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The RMV Rodeo Returns to San Juan OUR COMMUNITY, OUR VOICE





Rolling Thunder

Talented Area Football Teams Ready For Electric Season SPECIAL SECTION San Juan Hills is primed for success and looking to finally push deeper into the CIF-SS playoffs, as are most of the city’s five high school football teams this season. Photo: Zach Cavanagh

City Approves Framework for Potential Agreement with SMWD EYE ON SJC/PAGE 3

Local Group to Replace Patriot Hill American Flag SJC LIVING/PAGE 22

River Street Project Developer, Opponent Agree to Revised Plans EYE ON SJC/PAGE 4




What’s Up With... Five things San Juan should know this week City Approves Framework for Potential Water Transfer Agreement with SMWD THE LATEST: The city’s plans to annex its utilities department took another step forward Tuesday, Aug. 20, as councilmembers approved a framework that will be the basis for a potential agreement to have Santa Margarita Water District take over water and sewer services in San Juan Capistrano. With Councilmember Derek Reeve absent from the meeting, the council unanimously voted in favor of certifying the Memorandum of Understanding that outlines the major deal points of what will eventually be part of an official annexation agreement and application for approval by the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO). “I think the combination of the two agencies being one is going to be great, and I feel good moving forward on this,” Councilmember John Taylor said. One of the major deal points in the MOU includes a commitment by Santa Margarita to invest $25 million to improve and rehabilitate the city’s infrastructure over the next decade. Such a pledge, the city asserts, would directly benefit San Juan ratepayers. According to the MOU, there’s also a provision for the water district to gradually reduce the average service charges for both water and sewer rates. And San Juan will have representation on SMWD’s board, as ratepayers will get to vote for members in at-large elections. Under the potential agreement, should Santa Margarita absorb the city’s utilities department, 16 of the 20 full-time city employees would transfer to the water district. The other four full-time employees of the city are anticipated to be laid off. With the transfer of the water services, SMWD will also receive all of the city’s assets related to utilities, including “water rights and related liabilities associated with the City’s water and sewer systems,” the city notes. WHAT’S NEXT: With the council’s approval, the MOU will go before SMWD’s board

During what at times was a contentious town hall meeting held by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in San Juan Capistrano’s Community Center on Tuesday, Aug. 20, Scott Morris listens to an audience member accuse him of dodging questions. To the left of Morris, the administrator for the federal agency’s Region IV office, which encompasses much of the western U.S., is Linda Howell, the acting director for the NRC’s Division of Nuclear Materials Safety. Photo: Shawn Raymundo

for consideration during its scheduled meeting on Friday, Aug. 23. If the SMWD board also approves the MOU, both agencies will begin to develop the annexation agreement and LAFCO application, which could be submitted in the fall. Assuming all goes according to plan and LAFCO approves the application, the city estimates the water annexation to be executed next spring. EDITOR’S NOTE: An extended version of the story can be found at—Shawn Raymundo

NRC Holds Town Hall Meeting One Year after Canister Incident THE LATEST: A community meeting on spent nuclear fuel storage somehow led to an audience member passing out a basketful of lemons, as well as the meeting’s facilitator telling an individual to “go back to your camera!” The Nuclear Regulatory Commission held a town hall meeting at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center on Tuesday, Aug. 20, to provide updates on its oversight of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). The forum comes more than a year after an incident involving a canister carrying spent nuclear fuel had occurred at SONGS. During the incident on Aug. 3, 2018, the canister was being placed into a vertical receptacle but wasn’t aligned properly, causing it to get stuck on a guiding ring. Southern California Edison, the owner of the decommissioned power plant, and its contractor Holtec International,

The Capistrano Dispatch August 23-September 12, 2019

which built the canisters for spent fuel at SONGS, halted downloading operations, prompting a nearly yearlong effort to make corrective actions. Edison has said that in the months following the incident, it had reviewed its transfer operations and adjusted its program to include updated procedures, implement “better training” and add “more intrusive oversight.” The NRC penalized SCE with a fine of $116,000 this past March. Two months later, the Commission gave Edison the green light to start transferring spent fuel into dry storage again, determining that operations could be safely resumed. Edison made the announcement last month that it had officially resumed its continuing efforts to place the plant’s nuclear waste into a dry storage facility. During the town hall, members of the NRC panel reiterated that adequate measures have been taken since the canister incident. Greg Warnick, chief of the NRC’s reactor inspection branch, led a presentation on corrective steps taken in the past year. Scott Morris, the regional administrator for NRC, gave opening remarks emphasizing the NRC’s independence and credibility. “We are your public servants,” Morris said. “You deserve a strong independent nuclear regulator, and we achieve that by adhering to our principles of regulation.” Throughout the town hall, Morris received the brunt of criticism and interruptions from the audience. “To ensure that policies were developed and implemented correctly, starting at the beginning of July, the NRC has performed five unannounced inspections to review and observe all licensing activities,” said Warnick. “The NRC concluded that South-

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ern California Edison could safely resume fuel transfer operations at SONGS in a manner that was compliant with regulatory requirements. The NRC continues to conduct rigorous oversight of license activities of the site and will routinely report inspection results to the public.” A total of 49 speakers signed up to address the representatives of the NRC. 49th District Congressman Mike Levin, whose district includes San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente and Dana Point, kicked off the public-comment portion of the meeting. “(San Onofre) is not your typical site because of the population density. Therefore, you shouldn’t have your typical protocol,” Levin said. “Restoring public trust requires that you take precautions that are not just adequate.” Levin called for there to be inspectors for every canister that has to be loaded, not just the eight that have been inspected so far. There are a total of 42 canisters left that need to be loaded. Work to load Canister 32 out of a total of 73 begins the end of this month. Several of the speakers who addressed the NRC representatives expressed concerns over the thickness of the canisters, the lack of inspections for each canister, and the NRC’s abilities in holding SONGS accountable. The Holtec canisters on site are 5/8 inches thick. Several speakers called for canisters with a thickness of 10-20 inches. “I’d like to invite the audience to come up and grab a lemon and give them to the NRC representatives to show that the Holtec system is a lemon,” one speaker said, holding a basket full of lemons. Dozens of audience members placed lemons at the desk of the panel speakers, where the lemons remained for the rest of the meeting. At one point toward the end of the meeting, an individual who had been taking photos and who identified himself as a member of Levin’s SONGS task force, yelled out at the facilitator, Chip Cameron, who was skipping over names on the list of 49 speakers and picking speakers at random. Cameron and the individual engaged in a verbal altercation before Cameron told the man to “go back to your camera.” The meeting had originally been scheduled to end at 8:30 p.m., but it ended up running past 9:30 p.m. The town hall was unable to accommodate all 49 speakers. WHAT’S NEXT: For more information on future webinars and town hall meetings, visit EDITOR’S NOTE: An extended version of the story can be found at—Lillian Boyd (Cont. on page 4)

EYE ON SJC WHAT’S NEXT: City Manager Ben Siegel told The Capistrano Dispatch that the city has not yet received those revised plans and, therefore, couldn’t comment on what sort of changes were made. Siegel said that, at this point, the city can’t determine whether the plans will need to again be reviewed by the Planning Commission or Design Review Committee.

(Cont. from page 3)

South County Tribal Community Holds Prayer Demonstration over Open Space THE LATEST: At the city council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 20, councilmembers heard from a small handful of individuals urging them to get longstanding plans back on track to build Putuidem Village—a cultural venue honoring the Acjachemen tribe. And just down the road from city hall, on the corner of Del Obispo Street and Paseo Adelanto, members of Orange County’s tribal community gathered for a prayer rally, demonstrating against the city for tabling the project, which, if completed, would sit on a portion of the Northwest Open Space where the original Putuidem village once stood. “There are 13 generations that are still here and (city governments are) still ignoring us, so today we came to pray and come together so they can see us as a community, so the outside community can see us as Native Americans,” said Nathan Banda, a tribal member and one of the organizers of the rally. Back at city hall, Steven Romero, one of many in a chorus of residents who want to see the city break ground on Putuidem and keep the rest of the open space as is, said the local community wants to preserve the history of that land. “We would like to keep a little bit of that history; we’re not just talking about San Juan history, or Acjachemen history, but we’re talking about the land and what it really means to us,” Romero told the council. Councilmembers, back in mid-April, placed the project on pause amid concerns raised by Mayor Pro Tem Troy Bourne that the city’s municipal code contained inconsistent language related to open-space use and zoning, potentially leaving the city open to litigation. Bourne had brought to light those discrepancies in response to threats of a legal challenge from Mark Nielsen, a former San Juan councilmember and mayor. Nielsen had been vocal in his opposition to the city negotiating with Red Tail Acquisitions, a developer proposing to turn the open space into a campground. After the council voted, 4-1, in favor of those negotiations, with Mayor Brian Maryott dissenting, Nielsen said he would consider suing the city if it decided to move forward with those plans without letting voters have a say in the matter. Bourne has maintained that his intention of getting the municipal code straightened out is to put Putuidem on “sound legal footing” and protect the city from another lawsuit. During the council’s April 16 meeting, the council voted, 4-1, to suspend the Red Tail negotiations and the Putuidem project until the inconsistencies can be ironed out through a public workshop process.

EDITOR’S NOTE: An extended version of the story can be found at—SR

Orange County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Chandler Pierce, San Juan Capistrano’s homeless liaison officer, looks at trash and a make-shift bridge across the San Juan Creek. Photo: Emily Rasmussen

Councilmember Derek Reeve was the sole dissenting vote. The city hosted a pair of workshops at the Community Center in June, gathering input from local residents about how they would like the open space to be used. An overwhelming majority of those who attended the forums expressed support for Putuidem. WHAT’S NEXT: During the last workshop on June 24, City Manager Ben Siegel, responding to a question about what’s to come next following the public forums, said the city staff would return to the council in August with a summary of the feedback. However, earlier this month, the city launched an online community survey to gather supplemental feedback. During Tuesday’s meeting, Siegel said the results of that survey and input gathered from the workshops would be presented during the council’s Sept. 17 meeting. EDITOR’S NOTE: An extended version of the story can be found at—SR

River Street Project Developer, Opponent Agree to Revised Plans THE LATEST: Weeks-long discussions to smooth over a litany of concerns that a San Juan resident had raised over the proposed River Street Marketplace project has come to a resolution, the mover of the development says. Addressing the city council on Tuesday, Aug. 20, Dan Almquist, the local developer who is looking to construct the “pedestrian-oriented” center on the southeast corner of Paseo Adelanto and River Street, said he has agreed to a revised plan with Jeff Vasquez—a staunch opponent of the project who lives on Los Rios Street. “We’ve successfully come to what we consider is a win-win, which is a big deal. It’s something that just hasn’t happened in San

The Capistrano Dispatch August 23-September 12, 2019

Juan in recent years,” Almquist said, referring to the city’s history with previous litigation. “We have an agreement that he’s going to support our plan, that we’re going to continue to work together and we’re going to come forth with the best possible project for this city,” he added. The council on Tuesday was scheduled to hold a public hearing for the project and consider the certification of its Environmental Impact Report, but with Almquist preparing to submit updated site plans, he asked for a continuance so the city can review it first. “While we are disappointed to have to further delay bringing the project before Council, we believe the best course of action is to postpone the hearings until the City’s consultants can thoroughly evaluate the revised plan,” Almquist had written in a letter to the city dated Aug. 15. The council on Tuesday granted Almquist’s request and announced that the public hearing and consideration would be continued to Oct. 15, marking the third straight city council meeting in which the project has been postponed. In late June, Cory Briggs, an attorney representing Vasquez, submitted a letter to the city, outlining a laundry list of grievances over the project’s EIR, which was expected to be certified by the council in its July 2 meeting. That letter prompted Almquist to request his initial postponement of the public hearing and consideration of the EIR to the council’s Aug. 6 meeting so he could respond to the concerns. In the days leading up to the early August meeting, however, Almquist requested a second continuance, giving him additional time to work with Vasquez. It’s unclear what exactly the revisions are or how it will amend the project, which is supposed to incorporate five buildings on 65,000 square feet and feature both indoor and outdoor dining, produce stands and other “artisan-type” retailers and businesses. As of press time, Almquist, Briggs and Vasquez had not returned requests for comment.

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Judge Grants South County Cities’ Motion to Dismiss Homeless Suit Claims THE LATEST: U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson has dismissed claims made by homeless rights advocates in a lawsuit against several South County cities and the county, “for lack of standing with leave to amend.” According to the federal court order released on Monday, Aug. 12, the court further dropped the cities of Aliso Viejo, San Juan Capistrano, Irvine and Dana Point from the case, but left San Clemente and the County of Orange in the lawsuit. “Because the Court has dropped all of the defendants except San Clemente and the County, the Court will analyze the sufficiency of the 1st AC’s (First Amended Complaint) claims against only San Clemente,” the court order states. The court found that federal law does not allow the plaintiffs—Housing is a Human Right Orange County, Orange County Catholic Worker and Emergency Shelter Coalition, along with homeless individuals Bruce Stroebel, Duane Nichols and Darren James—to combine claims into a single action against multiple municipalities, as “each have their own ordinances . . . and other local circumstances that require individualized determinations,” according to the court order. On July 1, the three cities of San Clemente, Aliso Viejo and San Juan Capistrano filed a motion to dismiss the Housing is a Human Rights case, which alleges the cities’ anti-camping ordinances and other laws violate homeless civil rights under the Housing Accountability Act. Judge Anderson agreed with all of the arguments advanced by the cities. In the court order, Anderson “declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s allegations of violations of the Housing Accountability Act.” While he dismissed the homeless advocacy groups’ claims over a “lack of standing,” he’s giving the plaintiffs an opportunity to amend their complaint. WHAT’S NEXT: The plaintiffs have until Sept. 16 to file a “second amended complaint” or face dismissal of the case.—Cari Hachmann

EYE ON SJC said waiver in the opinion of a majority of the committee members.” The city council is tasked with selecting this year’s recipients based on the pool of nominees. After the selections have been made, the city will hold a ceremony to unveil the latest additions to the Wall of Recognition at the Community Center. The period to nominate an individual opened Aug. 12 and will close at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6. To submit a nomination or ask questions, contact Senior Executive Assistant Matisse Reischl at 949.443.6315 or email her at

The Ecology Center Receives Funding to Remodel Farm Stand

RePlanet, the state’s largest recycling redemption operator, closed down its remaining locations statewide earlier this month. Photo: Cari Hachmann


Recycling Operator Closes Locations in South County The last of the remaining rePlanet recycling centers were shut down earlier this month, ceasing operations at various locations in Dana Point, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano. In an Aug. 7 announcement via a Facebook post, rePlanet, the state’s largest recycling redemption operator, said it had closed down its remaining 284 locations and laid off 750 employees statewide. According to the company, the decision to shutter the locations was based on “the continued reduction in state fees, the depressed pricing of recycled aluminum and PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) plastic, and the rise of operating costs resulting from minimum-wage increases and required health and workers compensation insurance.” RePlanet had two locations in San Juan, one at the Vons grocery store on Camino Capistrano and another at the Armstrong Garden Center off Del Obispo Street. The weekly update from San Juan’s city manager provides a list of other local businesses that will accept beverage containers in exchange for their California Redemption Value (CRV), which can range from five to ten cents per container. Several participating locations: • ARCO ampm, 28662 Camino Capistrano • Capistrano Liquor Mart, 31401 Camino Capistrano • El Nopal Mercado, 31451 Camino Capistrano

• Farmers Market, 31109 Rancho Viejo Road And the nearest CRV recycling center, the city notes, is Next Generation Recycling in Mission Viejo, which operates Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

City Accepting Nominations for Wall of Recognition The city is looking to add some additional names to its Wall of Recognition this year, as the window for the local community and organizations to nominate an individual was recently opened. The Wall of Recognition, located at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center, is meant to recognize the commitment and volunteer efforts of San Juan residents who have helped make the city a better place. “The City Council created the Wall of Recognition to recognize individuals whose service to the community has made the City of San Juan Capistrano a more productive and enjoyable place to live, work and visit,” the city stated in a news release. Prospective nominees must be sponsored by a city councilmember, a nonprofit organization or a group of at least 10 local residents, according to the city. The nominees must also be a resident who has lived in San Juan for at least eight years. Their “service to the community must have been performed in the city or can be adequately shown to have directly benefited the City,” the city stipulates, but notes that the “City Council may waive portions or all of the qualification requirements if services provided by the Nominee warrant

The Capistrano Dispatch August 23–September 12, 2019

The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano recently received a $150,000 program-related investment to redesign its Farm Stand. With the funding, which came from the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF), a local organization that works with donors to provide grants and scholarships to benefit nonprofits, the center can remodel the Farm Stand’s infrastructure and incorporate different types of goods and products to enhance customer service. “OCCF is proud to support The Ecology Center’s efforts to provide healthy, organic produce and nutritional education to our community,” OCCF President Shelley Hoss said in a press release. “By supporting organizations that benefit community health and well-being, we are not only meeting the current needs of Orange County residents, but positively impacting generations to come.” Since its establishment in 1989, OCCF has awarded more than $600 million in grants to support a wide range of causes related to health and wellness, as well as the arts, education, the environment and human services. The Ecology Center is a local ecological model and resource for residents of Orange County who seek sustainable living and locally grown produce. Its Farm Stand plays a vital role in its plan to develop a 28-acre community farm that’s meant to be a resource for future farmers, chefs and educators all while displaying and maintaining a sustainable lifestyle. The center’s Farm Stand, located at 32701 Alipaz Street in San Juan Capistrano, is open Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the OCCF, visit Have something interesting for the community? Send your information to

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Community Meetings TUESDAY, AUG. 27 Because I Love You (BILY) Meeting 6:30-8:30 p.m. Meets every Tuesday. Because I Love You (BILY) helps parents find solutions to any crisis they are experiencing because of their children’s (adults or minors) poor choices. San Clemente Presbyterian Church, 119 Avenida De La Estrella. Planning Commission Meeting 6:30 p.m. The city’s Planning Commission will meet at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. To see the agenda, visit FRIDAY, AUG. 30 Coffee Chat 8 a.m. A spirited town hall forum on community issues. Occurs every Friday at Hennessey’s Tavern, 31761 Camino Capistrano. All are welcome. Follow Coffee Chat SJC on Facebook for more information. TUESDAY, SEPT. 3 City Council, Housing Authority and Successor Agency Meeting 5 p.m. The city’s governing body will meet at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. To see the agenda, visit WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 4 San Juan Capistrano Rotary Club 6:15 p.m. The Rotary Club of San Juan Capistrano meets every Wednesday at the Rotary Scout Hut, 31372 La Mantanza. For more information, visit MONDAY, SEPT. 9 Youth Advisory Board Meeting 5:30 p.m. The City’s Youth Advisory Board will meet at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. To see the agenda, visit THURSDAY, SEPT. 12 Design Review Committee Meeting 4:30 p.m. The City’s Design Review Committee will meet at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. To see the agenda, visit FRIDAY, SEPT. 13 The next edition of The Capistrano Dispatch publishes.



Shea Center Hosts Annual Cowboy Camp for Kids

Events at The Ranch AUG. 30

Hilltop Bar Night & Swirl. Sniff. Sip.

5-9 p.m. The spacious event bar at The Hilltop Club is open every Friday evening, so come grab a drink, then stay to hang out with good friends and close neighbors. 65 Esencia Drive, Rancho Mission Viejo. 949.768.1882.



he J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center on Wednesday, Aug. 14, welcomed several children to take part in its annual Cowboy Camp, in which the kids learned ranched-based skills from local cowboys. Gilbert Aguirre, executive vice president of ranch operations at Rancho Mission Viejo, was one of those local cowboys who worked with the kids, teaching them how to properly use a lasso and rope a “steer”—in this case, a fake one. “Well, obviously, we want to donate to Shea and help them out. This is a good way to help them out. This is kind of a fantasy deal; (the kids) like cowboys, and we can add a little color to it,” Aguirre said, adding, “It’s just our way of helping out a little bit.” The Shea Center provides rehabilitative programs for those with disabilities through equine-based therapy, as well as physical, occupational and speech therapy. The center is supported primarily through the donations of private citizens. A large percentage of the proceeds from the Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo, the two-day annual event that will be held at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park on Aug. 24 -25, goes to benefit the Shea Center, Aguirre notes. Since its inception in 2001, the rodeo has raised more than $2.4 million in proceeds that have been donated to local charities such the Shea Center, CHOC Children’s Mission Hospital and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley, according to The Ranch. While held in conjunction with and ahead of this month’s annual RMV Rodeo, the Cowboy Camp is also an extension of Shea’s summer camp session. Clients of the equestrian center, as well as other children, through invitation, were able to participate and—as the saying goes— “learn the ropes” of rodeo. Dana Butler-Moburg, executive director for the Shea Center, said the skills gained from the roping lessons are similar to the types of therapy the Shea Center conducts with its clients. And part of the fun of the event, she added, is getting to witness the children playing with each other. “These skills are wonderful for balance and coordination,” she said, later stating that the Cowboy Camp is a “way to celebrate the extraordinary support (the RMV Rodeo) has given us throughout the years.”


Tarantulas and Other Many-Legged Critters of the Night

7-8:30 p.m. Join us with guest speaker, Bob Allen, for an evening of photographs, stories, and specimens of tarantulas, other spiders, and night-time insects of Orange County. Register or get on the wait list for this event by 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5. The Guest House in Rancho Mission Viejo, 11 Brioso Street, Rancho Mission Viejo. 949.625.6500. SEPT. 6

Hilltop Hangouts

On the first Friday of each month, join The Hilltop Club for the ultimate weekend starter—Hilltop Hangouts. Treat yourself at fan-favorite food trucks. Jam out to live concerts and performances. And let yourself unwind with refreshing cocktails. It all goes down at The Hilltop Club, the village of Esencia’s incredible amenity built for endless good times. 65 Esencia Drive, Rancho Mission Viejo. 949.768.1882. SEPT. 7

Caspers Park Foundation Nature Talk: Portola Exhibition

Clockwise from top. Brent Freese shows Makena Lee “the ropes” of lassoing a steer during the J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center’s annual Cowboy Camp on Wednesday, Aug. 14. Rhys Taufaasau plays with the lasso during the annual Cowboy Camp. With her eye on the fake steer’s horns, Lucy Kurtenacker swings about her lasso as she prepares to release it. Keeping her focus on the horns of the fake steer, Brienne Grecho swings her lasso around as she prepares to release it. James Smith prepares to place his lasso around the fake steer. Brent Freese shows Nicolas Fellner how to tighten the rope after lassoing a fake steer. Photos: Shawn Raymundo

The Capistrano Dispatch August 23-September 12, 2019

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10-11 a.m. This nature-themed lecture on the Portola Exhibition is held in association with the monthly meeting of Caspers Park Foundation volunteers. Caspers Wilderness Park, 33401 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano. For information regarding this event, please contact the Caspers Park Foundation via email at CaspersParkFoundatioalkn@gmail. com or by phone at 949.923.2210.


VIEWS, OPINIONS AND INSIGHTS GUEST OPINION: Bartlett Bulletin by OC Board of Supervisors Chairperson Lisa Bartlett

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

HOW TO REACH US CITY EDITOR Shawn Raymundo, 949.388.7700, x108 SPORTS Zach Cavanagh, 949.388.7700, x110 ADVERTISING PRINT AND ONLINE


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

PICKET FENCE MEDIA PUBLISHER Norb Garrett EDITORIAL City Editor, The Capistrano Dispatch > Shawn Raymundo City Editor, DP Times > Lillian Boyd City Editor, SC Times > Cari Hachmann Sports Editor > Zach Cavanagh Special Projects Editor > Andrea PapagianisCamacho

Real Estate Sales > Debra Wells (SJC) Multi-Media Assistant > Kendra Burns ART/DESIGN Art Director > Jasmine Smith Graphic Designer > Chelsie Rex OPERATIONS Finance Director > Mike Reed General Manager > Alyssa Garrett

Copy Editor > Randall Youngman

Accounting & Distribution Manager > Tricia Zines



Associate Publisher > Lauralyn Loynes

CONTRIBUTORS Megan Bianco, Tim Trent

> Traci Kelly (SC) > Debra Wells (SJC)


The Capistrano Dispatch, Vol. 17, Issue 16. The Dispatch (thecapistranodispatch) is published twice monthly by Picket Fence Media, publishers of the DP Times ( and the SC Times (sanclementetimes. com). Copyright: No articles, illustrations, photographs, or other editorial matter or advertisements herein may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited manuscripts, art, photos or negatives. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.



Countywide Paid Internship Program Launches


ummertime is coming to a close, and this also means it is back-to-school season. With these new academic opportunities ahead, students are challenged to connect the lessons learned in the classroom to their everyday life and future career. The best way to apply what has been learned is through an in-depth internship program. I am a firm believer that a combination of strong educational course work, coupled with professional experience, can greatly benefit students as they transition from college to the working world. As County Supervisor, I have advocated for a countywide paid-internship program to bolster current programs available to students. When speaking with professors, students, educational advocates and leaders, they always promote the importance of an internship. Professional internships are so valuable, many college programs require students to complete an internship prior to graduation. Unfortunately, for so many, choosing to participate in an unpaid internship while working and attending school can be extremely stressful and, for some, is simply not an option. To help ease the burden and alleviate the stress, we have created a paid internship program. The term of the program is up to one year and is available to students enrolled in undergraduate, graduate or technical/vocational schools. Through this county program, currently enrolled students, or those who graduated within the past six months, will have the

opportunity to gain valuable work experience in one of our 25 county departments. They will be able to apply the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to a real-life work environment, network within their career field, and enhance their resume, all while serving the residents of Orange County. Whether it is business management, health care, project development, community resources, environmental practices, communications, or any of the professional services, an intern will gain incomparable experience with a multitude of THE BARTLETT projects and challenges BULLETIN in a professional, public By Lisa Bartlett environment. Should an intern decide to pursue a full-time career with the County of Orange, they will be in a much more competitive position having completed the internship program. This program not only benefits our students, it also has tremendous benefit to the county. Our goal is to always have the best talent available to ensure we can meet and exceed the needs of our residents. The compensation aspect of these internships will make our program more competitive than other regional and local internships, bringing in some of the best and brightest students. Getting these sharp minds into the OC family is the first step of hiring and retaining qualified individuals to provide excellent public service.

The new countywide paid-internship program will launch on Sept. 17, where I will be joining our Human Resources team to present the new program to internship coordinators and program liaisons from all of the colleges, universities and trade schools around OC. Once implemented, internship opportunities will be advertised on the county’s jobs webpage. There will be three classes of interns with specific requirements: • Undergraduate Intern, $14/hr, enrolled or recent graduate from an AA or BA degree program; • Graduate Intern, $19/hr, must be enrolled or recent graduate from an advanced degree program; and • Technical Intern, $19/hr, currently enrolled or recent graduate from an accredited, post-secondary education or technical/vocational institution. The county is always striving to create the greatest opportunities for our residents to live, work, and play, and this program is just one way to try and make that happen. We are excited to help launch the career of future county employees and look forward to welcoming them to our county family. Lisa Bartlett is the chairperson of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. She was re-elected in 2018. CD PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to provide our readers with a wide variety of opinions from our community, The Capistrano Dispatch provides Guest Opinion opportunities in which selected columnists’ opinions are shared. The opinions expressed in these columns are entirely those of the columnist alone and do not reflect those of the The Capistrano Dispatch or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at

Letters to the Editor NEW SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO CITY HALL —Ruth Clark, San Juan Capistrano I do not normally agree with Derek Reeve on anything, but his idea of selling the land on which the current, outdated and inadequate City Hall sits and replacing it with affordable housing and homeless shelters has my 100% support. The prefab, temporary units that currently serve as the city’s capital buildings are an embarrassment for us all. We are so choosy about things relating to tourism, like the new hotels’ look and location, the character of the Los Rios Street Historic District and the overall charm of the city. Quite naturally, this meant that ZOOMARS’ dinosaur had to be

The Capistrano Dispatch August 23–September 12, 2019

In its July 26 edition, The Capistrano Dispatch reported on a closed session agenda item the city council discussed in regard to the potential sale of city hall to three affordable housing developers. Photo: Shawn Raymundo

removed, but we have completely ignored the 49-year-old relic (and its accompanying buildings) in which our city’s business is done.

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We have allowed our civic pride to wane with regard to the building at the center of its civic life. I think it is definitely time for (Cont. on page 10)


Potential plans to develop on San Juan Capistrano’s Northwest Open Space have been tabled while the city works to iron out ambiguous language in its municipal code on zoning. Photo: Shawn Raymundo

(Cont. from page 9) an updated, historically relevant City Hall building that is in keeping with the rest of our beautiful City of San Juan Capistrano. I just hope we can agree it should remain centrally located and that we do not have a fight on our hands about its new site.

WHEN IS GENOCIDE OVER IN SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO? —Dina Gilio-Whitaker, professor of American Indian Studies, Cal State San Marcos, and Rebecca Robles, Acjachemen tribal member The San Juan Capistrano City Council’s backpedaling on the Putuidem Cultural Park project is troubling for many reasons, and they are all related to California’s unspeakably genocidal history toward American Indians. More to the point is how this history is still constructing the present and manifesting itself in the ugliest of ways in arguments to commercialize what remains of the open space. The idea to develop the last remaining undeveloped Native site in Orange County with a glamping operation or any other project to generate money, subjecting the Native community to another act of dispossession, is immoral and disgusting. It is an act of erasure of Acjachemen people and culture, and a subtle act of genocide.

Historians and scholars understand American society as “settler colonialism,” where the goal is the acquisition of indigenous lands through the elimination of indigenous peoples. This can occur via the outright killing of indigenous peoples, and this is certainly what characterizes early California history. But it also happens in other ways through a system of neverending aggression. California history is finally recognized as a site of overt genocide. Don’t believe it? Even Governor Newsom recently delivered a long-overdue apology for California’s genocide. That was part one of the American-sponsored genocide, but by no means did it end there. Eighteen treaties made in California but never ratified constitute a history of the theft of seven million acres of land, which was concurrent with systematized indigenous slavery enabled and funded by the federal government. It lasted until the end of the 19th century, long after the African slave trade was abolished by the Fourteenth Amendment in 1865. The open space near J. Serra Catholic High School is all that is left of Acjachemen people’s beloved village site in San Juan Capistrano. It was bad enough that we had to endure the destruction of the major portion of Putuidem for the building

The Capistrano Dispatch August 23–September 12, 2019

of a school named for the instigator of California’s systematized slavery system. This was a recent genocidal act of erasure that is continued now with the shrinkage of the Putuidem Cultural Park to one small acre. This new assault is intolerable beyond words. For a change, SJC, do the right thing by indigenous peoples and stick to the plan for a complete cultural park unencumbered by some crass, greed-driven commercial development. This is your last chance to get it right.

THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS: DO THEY REALLY HELP? —Tina Auclair, San Juan Capistrano “I don’t understand, but I know my God does,” Pastor Frank Pomeroy, First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, said the day after 26 church members were murdered, including his daughter. I don’t understand such tragic loss to that community, either, or any of the other hate-filled episodes of recent headlines. What I do understand is that people are hurting. Those that lost family, friends and neighbors are aching with a pain so unimaginable we can only offer our shoulders to cry on, the embrace of our arms and our thoughts and prayers. Are thoughts and prayers enough?

Page 10

I believe in the power of prayer and have seen amazing things happen because of it, so if you are a prayer warrior, keep it up, or if you would like to know more, please ask me! But what about our thoughts? How can thoughts help anyone? Sadly, horrific acts of violence start with a heart that is also hurting. A heart suffering with such agony and torment the actions of that hurt person end up hurting others, sometimes entire communities. The damage can begin by enduring abuse both physical and mental, by being bullied and feeling alone, or something as simple as holding a grudge and allowing it to manifest into hate. There are many of these damaged hearts in our world today. In our country, city, neighborhoods and maybe even in our own families. So, what separates those of us that have experienced horrific emotional pain in our lives and do not act out from those that do? Could it be as small a thing as having someone in our life that cared enough to speak up or merely paid attention to our anguish? Someone that offered to acknowledge our pain, to console us, advise us or just listen to us? Someone that truly thought about us? It all starts with a conscious thought to act or react to our neighbor’s pain and (Cont. on page 19)

San Juan Football Preview // The Capistrano Dispatch

The 2019 high school football season in San Juan Capistrano is already shaping up to be one of the more exciting in recent memory for the city’s collection of five teams. San Juan Capistrano boasts some of the best and most electric players in Orange County football, as well as teams poised to make noise in their respective playoff divisions.


San Juan Capistrano Football Preview Talented Area Teams Ready for Electric Season

San Juan Hills features possibly the most versatile player in all of the CIF-Southern Section in senior Joey Hobert. The Washington State commit will run the ball, play receiver, punt, kick, play defense, return kicks and occasionally take direct snaps as a “wildcat” quarterback. The Stallions enter the season as favorites in the Sea View League and ranked No. 6 in Division 4. Can San Juan Hills utilize its skill positions and pressure defense to make a lengthy playoff run JSerra boasts one of the most explosive and dynamic running backs in Orange County in senior Chris Street. The Cal commit should have plenty of running room behind a stalwart Lions offensive line that includes Michigan commit Jeffrey ersi. JSerra also has a defense full of talented and experienced juniors, including Jaden Genova and Siale Suliafu, who are looking to make a name for themselves. JSerra appears to again be the third-best team in the Trinity League behind Mater Dei and St. John Bosco, but can the Lions, ranked No. 5 in the combined Division 1 & 2 grouping, upset the balance of power and advance to their first CI -SS semifinal St. Margaret’s will be boosted by one of its strongest group of linemen in school history,

led by 6-foot-6, 260-pound Kyle Juergens. The USC commit will be the leader in the trenches as the Tartans look to carve up an impressive nonleague schedule and prepare for another fight through the playoffs. St. Margaret’s should cruise through the San Joaquin League, but how far can the Tartans, ranked No. 10 in Division 6, go against the big public schools in the CI -SS playoffs Speaking of the San Joaquin League, St. Margaret’s and Saddleback Valley Christian welcome Capistrano Valley Christian back as a league foe, as the city’s trio of small private schools fight for league playoff spots. Capistrano Valley Christian is coming off its first 11-man football league title since 2000, but with a 21-man roster, how far can the Eagles push this season Saddleback Valley Christian had a late turnaround to earn a playoff appearance last season, but can the Warriors get back again competing against tougher league competition All five teams open in Week 0 with four games on Friday, Aug. 23 and one on Saturday, Aug. 24. For news, in-game updates, scores, photos and videos all season long, follow along on Twitter @SouthOCSports. —Zach Cavanagh

San Juan Football Preview // The Capistrano Dispatch

Strong Senior Class Has San Juan Hills Ready for More BY ZACH CAVANAGH

Primed once again for success, San Juan Hills is aiming higher. The Stallions have a strong group of skill players, including all-everything senior Joey Hobert, feature a reloaded group of linemen and maintain an impressively schemed and aggressive defense. Now, for San Juan Hills, it’s time to go further. The wheel of success continued to turn for San Juan Hills in the program’s first year under head coach Rob Frith. The Stallions made the playoffs for a fourth straight season and captured their second league title in program history. However, in the playoffs, San Juan Hills again hit its 12th-game ceiling and did not advance out of the quarterfinals. It was the second consecutive second-round loss, and third overall, for the program entering its 12th season. “These past couple years have been tough, because we know we could have done something,” said Hobert, a Washington State commit. “I think as a team we needed to come together more and bond together just to be a group and go as one, instead of individuals.” To be fair to the Stallions, the CI -SS playoff losses haven’t been upsets. In 2018, Calabasas was the o. 2 seed in Division 2 in 201 , Cajon went on to win the Division 4 championship.

Still, San Juan Hills’ senior class took its mission to heart and has been working to push beyond those marks on their record. “From the time the season ended last year, these guys got right to work,” rith said. “It was inspiring as a head football, because our seniors took charge right away. They were very serious about their legacy.” Hobert leads the way for the group because of his talent level, Pac-12 commitment and the fact that he’s involved in literally everything San Juan Hills does. Hobert is an offensive threat as a receiver, runner and occasionally as a quarterback operating a “wildcat” package. He’s also a stalwart defender who had four interceptions last season. In addition, Hobert kicks field goals, punts and returns kicks. Senior Austin Hogan takes over primary running back duties after a junior season with 452 yards rushing and seven touchdowns. At quarterback, junior Hudson Jones figures to be the starter. Jones opened last season as the third option on the depth chart, but as the San Juan Hills offense tried to find its footing, Jones took over in the Stallions’ fourth game and went -1 as the starter. Jones was in a competition with junior Dashiel Ross. San Juan Hills should be led by its defense once again. Senior linebacker Jonah Johnson commands the defense, and Frith calls Johnson the





Orange Lutheran

Orange Coast College, 7 p.m.


Capistrano Valley

SJHHS, 7 p.m.


South Hills

SJHHS, 7 p.m.



Huntington Beach HS, 7 p.m.



Tesoro HS, 7 p.m.


Great Oak

SJHHS, 7 p.m.


Trabuco Hills

THHS, 7 p.m.


Aliso Niguel

ANHS, 7 p.m.


Dana Hills

SJHHS, 7 p.m.


Laguna Hills

SJHHS, 7 p.m. *Sea View League game

heart and soul of the unit. Senior Tyler Wegis fills the role of edge pass rusher, and at -foot, 210 pounds, he’s a lot to handle on the line. Seniors James Gaines and Jaxon Lewis are also two-way impact players at receiver and in the secondary.

San Juan Hills is pegged as the early favorite in the Sea View League once again. Aliso Niguel could challenge the Stallions, but San Juan Hills should be prepped by tough nonleague tests against Orange Lutheran, Capistrano Valley, Edison and Tesoro.

San Juan Football Preview // The Capistrano Dispatch

Motivated JSerra is Packed with Talent, Youth BY ZACH CAVANAGH

It’s a legitimate question to ask if this is the best JSerra team in program history. It’s also a strange question to ask of a team that graduated its starting quarterback, top three receivers, top two tacklers and co-leader in sacks. However, it’s all there for the Lions: a dynamic running back in senior Chris Street, an imposing offensive line led by senior Jeffrey Persi, a polished quarterback in junior General Booty, explosive offensive options including junior Sammy Green, an aggressive defensive front with the likes of juniors Siale Suliafu and Jaden Genova and depth at all those positions. The only thing JSerra lacks that will be integral to its success this season is experience and maturity. “We’re a very young team, but very talented team,” JSerra coach at Harlow said. “Our season will depend on how we grow and mature early. We’re just hoping that they gel together as a team and figure it out sooner than later.” The Lions made great strides last year with a senior-heavy group. JSerra nearly upset the balance of power in the Trinity League and played nationally ranked St. John Bosco to a sevenpoint game. The Lions also came within a point of their first-ever CI -SS semifinals. “We’ve proven we can play with some of the best teams in the country,” Harlow said. “The thing is to get over that and continue to work. You think you’ve reached it, that you’re kind of there . . . It’s up to these guys to go, ‘Hey, we were knocking on that door, and it’s time for us to kick that thing in.’ ” The memory of those games sticks with Harlow, seniors including Street and Persi and juniors who made impacts as sophomores including Suliafu and Genova. Those memories show how close JSerra is to a breakthrough and how hard it is to play at the level to which the Lions aspire. “After the (Oaks Christian quarterfinal) game, I was pretty upset, because I knew we

had that game,” Street said. “It was little mistakes and mental errors that set us back. After the game, I told the team this can’t happen again. We can’t slack off. We have to go full force. It will be let go at a certain point, but we have to reali e that that’s not O .” Going forward into 2019, the two key areas where JSerra needs that maturity and experience to grow is at quarterback and on the defense. JSerra is the third school in three years for Booty, who led Corona del Mar’s freshman team to a 10-0 record before transferring to Cornerstone Christian in San Antonio, Texas, where his father Abram coaches. Booty is the nephew of former SC quarterback John David Booty. “General’s looked great,” Harlow said. “He’s a very polished kid, very bright kid. It’s just a matter of repetitions for him now. He is learning a new offense, getting to learn his receivers. He’s got the opportunity to be a really, truly great quarterback.” Booty will be protected by a beefy offensive line, including the 6-foot-7, 270-pound Michigan commit Persi, and has plenty of options to work with, paced by the Cal-committed Street. Street ran for 1,342 yards and 17 touchdowns last season. On defense, Genova made a major impact last season as a co-leader in sacks with nine and with a third-best 78 tackles. Suliafu contributed five sacks, and Malaki Te’o was fourth in tackles as a freshman. Junior Zamajay Duncan had two interceptions last season. Those players had impacts as young players last season, and JSerra will need similar results from its new crop of young players at other positions. The Lions made plenty of defensive adjustments last year to make those players shine, and there’s no reason to think it couldn’t happen again. It still remains to be seen. JSerra would love to strike while the iron is hot with forces such as Street and Persi, but it’s clear the Lions program is also filled with potential for the future.





East (UT)

East HS, Utah, 7 p.m.


St. Joseph Regional (NJ) Cathedral Catholic HS, San Diego, 3:30 p.m.


Bishop Amat

JSerra, 7 p.m.


Milton (GA)

St. John Bosco HS, 4 p.m.



JSerra, 7 p.m.


Santa Margarita

JSerra, 7 p.m.


St. John Bosco

JSerra, 7 p.m.



Orange Coast College, 7:30 p.m.

10/25* Orange Lutheran

Santa Ana Stadium, 7 p.m.


Santa Ana Stadium, 7 p.m.

Mater Dei

* Trinity League game

San Juan Football Preview // The Capistrano Dispatch

Strong Line Play Powers St. Margaret’s Aspirations BY ZACH CAVANAGH

St. Margaret’s is one of the most well-oiled machines in Orange County football. St. Margaret’s has won 15 league championships in the past 16 seasons, the only blemish being the year the Academy League dissolved and the Tartans had to freelance for a season. St. Margaret’s has also won at least one playoff game in each of those 16 seasons. The San Joaquin League welcomes some new faces, but none that can knock off the Tartans. So, as always, St. Margaret’s goal remains at its highest win its first CI -SS championship since 2014. Despite some big graduated names, the Tartans are as talented as ever to make that push. Second-year head coach Kory Minor’s emphasis to his group this season is to be unselfish. Minor believes that will be the way for the Tartans to push their way back into title contention. “That’s when the accolades come,” Minor said. “They don’t come when you’re all about me, me, me. They come when you give yourself up for the team, and prosperity happens.” While the skill names will be mentioned, the strength of St. Margaret’s is in the trenches with the linemen, and it needs to be, as the Tartans have again settled in nicely with the






Vista HS, 7 p.m.


Yucca Valley

SMES, 7 p.m.


La Mirada

SMES, 7 p.m.


El Toro

ETHS, 7 p.m.


Santa Fe Christian

SMES, 7 p.m.



SMES, 7 p.m.


St. Joseph (Santa Maria)

SMES, 7 p.m.


Saddleback Valley Christian

SMES, 7 p.m.


The Webb Schools

Damien HS, 7 p.m.


Capistrano Valley Christian

SCHS, 7 p.m. * San Joaquin League game

large public schools in CI -SS Division . The Tartans open the season at No. 10 in the division rankings. Minor believes in the old adage that the linemen are any team’s most important group. “When are they not?” Minor said. “Quarterback can’t stand up, running back can’t run, linebackers can’t scrape across if the lines

aren’t doing their job. The linemen are our biggest group as far as core, as far as experience and knowledge.” The standout on the St. Margaret’s line is senior Kyle Juergens. The 6-foot-6, 260-pound SC commit will play on both sides of the ball for the Tartans, and Minor has pushed him to learn how to dominate the game.

“We are definitely the most talented team I’ve been on here,” Juergens said. “We had good teams, but before, we had weak links. Now, we are all strong links.” On offense, Juergens will protect the blind side of whomever wins the St. Margaret’s quarterback battle between Jake Carreon, a senior transfer from San Juan Hills, and sophomore Jake Black. “There are two guys there that are viable,” Minor said. “Whoever gets that nod is going to help us, for sure. We’re definitely stocked with weapons across the board.” Leading receiver Will Kenner returns as a senior, and sophomore Cooper Barkate is expected to have a larger impact. Defensively, Juergens leads the front while the Tartans will replace a majority of their leading tacklers. Barkate will also play a prominent role on defense. St. Margaret’s features a solid nonleague schedule, which peaks with Division 4’s La Mirada and El Toro on Sept. 6 and 20, respectively. “I think it’s going to be huge for us,” Minor said of the Tartans’ schedule. “When you think about where you want to be at when it’s all said and done, how do we get there? Going through those tough competitions are going to be huge for us. We don’t make any excuses. We don’t back down.” St. Margaret’s will then accelerate through league and into the CI -SS playoffs.

San Juan Football Preview // The Capistrano Dispatch

SVC Battles Inexperience for Young Group BY ZACH CAVANAGH

For the first time in a very long time, Saddleback Valley Christian has hit the full rebuild period. The Warriors graduated all but a handful of their major impact players from last season, but if SVC learned anything from last season, it’s that there is plenty of time to get their train rolling. In 2018, the Warriors lost their opening five games but won three in a row, including two of their three league games, to secure a playoff spot. SVC was even competitive in a first-round loss to Laguna Beach, 30-21. “One thing we usually do really well as a program,” SVC coach Brendan Chambers said, “is we’re playing our best football by the end of the year. Obviously, we want to win football games, but those first couple weeks, we’re going to have to feel it out and see what we are.”

With the dawn of the 2019 season upon them, Chambers still doesn’t truly know what his team has. There are strong returners such as senior captain Evan Spry at running back and defensive back, as well as junior Zeke Greene at receiver. However, the majority of SVC’s roster just doesn’t have the experience of previous groups. “I think it’s going to take us a couple years to get after it,” Chambers said. “We’ve had to tailor back the offense a lot and slowly put stuff in. We’re going to rotate a ton (in early games) just to see what we have.” Chambers does think his offensive line will be good, and the linebacking corps has promise, but the Warriors have a lot of players who need to learn the game and step up. If SVC can find that late-season groove, they can again contend for a playoff spot in the San Joaquin League.

CVC Leans into Run Game with Returning Line BY ZACH CAVANAGH

Last season was a banner season for the Capistrano Valley Christian football program. The Eagles went 9-2 and undefeated through their four Academy League games to win their first 11-man football league title since 2000. While CVC earned a tough draw against a large public school in the first round of the playoffs, the Eagles battled to a seven-point defeat. A season like that is a positive in almost every way for CVC, but the one drawback was the 12 seniors who graduated from the team, including their two star running backs. Despite the lower numbers, CVC coach Rick Curtis is still encouraged by the state of the program. “You want them to build on their success,” Curtis said. “We have 21 kids in the football

program, but we have the right 21. We’re blessed to have these kids coming back that have seen what it takes to be a winner.” The one area, and maybe the most important area, in which CVC was hurt the least by graduation was the offensive line, which returns four of its five starters from last season. They’ll lead the way for senior Rome Demongin, who will be the lead running back. Senior Simeon Marton, CVC’s leading receiver from last season, also returns, but he’ll have to wait to catch passes from returning senior quarterback Tyler Henry, who is out early with an injury. CVC contends with a tougher schedule this season after a move back to the San Joaquin League. CVC renews its rivalry with Saddleback Valley Christian, and the Eagles should contend for a playoff spot.











Irvine HS, 7 p.m.


St. Monica

Santa Monica City College, 7 p.m.


Crean Lutheran

JSerra, 6 p.m.


Riverside Prep

Riverside Prep, 7 p.m.


Ontario Christian

JSerra, 6 p.m.


Calvary Chapel

Laguna Hills HS, 7 p.m.


Laguna Hills

LHHS, 7 p.m.



CVHS, 7 p.m.


Tri-City Christian

TCCHS, 7 p.m.



Century HS, 7 p.m.


Bishop Montgomery

JSerra, 6 p.m.


Mark Keppel

CVHS, 7 p.m.


Pasadena Poly

PPHS, 3 p.m.


Southlands Christian

Walnut HS, 7 p.m.


St. Margaret’s

SMES, 7 p.m.


The Webb Schools

Webb HS, 7 p.m.


Capistrano Valley Christian

CVHS, 7 p.m.


Saddleback Valley Christian CVHS, 7 p.m.


The Webb Schools

JSerra, 6 p.m.


St. Margaret’s

* San Joaquin League game

SCHS, 7 p.m. * San Joaquin League game

San Juan Football Preview // The Capistrano Dispatch








WR • SR. • NO. 12

RB • SR. • NO. 3

WR • SR. • NO. 20

OL • SR. • NO. 50

RB • SR. • NO. 1

Hobert does it all for San Juan Hills. Hobert, the reigning Sea View League MVP, will run the ball, catch passes, operate a “wildcat” package, return kicks, punt and kick field goals for the Stallions. A Washington State commit, Hobert will have the spotlight on him every single week.

Street might be the most dynamic running back in Orange County. He’s strong, quick and explosive and can get the ball in a variety of ways. He will be a workhorse back for the Lions, but the Cal commit will also catch passes out of the backfield and in the slot.

Kenner returns to the St. Margaret’s offense as its top threat in passing game. Kenner led the team in each receiving category with 37 receptions for 536 yards and six TDs a year ago. Kenner stands out at 6-foot-3 and said he worked on his route-running, as well as speed and agility in the offseason.

Despite a small roster, Capistrano Valley Christian’s strength is its line play, with Sears right in the middle of it. Sears is the center for the Eagles and one of four returning starters on the line. CVC will run a lot, as Sears and Co. have the strength to open things up.

Spry is the leader and captain for Saddleback Valley Christian. The Warriors will get the senior the ball as much as they can. SVC coach Brendan Chambers said Spry is his team’s X-factor, runs hard and catches everything in his area. Spry will also take snaps in the defensive secondary.












LB • SR. • NO. 7

DL • JR. • NO. 53

DL • SR. • NO. 58

DB • SR. • NO. 5

LB • SR. • NO. 51

San Juan Hills coach Rob Frith calls Johnson the heart and soul of the Stallions’ defense with his energy and enthusiasm. Johnson wrapped up 57 tackles last season, including 15 for loss and 3 ½ sacks. Johnson is a leader for the aggressive San Juan Hills front seven.

Suliafu is a disruptive force on the front lines for JSerra. Last season, Suliafu grabbed 3 tackles and racked up five sacks. Suliafu said his defensive mentality is that “you’ve got to be a real dog to be in the front seven.” Suliafu possesses strength and tons of grit.

You can’t miss Juergens on the field for St. Margaret’s. At 6-foot-6, 260 pounds, Juergens is a beast on both sides of the ball for the Tartans, protecting and attacking the quarterback. Juergens committed to SC in the offseason, and he has embraced his role as a senior leader.

Marton is the featured athlete on the Capistrano Valley Christian roster. He is one of the Eagles’ “three-way players,” with impacts on defense, offense and special teams. Marton worked on his speed and hands in the offseason, and the senior can make a real push for college offers this season.

Brazney is one of several players on the Saddleback Valley Christian defense stepping up for a larger role. He will play inside linebacker for the Warriors after playing mostly on the offensive line last season. Brazney will help lead a young SVC group trying to learn the game and succeed.





SOAPBOX (Cont. from page 10) need for compassion. Could we make a difference if we tore down the barriers of division, isolation and loneliness in our own communities and replaced them with unity, inclusiveness and love? What would happen in our world if we each asked someone the simple question, “What can I do to help you today?” And then we really listened. If we each took the slightest step toward each other, allowed others into our circle of trust and truly thought about each other’s needs, the results would be miraculous and our thoughts and prayers for comfort, peace and a kinder world would already be answered.

I HAVE HAD ENOUGH —Michelle Brough, Dana Point For months, I stood by and watched my husband, Assemblyman Bill Brough, be dragged through the mud by his own political party because he dared to challenge the mighty Transportation Corridor Agencies (the Toll Roads). But now, my children have been negatively impacted by the negligent actions of some in the name of political retribution against my husband. How dare they? To promote good governance, my husband proposed a bill merely asking for an audit of the Toll Roads (that have spent and collected billions of our dollars) to ensure that his constituents’ hard-earned money was not being squandered by this unaccountable quasi-governmental powerhouse. Now one would think that any elected individual, regardless of party, would encourage legislation that reviewed how an agency with the power to mandate fees spends that money. (I am not talking about the toll one pays to drive on the roads; I am talking about the fees assessed by the toll roads on developers and businesses attempting to build or expand in our communities that increase every year and then get passed on to us.) This is not the case here. In fact, when my husband began discussing this legislation, he was told by his then-district director, Jennifer Beall (whose husband is Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman L. Anthony Beall and receives compensation for serving as a director on the Toll Road board and whose law firm has represented toll road and transportation authority issues throughout the country), that “he would be destroyed.” This was stated to my husband in front of another elected official. My school-aged children are being severely and callously harmed by the false allegations being levied against their father for petty politics and money, albeit a lot of money, which apparently is more important to some than the welfare of a child. Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, who recently told the press that she is experiencing nightmares because of my husband’s alleged actions that occurred 11 years ago, has done quite well by the Toll Roads. Her campaign consultant, president of

The June 28 issue of The Capistrano Dispatch reported on sexual misconduct allegations Supervisor Lisa Bartlett made against Assemblymember Bill Brough. Photo: Courtesy of the offices of Bartlett and Brough

Venture Strategic, on a motion made by Ms. Bartlett as a board member of the Toll Roads, ended up with a $1.8 million consulting contract. Apparently, conflict of interest is not relevant with the Toll Roads. The motion to hire her consultant was originally made when Ms. Bartlett still owed money to this consultant. Now, maybe there is nothing wrong with any of this (an audit should show any misconduct). But, the response against my husband makes me think that certain folks are afraid of what may be unearthed by such an audit. A few of the current and former Toll Road board members, including Ms. Bartlett, Anthony Beall, Ed Sachs and Michael Munzing, who claim to be good governance Republicans, have thrown fits, personally bashing my husband, while other board members focus on the legislation and welcome an audit. What are certain board members so afraid of? I am in no way suggesting that credible sexual harassment claims should be casually dismissed; but, neither should the possibility of false allegations that are politically or financially motivated be overlooked. False allegations should be taken equally seriously, as they severely undermine those hundreds of thousands of legitimate claims that are out there.

The Capistrano Dispatch August 23–September 12, 2019

Lisa Bartlett has changed her story repeatedly about the event that she alleges occurred 11 years ago. Also, she seems to want to publicize her allegations at a time that would benefit her politically. Additionally, I have credible reason to believe she has promised a job to the other woman that alleged my husband harassed her, in return for her talking to the press. We were told that this would all go away if my husband does not seek re-election, in which case his Toll Road bill would die. These facts should at least raise questions about the legitimacy of the allegations. That said, if what they say about my husband is true, they absolutely should file a complaint against him in a court of law—clearly, they are not worried about discussing the allegations (they had no problem talking to the press and others in closed and open door meetings). Please, I implore you, rather than call my husband a “sexual predator” in your constituent meetings and at social events, file a lawsuit; let’s get the facts out. A lawsuit would also grant my husband his right to due process. Unfortunately, even if my husband were to prevail, the damage that they have caused cannot be undone. This mom has had enough! If there is wrongdoing, one should absolutely file a

Page 19

complaint; but it is not OK to intentionally ruin anyone’s reputation and harm their children solely for personal or political gain. I am utterly disgusted with what politics has become—rather than logical arguments to support their political positions, candidates and politicians sling mud and tell lies in an attempt to damage those with whom they disagree. Politics has become a game where politicians profit off of the backs of the citizens whose interests they are supposed to be protecting and serving. Ask your elected officials about their position on auditing the toll road to see how the money was spent; their answer says it all!


Have something you’d like to say? Email your letter to no later than 8 a.m. on Monday morning. The Capistrano Dispatch reserves the right to edit reader-submitted letters for length and is not responsible for the claims made or information written by the writers. Limit your letters to 350 words or less. Please send with your valid email, phone number and address for verification by staff. Your address and phone number will not be published.


The List

sounds of award-winning musicians as they perform live as part of the Festival of Arts’ “Concerts on the Green” series. Groove to the sounds of these living legends in a casual outdoor gallery setting that offers a memorable and unique concert experience unmatched in Southern California. This week’s musical act is The Dorian Holley Band. The Festival of Arts continues to build on its nationally and critically acclaimed reputation as one of the finest outdoor art venues. 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. 949.494.1145.


What’s going on in and around town COMPILED BY STAFF

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Saturday | 24 TORTOISE TIME 9:30-10:30 a.m. Horticulturalist and Tree of Life’s own Kevin Alison will detail garden design and plant selection of native plants for Desert Tortoise (gopherus agassizii). Tree of Life Nursery, 33201 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano. 949.728.0685. FOURTH ANNUAL BARKS & BREWS 4-7 p.m. “Bark” your calendar to celebrate National Dog Day at Outlets at San Clemente to sniff, schmooze and drink craft brews. The fun includes ice cold beer, delicious bites, live entertainment, a photo booth, free treats and dog-friendly vendors for your four-legged best friends. Proceeds from the event benefit Pet Project Foundation. The event is free to attend, and bringing your pup is strongly encouraged. Drinks are $5. 101 West Avenida Vista Hermosa, San Clemente. For more information, visit ANNUAL AFTER-RODEO CELEBRATION 7-11 p.m. Following the Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo, guests can head to Bad to the Bone BBQ, where they can enjoy live music and BBQ in the parking lot. The Kelly Rae Band will be playing country music. Bad to the Bone BBQ, 31738 Rancho Viejo Road, San Juan Capistrano. 949.218.0227.

Sunday | 25 REDO MARKET 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Featuring over a 100 booths with artisan and vintage merchandise, REDO will close Del Prado to vehicle traffic to create a pedestrian-friendly outdoor market. Stroll and explore the curated collection of vintage dealers and makers, while enjoying live music, local restaurants and shops, and hands-on experiences for kids. Del Prado Avenue, Dana Point. SUMMER PICKLEBALL 2:30-5:30 p.m. Come to play indoor pickleball at the San Juan Capistrano gymnasium.

The 19th annual Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo returns to San Juan Capistrano’s Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park on Aug. 24. Photo: File

SATURDAY & SUNDAY, AUGUST 24-25: RANCHO MISSION VIEJO RODEO 1 p.m. The Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo continues to elevate the level of competition, annually drawing the best contestants from across the world to compete in the richest two-day rodeo in the nation with a purse totaling more than $180,000. The competition will start at 4 p.m., with the gates opening at 1 p.m., allowing guests to enjoy the entertainment and vendors. A concert will close out the first day of the rodeo, with a performance by Big City Hillbillies at 6 p.m. The gates will reopen Sunday, Aug. 24, at 11:30 a.m., with competition beginning at 1:30 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit

The group will meet every Sunday through Oct. 27. Instruction and all equipment will be provided. For additional details and to register, please call 949.493.5911. 1 Via Positiva, San Juan Capistrano.

Wednesday | 28 WEDNESDAY NIGHT TRIVIA 7:30-9:30 p.m. Enjoy friendly competition and craft beers among friends during the BrewHouse’s weekly trivia night. Food trucks are on site during the trivia contest. The BrewHouse. 31896 Plaza Dr., Suite D3, San Juan Capistrano. 949.481.6181.

for a walking tour of the oldest occupied neighborhood in California—Los Rios Street. San Juan Capistrano is said to be one of the most haunted places in the world. Your tour will be hosted by an experienced and active paranormal investigator. Los Rios Street, San Juan Capistrano. 949.667.1957.

Saturday | 31

Friday | 30

HABITAT GARDENING 9:30-10:30 a.m. Planting natives offers more than simply adding flowers and attracting showy pollinators to your yards. They are the foundation of larger local food webs and play a critical part in supporting all animals—insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals alike— that call California home. To “develop” wildlands, it is of increasing importance to use native plants in gardens and other landscaped areas to create a functional habitat that mimics nature. Join Tree of Life Nursery for an engaging discussion on the importance of habitat gardening and how you can use your garden to create habitat for native fauna. Tree of Life Nursery, 33201 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano. 949.728.0685.

HAUNTED GHOST TOUR 8-9:30 p.m. Join OC Ghosts and Legends

CONCERTS ON THE GREEN 1-2:30 p.m. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the

Thursday | 29 OPEN MIC NIGHT 6-9 p.m. Five Vines Wine Bar presents its Open Mic Night every Thursday. Five Vines is looking for musicians, comedians, poets—anyone who wants a mic and an audience. Must be 21 and older. 31761 Camino Capistrano, #11, San Juan Capistrano. 949.800.9145.

The Capistrano Dispatch August 23–September 12, 2019

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OC LABOR DAY WEEKEND SINGLES DINNER DANCE 6:30-11 p.m. Join Single+Passion Ministries for an evening of fun and mingling during its annual Labor Day potluck dinner and dance for singles. There will be dancing, food and great people. Those bringing food for the potluck should bring a dish to serve six to eight people. Desserts and beverages will be provided. Cover charge of $20 without food and $15 with food. San Juan Capistrano Community Center, 25925 Camino Del Avion, San Juan Capistrano. 951.440.4201.

Saturday | 07 JR’S DEFENSIVE TACTICS WORKSHOP 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. In this workshop, kids aged 7 to 12 will learn escape and evasion tactics in a safe space with proper safety equipment to allow them to strike a live target with all of their might. Zen Dojos Martial Arts Academy, 31888 Del Obispo, #C6, San Juan Capistrano. 949.240.6574.

Monday | 09 20TH ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT 9 a.m–6 p.m. Play in the 20th annual Golf Tournament to support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley. Registration opens at 9 a.m. and will be followed by a putting contest at 11:45 a.m. The shotgun start is scheduled for noon. The event will conclude with a silent auction, dinner and awards ceremony. Tourney fee for 18 holes, lunch and dinner is $350. The cost to attend the dinner is $50. El Niguel Country Club, 23700 Club House Drive, Laguna Niguel. INTRODUCTION TO BRIDGE 9:30-11:30 a.m. The South Orange County Bridge Center will host an introductory session so you can learn what bridge is all about. Afterward, you can sign up for the weekly series that runs every Monday from Sept. 16 to Oct. 14. South Orange County Bridge Center, 31251 Rancho Viejo Road, Suite 205, San Juan Capistrano, 949.248.1268.


Live at The Coach House: Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. BY SHAWN RAYMUNDO, THE CAPISTRANO DISPATCH

B Photo: Nick Wall / Warner Bros.

At the Movies: ‘Blinded by the Light’ Brings a Cool Vibe BY MEGAN BIANCO, THE CAPISTRANO DISPATCH


irector Gurinder Chadha’s modern classic, Bend It Like Beckham (2002), and her new film, Blinded by the Light, have some similarities, as well as quite a few unique qualities. While Bend It was about a local English-Indian girl’s passion for soccer as she tries not to feel embarrassed by her family, Blinded by the Light has the comingof-age theme in a period piece centered on an English-Pakistani boy with a passion for writing. In the small UK town of Luton in 1987, Javed Khan (Viveik Kalra) has a passion for poetry and journalism. He takes inspiration from everything from modern politics while Margaret Thatcher is Prime Minister to writing love notes for classmate and love interest Eliza (Nell Williams). The burdens in Javed’s life are racist bullies and his overbearing, old-fashioned father, Malik (Kulvinder Ghir), pushing him to abandon writing and get an ordinary business job. But the one thing keeping Javed going is discovering the music of Bruce Springsteen. Chadha, along with help from Paul Meyeda Berges and Sarfraz Manzoor on the script, crafts a near-perfect, feel-good movie. The theme of feeling saved by your favorite music is a universal one, but Blinded also puts a spin on it by setting it in a culture we don’t see very often on screen. Even if you’re not a Bruce fan—I am not, either—the use of his classics is still just as effective and uplifting. And for those who aren’t aware, the title of the film does come from Manfred Mann’s 1976 hit single with the same name, which is a cover of a 1973 hit song by Springsteen. CD

illy Davis Jr. and Marilyn McCoo certainly have a way of making marriage seem easy. “Billy’s an easy person to get along with for the most part,” McCoo said, before teasing, “Unless I’m cooking, and then I throw him out of the kitchen.” “I have to stay out of the kitchen,” Davis concurred, while the two shared a laugh. The seven-time, Grammy Award-winning duo have such a rapport and playful banter that it’s no wonder how their marriage has been able to last 50 years in an industry that oftentimes isn’t kind to celebrity couples. But Davis and McCoo acknowledge—as almost anyone married will also tell you— there are challenges to every relationship, including their own. The two shared as much in their 2004 book, Up, Up, and Away, which shares its name with the 1967 hit song performed by their group, The 5th Dimension. While speaking by phone with The Capistrano Dispatch, Davis and McCoo laughed a lot as they spoke about their music and marriage, which turned 50 last month. Though the two are able to joke about it now, they note how they used to have it out quite a bit in the beginning of their relationship. “When we first started going together, we used to fight all the time,” McCoo said with a chuckle. “We fought all the time, because we’ve both been very outspoken about what we think.” The book, they explained, was meant to give readers “something that was real” and from which they could learn. “The more we thought about it, we felt like, ‘Well, we can encourage people to

not feel like (just) because you run into conflicts that your relationship’s not going to work,’ ” McCoo said. One piece of advice McCoo said she likes to give those seeking advice before getting married: “You (have to) like the person that you’re going to marry.” “I would ask them: ‘Do you like him?’ ” she said, as well as “Are there things that you like? Do you like the kind of person he is? Do you like how he feels about life and how he treats other people?” Asked what they like about each other, Davis was quick to point out that they have a lot in common, especially music. “We both love our music; we both love joking and jiving. We just connect,” he said before repeating himself for emphasis. “We just connect.” For McCoo, what she’s always liked about Davis is that he’s a “good human being.” “I liked that about him before I fell in love with him,” she said. “He’s a good man, and another thing that I found very special is he gets along with my family.” McCoo and Davis first met in 1965, when the R&B and soul group The 5th Dimension—formerly known as the Versatiles—was formed. Whenever Davis, who’s from St. Louis, flew into LA for the group’s rehearsals, McCoo would pick him up at the airport. “We would talk about our lives; Billy would tell me about his life in St. Louis, and I would talk to him about mine and my passion for my work,” McCoo said. “And Billy would make me laugh. Billy was always saying something funny, and I found that I laughed a lot with him.” Those shared moments with each other would continue even during social gatherings and parties with the rest of the group, McCoo said.

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. will perform at The Coach House on Saturday, Aug. 24. Photo: Courtesy of SWC

The Capistrano Dispatch August 23–September 12, 2019

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Instead of mingling with others, “Billy and I would find ourselves sitting together and talking to each other at the party,” she said. “We started to confide in one another— some of our deepest issues and thoughts and things that we thought about life and all of that—and it just really turned into a friendship and a trust, a trust in one another,” Davis later said. By 1969, Davis and McCoo were married. And in 1975, the two parted ways with The 5th Dimension, wanting to embark on solo careers. Not wanting to be apart, however, the two continued working together as a duo. “We still never got to be solo artists, but we did get to do solo things. But because of our relationship, we didn’t want it to suffer because of being individual artists,” Davis said. “You know being on opposite sides of the country and working in different places, it’s kind of hard to keep a relationship together when you don’t see each other very often,” said McCoo. The two have continued to perform and work well together throughout the years, in part, McCoo said, because they both deeply care about their sound and harmonies on stage. “Everything that we do, we want to make it the best it can be, and fortunately we both approach our music and our work in the same way,” she said, adding: “If we’re going to sing these songs, we want the harmonies to be right.” Their harmonies will be on full display this Saturday when the two visit The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano as part of their recent shows, which is also titled “Up, Up, and Away.” Davis and McCoo are looking to “bring back wonderful memories” for the audience by performing several of their hits, including “You Don’t Have to be a Star (to be in My Show),” for which they earned their seventh Grammy in 1977. The duo also plans to perform tributes to musical acts from the same era. “So we do those (hit) songs, but we also do songs that reflect on our times and music that we’ve always enjoyed—artists that are from a similar time that we were,” McCoo said, also noting that the show will incorporate a bit of blues in addition to pop and R&B. “So we have a nice mixture of music in our show.” Tickets to see Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. at The Coach House on Saturday, Aug. 24, are $50. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the show scheduled to start at 8 p.m. The Coach House is located at 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. For tickets or more information, call 949.496.8930 or visit CD


Local Group to Replace Patriot Hill American Flag BY SHAWN RAYMUNDO, THE CAPISTRANO DISPATCH


head of the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a group of local residents will make the hike up Patriot Hill to replace the American flag, keeping alive a longstanding tradition. A few times a year, the local group, consisting of about 20 to 60 hikers, participates in Flag Rallies by hiking San Juan Capistrano’s Patriot Trail and replacing the American flag atop of Patriot Hill with a fresh 6-by-10-foot flag. In addition to the Sept. 11 memorial, the Flag Rallies typically coincide with major U.S. holidays, including Memorial Day in May and Independence Day in July, San Juan resident Yvonne Tschaikowsky explained in an email to The Capistrano Dispatch. “Flag Rallies bring together all people and families with the common patriotic thread of being thankful for the men and women who serve and protect us,” wrote Tschaikowsky, who first started the rallies with fellow San Juan resident Shirley

Local Author Receives Recognition for Book on SJC’s Equestrian History BY ZARA FLORES, FOR THE CAPISTRANO DISPATCH


onna Friess, a local historian and author, was recently recognized as an honoree in the 2019 Book Excellence Awards for her love letter to San Juan Capistrano, Capistrano Trails: Ride for the Brand.

Left, a Flag Rally group poses for a photo after replacing the American flag on Patriot Hill in San Juan Capistrano on June 29, days before the nation celebrates Independence Day. Photo: Courtesy of Tom Baker Photography. Right, A journal box next to the flag pole on San Juan Capistrano’s Patriot Hill allows hikers to leave entries expressing appreciation for the American flag that was installed following the 9/11 attacks on the nation. Photo: Shawn Raymundo

Stewart, who died in June 2016. After reaching the top of Patriot Hill, the group holds a ceremony to mark the occasion by playing the bugle call “Retreat” while the outgoing, worn flag is lowered. And to celebrate the raising of the replacement flag, the bugle call “To the Colors” is played. “The group recites the Pledge of Allegiance, sings the National Anthem, a prayer is offered and a bagpiper plays ‘Amazing Grace’ as the finale,” Tschaikowsky said in the email. Whenever a tattered flag is ceremoniously retired and replaced, the local San Juan chapter of the American Legion clips out the embroidered stars, which get sent to troops in the Armed Services overseas, along with notes of support and gratitude, Tschaikowsky said.

The new flags, Tschaikowsky added, are donated from some of the members in the group, which also maintains the 35-foot flagpole, as well as the journal box—a mailbox of sorts that includes entries from visitors throughout the country who have “expressed awe and admiration for this tribute.” While she and Stewart founded the Flag Rallies, an American flag wasn’t added to the trail until the day of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, according to Tschaikowsky. On that day, she further explained, an unknown individual placed an American flag on a rusty fence post at the top of San Juan’s southeast open space ridgeline. “From that day forward, an evergrowing team has kept a flag flying on that ridgeline, clearly visible from many

Friess’ book was among nearly 300 others that were considered finalists for the Book Excellence Award, an international competition that provides authors and publishers with resources and help in topics such as publishing, marketing, writing, publicity and social media. “I wrote Capistrano Trails as my valentine to San Juan Capistrano and to the horses,” Friess said. “When reviewers and readers describe the book as a ‘magnificent work,’ I am just so pleased, as I truly wrote it with love.” Published in August 2018, Capistrano Trails reads like a time-traveling journey, jumping between different writing styles and topics. This history lesson is accompanied by warm, cherished and lighthearted memories from residents of the town as they share little pieces of what makes their community so special. Writing the book was not about money or fame for Friess, a professor emeritus who has a Ph.D. in Human Behavior and Master’s in Speech Communication. Instead, she said, it was about encapsulat-

ing San Juan Capistrano and its equestrian history, especially now in the booming modern urbanism. “It’s insightful, and I did it for love,” she said, of the book. In 2017, while studying to become a docent, Friess read Capistrano Nights: Tales of a California Mission Town, inspiring her to put together her 250-page history of “The Horse Capital of Orange County.” The idea of Capistrano Trails was to explore the history of San Juan Capistrano, dating back to the 1880s and how much it has evolved while still maintaining its equestrian roots and pride. Once she started, she couldn’t help but keep going. Not one to take a break, it took her only 19 months from when she got the idea for the book to actually complete it. She compiled stories from residents all over San Juan Capistrano and Rancho Mission Viejo, and her book shifts between narration and first-person accounts of stories from the past 70 years. “I found a way to write history without

The Capistrano Dispatch August 23-September 12, 2019

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surrounding cities and the 5 Freeway,” she wrote. “Two Eagle Scout brothers installed a permanent pole as a tribute to the 3,500 lives lost and to all the heroes who protect us every day: military, law enforcement, firemen and first responders.” For this year’s 9/11 Flag Rally, the group plans to meet at the Patriot Hill flagpole on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 8:30 a.m, with the ceremony set to last about an hour. To join the group and receive updates on when future flag rallies will be held, email or visit the group’s Facebook site. The group encourages those planning on participating to bring water and be aware of snakes on the trail. Dogs joining the hike should be kept on leashes. The trail itself is all dirt and includes some steep inclines. CD

At her San Juan Capistrano home, Donna Friess holds a copy of her book, Capistrano Trails, which was a finalist for the 2019 Book Excellence Awards. Photo: Alex Groves

repeating what everyone else had done, and the stories in here had never been written down anywhere else!” Friess exclaimed. Capistrano Trails is available at in Kindle format, as well as black-and-white print and hard-back color print. Proceeds from the book go to support local charitable causes. CD

SJC LIVING GUEST OPINION: On Life and Love after 50 by Tom Blake

Dateline: Dublin, Ireland


reta and I just completed a 10-day land tour around Ireland. We joined 25 other people from the U.S. and one man from Australia, traveling by motorcoach and staying in hotels in Dublin, Ballina, Galway, Limerick, Tralee and Waterford. Upon arriving at our Dublin hotel, we noticed TV cameras around the lobby. A popular Ireland TV show called First Dates was being taped there. What a funny coincidence, we thought. Thirty couples, mostly much younger than we, were matched and being interviewed. I jokingly told one of the show’s producers that Greta and I were there for our taping. She seemed perplexed and couldn’t find our names on her list. Then I told her that I had written about dating for 25 years. I thought she might interview us, but we didn’t fit the mold. Of course, the main reasons for coming to Ireland were the castles, history, cities, green landscape and sheer beauty. Also, I had hoped to find genealogy information on my mom’s side of the family, some of whom I knew had come from Ireland. Each day was very busy. Our luggage had to be placed outside the hotel room by 7 a.m., followed by a quick Irish breakfast, then on the bus by 8 or 8:30. All kinds of tourist attractions each day. Hotel check-in after 5 p.m. A group dinner most nights. Seven different hotels in six cities. We saw so much, it’s impossible to describe everything, so here are a few highlights. The first stop: The Famine Museum in Strokestown. Here, the great Irish Famine of the 1840s was explained. At that time, the potato was the main food for the population of 8 million. Many were very poor and were sustained by eating only potatoes, as many as 14 pounds per person per day. A blight destroyed the Ireland potato crop. Nearly one million people starved to death. At the museum, we read about the tragedy, saw old pictures and depictions. As I left

the museum, I thought to myself, I will never complain about anything again in my life. The messages there were that powerful. At the 200-year old Rathbaun farm, our group made scones from scratch. While the scones were baking, we saw a border collie herd sheep and then saw a lamb sheared. Then, back inside to eat our own scones. Delicious. In Western Ireland, our group stopped at Kylemore Abbey, a massive castle acquired by Benedictine nuns from wealthy people who had squandered their fortunes living the high life. And then a stop at a marble workshop, where Irish marble mined from nearby quarries is turned into jewelry. Many women purchased earrings and bracelets. One day, the group boarded a ferry boat to the Aran Islands, the westernmost islands of Europe. ON LIFE AND Gaelic is the first language LOVE AFTER 50 spoken there. While there, By Tom Blake we climbed 1,000 feet to Dun Aengus, a fort from prehistoric times. Lunch on the island was at Ti Joe Wattys pub, where the group was entertained by an Irish guitar player and singer. We stayed in the resort city of Galway for two nights. From there, we toured the Dingle Peninsula and the 100-mile Ring of Kerry along the cliffs of the Atlantic Ocean. Ate at Blake’s Bar. My favorite city: Killarney. The shops, stores, pubs were bustling with people. A Guinness store—similar to an LL Bean Store—had all kinds of tempting merchandise to purchase. In Waterford, the group enjoyed a tour of the famous Waterford Crystal factory, which has 180 employees producing the wellknown vases, stemware and sports trophies. My genealogy search had a surprise result. There was very little on my mom’s side, but on my dad’s side, the name Blake turned up across Ireland. At the Cliffs

Adoptable Pet of the Week: Anna THE CAPISTRANO DISPATCH

T Anna. Photo: Courtesy of San Clemente/Dana Point Animal Shelter

his scruffy cutie is Anna, a calm little girl who wants nothing more than to be in your lap. She enjoys playing in the yard with other small dogs. Anna would do well in a quiet home, where she can finally settle in. If you would like to know more about Anna, call the San Clemente/Dana Point Animal Shelter at 949.492.1617 or visit with her at 221 Avenida Fabricante, San Clemente. CD

The Capistrano Dispatch August 23–September 12, 2019

Photo: Courtesy of OC Public Libraries

FROM THE ARCHIVES Workers harvest lettuce at Kinoshita Farms in San Juan Capistrano, circa 1990s.

Every issue, The Capistrano Dispatch will publish a historical photo. Online, The Capistrano Dispatch will create a gallery of the month’s photos. To submit your historical photo for consideration, provide information about the photo along with your name, date, location and a small description to

of Moher, a gift shop genealogy search revealed 232 people with the name Blake in County Clare and displayed the Blake coat of arms. Our bus driver and tour group leader were both five-star performers. Sean drove us around Ireland and back to Dublin safely, navigating more than 1,000 miles of narrow curvy roads. Many times, he had to stop so oncoming traffic could inch by. Once, he had to stop for a herd of sheep crossing the road. Barbara, the tour group leader with 28 years of experience, was pleasant, patient, organized, energetic and on top of every little detail, making the trip extremely pleasant. Her Irish expressions were priceless. “Want to stop for a jar?” Barbara would ask. A “jar” is a drink in a pub. Or, “Those people are having a ‘chin wag’ ”—a conversation. She’d often say, “Today’s forecast is for ‘broken weather.’ ” Translation: sunny one

minute, raining the next. We saw hundreds of cattle and sheep, incredible historic castles and black-stone walls everywhere in the countryside. The Irish people are warm, welcoming and friendly. The food, especially the fresh seafood, is to die for. The pints of Guinness Stout in the pubs? Well, there’s a lot less Guinness in those pub taps, now that our group has left Ireland. Tom Blake is a Dana Point resident and a former Dana Point businessman who has authored several books on middle-aged dating. See his websites; and To receive Tom’s weekly online newsletter, sign up at Email: tompblake@ CD PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to provide our readers with a wide variety of opinions from our community, The Dispatch provides Guest Opinion opportunities in which selected columnists’ opinions are shared. The opinions expressed in these columns are entirely those of the columnist alone and do not reflect those of The Dispatch or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at

Sudoku BY MYLES MELLOR Solution:

Each Sudoku puzzle consists of a 9x9 grid that has been subdivided into nine smaller grids of 3x3 squares. To solve the puzzle, each row, column and box must contain each of the numbers 1 to 9. Puzzles come in three grades: easy, medium and difficult. Level: Medium Page 24

BUSINESS DIRECTORY CLASSIFIEDS Submit your classified ad online at GARAGE SALES HUGE GARAGE SALE SATURDAY 7-11AM Dirt bikes, equipment, tools, and gear for sale. Musical instruments, Halloween costumes, jewelry, designer clothes, home decor, furniture, surf boards, collectible model cars, kids toys, clothes, and much more! 24276 Cortes Drive, Dana Point.

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


Jennifer Marie Darling Stone

PLACE YOUR BUSINESS CARD HERE Call 949.388.7700, ext. 104 or email

Jennifer Darling, 65, passed away on August 6th, 2019. She will be remembered for her smile and her fun and nurturing spirit. Born in Pasadena, California, she was the daughter of William and Helen Darling. Jennifer grew up in Alhambra, California with her twin brother James and two older brothers, William and Michael. Jennifer graduated from Alhambra High School in 1972. She moved to San Clemente, California in 1974. She was employed at the City of San Clemente from 1986-1999 and finished her career at the City of Laguna Niguel Building Division from 1999-2015. Jennifer served at various Christian churches throughout her life in Southern Orange County. She enjoyed attending Bible Study and giving back to the community. Jennifer loved music, dancing and entertaining. You would find The Beatles, James Taylor, Rod Stewart or Zac Brown Band playing in her home or while she tended to her beautiful garden. She is survived by her children, Amysue Baker, Matthew Stone, son in law Brad Baker, and grandchildren Benjamin and Grace. The memorial service will be held on August 30th at 10:30AM at Capo Beach Church, 25975 Domingo Ave, Dana Point, CA 92624.

The Capistrano Dispatch August 23–September 12, 2019

PLACE YOUR BUSINESS CARD HERE Call 949.388.7700, ext. 104 or email

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or in-game updates, news and more for all of the San Juan Capistrano high school sports programs, follow us on Twitter @SouthOCSports.

Four Teams Named to CIF-SS Preseason Watch Lists As the fall sports season kicks into gear, the CIF-SS began releasing its 2019 lists of teams to watch. The lists showcase the teams that could potentially show up in the rankings throughout the season, but the teams are just presented alphabetically, with the first numbered rankings appearing shortly after the seasons begin.

While football gets the buzz, girls volleyball was officially the first sport to kick off the fall sports season on Aug. 17, and two San Juan Capistrano teams made the watch list cut. St. Margaret’s made the list in Division 3, and Saddleback Valley Christian is named in Division 4. San Juan Hills is a notable omission off the Division 1 & 2 list, as the Stallions are coming off another undefeated run through the South Coast League and an appearance in the CIF State playoffs. Boys water polo is one of the next sports to open with first games played on Aug. 26, and the city’s two boys water polo teams, San Juan Hills and JSerra, made the list in Division 4. Playing in one of Southern California’s best water polo leagues, the South Coast League, San Juan Hills remained in the Division 4 rankings throughout last season despite a winless league campaign. The Stallions open on Sept. 3 at home against Segerstrom. JSerra starts its season on Aug. 31 at home against Canyon Crest Academy.

Girls Volleyball Teams Open 2019 Season The 2019 CIF-SS girls volleyball season was open for business on Saturday, Aug. 17, and a couple teams got right to work in the season-opening Tesoro tournament. JSerra advanced out of its pool to the gold bracket playoffs, but the Lions were swept by eventual champion Laguna Beach in two sets. Saddleback Valley Christian fell to Laguna Beach in pool play, and the Warriors were dropped in a three-set match in the playoffs by La Habra. JSerra was next in action at Aliso Niguel on Thursday, Aug. 22, but results were not available at press time. SVC found its way into the win column in another nonleague match on Tuesday, Aug. 20, at home against University, but the Warriors didn’t make it easy. University won the first two sets, 25-23 and 25-18, to push SVC to the brink. The Warriors battled in the third set and stayed alive with a win in extra points, 26-24. From there, SVC took the

fourth set, 25-17, to force a tightly contested fifth set, where the Warriors took the match, 16-14. SVC played at Mission Viejo on Thursday, Aug. 22, and will move on to the Rancho Christian Tournament on Saturday, Aug. 24. JSerra hosts SVC in a battle of cross-street rivals on Tuesday, Aug. 27. San Juan Hills is set to open its season on Friday, Aug. 23 at the California Challenge Tournament at Alliant International University in San Diego. The Stallions will play three pool-play matches before playoff matches on Saturday, Aug. 24. San Juan Hills takes on Del Norte, Pacific Ridge and La Jolla. San Juan Hills hosts JSerra on Sept. 3. St. Margaret’s started its season with a sweep loss to Torey Pines on Tuesday, Aug. 20. The Tartans host Portola on Tuesday, Aug. 27 before playing in the Portola Tournament on Friday, Aug. 30. Capistrano Valley Christian opens its season at the Rancho Christian Tournament on Saturday, Aug. 24. The Eagles play at Pacific Christian on Monday, Aug. 26 and at Katella on Wednesday, Aug. 28 before their first home game against Anaheim on Friday, Aug. 30. CD

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