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February 16-22, 2017 YO U



Power Plant Records Debuts New Radio Shows PAGE 3 VOLUME 12, ISSUE 7

Engineering an Offense Blake Birmingham leads SCHS hoops team to league title, playoffs SPORTS/PAGE 16

Senior point guard Blake Birmingham, No. 33, helped carry the San Clemente Tritons basketball team while the football crossover players finished their season. Birmingham averaged 19 points per game during the regular season. Photo: Eric Heinz

Judge Orders Injunction after Emergency Shelter Hearing EYE ON SC/PAGE 3

Spartans of Summer: Lifeguard Tryouts Are Feb. 25 EYE ON SC/PAGE 7

After Chasing an Education, Shaw is Back to Chasing Waves SC SURF/PAGE 22


SC EYE ON SC San Clemente


What’s Up With...

Five things San Clemente should know this week Former San Clemente Teacher Dies after Being Struck by Alleged Drunk Driver THE LATEST: Scott Clark, 55, a former teacher at Truman Benedict Elementary School in San Clemente, died on Tuesday night, Feb. 8, days after he was struck by a drunk driver while he was walking. According to family accounts and people close to the victim, Clark died as a result of the injuries he incurred in the incident. Orange County Sheriff’s Department officials are seeking witnesses to the traffic collision that took place Jan. 25 at about 6:20 p.m. on Niguel Road at Alicia Parkway in Laguna Niguel. The accident occurred between a driver of a BMW Mini Cooper and a Mercedes-Benz traveling toward the intersection of the accident. The vehicles collided with each other, and Clark, who was struck as a result of the collision while walking in the area, was transported to Mission Hospital with major injuries. The driver of the Mini Cooper, suspected as Jamie Mulford, 34, was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, in this case a vehicle, and felony driving under the influence. Mulford posted bail on her $300,000 bond shortly after her arrest. In 2014, Mulford pleaded no contest to a DUI that occurred in 2010—a pedestrian was struck in the incident and later died. “Our office (the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office) could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim, who was walking on the freeway in the early morning hours, died as a result of Mulford driving under the influence of alcohol,” DA officials said of the 2010 incident. In those proceedings, Mulford admitted she was two other times convicted of driving while having a .08 percent or higher blood alcohol content, according to information from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. Mulford was sentenced to 120 days in jail and five years’ summary probation. WHAT’S NEXT: “OCSD investigators are seeking witness information about the traffic collision including any information about the pedestrian and vehicles leading up to the incident,” a press release from the department stated, adding the incident is still under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to San Clemente Times February 16-22, 2017

contact Orange County Sheriff’s Department Traffic Office at 949.425.1860 or the department commander at 714.647.7000. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Orange County Crime Stoppers by calling 1.855.TIP.OCCS (1.855.847.6227). —Eric Heinz

Man Breaks into San Clemente Home as Fire Breaks Out THE LATEST: According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, a man broke into a home on Sunday, Feb. 12, on the 300 block of Avenida Cristobal in San Clemente. When he was discovered, the family left the house and called 911. While outside, a fire started on the second floor of the residence. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, said Lt. Mark Stichter of OCSD. Orange County Fire Authority responded to the incident. “Deputies were able to establish communication with the suspect and convinced him to come outside and give himself up,” Stichter said in an email. “When the suspect got outside, deputies placed the suspect into custody, and he was transported to the hospital by OCFA for smoke inhalation.” WHAT’S NEXT: The investigation is ongoing, and the suspect is still in the hospital. His name has not yet been released. —EH

Judge Issues Injunction on City’s Permitting Following Emergency Shelter Decisions THE LATEST: An Orange County Superior Court judge made a tentative ruling on Friday that the city of San Clemente has not complied with an order to provide sufficient opportunities for an emergency or homeless shelter to be established. Furthermore, the judge set an injunction on the city’s right to grant building permits in certain areas of San Clemente. These orders do not affect residential areas. The city also cannot issue zone changes or variances or subdivision maps for any community commercial, neighborhood commercial, mixed use, or industrial properties located in certain areas until the city has substantially complied with the order. Since Friday, the areas where the city cannot issue such permissions include the West Pico Corridor Specific Plan (including Calle de Industrias, Calle de Los Molinos, and the Staples Shopping

Biff Cooper of Power Plant Records, which hosts Reactor Radio, has gathered new artists and broadcasters to develop the online radio station, which is accessible via the store’s website, Photo: Eric Heinz

Center); South El Camino Real; North El Camino Real; Del Mar/El Camino Real; Pico/El Camino Real; Camino Capistrano/ El Camino Real; Camino de los Mares; and Los Mares/Estrella. The city was sued by the Emergency Shelter Coalition, which is comprised of various organizations, in late 2014 because they believed the city was not in compliance with Senate Bill 2, which requires California towns and cities to, through zoning, designate areas where a shelter could be built. In July, an Orange County Superior Court judge ruled the city was still out of compliance with SB 2, and in response, the City Council amended the zoning in the Rancho San Clemente Business Park, which has commercial areas, to allow for an emergency shelter. WHAT’S NEXT: Currently, the city is seeking comment and suggestions from the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), which oversees enforcement of SB 2. Cecilia Gallardo-Daly, the city’s community development director, said the city submitted its housing element revisions to the HCD but have been waiting for the department to return its findings and comments. Gallardo-Daly said HCD has 60 days to produce comments to the city and that the judge was amenable to waiting to see what the department says. “We did find out they (HCD) had completed a preliminary review and will be taking a look at those comments this week, so we’re hoping something will be forthcoming later this week,” GallardoDaly said. See a map of the areas affected by the injunction in this article on —EH

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City Council Fills Committee Seats THE LATEST: On Monday, City Council appointed three applicants to seats on two committees. Brenda Wells and Paula Kohl were both appointed to the Human Affairs Committee, and Chris Eldridge was appointed to the Golf Course Committee. The committee members were appointed to fill vacant seats. WHAT’S NEXT: Terms for the committee members last until the next respective appointment process, depending on how much time was left on the vacant term. Their service will start immediately at the following committee meetings. —Staff

Power Plant Radio Expands Shows, Highlights New Talent THE LATEST: Biff Cooper and the Power Plant Records store, which hosts Beach Cities Rock School and Reactor Radio, has expanded its lineup of show hosts and performers. More students of the school are getting exposure on an international level, Cooper said, and now they’ve added a Veterans of Foreign Wars station. Some of the performers include high school students and people who aren’t professional musicians but enjoy doing something different from daily life. WHAT’S NEXT: A schedule of radio shows and upcoming events can be found at People will soon be able to see the DJ or performer live on a webcam on the website. —EH


SC Sheriff’s Blotter

laundry after 9 p.m.!” No further details or contact with the informant was reported.


SUSPICIOUS PERSON IN VEHICLE Avenida Del Poniente, 200 Block (12:25 p.m.) A light brown Chevy was occupied by two men who the caller said appeared to be casing apartments. The two men were playing loud music and then took off, speeding away.

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.

SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCES El Camino Real, 600 Block (9:15 a.m.) Police were called to a man who appeared to be having a mental health problem. He was seen undressing himself in public.

SUSPICIOUS PERSON IN VEHICLE Avenida Pico, 500 Block (4:25 p.m.) Two motorhomes were occupied by people the caller said were dealing drugs. The caller took it upon himself to tell the subjects they needed to leave. The alleged drug dealers were “not too happy” about that, and the caller said they followed him until he left.

Monday, February 13 FOLLOW-UP REPORT Avenida Victoria, 200 Block (11:05 a.m.) A woman reportedly had a man’s passport and wanted money in order to return it. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCES Avenida Granada, 200 Block (11:16 a.m.) A woman said her neighbor was arrested for assault a couple weeks ago. She said she was not sure if a restraining order had been filed. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCES El Camino Real, 500 Block (11:09 a.m.) Police were called to a man who was hitting a building with a grocery bag and screaming, “I hate America.” PATROL CHECK Calle Saluda/Avenida Talega (7:45 a.m.) A caller was upset about a group of men spraying “known carcinogens that cause cancer” and was concerned that children walking by would be affected. The caller also said, “By law, homeowners’ association residents should get a 48-hour notice, and there are not posted signs.”

SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCES Boca Del Canon, 300 Block (7:35 a.m.) A woman said a man in his mid-20s was sleeping on her couch when she woke up.

TRAFFIC ACCIDENT-UNKNOWN INJURIES Via Montego/Via Alegre (11:35 a.m.) A woman driving a gray Honda was possibly drunk and got into a traffic collision.

SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCES Avenida Del Mar, 100 Block (7:30 a.m.) A man was in a restroom peeking in and out of it. The caller said it looked as if he was hiding from the police.

DISTURBANCE Esplanade, 100 Block (2:37 a.m.) The neighbor of the caller was in front of the residence trying to get in through the front door. The caller said the neighbor was possibly drunk and trying to get into the wrong house.

DISTURBANCE Avenida Serra, 100 Block (5:47 a.m.) A woman was heard screaming for help, and a caller told police a man was chasing her.

Thursday, February 9

SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCES El Camino Real, 900 Block (5:38 a.m.) A woman in a car said a man appeared to be having a mental episode or drug issue. The woman refused to give descriptions and told dispatchers to just send someone or she will “call the Sergeant’s wife.”

SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRUCMSTANCES Camino De Los Molinos, 100 Block (10:43 p.m.) A woman said a man in his 60s was loitering in her garage, and he told her he was hiding from someone.

Saturday, February 11

DISTURBANCE-FAMILY DISPUTE Via Plumosa, 100 Block (7:33 p.m.) The caller reported some kind of domestic incident. The caller said a woman screaming could be heard, shouting profanities and telling a man to leave.

DISTURBANCE El Camino Real, 100 Block (8:39 p.m.) A man was walking up and down the street harassing people.

SUSPICIOUS PERSON IN VEHICLE Calle Negocio, 1000 Block (2:19 a.m.) A person in a vehicle had a broken meth pipe.

DISTURBANCE Calle Vallarta, 700 Block (6:05 p.m.) The caller said the neighbors were throwing beer bottles over the fence.

DISTURBANCE Avenida Serra, 100 Block (12:36 a.m.) A person was yelling and hunched over.

SUSPICIOUS PERSON IN VEHICLE Avenida Palizada, 100 Block (10:20 a.m.) People were reportedly living out of a school bus.

WELFARE CHECK El Camino Real, 2200 Block (2:23 p.m.) The caller said a “very drunk” woman walked into the room and fell.

Sunday, February 12

Friday, February 10

SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCES Via Toluca, 100 Block (5:54 p.m.) The person was carrying a can.

DISTURBANCE Ola Vista, 2400 Block (11:24 p.m.) Police were called to three male juveniles who were throwing water balloons and being verbally aggressive.

DISTURBANCE-MECHANICAL El Camino Real, 1600 Block (5:27 p.m.) Loud jackhammering could be heard. DISTURBANCE Avenida Cabrillo, 100 Block (1:36 p.m.) The caller was argueing with a man. The caller asked the man to leave, but he refused. PETTY THEFT REPORT Mar Escarpa, 4400 Block (1:17 p.m.) The caller placed his wallet on the roof of his car and drove away. He reported it as a petty theft but later called to cancel. San Clemente Times February 16-22, 2017

VANDALISM REPORT Via Mimosa, 100 Block (7:02 p.m.) Three juveniles were seen climbing the caller’s fence and tearing up a neighborhood watch sign on the lamppost.

VANDALISM REPORT Avenida Victoria, 600 Block (10:33 p.m.) Police received secondhand information that there were people throwing stones that shattered two windows on a train.

ILLEGALLY PARKED VEHICLE Calle Oso/ Avenida Del Poniente (8:05 a.m.) Police were called regarding the parents of a child parked in a posted “No Parking” spot, which the caller said was causing an unsafe condition for children.

Wednesday, February 8 DISTURBANCE S. El Camino Real/Mendocino (11:29 a.m.) Someone was yelling at a woman in a Ford Focus. The caller wasn’t sure if the issue was traffic-related.

Tuesday, February 7

SUSPICIOUS PERSON IN VEHICLE Avenida Salvador, 700 Block (10:06 p.m.) Six people were seen in a blue van smoking drugs.

SUSPICIOUS PERSON IN VEHICLE Calle La Veta, 3300 Block (7:40 p.m.) Someone was seen driving up and down the street, turning the car’s lights on and off.

DISTURBANCE Calle Amistad, 100 Block (9:46 p.m.) A “loud person” on a cell phone said, “No one is supposed to do

DISTURBANCE Avenida Victoria, 100 Block (6:37 p.m.) Several people were beating up another person. Page 4

Community Meetings THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PANEL MEETING 5:30 p.m. The quarterly meeting regarding San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station will take place. Topics include the Scripps seismic study and the introduction of the decommissioning general contractor. Ocean Institute, Dana Point. 949.368.9750. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19

SAN CLEMENTE FARMERS MARKET 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Bundles of flowers, fresh produce and much more every Sunday. Avenida Del Mar. MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20


CITY COUNCIL MEETING 6 p.m. The San Clemente City Council will hold its regularly scheduled meeting. 100 Avenida Presidio. 949.361.8200. BILY MEETING 7-9 p.m. Meets every Tuesday. Because I Love You helps parents find solutions to any crisis they are experiencing due to their children’s (adult or minor) poor choices. Presbyterian Church. 119 Avenida De La Estrella. SUNRISE ROTARY 7:15 a.m. San Clemente Sunrise Rotary meets every Tuesday at Talega Golf Course Signature Grille. 990 Avenida Talega. WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22

SAN CLEMENTE ROTARY Noon. The San Clemente Rotary meets every Wednesday at the San Clemente Municipal Golf Course Wedgewood Restaurant. 150 E. Avenida Magdalena. 949.233.7981. PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 6 p.m. The San Clemente Planning Commission will hold its regularly scheduled meeting. 100 Avenida Presidio. 949.361.8200.



(lower campus). Register by Feb. 24. For more information, email Sally Reed at


Las Palmas Students Qualify for State Competition

‘Tools for Young People to Deal with Stress’ Mission Hospital, in collaboration with the Wellness & Prevention Center of San Clemente, is offering a six-week workshop for teens called, “Tools for Young People to Deal with Stress.” Mission Hospital has partnered with local expert Dr. Stacie Cooper, an adolescent life coach and mindfulness instructor, to bring several important topics to light every Tuesday for six weeks, starting Feb. 21. This workshop will provide perspective to help young people recognize and manage their emotions, handle challenging situations and lay the foundation for positive relationships and academic success. The cost is $40 plus $20 for materials for kids ages 11 to 16. It starts at 6 p.m. at San Clemente High School, located at 700 Avenida Pico, in the Triton Center Conference Room. For a complete schedule and to register, visit

OC Contemporary Gallery to Host Opening Reception The OC Contemporary Gallery will host its opening reception from 4-6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25. It will feature a variety of contemporary art and photography. The opening reception exhibit will highlight the works of seven local artists, including Patrick Servidio, Tom Elliott, Jordan Christian, the venerable James Hill, Andy Horn, Alejandro Goya from Maui, and the street artist Rex. The gallery also features an Andy Warhol room and a “Modern Masters” room with works from Jackson Pollock, Norman Rockwell, Keith Haring and Wassily Kandinksy. Two other areas are dedicated to photography and street art. OC Contemporary Gallery is located at 1509 N. El Camino Real and is open Wednesday through Saturday from noon-6 p.m. and by appointment. Visit or call 888.948.0086 for more information.

San Clemente Choral Society: Rehearsals for ‘May, Love and Nature’ On Tuesday, Feb. 21, registration for the San Clemente Choral Society’s spring season will be held from 6:30-7 p.m. with a rehearsal following from 7-9 p.m. The voice chorus ranges in age from 18 to older than 80 with members from several South Orange County cities. The spring season theme is May, Love and Nature. “All you need is a love of singing. No auditions required,” a press release from the group stated. Tuesday night practices take place at San Clemente Presbyterian, San Clemente Times February 16-22, 2017

Above: Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish. Right: Chefs Omar and Rosendo Gonzalez from Nick’s Restaurants. Photos: Nida Bharmal

located at 119 N. Avenida de la Estrella in San Clemente. For more information, call 949.272.8435 or visit

San Clemente Chefs to Work OC Chef’s Table Illumination Foundation will host OC Chef’s Table on Sunday, March 12, at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, to raise funds for the construction of a second emergency home for homeless families with children. Chefs Omar and Rosendo Gonzalez from Nick’s Restaurants, which include Nick’s San Clemente and South of Nick’s, will participate in the event. Andrew Gruel, CEO of Slapfish, which has a location in San Clemente, will also participate. At OC Chef’s Table, premier chefs come together to create a five-course meal prepared tableside at tables decorated to reflect the personality and brand of each participating restaurant. Every restaurant and chef participating has been chosen to host a table at the gala due to their earned accolades for their impressive culinary skills or innovations. Every dish, libation and extravagant decoration is designed and donated by the chefs and restaurants. For more information on OC Chef’s Table, contact Sinae Bang at or 949.273.0555 ext. 204.

San Clemente Historical Society Free Spring Event One of San Clemente’s all-time most colorful characters will speak at the San Clemente Historical Society’s spring speaker’s event. Bob Carrick, Sr., 91, moved from the Chicago area to San Clemente as a teenager in 1940. As an early resident, he saw firsthand the evolution of San Clemente from small beach town to a modern city.

Anyone who has met Bob knows he has a wealth of stories to tell, ranging from riding horses on the beach, or saving a sea lion in his mother’s bath tub, to helping build Camp Pendleton and later serving in World War II. Hear how his father almost bought Casa Romantica. As the founder and owner of Shore Gardens Nursery, Carrick and his son, Bob, Jr., have helped make the San Clemente landscape green. When the state was building Interstate 5, he saved several palm trees that were going to be bulldozed. The row of trees stand to this day as a monument to Bob’s ingenuity and vision for San Clemente’s future. Everyone is invited to this first of a quarterly speaker’s series sponsored by the Historical Society. The event is free and will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1, at the San Clemente Community Center, located at 100 N. Calle Seville.

CPR Course at SCHS San Clemente High School’s Parent Teacher Student Alliance is sponsoring a CPR course taught by “A Hero for Life” from 10 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Feb. 25. People can learn basic lifesaving techniques for choking, drowning, allergies, broken bones, sprains and heat/coldrelated emergencies. A certificate will be issued at the end of class. Participants can pay by credit card through the PTSA website, or drop a check made out to “SCHS PTSA” at the high school’s front office

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At a regional Destination Imagination (DI) competition on Saturday, Feb. 11, at Thurston Middle School in Laguna Beach, team members from Las Palmas Elementary School qualified for the state competition. DI is an extracurricular program that teaches science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) principles and skills to kindergarten through universitylevel students through creative and collaborative problem-solving challenges. The Las Palmas teams that qualified for the state competition were third-grade team “Pink Fluffy Nerdicorns,” which competed in the engineer challenge, “All in Together”; the fifth-grade team “Destination Machines,” which did the outreach project challenge, “Ready, Willing and Fable”; and the fifth-grade team “Mariachis,” which did the improvisational challenge, “3-Peat” The state competition will be held April 1 in Sacramento. At 8 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, the school’s teams will speak about their experiences in the competition and present principal Kristen Nelson with the regional trophy.

NCL Laguna Chapter Honors Debutantes for Service The Laguna Chapter of National Charity League hosted its 28th annual Debutante Ball at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel on Friday, Dec. 30, 2016. Eighteen young women were honored for their philanthropic and league service. Their six years of commitment to serving the surrounding local communities began when the girls were in seventh grade. The 2016 class has two members who reside in San Clemente, and all of the class members live in South Orange County. This year’s class volunteered more than 6,600 hours in the local community during their time in NCL Laguna (and almost 11,000 hours when combined with their mothers’ volunteer service). The philanthropies served include Boys & Girls Club of Capistrano Valley, CSP Youth Shelter, Discovery Arts, JF Shea Therapeutic Riding Center, Laura’s House, Mission Hospital, Ocean Institute, Operation Valentine, Orange County Public Libraries, Orangewood Children’s Foundation, Saddleback Hospital, South County Senior Centers, Special Camp for Special Kids, Surfrider Foundation and Working Wardrobes. Have something interesting for the community? Send your information to


Marine Safety officer Blake Anderson said lifeguard tryouts are rigorous but worth it for teenagers and young adults looking for a unique summer job. Photo: Eric Heinz

Spartans of Summer Lifeguard tryouts identify elite swimmers to help save lives BY ERIC HEINZ, SAN CLEMENTE TIMES


ach year, San Clemente Marine Safety officials look the most physically fit and focused people for their lifeguard program. This year, tryouts to find those potential lifeguards are scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Marine Safety Office just north of the Pier. Blake Anderson, a San Clemente Marine Safety officer, recommends that people who want to try out should get as much experience swimming in the ocean as possible beforehand. “You’re out there for eight or 10 hours sometimes, and you have to stay focused,” Anderson said. “Some of these kids are 16 or 17 years old, and there’s a great responsibility that’s put on them to be watching over thousands of lives, sometimes.” Anthony Marin, 17, a Trabuco Hills High School student who was a lifeguard last summer, tried out for his first time last year. Marin was one of the few who made it through the training. “It’s really physically demanding and requires speed, endurance, strength, skill and everything in between,” Marin said. Marin said he used his passion for helping people as motivation to keep focused during the most rigorous parts of the training. “One of the things new lifeguards have trouble with sometimes is what we call ‘pulling the trigger,’” Anderson said. “It’s when they’re up in the tower and they’re seeing the cues that someone might be in trouble, but they’re not sure. Sometimes they just need a little coaching to go out there and make the rescue.” Page 7

According to Marine Safety, the last time someone drowned at one of San Clemente beaches was in 2009, and prior to that, it had been 30 years since the last fatal incident. Anderson said he attributes the relative success rate to rigorous training and sharing information between experienced and beginner lifeguards. “We all look out for each other and help each other out and take on a sense of ownership of the beaches,” Anderson said. Prospective lifeguards must swim to the end of the Pier and back in under 13 and a half minutes. After that, they go through a second physical test where they swim out, run down the beach and swim out and back. Lifeguard Tryouts “We really Lifeguard Tryouts for want to see that San Clemente Marine they can take Safety will take place on the responon Saturday, Feb. 25. sibility of sitting Registration begins at in that tower,” 7 a.m., and the tryouts Anderson said. start at 8 a.m. at the Those who Marine Safety building make the cut are located just north of the then put through San Clemente Pier. For an interview promore information, call cess. After that, 949.361.8219. Marine Safety accepts those who they will put through training. A final cut after that could take place if they’re overstaffed. “It will batter you and beat you down, but the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it,” Marin said of the process. “Don’t give up.” Some years, Marine Safety has hired up to 19 new recruits and other years have been as low as five, depending on who returns. Lifeguards who make it to the training portion are compensated $10.50 an hour, and the ocean lifeguard position is paid $17.79 to $21.63. Anderson said people who see anything suspicious or someone in trouble at the beach can call 949.361.8219 between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or 911 outside of that time. SC

SC SOAPBOX San Clemente


GUEST OPINION: Dirt Therapy by Marianne Taylor

Cultivating a Nation

34932 Calle del Sol, Suite B, Capistrano Beach, CA 92624

A passionate gardener, Thomas Jefferson believed plants can transform society “No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.” —Thomas Jefferson


he third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and founder of the University of Virginia, was also a highly knowledgeable gardener and farmer. A man of many talents, he extolled the virtues of the agrarian life. He considered himself a farmer by profession. In Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book, he documents his varied approaches to gardening—from landscape architecture and pleasure gardening, to horticultural science and teaching his grandchildren. Evidence of Jefferson’s passion for gardening can be seen today in the restored gardens at Monticello in Virginia. The gardens are admired worldwide. Jefferson’s love for horticulture was well-known. He inherited his family’s 2,000-acre plantation as a young man, designed a neo-classical house and planted flower gardens, grain and vegetable fields, fruit orchards and vineyards. He planted 24 beds of herbs and vegetables. In his diary, Jefferson wasn’t afraid to admit his fair share of garden failures. It’s been said that he had a holistic view of the garden and knew that the failure of one thing is repaired by the success of another. Jefferson wrote that if he failed


I suggest either the city take down the signs “No U-Turns, No Driveway Turnarounds” on Via Socorro or have those rules enforced as previously done by a motorcycle officer.


No doubt you will get letters defending Darrell Issa’s attitude during his so-called “Town Hall Meeting” over the telephone. I am writing to support Mary’s viewpoint San Clemente Times February 16-22, 2017

99 times out of 100 that one success was worth the 99 failures. After planting his garden, he worked the land with family members, slaves and European workers. A meticulous, obsessive record-keeper, he kept a horticultural diary for 60 years, noting observations such as the degree of frost damage or when seeds were sown. He was always interested in new crops and machinery and searching for more progressive ways to work his plantations. At Monticello, he grew 330 varieties of vegetables, 170 fruit varieties and had amazing gardens bursting with seasonal blooms and bounties of produce. Jefferson’s delight in gardening, which was revealed in his corresponDIRT THERAPY dence with leading horBy Marianne ticulturists worldwide, Taylor brought in wonderful curiosities such as peppers from Mexico, squash and broccoli from Italy, figs from France, and bean varieties collected from the Lewis and Clark expedition. His love for family was equally important. His affectionate letters to his family included sweet tributes to his tulips, strawberries and sugar maples awaiting his arrival back home. Thanks to his experiments with rare and exotic food from around the world, he brought the nation seeds and produce such as sesame seeds, chickpeas, sea kale,

tomatoes and eggplant. As a patriot with a mission and love for his farm, he once wrote, “The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture...” For Jefferson, farming was perhaps the foremost means for social change; he believed that plants could transform society. Toward the end of his life it was difficult for him to walk, so he would tour his farm by horseback to do his daily garden inspections. He found the garden healthful to his body, mind and affairs. “But though an old man, I am but a young gardener.” No matter if you’re young or old, it’s never too late to plant a garden. Take baby steps and start with a small container garden recording your daily observations. Watch your plants progress and see your garden thrive with daily care. Like Jefferson, don’t be afraid of failures—one success is worth any failure. Want to learn more about gardening? Join us for workshops and classes on a variety of subjects. Schedule available at Marianne Taylor, of San Juan Capistrano, is the founder and executive director of Goin Native Therapeutic Gardens, a 501(c)(3) teaching gardening and life skills as a way of empowering, engaging and connecting people. 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

phone 949.388.7700 fax 949.388.9977

HOW TO REACH US CITY EDITOR Eric Heinz, 949.388.7700, x109 SPORTS Steve Breazeale, 949.388.7700, x110 ADVERTISING PRINT AND ONLINE


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


> Susie Lantz (San Clemente)


> Debra Wells (San Juan Capistrano)

Group Managing Editor > Matt Cortina City Editor, SC Times > Eric Heinz City Editor, DP Times > Kristina Pritchett City Editor, The Capistrano Dispatch > Allison Jarrell Sports Editor > Steve Breazeale Special Projects Editor > Andrea Papagianis

from the letter published in the Feb. 9-15 edition of the San Clemente Times. Mr. Issa was dismissive of anyone who did not start their question with praise and congratulations for his recent election victory. If someone expressed concern about an issue that didn’t align with his own opinion, he would abruptly interrupt them with, “What’s your question?” If they sucked up to him, he let them ramble on about their views. I thought the purpose of a town-hall meeting was to listen to constituents’ views, no matter which “side” they are on. Mr. Issa clearly has no interest in listening to anyone who doesn’t agree with his views. He came close to losing his seat this time and he will likely get a rude awakening come the next election if he doesn’t open his doors and ears to the rest of us. And for the record, I disagree with Melissa Schoenwald that the letters you publish should stick to “local” issues. Ev-

erything that happens in Washington, D.C. affects us here in South Orange County. Please keep publishing the letters that we send you—whatever the topic. To submit a letter to the editor for possible inclusion in the paper, e-mail us at San Clemente Times reserves the right to edit readersubmitted 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.

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Join the San Clemente Times for Beachside Chat, Friday, Feb. 17 at 8 a.m. at Café Calypso This week’s guest will be San Clemente City Planner Amber Gregg. Beachside Chat is a spirited, town hall forum on community issues, hosted by SC Times editor Eric Heinz every Friday at Café Calypso, 114 Avenida Del Mar. All are welcome.

ART/DESIGN Art Director > Jasmine Smith ADVERTISING/MULTIMEDIA MARKETING Associate Publisher > Lauralyn Loynes

Real Estate Sales Manager > Michele Reddick OPERATIONS Finance Director > Mike Reed Business Manager > Alyssa Garrett Accounting & Distribution Manager > Tricia Zines SPECIAL THANKS Robert Miller Jonathan Volzke CONTRIBUTORS Megan Bianco Debra Holm Tim Trent Jake Howard

San Clemente Times, Vol. 12, Issue 7. 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 2017. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.




The List

RAINWATER HARVESTING WORKSHOP 10 a.m. Southern California has received a lot of rain, and the forecast is calling for more. Why not check out The Ecology Center’s workshop on harvesting rain? You’ll learn how to set up rain barrels and other rain catchment system types. $20-$30. 32701 Alipaz Street, San Juan Capistrano. 949.443.4223.


What’s going on in and around town this week


Thursday | 16

SATURDAYS AT THE SWALLOW’S INN 2:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. A day of live music kicks off with Family Style at 2:30 p.m., followed by Jimi Nelson at 8:30 p.m. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. 949.493.3188.

SESSIONS AT STILLWATER 7 p.m. Listen to live music when artists from around the world perform together. Stillwater Spirits and Sounds. 24701 Del Prado, Dana Point. 949.661.6003. CASA UP CLOSE: TIMOTHY J. CLARK AND JANET BLAKE 7-8 p.m. Stop by for a talk about the history of the California water color art movement with Janet Blake and Timothy J. Clark. Blake is the Curator of Historical Art at Laguna Art Museum. Clark is a painter whose work resides in permanent collections of the Smithsonian/National Portrait Gallery, the City Museum of New York, and the Library of Congress Works on Paper. Admission is $12 for the general public, $10 for Casa members. Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens. 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente. 949.498.2139. LIVE MUSIC: THE KALAMA BROTHERS 7-10:30 p.m. Listen to live music from The Kalama Brothers at Iva Lee’s. 555 N. El Camino Real, Suite E, San Clemente. 949.361.2855.

Friday | 17 MISSION ART WALK 11 a.m. A docent-guided tour highlighting the art collection of rare paintings related to the Mission’s history. 26801 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano. 949.234.1300.

Photo: File

SATURDAY, FEB. 18: KIDS’ PET PARADE 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The annual Fiesta Association Kids’ Pet Parade invites children ages 5-12 to show off their favorite animals in contests for best team costume (owner and pet), best domestic pet, best exotic pet, best farm animal and best bird. A special “judge’s choice” prize will be awarded, and the winner will have a chance to march in the Swallows Day Parade. There is a $5 entry fee, and entrants are asked to fill out an application beforehand, available at Rain date is Feb. 25. Los Rios Park. 31747 Los Rios St., San Juan Capistrano. 949.493.1976.

LIVE MUSIC: FELISHA 8-11 p.m. Listen to live music from Felisha at Barnoa Wine Bar. 831 Via Suerte, Suite 106, San Clemente. 949.388.4378. www.

Saturday | 18 VALENTINE’S WHALE WATCHING 8 a.m. Join Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari for a Valentine’s weekend cruise. The 2.5-hour cruise includes a complimentary mimosa or glass of Champagne. Special also runs Sunday, Feb. 19. Reservations are requested, and tickets are $65 for adults. 24440 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point. 949.488.2828. www.

GARDENING CLASS: GARDENING FOR BEGINNERS 9 a.m. Stop by Armstrong Garden Center for a class on the basics of gardening. No registration required. 32382 Del Obispo St., San Juan Capistrano. 949.661.6666. FUN FINDING MUSHROOM FUNGI WALK 9 a.m.-noon. Explore the fascinating world of wild mushrooms with amateur mycologist Joanne Schwartz at The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo. Event is rain or shine—and in fact, rain might produce a wide range of fungal forms and species to spot. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for children, and free for members. Reserve your spot. 28811 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano. 949.489.9778.

PAINTING AND WINE 6-8 p.m. Join iHeartYoga for a night of tile painting. Each tile will be used to create a unique tile wall in the store’s retail space dressing room. Light snacks will be provided, and the event is BYOB. Cost is $25 per tile, and space is limited so reserve your tile. 34485 Golden Lantern, Dana Point. 949.363.3152. LIVE MUSIC: BUNCH OF GUYS 7:30-11 p.m. Listen to live music from the band Bunch of Guys at Iva Lee’s. 555 N. El Camino Real, Suite E, San Clemente. 949.361.2855. LIVE MUSIC: THE SHOWKILLERS 8-11 p.m. Listen to live music from The Showkillers at Barnoa Wine Bar. 831 Via Suerte, Suite 106, San Clemente. 949.388.4378.

Sunday | 19 GUIDED NATURE HIKE 8-9:15 a.m. Join an Orange County Parks Ranger for a one-mile hike around Bell Canyon in Caspers Wilderness Park. Parking is $5, the hike is free. 33401 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano. 949.923.2210. (Cont. on page 12)

At the Movies: Washington and Davis Rebuild ‘Fences’ BY MEGAN BIANCO, SAN CLEMENTE TIMES


enzel Washington, much like his Philadelphia (1993) co-star Tom Hanks, is beloved by American audiences, and he is one of the last true movie stars who can get people into theater seats just by name association. He can play it safe a lot of the time, but even when he does, Washington still makes an impact on screen. The movie adaptation of August Wilson’s Tony Award-winning play Fences not only recaptures Washington as the lead actor after his success on Broad-

San Clemente Times February 16-22, 2017

way, but is also his third directing effort. In 1956 Pittsburgh, the Maxson family learns to accept the fact that the head of the family, Troy (Washington), is stubborn and hostile. His wife, Rose (Viola Davis), pushes for him to be more approachable with his sons Lyons (Russell Hornsby) and Cory (Jovan Adepo) and support their dream careers in music and football. But Troy is stuck in the past and thinks the young should get more practical and traditional jobs, while also hiding a secret from Rose. Though Washington surprised everyone

by winning the SAG Award for Best Actor a couple weeks ago, Davis has been the one from the cast singled out by awards circles by controversially being lobbied in the Best Supporting Actress category. Both are stellar reprising the roles they portrayed on stage seven years ago, as is the rest of the small cast. Wilson’s script and the actors are ultimately the reason to see the movie. Washington’s direction here isn’t as interesting as it was with Antwone Fisher (2002), and you can see how Fences is more appropriate on stage than screen. SC

Page 10

Photo: Paramount Pictures

GETTING OUT (Cont. from page 10) BEND AND BREW 11:30 a.m. iHeartYoga holds a Bend & Brew session at Left Coast Brewing Company’s tasting room in San Clemente. It’s a one-hour yoga class followed by a pint of beer. Admission $10. 1245 Puerta Del Sol, San Clemente. 949.363.3152. www.

Monday | 20 FREE GUITAR LESSONS 5-6 p.m. Free acoustic guitar lessons for middle school to college age youth. Guitars provided or students can bring their own. 1040 Calle Negocio, San Clemente. 949.388.0114.

Tuesday | 21 BATTLE OF THE CHEFS TOURNAMENT 6-9 p.m. Waterman’s Harbor hosts the fourth annual Battle of the Chefs Tournament, where top local chefs compete to create the best paella dish. Guests will get to sample all dishes and vote on the winner. Admission is $25. 34661 Golden Lantern, Dana Point. 949.764.3474. www. OPEN MIC NIGHT 6-10 p.m. Singer/songwriters perform at The Point Restaurant open mic every Tuesday. Bring your instrument and your voice; The Point supplies the sound system. 34085 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point. 949.464.5700. KARAOKE AT GOODY’S 8 p.m. Karaoke every Tuesday night at Goody’s Tavern in San Clemente. 206 S. El Camino Real. 949.492.3400.


Wednesday | 22 FRENCH CONVERSATION CLUB 2-4 p.m. Look for the table with the French flag surrounded by a group of people speaking French. No cost to join. Café Calypso. 114 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente. 949.493.5228, or 949.369.5482. MIXOLOGY UNIVERSITY 7 p.m. Every Wednesday, Waterman’s Harbor bartenders and mixology experts teach guests how to make the restaurant’s cocktails. Guests will have the opportunity to make and taste three cocktails. Event is $25. Waterman’s Harbor. 34661 Street of the Golden Lantern, Dana Point. 949.764.3474. CASA WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: TEA BLENDING WORKSHOP 7-8 p.m. Learn about the myriad benefits of tea, practice brewing techniques and sample custom tea blends with Lavender Lounge Tea Company. Participants will create and take home their own blends. Cost is $35. Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens. 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente. 949.498.2139. LIVE MUSIC: THE MOON POLICE 7-10:30 p.m. Listen to live music from The Moon Police at Iva Lee’s. 555 N. El Camino Real, Suite E, San Clemente. 949.361.2855. FREE COMEDY AT MOLLY BLOOM’S 9:30 p.m. Free comedy at Molly Bloom’s with food and drink specials. 2391 S. El Camino Real, San Clemente. 949.218.0120. HAVE AN EVENT? Submit it to San Clemente Times by going to, and clicking “Submit an Event” under the “Getting Out” tab.



hat a Dish feels quintessentially Southern Californian. Diners eat in the open air, on couches or comfy wooden chairs, in the view of the Harbor. Dishes are pretty and fresh; a man drinks Pellegrino. In fact, like so much around here, it nods to Europe, but puts fresh, local ingredients on a pedestal. Lunch options include pastas, soups, salads and a long list of sandwiches, ranging from a shrimp po’boy to a short rib slider to a quesadilla. But the allure of the classic French Dip was too hard to pass up this time. What a Dish’s take on the lunch staple brings together ridiculously tender premium sirloin beef, gruyere cheese, caramelized onions and rosemary in between a chewy loaf of French bread. The au jus to the side is rich, salty, and packed with umami. After Page 12

dipping the sandwich, each bite is pure succulence, with the proud funk of gruyere and savoriness of the beef acting like a warm blanket on a cold day, while the sweet onion and cutting au jus provide just enough balance. What a Dish Café & Catering 24921 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Suite B100, Dana Point. 949.276.4884.

SC SC LIVING San Clemente


GUEST OPINION: Life’s a Beach by Shelley Murphy

High School Lasts Lead to College Firsts


ebruary is the month many people associate with the slinging of arrows from Cupid’s bow, but for some high school seniors and their parents, it’s a month of sitting on collegiate pins and needles. National Signing Day, on Feb. 1, saw 20 senior student-athletes at San Clemente High School committing to attend various universities while sporting their new collegiate colors. Seniors still in limbo stood by watching the ceremony, and it appeared as if they were wishing that they too knew which college sweatshirt they’d be wearing in the fall. My younger son is a college sophomore, but it seems like yesterday he counted himself among the seniors anxiously awaiting a coveted college acceptance letter and fearing a crushing rejection letter. Universities still send their traditional, telltale thick or thin envelopes found in the mailbox, but more often, college applicants first find a message in their inbox announcing their fate. I remember my younger son texting me from class one February morning to tell me he’d finally received an email from a California university announcing his acceptance. His excitement matched my melancholy, and I felt the familiar pit starting to form in my stomach. It wasn’t my first rodeo, and I knew the day’s exciting college welcome would end several months later with a tearful campus goodbye. February finds seniors finishing their last semesters of high school. The remaining months of their school years will be spent celebrating bittersweet milestones and marking the “lasts” of high school. I

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commemorated all of my boys’ sentimental senior lasts: the last prom pictures at Pines Park, the last sports banquet with teammates and the tear-jerking last birthdays at home. Parents with an eye on the calendar know the graduation that once seemed far off in the future is speeding forward like an oncoming freight train. When my boys were seniors and graduation crept closer, I wished I could stop the clock. My boys’ graduations remind me of reading a book that I don’t want to end. I try to slow my reading so the story continues, but I can’t stop turning the pages. I’m so invested in the characters that I need to know what happens to them next. So, I keep reading, and too soon I’ve reached the end of the story. I close the book, yearning for more and certain I’ll never read another book as extraordinary. Then I reluctantly put the book away and begin a new one. I empathize with parents sending their seniors off to school in the fall. When my sons left for college, I worried that I’d become as unnecessary as their old high LIFE’S A BEACH school gym clothes. By Shelley Murphy Each of their college acceptances reminded me that my boys were moving farther away from me and closer to an unfamiliar place where they’d need me less and I’d know them less. Soon they’d be living in dorms with students I wouldn’t know and attending classes I’d probably never hear about. I pined for the days of playdates when I picked their friends and knew more about the details of my sons’ days. Fortunately, my worry proved unnecessary. True, my boys no longer need me for the mundane tasks like finding misplaced keys. But they know they can still count on me to be their sounding board and chief cheerleader. They know I’m ready to answer their phone calls hailing the highs and lamenting the lows. And when they return to the nest, I’m

BIGGER THAN BULLIES The San Clemente High School Dance Team performs its large dance routine at Vista Del Mar Elementary School on Feb. 9 as part of Blue Ribbon Week, an annual campaign to combat and address the issue of bullying in school. Photo: Eric Heinz


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:

there waiting with open arms. My boys still return home lugging a mountain of laundry, or craving a home-cooked meal, or simply seeking comforting support. The college countdown is a conflicting time for parents, one of mixed emotions. The good news is that your kid is about to leave home for college and the bad news is that your kid is about to leave home for college. Soon the agonizing wait felt in February gives way to summer festivities celebrating the lasts of senior year and the start of

See the solution in next week’s issue.

an extraordinary new chapter for students and parents. Shelley Murphy has lived in San Clemente with her husband for the past 17 years, where she raised her two sons. She’s a freelance writer and has been a contributor to the San Clemente 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

Did you know that... • In the year of 2016: Total San Clemente home sales amounted to 914, with an average price tag of $983,744 • Interest rates were in the range of 3.25-3.75 percent in the second half of 2016, while today they are in the 4.25-4.75 percent range • Inventory levels continue to be all-time low, with just 4,320 active listing across Orange County (compared to 7,400 last summer)



Triton Report

Engineering an Offense Blake Birmingham leads the Tritons to third straight league title and into the playoffs


The winter sports programs at San Clemente High School have concluded regular season play, and the playoffs are on deck. All six of the Triton winter programs will be headed to the postseason. For in-game updates, scores, news and more for all of the Triton programs throughout the playoffs, follow us on Twitter @SouthOCsports.



ith so many things going on in his life, it’s hard to understand where Blake Birmingham has time for basketball. The 5-foot-9-inch senior guard is enrolled in several AP and International Baccalaureate classes on campus. He’s in the National Honor Society and Best Buddies program, leader of the Loud Crowd student cheering section, and is the president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He’s also the senior class president, carries a 4.65 GPA and is preparing to study biomedical engineering in college. But somewhere in between his 10-hour days at school, Birmingham has time for basketball. He is the unquestioned leader of the San Clemente High School boys basketball team, where he is averaging a team-high 19 points, three rebounds, two assists and nearly three steals per contest while running the show at the point guard position. Birmingham’s season-long effort helped spark the Tritons to one of their more memorable regular seasons in recent history, which ended with the Tritons winning a third straight South Coast League title on Feb. 7. San Clemente was scheduled to play Downey in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1A Championships on Feb. 15. Results were not available at press time. The Tritons began the year with just a handful of experienced players on the roster, and most of those players would not join the team until the football season was over, which ended up being 11 games into the schedule. Could the Tritons stay above water while they waited for reinforcements? Would they be able to put themselves in position to contend for a playoff spot? Turns out the answer to both of those questions was “yes,” and Birmingham is a big reason why. Birmingham, a sweet-shooting lefty that wants to play for interested schools like MIT, Cal Tech or Johns Hopkins, caught fire early in the season. He scored at least 19 points in his first five games, including 29- and a 37-point efforts in wins over Fullerton and El Dorado on Dec. 1 and Dec. 3, respectively.

San Clemente Times February 16-22, 2017

Phillips’ Secret Weapon Key for Triton Soccer Team

Senior guard Blake Birmingham is averaging a team-high 19 points per game for the San Clemente boys basketball team this season. Photo: Eric Heinz

Through the Tritons first 11 games, Birmingham scored at least 25 points six times, and San Clemente went a respectable 7-4. Birmingham is one of the hardest workers on the team, according to coach Marc Popovich. He was able to get his teammates to rise to the occasion in the early going by mixing his determined work ethic along with a natural positive energy, which never wavers. “Blake is everything. He’s our engine,” Popovich said. “He’s the one that pulls everyone else along with him and makes sure everyone is up to his standards.” Senior guard Roberto Medrano knows all too well Birmingham’s ability to motivate. Medrano met Birmingham when the two were in seventh grade. They became fast friends and have been on the same club and high school basketball team ever since. They’re gym rats and have spent hours practicing against each other at the local 24-Hour Fitness, constantly striving to develop their games. “I’ve always used Blake as a measuring stick (for myself) in practice,” said Medrano, who is averaging nearly 10 points per game. “On the court he’s very competitive. His demeanor resonates with the rest of the team and everyone feeds off of it. He makes us want to play harder because you know he’s going to be playing his best 24/7.” Before games, Birmingham’s mind is in a state of constant visualization.

He thinks about the game plan, what his shots will look like, or how he wants to run the pick and roll so when he steps onto the court, he’s ready for any scenario. When he’s not in scoring mode, he’s always scanning the floor looking to get his teammates going or looking for the right spot to be in when the defense rotates. “I’ve been taught to always think two steps ahead,” Birmingham said. “During games I try to see things before they happen.” There have been countless times this season when Birmingham’s smarts and basketball IQ equated into a positive play for the Tritons. The last three minutes of the Tritons’ final game of the regular season on Feb. 10 is as good an example as any. Mission Viejo was up on the Tritons for most of the game, but a late 3-point barrage by Rex put San Clemente up by four with about a minute to go. Birmingham received an inbounds pass and was fouled, and he went to the free throw line. He calmly knocked down both shots, increasing the lead to six. Instead of trailing back and setting up in a half-court defense, he stood his ground. He hung back and dove headfirst for a lazy inbounds pass that was rolling on the ground toward the Diablos’ point guard. Birmingham scooped it up, rolled onto his back and called timeout, putting the game out of reach for good. It wasn’t the most memorable play of the game, and it didn’t put any points on the board, but it was the play the Tritons needed at that moment. In other words, it was a Blake Birmingham play. SC

Page 16

During a recent practice, San Clemente girls soccer coach Lauren Leslie had her team play a game called the “Crossbar Challenge.” Each player lined up 10 yards out from the goal and was tasked with trying to kick a ball into the top crossbar. If a player made contact, they got to move back another 10 yards. Whoever went the farthest won the game. Senior midfielder Victoria Phillips’ specialty is her ability to pinpoint her free kicks, and during the challenge, she didn’t miss. Phillips clanked home four consecutive shots off the crossbar and ended up a whopping 40 yards from the goal. Phillips’ ability to turn any spot near the opposing goal into a scoring chance has been evident this season, and she has quickly become one of the Tritons’ secret weapons. She has scored all four of her goals this season off direct free-kicks, and three of those goals came in decisive league games. After their first rotation through South Coast League play the Tritons’ record stood at 2-2, and they were in the hunt for a playoff spot. Over the final four games, San Clemente went 2-1-1 and defeated a talented Tesoro team 3-0 in the final game of the regular season on Feb. 8 to clinch second place and a playoff berth. The Tritons (9-8-4, 4-3-1 league) will travel to play Esperanza in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1 Championships on Feb. 16. Phillips’ emergence as a key contributor on this resilient Triton squad almost never happened. As a junior on the varsity team in 2015, Phillips did not get much playing time. She was playing club soccer as well, but was discouraged by her teams’ results. The wins, and breaks on the field, just weren’t going her way. Frustrated with where she was at, she contemplated quitting her senior season. (Cont. on page 21)

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June Kelley June Kelley of Santa Barbara, formerly of San Clemente, passed away on 1/28/2017, surrounded by her family. June was born in Cleveland, Ohio to June Kasa Gombar and Albert Gombar. She graduated from Ursuline College and received her Master’s Degree at the University of LaVerne. After meeting in college, June married the love of her life, John F. Kelley in 1953. They were happily married for 63 years. June worked for KYW-TV in Cleveland for the Mike Douglas Show. She worked as a Certified Travel Consultant for 30 years and

she and John traveled all around the world. June loved skiing, golf, and took flying lessons. She and John volunteered at San Clemente Hospital. June was an active member of the San Clemente Area Republican Women’s Federation (SCARWF) holding the position of President. June was a Lector and Eucharistic Minister at Our Lady of Fatima for many years. June is survived by her husband, John and their children: Gail Murray (Thomas) of Santa Barbara, Jan Roberts (Glen) of Clovis, Gwen Curran (Frank) of Fairfield, and Brian Kelley of Rancho Cucamonga, grandsons, Matthew Long and David Long of San Francisco, Randall Leong and Garrett Leong of Santa Barbara and brother, Albert Gombar of Phoenix.


Submit your classified ad at FOR RENT OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE Counseling or Massage Therapist office available in a 4 office suite in San Clemente. Suite includes waiting room, kitchenette, and bathroom. $400/month. For inquiries contact Lucy (949) 291-1915 OPEN HOUSE FOR RENT IN THE COAST 2-18-17 Beautiful 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with view FOR RENT. Located at: 705 CALLE AMABLE, SAN CLEMENTE CA 92673. Rent: $3450 per month, plus deposit. Family room, Living Room, Formal Dining area, separate washer and dryer room, 2 car garage. Peggy 951-787-9832 or

GARAGE SALES FORSTER RANCH COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE Saturday, March 4, 2017 8am-12 pm. X st’s Camino Vera Cruz and Camino De Los Mares ESTATE SALE / GARAGE SALE Saturday 2/18. 7 am to 2 pm rain or shine. Furniture, bikes, dishes, kitchen items, books, clothing, collectables and nick knacks. 818 Calle Mendoza, San Clemente. GARAGE SALE LISTINGS ARE FREE!

Email your listing to Deadline 5pm Monday. No phone calls.

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San Clemente Times February 16–22, 2017

Page 19


San Clemente’s Victoria Phillips has scored four goals off direct free kicks this season. Photo: Steve Breazeale

(Cont. from page 16) On the first day of practice, she approached Leslie, a first-year head coach, and decided she needed some time to reevaluate her priorities. It took her a month, but Phillips eventually decided to rejoin the team with a fresh mindset. She was not going to dwell on the end result anymore. Instead, she wanted to focus on having fun while playing with her best friends. “Out here we just make a second family and I realized I was missing that part of me,” Phillips said. “I was just in the wrong mindset. I wasn’t having fun because I wasn’t allowing myself to realize I’m playing the sport I love.” The month she took off was the longest Phillips had ever been away from the game. While she kept in shape during the time off, she had to learn to adjust to the flow of in-game competition. She eventually earned the starting center midfielder spot and has remained a fixture in the lineup. “Ever since she came back she’s been a leader. She came back in 100 percent,” Leslie said. “Without her we wouldn’t be in second place.” As the season progressed, an opportunity popped up that Phillips was not expecting. Ian Woodhead, the head soccer coach at Santiago Canyon College, came calling, asking if Phillips was interested in playing for his well-known community college program. After a trip to visit the campus in Orange, Phillips decided she wanted to continue playing at the collegiate level and will attend Santiago Canyon College next fall. The road through the CIF-SS Division 1 soccer playoffs is always tough, and Phillips and the Tritons are now intensely

focused on what is in front of them, and that is an Esperanza (17-3-1, 5-1) team that finished first in the Crestview League and has lost only three matches all year.

Girls Hoops Survives Wild Playoff Scenario The San Clemente girls basketball team found itself in a confusing postseason scenario after going 4-4 in South Coast League competition. The Tritons played well in the tough league, but ended up in a three-way tie for second along with El Toro and Tesoro. San Clemente (14-12, 4-4) won a coin flip tiebreaker and was awarded second place and a playoff berth. San Clemente was awarded a first-round bye in the CIFSS Division 3AA Championships and will play Trabuco Hills (17-8, 8-0) in the second round on Feb. 18.

Water Polo Enters CIF-SS First Round The San Clemente girls water polo team was scheduled to play San Marcos on the road in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1 Championships on Feb. 15. Results were not available at press time.

Boys Soccer Travels to Sunny Hills After placing third in the South Coast League, the San Clemente boys soccer team will travel to play Sunny Hills in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs on Feb. 17.

WE WANT TO RUN YOUR SCORES, RESULTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS IN “SCOREBOARD.” E-mail, fax 949.388.9977, mail or drop off the information to us at 34932 Calle del Sol, Capistrano Beach, CA 92624 by each Monday at 5 p.m. San Clemente Times February 16-22, 2017

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SC San Clemente




Marissa Shaw, a former surf team captain at San Clemente High School, is back competing on the waves after receiving her nursing degree. Photo: Courtesy

Back in the Game

After chasing an education, Marissa Shaw is back to chasing waves BY JAKE HOWARD, SAN CLEMENTE TIMES


ontiki Beach is a long way from T Street, but for Marissa Shaw, the circuitous road back to pro surfing has led her through the Holy Land. At the end of January, Shaw landed in Netanya, Israel, for the SEAT Pro Netanya, a World Surf League Qualifying Series contest. Perhaps surprising to everyone but herself, she took second place. A former team captain on the San Clemente High School surf team, Shaw pursued a job as a city lifeguard after graduating, which then led her into the field of emergency medicine. At San Diego State Univer-

sity, the combination of a full course load and captaining the college surf team placed huge demands on her time. Eventually forced to choose between chasing waves or chasing a career as a registered nurse, she opted to walk away from competitive surfing and hit the books. “The School of Nursing coursework required an incredible level of dedication and commitment to complete,” said Shaw. “I would not have the letters ‘RN, BSN’ behind my name without the support of a few key friends and my family.” With degree in hand, Shaw did the same thing every college graduate tries to do:

get a job. And she did. And for a while she played it straight, but the romance of surfing is hard to fight and the itch to throw on a jersey was too great to resist. After watching girls she grew up competing against thrive on the international level—including women’s world champ Carissa Moore, as well as California standouts Courtney Conlogue and Lakey Peterson—Shaw decided to get back into the game. “Seeing all the girls I grew up competing with on the CT now is really cool,” said Shaw. “They were 100 percent committed from the start, and it’s inspiring to see where that took them. I know I’m a few years behind them because I did my detour going to school and all that, but I don’t know. It could still happen.” Of course, it could still happen. Heck, Kelly Slater turned 45 this week and he’s still swinging away. Shaw’s a spry 25 years old. She has plenty of runway left. “Originally I wanted to get into the Shoe City Pro in Huntington but I couldn’t, so I signed up for here,” she said from the sand in Israel. “My problem for now is not having enough points to get in most contests, so I’m signing up for as many events as possible.” Chasing WSL points doesn’t come cheap. Plane tickets, accommodations, new boards—they all cost money. As such, Shaw’s willing to put her savings on the line to make it all happen. “I’m going off of savings and I knew that coming into it,” she said. “Whatever prize money I get goes into it, and I’m trying to be as budget-friendly as possible. It was either take a chance and do this, or just keep going to work every day for the rest of my life.” Life’s short. Money comes and goes, but as Shaw’s learned, if you don’t take a few chances you may end up relegated to the same commute for the next 30 years. SC



ometimes it’s not the final result, but who you beat along the way. Last week, Griffin Colapinto finished third in the Volcom Pipeline Pro, which is reason enough to celebrate, but considering that he beat a couple of giants of the sport along the way, well, that’s something special. In the semifinals in tricky Pipeline conditions, Colapinto drew reigning world champion John John Florence; who’s also won the contest multiple times and is considered by most pundits to be the best Pipe surfer on the planet. Needless to say, the odds were not in Colapinto’s favor. In the dying seconds of the heat, Florence maintained a slim lead on Colapinto, but as is so often the case in competitive surfing, in the end it came down to Colapinto being in the right place at the right time. A set steamed through the lineup. Colapinto paddled into a gem, locked into a huge Backdoor barrel and came flying out with the spit. The judges threw him a 7.37 score for the effort, which was enough to upset Florence and earn a spot in the final. In the end, it was Australian Soli Bailey that took the win, with former world champ Adriano De Souza taking second, Colapinto in third, and onetime Pipe Master Bruce Irons rounding things out in forth. SC

Water Temperature: 57-59 degrees F Water Visibility and Conditions: San Clemente: 5-7’ Poor-Fair Catalina: 15’ Fair



San Clemente Times February 16-22, 2017



GROM OF THE WEEK urfing keeps all of us young, which might be why we get so stoked when we see a kid the size of a remote-control surfer jamming down the line. Meet six-year-old Bodhi Adam. Already a San Clemente regular, he’s been surfing since he was three and a half. His favorite spots include T Street, Middles, and when he wants to escape the confines of the city limits, he knows how to weasel a ride down to Oceanside from his old man, Ryan Aguilar. “He gets super stoked on dawn patrol sessions with dad, watching John Florence get barreled, and kicking out of a really long wave,” said Aguilar, who’s also an advocate for building a new skatepark in San

Colapinto Finishes Third at Volcom Pipe Pro

Thursday: New WNW swell on the rise with some small South swell mixing in. Look for mainly waist-shoulder high (3-4’) surf with some plus sets at standouts, especially in the afternoon/evening. Light winds early, then light+ onshore flow builds into the afternoon.

Photo: Courtesy

Clemente. “He also likes steep drops and looking in pictures to see if his turns got any ‘spit’—what he calls the spray.” Young Bodhi’s favorite board is a custom shape from local board builder Cole

Simler. And when he’s not in the water, you might find him rolling around on four wheels. “He gets pretty stoked on skateboarding too,” said Aguilar. Page 22

Outlook: Decent size west-northwest swell mix has head high to overhead+ (4-7’) surf in the water through the weekend while secondary South swell mixes in. Winds/conditions likely an issue for most areas. Be sure to check the full premium forecast on Surfline for more details and the longer range outlook.

February 16, 2017  

San Clemente Times

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