donors included Don Bonnano, Reed and Cynthia Anderson, Mayor Tim Brown, Power Source Electrical, Jim Frey, Greg and Kathy Ward, Sharon Ruiz, Coffee Importers, Larry Culbertson, City Manager Pall Gudgeirsson, Gary Hopp, Tom and Vonne Barnes, Jim and Jan Smith, Pete Van Nuys and George Gregory.

The City of San Clemente will offer a grace period for holders of San Clemente parking passes that expire January 1. The grace period is in effect for renewal purposes from December 24 through January 10. City offices will be closed for the annual furlough between December 24, 2013 and January 1, 2014, and will reopen on January 2. After the grace period has expired, all residents are expected to have their parking permits renewed. All metered parking in San Clemente requires a parking decal affixed on the lower right hand (passenger) side of the vehicle’s front windshield. Metered parking permits are available for $50 for San Clemente residents and $100 for non-residents. To apply for a parking permit, visit City Hall at 100 Avenida Presidio with a driver’s license and a utility bill showing proof of residency. For more information, call 949.361.8315.

Grad Nite Effort Seeking Support San Clemente High School’s 2014 Grad Nite needs community support to make Grad Nite a wonderful experience for seniors at the school while keeping them safe. “This event is and always has been a community effort and 100 percent of it goes right to the kids,” event fundraising chair Vicki Patterson said. Prizes, cash donations, food and drink are all needed, but volunteers and supporters are also priorities. All supporters will be recognized on Facebook and in paper as well as on the event poster. Volunteers can earn grad-bucks for specific seniors to use at Grad Nite. For information, email with information on potential support.

McStay Memorial Set A memorial service for the McStay family is scheduled for Saturday, January 4, at noon at the Vineyard Community Church, 27632 El Lazo in Laguna Niguel. The McStay family, former residents of San Clemente, disappeared in early 2010 from their home in Fallbrook. A short time later, their vehicle was found near the

Austin McKinnon puts together one of 18 bicycles purchased as a result of fundraising efforts to purchase bikes for underprivileged children Friday at Bicycles San Clemente. Photo by Jim Shilander

Mexican border. An off-road motorcyclist discovered four shallow graves containing the remains of the family, including two young sons, near Victorville. The service will be followed by a paddleout by surfers and placing of leis in the water from the San Clemente Pier, starting between 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Before moving to Fallbrook, the McStay family lived in San Clemente. Updated information will be posted at

Animal Adoption Fees Cut The San Clemente-Dana Point Animal Shelter is discounting its adoption fees by $50 to help dogs and cats find special homes. A promotional adoption fee applies to any dog or cat residing at the shelter for three months or longer. A special “red ornament” displayed on suite and cage description cards show what animals are participating in the promotion. The promotion runs now through January 5. The adoption fee is $75 for dogs and the cat adoption fee is $50. For more information, call the San Clemente-Dana Point Animal Shelter at 949.492.1617. The shelter is located at 221 Avenida Fabricante in San Clemente.

SC Artist Wins Southwest Arts Festival Competition San Clemente artist Nancy Egan was selected as the poster winner for the 2014 Southwest Art Festival in Indio. The Indio Chamber of Commerce presented the award December 3. The poster art was selected by a jury of professionals in the trade and from artists participating in the show. The piece that was selected is called “At MOMA with Demoiselles d’avignon,” an oil on canvas. The formal show will be held January 24-26 at Empire Polo Club in Indio. Have something interesting for the community? Send your information to

Rental Scheme Lands Man Behind Bars Blair Christopher Hanloh, 50, to serve four years in a county jail for renting properties he didn’t own in Dana Point and San Clemente By Andrea Papagianis San Clemente Times


man convicted of recording false documents on properties he didn’t own—valued at more than $3.5 million—in Dana Point, San Clemente and Anaheim as part of an intricate rental scheme was sentenced December 13 to four years in an Orange County prison. Blair Christopher Hanloh, 50, of Long Beach was convicted of five felony counts of recording false and forged instruments by a jury on October 30. Hanloh owned and operated Blair Hanloh

Trustee of Diversified Management Trust, which the District Attorney’s office held he started in order to record quitclaim deeds. Quitclaim deeds are filed with the county Clerk-Recorder’s Department to sever ownership of a property to pass it to another. The DA argued Hanloh falsely transferred vacant and mid-foreclosure homes into his name, changed the locks, fixed the properties up and had renters sign fraudulent lease agreements. Hanloh recorded quitclaim deeds for homes on Del Gado Road and Sea Bright Drive in Dana Point, Avenida Valencia in San Clemente and on Birch Tree Lane and Rainview

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Court in Anaheim. Charges stemmed from an Anaheim Police Department investigation after the legal owner of the Rainview Court property reported people living in his home that he had not rented to. DA’s investigators assisted. Hanloh also managed to place a renter in the San Clemente property. Orange County Superior Court Judge William Froeberg ruled Hanloh’s sentence could not be served in a state prison due to current state realignment legislation. Hanloh is housed at the Central Mens Jail in Santa Ana, according to county inmate records. SC


SC Sheriff’s Blotter 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.

Monday, December 16 WELFARE CHECK Paseo de Cristobal/Calle Toledo (4:53 p.m.) A number of skateboarders were in the street. The caller was concerned someone may be hit by a car.

Sunday, December 15 SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Avenida Pico, 900 Block (1:54 p.m.) A caller told deputies about a suspicious man in the Lowe’s Home Improvement parking lot. The caller said the man was talking to himself while swinging a hammer around. The man was described as being in his 30s, wearing a black jacket and a checkered button-down shirt. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Avenida Del Presidente/Avenida Calafia (12:40 p.m.) Authorities were called to investigate a woman near the Mendacino overpass who had not moved for three days. Orange County Fire Authority officials arrived on the scene. WELFARE CHECK Avenida Pelayo, 100 Block (12:39 p.m.) A caller requested a welfare check on an elderly woman who didn’t answer four phone calls. The caller said the elderly woman was in hospice care and would be unable to get out of bed to answer the front door when they arrived. INVESTIGATE PERSON DOWN El Camino Real, 700 Block (7:49 a.m.) Dispatch received a call from a concerned man saying a driver in a black Mazda 3 hatchback was unresponsive and hunched over his steering wheel. The driver was stopped in traffic lanes. Deputies took the driver into custody but released him later that night. ASSIST OUTSIDE AGENCY Avenida Pico, 500 Block (12:47 a.m.) An elderly woman called authorities from Denny’s due to her husband’s rising blood pressure. The woman said her husband was bleeding from his nose and refusing San Clemente Times December 19–25, 2013

medical attention. Deputies and Orange County Fire Authority arrived and gave the man medical attention before he left the restaurant. Nearly three hours later, a Denny’s employee called deputies and informed them the man had returned and his nose was still bleeding. The employee requested deputies respond to the elderly man again.

Saturday, December 14 DISTURBANCE Avenida Santa Barbara, 200 Block (10:07 p.m.) A woman called authorities after her 13-year-old grandson ran up and down her street yelling and hitting people’s vehicles with his hands and feet. The grandmother described her grandson as having brown hair, running barefoot and wearing a red shirt with skulls on it. ROBBERY IN PROGRESS Camino De Los Mares, 600 Block (3:11 p.m.) A 35-year-old man with a beard and wearing dark clothing chased a woman and pushed her down in order to steal her purse. WELFARE CHECK Calle Quieto, 3100 Block (11:33 a.m.) A welfare check was requested for an elderly man wearing red clothing and white shoes reportedly wandering around a neighborhood saying he was looking for his wife. The caller told deputies the elderly man looked confused. WELFARE CHECK Camino El Molino/Camino De Los Mares (8:52 a.m.) An elderly woman flagged down drivers in order to get a ride to Stater Bros. The female caller picked up the woman and drove her to the store. She informed the dispatcher that the elderly woman seemed disoriented and she was concerned for her safety. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Mariposa, 200 Block (2:16 a.m.) A concerned woman called police due to two men in their late 40s, wearing black jackets, standing in her driveway and looking at her residence. She told deputies she was home alone. BATTERY El Camino Real/Avenida Palizada (1:23 a.m.) A man called authorities saying he was beaten up by another man he didn’t know, who then ran away from the scene. The caller requested medical attention due to a busted lip. The caller was heard telling a passerby he was going to kill the man if he found him.

Friday, December 13 SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE El Camino Real/Avenida Valencia (12:36 p.m.) A man in his 50s, wearing jeans and two different shoes was seen sitting on a curb sniffing something out of a can. The man was reported shaking. Page 7


CITY EDITOR Jim Shilander, 949.388.7700, x109


S a n C le m e n te

San Clemente Times, Vol. 8, Issue 51. 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.




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GUEST OPINION: Wavelengths by Jim Kempton

The Meaning of the Good Samaritan A different biblical tale carries the best Christmas message


hile we tend to think of our Christmas carols, frosty snowmen, little drummer boys and good shepherds, these are not actually the stories Christ taught. In fact, when reading only the words attributed to Jesus, they are often as complex as a Zen koan (a dialogue, question, or statement, which is used to provoke doubt and test wisdom). The Good Samaritan is, in many ways, one of the New Testament’s most profound parables and perhaps a Christmas carol of its own. While the Samaritan’s example is seemingly specific, there is an underlying message beneath the straightforward tale of a generous, merciful man. We know the basic story: On the road to Jericho robbers ambushed a Hebrew traveler. They beat him to a pulp, stole his money, stripped him of his clothes and then left him for dead. A Jewish priest

passed but did not help, as did a Levite (a member of the Hebrew tribe). But then a Samaritan “Saw him, he took pity on him. He bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on WAVELENGTHS his own donkey, brought By Jim Kempton him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he said to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’” OK, so a nice guy helps someone out while the rich and powerful from our own neighborhood ignore the suffering of those around them. We should follow his example. But that’s the first part of this story. Christ’s deeper meaning requires us to know who the heck the Samaritans were.

What makes this selfless act of assistance significant is that Samaritans (inhabitants of Samaria) were sworn enemies of the Israelites. In today’s world they were like Belfast Catholics and Ulster Protestants, Iranian Shiites and Iraqi Sunnis, Compton Crips and South Central Bloods. They were not just guys from a different country or tribe. They hated one another, like the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s. Tutsis and Hutus. Greeks and Turks. White supremacists and Mexican mafia. Israelis and Palestinians. That did not stop the Good Samaritan’s altruistic response to another human being’s suffering. He was compassionate to an enemy. And this is the more profound exhortation from Jesus. It’s easy enough to help our friends, family and even our neighbors. But showing kindness to a detested adversary? That was why Jesus used

Letters to the Editor MY FIRST SAN CLEMENTE CHRISTMAS R. C. PRICE, San Clemente

I always wondered what Christmas would be like in San Clemente. For almost 30 years, my family religiously crammed into one of a series of minivans and trundled over to the coast for a summer break from life in the dry and dusty Sonoran Desert. And for almost 30 years, my wife and I would end each visit with a commitment— that one day, some way, somehow, we’d come to San Clemente and stay. Well, I guess the Good Lord was willing and the tides didn’t rise, because this summer, we made it. And now, as our stay digs ever deeper into December, I’m down at the Pier nearSan Clemente Times December 19-25, 2013

a Samaritan to make his point. In the global village, all people are our neighbors. After he had finished telling the parable, Jesus asked, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The scribe answered, “The one who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said, “Go, and do likewise.” May the wisdom of the Prince of Peace be with us all in 2014. Jim Kempton hopes a Good Samaritan finds all those suffering and in need this Christmas season. And while falling far short himself, he hopes for peace and good will toward all men. 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


ly every night, basking in the quiet beauty of this magnificent little bowl-shaped village, buffeted by the reliable rumble of the never-ending surf and loving every minute of it. The lifeguard tower glows through the night, decked out in those good old king-sized colored lights, made back in the good old days, back when a bulb was a bulb. The wonderful clock tower is bedecked in strings of still more colored lights. The time of night still shows through, barely, but doesn’t count for a whole lot. Just up the hill, the town tree, resplendent in its glow and perfectly Christmas Tree-shaped (most such holiday trees are not). And on we go, all the way to the top of Del Mar, amidst the light-pole wreaths, the festive store windows, the casual

wining and dining of the many others who know the marvel of this particular dot on the globe. But what’s most amazing of all is the quiet, the sheer solitude afforded the handful of us who would walk the Pier in the evening hours, braving an occasional stiff ocean breeze and even a little bit of a drizzle, here and there. The stars shine down benignly from the western sky, gathered around the smiling moon like a celestial choir surrounding its jovial conductor. Back down on Earth, the wondrous twinkle of Dana Point to the north, and, at sunset, Catalina—and sometimes even San Clemente Island—putting in at least a shadowy appearance. The stillness is simply entrancing, broken only by the steady approach of another night train—no “Polar Express,”

Page 8

8 a.m. Friday, December 20

at Café Calypso New Assistant City Manager Erik Sund will be the guest at this week’s event. Beachside Chat is a spirited, town hall forum on community issues, hosted by SC Times editor Jim Shilander. All are welcome. Chat will be held nearly every Friday (except the Friday after Christmas) for the remainder of the year.

just a nocturnal Surfliner ambling up and down the coastline—a quick flurry of rumble that fades into the darkness quicker than you can count the cars. But first and foremost, now and forever, (Cont. on page 10)


Letters to the Editor (cont.) (Cont. from page 8) it is the ocean that commands center stage, and dwarfs anything we can throw up in celebration of this special season. I don’t surf, or paddleboard, heck, I can barely swim. But like many others here, the ocean has had a magical hold on me for my entire life. And this season is about nothing if not magic. And now, finally, we commune daily, me and the surf. So merry Christmas, San Clemente. Hope we can share many more.




It’s the most wonderful time of the year. With the kids jingle belling and cash registers ringing and everyone being of good cheer. But wait. Do we say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? I guess it depends on whether you are celebrating Christmas or the holidays. So I say: Let’s take Christmas out of the holidays. So here goes. For hundreds of years, Christians have celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ, whom they believe is the son of God. But what if Jesus was not born on December 25? The following facts and information are taken from a piece written by Joseph L. Sheler in U.S. News & World Report, “In Search of Christmas.” There are two primary reasons why December 25 could not have been the date of Jesus Christ’s birth. First, we are told that shepherds were in the fields watching their flocks at the time of Jesus’ birth. Since December is cold and rainy in Judea, the weather would not have permitted shepherds watching over their flocks in the fields at night. Second, Jesus’ parents came to Bethlehem to register in a Roman census. Such censuses were not taken in winter, when temperatures often dropped below freezing and roads were in poor condition. Taking a census under such conditions would have been self-defeating. If Jesus Christ wasn’t born on December 25, does the Bible indicate when he was born? The biblical accounts point to the fall as the most likely time of Jesus’ birth, based on the conception and birth of John the Baptist. Since Elizabeth, John’s mother, was in her sixth month of pregnancy when Jesus was conceived, we can determine the approximate time of year Jesus was born if we know when John was born. John’s father, Zacharias, was a priest serving in the Jerusalem temple during the course of Abijah. Historical calculations indicate this course of service corresponded to June 13-19 in that year. It was during this time of temple service that Zacharias learned he and his wife, Elizabeth, would have a child. Assuming John’s conception took place near the end of June, adding nine months brings us to the end of March as the most likely time for his birth. Adding another six months San Clemente Times December 19-25, 2013

rines are practicing again. not invading. • You start to take for granted the brisk afternoon breeze and hint of salt in the air. • You realize many know San Clemente as a place where they vacation or visit and eat on the Pier but you are among the lucky to actually live here year round.

(the difference in ages between John and Jesus) brings us to the end of September as the likely time of Jesus’ birth. I am not advocating getting rid of the celebration of Christmas as the birthday of Jesus Christ. I am simply suggesting moving it to September. “The Holidays” would be celebrated during the month of December, culminating with the big holiday on December 25. The season can begin as usual with Black Friday and continue throughout the month of December with retail price wars, last minute bargains, hurrying, struggling and stressing to get ready for the big holiday December 25. Oh, and Santa Claus? Well, he would still be flying through the night sky in his reindeer-drawn sleigh, then sliding down chimneys with gifts for good little girls and boys. There would still be a “holiday” tree all decked out and waiting for the gifts that would be placed underneath its beautifully decorated branches. This would end the conflict between Christians who want to keep Christ in Christmas and greet each other with a “Merry Christmas” and those who want to be politically correct and greet one another with “Happy Holidays.” September 25 or whatever date may be selected, would mark the birth of Jesus Christ with the singing of the time-honored carols, decorating our homes with lights and replicas of the Nativity scene and proclaiming gratitude for the savior born that day.


Editor’s Note: Mr. Robison originally sent this letter to friends who recently moved to San Clemente from Yorba Linda

• You recognize the foghorn at Dana Point Harbor during the night. • You notice not only the sunsets, but where they occur and how they differ (and that they happen every day). • You realize that just because it’s damp and foggy here, it can be sunny and warm a half-mile inland. • You stop noticing the various ways surfboards are transported by foot, bike, car, golf cart, truck, etc. • You plan where you’ll go out to dinner by the time of year—avoiding the Harbor and Avenida Del Mar in the summer. • You pause in your walk along the beach to watch dolphins play or pelicans dive or to wave at the commuter train going by. • You can observe waves breaking while you pump gas at Pacific Coast Highway and Camino Capistrano. • You know what “DampRid” is and where it is at DeNault’s. • You realize that socks are optional 12 months a year. • You become aware how many local surfers have gray hair. • You observe that for many residents winter means wearing a hooded sweatshirt over their usual T-shirt, shorts and flip flops. • You notice that you have a white band all year long where your watch goes. • You realize how conscious you are of the wind, its direction and strength. • You agree to meet a friend from Yorba Linda for coffee. When you suggest meeting half way they respond that they want to drive and have coffee at the beach. • You go from surf camp to surf camp in the summer when you walk the North Beach Trail. • You realize the Camp Pendleton Ma-

Page 10

Years back, I suggested publicly that the TCA’s 51 miles of under-used Orange County toll roads, strapped as they are to an ever-plummeting business model—one of raising toll fares at rush hour, keeping commuters on neighboring “freeways,” as TCA’s debt/interest payments on their road-loan balloons into the stratosphere with fewer drivers “tolling”—that a solution to TCA’s ever-failing business model, was to sell the underused 73 and 241 to Newport billionaires to use as their personal super-speedway for weekend fun-runs with their gazillion-dollar stable of exotic sports cars. Then, on weekdays, allow us, the stalled in traffic commuters, to drive the ex-toll roads for free. A win-win. The TCA dumps its endlessly burgeoning debt load (and angst), allowing their 51 miles of chronically under-performing toll roads to go free during the work-week. I’ve suggested other ideas: Paved sports fields, outdoor bowling alleys, 51 miles of farmers markets, swap meet venues, skate parks, etc. But there was one I never thought of— private plane landing strips. I’m chagrined. It’s so obvious. Well, on a recent Sunday, on the empty 241 toll road, nary a car in sight, a pilot’s dream came true, landing his single engine bird on the longest, emptiest stretch of runway (the 241) he’d ever laid eyes on. So forget my Newport billionaire boys car club idea and call John Wayne International. They’ve been thirsting to rid themselves of “small” (nuisance) flying machines. Here it is—51 miles of perfectly paved, auxiliary landing and take-off strips, totally empty and ready to go. “Cessna 1234 to tower, request landing—Oso Parkway on 241 South.” “Tower to C-1234, you are cleared for landing. There is absolutely no traffic there. There never is. Proceed C-1234.”

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! To submit a letter to the editor for possible inclusion in the paper, e-mail us at letters@ 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.


AT THE MOVIES: ‘PHILOMENA’ IS A THINKER In 1952 Ireland, an orphaned teenage girl named Philomena Lee (Sophie Kennedy Clark) is living in a convent when she becomes pregnant out of wedlock. After the nuns discover her condition, she is forced to work as a laborer for them and give birth without medication. When her baby turns three, he is sent away to a new family without her permission. Fifty years later, Philomena (Judi Dench) is fully determined to find out what became of her son and sets out to find him with the help of recently unemployed journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan). There are many things going on in Stephen Frears’ Philomena that give audiences plenty to ponder. Philomena was treated horribly by the Catholic Church, but never lost her faith; the journalist is a Catholic-turned-atheist and some of the nuns were horribly unpleasant. Coogan, usually a comic on camera, brings some charm into Philomena’s heavy story (which is, remarkably, based on a real woman of the same name) with co-screenwriter Jeff Pope. Clark and Dench bring the title character to life effortlessly. Philomena is one of the smartest films of the year and not a blatantly biased secular attack on Catholicism. It is a must-watch for historic perspective. Frears, Coogan and Pope succeed in making viewers contemplate the separation of church and faith and the abuses of power. And Dench’s performance should pave the way for her seventh Oscar nomination. —Megan Bianco


SC S a n C le m e n te

Courtesy photo

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


LAGUNA BALLET’S THE NUTCRACKER 7 p.m. Annual holiday performance featuring the nonprofit junior ballet company on the McKinney Theater stage at Saddleback College. Shows through December 22. Tickets $24. 28000 Marguerite Parkway., Mission Viejo, 949.582.4656,


TARYN DONATH 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Live music at The Cellar. 156 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, 949.492.3663, THE KALAMA BROTHERS 7:30 p.m.-11 p.m. Iva Lee’s. 555 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente, 949.361.2855,


CHRISTMAS PAIRING FLIGHT 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Wine tasting with Christmas specials at San Clemente Wine Company. Fee $20, includes complimentary cheese plate and chocolate. 212 ½ Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, 949.429.7067,


GARY HO HO HOEY 8 p.m. Legendary guitarist plays holiday hits at The Coach House. Tickets $20-$23. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930, NEWPORT HARBOR CHRISTMAS BOAT PARADE 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. The 105th running of the holiday boat parade in Newport Harbor featuring the theme “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree!” Nightly shows through December 22. DISNEY ON ICE: ROCKIN’ EVER AFTER 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Disney on Ice brings a rockin’ remix of royalty to Honda Center. Tickets $24-$84. Performances through December 22. 2695 E. Katella Avenue, Anaheim, 714.704.2500, San Clemente Times December 19-25, 2013

JERI CURL 9 p.m. Special “old school” concert at StillWater Spirits & Sounds. Cover $5. 24701 Del Prado, Dana Point, 949.661.6003, HART & SOUL 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Live music at Adele’s. 2600 Avenida Del Presidente, San Clemente, 949.481.1222,


MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET 8 p.m. The classic holiday play at Camino Real Playhouse. Tickets $24. Final show December 22. 31776 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.489.8082,


CRAFT FAIR AND FARMERS MARKET 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Fresh produce, crafted goods, flowers and much more at La Plaza Park in Dana Point every Saturday. 949.248.3500, CHRIS CRAM 8 p.m. Live music at Wind & Sea Restaurant. 34699 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.496.6500, BERLIN 8 p.m. Berlin rocks The Coach House. Tickets $25. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930, GALLERY OPEN HOUSE 6 p.m.-9 p.m. An evening of art at Gallery 104. 166 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, 949.218.0903, PAJAMA PARTY 5:30 p.m. Holiday pajama party for the family at Talega Swim & Athletic Club; call for more information. Calle Altea, San Clemente, 949.361.8466.



or shine.

SAN CLEMENTE FARMERS MARKET 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Bundles of flowers, fresh produce and much more every Sunday on Avenida Del Mar in downtown San Clemente. Rain

GOT UKULELE? 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Ukulele players and fans are invited to a Hawaiian music lesson and jam session, every Sunday. Call for location and more details. 949.829.2675, Page 12

PHOTOS AND VISITS WITH SANTA CLAUS 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Visit with Santa at the St. Regis Monarch Beach. Free. 1 Monarch Beach Resort, N. Dana Point, 949.234.3200, RABBI BLUE 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Live music at The Cellar. 156 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, 949.492.3663,



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

CHRISTMAS CRAFTS AT THE MISSION 11 a.m.1 p.m. Make homemade crafts at Mission San Juan Capistrano. Cost $1-$3, in addition to admission. 26801 Ortega Highway., 949.234.1300,


CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. San Clemente Presbyterian Church holds two family services for the holiday. Communions by candlelight are held at 9:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. 119 Avenida De La Estrella, San Clemente, 949.492.6158,


MIDNIGHT MASS 11:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Special midnight Latin mass at Serra Chapel at the Mission. 26801 Ortega Highway., San Juan Capistrano, 949.234.1300,


CHRISTMAS MASS 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. Christmas Day mass at Mission Basilica. 31522 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.234.1360,


*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.

Making ‘Whale Wars’ Happen

Actor Paul Walker left a south Orange County legacy

San Clemente woman produces show in difficult conditions By Jim Shilander San Clemente Times


rin Calmes of San Clemente just completed one of the most difficult jobs in television. Calmes recently spent three months living on ship with the crews of the Animal Planet documentary series “Whale Wars,” which documents the efforts of the Sea Shepard Conservation Society, a group that confronts whaling ships in open waters and attempts to ward them off. The series, which began its sixth season last Friday, includes a number of close confrontations between the society’s ships and crews and those of the whaling vessels.

Courtesy photo

Local Real Estate By Local Experts Sponsored by

Jeremy Conrad 949.542.8348 Bill Conrad 949.542.8349

San Clemente resident Erin Calmes recently completed three months at sea as the producer of the sixth season of the television show “Whale Wars.” Courtesy photo

Calmes said while the conditions on the boats were challenging to film, given the frigid conditions near Antarctica, where the fleet went this year, the larger challenge was maintaining a sense of distance between the crew of the ship and the crew of the show. “You have the camera crew living alongside the Sea Shepard crew, side by side,” Calmes said. “Keeping a professional and personal distance can be tough. Most film crews on reality shows can come and go and don’t live with the subjects. They aren’t living with them 24/7.” The climate of the area also makes for

a challenge, Calmes said. Many cameras froze in the conditions. Footage became unusable if even a drop of water came in contact with it. Then there were the confrontations. Calmes, who had previously worked on a documentary film about whale sharks, as well as feature films like Air Force One, said some whaling ship crews flash grenades at the ships, and threatened the crew with ramming. Calmes, who has photojournalism experience covering war zones in the Balkans, said the crews were “very aggressive.” At one point, Calmes said she spoke to the ship’s crew about what might happen if the ship were rammed and went down. “We advised the crew we would be the last to leave the vessel,” Calmes said. “We said we would step up into the lifeboats. Calmes, who has lived in San Clemente since 2005, is an avid kite boarder and surfer. “I happen to be drawn to the ocean,” she said. Calmes is now focusing on a new documentary advocating for a ban on the killing of whale sharks, the world’s largest fish, which are being hunted for their fins. SC


hen actor Paul Walker was killed in a car accident November 30 while driving with a friend in Santa Clarita, he left behind a legacy that included a south Orange County connection. At 21, Walker moved into a friend’s garage in San Clemente after an initial foray into acting flopped. He began working at the Chart House in Dana Point and studied marine biology at several community colleges. Walker gave acting a second go in 1996 after a former talent agent saw a television cameo and tracked him down. Two years later, Walker had his big break in the dramedy Pleasantville. When walking his first big red carpet premiere for Pleasantville 15 years ago, Walker was asked if he had his own “Pleasantville.” His response: “Just hanging out with my buddies, heading down to San Clemente for the weekend and surfing. That’s what I love to do.” A full version of this story appears at SC

Did you know that... • San Clemente today has only 6 Active Bank Owned or Short Sale listings on the market. Anytime in the last 6 years, there were typically 100+ on the market. • 10 Homes in San Clemente sold over $2.5M this year, with the largest home spanning over 9000 Square Feet in size.

It’s time to expect more… Established 1963

By Megan Bianco San Clemente Times

• Over 85% of homes today in San Clemente are

sold as standard sales, compared to bank owned or short sales • Today in Orange County, there are only 5,880 homes for sale. Back in September of 2007, there were over 19,900 homes on the market. • The state of CA just extended the short sale debt forgiveness for homeowners who perform short sales (set to expire this month)

SC LIVING GUEST OPINION: Conscious Living by Meryl Gwinn

Feed Your People Keeping your table community-centric throughout the year “And the tree was happy.” —Shel Silverstein, “The Giving Tree”


t’s a particularly heartwarming time of year, a grand chance to gather our favorite people and celebrate with shared company and warm meals. Lasting memories are built around the holidays, like the time we over-baked the rolls and then improvised a neighborhood pick-up street hockey game with charred Pillsbury pucks, or the time I ruined Thanksgiving by introducing my family’s Polish vodka and raw oyster shooter tradition to unsuspecting palates, but I digress. Near the soul of these special gatherings is always food. Feed the people and they will come. For some time now, my foodie friends and I have experimented with collaborative meals using produce that is homegrown, foraged or purchased from a local, loving source. We invite people from our different circles to enjoy foods together that are exclusively near, seasonal and economically wise. The result has been uplifting, and thus was born this article, and the decision to join the small-scale community centered movement, “Feed Your People.”

(This movement has a presence on Facebook as well as a blog on WordPress.) The idea is this: I grow chard, kale and tomatoes. You have avocado and pomegranate trees. And the bread man at the CONSCIOUS LIVING farmers market bakes By Meryl Gwinn the freshest loaf this side of the 405. In this format, a meal is built around our resources, and a radical sense of survival, creativity and innovation is felt in participation. Simple wholesome foods and using what’s naturally available gives a great sense of gratitude and connection to our little towns. It seems that fresh food breeds fresh ideas. Next is the expansion of the dinner table. In the shared meal setting we are nourishing ourselves with so much more than what is on the menu. It’s the coming together of like minds with different experiences for connection, potential growth and the chance to get to know our neighbors. Additionally, it’s a fine time to impress guests with a creative new dish—

maybe one picked up from transplants who have relocated here from all over the world, or from a favorite local food blogger, such as Michelle Winrich at Sharing is caring, and there are so many chances to expand our traditional norms here inside our southwestern melting pot. Exemplary models of “Feed Your People” include local food drives, adopt-afamily programs for the holidays, buying from small local businesses and, most simply, sharing backyard harvests. I recently discovered the grassroots company, Organics Out Back. Not only do owners Chris and Genevieve Garcia design beautifully healthy gardens, but they personally donate extra bounties to shelters and food banks, giving excess vegetables feed to someone who cannot afford them. It was through a mutual dislike for wasting and an abundant surplus of produce that they came up with the program. They also support the kind option of planting a “giving tree,” whose total bounty goes to a program the planter chooses. “Feed Your People” loves this. How often do we see a fruit tree’s harvest litter the ground

uneaten? In the case of a wide-scale outage or other event that disrupts our ability to purchase groceries, these guys could be saving our system. Learn more about them at The encouragement here is to keep the concept we experience during the holidays—one of sharing food, company and making a better effort to take care of our neighbors by buying locally, growing personally, and sharing abundance—going all year long. Perhaps new traditions arise from expanding family past the immediate, and giving the gift of compassion and nourishment from earth, to tree, to table. Meryl Gwinn has a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology, has studied yoga, health, food, and humans around the globe. She is a constant pursuer of natural medicine and whole-healing solutions. Gwinn welcomes reader feedback at meryl.gwinn@ 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

GUEST OPINION: Life’s a Beach by Shelley Murphy

A Cherished Tradition The tackier the better when it comes to ugly Christmas sweaters


embrace traditions at the holidays. They bring us closer as families, and provide some of our best seasonal memories. From the time our boys were toddlers we introduced several traditions, one of the oldest is the Advent calendar. Truthfully, today it’s more of a family joke than treasured tradition. Numbers are my kryptonite. For years I instructed my boys to start the calendar the wrong way by beginning on number 24 instead of 1. It should’ve become obvious as they annually opened the Lego Santa on day one, instead of Christmas Eve. I still buy the Lego Advent calendar and we do it backwards every year. A less confusing but still puzzling tradition is the ugly Christmas sweater. Friday, December 20 marks National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. It’s celebrated the third Friday of December and recognized in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom. Several years ago my older son was invited to his first ugly Christmas sweater party. At the time we didn’t own one, so he visited San Clemente’s Salvation Army Thrift Store and discovered a treasure

San Clemente Times December 19-25, 2013

trove of sweaters. Yesterday, he called to say he’d bought an ugly Christmas sweater at his college bookstore. I’m told it features a red embroidered football helmet interwoven with LIFE’S A BEACH candy canes. By Shelley Murphy Ugly Christmas sweaters have become big business. The origin of the ugly Christmas sweater is a bit more ambiguous than that of the Advent calendar. I’d like to think it was started by a clever woman who, sick of spending a month’s salary and weeks dieting to squeeze into an outfit for the office holiday party, created the alternative cozy and comfortable fashion statement. Some say Cliff Huxtable, comedian Bill Cosby’s sitcom character, pioneered the popularity of ugly sweaters in the 1980s. Others credit comedian Chevy Chase for sporting ugly Christmas sweaters in the 1989 comedy, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Despite the popularity of the comedi-

ans’ sweaters, the fad faded in the ‘90s, but the past decade has seen a rebirth of the ugly Christmas sweater. By the mid-2000s a surge of ugly Christmas sweater parties popped-up creating a shortage of sweaters. A trio of enterprising college kids from Indiana State University noticed this and took to the internet. They paid $75 for 50 sweaters purchased at the Goodwill, posted them on their website and the next day the sweaters sold out. Today they continue to run a booming ugly sweater business and have even written a book on the subject. The holiday craze is a pop cultural phenomenon crossing generations carrying a singular message: the tackier the merrier. Trendy ugly Christmas sweaters are oversized and embellished with multicolored animations, bows, lights, sequins and designed in a festive collage-type arrangement. Any other time of year a profound fondness for poinsettia cross-stitched pullover knitwear is considered a fashion faux pas, but in December it passes as stylish. Tomorrow it’s probably safe to highfive the guy in line at Starbucks with Page 16

jingle bells and blinking lights sewn onto his sweater. But I suggest using caution when complementing this tacky tradition during the holiday season. Someone’s felt appliqued dancing reindeer could be a cherished vintage cable-knit sweater sewn by a beloved grandmother. Ugly sweater compliments can be risky endeavors. I equate it to complimenting a woman with a rounded belly on her pregnancy—only congratulate her at her baby shower. And only commend someone on their ugly sweater at an ugly Christmas sweater party. The holiday sweater remains a cherished, yet perplexing tradition—just like the Advent calendar. 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

Please note: There will be no Beachside Chat the week of Christmas.

Locals Only



Oasis Heating & Air 949.420.1321 31648 Rancho Viejo Rd. Ste. A,

APPLIANCES South Coast Furniture & Mattress 109 Calle de los Molinos,


Costa Verde Landscape License: 744797 (C-8 & C-27)


MANAGEMENT - HOA AMMCOR 949.661.7767 910 Calle Negocio, Ste. 200,



ASAP Appliance Service 949.361.7713 South Coast Furniture & Mattress 949.492.5589 3200 Legendario, 109 Calle de los Molinos,



San Clemente Art Association 949.492.7175 100 N. Calle Seville,


Jarvis Restoration -24/7 949.362.5388 1393 Calle Avanzado,


Village Books 949.492.1114 Brian Wiechman, 949.533.9209 99 Avenida Serra, Equity Coast Mortgage, a division of Pinnacle Capital Mortgage, CHOCOLATE/CANDY Lure of Chocolate, Gourmet Foods & Gift 949.439.1773 Schmid’s Fine Chocolate 949.369.1052 99 Avenida Del Mar,

COINS GraCorp Coins & Collectibles

949.350.4692 Kevin

CONCRETE Costa Verde Landscape License: 744797 (C-8 & C-27),


DENTISTS Eric Johnson, D.D.S. 949.493.9311 647 Camino de los Mares, Ste. 209, Kristen Ritzau DDS 949.498.4110 122 Avenida Cabrillo,

ELECTRICAL Arcadia Electric

FURNITURE South Coast Furniture & Mattress 109 Calle de los Molinos,

Contact Angela Edwards at 949.682.1667 or e-mail aedwards@ Marcie George - Star Real Estate South County 949.690.5410 “Sandy & Rich” - ReMax




Café Calypso SC Rider Supply 949.388.0521 114 Avenida Del Mar #4 520 S. El Camino Real,


MUSIC LESSONS Danman’s Music School


Janet Poth - Violin & Viola 949.922.6388 413 Calle Pueblo,

OFFICE FURNITURE South Coast Furniture & Mattress 109 Calle de los Molinos,



PAINTING KC Painting & Decorating 949.388.6829 3349 Paseo Halcon,

Jim Thomas Roofing 162 Calle de Industrias


SALONS Salon Bamboo 949.361.3348 150 Avenida Del Mar, Ste. A, Salon Bleu 949.366.2060 207 S. El Camino Real, Sanctuary Salon & Spa 949.429.5802 1041 Avenida Pico, Ste. B,

SECONDHAND/ CONSIGNMENT SHOPS South Coast Furniture & Mattress 949.492.5589 109 Calle de los Molinos,

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TUTORING Tutor Toes 949.429.6222 111 W. Avenida Palizada, Ste. 11,


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Cescerine Martha Smith

November 10th, 1920 – December 9th, 2013

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, the world was blessed with the birth of Cescerine Smith. At age three, Cescerine and her family moved to San Gabriel, CA where she lived most of her life. She graduated from Alhambra High School and in 1940 she met the love of her life on a blind date, and after WWII broke out, married Leonard H. “Smitty” Jr. They settled in San Gabriel and raised their daughter Kathy and their son Leonard III there. In 1978 she moved to her beloved San Clemente where she became active in the Garden Club, the Good Neighbors Club, and several bridge groups. Ces was a life long member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary and also was a Chaplain. Ces enjoyed baking, cooking, bowling, dancing, and going to the beach. She traveled abroad with her husband Smitty attending Orchid Conventions and collected many beautiful orchids as their hobby. Ces enjoyed time with her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren who she loved dearly. She made many friends in her 93 years and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

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GARAGE SALE LISTINGS ARE FREE! Email your listing to Deadline 5pm Monday. No phone calls.

HELP WANTED SALES PERSON WANTED Picket Fence Media, owner of the San Clemente Times, Dana Point Times and Capistrano Dispatch, is looking for an advertising sales rep to join our dynamic team. We’re looking for an organized, hard-working individual with a great personality who can create marketing solutions for local businesses and push for growth in both print and online media platforms. Ideal candidate will have prior experience with media sales. Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to Alyssa Garrett at agarrett@

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PLACE YOUR BUSINESS CARD HERE Call 949.388.7700, ext. 103 or email



Call 949.388.7700, ext. 103 or email

Call 949.388.7700, ext. 103 or email

San Clemente Times December 19–25, 2013

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SC Plays Host to Region-Wide Flag Football Tourney

The fields at Vista Hermosa Sports Park served as the venue for the Southern California Municipal Athletic Federation’s 2013 flag football championships on December 8, with teams coming as far as Blythe and Big Bear to compete against the top youth teams in the region. Three local teams were in attendance, including two teams from San Clemente and one from the Saddleback Valley Unified School District. There were a total of 16 teams in

The Saddleback Valley Unified School District Steelers won the San Clemente SCMAF flag football tournament on December 8. Courtesy photo

on December 18. Results were not available at press time. According to the team’s website, www., standout junior forward Sam Darnold is expected to be cleared for basketball activities following a re-evaluation of his fractured foot sometime this week. Darnold injured his foot while playing quarterback for the Tritons football team. Darnold is the reigning Sea View League MVP. The Tritons have also been waiting to have transfer Gage Shelmidine join their ranks. Shelmidine, a transfer from Saddleback Valley Christian who is sitting out due to CIF eligibility rules, is eyeing a January 7 return.

Triton Report

By Steve Breazeale

TRITONS GIRLS SOCCER TOPPLES COUGARS San Clemente senior Natalie Higgins netted a first half goal and the No. 5 Tritons held on to claim a 1-0 win over No. 3 Capistrano Valley on December 17. The Tritons (4-0-2) tested the Cougars goalie, forcing Aubrie Cole to make eight saves. Tritons goalie Lauren Brzykcy tallied two saves. The Tritons are off to a hot start to their season and have yet to lose a match in six contests. The team went 3-0-1 at the Soccer with Hope Tournament from December 1114, defeating Yorba Linda, Downey and Righetti. They opened tournament play with a 1-1 tie against Santiago-Corona. The Tritons will face James Logan High School on December 20. TRITONS BOYS SOCCER READY TO TEST ITS STRENGTH The San Clemente boys soccer team has been flexing its muscle in the preseason. In five games played, the Tritons have outscored their opponents an overwhelming 25-3 while recording two shutouts. The offense has been particularly effective in the last three games. San Clemente (5-0) has scored at least four goals in each game and scored seven goals twice, against Dana Hills and most recently, Corona Del Mar. On December 18, the Tritons were set to host Alisal in a clash of the top two ranked teams from California in the www. winter soccer FAB 50 rankings. Alisal is currently ranked fourth and the Tritons are ranked No. 2 in the country. Results of the match were not available at press time. Check back to San Clemente Times December 19-25, 2013

attendance, competing in a single elimination format. By the end of the day the Saddleback Unified Steelers were crowned the champions after defeating the team from Blythe in the finals. The Oxnard Aztecs came in the third place and the team from Azusa won the consolation bracket. There were two other regional SCMAF tournaments held the same day, which took place in Pasadena and Carson. —Steve Breazeale

San Clemente’s Natalie Higgins netted the deciding goal in the Tritons 1-0 win over Capistrano Valley on December 17. Photo by Steve Breazeale for a game recap. Win or lose, the Tritons will have no time to reflect on the match against Alisal. On December 20, the Tritons are slated to travel to play Paramount, who entered the season ranked No. 23 in the FAB 50 preseason rankings but has since slipped. Nevertheless, the Tritons have their work cut out for them and have yet to dodge the big names during the preseason. Senior Bryce Kaminski and junior forward Blayne Martinez have been San Clemente’s top point getters in the early going. Kaminski’s hat trick and one assist effort against Corona del Mar on December 16 increased both his goal and assist totals to four on the season. Martinez leads the team with six goals. He also has three assists. TRITONS BOYS BASKETBALL RIDES WINS INTO TOURNAMENT A little home cooking appears to have righted the ship for the San Clemente boys basketball team. After losing four of their first five games to start the season,

San Clemente junior forward Blayne Martinez leads the team with six goals in five games. Photo by Steve Breazeale

the Tritons hosted Steele Canyon on December 12 and breezed their way to a 75-41 win. All 11 available Tritons players scored points in the game, led by Elijah Morris’ 16 points. The Tritons (3-4) then hit the road to take on Northwood on December 17 and came away with a convincing 70-41 win in the opening round of the Irvine World News Tournament. The Tritons were set to take on Esperanza in the second round

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GIRLS BASKETBALL HEADS NORTH FOR TOURNEY The San Clemente girls basketball team was set to try and extend their win streak to three games on December 18 with a road game against Arroyo Grande. Results were not available at press time. The Tritons (4-1) will travel to Santa Barbara High to compete in the school’s namesake tournament from December 19-21. TRITONS GIRLS WATER POLO FALLS TO MONARCHS The No. 2 ranked Mater Dei girls water polo team came to No. 7 San Clemente on December 17 and came away with a wire to wire 13-7 nonleague victory. The Monarchs put up eight points in the first half and limited the Tritons to just three points through the first three quarters. Mater Dei’s Brianna Daboub led all scorers with four goals and the Monarchs’ goalie Anna Politiski recorded 11 saves in the win. San Clemente was led by Alaina Cousineau, who had two goals, one assist and two steals. Makenna Smith had two goals and three steals. The Tritons will compete in the Capistrano Valley Tournament from December 28-31. The team has matches scheduled against Los Alamitos and Laguna Beach during the three-day stretch.


Former Tritons Football Players Go Bowling San Clemente Times

Hawaii Bowl Oregon State (6-6) squares off against Boise State (8-4) on Tuesday, December 24 at 5 p.m. PST on ESPN. Look for former Triton Sean Harlow, a true freshman, to start on the offensive line for the Beavers.


even former San Clemente High School football players will play in college football bowl games in the coming weeks. As far as Tritons head coach Jaime Ortiz can remember, that is a record number of Tritons who will get to compete on national television during the holidays.

AdvoCare V100 Bowl Arizona (7-5) will play Boston College (7-5) on Tuesday, December 31 at 9:30 a.m. PST in Shreveport, La. The game, which will be seen on ESPN, features former Tritons Bret Miller, a kicker/ punter for Arizona, and Chase Rettig, the starting quarterback for the Eagles. Gator Bowl San Clemente High alumni Christian Bailey (wide receiver) and Nebraska (8-4) will play No. 22 Georgia (8-4) on Wednesday, January 1 at 9 a.m. The game is set to air on ESPN2. From L to R: Stanford’s Ty Montgomery, Kyle Murphy and Kevin Hogan will lead the Cardinal against Michigan State in the Rose Bowl on January 1. Photo courtesy

Here is a breakdown of the local players involved along with scheduled times and television channels. Arizona backup punter/kicker Bret Miller and the Wildcats will play Boston College on December31 in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl. Photo by Brian Miller

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl A matchup between No. 25 USC and

No. 20 Fresno State will take place on Saturday, December 21. San Clemente alumni Christian Tober and the Trojans (9-4) will take on the high-powered Bulldogs’ (11-1) passing attack at 12:30 PST. The game is set to broadcast on ABC.

Rose Bowl No. 5 Stanford (11-2) will battle No. 4 Michigan State (12-1) in one of the nations’ premier bowl games on Wednesday, January 1. Stanford will field former Tritons Kyle Murphy (tackle/ tight end) and Austin Tubbs (long snapper). SC




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GROM OF THE WEEK BRIAN CLARKE Age: 11, Bernice Ayer Middle School

Brian Clarke was inspired by his grandfather to learn to surf about five years ago. So far he has considered surfing a hobby but plans to break into the competition scene via the Western Surfing Association this winter. A versatile athlete, Brian’s other sports include basketball, football and baseball. “I’d like to surf every day, but I am really busy with my other sports so that’s not always possible,” he said. “I try to get in the water at least three to four times a week, though.” Brian dreams of competing on the professional level in either surfing or basketball. “I’m also interested in becoming a marine biologist because I love the ocean and the creatures in the ocean too. And it would keep me near the ocean and surfing,” Brian said. In school he works hard and earns ‘A’ and ‘B’ grades. “If you want to go to college and get a good job, you have to do well in school, so I take it pretty seriously,” he said. Brian is very outgoing both socially and academically and has been twice honored in school as class discusBrian Clarke. Photo by Andrea Swayne sion leader. Brian’s a talker, like his dad he said, and would like to incorporate his talent for public speaking into his career somehow. No matter what his future holds, Brian is sure of one thing: surfing will be a part of it. “Getting in the water and catching waves makes me feel good,” he said. “It’s fun and it’s a rush.”—Andrea Swayne

Classic Creek

RESULTS Surfing America Prime, Event No. 3, December 14-15, Dana Point, Salt Creek Beach

Surfing America Prime U18 surfers put on an impressive show in epic Salt Creek conditions

BOYS U18: 1. Kei Kobayashi, San Clemente; 2. Nic Hdez, Santa Cruz; 3. Daniel Glenn, Florida; 4. Colton Ward, San Clemente. GIRLS U18: 1. Tia Blanco, San Clemente; 2. Tiare Thompson, La Jolla; 3. Rachel Tominaga, Manhattan Beach; 4. Steffi Kerson, Pacific Palisades. BOYS U16: 1. Nolan Rapoza, Long Beach; 2. Kei Kobayashi, San Clemente; 3. John Mel, Newport Beach; 4. Griffin Colapinto, San Clemente. GIRLS U16: 1. Meah Collins, Costa Mesa; 2. Malia Osterkamp, San Clemente; 3. Alexxa Elseewi, San Clemente; 4. Juli Hernandez, Costa Mesa. BOYS U14: 1. Eithan Osborne, Ventura; 2. Griffin Foy, Fullerton; 3. Nick Marshall, Encinitas; 4. Cole Houshmand, San Clemente.

By Andrea Swayne San Clemente Times


fter what seemed like a never ending stretch of flat surf, the Pacific delivered just in time for event No. 3 of the Surfing America Prime series Saturday and Sunday in Dana Point. Local surfers made the best of the conditions, claiming eight of the 20 possible podium spots. Surfers in this prestigious, invitation only competition season were treated to “classic Creek” conditions with waves in the 2- to 5-foot range rolling in all weekend. The combination swell brought plenty of rippable lefts and rights as well as plenty of opportunity to pull into barreling waves. The third contest of a six-event series, Salt Creek was a critical competition marking the halfway point of the season. Competitors seemed to turn up their intensity, delivering performances that not only impressed the judges, earning many scores in the excellent range (8.0-10.0 out of 10), but also thrilled spectators. Tia Blanco of San Clemente took the win in Girls U18 with a show of power and finesse, impressing the judges with big clean turns in the most critical sections of her waves. Kei Kobayashi, also of San Clemente, earned his first Prime series win after dominating the lineup in the Boys U18 division. “I was super stoked to win my first Surfing America Prime contest. I’ve been working toward this for a long time and to finally do it was really exciting, I tried to stay more focused leading up to this contest because I knew I really wanted to

San Clemente Times December 19–25, 2013



Fellow competitors Griffin Colapinto (left) and Colt Ward (right) help San Clemente’s Kei Kobayashi celebrate his first Surfing America Prime series win when he took first place in Boys U18 at Salt Creek on Sunday. Photo by Jack McDaniel

December 21-22: NSSA Open, Event No. 6, Cardiff-bythe-Sea, Seaside Reef January 4-5: WSA Championship Tour, Event No. 6, Oceanside Harbor, South Jetty January 11-12: Surfing America Prime, Event No. 4, Santa Cruz, Steamer Lane January 11: SSS, OC Middle School and High School, Event No. 3, San Clemente, Pier January 25-26: NSSA Open, Event No. 7, Dana Point, Salt Creek February 8: SSS, OC Middle School and High School, Event No. 4, Oceanside, Pier February 8: NSSA Explorer, Event No. 8, Huntington Beach, 9th Street February 8-9: Surfing America Prime, Event No. 5, San Onofre State Park, Upper Trestles


Kei Kobayashi in action at Salt Creek. After flat conditions threatened the competition, waves arrived just in time for the event. Photo by Jack McDaniel

Tia Blanco of San Clemente took top honors in Girls U18 at the Surfing America Prime event Saturday at Salt Creek Beach. Photo by Jack McDaniel

get a better seed going into the second half of the season and I never gave up,” Kobayashi said. “I want to thank Matt Biolos (San Clemente) for shaping me the best boards for the contest. He really helped me with my quiver, and my brother Shaw coached me and told me what to do. I love this sport and can’t get enough of it,” he said. With results posted and ratings updated, local surfers occupy 16 spots in the top 10 rankings of the five Prime divisions. Here is a rundown of their ratings:

BOYS U18: 2. Griffin Colapinto, 4. Jake Davis, 5. Colton Ward, 7. Kei Kobayashi, 10. Colin Deveze. BOYS U16: 1. Griffin Colapinto, 5. Kei Kobayashi. BOYS U14: 7. Kade Matson, 8. Cole Houshmand, 9. Noah Hohenester. GIRLS U18: 1. Tia Blanco, 6. Malia Osterkamp, 10. Malia Ward. GIRLS U16: 2. Malia Osterkamp, 6. Kirra Pinkerton, 10. Alexxa Elseewi. The next Surfing America Prime event is scheduled for January 11 and 12 at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz. For more information, visit SC

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Water Temperature: 59-61 degrees F Water Visibility and Conditions: San Clemente: 8-12’ Poor-Fair Immediate: Modest south-southwest groundswell continues on Thursday as a new pulse of northwest windswell builds in. Better breaks run mainly waist-chest high (3-4’), with some better shoulder high+ (4’+) sets for standout combo spots. Conditions are problematic with steady westerly flow throughout the day as a front affects the region. Size is down slightly Friday, but overall conditions will be improving. Long Range Outlook: Modest scale, reinforcing pulse of south-southwest swell moves in for the weekend. Leftover northwest swell mix blends in Saturday with better breaks run knee-waist-chest high (2-3’+). New long period west-northwest swell builds in Sunday with more size for focal points. Check out for all the details!

December 19, 2013  

San Clemente Times