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– PUBLISHER'S NOTE – Dear Reader:


his issue is our 10th anniversary edition - a fact that I am both immeasurably proud of and humbled by. I can't believe so much time has passed since the launch of our first community publication (HB Magazine) in 2003. I feel so blessed to have been a part of the South County community since getting married and moving to San Clemente in 2006. 2020 will forever be a year for the history books. Whichever way you slice it, the 10 months we’ve spent so far have been, for most Americans, some of the strangest of our entire lives. Some have been at home for more continuous weeks than ever before. Some haven’t seen loved ones since spring. Social unrest, a global pandemic, and a Presidential election have dominated the headlines. I’ve even spent a considerable amount of time wondering what hobbies my neighbors have learned in the past few months. If you were to look on any social media platform, it looks a lot like sourdough starters, backyard crafting, TikTok challenges, and random woodworking projects. In reality, what I’m realizing is that we’ve all learned that we contain an allotment of durability that we weren’t aware of before. If you’re one of the people who has taken up woodworking in your spare time, you might find that like others who have come before you, there are specific types of wood that work better than others: walnut, for example: extremely strong, stable, and shock resistant. Or ash, a carpenters favorite, for its toughness and flexibility. Traits that we’ve also come to see present in so many of our friends and neighbors, and especially my fellow small business owners. We’ve had to modify our entire lives over the better part of the last year, but the challenges have only served to highlight the way many of us already approach our respective industries. With resolve, courage, and the ability to pivot at a moment’s notice to adapt to a changing market or our client’s needs. The very definition of flexibility resounds in my ears even as I consider the impact that COVID-19 has had on my community and those around me: ‘the ability to be easily modified to respond to altered circumstances or conditions’. We can’t open the doors? We’ll shop outside. We can’t serve inside? Al fresco it is. Online shop? Done. Curbside pickup? Check. Our resilience is what first made us small business owners. We peered into the market and saw that we were needed: our products, our services, our personalities and strengths. And our resilience is what will sustain us through this, and the next chapter to follow. Perhaps we’ll have some new hobbies to boast about as well. I hope you enjoy this edition and as always, please don't hesitate to contact me directly with any questions, comments or ways in which we may be of service.

Jody Robinson

jody@southcountymag.com (714) 469-3495

JEFF MCCABE One Way Painting • Advertising Partner since 2011 I would like to congratulate you-Jody Robinson on the 10-year anniversary of South County Magazine. I really appreciate and value the service you provide. The close attention to detail that has gone into every article you have written is outstanding and has helped us get the word out on One Way Painting & California Gun Services. The articles you have written really show you understand what services we provide and what value we offer to our customers. Each time a magazine comes out, the calls increase, and we get to introduce the company to new people. Thank you for making everything so easy. 6 January 2021

STEPHANIE FRISCH Insurance Services 101 • Advertising Partner since 2011 The best business decision I ever made was to advertise in South County Magazine - I’m proud to say that I have been participating since the very first issue. I have gained several hundred clients over the last decade due to my ad, and several hundred more from the referrals of my ad clients. I have a steady flow of business all year long, and South County Magazine has a lot to do with that.

VICTORIA VANNINI Howard Jones Salon • Advertising Partner since 2011 I have been with Jody’s magazine from the very beginning and South County Magazine has been extremely instrumental in my success at our OC salon. From helping me determine which issues would maximize my dollars to updating my content through the years. Bravo!

RON PASHAIAN Monaco Jewelers • Advertising Partner since 2011 Our involvement has been a true partnership over these many years in that the publication team continually strives to create added-value opportunities - at no additional cost - for our business to generate ROI. I would highly recommend South County Magazine for any local business looking for exposure in South OC.

JOHN SCHRAB Morena Tile and Stone • Advertising Partner since 2017 Advertising in South County Magazine has been a total win! The response we have gotten with a full page ad and cover feature has been outstanding. Our goal was to let South OC know we are here and where they could find us, and the results have been more than we could have hoped for. Customers are continually bringing in the magazine saying “Wow, I did not know you guys were here, so glad we found you, your store is amazing with such great selections.” Jody is a pleasure to work with and her team does a fantastic job with our crazy cat ad ideas. A big thanks to Jody and her team for all their hard work and dedication to keeping it local!

ENZO SCOGNAMIGLIO Brio Tuscany Grille • Advertising Partner since 2012 Happy Anniversary to South County Magazine! We have been consistently participating in every issue and are very pleased with our experience. Jody and her team truly care about helping our business continue to succeed. If you are interested in reaching the South County community, I am absolutely thrilled to recommend Jody and her fabulous team!

DAVE RIGGLE Home Safety Advisors • Advertising Partner since 2020 Jody is an absolute pleasure to deal with and she works hard to ensure we maximize our exposure to potential clients. The ads her team created were better than what we designed on our own. The editorial she wrote is now on our website. We’ve gotten enough business already to pay for this investment, and as an unexpected benefit, I’ve received calls from other healthcare professionals with whom we will partner - alliances that could double our long-term benefit. I highly recommend Jody and her magazines.

MARCO SCOGNAMIGLIO Multi-Unit Franchisee - Subway Restaurants • Advertising Partner since 2019 South County Magazine has become an essential part of our marketing plan - the quality and consistency is second to none. Their team takes the time to understand my business and our unique position in the marketplace, which manifests into a masterful design process for our ads each month. The positive response we are receiving at our various locations from customers is further proof to the quality and value of their work. January 2021 7

Costs for Medicare Drug Coverage By Stephanie Frisch

You would expect to pay a monthly premium for a Medicare drug plan right? And an annual deductible (no higher than $445 in 2021) that needs to be met is generally the “norm” if you have a “stand-alone” drug plan. (Those who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage don’t have to suffer a name brand drug deductible).


ut there is also an “Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount” (IRMAA) extra charge that you’ll pay to Medicare in addition to what you pay for your Medicare drug plan if you make above $88,000 as an individual and $176,000 as a married couple. Medicare uses the modified adjusted gross income reported on your IRS tax return from 2 years ago. (so we’re talking about your 2019 AGI) The IRS provides this to Social Security. There are 5 income brackets that cause a person to pay more for their Medicare Part D (prescription drug) coverage. If you make above $88,000 - $111,000 (individual) or above $176,000$222,000 (married) you’ll pay $12.30 plus your plan premium. If you make above $111,000 $138,000 (individual) or above $222,000- $276,000 (married) you’ll pay $31.80 plus your plan premium. If you make above $138,000 $165,000 (individual) or above $276,000- $330,000 (married) you’ll pay $51.20 plus your plan premium. If you make above $165,000 – and less than $500,000 (individual) or above $330,000- $750,000 (married) you’ll pay $70.70 plus your plan premium. If you make above $500,000 as an individual or above $750,000 as a married couple; you can make any amount higher than that but still pay the same Part D “IRMAA”. You’ll pay $77.10 plus your plan premium. You need to carry Medicare drug coverage. Don’t try to “work the 8 January 2021

system” by just paying cash or using “GoodRX” to buy your medications. If you don’t have “credible drug coverage” (which means it covers both generic and name brand drugs at a certain copay or co-insurance level). then you’re accruing a late enrollment penalty. If you go over 63 days without a Medicare Drug plan once you’re first going onto Medicare, or already on Medicare, even if you add coverage the next chance you have (during the Annual Enrollment period) that penalty will be with you for the rest of your life. The penalty is 1% of the national base premium of a Medicare drug plan (and yes, that typically goes up

every year and so your penalty would then increase every year too) multiplied by the amount of months that you were without Part D or credible drug coverage. Has the question come to mind about what to do if your income drops because you retire or lose a source of income? If the government bases your “IRMAA” on income reported 2 years earlier, do you need to suffer a higher premium until they catch up with your current income? The answer is “No”. If your curious, look up online Form SSA-44; Medicare Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount-Life Changing Event. I’ll tell you about that next month.

Stephanie Frisch is the owner of Insurance 101 and is an independent insurance broker dedicated to helping others make “educated decisions” about their insurance choices when it comes to Medicare. For answers to your questions, or no-fee consultation, call (949) 351-2443.

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The following highlights more tangibly describe how the value of a CPA financial advisor can enhance your financial plan.

Tax Savings = Enhanced Investment Returns When considering the financial plan for one’s entire life, one should make tax savings as much of a priority as the selection of investment and retirement products. Tax savings simply can have too tremendous a positive impact on maximizing your retirement nest egg to ignore. And its importance and value generally increases proportionally with your marginal tax rate. This is especially true today, given the generally rich valuations and low yields of most traditional investment options.

Tax Management = Tax Savings

THE VALUE OF A CPA FINANCIAL ADVISOR Some things in life are better when combined with other things. Peanut butter is great, but better with jelly. S’mores are wonderful, but somehow tastier when eaten next to a campfire. Mobile phones are indispensable, but incrementally improve with every added app. This idea holds true with financial advice as well. CPAs and financial advisors are important and valuable resources in their own respects toward ensuring a sound financial future, but they’re even better when they’re both the same person.


he reason for this is simple; sound investment advice must be done with consideration of tax implications, as the cost of not doing so can be significant. Likewise, good tax planning often involves taking advantage of investment opportunities that become evident during the tax preparation process. A CPA Financial Advisor can help ensure that these interdependent objectives are executed on successfully. According to a study involving 42,000 advisors by Envestnet, a leading investment platform provider, the “value added” of using a financial advisor is roughly 2% per year. The added value of a CPA/tax management is another 1% per year. The study breaks down the added value coming from 5 core areas:

As the value of your taxable investments grow, so does the importance of utilizing tax management to minimize taxes. Whereas many financial advisors may list these offerings, you can count on the CPA financial advisor to ensure that tax management is being performed.

High Frequency of Interaction = Better Financial Maintenance Another important ingredient to a sound financial plan is maintenance. Financial plans are snapshots in time that require periodic updates. Long-term impacts of near-term events such as career, family and preference changes need to be incorporated into the plan when they occur. So, frequency of interaction is paramount to good maintenance. And here again, the tax professional is, unfortunately like taxes, with you year in and year out. Hence, maintenance of a financial plan by a CPA financial advisor is a natural fit.

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Prescott Tax & Wealth Management 30950 Rancho Viejo Rd., Ste 100 • San Juan Capistrano (949) 248-9815 • Peter@Prescott500.com www.Prescott500.com Securities and advisory services offered through Independent Financial Group, LLC (IFG). Member FINRA/SIPC. Prescott Tax and Wealth Management and IFG are unaffiliated entities.

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Prescott Tax & Wealth Management Peter Prescott formed Prescott Tax & Wealth Management (PTWM) over 20 years ago to focus on the needs of individual and small business owners who want and deserve a more comprehensive approach to their financial affairs that are typically provided by separate CPA, Financial Planning and Insurance advisors. Peter was one of the first CPAs nationally to offer a combined CPA and Financial Planning approach.


eter astutely observes that most individuals go to separate financial advisors who are trying to maximize the business for their own specific service without regard to the impact of the other areas of required planning and the budgetary trade-offs needed for ultimate financial success. Peter is proud of his training and background including a CPA, Masters in Taxation, Advanced Financial Planning designations, Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation, Registered Securities Principal, B.S. in business from U.C. Berkeley, Insurance Agent and Price Waterhouse alumni. However, Peter is prouder to be able to implement all of these skills sets when assessing client’s unique financial situations. Few advisors or firms have the training and experience to deliver such a comprehensive approach. PTWM can complete what is needed from planning conception through implementation.

This approach provides the most client satisfaction and positive feedback to PTWM. “We are often told by clients that our comprehensive approach implementing strategic tax planning is the missing element not found from other advisors. The challenge today is that clients have too much information coming at them daily. They need an experienced professional can that stay current with all new tax laws and interpret what is important and relevant to their situation. Our comprehensive financial approach can’t be replaced by software, hardware or websites. One of the greatest added value returns we offer our clients are tax savings which can sometimes be higher than actual investment returns” states Peter. Most clients first come to PTWM as a CPA Tax Client or for a Comprehensive Financial Review. Both approaches allow PTWM to find tax savings and efficiencies which are often the greatest source of financial returns. More importantly, Peter states that this process allows PTWM to learn about each individual’s personal life goals that normally don’t come to life when just looking at the numbers. Unlike most CPAs, Peter is an extroverted people person that wants a personal relationship. This philosophy is the backbone of how PTWM works with each client.

The core tenants of this philosophy are to help each individual maximize their return on life through the various life stages. 1. Organization: We will help bring order to your financial life. 2. Accountability: We will help you follow through on your financial commitments. 3. Objectivity: We bring insight from the outside to help you avoid emotionally driven decisions in important tax and money matters. 4. Proactivity: We work with you to anticipate your life transitions and to be financially prepared for them. Time spent in preparation avoids time spent in reparation. 5. Education: We will explore what specific knowledge will be needed to succeed in your situation. 6. Partnership: We attempt to help you achieve the best life possible but will work in concert with you, not just for you, to make this possible. To schedule a consultation or to connect with Peter directly, call (949) 248-9815 or email Peter@Prescott500.com

Prescott Tax & Wealth Management www.Prescott500.com Securities and advisory services offered through Independent Financial Group, LLC (IFG), a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. PTWM and IFG are unaffiliated entities. Peter D. Prescott CA Insurance License #0733213

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How Can I Tell If I Have Skin Cancer? There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Because each has many different appearances, it is important to know the early warning signs. 14 January 2021


ook especially for change of any kind. Do not ignore a suspicious spot simply because it does not hurt. Skin cancers may be painless, but dangerous all the same. If you notice one or more of the warning signs, see a board-certified dermatologist right away, preferably one who specializes in diseases of the skin.

WHAT PATIENTS NEED TO KNOW 1. Everyone needs to perform a self-skin exam once a month.


An actinic keratosis (AK) is a crusty, scaly growth caused by damage from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. An AK is considered a precancer because if left alone, it could develop into a skin cancer. AKs are the product of a lifetime accumulation of UV damage and typically appear on areas most commonly exposed sun, such as the backs of the hands, forearms, face, neck, and scalp.


Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most frequently occurring form of all cancers, with more than 4 million cases of diagnosed in the U.S. each year. BCCs may look like open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, or scars. Any skin lesion that doesn’t heal, or bleeds with even gentle trauma, such as drying with a towel, is concerning for a BCC.

2. Melanoma can appear anywhere on the skin, including the palms/soles, under your nails, and places...for most, have never seen the light of day (genitalia). For this reason, it is important to look everywhere. Lock the bathroom door, get out a hand mirror, and check, it could save your life. 3. What to look for: ABCDEs, and an ugly duckling A - Asymmetry: If I draw a line down the middle, do the sides match? B - Border: Is there a nice crisp border, or does the mole melt into the surrounding skin? C - Color: Moles should be one color, one shade of brown. Is there a variety of shades or additional colors, such as black, red, white, or blue? D - Diameter: Any mole larger than 6mm, ie the head of a pencil eraser, has a higher risk of becoming melanoma.


Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells arising in the epidermis, the skin’s outermost layer. SCCs often look like scaly red patches, crusty bumps, warts, or elevated growths with a central depression. SCCs may appear suddenly and some forms are tender to touch. They can become disfiguring and sometimes deadly if allowed to grow. More than 1 million cases of SCC are diagnosed each year in the U.S., which translates to about 115 cases diagnosed every hour. Incidence has increased by 200 percent in the past three decades in the U.S., and more than 15,000 Americans die each year from this type of skin cancer.


Melanoma is a very dangerous form of skin cancer. Melanoma is caused mainly by intense, occasional UV exposure (frequently leading to sunburn), especially in those who are genetically predisposed to the disease. An estimated 178,560 cases of melanoma are diagnosed in the U.S. each year and is fatal for an estimated 9,320 of these patients. Fortunately, if melanoma is recognized and treated early, it is almost always curable.

E - Evolution: Has it changed? F - The Ugly Duckling Sign: Most people have a “signature mole,” their own personal mole appearance and architecture. Is there a mole that seems different from all the others? 4. Everyone needs a full body skin exam by a board-certified dermatologist once a year, more frequently if you have a family history of skin cancer, a personal history of skin cancer, or live in an area with substantial sunshine. January 2021 15

South Coast Shutter and Shades


perating honestly and with integrity has served as the foundation for the continued success of the Laguna Niguel-based South Coast Shutter and Shades for over 32 years. Owners Tom and Donna Schuster launched their own company after realizing that “on our own we would be able to offer quality products in an honest environment to our customers, as well as servicing the products we sell.”

Tom and Donna, credit their success to date to the quality of customer service they and their team give their customers, which in turn creates a wonderful repeat and referral business. “Although there may be providers of similar products, there is no one that can match our superior customer service – from showing up on time, making precise measurements and flawless installations - and with a professional ‘can do’ attitude,” says Donna.

Specializing in custom shutters, blinds (mini, faux, wood, vertical), cellular shades, woven woods, plantation and security shutters and everything in between, Tom and Donna offer free in-home consultations for design as well as measuring, they always include free professional installation and prefer to bring all of the samples to each client’s home to go over the assorted styles and many color options to suit each home’s interior and its homeowner’s unique lifestyle.

Tom adds that “our pricing with unbeatable discounts, sales support and the fact that we offer our customers an in-house design team at no additional charge is the first step in setting us apart from our competition. I am proud to say that we have built a reputation in the business for having the highest quality, best beauty, fit and finish and value available. All of our products come with a lifetime warranty.”

“We listen to you and then incorporate your ideas with ours to design your custom shutters, blinds or shades,” says Tom. “Our portfolios and samples are very extensive, so you will be able to envision how your windows are going to look when complete." 16 January 2021

A 5-Star Yelp rated company, South Coast Shutter and Shades boasts scores of glowing testimonials online, including Debora R of Laguna Niguel who writes "Donna and Tom are amazing! Great products, great prices, great service.I've used them twice for two different businesses and I could not be happier. Donna makes suggestions based on what I tell her

my needs are and she has been spot on with her recommendations. Installations by Tom are quick and easy. Highly recommended!" Another reviewer, Doug W. of Mission Viejo posted that "From the first call, I knew I was dealing with a reputable, experienced, HONEST company. Donna and Tom are absolute PROS and obviously take pride in their work … Their price was very competitive. Also, what they quote is what you pay - keep that in mind when talking to the "other guys" whose price seems to go up and up. All appointments including install were FAST. The installation was flawless. I had a question later that evening about my motorized shades and they called me back IMMEDIATELY. My impression is that I could call them 5 or 10 years from now and they would just as helpful."

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Home Safety Advisors: Helping Seniors Live Safely in Their Own Home Longer! By Jody Robinson By the time my friend’s grandmother passed away at 92, she had fallen six times. Two of those falls resulted in broken bones - once, her hip. Horrifying, to find oneself in that position. Tripped up by your walker or the corner of a rug. Often, a wet bathroom or kitchen floor.


he was in a home for five out of the six falls, and still, it took some time to respond, get her stabilized, diagnosed, and fully recovered. Falls, my friend and herfamily quickly learned, are the leading cause of injury related deaths in Americans aged 65 and older. She didn’t end up passing because of a slip up directly, but her bones certainly didn’t give her a pass either, in those last days. Home Safety Advisor’s President Dave Riggle has a similar story, as do so many around the country. His mother passed from a fall in her bathroom, and was the direct impetus for his business beginnings. “None of us five kids had any idea she struggled, or we would have fixed it immediately. I have skin in this game - I don’t want anyone else to suffer like my mother did.” While other home improvement companies may include walk-in tubs as a part of their overall

18 January 2021

offerings, safe bathrooms are the entire focus and area of specialization for Dave and his team of professionals. So much so that Dave personally interviewed over 400 seniors about the difficulties they were experiencing in order to provide the best possible product to meet their needs. While the business formally began in Indiana, the team at Home Safety Advisors expanded their operation into the Southern California market a year ago and are thrilled to have met with such a positive response and feedback to their scope of services. Many clients come to them via word- ofmouth. And it’s not hard to see why. Installing something that could literally mean the difference between serious injury or not is no small feat. And something that Dave’s team takes extremely seriously. All of their walk-in tubs and showers are made in the U.S.A., come with a lifetime war- ranty, are great for Photo by Diana Schmitt, health and easy to clean. Accent Portraits by Diana

Company founder Dave Riggle

As Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists (CAPS), Dave and his team understand the unique needs of older adults and will do everything they can to provide their clients and their families with a sense of confidence and safety in their own home.

But perhaps a lesser known perk is the luxurious spa experience available in the privacy of your home. “Their (occupational therapists) confi- dence in referring us speaks volumes about our capability and their trust in us,” says Dave. “This is rarely done in our industry, and certainly not by any big company.” The showers and baths are crafted right here in California, providing clients a spa-like experience with a side door. Once inside, just relax. Ergonomic faucets, a hand-held shower, and marine grade fiberglass combine to make your bathing experience relaxing, instead of stressful. While most steps into a walk-in shower or bath are still 6” to 9” tall, Home Safety Advisors boast just a 2” threshold, low enough to greatly decrease – if not eliminate – your chances of spilling over the edge accidentally. Offering bench seats, grab bars and hand-held shower, HSA can even customize the threshold or seat to fit the client specifically. As Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists (CAPS), Dave and his team understand the unique needs of older adults and will do everything they can to provide their clients and their families with a sense of confidence and safety in their own home. “We don’t want any slip ups: from the initial consultation to our single-day installation; we’re here to walk you through the unique experience of finding solutions to carry out your aging-in-place modifications.”

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All my parents had to do was focus on moving.” Homes are sold to SHPP truly “as is” – clutter and all. There are no failed escrows, no commissions, no closing costs and no repair credits or seller concessions – it is a certain sale at a certain price, with a flexible closing date and access to a lease-back option.

The Missing Link: A Simple Solution to Senior Home Selling How does life look in the seventh, eighth or ninth decade? As one enters this period of life, adorned with wrinkles, heirlooms and too much yard work, there are countless concerns to consider. Selling your home, or relying on your adult children to do so- in a pandemic-painted world- shouldn’t be one of them.


ob Perkins and sister Corinne Ross, the folks behind San Diego-based Senior Home Purchase Program (SHPP), know this all too well. After a decade of residential real estate investing, their personal experience revealed what was missing in this marketplace: a safe, simple and straightforward home selling program for seniors and their families. “We watched our grandparents reach the point of no longer being able to live alone,” said Rob. “We also saw the effort it took from our entire family to support them through the transition of selling long-time homes and lining up new residences. It’s a hard period of life that calls on family to become overnight experts in real estate, organizing, cleaning and caretaking.” When you add in selling a home during a global pandemic, it’s no easy task. “We founded SHPP in 2015 with the mission of offering seniors a simple way to transition into senior living,” 20 January 2021

said Perkins. “In 2020, safety has become paramount to our operations. COVID-19 has changed the way residential real estate is consumed, and our process frees sellers from many risks, including showing their home to strangers,” said Perkins. The duo created a three-step process that rivals the traditional home sales process. Most notably, using SHPP eliminates the need for real estate agents, home preparation costs, and showings. SHPP helped Camille, the adult daughter of transitioning parents in Encinitas, who shared: “We contacted SHPP about my parent’s home of 35 years, which was ready for a full remodel and had many unfinished projects. It was hard for my parents to take the leap to sell, but they were treated very well by the SHPP team. There was minimal disturbance to their daily life, and that was so helpful. It was a short, smooth escrow, and we were thrilled when everything Rob laid out in the purchase offer, went through as planned.

With a traditional listing, the home seller typically needs to prepare the home – from cleaning to completing updates, repairs and staging – which can cost tens of thousands of dollars. At SHPP, homes are purchased in their current condition and the company pays for 100 percent of costs associated with the sale. An initial home visit allows SHPP to gather necessary data about the home. SHPP then copiously does their homework on the property and the market. A second meeting is scheduled where SHPP presents their absolute best offer on the home. “When presenting our offer, we illustrate how it compares to the alternative of selling on the open market”, said Ross. “Once the costs/fees are deducted from the alternative, our offer often makes the most sense.” As the company, which receives the majority of its customers by referral, expands into Orange County and other areas, they will continue to deliver on their promise to serve seniors with integrity and transparency. “We are in the business of helping people pilot an emotional and financially important decision, and we do not take this lightly,” said Ross. “We encourage our customers to discuss our no-pressure process with family, friends and trusted advisors before they make a decision.”

For more information about the Senior Home Purchase Program, call (714) 923-7477 or visit westviewshpp.com.

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FREE Consultation. Why Settle For Epoxy When You Can Have

It’s Not Epoxy – It’s Better... It’s




Hate your old, tired, peeling or yellowed Epoxy floor?

• No Hot Tire Pickup or Permanent Tire Stain Issues • No VOC’s Or Strong Odor

We can remove it and install a new SpartaFlex floor that you will love!

• Most Durable Finish 2–6 Times More Scratch and Stain Resistant Than Epoxy! • UV Stable — No Yellowing • Most Chemical Resistant

Call today for a FREE estimate and receive

$100 OFF!

• Wet or Dry Slip Resistant

Spartaflex Outperforms Epoxy in Commercial, Industrial & Restaurant Floor Applications Too!

Dozens of colors IN-STOCK, hundreds of others available!

• Strongest Residential Warranty In The Industry • Installation In As Little As One Day

(949) 326-9988 www.perkinscustomcoatings.com

5 Star Company

Thousands of satisfied customers. See for yourself why Perkins installs more floors in Southern California than anyone else! January 2021 21

While everything in her store speaks of high quality, her prices are surprisingly affordable. Because of longstanding relationships with vendors from the top decor lines across the county, Susan is able to acquire furniture and accessories at substantial discounts - which she in turn passes along to her customers.

Backstreet Home Decor One of South OC’s Most Unique Boutiques

By Jody Robinson


ooks can definitely be deceiving. From the road, Backstreet Home Decor appears to be a small storefront, its windows displaying beautiful decorative items, jewelry, handbags and accessories. Step inside, however, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll discover that you could literally spend hours looking at all of owner Susan Smith's wonderful offerings, which range in style from Old World to contemporary. Each piece is reflective of Susan’s keen eye for color, quality, texture, design detail and style - a fact not lost on the scores of professional designers who regularly shop here to decorate their client’s homes. 22 January 2021

“We only LOOK expensive,” she says. “What sets us apart is that all of our florals are custom designed on the premises. We work with our clientele to create exactly what they want. We really try to come up with the unusual - unique items that you just won’t find in every single store.”

Homeowners who have taken advantage of Susan’s in-home consultation rave that she was able to suggest just the right furniture, decor, florals and color palette to create the look they were dreaming of - a fact that I can personally - and happily - attest to. When our family moved from San Clemente to San Juan Capistrano, Susie’s showroom the first and only stop I needed to make for the decorative items and accessories that would make our new house a “home.” Susie’s vision of color, texture, line, shape, natural proportion and balance resulted in the beautiful floral arrangements and wall hangings that adorn our home, along with just the right accent and “statement pieces” to visually tie everything together.

Connect with Susie by stopping by the showroom at 307 N. El Camino Real in San Clemente, by calling (949) 498-2210 or visit www.backstreethomedecor.com


Issue: Date:

March 2020 2/9/20



Four Color, Gloss Paper




• Custom Shutters • Woven Woods • Wood Blinds • Faux Woods



up to

• Cellular Shades • Roman Shades • Roller Shades • Motorization

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$100 OFF Any Order of $500 or More!

949.388.8344 • SouthCoastShutterAndShades.com

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Please approve ad or provide changes/corrections within 48 hours of receipt. If no response is received within 48 hours, this ad will be deemed approved as is. $25 fee applies to minor ad changes. $50 fee applies to changes requested past 48 hour proof and/or art deadline.

40+ Years Experience

48 HOUR AD PROOF Please review your proof carefully. Check expiration dates, offers, phone numbers, addresses and spelling. The Local DISH® Magazine is not responsible for errors and/or ommissions.


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Design or copy changes will result in additional charges and will only be considered if time permits. The Local DISH® cannot guarantee reproduction quality and color exactness. Colors may vary due to file formats, computer monitors and/or printing processes. This ad is the property of The Local Dish® Magazine. Reproduction, copying and/or distribution in any way is strictly prohibited without prior written consent. ©2020 The Local Dish® Magazine. All rights reserved.

High Quality Painting Services Professional. Personable. Proven.

Interior + Exterior Residential Painting Services

Specialty Surfaces - patio covers, fences, gates, natural wood cabinets, painted cabinets We aim to exceed your expectations. No surprises. No deposit required. Fully licensed. Bonded. Insured. CA Lic. 372767

Call for a FREE On-Site Estimate.

(866) 986-9781 January 2021 23

Making the Right Connections with

Steve Carter Electric By Jody Robinson

The average American household has 45 lights in it. Cup lighting, recessed, portraiture; indoor, outdoor. Incandescent, CFL, LED. There are likely as many types of fixtures and functions in the residential electrical world as years Steve Carter Electric has been in business. we experienced the benefits for ourselves while visiting family friends in Northern California. With 10 minutes of turning the whole house fan on, all of the warm air had been evacuated from the home, replaced with the cooler ambient air from outside - dropping the temperature in the house by 10 degrees! He was sold. In researching local companies, we came across the Yelp 5-Star rated San Clemente-based family-owned Steve Carter Electric. We couldn’t be happier with the QuietCool whole house fan we had installed - and equally importantly, the service provided by Steve and his team of professionals and are now all set to make quick work of the warm air during our next “hot” spell.


staple in south Orange County for the last thirty years, it isn’t hard to imagine why someone might call in the professionals at Steve Carter Electric for help wiring and all things electrical. Dedicated to providing the best quality on every job, and investing in long-term service is the backbone of the business, and what Steve Carter himself carries into every job. “We know that your home is more than a tangle of wires: its not the fixtures, its the connections made inside and out.” Specializing in whole house fans, lighting and electrical upgrades, repairs, back-up power, panel upgrades, landscape lighting, E.V charger installs and general 24 January 2021

troubleshooting, there isn’t a job too complex to take on. One of the perks of publishing South County Magazine is being able to give testimonials for local businesses that our family has personally utilized. As a San Juan Capistrano resident blessed to live in coastal OC, I realize it’s ridiculous to refer to the unseasonable warm weather we experienced in September and October as uncomfortably “hot.” But warm air rises and our bedrooms are upstairs where the temperature would get to the mid-80s, which would make it a little warmer than we’d like when trying to get to sleep at night. My husband had been hankering to have a whole house fan installed after

“I knew back in high school that I wanted to learn the trade and become an electrician,” says Steve. “My Dad taught me to take pride in my workmanship, and I’ve carried that through until today. We don’t cut corners because we’d like to be your electricians for life.”

Steve Carter Electric (949) 481-4752 www.scepros.com

25% Hr. Emergency Services

24 Professional & Friendly Annual Service


Peace of Mind All Year Long

Home Tune Up

Package Starting at

$199 INTERIOR  Refrigerator Filter Replacement


CARLOS THE PLUMBER Fast & Friendly Service at a Neighborly Price

• General Plumbing • Drain Cleaning • Faucets, Fixtures and Garbage Disposals • Water & Sewer Piping & Re-piping • Leak Detection • Commercial + Residential Plumbing • Draining Expert - If We Don’t Fix It,

You Don’t Pay

FREE ESTIMATES + Free Leak Detection

Serving OC for 20+ Years



(949) 246-3589

Lic. 910146

 Smoke Detector/Carbon Monoxide Alarm Battery Replacement  Shower Drain Flush  Garbage Disposal Cleaning  Range Hood Filter Replacement  Light Bulb Replacement  Oil Entry Door Lock  Vacuum Refrigerator Coil

EXTERIOR  Sprinkler Analysis  Landscape Lighting Analysis  Gutter Cleaning  Air Conditioner Filter Replacement

(949) 441-6454 January 2021 25

oxy coatings can also be removed during this same process. “Despite the fact that Coatings Industry requires concrete to at least be diamond ground before installing a new coating system, many of my competitors will install their coatings right over raw or pressure washed concrete just to save a few bucks - I will never do that” says Paul.

It’s Not Epoxy, It’s SpartaFlex!


or nearly 40 years, southern California homeowners have used Epoxy for garage and industrial floor coating projects despite its tendency to yellow, it’s soft and easy to scratch surface and it’s tendency to be permanently damaged by the hot, high performance tires found on most cars in the OC area. Today OC homeowners don’t have to settle for Epoxy and all of its flaws anymore. SpartaFlex is an advanced, next generation 100% solids polyaspartic floor coating that gives your garage a beautiful finish that is 3x harder than epoxy, resists yellowing while also resisting permanent damage from hot tires. Perhaps best of all, SpartaFlex comes with a much better warranty than Epoxy. Perkins Custom Coatings has been installing SpartaFlex on OC garage floors for nearly 14 years and has completed over 9,000 floors during that period of time. Its CEO and owner, Paul Frankel is considered by many to be the most knowledgeable contractor in the local market. “Unlike many of our competitors, we strive to do an onsite assessment including a moisture test for every floor coating project we install and instead of using the ‘one size fits all’ approach, we develop a coating solution that we believe will last for decades not just for a few years.” Perkins uses only the most advanced surface preparation methods available and will either diamond grind or shot blast every floor that he installs. Old, failing, yellowed ep-

Perkins also is known for its professional and unique approach to repairing concrete cracks. “Anyone can slap some crack repair paste to cosmetically fix a crack” says Paul. A year later, when the concrete moves again and damages their brand new floor coating, the devastated homeowner will learn that this damage is not covered by the typical Epoxy warranty. “We are the only company that I know of that uses a ‘structural crack repair’ technique to fix cracks. The process is so effective we can offer our customers a warranty that can cover future damage from cracks!” says Paul. After the surface prep is completed, a very effective moisture control primer is applied to the concrete. “This is extremely important” says Paul because for many homes built in Socal before 2005, elevated moisture vapor levels in the garage concrete can have a detrimental impact on floor coatings. Paul does a fast and non-destructive moisture test for every one of the pre-2005 homes he visits and develops a unique installation plan for each home. For newer homes, Paul and his crew can use a basic primer that dries a bit faster allowing installation of a garage floor in as little as one day! The color chips that give the Perkins floor its legendary appearance are sandwiched between this primer and finish coat. Perkins carries the widest selection of colors and sizes in the market and uses a ‘full chip broadcast’, not a partial sprinkling of chips like many of its competitors. “The full chip broadcast gives the floor a consistent appearance and makes the floor much more durable and helps hide dirt better than the partial broadcast finish” says Paul. Finally, Perkins installs the SpartaFlex polyaspartic finish coat and the finished garage comes to life. “Epoxy & SpartaFlex floor coatings are virtually identical in appearance when they are first installed” says Paul. “However, when you will really begin to appreciate a SpartaFlex floor is a few months down the road when you would typically start to see problems develop with an Epoxy floor. If there was a better material on the market, I would be selling it, but there isn’t and that is why we love selling SpartaFlex.”

For more information or to see for yourself the advantages of SpartaFlex over Epoxy, you can call Perkins Custom Coatings, at 866-330-1DAY (1329) or visit their informative website at www.perkinscustomcoatings.com. 26 January 2021

Why Repipe?® when you can ePIPE®

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Owners Steve and Elise Donohoe

949-426-7600 www.AnotherPerfectPool.com Licensed by the Contractors State Licensed Board and Certified by the National Swimming Pool Foundation.

January 2021 27

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With this ad. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Limited time offer.


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Any Plumbing Service Slab Leak Detection Gas Leak Detection & Repair Hydro Jetting Sewer Lining Tankless Water Heaters

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Your South Orange County

Electric Expert! Over 30 Years' Experience | Family Owned

We Upgrade Smoke Detectors to Carbon Monoxide Detectors!

LED Retrofit

Recessed Lighting

Electric Car Charger

Whole House Fans

Landscape Lighting

Ceiling Fans

Art Lighting

Outlets & Switches

Flat Panel TVs Installed

Trouble Shooting

949.481.4752 | www.scepros.com License #606687

28 January 2021

We help you figure out what is going on.

Any Electrical Work

$10 OFF


of $100 or more

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of $200 or more

Must present coupon. Expires 01.31.21 SCM0820

Steve Carter is known and respected throughout South Orange County Check out our 5 Star Rating on


To Our Wonderful Customers,

What a tumultuous year it has been for all abound But it has been astounding to witness the strength our community has found As we take on the New Year, hopefully without fear Through another year that has felt anything but short! Laguna Koi Ponds remains open, & we treasure your continued support Laguna Koi Ponds is having a beginning of the year Sale! In an effort to not let the year end bleak & stale But to get the special koi for your pond, be sure to act quick!

Up To 30% off Select Koi will do just the trick! 20452 Laguna Canyon Road Laguna Beach

(949) 494-5107

www.lagunakoi.com @lagunakoiponds


We Come to You! Free in-home consultation! We buy any size collection. By Appointment Only

(714) 639-9608


*Our process is approved and certified by local law enforcement, legal, safe and adheres to all state and federal firearms laws.

HOW IT WORKS We will appraise and provide a fair market price for each firearm. We take care of all the legal paperwork and give you a receipt of acquisition from the Department of Justice for each firearm. We come to you (this limits breaking any transportation laws and potentially unsafe gun handling). Our reps are certified by the ATF, DOJ and local law enforcement + are Certified Safety Instructors All we need from you is a valid picture ID and signature.

January 2021 29




& Beauty Resource Guide

31463 Pacific Coast Hwy. #100 Dana Point 949.427.3305 DohenyBike.com Ride, Shred and Surf - Getting Active outside has never been easier or more affordable with Doheny Bike’s Fold N’ Go E-Bike Collection.

FLEMING DERMATOLOGY + AESTHETIC CENTER 23141 Moulton Pkwy, Suite 10 Laguna Hills (949) 916-5956 flemingderm.com


34211 Golden Lantern, Unit H Laguna Niguel 949.340.3559 HammerAndNailsGrooming.com Your premier destination for haircuts, shaves, hand and foot care all in a relaxed man cave. Nirvana.

Healthy and Beautiful Skin

Experience and Expertise you can trust. Dr. Fleming is a board-certified Dermatologist by the American Board of Dermatology, Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, Fellow of the American Society for Mohs Surgery, and a member of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery. Cosmetic services include Botox, Fillers, Laser and Professional Skin Care.



31952 Camino Capistrano San Juan Capistrano (949) 489-7924 themassageassociates.com Specializing in Deep Tissue, Therapeutic Massage as well as Prenatal, Geriatric, and Oncology Massage Therapy. Hot stone, reflexology and CBD massage upgrades available.

32241 Camino Capistrano, Suite A-103 San Juan Capistrano (949) 493-2200 saloncapistrano.com Apple Pumpkin Spice Facial + Brow Shape. Anti-aging and full of antioxidants. Brightens and detoxifies. $59 (reg. $95)


Virtual + In-Studio Options Available (310) 569-1517 Get stronger, gain energy, lose weight and avoid age-related health issues with a workout you can stick with! Introductory offer - FREE (a $225 value). 20 Minutes. Twice a Week. Guaranteed Results. 30 January 2021


FEEDCBD.com Got Pain? Try Alleviate Pain from award winning Feed CBD crafted in Southern California.


31771 Niguel Road Laguna Niguel (949) 584-3885 An award-winning colorist, Victoria brings years of experience with innovative color, corrective color and highlights, lowlights and glazing. Schwartzkopf’s color line “Essensity” provides beautiful conditioning and 100% coverage without ammonia, odor, preservatives or alcohol. Victoria’s oil-based highlighting system is done WITHOUT bleach to ensure the quality of your hair stays intact. January 2021 31

Nina Hosseini, Pharm.D., R.Ph. Pharmacist In Charge SpotRx Pharmacy Laguna Hills

A new way to pharmacy in your neighborhood As a local, full service pharmacy, we’re here to provide unmatched service and care to all members of our community. We put you first by providing greater access to medication, competitive pricing on medication and personalized service from our highly trained pharmacists.

Free, No-Contact Delivery We always offer free, safe home delivery on all medications. No exceptions

Our Pharmacists Care Our “no time constraints” policy means our team spends one-on-one time answering all of your questions

Best Out-of-Pocket Pricing Our pharmacists will work with you to ensure you’re receiving the best possible price

To learn more, visit SpotRX.com/SoCal Or call (949) 627-4600

CARRYOUT GUIDE Local Restaurants that are OPEN for Curbside Pick-Up, Drive-Through or Delivery*

* Information accurate as of press-time. If your favorite establishment isn’t listed, please contact them directly for schedule and offerings.

DANA POINT/CAPISTRANO BEACH A’s Burgers 34344 Rte. 1 • (949) 496-4460 Agostino’s Ristorante 34700 Coast Hwy. • (949) 218-8266 Beach Harbor Pizza 34473 Golden Lantern • (949) 218-1920 Beach Hut Deli 2 Ritz Carlton Drive • (949) 542-3351 Bear Coast Coffee 34052 La Plaza #103 • (949) 388-1103 Bistro Provencia 34091 La Plaza • (949) 482-1011

Harbor House Cafe 34157 Hwy. 1 • (949) 496-9270 I Love Bagels 35245 Golden Lantern • (949) 443-3300 J.C. Beans Coffee 34114 PCH • (949) 496-4700 Jack’s Restaurant 24462 Del Prado Ave. • (949) 489-1903 Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern 25001 Dana Point Harbor Dr. • (949) 388-8900 Jon’s Seafood 34665 Golden Lantern • (949) 496-2807 Kamea Poke 34320 Hwy. 1 • (949) 443-5226

Blue Dolphin Restaurant 34130 Hwy. 1 • (949) 489-2936

Las Golondrinas 34069 Doheny Park Rd. • (949) 240-8659

Bonjour Cafe 24633 Del Prado Ave. 15% Off All To-Go Orders. (949)-6368

Little Kitchen Asian Cafe 24831 Del Prado Ave. • (949) 276-7799

Brio Tuscany Grille Dinner to Go. Family Meals to Go, Grocery to Go (food items are raw, ready to cook, individually vacuum packed). Take Out, Curbside Pickup and Delivery. 24050 Camino del Avion. (949) 443-1476. www.briorestaurant.com Casanova Ristorante Takeout, Curbside Pickup and Delivery. 33585 Del Obispo St. (949) 496-0992. www.casanovaristorante.com Coastal Kitchen Take Out, Curbside Pickup daily from 4 pm 8pm. 34091 PCH. (949) 449-2822 Coffee Importers 34531 Golden Lantern. • (949) 493-7773. Craft House Curbside Pickup. 34094 PCH. • (949) 481-7734 El Pollo Loco 35235 Golden Lantern St. • (949) 443-0506 El Torito 34521 Golden Lantern St. • (949) 496-6311 Frisby Cellars 34673 Golden Lantern • (949) 218-9440 Gemmell’s Restaurant 34471 Golden Lantern • (949) 234-0063 Glasspar Seafood Market. PickWeds. 2 pm - 6 pm; Sat. 12 pm - 5 pm. (949) 240-6243 Harbor Grill 34499 Golden Lantern • (949) 240-1416 34 January 2021

Subway (Lantern District) Buy two footlongs, get one free in-store Free Delivery with promo code SUBWAYNOW for Doordash, Postmates & UberEats • (949) 204-5423 Taco Surf 34195 Hwy. 1 • (949) 661-5754 Thai Dara 34255 Hwy 1 • (949) 661.1251 The Brig Restaurant 34461 Golden Lantern St. • (949) 496-9046 Tutor & Spunky’s Deli 34085 PCH • (949) 248-9008 Whitestone Restaurant & Bar 34212 Hwy. 1 • (949) 629-8649 Wind & Sea Restaurant 34699 Golden Lantern • (949) 496-6500

Longboard Rooftop Lounge 24312 Del Prado Ave. • (949) 661-1100

Zen Sushi 32545 Golden Lantern • (949) 488-0933

Luciana’s Ristorante 24312 Del Prado Ave. • (949) 661-6500


Luna Grill 32525 Golden Lantern • (949) 481-6800 Lupe’s Mexican Eatery 33621 Del Obispo • (949) 558-5431 Monarch Beach Market 24040 Camino Del Avion • (949) 429-8750 Parallel Pizzeria 34255 Hwy. 1 • (949) 441-7406 Peking Dragon 34171 Hwy. 1 • (949) 493-9499 Project Social 24040 Camino Del Avion • (949) 424-2313 Proud Mary’s 34689 Golden Lantern • (949) 493-5853 Raya at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel 1 Ritz Carlton Dr. • (949) 240-2000 Stacks Pancake House 34255 PCH • 429-2222 Subway (Del Obispo) Buy two footlongs, get one free in-store Free Delivery with promo code SUBWAYNOW for Doordash, Postmates & UberEats • (949) 4295581 Subway (Camino del Avion/Golden Lantern) Buy two footlongs, get one free in-store Free Delivery with promo code SUBWAYNOW for Doordash, Postmates & UberEats • (949) 248-3300

9 Style Sushi 102 Avenida Victoria, #E • (949) 366.3669 Active Culture – Natural Café & Yogurt 111 S. El Camino Real • (949) 276.4625 Aloha Acai Bowls & Coffee 111 W. Avenida Palizada, Ste. 306 • (949) 573.1129 Antoine’s Café 218 S. El Camino Real • 949.492.1763 Avila’s El Ranchito Mexican Restaurant 204 Ave. Del Mar • 949.498.5000 BallPark Pizza San Clemente 831 Via Suerte • 949.218.0991 Barnoa Wine Bar & Bistro 831 Via Suerte, #106 • 949.498.6604 Bella Collina San Clemente 200 Ave. La Pata • 949.388.4378 Billy’s Meat, Seafood & Deli 111 Ave. Del Mar, 1A • 949.498.5924 Blaze Pizza 225 W Avenida Vista Hermosa • 949.612.2748 Board & Brew 979 Avenida Pico, Ste C • 949.498.2739 Brick 216 North El Camino Real • 949.429.1199 Cafe Mimosa 243 Avenida Del Mar • 949.481.6780

Cafe Rio Mexican Grill 628 Camino de los Mares • 949.627.4811

Tamarindo 110 South El Camino Real • 714.640.9371

NYC Café 31888 Plaza Dr, C-3 • 949.234.0071

Cassano’s Pizza 818 S. El Camino Real • 949.388.7611

Thai Palace 1021 Avenida Pico, A • 949.369.1819

OC Pizza 32341 Camino Capistrano • 949.429.8888

Caterina’s Est. 1990 614 Avenida Victoria, Ste C • 949.218.7085

Thai Paradise 3551 Camino Mira Costa, B • 949.489.9914

Dad’s Liquor & Deli 2421 S. El Camino Real • 949.492.8121

The Cellar 156 Ave. Del Mar • 949.492.3663

El Jefe Café 106 E. Escalones • 949.492.4010 Fred’s Market Liquor 220 S. Ola Vista • 949.492.5465 H.H. Cotton’s American Bar & Grill 201 Avenida Del Mar • 949.940.6785 Italian Cravings 105 S. Ola Vista • 949.492.2777 Jimmy John’s Sandwiches 122 South El Camino Real • 949.481.6911 Juice My Heart 804 S. El Camino Real • 949.481.0700 Kelly’s Donuts Also breakfast burritos, burger and sandwiches. 430 Camino de Estrella • (949) 443-2862 La Colombiana 1640 N. El Camino Real, A • 949.441-7656

The Grill 202 N El Camino Real • 949.492.8450 The Lobster Shack 111 W. Avenida Palizada #104 • 949.503.1119 Wahoo’s Fish Taco 641 Camino de los Mares, #100 • 949.487.6995 Z Pizza 1021 Avenida Pico • 949.498.3505 Zebra House Coffee 1001 S. El Camino Real, A • 949.218.6976


Asian Kitchen 30271 Golden Lantern • (949) 441-7138

Crivello’s 31882 Del Obispo St. • 949.443.0423

Malulu Sushi 415 E. Avenida Pico • 949.498.5331

Délice Breton 31451 Rancho Viejo Rd, 103 • 949.503.1577

Mongkut Thai Restaurant 212 Ave. Del Mar • 949.492.3871

Dog Pawrk Brewing Co. 27122 Paseo Espada • (949) 652-3379

Moulin 120 W. Avenida Pico • 949.441.7040

El Adobe 31891 Camino Capistrano • 949.493.1163

OC Tavern 2369 S. El Camino Real • 949.542.8877

El Campeon 31921 Camino Capistrano, #15 • 949.489.4078

Panera Bread 101 W. Ave. Vista Hermosa • 949.498.2387

El Coyotito 32141 Alipaz St, Ste B • 949.496.9439

Subway (Camino de Los Mares) Buy two footlongs, get one free in-store Free Delivery with promo code SUBWAYNOW for Doordash, Postmates & UberEats • (949) 248-3300

Wow Poki 32118 Paseo Adelanto • 949.661.3354

Basanti 27221 Ortega Hwy, Ste G • 949.481.6682

Left Coast Brewing Co. 1251 Puerta Del Sol • 949.276.2774

Sonny’s Pizza and Pasta 429 N. El Camino Real • 949.498.2540

The Olives Branch 31105 Rancho Viejo Rd • 949.373.5633

Amber’s Cantina 31341 Niguel Rd. • (949) 488-2858

Cedar Creek Inn 26860 Ortega Hwy • 949.240.2229

Shwack Cantina 1527 N. El Camino Real • 949.218.7182

The Brewhouse 31896 Plaza Dr, #D3 • 949.481.6181

Bad to the Bone 31738 Rancho Viejo Rd • 949.218.0227

Las Golondrinas Mexican Food 821 Via Suerte • 949.276.7464

San Clemente Wine Company 212 1/2 Avenida Del Mar • 949.429.7067

Selma’s Chicago Pizzeria 31781 Camino Capistrano, #201 • 949.429.3599

Acai Republic 27020 Alicia Pkwy. • (949) 349-0895

Ciao Pasta 31661 Camino Capistrano • 949.496.5002

Pick Up Stix 415 Avenida Pico • 949.492.1226

Rancho Capistrano Winery (wine purchases only) 26755 Verdugo St • 949.481.6682


La Siesta Mexican Restaurant 920 N. El Camino Real • 949.498.3094

Peet’s Coffee & Tea 801 Ave. Talega, 2A-101 • 949.325.0487

Paddy’s Station 26701 Verdugo St. • (949) 661-3400

El Maquey 31481 Camino Capistrano • 949.493.8681 Five Vines 31761 Camino Capistrano #11 • 949.800.9145 Flame Broiler 31878 Del Obispo St. • 949.429.7241 Jade China 31878 Del Obispo St. • 949.240.3888 Las Golandrinas 27124 Paseo Espada • 949.240.3440 L’Hirondelle 31631 Camino Capistrano • 949.661.0425 Marie Callender’s 31791 Del Obispo St • 949.661.5977

Sur Coffee 118 S. El Camino Real

Mollie’s Famous Cafe 32033 Camino Capistrano • 949.240.9261

Taka-O Japanese Restaurant 425 N. El Camino Real, 949.498.7111

NewStart Nutrition 32292 Camino Capistrano Ste B • 949.606.2981

Belgian Waffle House 28241 Crown Valley Pkwy. • (949) 215-2950 Bella Roma 28940 Golden Lantern • (949) 363-6995 Bricco Pizza 28083 Moulton Pkwy. • (949) 652-5211 Chico-Fil-A 28201 Crown Valley Pkwy. • (949) 448-8447 China Moon 30001 Golden Lantern • (949) 249-6868 Dickey’s BBQ 27931 La Paz Road • (949) 328-9890 East Coast Bagel 28971 Crown Valley Pkwy. • (949) 831-5381 Golden Dragon 27311 La Paz Road • (949) 362-4739 Good Choice Sushi 30251 Golden Lantern • (949) 363-8840 Jersey Mike’s 28051 Greenfield Dr. • (949) 446-6245 Jizake Sushi 30001 Crown Valley Pkwy. • (949) 363-9779 Mangia Bene Cucina 27281 La Paz Rd • (949) 831-0141 Nalu’s 27000 Alicia Pkwy • (949) 360-6258 Romeo Cucina Italiana 28241 Crown Valley Pkwy. • (949) 831-4131 Villa Roma Argentine-Italian Restaurant Pick Up. Online Ordering. FREE Delivery for orders over $75 and Seniors (call for delivery areas). Tues + Thurs: $1.25 Empanadas; Weds: 2-for-1 Pizza; Regular Menu & Wine: 20% OFF; Sangria-To-Go: $5. 25254 La Paz. 25254 La Paz Road. (949) 454-8585 January 2021 35

Casanova Ristorante serves up some of the best Italian dishes this side of Venice

By Jody Robinson


f you’re in the mood for delicious, authentic Italian fare served in a romantic atmosphere where the owners and staff make you feel like a personal guest in their home, look no farther than Casanova Ristorante. My husband Tim discovered the Dana Point restaurant while vacationing in Venice, Italy over 15 years ago. Strolling by a quaint eatery, he noticed its sign showcased a sister establishment in Southern California not far from his San Clemente home. His experience of what he calls “truly terrific” culinary dishes prompted him to seek out Casanova Ristorante in the hopes that the “authentic Venetian” specialties served up stateside would rival its Italian counterpart.

Owners Chris Lagaris (R) and Stefano Xenos

The popular Dana Point restaurant apparently more than delivered because Casanova Ristorante has consistently been the eatery of choice when deciding on where to go on “date night.” I can’t speak to the cuisine at its sister establishment in Venice, but I can tell you that literally everything I’ve tried on the menu here has been nothing short of superb. The service is excellent – attentive and unobtrusive – the ambiance is warm and friendly and its 36 January 2021

popular cocktail lounge featuring specially selected wine list (and full bar) has a loyal following among locals and visitors alike. Start with the Mozzarella Caprese, which arrives with slices of fresh tomato topped with creamy buffalo mozzarella cheese and basil and served with virgin olive oil. Another popular pick is the antipasto misto made up of a selection of cured meats and complementary cheeses and my personal fave: the Carpaccio al Salmone defined by crisp romaine, capers, radicchio topped with smoked salmon, lemon and olive oil. For the main course, Tim’s favorite dishes include the “Pink Lady Fettuccine” made with chicken and sundried tomatoes tossed in a creamy Alfredo sauce and a flavorful Rigatoni Mamma Rosa with Italian sausage and mushrooms in a tomato sauce with a touch of cream. My favorites include the Lasagne al Forno which arrives with layers of perfectly al dente pasta, ricotta cheese and meat sauce baked with mozzarella cheese.

A seafood aficionado? Options abound – ranging from the Linguini Vongole Veraci (long, flat pasta with baby Manila clams sautéed in a white wine sauce) and Farfalle al Salmone (bowtie pasta with smoked salmon tossed in a cream and tomato sauce with a touch of vodka) to the Linguini alla Pescatora (long, flat pasta with fresh fish of the day, shrimp, calamari, mussels and clams in a light tomato sauce. Portions are generous, but if you’ve saved room for a little something sweet … try the crème brulee with its perfectly carmelized top or the homemade tiramisu, a traditional favorite or an equally delicious warm chocolate cake accompanied by vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and drizzled with a rich chocolate sauce.

Casanova Ristorante 33585 Del Obispo St. Dana Point (949) 496-0992 casanovaristorante.com

Dream Driving, the LA Way with Exotics Racing - The Supercar Driving Experience By Tim Robinson

As a dad and longtime auto enthusiast, I have to say that my wife outdid herself this last Christmas when she gifted me with one of the most memorable - and more importantly, memory-making/ bonding experiences with our 13-year-old son: a half-day Exotics Racing “Supercar Driving Experience” for a unique tour of the City of Angels.


ut instead of spending what feels like half your life on a double-decker bus bound for the spectacle of BelAir, Beverly Hills, Malibu and the super scenic Santa Monica via panoramic Pacific Coast Highway, the LA-based Exotics Racing sends its guests out on an exclusive guided tour in a fantasy car lineup that’s enough to turn even a celebrity’s head. Since 2009, Exotics has been pumping its customers full of adrenaline on the track, by taking the wheel of one incredible machine or another, and pushing performance to its outside limits. Exotic’s professionally designed Las Vegas racetrack offers the best straights and double apexes over its 1.2 mile length. Many auto enthusiasts, myself included, have taken the risk on open stretches of highway and country roads a time or two, pushing the pedal down a little too far, watching for the red and blue lights as highway patrol catches on. Here, you can rip around the same curve over and over without fear of a ticket or getting arrested. And there is a team of incredible professional instructors to guide you through the true capacity of the cars, as well as the basics you thought you learned in Mario Kart, but never actually tested out on paved road. In fact, these professionals aren’t there to rein you in or hold you back in any way … just the opposite. They want you to experience the thrill of the ride to full effect. Understeer, oversteer, progressive throttle. What 640 horsepower really feels like. 38 January 2021

The largest fleet of exotic supercars awaits: from Italy, you’ve got Ferrari and Lamborghini - from Britain, the Aston Martin, and the cream of Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Nissan’s crop as well. First in safety and service in the industry, Exotics Racing is the original supercar experience, designed to keep you dreaming about the drive far beyond your last lap on the track. Let’s be honest, we all have that vision of some valet accidentally tossing over the keys to a Ferrari 458 Italia after dinner out one night, but the chances of that actually happening are about as good as my first 911 winning a head-to-head with its 2019 counterpart. Plus, just handing over the keys like that is asking for trouble. The team of professional at Exotics take each driver through safety instruction, and then a side-by-side ride along. Launched last year, the company’s Supercar Driving Experience takes touring to an entirely new level. The trip originates and concludes on sunny Ocean Avenue at the Santa Monica Pier, and travels across west Los Angeles winding along PCH through the Pacific Palisades - hugging the ocean along the way - into Beverly Hills be-

fore cruising past multi-million dollar mansions down Sunset Boulevard, along the iconic Rodeo Drive and finally the peaceful canopy of trees at Fox Studios. Except that each of the driving teams follows their guide (in the lead car - a Maserati GranTurismo and narrating along the way) behind the wheel of an alternating array of well … ultimate, luxurious supercars: a Ferrari 488 Spider, a Corvette C7 Z06 and my personal favorite - a Lamborghini Huracán Spyder. At each stop along the tour, there was plenty of time to swap cars, take photos to document the ride, and wax poetic with the other enthusiasts over some of the most spectacularly fun road to drive in the world. The best part? All you need is a pair of sunglasses, a driver’s license, and a passion for some of the most amazing machines out there. Exotics Racing takes care of the rest.


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Business Spotlight: SUBWAY

Local Restaurateur Marco Scognamiglio is dedicated to “getting involved and giving back” By Jody Robinson

It isn’t always easy to trace the beginnings of a business, especially a lucrative one. Many times you have to wend back through a great many partnerships, over all the handshakes and deals made, past the initial boom to the original idea.


ometimes though, there’s a crystallized history. An evident path. Such were the beginnings for Marco Scognamiglio. First generation college graduate from Arizona State University with a degree in Business Communication and Management, the Dana Point native followed in his parents’ footsteps into the local restaurant business. Marco currently operates five Southern California Subway franchises - in San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills and two in Dana Point. His ties to the restaurant industry are deeply rooted and familial. His father, Enzo, owns the popular Brio Tuscany Grille in Dana Point and his mother, Jill, operated several Subway franchises herself so between his education and literally growing up in the industry, Marco was well poised to embark on his own entrepreneurial endeavors with the goal to “get involved and give back” to the community in which he lives and works. “My first job was cleaning dishes and calamari in the back of my father’s Italian restaurant in Dana Point,” says Marco. “I saw the community he created in that space, and wanted nothing more than to build upon that legacy to create my own success and community relationships someday.” A board member of the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Laguna Hills Chamber of Com-

merce, Marco is committed to serving those around him, especially now, when times are so uncertain for many due to COVID-19. “My goal has always been to grow my organization so I can feed and provide for my beautiful community, while also giving my team members better opportunities for their own personal and professional growth,” says Marco. “Right now, there is no greater need than enmeshing a true sense of wellbeing for my team and our customers in everything we do.” Marco has taken many steps to pivot his business during the pandemic, including taking the opportunity to provide for local heroes, starting “Subs for Heroes” - a program that has to date donated over 200 meals to local hospitals. “Frontline workers are doing everything they can to ensure the health and safety of all of our loved ones right now,” he says. “It is the absolute least we can do.” Franchising has come a long way since

40 January 2021

1851, when Isaac Singer became the first American to sell the rights to his sewing machines to end users, but the basic history is still evident event today: do business, and do it well. Check out the Subway App for exclusive discounts and delivery through 3rd party services including Postmates, UberEats and Doordash. Subway caters! Contact Marco by leaving a message for him at any of the 5 store locations. No order is too small or too large.

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Pets of the Month Ten year old Leonidas is the epitome of sweet and gentle cats. Though he can be a bit shy at first meeting, he quickly comes around and wants nothing more than to snuggle by your side. Leonidas loves to be petted and brushed would likely make the perfect lap cat in a calm and quiet home.

This handsome boy is Currant, a three month old kitten who just can’t wait to meet you. Currant is an outgoing kitten who loves to play and explore with his siblings. When he is ready for a break, he enjoys petting and being held but then is right back to his fun. Could this frolicsome little feline be the one for you?



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If you are interested in adopting an animal listed here, please visit www.PetProjectFoundation.org/Adoptions/AdoptADog or www.PetProjectFoundation.org/Adoptions/AdoptACat to download an adoption application form. Completed forms can be emailed to AnimalServices@scdpanimalshelter.org and you will be contacted about making an interaction appointment.

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Life. Organized. By Jody Robinson Classy Closets’ unique, custom solutions for the home and office can instantly double or even triple your storage space.


loset organization is something of an oxymoron at my house. Same goes for my home office. I actually do know where everything is in the stacks of paper that perpetually reside atop my desk, but good luck having anyone else make rhyme or reason of my filing “system.”

a desire to have your mess aesthetically addressed, Classy Closets will customize your work/life space with made-toorder cabinetry and organization systems for your home office, garage, bedroom, laundry room, pantry, media centers, wallbeds and more.

I’m clearly a candidate for the handiwork of a company like Classy Closets – if it’s a matter of function or simply

Think you can’t afford to bring in the professionals? Classy Closets, which has served all of Orange County and

San Diego since 2003, offers organization options for virtually every budget – from basic white melanine to solid wood cabinetry. “Nothing we do is cookie cutter,” says Company CFO Gary Pavitt. “Although Classy Closets is a franchise, we’re not governed by the rules that typically dictate processes of typical franchise operations – particularly with regard to the materials and mounting systems we use. What works in terms of style and function at a home in Tucson, for instance, wouldn’t necessarily translate to a house in Huntington Beach. So we have the freedom to customize our work to our client’s specific needs and desires.” Another differentiator is that Gary and his team manufacture their products right here in Southern California, which affords them the ability to offer their clients a broader range of product options at a level of quality that is “second to none.” And because they are “hands-on” from design consultation to manufacture and installation, Gary and his staff pride themselves on providing unparalleled customer service. “What’s really fun is having the ability to create the products in-house,” says Gary. “I really enjoy introducing new ways to make things better, bringing in new products and keeping up with the latest trends in the industry. We go out of our way to keep our customers satisfied … that’s what makes it all worthwhile. As in any business, your customers are golden and we’ve been very fortunate that a large percentage of our business is in referrals.” Repeat customers Marta and Mike Fowler of San Diego say that Classy Closets is a “dream company - one that not only delivers beautiful craftsmanship, but also that elusive quality

48 January 2021

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of excellent service. Every good cliché regarding their work applies.” “This is our second home that Classy Closets has refined to meet all our storage needs, from closets to garage, from bathroom storage to entertainment center. And they never try to oversell, giving honest recommendations for products, charging fair prices within reach,” says Marta. “Their creative solutions and impeccable workmanship combine to make functional pieces we love living with. We have only one warning: Classy Closets is addictive, and you will find yourself wanting to spread the good news.” In a letter to Gary’s business partner Kate Monaghan, Carlsbad-based Interior Designer Karen Wirrig echoes the Fowler’s sentiment and adds that “my new master closet is beautiful and your attention to detail is evident. I also want to commend your installation crew. They were on time, tidy, polite, and did excellent work … I will wholeheartedly recommend your company to all my clients. It has been a pleasure to work with you all.” Classy Closets 23024 Lake Forest Drive, Suite K Laguna Hills (949) 249-5600 www.classyclosets.com

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PRIVATE SCHOOLS OPEN HOUSE CALENDAR JANUARY 28, 2021 23262 El Toro Rd. Lake Forest (949) 830-1461 abidingsavior.com

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JANUARY 21, 2021 32451 Bear Brand Road Laguna Niguel (949) 371-9932 www.st-anne.org

33866 Calle La Primavera Dana Point (949) 496-1241 www.StEdSchool.org admissions@stedschool.org

JANUARY 30, 2021 24741 Chrisanta Drive Mission Viejo (949) 458-1776 50 January 2021

Preschool – 8th Grade • International Student Program Join us online for our Virtual Open House on Thursday, January 28 at 6pm. It’s a great opportunity to tour the campus and step inside classrooms virtually. Preview our Preschool and Elementary school programs, and learn more about what Abiding Savior has to offer. Hear from our Principal regarding mission, curriculum overview, meet our inspirational faculty, and ask questions. Accredited by WASC and NSLA. Building Christ-Centered Leaders since 1974.

The essential purpose of a LePort Montessori education is to offer each child an environment in which they can develop the skills and habits they need for a lifetime of learning and happiness. Montessori Elementary at LePort Montessori is designed to fully engage 6 – 12-year-olds in learning – to leverage their sociability, their curiosity, and their drive to contribute to their community so they can acquire the skills and knowledge they need to flourish in life.

St. Anne School is an independent Catholic school in Laguna Niguel that educates students from preschool through Grade 8, to explore their gifts, discover their passions, and envision their future. Guided by the teachings of the Catholic Church, we work in partnership with inspirational teachers and committed parents to cultivate the faith, intellect, and character of our students.

Faithful to Catholic values, St. Edward the Confessor Parish School (Preschool – 8th Grade) offers a dynamic schoolwide learning environment that inspires each student to achieve his or her God-given potential inside and outside the classroom. Through rigorous academics, innovative and creative curriculum, service opportunities and Catholic values, our Monarchs are confident and compassionate students who are Always Learning and make a difference well beyond their St. Edward years.

From Preschool – 8th Grade, we infuse our liberal arts curriculum with Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). We combine traditional teaching styles with 21st century learning principles. We integrate technology with careful intention. We provide a variety of extracurricular pursuits, personal development activities, physical education, and play time. The result is a rich spectrum of hands-on learning opportunities that enable students to become creative problem-solvers, imaginative innovators, and insightful, confident leaders.

Boredomtunity Ways Boredom Makes Kids and Ourselves More Extraordinary! By Jeanne Huybrechts, Chief Academic Officer, Stratford School

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” – Dorothy Parker



Parents interested in building their children’s creative capacities can start by ensuring time in each day and each week for unstructured play or structured activities that allow for simultaneous daydreaming. Walking, skating, bike-riding all come to mind. Arts and crafts, gardening, house chores all allow one to be physically busy, but with a reduced cognitive load that allows for daydreaming. I cannot tell you how many ideas I have had or problems I have solved while ironing, cooking, or sweeping the garage! Parents can free up some time for their children to become bored and then reduce the number of “shiny objects” – again, often a screen image – that kids will instinctively reach for in those first uncomfortable moments of boredom. Make space for boredom, and then resist the temptation to fill it! Not only is it good for you, but it just might be the best thing you can do for your kids!

Modern living presents a couple of impediments to boredom that makes space for creative daydreaming. First, we have come to value “busy-ness”

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Before addressing questions about nurturing, navigating and/or mitigating boredom, I think it’s important to identify the state of mind we’re talking about. Too often we think of “boredom” as a passive deficit state – “nothing to do” or “not entertained” — when, in fact, we should flip that mindset and think of boredom as opportunity. Just as we look forward to weekends or holidays, when we don’t have to work or go to school and are more likely to have discretionary chunks of time, we should similarly see “boredom” as a respite, as free time for our minds. When presented with holiday or weekend “free time” we relax or pursue hobbies, which often revitalizes us for the next round of work or study. If we think of “boredom” as a break from the cognitive load of school or work and use the time for cognitive hobbies – daydreaming, imagining, or other creative thinking –we are revitalized in much the same way.

Prominent writers, poets, and artists have described profound creative leaps that originated with a quiet moment and nothing to do, epiphanies that emerged from extended periods of day-dreaming that began as “boredom.” Highly creative types often speak of inspiration or revelation that surfaced in quiet moments while walking, riding or waiting – all activities that could be regarded as unproductive and “boring” yet were anything but. Numerous psychologist-researchers have established that boredom can trigger mind-wandering which leads to creativity. Moments of boredom should be cherished, or at least recognized as opportunity!

52 January 2021

as intrinsically good, too often curating and scheduling activities to fill every minute of every day. To be sure, busy kids are happy kids, but our habit of overscheduling – for both children and adults – leaves little time for extended daydreaming. Children’s daily schedules, even on weekends, are often tightly scheduled with a myriad of activities and little unstructured time. Second, the onset of boredom is nearly always uncomfortable. Before one begins daydreaming, before that daydreaming leads to creative thinking, there is discomfort – and the very human instinct is to fill the gap with entertainment. When a moment or hour of boredom presents itself, it is too often replaced by a distraction – often an activity that emanates from a screen. The Internet offers a nearly infinite number of distractions to fill any moment of boredom, and the challenge is to resist the temptation to fill the momentary discomfort of “boredom” with the quick fixes to be found among YouTube and TikTok videos.


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St. Anne School

Explore your gifts. Discover your passion. Envision your future. Let’s face it, this year has been anything but normal. Although this school year looks different than others, if you could walk onto St. Anne’s campus in Laguna Niguel you would likely hear students practicing musical instruments or singing at weekly Mass being livestreamed into their classrooms.


ou might witness eighth-grade students sitting outside, engrossed in their laptops designing their own websites in their Navigating Our World class, secondgraders discovering their ancestry by dressing in period costume for Ellis Island Day, or preschool students exploring together in their outdoor classroom. In previous years you might see a bus in the parking lot loading up fifth-grade students for a field studies trip to Astro Camp, but this year you might see parents filling their cars with donated supplies for a campus ministry project.

St. Anne School

This year St. Anne School has reimagined how they provide students with a learning experience that continues to offer opportunities for exploration and discovery. With strict safety protocols in place, the school has offered in-person instruction since late August, with an online option, Knights Live!, for students who feel more comfortable learning from home. The devoted teachers at St. Anne are trained in differentiated instruction, using strategies that stimulate deeper thinking and discussion with students. Additionally, a dedicated student sup-

An Independent Catholic School in Laguna Niguel

port team ensures the educational and emotional needs of each student are met. Rigorous core academics are enriched by a variety of elective classes. Next school year, St. Anne students can continue discovering their passions through the resumption of afterschool programs such as an award-winning show choir, after-school sports, instrumental music classes, a robust performing arts program, Chess, and Future Problem Solvers. Whether educating students online or in-person, St. Anne School provides an education where students can explore their gifts, discover their passions, and envision their future. Please join us for our virtual Admissions Open House on January 21, 2021, from 9:00-11:00 a.m. Registration is required. Visit www.st-anne.org/open-house ST. ANNE SCHOOL 32451 Bear Brand Road Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 www.st-anne.org

www.st-anne.org | @stanneknights 32451 Bear Brand Road, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 | Phone: 949-371-9932




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54 January 2021

Dana Point Fourth-Grade Student with Dyslexia Writes and Publishes Children’s Book and Donates to Help Other Children Struggling with Dyslexia Dana Point fourth-grader, Caitlyn “Sissy” Varela, who was diagnosed with dyslexia last year, recently published her own children’s book, DOGGY DAZE: Jack and Princess.


issy, who attends St. Anne School in Laguna Niguel, did not let her diagnosis stop her. Rather it motivated her to work even harder in school. Last March Sissy took advantage of having more time at home due to the stay-at-home order and began writing a children’s book. She spent hours sitting at the kitchen table researching and writing the story. She enlisted the help of her talented uncle, David, to illustrate the book and her third-grade teacher, Mrs. Lisa Aguire, to edit it. Sissy is donating a portion of the proceeds to start a scholarship fund at

the Johnson Academy and help other children who are struggling with dyslexia get the help they need. For more information and to order a copy of the book, please visit Sissy’s Facebook page at https:// w w w. f a c e b o o k . com/thesissybooks or her website https://www. thesissybooks. com. You can also

buy a copy of DOGGY DAZE at the local surf shop, Girl in the Curl in Dana Point. Paperback books are $14.99 and hardcover are $19.99.

January 2021 55



Meet our campus team and explore Stratford’s balanced and intentionally designed curriculum.

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56 January 2021










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Orange County Friday Night Live Partnership Presents


Middle school students are invited to participate in a sixweek virtual leadership academy. This opportunity is available at no cost to Orange County youth. Students will: Learn leadership skills Participate in alcohol, vape, and drug prevention workshops Develop and implement a personal goal setting project and group community service project Meet new friends Session 1: Feb. 9 - Mar. 16, 2021, Tuesdays, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. Session 2: Mar. 25 - Apr. 29, 2021, Thursdays, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. Upon completion, students will receive a Leadership Academy certificate and credit for community service hours. Space is limited. For more information or to register, visit www.ocde.us/ocfnlp or call Elke Petras at 714-966-4458. Administered by the Orange County Department of Education and funded by the Orange County Health Care Agency, Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Team.

Preschool - 8th Grade



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Study Better, Not Harder with Under Pressure Homework Help Local K - 12 Tutoring = Lifelong Skills + Success By Jody Robinson It wasn’t tough for one of my mom friends, Amy, to figure out that her fifth grader, Julie, was having trouble in math. If the grades she came home with, the blank stares while looking at her textbook and her increasingly vocal complaints weren’t enough, her daughter’s heavy eraser usage was certainly a clear tip-off. Amy and her husband knew that trying to teach Julie themselves would be an exercise in frustration for all involved. They had her enrolled in an after-school math center staffed largely by high school students. While helpful, Amy felt her daughter’s results would be more meaningful and long-lasting if she were exposed to a higher caliber of instruction. That’s where the Dana Point-based Under Pressure Homework Help (UPHH) offers an ideal solution: a comprehensive, individualized program to help students succeed. With over 20 years of experience as a California certified classroom teacher and tutor, owner Ginny Villa believes it’s the “personal attention, quality, and 58 January 2021

service that set us apart as we help students of all ages build confidence and achieve academic success.” Ginny and her team of tutors effectively tailor every session to your student’s specific needs and learning style - whether it is homework, test preparation, remedial work or advancement. UPHH tutors get to know each student and are able to enhance their strengths and address their weaknesses. UPHH offers flexible scheduling and a variety of options: one-to-one or group tutoring all subjects, levels, ages, and grades and homework club. “Thousands of parents have realized that school alone isn’t enough,” says Ginny. “If your child is struggling, we can help. If your child is excelling, we can provide challenges to keep them engaged. In either situation the key is to start early, before poor work habits and weak academic skills become a habit. UPHH is intentionally designed to help children focus, concentrate, and excel.” But there’s more to engaging students than providing an organized, clut-

ter-free environment and the study materials to make success happen. It takes people who care and who make learning fun. Ginny and her staff are second to none - instructors who turn learning from a chore into a pleasure. UPHH offers professional tutoring with experienced instructors, and leading professionals with knowledge of the subjects and modern technology. Local mom Sue calls UPHH “a parent’s dream come true.” A dad, Tim, agrees with Sue’s assessment and adds that “Ginny is highly skilled at focusing on the end result … content mastery, while making the process both engaging and efficient.” Like many successful entrepreneurial efforts, UPHH started by serving a need. A friend requested Ginny’s assistance in tutoring her child, which led to so many word-of-mouth referrals that Ginny hired a team of experienced professionals and turned her garage into a fledgling tutoring center. UPHH’s services were in such high demand that they quickly outgrew the space - necessitating that she seek out a larger, more permanent location. Ginny takes pride in having created “an environment that fosters confidence in self,” where children are given the building blocks to create their own success. Victory builds upon victory, after all.

Under Pressure Homework Help Calle Borrego Dana Point (949) 283-4646 UnderPressureHomeworkHelp.com

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33866 Calle La Primavera, Dana Point, CA 92629 | (949) 496-1241 | www.StEdSchool.org admissions@stedschool.org @stedschool @theparishschoolatstedward

January 2021 59

In a pandemic, CUSD’s team of school psychologists learn new ways to work By Ryan Burris, Chief Communications Officer, Capistrano Unified School District Constraints dictated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic are forcing school psychologists to utilize innovative new ways to do their work. Capistrano Unified has about 50 school psychologists who assess students’ learning disabilities, family situations, mental and emotional issues, and other psychological concerns and recommend measures to accommodate their education. Before COVID-19, they met face-to-face with students and families and employed tests, background research, and strict protocols – all paper-based. “With the pandemic, a lot of assessment was difficult because we couldn’t use some of our tests,” says Heidi Mejia, lead school psychologist. “Now our batteries of tests have been altered and a lot more technology is involved. With virtual testing, there has been a learning curve for psychologists.” When last spring’s quarantine halted in-person assessment activities, the school psychologists turned their attention to background research, writing, and organization as they waited for things to normalize. After five long months, the team in mid-September resumed their work with students and families. “When we were able to start assessments again, we took extraordinary measures to train and prepare our 60 January 2021

team,” said Danielle C. Clark, director of related services for CUSD. “The district provided clear shields, facemasks, gloves and other personal protection equipment,” she explains. “Our appointments are socially distanced.” With schools reopening, there was a great deal of anxiety among teachers, parents, and students. The school psychologists felt ready to help. “Everyone is still adjusting, but we’re getting there,” says Mejia, “as we relearn routines and learn the new normal. Kids who are still distance learning are struggling the most. Those who are in the schools are adjusting – their friends are not all there.” As the school psychologists are learning new ways of doing things, they are finding that necessity really is the mother of invention, she says. “We should always be aware of sanitation and keeping our materials cleansed,” Mejia said. Even people who were resistant to technology are using Zoom and other apps to host parties, see family members, and share documents, she notes. Technology also allows parents and families who couldn’t participate in assessment meetings to join in via technology on their lunch breaks or in their cars on breaks.

Coronavirus has leveled the playing field, Clark says. “No matter what we have going on in our personal lives we are all homeschool teachers,” she says. “We have a common place now regardless of socioeconomic or other factors. It’s a different mindset, a common struggle. “In the past some inequities were more glaring, but the shared experience of the pandemic has helped us build relationships between families and students and psychology teams,” she says. “We are more trusting and helpful.” Our world is different now, Clark observes, and everyone is learning to go through the struggle together. Colleagues are checking in with each other and offering social and emotional support to one another. Adapting to change, including using masks and other protective equipment, takes time. “Psychologists are seen as the purveyors of the message that we can get through this together,” Mejia notes. “We need to be patient and get through this. We are all learning to be more efficient, master new technology, be more patient, and become more grateful for what we have, and appreciate what we no longer have.” These days, whenever the team members see each other in person, it’s like a celebration. “People are giving each other more grace because we are learning and going through these changes together,” she said. For more information on CUSD’s counseling programs, visit capousd.org


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Current K-12 On-Campus and Online Learning Options

Classes begin August 17!

Preschool and Transitional Kindergarten 100% all day on campus or 100% online

Elementary Program Options 1 100% on campus 2 50% on campus / 50% independent 3 100% Online • Full-Day Kindergarten • Spanish & Mandarin Language Immersion • Gifted and Advanced Learners (GATE)

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For more information on CUSD, enrollment and our learning options visit bit.ly/CUSDInfo

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• Emphasis on cultural diversity and inclusivity awareness through staff training and input from our Cultural Proficiency Task Force • Strict adherence to the latest health and safety requirements (CDPH and OCHCA)

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South County Magazine January 2021 Issue  

Monthly direct mail publication to residents in South OC.

South County Magazine January 2021 Issue  

Monthly direct mail publication to residents in South OC.