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March 15-21, 2018




Future Female Marines Get First Look at Military Life PAGE 4 VOLUME 13, ISSUE 11

Acjachemen Came Here First Panhe celebration takes place Sunday, March 18 at San Mateo Campground EYE ON SC/PAGE 7

A young girl watches the performances at last year’s Panhe. Photo: File

San Clemente Insurance Agent Arrested for Allegedly Defrauding Seniors EYE ON SC/PAGE 3

Flag Retirement, Veterans Services Undertaken by New Organization SC LIVING/PAGE 16

Local Surfers Dominating on Every Level of the Surf Games SC SURF/PAGE 22


SC EYE ON SC San Clemente

LOCAL NEWS & IN-DEPTH REPORTING has not been established. The city is also working with OCTA to extend a contract for an additional year, which would end Dec. 31, 2019, Frank said. —EH

San Clemente High School Students Join National Walkout to Protest Gun Violence THE LATEST: At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14, students from San Clemente High School (SCHS) participated in the national walkout day to protest gun violence. The national walkout was spurred by the mass shooting on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead. The protesters urged federal and state representatives to push for stricter gun laws and to ban AR-15 guns, which are exceptionally lethal and designed for war, but licensed gun owners can obtain them in certain states.

Jackson Hinkle, a senior at San Clemente High School, emcees a walkout at the school on Wednesday, March 14. The demonstration was part of a nationwide call to reform gun laws to make school campuses safer. Photo: Eric Heinz

What’s Up With... Five things San Clemente should know this week Lyft Program Could Get a Lift in Near Future THE LATEST: The Lyft rideshare program installed by the city of San Clemente in 2016 could get some upgrades in the near future. “We’ve been working to establish ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) services and wheelchair vehicle rides and call center services,” said Tom Frank, the city’s transportation engineering manager. Two new services are to be introduced to include a number, 1.844.440.4672, for people who don’t have smart phones to call for a ride, and the city is looking to contract with San Clemente Times March 15-21, 2018

Butterfli, a company that assists senior citizens with transportation. Frank said the Lyft program has been receiving between 50 and 100 calls for rides per day using the promotional code. Frank said the city was made aware of some issues regarding the discount code that was offered through Lyft to reduce rides to about the same cost as it was to ride the bus throughout town. In 2016, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) discontinued the 191 and 193 service routes, which went through San Clemente and parts of San Juan Capistrano to Saddleback College. The current discounts only apply within the city of San Clemente borders. “It is a real issue; Lyft put a 500 count (ride) limit on the coupons,” Frank said. “They put in 500 to limit just in case someone decided to take 10,000 rides a day.” Frank said the city is going to increase that limit so people who regularly use the service can use it more frequently. WHAT’S NEXT: Frank said the city is looking to launch the new services in the coming weeks, but a concrete date

WHAT’S NEXT: As the event took place during the San Clemente Times deadline, extended coverage in the print edition was not possible this week. For an extended story, photos and interviews, visit —EH

CA Dept. of Insurance: San Clemente Insurance Agent Arrested for Defrauding Elderly People THE LATEST: The California Department of Insurance announced Monday afternoon, March 12 that Mark Malatesta, 55, of San Clemente, was arrested for his alleged contributions in defrauding “elderly” residents of Orange County in a $1.6 million scheme. “Malatesta, a licensed insurance agent at the time, allegedly exploited at least six elderly consumers by falsifying information on annuity applications and netted more than $135,000 in illegal commissions,” the release stated. “Malatesta faces a range of other charges.” According to Orange County Superior Court Records, Malatesta has been charged with dozens of felonies related to elder abuse, fraud, property damage of more than $1.3 million, aggravated white-collar crime in excess of $500,000, burglary and more. The Department of Insurance suspended Malatesta’s license following his arrest. “When insurers canceled the new investments, they refunded the $1,616,897 in deposits when they rePage 3

funded the victims,” the release stated. Further in its release, the Department of Insurance stated its investigation found Malatesta convinced his “senior” victims to terminate their investments, “causing them to lose a total of $45,000 in surrender penalties,” the release stated. “In a classic churning scheme, Malatesta then sold them new annuities for which they did not qualify due to their advanced age. The fraudulent investments were canceled by the insurers once they discovered Malatesta provided false information.” According to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), “churning” is when brokers buy and sell at an unusual rate and capitalize on the commission for exchanges. How that relates to Malatesta’s charges is because the clients were described as “elderly” and it’s likely the investigation stemmed from life insurance policies. “It’s a common scam that targets seniors,” said Nancy Kincaid, a spokesperson for the Department of Insurance. “They convince someone to buy an annuity, and a little while into it they suggest they can make more on a different vehicle. They don’t tell them there are surrender penalties. The agents who sell these often make six-figure commissions, and it costs seniors a lot of money.” An annuity is a life insurance investment product that pays dividends. Some insurance agents have additional certifications for planners and sell securities that the department of Insurance doesn’t regulate but could exist, Kincaid said. “This isn’t unusual in places like Orange County because they’re retirement communities in the area and baby boomers who are sitting targets,” Kincaid said. Matters are further complicated in the allegations again Malatesta, as the Orange County District Attorney’s office confirmed he was arrested in 1996 on a misdemeanor child pornography possession, to which charges he entered a plea and was sentenced with a misdemeanor. The details of the case were not readily available on Tuesday, as it’s a more than 20-year-old case. Kincaid said agents are required to disclose of any convictions when they apply or renew their license, and Malatesta did not. “Certain things need to be disclosed to the department and financial crimes, but according to our licensing folks, this should have been disclosed,” she said.

(Cont. on page 4)


Her Future

(Cont. from page 3) A 1996 article by the Los Angeles Times with descriptions matching Malatesta stated he was arrested and found with a gun in his car in Huntington Beach on Oct. 19, 1996. The Times article also stated Malatesta was a retirement planner at the time of his arrest. Malatesta has been a licensed broker of life insurance policies for a number of providers since 1992, according to Department of Insurance records. His latest license approval may have been as early as a “life-only” policy for Great American Life Insurance Company issued on Aug. 9, 2016. The case is being prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Kincaid said Malatesta was an independent insurance broker at the time of his 2018 arrest. WHAT’S NEXT: The booking log on the Orange County Sheriff’s Department website shows that Malatesta is currently in custody and was scheduled for arraignment on Wednesday, March 14. The release from the Department of Insurance did not specify the age range of the victims allegedly involved. The Department of Insurance also has tips for people to avoid insurance fraud, which can be found online in this article at The department is asking people if they had accounts or transactions with Malatesta to call them at 1.800.927.4357. —Eric Heinz

City’s Coastal Land Use Plan Now Open for Public Comment THE LATEST: Following the California Coastal Commission’s (CCC) approval of the city of San Clemente’s draft comprehensive land use plan (LUP) on Feb. 8, the city announced that the draft document is now available for public comment. San Clemente’s local coastal plan includes a variety of issues that members of the public addressed over at least the last two and a half years. Such topics included beach access, the ability to alter and protect existing coastal structures, short-term lodging provisions and more. The CCC submitted the document back to the city with suggested modifications that the city will consider. WHAT’S NEXT: The CCC-modified and approved LUP is now available for a six-week public review period on the city’s website. “Following the close of the public review period, the City Council will conduct a future public hearing, tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, May 1, to consider adoption of the CCC modified and approved LUP,” a press release from the city stated. “Public comments on the LUP may be emailed to Carl Stiehl, Senior Planner for San ClemSan Clemente Times March 15-21 2018

Female Marines experience first days in service BY ERIC HEINZ, SAN CLEMENTE TIMES

I Dozens of people gathered on March 4 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Heritage Christian Fellowship in San Clemente. Photo: Courtesy of Theresa Matarazzo

ente or by mail to the Planning Services Division, Attn: Carl Stiehl, 910 Calle Negocio, Suite 100, San Clemente, CA 92673 by April 20, 2018.” Should the city accept the changes and its further suggestions are accepted by the CCC, the city will then begin putting together an implementation plan for the provisions of the LUP. —EH

Heritage Christian Fellowship Celebrates 25th Anniversary THE LATEST: Heritage Christian Fellowship (HCF) has been more than a church for the San Clemente community for the past quarter century. It has been a hub for helping children in Pakistan, bringing men together to pledge to do good work, a center of charitable functions and more. On March 4, the church hosted a service and lunch to celebrate its 25 years of serving San Clemente, and impacting people around the world. “Many people from that first meeting in Capo Beach were there to celebrate what God has done,” said Roger Gales, the pastor of HCF. “It’s been a wonderful 25 years and we’re looking forward to even better things in the future.” According to a press release from HCF, a handful of people began meeting in a living room in 1993 in Capistrano Beach, led by Jim Glynn. The church now has several hundred people in its congregation. “The people of Heritage have enjoyed giving hope and healing to some of the neediest people on the planet,” Gales said. “It’s always our desire to share the love and message of Jesus with others.” WHAT’S NEXT: Congregants regularly host community picnics and activities in Max Berg Park. The church offers free music lessons, a summer vacation bible school and a surf camp. Groups regularly visit a convalescent home to bring friendly faces, music and connection to the elderly. For more information on Heritage Christian Fellowship, visit —For the San Clemente Times

t was still and silent as fog crept in over the barracks at the military training base of Camp Pendleton in Oceanside. At 0400 hours (4 a.m.), that tranquil environment was abruptly enlivened. “Good morning ladies! Let’s go!” The stern and sharp voice of a drill instructor breaks the silence, commanding the future female Marines, who were at the training facilities in Oceanside for their first of two days. About 150 women who were experiencing their first full day as part of the U.S. Marine Corps rapidly descended the stairs from their sleeping quarters. It’s evident some of the fresh faces are not used to being awoken in such a matter so early in the morning, but that will change. It must, if they’re going to succeed in this line of work. Camp Pendleton officials invited members of the media to view the introduction March 10. Sgt. Major Jason Politte of the Marine Corps Recruiting Station in Orange County, said the two-day introductory courses are designed to prepare the new Marines mentally and physically for what lies ahead. “Specifically for this training, they arrived last night on Edson Range for some classes to mentally and physically prepare them for recruit training,” Politte said. “It’s exposure to drill instructors. We flew these drill instructors out from Parris Island, South Carolina to expose our female recruits to what it’s going to be like over a 24-hour period.”

The training that takes place encompasses a sample of what the newly joined Marines will encounter. Most of the drill instructors in the USMC are stationed on the East Coast. “This teaches them about resiliency and how much they really know about themselves,” Politte said. “(They go through) a little bit of sleep deprivation, which I’m sure quite a few of them haven’t done before, or at least not in a long time.” Sgt. Jessica Quezada, a combat correspondent and spokesperson for USMC who is the marketing and public affairs representative for Marine Corps Recruiting Station Orange, said this process is known as part of the “delayed entry program” before the future Marines are sent to formal training. The delayed entry program can be used up to 365 days and USMC wants at least 30 days of delayed entry. This includes initial strength tests for both men and women. Psychological evaluations are also conducted to make sure someone is fit for the Marine Corps. “There’s an extensive process,” Quezada said. Quezada said this was the first time all Southern California recruiting stations have come together for a female “poolee” (future Marines) function. She said functions take place throughout the year, but there are female-specific initial training sessions. “I figured, I couldn’t just not go,” said one future female Marine who graduated from Trabuco Hills High School. She said she has really enjoyed her time thus far in the USMC. Following the morning drills, the future Marines went through a leadership reaction course with 12 different stalls with different objectives that included problem solving and accuracy. According to Camp Pendleton officials, 6.7 percent of the Marine Corps is comprised of women. SC

A drill instructor tests the future female Marines’ knowledge of the USMC early Saturday morning, March 10 at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside. Photo: Eric Heinz

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Community Meetings


SOCGEMS to Host Amber and Salt Historian Denise Nelson “Poland’s Treasures, Amber and Salt” is the Wednesday, March 21 presentation of the nonprofit South Orange County Gem and Mineral Society (SOCGEMS), by gemologist Denise Nelson, a graduate of the Gemological Institute of America and an appraiser. Nelson will show slides and discuss her recent trip to Poland where she sought to uncover the historical significance of amber and its increasing popularity in a world where it has often been misrepresented. She will relate her experiences at the famous Baltic amber sites, home to the largest deposit of amber from 44 million years ago. Nelson will bring amber pieces acquired during her trip. Classified as an organic gemstone, amber is fossilized tree resin and has been appreciated for its beauty and range of color since Neolithic times. Amber is commonly gold or yellow, but is also found as white, green, red, blue, orange or black. Nelson is also a genealogist and has spent many years researching and studying the history of gems and jewelry. She has traveled to 38 countries to research historical jewelry, visited mining areas and bought gemstones, pearls and jewelry for her customers. She is the owner of Inner Circle Fine Jewelry and Appraisal Services. The event takes place at 7:15 p.m. on March 21 at the San Clemente Community Center, located at 100 N. Calle Seville. SOCGEMS meetings are held the third Wednesday of the month. Hospitality, refreshments, a raffle and brief business meeting precede the programs, which begin at 8 p.m. Guests are welcome at no charge. Members are invited to field trips, special auctions, classes in lapidary, Junior Rock Hound activities and more. For more information, visit

Mom2Mom Marketplace to be Held on March 24 San Clemente Presbyterian Church and Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPs) is hosting the second annual Mom2Mom Marketplace from 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday, March 24 at San Clemente Presbyterian Church, 119 Avenida De La Estrella, San Clemente. The 40-vendor San Clemente Times March 15-21, 2018


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

SUNRISE ROTARY 7:15 a.m. San Clemente Sunrise Rotary meets every Tuesday at Talega Golf Course Signature Grille. 990 Avenida Talega.

A specimen is petrified in amber. South Orange County Gem and Mineral Society (SOCGEMS) will host an event on Wednesday, March 21 at the San Clemente Community Center featuring an amber and salt expert. Photo: Courtesy of SOCGEMS

showcase will include handmade crafts, mom-owned businesses and a children’s resale marketplace selling gently used clothes, toys and gear. Tickets will be sold at the door for $5, and all proceeds benefit MOPs at the church. To pre-purchase tickets for $3 or for more information, visit Mom2Mom Marketplace on Facebook or Instagram @mom2momsc.

Orange County ClerkRecorder to Host Annual Passport Day April 14 Orange County Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen will host Passport Day in Santa Ana for people in need of new passports or need to renew passports. The workshop will take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14 at the Old County Courthouse in Santa Ana, located at 211 W. Santa Ana Boulevard, Santa Ana. Only passport services and birth certificates will be available on this day. Appointments for passport applications are recommended but not necessary due to an anticipated increase in demand for services. Walk-ins are welcome. To save time, passport applications can be completed in advance online at Passports for people age 16 and older cost $145, made in two separate payments: a check or money order for $110 made payable to the U.S. Department of State and a separate processing fee of $35 paid with cash, a credit/debit card or a check or money order payable to the Orange County Clerk-Recorder De-

partment. For those under age 16, the cost is $115 made in two separate payments: a check or money order for $80 made to the U.S. Department of State and a separate processing fee of $35 paid with cash, a credit/debit card or a check or money order payable to the Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department. Passport photos will be available on the spot for $10.

Wellness & Prevention Center Raises $10,000 for Services The Wellness & Prevention Center, which assists teenagers and the community in combating substance abuse habits as well as counseling students, hosted a “Friend Raiser” event to raise funds for its services. “Your generosity last night makes a huge difference in our community,” the Wellness & Prevention Center posted on Facebook on March 6. “We are so pleased that you made the choice to be part of a community that cares about the health and futures of our youth. We met our fundraising goal of $10,000!” The center is still accepting donations to support mental health services at San Clemente High School. For more information, visit

Have something interesting for the community? Send your information to by Monday the week of publication. Page 6

CITY COUNCIL MEETING 6 p.m. The San Clemente City Council will host its regularly scheduled meeting. City Hall, 100 Avenida Presidio, San Clemente. 949.361.8200. BILY MEETING 7-9 p.m. Meets every Tuesday. Because I Love You (BILY) 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. WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21

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. PUBLIC SAFETY TASK FORCE MEETING 4 p.m. The Public Safety Task Force will review, discuss and analyze data to achieve consensus on recommendations for potential implementation measures related to police services. San Clemente Community Center, 100 N. Calle Seville. 949.361.8200. PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 6 p.m. The San Clemente Planning Commission will host its regularly scheduled meeting. City Hall, 100 Avenida Presidio, San Clemente. 949.361.8200.


Acjachemen Came Here First Panhe celebration enters 12th year honoring native cultures BY ERIC HEINZ, SAN CLEMENTE TIMES


riginal human habitants of the San Mateo watershed and South Orange County lived a peaceful life, dating as far back as 9,000 years. Archeologists and anthropologists determined the first settlement of the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians of the Acjachemen Nation in this region was located in what is now designated as San Onofre State Beach and the surrounding areas. Today, the Acjachemen gather with other people of native heritage to celebrate their cultures and to maintain the history of their lineage. Most importantly, it’s a reminder to take care of the earth and to respect its finite resources. Panhe: A Native Gathering will feature various historical lessons and an insight as to what life was like in the area thousands of years ago. The event will take place on Sunday, March 18. Steve Long, the former superintendent of San Onofre, San Clemente and Doheny State Beaches, said the Acjahemen live all around what is now San Clemente in a lush valley that provided plenty for them. “Protecting and preserving the area that we know with absolute certainty was their homeland is paramount to the event,” Long said. “It’s sacred ground and is still used as a spot to visit when a loved one passes.” According to the Juaneño Band on Mission Indians website, cultures started to form around 2000 B.C. “In California, language is often a good clue to origins,” according to the website. “It is interesting to note, then, that linguists believe many of the northern Hokan speakers became isolated from each other around 2500 to 2000 B.C.” For more information on the history of the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians of the Acjachemen Nation, visit www. “They likely had interplay with the other tribes that had plank-like boats that traveled to other islands,” Long said. “They were very gentle people, not warlike at all. Their encounter with

San Clemente Times March 15-21, 2018

Steve Garcia performs the Eagle Dance, which he displays each year at Panhe. Photo: File

Western civilization, unfortunately, had an outcome similar to native cultures all over this nation. The settler mentality came through and didn’t respect the existing cultures.” On behalf of California State Parks, Long said the public entity is always honored to share the event each year in March. “Their culture has survived. There are descendants who still live in the area who can trace their lineage back to the Mission in San Juan Capistrano,” Long said. “This is a gathering to celebrate all Native American cultures. There will be singers and dancers who represent a number of California’s Native American communities.” Long said the land is also important for its biological makeup, a coastal sage area that he said is diminishing along the state and has been for some time. He said it’s a concentrated area with several endangered species and as a watershed must be protected. “The message of Panhe is about coming together to celebrate the cultural aspect, but we will also have people talking about native plants and talking about the birds, the hawks and everything,” Long said. “It’s a cross section that gives you the big picture. The event probably wouldn’t be happening if the community hadn’t been so involved.” Panhe is sandwiched between many dif-

ferent factions and issues. It’s located right across the way from San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), which just started the contentious process of storing spent nuclear fuel onsite. It’s also located where a toll road was planned to go, but after a settlement was reached in 2016 between the Save San Onofre Coalition and the Transportation Corridor Agencies, it seems that Panhe will be off limits to that. Then there’s also the question of the lease agreement between the California State Parks and the Department of the Navy, the lease holder of the park land. Almost 50 years ago, a $1 lease was agreed upon to dedicate the area as a state park. That agreement ends in 2021, and the San Onofre Parks Foundation has established a task force to examine possible outcomes and strategies to continue the lease into the next 50 years. “We had two presidents have their hand in creating (the parks), President Nixon and then-Gov. Ronald Reagan,” Long said. The Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps could use the land for training again if they chose to do so, but Long said the military factions recognize the importance of the land and have been speaking with State Parks officials. “Panhe is a place where a story is told that’s right at our doorstep,” Long said. “It’s a celebration of protection and preservation.” SC

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What’s Happening The celebration at Panhe will feature educational booths, history lessons of the area, performers from regional Native American nations, food, children’s activities and more. Panhe takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 18 at the San Mateo Campground at San Onofre State Beach. A free shuttle will run every 20 minutes from Concordia Elementary School, located at 3120 Avenida Del Presidente, for overflow parking. The event is sponsored by the United Coalition to Protect Panhe and the San Onofre Parks Foundation, in partnership with California State Parks. For more information, call the San Onofre Parks Foundation at 949.366.8599. For a complete event schedule, additional information, membership and volunteer opportunities, visit

SC SOAPBOX San Clemente


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

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


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

PICKET FENCE MEDIA PUBLISHER Norb Garrett EDITORIAL Group Managing Editor > Rachael Mattice City Editor, SC Times > Eric Heinz City Editor, DP Times > Daniel Ritz City Editor, The Capistrano Dispatch > Emily Rasmussen

Real Estate Sales Executive > Jennifer Guy ART/DESIGN Art Director > Jasmine Smith Graphic Designer > Chelsie Rex OPERATIONS Finance Director > Mike Reed

Sports Editor > Zach Cavanagh

General Manager > Alyssa Garrett

Special Projects Editor > Andrea PapagianisCamacho

Accounting & Distribution Manager > Tricia Zines



Associate Publisher > Lauralyn Loynes > Susie Lantz (San Clemente) > Debra Wells (San Juan Capistrano)

CONTRIBUTORS Megan Bianco Victor Carno Tim Trent Jake Howard

San Clemente Times, Vol. 13, Issue 11. The SC Times (www. ) is published weekly by Picket Fence Media, publishers of the Dana Point Times (www. and The Capistrano Dispatch (www. 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 2018. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.



San Clemente Times March 15-21, 2018

Burying the Evidence of Spent Nuclear Fuel


s the endless news cycle of television, media outlets and social media engulfs us every day, we are caught in a dilemma: ignore the information we are being bombarded with (and remain ignorant of the issues) or wade in deep and try to determine the critical concerns from the frivolous entertainments. Our attention span is our worst enemy—most coverage of any subject is only visible in the last seven to 14 days at best, then it’s on to the next “big thing.” It may be our undoing: For the south coast tri-city residents, one would think the storage of lethal nuclear waste in our backyard and an eight-lane superhighway through the middle of our neighborhoods would be imperative emergency news topics. Yet the media, the citizens and the local municipalities seem to have contracted amnesia. We are watching Southern California Edison put 3.55 million pounds of spent nuclear fuel rods in containers less than 100 yards from the cliffs at San Onofre State Beach—an area which just this last year lost as much as 10 yards of beachfront from erosion. The public was not informed enough despite the meetings

that were held and less than a handful of news articles. The canisters are guaranteed to be safe for not more than 25 years (Edison’s estimate) before they might leak straight into one of Southern California’s premier surf and beach recreation parks visited by over a million people a year. No one will be able to tell if they might be leaking long before that because these toxic time bombs will be encased, covered and out of sight. It is literally a case of burying the evidence. Then there is the WAVELENGTHS Transportation Corridor By Jim Kempton Agencies (TCA), the administrators of The Toll Roads, another cryptic, quasi private-public entity that seems to simply wait out the next cycle of news each time it finds massive public opposition. With thousands of new homes on the planning board for Mission Viejo, pressure for a toll road to accommodate development has once again put eight options on the table, three of which are toll roads that would be constructed through San Clem-

Letters to the Editor

slip through the cracks. So, we can ramp up our universal background checks and keep handguns for protection, rifles for hunting, but all assault weapons for “sport” simply need to be banned. An AR15 against trained educators with pistols is no contest. Ask the security guard at Lakeland. Australia passed such a law in 1996, buying back all the “illegal” guns, and they haven’t had a mass shooting since. You can arm people all you want, counsel every disturbed student you find and do your background checks, but mass killings with weapons designed for war will only stop when the idea that such a weapon is a “fun” thing to own disappears, forever. Editor’s note: By definition, Australia has had mass shootings since 1996, but the number of mass shootings, by percent, are far fewer than the U.S. since 1996.


I read the letter to the editor “Protect Our High Schools with Officers” in the March 8-14 edition of the San Clemente Times. I think it takes a combination of compromises to reach an effective solution. Although I am against arming teachers, I have heard proposals for an 80-hour training session, complete with background checks, etc. to train a few individuals on campus in wielding a weapon without endangering other students. In theory, this make sense. However, to suggest that shooters come on campus just because they are “no-gun” zones is too simplistic. The profile of each school shooter to date overwhelmingly involves a young white male who is bullied, disturbed or disenfranchised, usually by students at the same school. Mental health recognition and intervention programs are absolutely essential in any solution to campus shootings. However, some individuals will still


I am an advocate of people who are homeless and have been writing letters, speaking at City Council meetings and posting on Facebook about the need for our City Council to comply with Senate Bill 2 and create a zone for a homeless

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ente. While the toll road execs disappear after each show of resistance, the Orange County press barely breaks a peep. This is not a case of conspiracy—it is our own responsibility, and we forget it at our own peril. This is a case of special interests circumventing the will of the local electorate, and using the short spin cycle of news to constantly distract us from issues that will affect our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness in this golden triangle of coastal paradise for lifetimes to come. Our inadvertent attention to a constant barrage of ever-changing news is endangering us by allowing the truth to be covered in dirt and concrete. We are simply burying the evidence in plain sight. Jim Kempton is a resident of this coast since 1977. His new book First We Surf, Then We Eat, will be published in June. He hopes we can all “eat, surf and be merry” without concern “for tomorrow.” 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

Join the San Clemente Times for Beachside Chat, Friday, March 16 at 8 a.m. at Café Calypso This week’s guest will be Steve Long, former superintendent of San Onofre, San Clemente and Doheny State Beaches. 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.

shelter. I believe that if that had been done instead of continually fighting it (and losing in court), we might have a shelter here now and be better equipped to handle the homeless sent to us by the county. That being said, I had no idea the county had taken steps to move the homeless from the Santa Ana riverbed to surrounding communities, including San Clemente. I attended the Council meeting on Tuesday and was made aware of how this decision has affected our community. While I still firmly believe in treating homeless people like human beings, (Cont. on page 10)

SOAPBOX (Cont. from page 8) which they are, and helping them whenever we can, I do not believe this temporary motel idea is the answer. This would require a great deal of oversight in monitoring the people in motels and working with them in their transition. Does the county have adequate resources to monitor each person they have sent here to our community? And why are they offering motel accommodations to these folks here in San Clemente while our own homeless people have no place to go? If they have had success in the central and northern Orange County cities, I would suggest building on that and taking one community at a time. The homeless have been around for a long time and the solution to getting them off the streets and on the path to a better life will not happen in 30 days. Mental health and drug addiction seem to be the main problems of the homelessness population. Let’s start by addressing those problems. Do some laws need to be changed?


It was disappointing to see City Council member Kathy Ward blame a rise in homelessness and crime on commonsense criminal justice reform in the March 1-7 guest opinion “Collection of Actions Caused Increase in Homeless Population, Property Crime.” The policies she mentions— Props 47, 57, and AB 109—are about making the system safer and fair for everyone. In particular, studies have shown that while fear-mongering politicians like to blame Prop 47 for an increase in crime, there is no evidence showing that to be the case.

The truth is that crime in California is down to some of its lowest numbers in decades. There’s always room for improvement in our criminal justice system, but there’s no room for compromising our values about equal rights and justice for all communities. Ward may want to go back in time, but Californians are done with mass incarceration. Thirty years of data tell us locking people up and throwing away the key doesn’t work. The voters have spoken: Californians have voted four times for safe and fair reforms like the ones Ward criticizes. Instead of attacking laws that Californians voted for, elected officials should focus on issues like quality education, good jobs and affordable housing so that people can lead healthy, productive lives.


I commend the city of San Clemente for commissioning the IBI Group arterial and mobility study. The study confirmed what we had all suspected: the 241 Toll Road through San Clemente is unnecessary. It may relieve weekday traffic by 0.5 percent based on data that was pulled from traffic models conducted by our regional transportation agency, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA). And the cost? More than $1 billion. A few days ago, I ran into Mr. Joe Muller, who is mayor pro tem of Dana Point and a director on the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) Joint Board. He graciously told me that we must solve the north/south traffic problem we have in Orange County. I pointed out the results of

the IBI study, but said that we must solve our weekend traffic problems. Using the current 73 and 241 as an example, it’s evident that weekend travelers hate paying tolls because those roads are empty. Simply put, no toll road or freeway has ever been built for weekend users. The 405 and 5 are very crowded some weekends in the summer, but in my observation, travelers refuse to pay the exorbitant tolls. On weekends, the roads are always empty. Would the TCA release their traffic numbers for weekends on the 73 and 241 so we can see for ourselves? I seriously doubt it.

confirmed “whatThewestudy had all suspected: the 241 Toll Road through San Clemente is unnecessary. It may relieve weekday traffic by 0.5 percent based on data that was pulled from traffic models conducted by our regional transportation agency...

I’ve been told, “Tolls will never go away.” That’s unfortunate because new businesses and new homeowners have paid development fees (“taxes”) on new construction or substantial remodels, even though no toll roads have been built in over 20 years. Isn’t this making housing less affordable? Wouldn’t OC residents

rather spend their money some other way? What happened to the promise to tax payers to pay down the bonds and make the toll roads free? Only then would true capacity utilization and mobility be achieved. Perhaps it’s up to the voters to put some propositions in place to stop this abuse. The next TCA Board meeting, if they don’t cancel, is at 9:30 a.m. on April 12 at the TCA headquarters, located at 125 Pacifica in Irvine.


Thank you, Council member Kathy Ward, for the well-written article regarding the homeless population in San Clemente. It was very informative and not condemning or stereotyping. Our family would like to see you run for governor. CORRECTIONS: In the March 8-14 edition of the San Clemente Times, a word was unintentionally omitted to change the context of an event in the story “The Road Ahead.” OC Tavern will not host Sunday reggae brunch during football season. To clarify another point in the same story, the owner plans to pair different menu items and modify a few, but he does not intent to reduce the menu significantly.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR POLICY To submit a letter to the editor for possible inclusion in the paper, email us at San Clemente Times reserves the right to edit reader-submitted letters for length and is not responsible for the claims made or the information written by the writers. Please limit your letters to 350 words.

GUEST OPINION: View from the Pier by Herman Sillas

City’s Fishing Derby Assures Pier Life for the Future


y good friend Pablo Gonzalez picked me up to go to the Pier in the morning on Feb. 24. It was the day established by the city of San Clemente for a Fishing Derby for children ages 5-14 at the Pier. It was a beautiful day. There was a crowd from the start of the Pier to where it ended. The first person I saw was my old fishing buddy, Manny, and his family. We hugged each other. It had been years since we saw each other. After we talked and laughed, I moved on down the Pier. There were a lot of little folks with fishing poles. The first group I talked to was William Laurent, Liam Mateer and Alika Ting. They were teenagers and were serving as volunteers to help out the younger fishers. Walter told me he served as a deckhand on a boat. That day, he helped the children pick their bait and showed San Clemente Times March 15-21, 2018

them how to fish. Next, I moved on down the Pier and I ran into a young fellow, Conan Craig. He was 12 and is a regular fisherman on the Pier. He once caught a 3-pound calico there. That Saturday he just had a couple of nibbles but was still optimistic. That’s the sign of a good fisherman. The event hosted a raffle drawing every half hour to pull out a free half-day trip on a boat. The winner must be accompanied with a parent. Craig had won a half-day trip on a prior drawing already. Pablo and I walked on down to the end of the Pier. There must have been 125 kids taking up fishing space on the Pier railings. I then met Emily Erickson, the recreation leader. This was the first time the city had put on such a tournament. Emily introduced me to the mayor of our city, Tim Brown. He was the origina-

tor of this tournament. Given the crowd in attendance, I have a feeling this will not be the last fishing tournament for children. I looked around and saw a “mermaid” sitting on the Pier, fish tail and all. She said she had been a mermaid for about four years and that it was her passion to become a creature of the sea. She serves as a volunteer for “Fish for Life,” and her name is Elizabeth Strother, but goes under the name of THE VIEW “Elseanna Mermaid.” FROM THE PIER By Herman Sillas Strother provides swim lessons, mermaid parties and events. Her goal is to build the confidence of all children in what they do. Then I met Noah Henderson, a young fellow who had already caught four fish. He was having a great time and said he Page 10

would come again. He may be the champion for the day. Someone caught a lobster and showed it before tossing it back. It is not lobster season. We were near the shack, where food and drinks could be bought. I looked at the scene around me and saw all those happy folks in attendance. Yeah, there is nothing like fishing. The city has a great idea to introduce youngsters to fishing. The Pier’s life is assured for the future. That’s the view from the Pier. Herman Sillas is a former director of California’s DMV and a former U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of California. He may reached at 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



The List

What’s going on in and around town COMPILED BY VICTOR CARNO

Thursday | 15 GARDEN ANGELS 8:30-10:30 a.m. Join volunteers, students and teachers at Goin Native Therapeutic Gardens to care for and maintain native plants and butterflies. No experience is necessary (they’ll teach you), but you should bring gloves and clippers. No class if it rains. Admission is free. Los Rios Park. 31790 Paseo Adelanto, San Juan Capistrano. TABLE TENNIS FOR SENIORS 10 a.m.-1 p.m. All seniors 55 or older are welcome to join the Table Tennis Club at the Shorecliff Terrace Mobile Home Park. Any skill level is welcome and entry is free. 3000 Calle Nuevo, San Clemente. 949.481.2275. SESSIONS AT STILLWATER 7 p.m. Listen to live music when artists from around the world perform together. StillWater Spirits & Sounds. 24701 Del Prado, Dana Point. 949.661.6003.

Friday | 16 ADULT COLORING CLUB 10 a.m. Bring out your inner artist during the Dana Point Library’s adult coloring club. Supplies provided. The class occurs every Friday 10 a.m.-noon. 33841 Niguel Road, Dana Point. 949.496.5517. ORANGE COUNTY WINE CRUISE 5:30 p.m. Join Dana Wharf for a 90-minute evening cruise aboard the luxury catamaran. The cruises run Friday and Sunday evenings. Tickets are $49. Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching. 34675 Street of the Golden Lantern, Dana Point. 949.496.5794. LIVE MUSIC AT IVA LEE’S 7 p.m. Join Iva Lee’s for live music every Wednesday through Sunday. For the ultimate live music experience, be sure to reserve a lounge table on Fridays and Saturdays. 555 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente. 949.361.2855.

Saturday | 17 TALEGA RUN CLUB 7:30 a.m. Whether you are about to tackle San Clemente Times March 15-21, 2018


Photo: File/Courtesy of Scott Schmidt

SATURDAY, MARCH 17: EL PRESIDENTÉ BALL 6 p.m.-10 p.m. The Fiesta Association’s 2017 El Presidenté Ball is a wild western formal event celebrating the heritage of San Juan Capistrano. Enjoy great food and old-fashioned fun while dancing to live country-western style music at El Adobe de Capistrano, 31891 Camino Capistrano. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased online, at Fiesta Association meetings or events, or at the door. For more information, visit

your first 5K or you are just keeping your cardio and running prowess in top form, be sure to stop by Peet’s Coffee in Talega. Every Saturday a group of runners of varying skill level take a brisk three-mile run around a pre-determined course. Admission is free. 801 Avenida Talega, San Clemente. 949.588.5054. www.facebook. com/2XUSanClemente. ST. PATRICK’S CELEBRATION AT BARNOA WINE CO. 2 p.m.-midnight. A casual holiday celebration featuring Irish-inspired dishes, awesome brews on tap, including Guiness Draught, and live music from the band Branch & Arrow. Barnoa Wine Co., 831 Via Suerte No. 106, San Clemente. 949.388.4378. www. EXCHANGE CLUB OF SAN CLEMENTE ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARTY 5 p.m. The Exchange Club of San Clemente will host its largest fundraiser for the year. There will be Irish music, a cash bar with green beer, various raffle prizes, Irish dancers and more. A $20 donation covers the corned beef and cabbage dinner and attendance. Food is catered from Hennessey’s

Tavern in Dana Point. San Clemente Community Center, 100 N. Calle Seville.

Sunday | 18

YOGA ON TAP 11 a.m. Yoga on Tap is held at Left Coast’s tasting room in San Clemente. This is a one-hour yoga class, followed by a pint of beer. It’s a great way to get to know your local fellow yogis and beer drinkers. The cost is $10. Left Coast Brewery, 1251 Puerta Del Sol, San Clemente. 949.276.6014 or

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.

Monday | 19

FARMERS MARKET 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Shop for a wide selection of fruits, vegetables, plants and artisanal goods from organic growers along the north side of Avenida Del Mar. Parking is a premium, attendance is free. 243 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente. 949.361.8264.

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

POWER PLANT RECORDS ZINE FEST 2018 1-5 p.m. Stop by Power Plant Records for their annual Zine Fest and enjoy live entertainment from The Writhers, Depress Mode, local artists and DJs. Zine vendors will set up a table of their zines outside of the venue for purchase. Admission is free. 73 Via Pico Plaza, San Clemente. 949.463.1968.

BINGO AT GOODY’S 7 p.m. Every Monday, Goody’s hosts a Bingo night for a charity of the month. Cards are $1 per sleeve, and raffle prizes are offered. Goody’s Tavern. 206 S. El Camino Real. 949.492.3400.

Page 12

(Cont. on page 14)

GETTING OUT toys after story-time. Registration is not required. Dana Point Library. 33841 Niguel Road, Dana Point. 949.496.5517. www.ocpl. org/libloc/dana.

(Cont. from page 12) CASA UP CLOSE: ARTS, EDUCATION AND YOUTH 7 p.m. Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens will host a panel of educators to discuss how exposing students to arts education can assist in their educational growth. Executive Director Berenika Schmitz will be joined by Dr. James Dawson, Dr. Ralph Opacic, Gordon McNeill and William Moseley who combine for over 100 years of experience. Admission is $10-$12. 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente. 949.498.2139. COUNTRY DANCING AND ALL DAY HAPPY HOUR 7 p.m.-Midnight. Stop by the Swallows Inn for country dancing with DJ Patrick and a happy hour that lasts all day. Enjoy a steak dinner for $13 when you are finished with the dance floor. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. 949.493.3188. www.

Tuesday | 20 TODDLER STORYTIME 10:30 a.m. Join the Library for stories, activities and songs for children under 3 years old. “Stay and play” with puzzles and

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 | 21 EDITOR’S PICK

Photo: Eric Heinz

SATURDAY, MARCH 17: ST. PATRICK’S DAY AT BLOOMS IRISH SPORTS BAR 9 a.m. Be sure to don your best emerald apparel and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Five Irish bands will perform and there will be free giveaway prizes. Blooms Irish Sports Bar, 2391 S. El Camino Real, San Clemente. 949.218.0120.

PRESCHOOL STORYTIME 10:30 a.m. Join the library for stories and activities for children 3-5 years old. “Stay and Play” with puzzles and toys after story time. Registration is not required. Dana Point Library. 33841 Niguel Road, Dana Point. 949.496.5517. dana. FRENCH CONVERSATION CLUB 2-4 p.m. Every Wednesday. Look for the table with the French flag surrounded

GETTING OUT 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. OLD CAPISTRANO CERTIFIED FARMERS MARKET 3-6 p.m. Stop by and check out some locally grown, organic produce and artisan goodies at a farmers market that has been going strong for over 15 years. Free admission. Historic Town Center Park. 31852 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano. 949.493.4700. FIGURE DRAWING INSTRUCTION 5:30 p.m. Instructor Patrick Meehan will continue teaching his monthly figure drawing class at San Clemente Art Supply. Figure Drawing Instruction is an hour before Wednesday night class. Pre-registration is required and be sure to bring your own art supplies. Participants must be 18 or older and classes are $25. San Clemente Art Supply. 1531 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente. 949.369.6603. FIESTA GRANDE 6-9 p.m. Four contests and a night of wild west entertainment are rolled into one evening of fun at the Fiesta Grandé. Join your friends and make new ones at the Swallows Inn, 31786

Camino Capistrano, and enter to win one of the categories being judged. Spectators are welcome. Entrance fee is $5 per person, per category. Pay when you arrive. Winners will receive a $50 gift certificate from the Boot Barn. For more information, call 949.493.1976 or visit 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. FREE COMEDY AT BLOOMS IRISH SPORTS BAR 8:30 p.m. Every Wednesday, free comedy at Blooms Irish Sports Bar with food and drink specials. There will be local and professional talent. 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.

Edgy Teen Drama Outpaces ‘Thoroughbreds’ Down the Stretch BY MEGAN BIANCO, SAN CLEMENTE TIMES


or every generation that has a Heathers (1989), Cruel Intentions (1999) or Mean Girls (2004), there are about a dozen other small-budget, edgy teen flicks trying to grab the same cult hype. Cory Finley’s Thoroughbreds is the latest effort in the R-rated indie teen demographic, and though it isn’t as atrocious as Jawbreaker (1999) or Tart (2001), it’s not fully unique or intriguing either. In a wealthy Connecticut suburban neighborhood, Amanda (Olivia Cooke) and Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) try to rekindle an old friendship with Amanda’s mother’s encouragement. Amanda is a sociopath in the middle of an animal cruelty court case for putting her fatally sick horse out of its misery, and Lily is depressed over her unhappy home life

with her mom (Francie Swift) and stepdad (Paul Sparks). Things are going fine until Amanda suggests a rather twisted way to get rid of Lily’s stepfather. Thoroughbreds is Finley’s filmmaking debut and coincidentally the final film of Anton Yelchin before his tragic, premature death in 2016. With teen leads, there is a fine line between genuine and trying too hard. The cinematography and art direction are inspired, and Cooke and Taylor-Joy are pretty good as the stars. Thoroughbreds often finds itself in the outside lane by trying too hard, but for the target audience of modern 12- to 20-year-old girls, it might find a following. For the rest of us who were old enough to remember seeing the original risqué teen films that influenced Finley’s movie, it won’t really make much of a difference. SC

SC SC LIVING San Clemente


GUEST OPINION: American Made by Wayne Eggleston

Our Flag is Still There


San Clemente patriotic tradition, previously done by San Clemente residents George Key and Alex Neil, will now be performed by the South Coast Detachment of the Marine Corps League (MCL). It is offered in honor and recognition of longtime San Clemente resident George Key, the great-greatgrandson of Francis Scott Key, who wrote the famous lines about “broad stripes and bright stars” 204 years ago. George is no longer able to carry on this tradition. “San Clemente City Hall Flag Raising & Display” is intended to honor deceased U.S. military Veterans (all military services) for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the American people and the freedoms we enjoy. Any family member of a U.S. military veteran (honorably discharged) who has passed away can request this special recognition to honor their veteran’s service. We recognize that a veteran’s family has also served an important role

during his/her active duty years and in every way has also served their country with honor and distinction. The event will include a short ceremony, led by members of the local Marine Corps League (MCL) South Coast Detachment 022, with the assistance of the San Clemente VFW 7142, and supported by San Clemente city employees who will raise the American Flag. The ceremony will take about 30 minutes and may include some music and comments by the MCL representative. If desired, the family is welcome to say a few words during the ceremony concerning their veteran’s service. Also, if a family would like someone to speak or say a prayer, the family should make arrangements on their own for that support. The honor flag will be supplied by the MCL and will fly for one week. There is no cost for this service. There is a short form that needs to be filled out by the families, which includes the following information: U.S. military branch, years of service, major military conflicts, major awards and decorations. The form can be found at www.marinecorpsleaguesouthcoast. org; or call 949.498.4958 for information. Several months ago, the MCL also took over the tradition introduced by Key to

Pets of the Week: Josephine and Napolean SAN CLEMENTE TIMES


osephine and Napoleon are two sweet bunnies who are looking for some-bunny to love. A bonded pair, they enjoy their supervised hops in the yard together and lounging in the shade. With a lovable pair like Josephine and Napoleon, you’ll always have a hopping good time. If you would like to know more about Josephine and Napoleon, call the San Clemente/Dana Point Animal Shelter at 949.492.1617, or visit with them at 221 Avenida Fabricante, San Clemente. SC

properly dispose and retire the American flag. Should you have any American flags to retire and be disposed of properly, you can bring them to City Hall, located at 100 Avenida Presidio, and the city will contact the MCL for proper flag retirement. Dates to place on your calendar: Memorial Day on May 28: Ceremonies at San Clemente Community Center 11 a.m. and at 2 p.m. at Park Semper Fi. Veterans Day Weekend is Nov. 9, and 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines parade on Avenida Del Mar starts

Josephine & Napolean. Photo: Courtesy

at 10 a.m., and a Veterans Day ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. at Park Semper Fi. Wayne Eggleston is a former San Clemente mayor, City Council member and Planning Commissioner. He is the current director of the Marine Monument at Park Semper Fi. SC PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to provide our readers with a wide variety of opinions from our community, the SC Times provides Guest Opinion opportunities in which selected columnists’ opinions are shared. The opinions expressed in these columns are entirely those of the columnist alone and do not reflect those of the SC Times or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at

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

Parenthood’s Resolute Responsibilities and Rich Rewards


arch marks the conclusion of the second season of the popular television series This Is Us, and I’m betting it ends in a bittersweet cliffhanger putting the Pearson family in peril. It’s probably not too surprising that I’m hooked on the family drama that debuted in September 2016. And I’m not alone; each week approximately 10 million viewers tune in with their box of tissues in hand to have their heartstrings tugged. Sure, the show has its haters, but it manages to resonate with a wide audience and broad demographic. Recently, my son’s 20-year-old friend said he watches the show and told my son, “Dude, I cry all the time.” The audience relates to the Pearson’s struggles as they suffer the complexities of the human experience. We viewers know the characters aren’t real, but on occasion they remind us of the people we know or maybe the people we want to be. The Pearson’s stories are told in flashbacks and present-day plights with plot twists unearthing memories of difficult pasts and reveal hopes for uncertain futures. Week after week, I’m one of the millions rooting for the family of five to overcome their obstacles. My favorite tear-jerking episode chronicled the days leading up to the character Randall Pearson becoming a first-time father. Randall experiences near-paralyzing fear as he faces parenthood, and a preoccupation with websites detailing frightening newborn facts adds to his angst. Thankfully, as I counted down the days to the birth of my first child, there was no internet to fuel my anxiety. Instead, I relied on the book What to Expect When You’re Expecting (the first edition) and I skimmed its scary chapters. Randall goes to the hardware store to return a faulty ceiling fan bought to circulate air in his baby’s nursery, thereby preventing crib death. His visit proves

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cathartic. Randall rambles on to the store clerk sharing his overwhelming fears and self-doubt as he confronts the enormous responsibility of parenthood. Watching Randall rant, it roused the decades-old emotions I felt throughout my first pregnancy. I constantly feared making mistakes and questioned my competency. To calm Randall, the store clerk replies with empathy and advice saying, “Babies come with the answers…they tell you who you are.” I thought about those words. I’m not sure about babies coming with answers, but I do agree with the fictional clerk’s belief that children tell you who you are. My boys taught me who I am. They taught me grit, patience, selflessness, unconditional love, to LIFE’S A BEACH By Shelley Murphy trust my gut instincts and to become the mom in me that I didn’t know existed. I also learned the stealth moves of a tooth fairy, the magic of believing in Santa Claus and that white carpet is just stupid. What the store clerk fails to tell Randall is that the worry he feels facing his child’s impending arrival will not fade—in fact, it is the hallmark of parenting. I crave the worry I once cursed, a time when my kids lived under my roof, and one of my biggest fears included getting in and out of the mall without an earsplitting toddler meltdown. Both of my boys have flown from the nest to find their futures. Today my worries ebb and flow. I worry less about doing the right thing as a parent and more about my kids doing the right thing as young adults. As a parent, it’s my job to give my children the tools to navigate their universe; but, in hindsight, I realize they gave me so

Thomas Pulley/Courtesy of OC Public Libraries

FROM THE ARCHIVES The San Clemente Riding Club, photographed circa 1930. Horses and equestrian practices were commonplace during the early years of the city’s incorporation. Every week, the San Clemente Times will showcase a historical photo from around the city. If you have a photo you would like to submit for consideration, send the photo, your name for credit as well as the date and location of the photo to


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 much more. My boys expanded my heart and mind in ways I could not expect before becoming their mom. They made me a better person and provided me with a purpose. My kids taught me the important life lessons not covered in baby books or websites. On second thought, maybe babies do come with all of the answers. Shelley Murphy has lived in San Cle-

See the solution in next week’s issue.

mente with her husband for the past 18 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... • So far in 2018, 126 homes have closed in the city of San Clemente, with average price of $1,011,000 and taking 55 days to sell • In Orange County, inventory is at a 5 year low, about 4200 Active listings in all of Orange County. • Distressed homes in Orange County are still at an all-time low, with just 1% of the inventory being a distressed listing

SC San Clemente


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Solstice Heating and Air

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Schmid’s Fine Chocolate

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Costa Verde Landscape



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FOR RENT QUALITY ROOM/PRIVATE BATH FOR RENT San Clemente Furnished Private Room/Bath. Walk to Pier & Downtown Village. Parking/Storage/ Washer-Dryer/Smoke-Drug Free Household. Military Welcomed. $895. Send Qualifications to

FOR SALE WOMEN’S BICYCLE Beautiful, almost new women’s bike. Looks like a commuter/ cruiser with multiple gears. Light mint green frame, white seat, wire basket on the back. $250. Text for photos. 949-533-9761. CUSTOM AREA RUGS You pick style, color and size. Typically made in 2 weeks.Stainmaster nylon, wool, polyester or designer carpet. Carpet showroom in Lantern District of Dana Point. Carpet and flooring remnants also available - all shapes, sizes and kinds of flooring. We sell tile too! Mike at Lantern Bay Carpets: 949-240-1545.

GARAGE SALES SATURDAYS, 10AM TO 1PM AND SUNDAYS 9AM TO 12 Through March. Everything must go. Chairs, tables, household items, clothes, jewelry, tools, patio furniture. Also open during week. 34202 Camino Capistrano, Capistrano Beach.

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San Clemente Times March 15–21, 2018

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For in-game updates, news and more for all San Clemente High School sports programs, follow us on Twitter @SouthOCSports.

Baseball Reaches Loara Tournament Final San Clemente picked up wins over Lakewood, 3-1, Yorba Linda, 6-2, and Ayala of Chino Hills, 9-5, to advance to the Loara Tournament final on March 9.

In the championship game, the Tritons (6-1) squared off with league rival El Toro in a match-up of aces on the mound. San Clemente’s Michael McGreevy gave up two runs in the first inning but only allowed five baserunners in the next six innings. However, El Toro’s Erik Tolman was a notch better with 12 strikeouts and two hits allowed in a complete game shutout for the Chargers, 2-0. The win kept El Toro on top of the CIFSS Division 1 poll, and the tournament performance pushed San Clemente to No. 6. Mission Viejo is at No. 7 for three South Coast League teams in the poll. San Clemente opens up league play at Capistrano Valley on Saturday morning, March 17 at 11 a.m. and hosts El Toro on Wednesday, March 21.

San Clemente’s Ryan Kowarsch leaps up to punch away a Loyola scoring attempt during the first half of the Southern California Regional final at San Clemente High School. Photo: Courtesy Kreg Kowarsch

Second Chance Snuffed San Clemente boys soccer falls in overtime of SoCal Regional final BY ZACH CAVANAGH, SAN CLEMENTE TIMES


he San Clemente High School boys soccer team took its second chance as far as it could. After falling in the CIF-SS Division 1 semifinals, the Tritons found new life in a run to the CIF Southern California Regional Division 1 final. The No. 5 seed battled through a pair of road games and, with a stroke of luck, had earned home-field advantage in the March 10 final. On a cold and rain-soaked night in front of a packed crowd at San Clemente High School, the Tritons and Loyola exchanged set-piece blows into overtime where the run ended. Loyola scored on a header from a long throw-in, nearly identical to its first-half corner-kick goal, to put in the golden goal and defeat San Clemente, 2-1, in the regional final. “I’m excited that we were here, but disappointed we didn’t pull it off,” San Clemente coach Mike Pronier said. “We wanted it. Credit to the boys and what they did this season and the program as a whole. We were stoked to be back here for a third time in eight years.” San Clemente won the SoCal Regional in 2011 and was a runner-up in 2013. The Tritons finished the season at 19-6-6 overall and won the South Coast League

San Clemente Times March 15-21, 2018

title for the sixth time in eight seasons. “We did nothing but improve,” Pronier said. “We hit our pinnacle in these last few games. It’s a credit to what we’ve done all year. It’s a credit to the coaching staff and the kids’ never-say-die attitude.” San Clemente opened the game with the better chances. Loyola earned the large majority of the game’s corner kicks and took the lead on one in the 14th minute. A left-side corner was flung into the box and headed on net. San Clemente junior goalkeeper Ryan Kowarsch went for the punch, but the ball glanced off his gloved fist and into the net. Kowarsch made a handful of key saves for San Clemente through the rest of the game and was commendable throughout the playoffs after coming in for injured senior captain Jake Carter to start the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS playoffs. “He had played a game and a half going into our third playoff game against Warren,” Pronier said of Kowarsch. “He did lights out for every game we played. For a young man that had little to no experience and coming off the JV team last year, he was phenomenal over these five games.” Tristan Weber tied the match on another set-piece opportunity in the 30th minute. On a right-side corner kick, Weber curled the ball over the defense and the Loyola keeper to hit the top left corner for a beautiful equalizing strike. The Upland keeper had trouble controlling the wet ball in the second half, and in the 65th minute, Blake Bowen slid in to try and grasp the slim moment of opportunity. Bowen earned a questionable yellow card, but it was San Clemente’s best attempt down the stretch. The Tritons made several promising crosses but couldn’t make contact in the box. The game pushed on to overtime where Loyola eventually found the golden goal. SC



OCWPC TAKES FIRST AT TURBO OC CUP Orange County Water Polo Club’s 10U team earned first place in their bracket at the Turbo Orange County Cup on March 10 at Woollett Aquatics Center in Irvine. OCWPC won four games to take the gold. OCWPC took a close opener over United, 7-6, and beat Long Beach Shore, 7-3, to reach the semifinals. OCWPC defeated Patriots in the semifinals, 15-1 and took down Mid Valley Water Polo, 7-2, in the final. OCWPC is comprised of children from San Clemente, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel and Ladera Ranch. SVC’S STIER SETS STATE SHOT PUT RECORD San Clemente resident and Saddleback Valley Christian Paralympic thrower Kendall Stier qualified for the CIF State Championships with a state-record shot put throw

at the ACSICS Invitational on March 9 at Irvine High School. Stier hit a mark of 11-feet, 9-inches to blast past the state record by 6-inches. Stier was named a high school All-American by the United States Olympic Committee Paralympic Division in November and was the 2017 U.S. National Paralympics gold medalist in women’s shot put for the F-33 classification. REGISTRATION OPEN FOR TRITON RISING STARS FOOTBALL CAMP The Triton Rising Stars Spring Break Football camp will be held April 2-4 and is open to players from first to fi fth grade. The camp will be held at San Clemente High School’s stadium and will be led by the San Clemente High School varsity football coaching staff. The cost of registration is $75 which includes a T-shirt and food after the camp. Interested parties can sign up online at

Orange County Water Polo Club’s 10U team took first place in their bracket at the Turbo Orange County Cup on March 10. Photo: Courtesy Gina Lunt

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Championship Tour rookie Griffin Colapinto got straight to work in his debut against world champion John John Florence and came away with an impressive heat win. Photo: Courtesy of WSL

So Much Winning Local surfers dominate on every level of the surf game BY JAKE HOWARD, SAN CLEMENTE TIMES


hat a week for local surfing. Where do we begin? Let’s take it from the top. Last weekend, the WSL Championship Tour kicked off with the Quiksilver Pro on Australia’s Gold Coast. A rookie on tour, San Clemente’s Griffin Colapinto took to the water for the first time in his young career. As the low man on the totem pole, he had the lowest seed in the draw, meaning he’d be matched up against two-time reigning world champion John John Florence. Undaunted and seemingly immune to the pressure and nerves, Colapinto came out swinging. While Florence fell on his first ride, Colapinto got right to work. He locked into a deep tube, came out clean and followed it up with a couple of solid turns. The judges awarded him with a seven-point score for the wave and all of a sudden Colapinto was in the lead. He never looked back. “It feels really good to get the Round 1 win over those guys in my first event, but I’m trying not to hype it up,” said Colapinto in his post-heat interview. “At the end of the day, it’s only Round 1 and I have goals of getting some big results this year, so I don’t want to get ahead of myself.” Cool and confident, Colapinto noted that his goals for the 2018 season are to finish in the top 10 on tour and “have as much fun as possible.” So far, it would appear he’s having a heck of a good time. San Clemente Times March 15-21, 2018

In the heat immediately following Colapinto’s, San Clemente veteran Kolohe Andino landed a huge air reverse into the flats to take the win. San Clemente transplants Jordy Smith and Filipe Toledo also won their heats. The only local surfer not to advance in the Quiksilver Pro was Pat Gudauskas, who found himself on the losing end of a wave-starved heat. He’ll have another chance at redemption coming up in Round 2 when the contest resumes. That kind of success on the international stage should be enough to warrant critical acclaim, but the hits just kept on coming. Over in Cocoa Beach, Florida, for the Ron Jon Quiksilver Pro, a WSL Qualifying Series contest, a host of South Orange County talent found their way to the podium. On the men’s side, Colt Ward ripped his way to a very respectable runner-up finish. Carrying a ton of momentum into the final, unfortunately, the ocean had other ideas. The conditions proved to be challenging and Ward came up short when the salt spray finally settled. “This is a great result moving forward,

and hopefully it’s the one that gets the ball rolling,” said Ward after the final. “I definitely feel like I worked on my heat strategies in this one and picked only the best waves, and I was just having fun all week without putting too much pressure on myself.” In the Pro Junior, Kirra Pinkerton kept her winning ways going with a command performance in the tricky Florida surf. It was her second Pro Junior win in a row and she now sits atop the North American Junior rankings. “It’s kind of unbelievable to get that win because I didn’t expect it at all and I’m just so happy to start the year off right,” said Pinkerton in her post-heat interview. “The waves are tough here, but if you can get into the good ones you can really get some turns in. (Coming from Australia just before this one), the waves were literally flat over there, so I was able to get some training on the board I was riding today.” Meanwhile, in more local waters, the West Coast Board Riders contest landed in Huntington Beach last weekend. Despite wind, rain and a lack of swell, surf clubs from up and down Southern California popped their tents up on the beach at Orange Street and made the most of it. When it was all said and done, the San Clemente Board Riders won the team contest to bring the Board Riders cup back to town. For the effort, the San Clemente team will also get a spot in the upcoming Jack’s Pro in Huntington Beach. “It’s so good to see all of the generations of surfers come together and enjoy this kind of success,” said club VP Frankie D’Andre. “This thing just started last year, and to see how far we’ve come, it’s really inspiring. For all the clubs, not just San Clemente, it’s a step in the right direction that’s bringing surf communities up and down the coast together.” All that and we haven’t even gotten to the success our local groms have been enjoying on the NSSA and WSA circuits. That story is going to have to wait until the next lap around the block. SC



Shay Diamond. Photo: Courtesy of the Diamond family BY JAKE HOWARD, SAN CLEMENTE TIMES


o me, surfing doesn’t involve everything competitive,” said 12-year-old Shay Diamond. “I mean, I love contests, but free surfing with your friends and family is the best thing I could ever ask for.” A seventh-grader at Marco Forster Middle School, Diamond is a third-generation Dana Point surfer. Her father, Eric, is the president of the Dana Point Surf Club, and her late grandfather was a distinguished member of the historic Dana Point Mafia and a one-time roommate with legendary surf photographer Ron Stoner. “I learned to surf at Doheny about five years ago,” Shay said. “These days, I am mostly surfing San Onofre, Doheny and Salt Creek.” While Shay is enjoying some competitive experiences, just like her old man, she’s growing up to be quite the soul surfer. “My favorite thing about surfing would be the feeling you get on a wave,” Shay said. “It leaves the every-day problems behind.” And as far as what inspires her? Shay’s priorities are in perfect trim. “It’s not about being in competition mode, but it’s about happiness and love and getting back what you put into it,” she said. SC

SURF FORECAST Water Temperature: 56-59 degrees F Water Visibility and Conditions: 5-8’ Fair Thursday: Primary W swell and secondary S swell mix. Surf is waist high (3’) at good spots with best breaks hitting chest-shoulder high (4’) on sets. Steady onshore winds all day. Outlook: Modest to fun size blend of W and S swells into the weekend with shoulder-head high (4’+) sets at best breaks. Winds are mainly onshore. Be sure to check the full premium forecast on Surfline for more details and the longer range outlook. Kirra Pinkerton came away from Cocoa Beach, Florida, with her second straight Pro Junior win and climbed to the top of the North America Pro Junior rankings. Photo: Courtesy of WSL

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March 15, 2018  

San Clemente Times

March 15, 2018  

San Clemente Times