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March 20-26, 2014




Grom of the Week Crosses Oceans to Train in SC SC SURF/PAGE 22


The Road to Recovery

Triton pitcher looks to return to form after devastating arm injury SPORTS/PAGE 20

San Clemente High School senior Andrew Sim tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow 10 months ago. After undergoing Tommy John surgery to reconstruct his UCL, Sim’s baseball future lies before him. Photo by Brian Park

City Names New Police Chief, Opens Parks Up to Dogs EYE ON SC/PAGE 3

City Manager Pall Gudgeirsson Marks One Year as City’s Chief Executive EYE ON SC/PAGE 5

Casa Arbor Day Celebration Spotlights Importance of City’s Trees SC LIVING/PAGE 17


SC EYE ON SC San Clemente


What’s Up With... Five things San Clemente should know this week The New Police Chief THE LATEST: Orange County Sheriff’s Department Lt. David Moodie is San Clemente’s new Chief of Police Services. City Manager Pall Gudgeirsson announced the Lt. David Moodie. hiring Wednesday Courtesy photo morning in a news release. The new chief takes over for John Coppock, whose promotion to Orange County Sheriff’s Department captain takes effect this Friday. Coppock will be moving to the department’s south county operations center in Aliso Viejo. Coppock was honored Tuesday by the City Council for his service. Coppock began his law enforcement career in San Clemente in 1986 as a member of the city’s police department. When the city began contracting with the county for police services, Coppock became a sheriff’s deputy. He took over as chief of Police Services in March 2012. As chief, he helped to start the city’s ongoing law enforcement citizen academy and improving relationships between public safety and the community. WHAT’S NEXT: Moodie takes command in San Clemente Friday.

Dogs in City Parks THE LATEST: The San Clemente City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to open up all but one of the city’s parks to leashed dogs. Plans are also underway that may include additional space for dogs to roam free. The Beaches, Parks and Recreation department has seen generally positive results over the last year, since about half the city’s parks were opened to leashed dogs, said Director Sharon Heider. Since many residents were bringing their dogs to the parks anyway, she said, the city was essentially permitting something residents were already taking advantage of. There were also few complaints from residents living close to the parks. Heider said the department’s maintenance staff had found an increase in the San Clemente Times March 20-26, 2014

amount of dog feces they would find in the mornings. No additional cost was associated with the cleanup, she said. The city’s new policy will continue to forbid dogs from Park Semper Fi as well as from going onto athletic fields and play structures. Heider approached the city’s youth leagues about the possibility of letting dogs roam in the fields when they were not being used. However, league officials said they were not interested in having volunteers look for animal feces before play. WHAT’S NEXT: The Beaches, Parks and Recreation Commission is looking at a proposal to turn the former skeet shooting range, near the city’s southern border with Camp Pendleton, into a dog park where the animals could roam without leashes, Heider said. The city currently has one off-leash dog park, Baron Von Willard Memorial Dog Park, located on Avenida La Pata. The project will likely come before the council later this year. Heider said there will be a celebration of the new policy with the Coastal Animal Services Authority.

San Clemente Mayor Tim Brown honors outgoing Chief of Police Services John Coppock Tuesday. Coppock’s replacement, Lt. David Moodie, takes command in San Clemente Friday. Photo: Jim Shilander

Sex Trafficking in SC

FIND OUT MORE: For more on the story, visit – JS

Courtney’s SandCastle THE LATEST: San Clemente will soon go to bid for a third time to build the second phase of the Courtney’s SandCastle universal-access playground. The City Council rejected the last round of bids in December after the lowest project projection nearly doubled the city’s $450,000 budget. City staff has worked with the Courtney’s SandCastle Foundation to redesign the playground’s sensory garden in hopes of drawing a bid closer to the budgeted amount, said Beaches, Parks and Recreation Director Sharon Heider. Retaining walls had also been eliminated along a path and other areas were made less complex, she said. City staff made a point of contacting contractors who have previously been involved with bidding and consulted local architects and contractors for advice on making the project more affordable. WHAT’S NEXT: Councilman Bob Baker encouraged local contractors to get involved in the process in order to save funds. Heider said the city was “beating the bush” to find a contractor who might be willing to take a little bit less in order to get the project done. The bidding process will open April 16. FIND OUT MORE: For past stories on the project, visit and search “Courtney’s SandCastle.” – JS

THE LATEST: A San Clemente author told the City Council Tuesday a number of San Clemente stores were listed on a website that touted locations of storefront brothels masquerading as massage parlors. Kim Yim, a member of San Clemente Abolitionists, a group dedicated to fighting exploitation, said many of the young women involved in these operations are victims of sex trafficking. WHAT’S NEXT: Yim and members of the organization are working with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department to help train deputies in dealing with the issue. Last week, Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens announced the department’s investigations bureau was looking into massage establishments and taking further steps to prevent child exploitation and human trafficking. A San Clemente resident was among the five Orange County victims identified in a recent federal law enforcement investigation into child exploitation.

Changes at the TCA THE LATEST: The Transportation Corridor Agencies two governing bodies appointed chief engineer Michael Kraman as acting chief executive officer this week, following the exit of CEO Neil Peterson amid questions of contracts approved outside the public eye and scrutiny. Kraman joined the Foothill/Eastern and San Joaquin Hills TCA in 2012 with

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decades of experience developing transportation infrastructure projects on road, rail and waterways, according to a release. The agencies oversee Orange County’s toll systems, which includes the 73, 133, 241 and 261 toll roads. The acting CEO presented a TCA update Tuesday night to the Dana Point City Council. Councilman Bill Brough asked for an update after the Foothill/Eastern board, which Mayor Lisa Bartlett chairs, voted unanimously to change a six-year loophole for contract approvals. The board universally rescinded a 2008 provision granting the CEO authority to approve contracts, up to $25,000, for legislative support and strategy measures. Contract extensions had to be approved by the chairperson. Similar contractual authority is practiced by governing bodies nationwide and multiple CEOs and chairpersons of the Foothill/Eastern agency, since 2008, had gone along with the provision, Kramer said. The practice was done away with to make board happenings more transparent, according to Bartlett. WHAT’S NEXT: A TCA ad hoc committee has been formed to audit internal happenings, Bartlett said. The committee is comprised of a dozen members including San Clemente and Dana Point councilmen Jim Evert and Scott Schoeffel, respectively.

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Toward the Finish Line City Manager Gudgeirsson hoping to lay solid foundation for city BY JIM SHILANDER, SAN CLEMENTE TIMES


ity Manager Pall Gudgeirsson says many of his most important decisions don’t get made in his office. They get made on the Beach Trail. Gudgeirsson is an avid runner who hosts an annual halfmarathon for city staff and friends around his birthday. While keeping fit is a part of that, Gudgeirsson says he also uses the time to clear his head and focus on what needs to be done. “The running really helps,” Gudgeirsson said. “I think I’ve probably made the biggest decisions—and this is a job where you make hundreds of decisions every day— out on that trail.” After 21 years as assistant city manager and elected city treasurer, Gudgeirsson took over as city manager following the retirement of George Scarborough on March 20, 2013. Gudgeirsson moved from Iceland to Washington state 50 years ago but went back over the next few summers for work after high school. He actually received notice he had been drafted for military service in the United States while working in Iceland. Despite not being a citizen at the time of his notice, he joined the U.S. Air Force, where he served eight years. He attended the University of Washington on the GI Bill. After earning a graduate degree in finance, Gudgeirsson worked for various government bodies. He became San Clemente’s assistant city manager in 1992. During that time he has also tried to set up ahas since aimed to maintain the city’s long-term financial planning process.

City manager Pall Gudgeirsson made a smooth transition into the city’s top executive position after more than 20 years with the city last year. The Iceland-native is an avid runner who said he makes many major decisions while running along the Beach Trail. Photo: Jim Shilander

They’re the policymakers.” Councilman Bob Baker said Gudgeirsson’s institutional memory made his decision to stay on an important one. Baker served as mayor during the transition between Scarborough and Gudgeirsson. “The ability to continue with projects he was already familiar with has been very valuable,” Baker said. “I’m glad Pall was willing to assume the responsibilities of city manager. George Scarborough served this city for many years and all of us should be grateful for that service. Pall’s continuing that legacy of great service to the community.” Councilman Jim Evert said his individual meetings with Gudgeirsson typically last 90 minutes, where council members can review upcoming agendas or ask that items be added in the future. “It’s also a chance to get any of our questions anA SMOOTH HANDOFF swered,” Evert said. “(Pall) is very well organized and he’s While his familiarity with the city’s staff, finances and great with people.” ongoing projects made some transitions easier, some Much of Gudgeirsson’s focus has been on a number aspects of the job proved more surprising. of initiatives within the city’s government that could help “Probably the biggest surprise is the amount of time save money. The city recently completed a maintenance spent responding to inquiries from the public, council and study he hopes will result in a staff,” Gudgeirsson said. “Probrestructuring of the system, which ably 80 percent of my time is spent on that. But I do take the inquiries “I think I’ve probably made will enhance productivity and keep the city’s current infrastructure or complaints from the public serithe biggest decisions—and going while new projects are added. ously. When people take the time City staff has also been working to to call you, they do have an issue.” this is a job where you make enhance the city’s website, which is The amount of time spent in hundreds of decisions every currently being tested and scheduled meetings, was also eye-opening. for rollout in May. He is also putting And, coming from the finance day—out on that trail. together a leadership program for side, he said he was amazed by city employees. the scope of the city’s projects and – Pall Gudgeirsson on San Clemente’s Beach Trail However, not everything has been how time consuming they are. positive. Gudgeirsson said he regrets In contrast to Scarborough, who not being able to reach a satisfactory conclusion that was more frequently dealing with a number of contentious would have allowed the San Clemente Chamber of Comissues at council meetings, Gudgeirsson is largely quiet, merce to remain at its former home on North El Camino answering direct questions usually having to do with Real. The city is still negotiating with the organization to finance or helping staff with presentations. take over the building. However, Gudgeirsson said his demeanor in public “An incredible amount of time was spent on it, and you meetings is more about doing what needs to be done had council members who had very strong opinions on it,” beforehand. he said. “It was one of those (items) I felt like we needed “When I sit in that chair (in council chambers) that’s to get done. I would have wanted not to have them move, like the culmination of my week, of two weeks of prebut in the long term maybe it’ll work out.” paring and meeting with council members,” GudgeirsGudgeirsson also cited ongoing litigation over being son said. “Unless they ask my opinion, unless they ask able to extend train quiet zones and the slow process to something specific, I’ve kind of done my job in advance.

San Clemente Times March 20-26, 2014

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begin work on the city’s first beach restroom restoration project, at the base of the San Clemente Pier. He had hoped the project would be able to be completed by the start of summer, but now it is likely that work will not begin until after the busy season. SPRINTING TO THE END Gudgeirsson has no illusions about being in the position long term, but he wants to leave behind a healthy city. “My main goal as city manager is to set things up for the future so that it’s easier for future councils and future city managers,” Gudgeirsson said. “That doesn’t mean getting everything the way I want it, just setting a good foundation is important.” The weeks ahead will bring that need into focus. The Outlets at San Clemente project will break ground March 31, nearly 15 years after it was approved by council. A workforce housing project on Avenida Serra breaks ground the same day. The extension of Avenida La Pata to San Juan Capistrano will likely be coming next month and work on Interstate 5 and Avenida Pico interchange will begin later this year. “It’s kind of a culmination of a lot of events started in the past,” he said. “I’ve been working on Marblehead for 10 or 15 years, just on the financial side, planning for it.” That planning will come in handy over the next year. Gudgeirsson said the city faces a number of financial challenges, with increases in its police and fire contracts and ongoing maintenance issues. While increased property and sales tax revenue from the development is expected to start coming in late next year, Gudgeirsson’s policy has long been to not count on such revenues when balancing future budgets. Gudgeirsson jokes about having never actually applied for the city manager position. Instead, he was approached about moving into the position after Scarborough retired. “I was very hesitant at first, not only because I was looking at retirement myself but also because I really loved what I did,” he explained. “I thought if I could do this for a year, year-and-a-half or two years, that’s fine. And that was the commitment I made to council.” Gudgeirsson does not have a specific retirement date in mind, but having just turned 64, he is thinking about. But he’s happy to have stayed on. “I never would have guessed how challenging and interesting it would be,” he said. SC



Clinic Trains Dogs to Avoid Rattlesnakes The Ortega Equestrian Center and Otra Mas are offering a special clinic for dog owners on avoiding rattlesnakes. Herpetologist Richard Andreuss will lead the clinic, which will train dogs to avoid the sight, smell and sound of rattlesnakes. The clinic will be held Saturday, April 12 at 9 a.m. in the large field on the corner of Paseo Tirador and Calle Arroyo in San Juan Capistrano. The cost is $60 per dog. For more information or to register, contact Kathy Holman at 949.661.3130.

Woman’s Club Donates $18,000 to Local Charities The San Clemente Junior Woman’s Club recently donated more than $18,000 to a number of local charitable organizations, causes and individuals in need from proceeds collected through their Casino Night fundraiser. Donations were made to Family Assistance Ministries’ Gilchrist House, Laura’s House, the Ocean Institute, San Clemente High School, all three San Clemente middle schools, as well as several other groups and causes. The Casino Night event is the club’s largest fundraiser and was held on Saturday, March 15 at Bella Collina Towne & Golf Club. The club, which aims to support the community, is made up of 30 women, who logged more than 3,500 volunteer hours last year. For more information on the club, visit

Local Boy Scout Earns Rank of Eagle

Seth Spaethe recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Courtesy Photo

San Clemente resident Seth Spaethe, a member of Boy Scout Troop 12, earned the rank of Eagle Scout in January and will be recognized in a special ceremony this month. For his Eagle Scout project, Spaethe San Clemente Times March 20-26, 2014

designed and built three redwood planter benches at Stoneybrooke Christian School in Ladera Ranch, as part of the school’s beautification program. Spaethe, 14, has been an active member of his troop for more than four years. During that time, he’s earned 46 merit badges, has held several leadership positives and has participated in a number of community service projects. Spaethe’s Eagle Court of Honor ceremony will be held Sunday, March 30 at Coast Bible Church in San Juan Capistrano.

Trio of Tritons Compete in Rotary Speech Contest Three San Clemente High School seniors came away as winners in the San Clemente Sunrise Rotary Club’s annual speech contest last month. Lisa Lee took top honors and fellow Tritons Daysi Garcia and Sarah Romero were awarded for their presentations as well. The topic of their speeches was on the Rotary Club’s Four-Way Test, an ethical guideline used by Rotarians in their personal and professional lives. As the winner, Lee competed in the 5320 Rotary District semi-finals.

San Clemente High School students (L to R) Sarah Romero, Lisa Lee and Daysi Garcia each received awards for the San Clemente Sunrise Rotary Club’s annual speech contest last month. The awards were presented by Jim Rutter. Courtesy Photo

News Next Door


DANA POINT A day before one of the U.S. Navy’s newest advanced warships was welcomed to its home port of San Diego, boaters and spectators on land caught a glimpse of the USS Coronado near Dana Point. The vessel arrived in San Diego on Monday, March 10, but passed by south Orange County a day prior. Cmdr. John Kochendorfer, a Dana Point native, and his crew brought the 419-foot, fast maneuvering combat ship home just over a month after sailing from Mayport Naval Station in Florida. The advanced vessel—known as a littoral combat ship—is designed for near-shore operations to combat submarine, mine and surface warfare. The USS Coronado was built in Mobile, Ala. A formal commissioning ceremony is scheduled Saturday, April 5 at the Naval Air Station on the ship’s namesake Coronado Island.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO San Juan Capistrano city officials and residents want a new hotel downtown, but a proposal to build one drew criticism last Tuesday over several elements, including parking, massing and its proximity to the historic Egan House. Urban Village’s $43 million plan calls for a 136-room hotel to be built at 31878 Camino Capistrano. The project also includes 33 townhomes, underground parking, 2,700 square feet of commercial space and plans to extend Forster Street to Del Obispo Street. During a joint workshop, City Council members and Planning Commissioners, as well as a number of residents, expressed support for a hotel but also said parking could be inadequate. Others said the hotel obstructed the view of the Egan House and suggested the developer scale the project back.

SCHS Perform in Spring Concert

Best-selling Author to Speak on Preventing Drug Use, Addiction The San Clemente Collaborative is hosting a free presentation on preventing drug use and addiction on Tuesday, April 17, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the San Clemente Community Center. Best-selling author David Sheff will serve as guest speaker of the event, “Addressing Addiction—Taking Serious Action.” Sheff is the author of Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction and Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy. Drawing from his books, which chronicled his work to help his son overcome drug addiction, Sheff will discuss the science and treatments of addiction. The Community Center is located at 100 N. Calle Seville.

Singers from San Clemente High School will put their talents on display during the Triton Vocal Arts Spring Concert on Friday, March 21, starting at 7 p.m., at Pacific Coast Church. The concert, conducted by director Jeremy Wiggins, will feature performances by the school’s concert choir, men’s choir, a cappella group, madrigals and featured soloists. General admission tickets cost $10 and $5 for students and children and can be purchased on the day of the concert at Pacific Coast Church, 2651 Calle Frontera. The box office will open at 6 p.m. Have something interesting for the community? Tell us about awards, events, happenings, accomplishments and more. We’ll put your submissions into “News Bites.” Send your information to

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Community Meetings FRIDAY, MARCH 21

TGIF Lunch

Noon-1 p.m. Entertainment by Danny Jacobson and lunch at the Dorothy Visser Senior Center. 117 Avenida Victoria, San Clemente, 949.498.3322.

Ballroom Bash

7:15 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Ballroom Bash happens every third Friday at the San Clemente Community Center. This month features a rumba lesson followed by open dancing to all types of music. Tickets $10, includes refreshments. 100 N. Calle Seville, San Clemente, 949.498.0233, MONDAY, MARCH 24

Spanish Conversation

11 a.m. Meet at Café Calypso for coffee and conversation. 114 Avenida Del Mar, 949.492.9803.

German Speaking Group

2 p.m.–4p.m. German conversations at Café Calypso. 114 Avenida Del Mar, 949.361.8436. TUESDAY, MARCH 25

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,


7 p.m.–8:40 p.m. Practice public speaking every Tuesday in a friendly and supportive atmosphere at the Baha’i Center. 3316 Ave. Del Presidente, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26

SC Rotary Club

Noon. Pride of the Pacific Bar & Grille, 150 Avenida Magdalena, 949.361.3619,

French Conversation Club

2 p.m.–4 p.m. Come and chat at Cafe Calypso every Wednesday; No fees, no registration. 114 Avenida Del Mar, 949.493.5228.

Legislative & Transportation Council

Noon. Chamber of Commerce meeting hosted by Saddleback Memorial Medical Center. Topic: Interstate 5 widening. 654 Camino De Los Mares, 949.492.1131,



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, March 18

San Clemente artist Ellen Benfatti will celebrate the opening of her fine art gallery with an unveiling of a new exhibit Friday, March 28. Courtesy photo

Business Beat

News from San Clemente’s business community COMPILED BY JIM SHILANDER

New Development BENFATTI FINE ART GALLERY 100 Avenida San Dimas 949.842.9513, Artist Ellie Benfatti came to San Clemente four years ago from Carlsbad, where she shared a studio for a number of years with artists. It took her some time, but last year, she found the perfect place to hang her brushes in her new home at Benfatti Fine Art Gallery. Benfatti said she actually moved into the space in July but has been working to open the space, her first gallery, with a new exhibition, called “Elements.” “I’ve been painting like one of Santa’s elves,” Benfatti joked. A native of the area, having been born on Camp Pendleton and growing up in Carlsbad, she said she was drawn to the space on Avenida San Dimas because it gave her the opportunity to have both a studio and a gallery space she could call her own, rather than having to share, as she had to do in Carlsbad. “It took a while to find the right space,” Benfatti said. When her longtime boyfriend came across the site while on the job, she took a look and knew it was the right. “It was a stand-alone building,” Benfatti explained. “I didn’t want shared walls.” Benfatti said she’s already heard from a number of her neighbors in the Trestles neighborhood in south San Clemente, who’ve come in to tell her how excited they were and the impact the building could have in beautifying the neighborhood. Benfatti said she often keeps her San Clemente Times March 20-26, 2013

lights on late into the evening to allow her paintings to be seen around the area. Parents dropping their students off at nearby Concordia Elementary School also are frequent visitors.

been painting like “one“I’ve of Santa’s elves. ” —Artist Ellie Benfatti

Some of Benfatti’s work may actually be in a number of San Clemente homes right now. She has a contract with one of the largest distributors of prints, which gives her work a long reach. Benfatti will celebrate the opening of her new art gallery on Friday, March 28, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The San Clemente Chamber of Commerce will also celebrate the opening with a ribbon cutting from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the same day. The opening will include of displays of three-dimensional art and 3-D glasses will be given to attendees.

Milestone BRAWNER BOARDS 220 Avenida Vaquero 949.429.9601, Brawner Boards will celebrate its first anniversary with a party Sunday, March 30, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will feature a free performance by the band The Untouchables and includes food and drinks provided by neighbor Surfside Pizza, a silent auction for a board, raffles and a display of classic “Woodie” vehicles. SC

WELFARE CHECK Avenida Pico, 800 Block (12:48 p.m.) A woman was panhandling near Lowe’s with a small child, who appeared to be about 3 years old. The woman was described as being in her 30s and of thin build with dark hair. The caller was concerned for the child. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Entrada Paraiso, 2100 Block (1:02 a.m.) A caller told authorities people were coming in and out of a house across the street throughout the night. The caller believed drug dealing was going on. DISTURBANCE Calle Juarez, 3000 Block (12:59 a.m.) Authorities received notice of a tenant throwing plates at his landlord.

Monday, March 17 DISTURBANCE El Camino Real, 500 Block (11:56 p.m.) A 6-foot 5-inch-tall man, wearing a large, dark jacket harassed customers and spat on vehicles in a parking lot. DISTURBANCE Avenida Cabrillo, 300 Block (9:19 p.m.) A man wearing a white T-shirt was seen hitting vehicles with his hand. He broke the window of a silver Toyota Highlander. DEFRAUDING AN INNKEEPER Avenida Pico, 800 Block (1:41 p.m.) A man and woman refused to pay their $110 fare to a cab driver. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Santa Margarita, 100 Block (12:24 p.m.) A caller told authorities that his ex-girlfriend kept driving by his house in a black or blue Lexus. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Calle Gaucho, 2900 Block (3:34 a.m.) Officials were notified of a “loud bang” in the area.

Sunday, March 16 WELFARE CHECK Avenida Del Poniente/Canada (11:33 p.m.) Officials were alerted of a baby crying for 30 minutes in Max Berg Plaza Park. The caller could not see the child but heard a woman nearby. ASSIST OUTSIDE AGENCY Calle Delicada, Page 7

300 Block (8:27 p.m.) A patrol check was requested for a white pickup truck parked for more than an hour with a dog inside. DISTURBANCE Calle Campana, 600 Block (5:47 p.m.) Officials were notified of several juveniles playing with “Air Soft guns” in the common area of the complex. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Linda Lane/Via Mecha (5:18 p.m.) A woman wearing a black sweatshirt and jeans sat on the grass and screamed. She did not seem distressed and her screams were random. SUSPICIOUS VEHICLE Camino De Estrella/ Avenida Las Palmas (7:36 a.m.) A tan Cadillac was found in the Citibank parking lot with the driver’s window down, plastic boxes in the back seat and the car keys on the passenger’s side.

Saturday, March 15 PROWLER Avenida Salvador, 1500 Block (9:10 p.m.) A caller informed authorities of someone being outside her bedroom window. DRUNK IN PUBLIC Via Pico Plaza, 0 Block (7:51 p.m.) Dispatch received notice of a man drinking for the past five days. DISTURBANCE Avenida Del Presidente/Cristianitos Road (1:16 p.m.) A man asked the driver of a black Toyota to move because he was blocking the entrance to the community. The driver declined and got into a verbal argument with the caller. DISTURBANCE-MECHANICAL Via Umbroso, 600 Block (11:50 a.m.) Motorized vehicles were reportedly driving on the Rancho San Clemente Trail. A patrol check was requested. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Del Gado Road, 200 Block (6:27 a.m.) A caller asked authorities if the “loud boom” they heard was coming from Camp Pendleton.

Friday, March 14 TRAFFIC HAZARD Calle Del Cerro/Avenida Vista Montana (10:56 p.m.) A caller informed officials of a rope being tied across the street between two trees. SUSPICIOUS PERSON IN VEHICLE North El Camino Real/Avenida Del Mar (8:15 p.m.) A man with a flashlight was seen taking everything out of his vehicle and then putting it back it in. He was described as having white hair and wearing all black. DISTURBANCE-MUSIC PARTY Via Alcamo, 0 Block (6:46 p.m.) A caller reported a dozen juveniles parking their cars, taking out large bags and carrying them up the hill. The caller believed the grouping was throwing a party.

SC SOAPBOX San Clemente


GUEST OPINION: Wavelengths by Jim Kempton

The Luck of the Draw “It is the mark of an inexperienced man not to believe in luck.” – Joseph Conrad


hy do Americans have such a pervasive belief that we are the product of our own making? Ask most people and they will say that we create our own luck. But we so often forget that no matter how much preparation, energy and perseverance we invest, unpredictable luck still plays a critical role. Yet we usually don’t want to admit it. E.B. White once said, “Luck is not something you can mention in the presence of self-made men.” Although I have written about this before, I think the idea is worth revisiting. Here are some additional examples— some of which have kept me humble, thankful, respectful and appreciative whenever I get to thinking I personally deserve all my “self-made” successes. At one point in my career, I became the vice president of marketing at TransWorld Publishing. I was in charge of the marketing at both Skateboarding and Snowboarding magazines. I took all the things I had learned in my years working at Surfer magazine and applied them to my plan at

Editor’s Note: By Andrea Swayne

Celebrating 8 Years with a Fresh New Look


he San Clemente Times has come a long way since its 2006 debut, but our mission has always remained—to deliver “Local News You Can Use” in an inviting and user-friendly format. Our unique magapaper—with its hybrid reporting of news in a magazine-style layout—has continued to draw fans by keeping the community informed and highlighting the people who make San Clemente an amazing place to call home. As we celebrate our eighth anniversary this month, we are pleased to present a fresh new look we hope will both preserve and extend our goal of informing and entertaining. A huge kudos goes out to our talented art director Jasmine Smith for her work on this re-design. And, the entire team also deserves recognition for all they do to ensure the SC Times continues to be your best source of local news and information. We look forward to serving you for many years to come. SC

San Clemente Times March 20-26, 2014

these two new publications. The skateboarding sector of the boardsports business was in the doldrums but the snowboard industry was taking off like a rocket. So WAVELENGTHS my efforts exploded the By Jim Kempton Snow magazine profits, but just barely kept Skateboarding afloat. I looked like a genius in snow and a dunce in skate, but did exactly the same things. It was simply the luck of the draw. Sometimes it is literally the number on the card you get dealt: One of my friends and I received our notices about the Vietnam draft status together. I’ll never forget opening our draft lottery letters on the lawn in front of the college cafeteria. By the luck of the draw our lives were set in motion never to be the same. My number was 342—meaning I was in the 5 percent who was least likely to ever be drafted. I could finish school and explore the dreams I envisioned. His was num-

ber five—meaning he was not going to complete college, his dreams deferred. He was off to the jungles of Southeast Asia to return as a very different man. So the lesson from all this is not that hard work or perseverance doesn’t count, it is that you shouldn’t count on them. You still must have determination, honed skills and deep commitment to succeed at anything. Life is a little like playing cards. You can be the best poker player in the world, but you still need the luck of a royal flush to beat a guy who got dealt four aces. Jim Kempton is a writer and surfer who readily admits to having had lots of luck come his way—his wife, his children and his many friends. He believes the secret to life is not so much in getting a great hand, but in knowing when to cash in your chips and go home for the night. 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


I feel compelled to write in response to Larry Culbertson’s recent activities on behalf of the San Clemente Historical Society. In his recent letter to the City Council asking on behalf of the Historical Society to become the tenant at 1100 N. El Camino Real he “noted the structure is itself potentially historic, making it a good fit for the organization.” The building in question was issued its Certificate of Occupancy in April 1963. Only to be followed up then with his self-serving comments in “Culbertson Chronicles” March 13-19, where he suddenly becomes a supporter of mid-century architecture. Really? Does he really mean that this is the type of building he would and has supported saving and building more of? In his own words, (“Culbertson Chronicles: Addition Can Mean Subtraction,” Dec. 12, 2013) “The society was founded in 1973 by citizens who were concerned that hundreds of buildings built between 1925 and 1936 had been intentionally razed,” that was only three

months ago. He has fought every day of his involvement with the historical society to save only stucco red roof buildings that support the “village by the sea” image that fits in his little box—now he expects the council to be sympathetic to his request because he is using the phrase “potentially historic.” Don’t be fooled or influenced by his use of the word “historic”—he is only using it to appeal to the politically correct among you. This is disingenuous at best. For the record, I like the building at 1100 N. El Camino Real, the Marine Safety building near the pier and other commercial buildings in San Clemente that convey a modest mid-century reminder of a time when San Clemente was coming of age. Whether or not the council decides that the San Clemente Historical Society is the right tenant for that building, I would like to express my view that any tenant should be expected to pay fair market value as determined by qualified commercial real estate professionals and not by Mr. Culbertson’s simple comparison of “the Chamber paid $100 a year and we pay $500 a month for storage…” I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he is not actually asking to rent that building for $500 per month. (Cont. on page 10)

Page 8

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


> Lisa Cosenza ( San Clemente)


> Michele Reddick (San Clemente)

Group Senior Editor > Andrea Swayne

> Debra Wells (San Juan Capistrano)

City Editor, SC Times > Jim Shilander


Sports Editor > Steve Breazeale

Finance Director > Mike Reed

City Editor, DP Times > Andrea Papagianis

Business Operations Manager > Alyssa Garrett

City Editor, The Capistrano Dispatch > Brian Park ART/DESIGN

SPECIAL THANKS Robert Miller, Jonathan Volzke

Senior Designer > Jasmine Smith ADVERTISING/MULTIMEDIA MARKETING Associate Publisher > Lauralyn Loynes (Dana Point)

Accounting & Distribution Manager > Tricia Zines

CONTRIBUTORS Megan Bianco, Victor Carno, Kevin Dahlgren, Catherine Manso, Shelley Murphy, Tawnee Prazak, Dana Schnell, Tim Trent

San Clemente Times, Vol. 9, Issue 12. The SC Times (www. ) is published weekly by Picket Fence Media, publishers of the DP Times (www.danapointtimes. com) 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 2014. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.


SOAPBOX Letters to the Editor (Cont. from page 8) Mr. Culbertson’s continuous use of words like “demolish, enormous, monster, excessive” and “dwarfed” create a bombastic and hostile environment for discussing how best to preserve San Clemente’s charm. It’s a shame that such an important group is led by such a divisive and hypocritical figure. I wish my earlier letter to the editor on this topic could have been published in time to call attention to the pattern that is repeating itself again with Mr. Culbertson’s tactics. I’ll be watching more closely and responding to Mr. Culbertson’s actions and would ask like-minded San Clemente residents to do the same.


The other day, out of convenience as usual, I went to do some minor grocery shopping at the not-so-new Ralphs store on El Camino Real. There I saw three different friends in the store and instead of the usual small-talk, all three (unrelated and at different areas in the store), went immediately into the diatribe of the parking nightmare outside that we now have to live with. The expert in this “renovation” wasn’t the architect but the person who realized that even if the “captive audience” in

southwest San Clemente had issues with not being able to navigate parking in the Ralphs lot, out of convenience they are going to shop there rather than drive to the other side of town (or Oceanside) for milk and bread. If you can get into the lot from Avenida Barcelona without a collision or holding up a growing, angry mob of drivers, you are entering in to a cluster of cars going crazy looking for the most desirable spot (granted out of laziness) while an equalsized cluster is trying to bail out of the lot without dents, dings or fights. I won’t even comment on the fatality that has happened there already. We (the residents of southwest San Clemente) had to deal with the ridiculous decision by the “powers that be” over disallowing a reasonable strip mall to be installed with a Ralphs store renovation. And after the “bell tower” storefront was built, which exceeded any view obstructions that the original store and strip mall would have offered, and after the leveled parking from the original concept was smashed (for reasons I will never understand), we have this abortion as a final product. This is the worst design I have ever seen, a result of the worst building-restriction decision I have ever heard, followed by the most deafening silence by the public I could have ever imagined. Good job City Council—another debacle by unpopular demand.


It seems like perfect timing to read about San Clemente’s General Plan being approved. I have recently spoken with the city’s Engineering Department, Capistrano Unified School District, the vice principal of Shorecliffs Middle School and the local sheriff’s department about the poor planning and neglect of our children walking and biking to school. Visit the school entrance on Avenida Vista Hermosa from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and you will witness chaos. Drivers stopped in the middle of the road waiting for their child to jump in, often right in front of another car. When Marblehead Coastal opens up, what will happen? In the article “Planning for a New City” (SC Times, Feb. 13) it states “rather than focusing on larger developments, the general plan instead has eight ‘focus areas.’” None include the big issue of where these cars and Shorecliffs kids are going to go when additional consumer and residential cars will be driving into Marblehead Coastal. The bigger problem may be the speeding cars driving west on Vista Hermosa to get on Interstate 5 and cars making illegal right turns on red lights at the major four-way intersection of Calle Frontera. Crossing guards, speed signs, monitors, bumps and medians—has the general plan considered any of these

Join the San Clemente Times for Beachside Chat, Friday at 8 a.m. at Café Calypso. Outgoing San Clemente Chief of Police Services John Coppock will be the guest this week. Beachside Chat is a spirited, town hall forum on community issues, hosted by SC Times editor Jim Shilander. All are welcome. Beachside Chat is held every Friday at Café Calypso, 114 Avenida Del Mar.

precautions to warn and notify drivers that there is another school west of Marblehead Elementary? Has Shorecliffs, one of the oldest schools in San Clemente, been forgotten? All other local schools have signs and flashing signals. Why did the GPAC avoid discussion of Marblehead Coastal and the planned outlet mall and residences? Perhaps the problem started when the Interstate 5 bridge opened at Vista Hermosa without considering what the general plan should do to provide safety for the school children. They were not considered then. Let’s start now, please. To submit a letter to the editor for possible inclusion in the paper, e-mail us at letters@sanclementetimes. com. 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: ‘Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me’


The List

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

Thursday | 20 10TH ANNUAL SC MIXOLOGIST COMPETITION 3 p.m. Locals mix their best cocktails at the San Clemente Chamber’s annual drink-mixing competition at BeachFire Bar & Grill. Tickets $25-$35. 204 Ave. Del Mar, 949.492.1131, RIVER ROAD AND BEER-CHUGGING CONTEST 7:30 p.m. Swallow’s Inn features live music and at 9 p.m. guests can participate in a beer-chugging contest. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.3188, POUL PEDERSEN 7:30 p.m.-11 p.m. Live music at Iva Lee’s. 555 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente, 949.361.2855,

Friday | 21 HART & SOUL 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Live music at Adele’s at the San Clemente Inn. 2600 Avenida Del Presidente, San Clemente, 949.481.1222,

At 89, character actress Elaine Stritch has two Emmys for the series “Law & Order” and “30 Rock,” a Tony for her one-woman show “Elaine Stritch: At Liberty” and numerous acting credits working alongside such luminaries as Stephen Sondheim, Noël Coward, Woody Allen, John Turturro, James Gandolfini and Rock Hudson. For someone who’s been working on stage and screen for almost 70 years, she is still so consisPhoto: Isotope Films tent and lively. This month, a documentary on Stritch’s life and career called Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me is in theaters. While certainly enjoyable for acting fanatics, it holds appeal for casual moviegoers as well. Director Chiemi Karasawa follows Stritch around town and her home as she prepares for her latest project, a solo cabaret act. Along the way, we see Stritch work with her personal pianist Bob Bowman, her personal assistant Julie Keyes and behind-the-scenes footage of her work with Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey on “30 Rock.” The more private moments show her interacting with friends and fans and include personal reminiscences of her career. Script supervisor-turned-filmmaker Karasawa reminds us that, though not a household name, Stritch is definitely a legend in her own right, and has no interest in retiring from the stage. Shoot Me shows a feisty, vibrant entertainer who also has some hidden fears her audience may not have realized. Her story is a glowing example of lifetime show business success and aging gracefully, without regrets. — Megan Bianco

DEREK BORDEAUX BAND 7:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Live Motown and R&B covers at Salt Creek Grille. 32802 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point, 949.661.7799, LORD OF THE STRINGS CONCERT: ACOUSTIC EIDOLON 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Music by the world-renown guitar and cello duo as part of the ongoing concert series at the Dana Point Community House. Tickets $30. 24642 San Juan Ave., Dana Point, 949.842.2227,

Saturday | 22 OC CHILL WINTER TRAIL RUN SERIES 7 a.m. Participate in a 5-, 7- or 10-mile trail run through O’Neill Park trails with a post event chili and campfire, race swag and more. Funds raised benefit Trails4All, Fee $38-$40. 30892 Trabuco Canyon Road, Trabuco Canyon, VR GREEN FARMS PRODUCE BASKET PROGRAM 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Fresh produce baskets, fruit, gourmet specialties and more every Saturday at VR Green Farms, located at Bella Collina Towne & Golf Club. 200 Avenida La Pata, San Clemente, 949.697.0032, FUNDRAISER FEATURING DJ BLAKE AND FRIENDS 9 p.m. Fundraiser concert at OC Tavern. Donations taken at the door. 2369 S. El


Camino Real, San Clemente, 949.542.8877,

$49. 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.496.5794,

NATE HANCOCK 8 p.m. Live music at Wind & Sea Restaurant. 34699 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.496.6500,

Monday | 24

FUNNIEST HOUSEWIVES OF ORANGE COUNTY 8 p.m. Live comedy show at The Coach House. Tickets $20. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930,

Sunday | 23 BACKYARD SKILLS WORKSHOP: FRUIT TREE GRAFTING 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Join The Ecology Center in the orchard and engage hands-on to learn fruit tree grafting and propagating skills. Tickets $20-$30. 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.443.4223, SABRAGE CLASS 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Learn the art of opening wine bottles with a sabre at San Clemente Wine Company. Call for reservations. 212 ½ Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, 949.429.7067,

Photo: Brian Park

Swallow’S Day ParaDe anD MercaDo Street Faire • MarcH 22 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The Fiesta Association’s 56th running of the nation’s largest non-motorized parade beginning at 11 a.m. with this year’s theme “New Trails West” followed by a street faire and more. Festival de las Golondrinas events celebrate the legend of the return of the swallows to the Mission. 949.493.1976,

San Clemente Times March 20-26, 2014

SAN CLEMENTE FARMERS MARKET 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Bundles of flowers, fresh produce and much more every Sunday on Avenida Del Mar. Rain or shine. ORANGE COUNTY WINE CRUISE 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Cruise the Dana Point Harbor and enjoy wine aboard a luxury catamaran with Dana Wharf. Tickets

Page 12

COOKING CLASS: CALIFRENCH CUISINE 6:30 p.m. Cooking class with Chef Caroline Cazaumayou at Antoine’s Café featuring braised black cod in white wine, tomatoes and olives. Cost $50 each. Includes recipes, dinner and a glass of wine. 218 S. El Camino Real, San Clemente, 949.492.1763, SMOKEY KARAOKE 8 p.m. Your turn to get onstage at BeachFire. 204 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, 949.366.3232,

Tuesday | 25 DREAMBROTHER 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Live music at The Cellar. 156 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, 949.492.3663,

Wednesday | 26 GOURMET FOOD TRUCKS 5 p.m.-8 p.m. An array of food trucks every Wednesday at San Clemente High School in the parking lot near Triton Center. Proceeds benefit the SCHS Marching Band. 700 Avenida Pico, San Clemente, 949.492.4165, For our full calendar, visit the “Event Calendar” at Have an event? Send your listing to events@

SC SC LIVING San Clemente


An All-American Take on Patriotic Songs Boy’s Choir offering free concert for veterans BY JIM SHILANDER, SAN CLEMENTE TIMES


eterans and San Clemente residents will have the opportunity to get a unique take on some familiar patriotic songs Thursday, March 27. The All-American Boys Choir, the only one of its kind in Orange County, will present a concert at the San Clemente Community Center, 100 N. Calle Seville, at 6:30 p.m. The concert, which is being presented by the South Coast Marine Corps League, is free to military veterans and active duty service members. The cost is $5 for children under 12 and $10 for adult civilians. The group performs around the country but regularly holds concerts in Orange County, including a number of concerts for veterans. The group has performed three this year, in Garden Grove, Costa Mesa and Anaheim. Russell Bell, a San Clemente resident and father of two choir members, Adam Bell and Mitch Bell, serves on the board of the organization as well. As a regular attendee of concerts, Bell said his sons’ experiences have given them a different perspective. “We really try to involve the younger kids and bring them together with veterans,” Bell said. “It’s a neat thing to be able to meet with them.” Bell said his sons have had the opportunity to perform with singers like Josh Groban and former “American Idol” winner Taylor Hicks. But one of the few times his sons were very impressed by someone was having the opportunity to meet a Pearl Harbor survivor at a concert, he said. While most of the songs are traditional standards, it’s the boys’ performance that makes it special, choir director Wesley Martin said. “The delivery is quite unique,” Martin said. “You have these young, fresh faces,

Local Real Estate By Local Experts Sponsored by

Jeremy Conrad 949.542.8348 Bill Conrad 949.542.8349

It’s time to expect more… Established 1963

Photo: Catherine Manso

Traditional Irish step{ I N S AN CL E M E NTE } dancers from Aniar Irish Dance Academy of Laguna Niguel perform at the Exchange Club of San Clemente’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance. The event brought out plenty of Irish and want-to-be Irish folks to the San Clemente Community Center Saturday for traditional corned beef and cabbage and green beer.


All –American Boys Choir members perform at a recent Orange County concert for veterans. Courtesy photo

All –American Boys Choir members have the opportunity to meet with those who fought for the United States at the end of the concerts. Courtesy photos

full of energy and enthusiasm. The boys put their everything into it, just like they do anything else in their lives.” Martin said he enjoys the concerts for veterans because of the different generations interacting with one another. “It’s good for the boys and good for

members of the military,” Martin said. He noted that while the first thing that comes to mind for most people when thinking about the concerts might be elderly veterans of World War II or Korea, there are also a good number of younger veterans who also take in the events. The

emotional impact of the event becomes particularly notable when the boys go out into the crowd to perform. “There’s more than a few tears,” Martin said. The group’s concert choir includes 65 to 70 boys, though only 35 to 45 will perform at the concert, including all of the boys from San Clemente and other South County cities. Wayne Eggelston, an associate member of the South Coast Marine Corps League, said the choir contacted him asking what veteran’s organization would be best to present the concert for and he suggested the League. The group’s 50 members regularly put on events hosting members of the Corps from Camp Pendleton. The membership includes Korean War veterans through the present day. Information on the concert and tickets are available at SC

Did you know that... • In San Clemente, over 135 homes have already

• Median sales price for Orange County in 1968

sold. 26 homes sold over $1,000,000 with the

was only $23,210, in 1980 was $99,550 and 1999

remaining 100+ homes selling under $1,000,000

was only $217,510!

• So far in 2014, San Clemente has an average

• There were almost 18,000 listings for sale in

selling price of $786,000 with average age home

2008 here in Orange County, while today only

built was 1984

5400 homes are actively on the market


Citizens Come Together at the Standardized Tests: The Casa to Celebrate Arbor Day Times, They are a Changing GUEST OPINION: Life’s a Beach by Shelley Murphy


Will revising the SAT simplify costly test-prep and complex college admissions process?


asa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens and the San Clemente Tree Foundation partnered Saturday, March 15 to provide the community with a day of learning, growing and fun. The Arbor Day event also gave the public a rare opportunity to enjoy the historic Casa and grounds free of charge. Booths were set up throughout the Casa’s gardens inviting attendees to explore and interact with other organizations, including OC Master Gardeners, The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo and Shore Gardens Nursery. Exhibitors shared the common goal of raising awareness and appreciation for the value of trees and the first 100 visitors received a 15-gallon tree courtesy of Edison International. “You have to plant trees today to have a healthy urban forest 20 years from now,” said Patricia Holloway, president of the newly-formed San Clemente Tree Foundation. “We’ve got to replace our trees. We want our community to mature, look healthy and be healthy.” With the help of volunteers, Mayor Tim Brown, and a brief tutorial from Jodie Cook, Director of Gardens at the Casa, the community helped one another to properly plant a native tree. Mayor Brown said he appreciated this display because it educated the public to the possibilities of planting drought tolerant trees and native plants in their own homes during a time when residents should be conserving water. “If we just spent a little more time on our native farm, at the end of the day we wouldn’t have to use as much water, which is a real treat,” Brown said. Guest speaker, Voyteck Zakrzewski, from the Canadian Province of Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and the father of Casa Executive Director Berenika Schmitz, discussed the correlation of trees, climate and the environment. “I’m very impressed. It’s Saturday,


San Clemente Mayor Tim Brown, center, helps to plant a new tree at the Casa Romantica’s Family Arbor Day event. Photo: Catherine Manso

early morning, but so many people are here…The value of planting trees, apparently, must be a significant component of the local culture,” Zakrzewski said. San Clemente faces challenges to maintain a green environment, Zakrzewski said, but he pointed out that the responsibility does not just fall onto the city or its employees. “It’s part of an obligation to the community,” he said. “What we are witnessing today, this morning, I think is proof of this idea.” Cook also answered questions about proper tree planting, especially when dealing with a drought. “When people leave here today they are going to think of trees, and the trees in their own backyards, as ecosystems that support a whole range of organisms above ground and below,” Cook said. “We’d like them to think holistically about trees and not take them for granted.” SC


Last week’s solution:

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 San Clemente Times March 20-26, 2014

n March 5, as anxious high school juniors across the country crammed for the March 8 SAT and countless high school seniors sat in limbo waiting for letters of college acceptance hinging on those SAT scores, president of the College Board, David Coleman, announced the almighty SAT will undergo its most comphrensive change since 2005. Students won’t take the revamped SAT until spring 2016 but the College Board promises to provide a sneak peek at the overhauled exam next month. Coleman said changes to the test include: reverting to its original scoring scale of 1600 from its current 2400, incorporating reading comprehension passages from “founding documents of America”—such as the Declaration of Independence—restricting calculator use on some math sections and making the essay optional. The SAT is also bidding adieu to obscure vocabulary words. The College Board plans to replace current vocabulary test words like “prevaricator” and “sagacious” with words more likely to be found in college courses or the workplace, such as “synthesis” and “empirical.” In addition, students will no longer be penalized a quarter point for wrong answers to multiple choice questions. First administered in 1926 as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (now the Scholastic Assessment Test) and based loosely on a test developed to rank World War I soldiers, the SAT changes come as it continues to lose ground to its rival—the increasingly popular ACT (American College Test). I vaguely remember wandering into my high school’s cafeteria on a Saturday morning and taking what I think was the SAT. I know I never took a test prep course. My, how times have changed. A few years ago as my older son prepared to take his college entrance exams, I bought enough test prep books to open my own bookstore. All the books claimed to significantly boost his test scores and looked really impressive lining the shelves of his bookcase—where they stayed. During his test prep process I learned the SAT is offered only seven dates a year, a fact that surprised both of us. As a result, my son took his first SAT on his birthday— the morning after prom. I didn’t need a scientific calculator to predict the outcome. As my second son starts his collegiate test preparations, I’m older but not any wiser. I confess, I’m still buying into the

test prep trap. A few months ago, I sent my son to a costly weekend boot camp to learn the “tricks” to answering the SAT’s multiple choice questions. For two days, he learned how to guess LIFE’S A BEACH the correct answer to By Shelley Murphy certain questions and when to skip questions leaving those bubbles blank. The tricks he learned won’t translate into practical life skills—unless, in the real world, he runs into tricksters who can be tamed with a No. 2 pencil. The test prep industry is big business as estimates put its earnings above the $1 billion mark in the United States. Coleman hopes to change this and said the College Board seeks to eliminate expensive and elite test prep by partnering with Khan Academy, an educational website, to offer free online SAT test prep services to students across the socioeconomic spectrum.

The tricks he learned “won’t translate into practical

life skills—unless, in the real world, he runs into tricksters who can be tamed with a No. 2 pencil.

—Shelley Murphy

My educated guess is the multimilliondollar industry will continue to thrive as long as parents like me will pay for perceived advantages in the college admissions crapshoot. No one knows if the proposed changes to the SAT will be as beneficial as promised or if it will better measure academic intelligence and predict collegiate success. All I know is the revised SAT arrives too late to benefit my son, so I’d better find those flashcards defining “prevaricator” and “sagacious.” 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

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

Page 17

Locals Only


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


South Coast Furniture & Mattress 109 Calle de los Molinos,

LANDSCAPING South Coast Furniture & Mattress 949.492.5589 109 Calle de los Molinos, Costa Verde Landscape License: 744797 (C-8 & C-27) APPLIANCES SERVICES & REPAIRS ASAP Appliance Service 949.361.7713 MANAGEMENT - HOA 3200 Legendario, ART GALLERIES San Clemente Art Association 949.492.7175 100 N. Calle Seville,

ART INSTALLATION PRO ART INSTALLATIONS 310.597.9991 Erik Van Leight 212 Avenida Victoria,


YOUR BUSINESS HERE! Sign up to be featured as our monthly 949.361.9656

MATTRESSES 949.492.5589



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


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


ESTATE PLANNING, PROBATE, TRUST Lange & Minnott 1201 Puerta Del Sol, Ste. 203


FURNITURE South Coast Furniture & Mattress 949.492.5589 109 Calle de los Molinos,

GRAPHIC DESIGN IMAGES/Creative Solutions 117 Del Gado Road,



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

PRINTING Printing OC 949.388.4888 27134 Paseo Espada #B 203,

South Coast Furniture & Mattress 109 Calle de los Molinos,


Marcie George - Star Real Estate South County 949.690.5410 949.293.3236

RESTAURANTS Café Calypso 114 Avenida Del Mar #4



SALONS Salon Bamboo 949.361.3348 150 Avenida Del Mar, Ste. A,

PAINTING KC Painting & Decorating 949.388.6829 3349 Paseo Halcon,


The Bargain Box 949.492.2800 Colony Termite Control 949.361.2500 526 N. El Camino Real, 1402 Calle Alcazar,


Bill Metzger Plumbing 949.492.3558 1218 Puerta del Sol, Chick’s Plumbing

Colony Termite Control 949.361.2500 1402 Calle Alcazar,


A to Z Leak Detection 949.499.4464 1218 Puerta del Sol,


WINDOW & DOOR INSTALLATION Offshore Construction


LIST YOUR BUSINESS IN “LOCALS ONLY” Call at Debra Wells for pricing at 949.589.0892 or email

CLASSIFIEDS Submit your classified ad at GARAGE SALES TONS OF GREAT BARGAINS MULTIPLE Families on same street. Saturday, March 22, 7:00 AM – 12:00 PM 2912 & 2914 Cercado, San Clemente. TV, Electronics, household items, furniture, sport equipment, toys, bikes, and clothes for men, women, boys, girls and baby. (No “early-birds”, please)

GARAGE SALE Saturday March 22, 7am-11:30am. Kids Clothing Only. Boys and girls sizes newborn Sanctuary Salon & Spa 949.429.5802 to pre-teen. Tons of clothing, every piece 1041 Avenida Pico, Ste. B, is only $1. You don’t want to miss this sale if you have children of any age! 2712 Via SECONDHAND/ Montezuma 92672 (Near the DMV) CONSIGNMENT SHOPS



San Clemente Website Design 949.246.8345

Salon Bleu 949.366.2060 207 S. El Camino Real,

Dr. Alice P. Moran, DMD 949.361.4867 (GUMS) 1001 Avenida Pico, Ste. K, South Coast Furniture & Mattress 949.492.5589 109 Calle de los Molinos,



REAL ESTATE Antonio Fiorello, Forté Realty Group 949.842.3631 San Clemente,

Jim Thomas Roofing 162 Calle de Industrias


PLUMBING 949.498.6245


SC Rider Supply 949.388.0521 “Sandy & Rich” - ReMax 520 S. El Camino Real,

Sea View Pharmacy 665 Camino De Los Mares, #101 949.366.2488

HAIR SALONS Kreative Hair Design 173 Avenida Serra

Brian Wiechman, 949.533.9209 Equity Coast Mortgage, a division of Pinnacle Capital Mortgage,

Danman’s Music School 949.496.6556 949.361.9656 Janet Poth - Violin & Viola 949.922.6388 413 Calle Pueblo,

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San Clemente Times March 20-26, 2014

Page 19



The Road to Recovery

Ten months after Tommy John surgery, Tritons pitcher Andrew Sim eyes his comeback

The scar on Andrew Sim’s throwing arm serves as a reminder of how far he has come since having Tommy John surgery 10 months ago. Photo: Brian Park BY STEVE BREAZEALE, SAN CLEMENTE TIMES

Once I realized I had torn “something like that, I knew I


e’ve all heard the expression beginning, “When life throws you a curve ball …,” and it’s usually followed by advice on how to be flexible and deal with life when the bottom drops out, much like a batter facing the plunging pitch. For 17-year-old pitcher Andrew Sim, it was literally a curveball that sent him on a path in life he never thought he’d go down, but it’s one he is willing to see to the end. On March 26, 2013, the San Clemente High School baseball team was playing host to rival Dana Hills. Sim was on the mound and had just cruised through the first five innings, his team staking him to a 2-0 lead. As he came back into the dugout, head coach Dave Gellatly asked the junior if he was good to go another inning. Of course he was, he said—he had a two-hit shutout going. After getting two outs in the sixth, Sim threw a curveball to the third batter and felt a strong, painful pop in his throwing elbow. He fell to the ground in a heap. Determined to stay in the game and finish the inning, Sim gathered himself and lobbed two pitches that he says could not have gone faster than 60 mph. He somehow induced a slow roller to third base, got the out and picked up the win. After the game, numbness soon crept into his hands and arm. He tried to throw the following week but everything felt off,

San Clemente Times March 20-26, 2014

didn’t want to just give it up. I’m not done with this game yet,” Sim said. “I didn’t think I could give it up, especially working as hard as I did before (the injury).

Andrew Sim has spent more than 176 hours in physical therapy recovering from Tommy John surgery. Courtesy photo

—Andrew Sim

like he had no power behind his throws, prompting him to get an MRI. Sim soon learned that his ulnar collateral ligament, or UCL, had failed and broke down over time. He would need a surgical graft to reconstruct his elbow if he was to ever throw a baseball again. The procedure is better known as Tommy John surgery. Before the procedure was invented by former Los Angeles Dodgers orthopedic surgeon Dr. Frank Jobe, news of a torn UCL was essentially a career death sentence for professionals. But since its development in 1974, Tommy John surgery has extended countless Major League, minor league and college pitching careers. The surgery was created when former

Dodgers pitcher Tommy John blew his arm out during the 1974 season. Wanting to extend his career, John approached Jobe, who successfully harvested and reattached a redundant tendon - the Palmaris tendon in the forearm - into the spot where John’s UCL used to be. John returned from surgery in 1976 to pitch for 14 more seasons, winning 164 of his 288 total career victories, putting the procedure on the map. Other teams quickly adopted the procedure and it is widely used by professional organizations, including lacrosse, football and other sports teams, to this day. Tommy John surgery isn’t the only option for pitchers who suffer the injury. Sim

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was told of platelet-rich plasma therapy, or PRP, which his surgeon explained did not have the same guarantee of helping a player return to full strength. The Sim family opted for what they believed to be the safest, most reliable route for getting Andrew back on the mound. Doctors and therapists hinted it might be tough for someone of Sim’s age to take on such a recovery process. Most players who have the procedure are professionals or college players, trying to make a living—not teenagers. His doctors expressed concern he wouldn’t have the same drive and work ethic to get back. “Once I realized I had torn something like that, I knew I didn’t want to just give it up. I’m not done with this game yet,” Sim said. “I’m hoping I’ll be able to play all four years at college. I didn’t think I could give it up, especially working as hard as I did before (the injury). I just didn’t want to give it up quite yet.” Following a successful procedure, Sim is now 10 months into his rehabilitation process and is back to throwing bullpen sessions at Tritons practices. But getting there has been a long, slow and frustrating process. In the first month, Sim’s workouts consisted of bicep-curling thin air. Any sort of stress on his elbow would have caused a setback. He tediously pressed volleyballs into a wall to help strengthen his back and he wasn’t allowed to run because the tendon graft in his elbow came from his hamstring, which was also on the mend. “I felt so weak,” Sim said. “I lost a ridiculous amount of muscle. I lost 20 pounds.” As the months went by, Sim’s workouts increased by baby steps. When he was finally able to do 15 pushups, it was a cause for celebration. Five months after the surgery, he was given the go ahead to throw a ball and the motion felt foreign. The kid, who came to San Clemente by way of Naperville, Ill. in the third grade, had to essentially start over and build trust in his mechanics again. Sim is back to lifting weights and is throwing bullpens once a week at about 60 percent of his maximum effort from a shorter distance. While his workload is beginning to look a little more regular, his warm-up routine is not what it used to be. Sim used to stretch a bit, loosen his arm and start throwing before an outing. Now his warm-up takes around 45 minutes, 30 of which are reserved for specific, resistance band stretching and core muscle exercises. He knows it’s something he will have to do for the rest of his baseball career. Aside from the physical toll it took, Sim’s road to recovery has been a test of mental toughness. Sim was called up from junior varsity in 2013 and immediately made an impact.


Andrew Sim, seen here pitching for the Tritons in 2013, was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in six appearances before tearing his UCL. Courtesy photo

After earning his spot in the rotation, he went 2-0 in six appearances and had a streak of 18 consecutive innings pitched without allowing an earned run. Then came that fateful curveball in the sixth inning. To have that breakout season come to a sudden halt and cast doubts about the following year, during which seniors show their stuff to potential collegiate suitors, was tough on him.

After accepting the fact he will likely miss most, if not all, of his senior season, Sim emailed a few college coaches in the area, telling them about his situation and his desire to compete for a spot on their teams. But the risk of taking on an already damaged arm out of high school was not exactly appealing, at least to some. Sim is optimistic about making a full recovery and trying out for the Saddleback College

baseball team next year. Gellatly, his coach, believes Sim can make it at the next level in some capacity. But he has no precedence to base his hunch off of. Gellatly has been coaching baseball for 20 years and has never had a player undergo elbow or shoulder surgery, making Sim the lone exception. “It’s very rare … but you can never have enough pitching,” Gellatly said. “He may come back looking like a million bucks or he may come back and realize he needs to take time to reload his mechanics again. But he is the kind of guy to put in that time. As long as he does that, he can play four years of college baseball.” One inning, that’s all Sim is hoping for in his senior season. He has suited up, showed up and stood alongside his teammates for every practice and game. He’s made 73 trips to the physical therapist and logged more than 176 hours in therapy since the surgery. He has learned not to set the bar too high or get too greedy. Instead, he has met each and every goal in small increments because anything more could set him back. After all, he’s got the future to look forward to. “I’m a lot more thankful being able to play the game now. I haven’t touched the field since March 26. It’s been almost a year and it sucks. I just want to get out there,” Sim said. “It’s such a fun game. I don’t think as many people realize that … I’d just kill to get out there.” SC

The Legacy of Tommy John Tommy John surgery has extended hundreds of baseball pitching careers. Here are a few notable players who have recovered from the procedure.

A.J. Burnett Joba Chamberlain Neftali Feliz Eric Gagne (2003 National League Cy Young Award Winner) Matt Harvey John Lackey Francisco Liriano Jamie Moyer (Pitched 200 or more innings ten times. Joe Nathan Mariano Rivera (13-time All-Star, all-time MLB saves leader, 1999 World Series MVP) Fernando Rodney Anibal Sanchez John Smoltz (8-time All-Star, 1996 National League Cy Young Award winner) Stephen Strasburg Adam Wainwright David Wells (3-time American League All-Star) Kerry Wood C.J. Wilson

SC San Clemente




Big Wave Maven

SURF FORECAST Water Temperature: 61-63 degrees F Water Visibility and Conditions: San Clemente: 8-12’ poor-fair Catalina: 10-15’+ poor-fair Immediate: New steep-angled northwest swell joins in on Thursday as old west/northwest swell drops out. Small scale surf in the knee-thigh high (1-2’+) zone prevails at better exposures, as top breaks see plus sets. Surf picks up some for Friday as more new northwest swell creeps in and a new south/southwest swell shows. Light/variable to light SE/ESE winds in the mornings, turn to light+ westerly winds each afternoon. Longer Range Outlook: Modest pulses of south/ southwest swell prevail through the weekend, as trace northwest swell blends in the background. Better round of south/southwest swell due early next week as a small new west/northwest swell shows. Check out for all the details!

DP’s Bianca Valenti wins first Big Wave World Tour women’s event BY ANDREA SWAYNE, SAN CLEMENTE TIMES


“maven” is defined as an expert, connoisseur or someone in-theknow. When it comes to conquering giant ocean waves, Dana Point-raised surfer Bianca Valenti has become just that. The world of professional big wave surfing had its largest gathering of female competitors ever this month and the Xpreshon Big Wave World Tour crowned Valenti its first female champion. When invitations went out and the Nov. 1 through March 31 waiting period for the Dive N’ Surf Oregon Pro at Nelscott Reef was announced, Valenti marked it on her calendar and got to work. “Training is an ongoing thing for me, but writing it in my calendar was a reminder to stay focused,” Valenti said. “I wanted to be ready for whenever the event was called on.” She began rigorous training in the gym, yoga, swimming and breath-holding exercises to prepare for hold-downs. In an athletic competition that gets the green light only when conditions bring waves in the 30-foot-plus range, being hold-down-ready is an absolute must. The notoriously treacherous break, off the central coast of Oregon, met the 30foot minimum and the event was a go on March 12. Despite having suffered a knee injury while surfing in December and Nelscott being only her second time in the water since being cleared by her doctor, Valenti

Bianca Valenti. Photo: Austin Simkins

San Clemente Times March 20-26, 2014

Bianca Valenti of Dana Point became the Big Wave World Tour’s first women’s event winner, March 12 at Nelscott Reef in Oregon. Photo: Nikki Brooks

was ready. Before being invited to the event, her career had included surfing at the elite level in both longboard and shortboard contests as well as years of experience riding big waves just for the challenge. Her big wave dreams began during college after getting pounded at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. “That day the waves were in the 15- to 20-foot range, big and perfect. I was so bummed I got demolished,” Valenti said. “It really motivated me to reach a new level of comfort where I could ride waves of that size because they looked so fun.” She participated in a three-woman expression session at a Big Wave World Tour event in 2010 but this was her first pro big wave contest. This first ever BWWT women’s roster hosted eight of the world’s best and most well-known female big wave pros, including Hawaiians Keala Kennelly and Paige Alms. Each surfer’s top two waves—on a scale of 1 to 10 with the highest wave score being doubled—were combined to determine the final score. Risk equals reward according to the BWWT rulebook, as the system ensures a surfer with an exceptional ride—taking off in the most critical part of the wave and exhibiting control—will beat a surfer with two “safe” rides in the 4- to 6-point range. Valenti’s first score came in at 8.50, doubling to 17.0. “It was an awesome drop, super fast and steep,” she said. “As I paddled back out, the water safety crew was giving me the thumbs up. It was a great feeling but I knew I needed a back-up wave.” With just five minutes left in the heat, Valenti locked onto a wave that was barely missed by runner-up Andrea Moller of Brazil. Valenti’s second score came in at 6.83 for a grand total of 23.83 to Moller’s

19.37. While Valenti said she was thrilled by her victory, satisfaction also came from being part of the advancement of women’s professional big wave surfing. “It was a huge success for all of us. They gave us a chance not knowing what to expect. So to have so many of us show up charging, I think broke ground,” Valenti said. “Down the road, I’m hoping this leads to a full women’s world tour.

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Whether that happens or not, I will keep competing, pushing for sponsorship, chasing swells and elevating my game by surfing bigger and better waves.” Valenti grew up in Dana Point, graduated from St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in 2003 and UCSB in 2007. She now lives in Mill Valley and is co-owner of Valenti and Company, a new Italian restaurant in San Anselmo, set to open at the end of the month. SC


Age: 9, Mimizan, France Noa Dupouy has become a familiar face in local lineups and Western Surfing Association contests while visiting the area from his home in the south-west of France. With a father who owns a surf school and surf shop, it seemed only natural for Noa to declare his desire to become a pro surfer and get serious about chasing that dream. Since starting down that path two years ago, San Clemente has become a favorite home away from home. He entered his first WSA contest in December at the San Clemente Pier and took first place in U10 Shortboard. “I loved the announcing and meeting new friends,” Noa said. “It was so fun because the other kids were supporting me and the waves were rippable.” Fond memories and the instant camaraderie of fellow competitors prompted Noa to return for the Huntington Beach Pier WSA event last month where he claimed his second U10 victory. “When Noa asked me and his mother to help him, we decided the

Noa Dupouy. Courtesy photo

sacrifices we would have to make are worth it,” his father Rudy said. “Whether learning a new language or a sport, the best age to start is now and this does both.” Rudy went on to say that leaving home for the winter in search of better waves is doable because, for now, keeping up with Noa’s school work is easily manageable via computer and the experiences he’s having are priceless. “The people are good, the waves are good, the Ralphs Skate Court is good,” Noa said. “I like it here and I will keep coming back.”—Andrea Swayne

March 20, 2014  
March 20, 2014  

San Clemente Times