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FEBRUARY 14-27, 2020 • VOLUME 18, ISSUE 3

A Helping Hand CREER Assists Youth Through Programs E Y E O N S J C / PAG E 9

CREER Comunidad y Familia staff and volunteers say seeing kids become confident and progress in education is rewarding. From left: Executive Director Angeles Ceballos, writing teacher Louise Dumais, music teacher Andrea Romero, Education Director Rosario Rowell and Homework Club Supervisor Kathy Rowley. Photo: Collin Breaux

Solid Waste Handling Fees Increasing EYE ON SJC/PAGE 3

Primary Election Coverage



Health Center Opens in Sendero Marketplace RMV EYE ON RMV/PAGE 10




What’s Up With...

San Juan Capistrano said they adhere to the highest standards of financial transparency and accountability. “As demonstrated by the City’s audited financial reports, the City of San Juan Capistrano consistently produces a balanced budget that puts the City’s limited financial resources to work providing valuable community services, while responsibly accumulating reserves (currently at 60% of the General Fund budget) to fund unexpected financial needs,” the statement said. “This assessment of the City’s financial strength provides a more balanced perspective that considers all of the objectives of financial management, rather than the sole goal of maximizing unrestricted net position.” —Lillian Boyd and CB

Five things San Juan should know this week St. Margaret’s Mourns Copter Crash Victims Payton, Sarah Chester THE LATEST: St. Margaret Episcopal School eighth-grader Payton Chester and her mother, Sarah, were two of the nine people who died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas on Sunday, Jan. 26 that also claimed the life of NBA legend Kobe Bryant. A memorial was held Saturday, Feb. 8 at St. Margaret’s. “Yesterday, we lost our mother and wife, Sarah, and sister and daughter, Payton,” the Chester family said in a statement on January 27. “We are devastated by this loss. Sarah and Payton were the lights of our family. We are thankful for the love and support of our family, friends and community. Please allow us privacy to grieve during this time.” The Chesters are survived by husband and father Chris and sons and brothers Hayden and Riley. The brothers both attend St. Margaret’s. “We are a community in deep mourning over (this) unimaginable loss,” St. Margaret’s Episcopal School said in a statement. “On behalf of our entire St. Margaret’s community, we send our love and prayers to surround the entire Chester family in this devastating time of loss.” The crash also took the lives of Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna; Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa; basketball coach Christina Mauser; and pilot Ara Zobayan. There were no survivors.—Zach Cavanagh

The community had a good time during the annual car show. Photo: Collin Breaux

bic yards of trash will be $99.90, up from $72.75; three cubic yards will be $152.07, up from $111.25; and four cubic yards will be $199.80, up from $145.51. Information about the increases came to light when the San Juan Capistrano City Council discussed and approved an amended agreement with CR&R Inc. for solid waste handling services during a council meeting on Feb. 4. The agreement was amended and restated to comply with California Senate Bill 1383, which addresses organic waste and other environmental concerns. Then-Gov. Jerry Brown had approved the legislation, which penalizes non-compliance, in September 2016. “At the end of the day, given the state mandates which I don’t personally agree with, I’m actually rather impressed that our rates are going to be as low as they are,” City Councilmember Derek Reeve said. WHAT’S NEXT: The new rates will be effective on July 1. Outreach, educational efforts, and public workshops will be held before then to inform people about details regarding organic waste handling and related matters.—Collin Breaux

City to Raise Waste Handling Service Rates

Annual Car Show Raises Money for Good Causes

THE LATEST: Solid waste handling service fees will increase in San Juan Capistrano due to state environmental regulations. Beginning on July 1, various residential curbside and commercial rates will go up. For instance, the proposed residential rates for a 32-gallon container or volume size will go up to $21 from the current rate of $19.16. A 64-gallon rate will go up to $22 from $20.21 and a 56-gallon rate will go up to $24 from $22.45. The commercial rate increases will be higher. The proposed increase for two cu-

THE LATEST: It was all sunshine, warm weather and smiles during the annual San Juan Capistrano Rotary Club Car Show held on Saturday, Feb. 1 at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center and Sports Park. Families and other attendees got to check out a variety of classic and unique cars. According to Rotary Club President Karen Crockett, more than 400 cars were registered this year, and a new VIP area with seating and beverage service was added for $2,000 and $5,000 sponsors. Other VIP attendees could buy a ticket for

The Capistrano Dispatch February 14-27, 2020

$100. Net proceeds from the event will go to a variety of local causes, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley, Thanksgiving dinners for the needy, and J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center. Bruce Tatarian won the Mayor’s Award from Mayor Troy Bourne for his 1968 Jaguar E-Type. “It’s single family-owned. My father bought it in August of 1968,” Tatarian said. “He passed away three years later, and it’s been my car ever since to take care of. We’ve kept it in good shape. It’s stayed in the family, so it’s a family member.”—CB

Financial Report Card Grade for SJC Released THE LATEST: Sen. John Moorlach released his report assessing the financial soundness of each of California’s cities, ranking San Juan Capistrano in 18th place out of Orange County’s 34 cities—or 239th out of California’s 482 cities. As Moorlach states in his report, all government entities in California must send the state audited financial statements so public officials, private watchdog groups, journalists and private citizens can review them. Moorlach analyzed California cities’ financial statements by dividing the city’s unrestricted net position (UNP) by the municipality’s population. The UNP includes both a municipality’s assets and liabilities, which can be either a positive number or a deficit number. The current report from Moorlach includes only information from 2017 and 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) from cities. With the numbers from those years, San Juan Capistrano’s UNP per capita came out to $165 in the red. The overall 2018 UNP was $6,050 in the red. A response statement from the City of Page 3

Judge Denies Santa Ana Homeless Injunction THE LATEST: A federal judge earlier this month denied the city of Santa Ana’s request for an injunction to bar the County of Orange from transporting homeless individuals to a temporary shelter at an armory in Santa Ana, according to news outlets. Reports indicate that Judge David O. Carter blocked the injunction on Tuesday, Feb. 4, because attorneys from Sana Ana couldn’t provide any statistics about the homeless who have been staying at the Orange County Armory Emergency Shelter Program at the National Guard Armory in Santa Ana. Carter denied the injunction without prejudice, allowing Santa Ana’s legal team to later submit numbers and other information to back up the city’s claim that it has been unfairly saddled with taking on the county’s homeless problem. Last month, Santa Ana had sued the county, as well as the cities of Dana Point, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano. The city accused the South County cities of transporting their homeless to Santa Ana, relying heavily on the armory to care for the indigent. However, following a staunch rebuke from the three cities, which said they had not transported any homeless to Santa Ana—a practice commonly referred to as “dumping”—Santa Ana dropped its suit against the cities, while leaving the county as the primary defendant. In its Jan. 13 complaint, the city of Santa Ana said the county “has established homeless services almost exclusively in Santa Ana, thereby contributing to the dense concentration of homeless individuals therein.” According to the complaint, Santa Ana is seeking monetary damages as a reimbursement for the costs associated with providing homeless-related services and resources, in addition to a prohibition of transporting homeless individuals to the armory.—Shawn Raymundo thecapistranodispatch.com



Marines, Community Help Out in Los Rios Park Members of the United States Marine Corps 1st Battalion, 11th Marines (1-11), the Goin’ Native program, and other people helped dig post holes at the Los Rios Park on Saturday, Jan. 25. The holes were for new plant signs donated by the San Juan Capistrano Rotary Club. The Marines came from Camp Pendleton. Goin’ Native and the Rotary Club have previously helped Marines at Camp Pendleton and military veterans. San Juan Capistrano Mayor Pro Tem John Taylor was also at the park on Jan. 25 to help out.

Taste of San Juan Brings Community Together for Food, Fun This year’s annual Taste of San Juan event once again brought the community together for food and fun on Thursday, Feb. 6, at the Reata Park & Event Center. Restaurants such as Hennessey’s Tavern and Trevor’s at the Tracks offered food samplings, and their representatives chat-

ted with attendees. More than 20 restaurants, pubs, and wineries participated. JB and the Big Circle Riders provided live music.

ment communities, the press release said.

CATEGORIES AND WINNERS: Overall winner • Sol Agave Best main course • O’Neill’s Bar and Grill at Arroyo Trabuco, winner, and Rancho Capistrano Winery, runner-up Best dessert • JD Flannel Donuts, winner, and Sweet Home Capistrano Bakery & Cafe, runner-up Most original dish • Sol Agave, winner, and Taqueros Mexican Restaurant, runner-up Best appetizer • Five Vines Wine Bar, winner, and Sundried Tomato American Bistros & Catering, runner-up

Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) announced and celebrated the Teacher of the Year for elementary, middle and high schools on Thursday, Feb. 6. Steve Lopinto at Laguna Niguel Elementary School in Laguna Niguel was named the Elementary School Teacher of the Year; Lindsey Behm at Marco Forster Middle School in San Juan Capistrano was named the Middle School Teacher of the Year; and Christy Curtis at Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo was named the High School Teacher of the Year. Behm was surprised by CUSD officials in her classroom and congratulated by students and others. Behm teaches eighthgrade Social Studies. “I’m teaching students about their rights and responsibilities as citizens, and trying to get them to be involved more in politics and decisions in the future,” Behm said. “I like helping all the students succeed.” The CUSD teachers now move on to the Orange County Teacher of the Year competition.

Visit thecapistranodispatch.com for photos from Taste of San Juan.

Reata Glen Helps Breakthrough SJC Reata Glen donated $1,000 to local nonprofit Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano during a ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 28. The money will be used to help support local first-generation students through tuition-free college access programming, according to a press release. The Reata Glen community was awarded the money after their team members won a challenge among six California-based retire-

CUSD Celebrates Teachers of the Year

Have something interesting for the community? Send your information to editorial@thecapistranodispatch.com.

Community Meetings WEDNESDAY, FEB. 18 City Council Meeting 5 p.m. The San Juan Capistrano City Council will hold a meeting. City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto, San Juan Capistrano. sanjuancapistrano.org. TUESDAY, FEB. 25 Cultural Heritage Commission Meeting 4:30 p.m. The city’s Cultural Heritage Commission will have a meeting. City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto, San Juan Capistrano. sanjuancapistrano.org. Planning Commission Meeting 6:30 p.m. The city’s Planning Commission will have a meeting. City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto, San Juan Capistrano. sanjuancapistrano.org. FRIDAY, FEB. 28 The next issue of The Capistrano Dispatch publishes.


Securing the Seventy-Third Hear from the candidates vying for the 73rd Assembly District


1. We need to change the homeless definition. It is not someone losing a job and the inability to afford to live in South County. The population is mentally ill, drug- and alcohol-addicted and formerly incarcerated individuals. Propositions 47 and 57 contributed to the lessening of felony crimes. The inability of cities to enforce ordinances has led to essentially legalizing vagrancy. I am proud to have worked on homeless veteran issues at the Department of Veterans Affairs while serving in the Bush Administration. While on Dana Point City Council, I asked in 2014 that we create a homeless task force. We included Family Assistance Ministries, Dana Point VFW Post 9934, Dana Point Chamber of Commerce, St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church and Police Services on the board. In the State Assembly, I authored AB 346, along with my colleague from Anaheim, Tom Daly, which gave cities flexibility to pool financial resources to address homeless issues such as agreements for regional shelters. The County has the lead. Judge David Carter’s ruling created three zones: North, Central and South. The North is proceeding with services in Tustin. Stanton and Placentia created a facility that will be open this summer; then they will be able to enforce their zoning ordinances. There were 763 homeless individuals identified in South County, according to the 2019 Point-in-Time Count. Nothing has happened in the South other than Supervisor Lisa Bartlett proposing a homeless tent city at the Laguna Niguel Town Center that was dead on arrival. There are several county and state properties that have been identified. The county needs to identify sites, audit the individual for their needs, request for proposal (RFP) the Prop 63 mental health dollars they have collected—upwards of $200 million—and get it to the appropriate health care professionals to treat people; then cities can enforce their ordinances. These facilities will treat individuals, rather than going to emergency rooms, which is the most expensive point of health care and does not give them the appropriate care. The governor provided additional dollars in his budget and suggested state properties like fairgrounds to assist counties with a solution. I will continue to work with state and local officials to find solutions to the issue.


1. To address the homeless issue, we need to take a look back at the issues and legislation that have created this crisis. We need to reinstate the common-sense laws that protected our communities and provided help to those that are in need instead of leaving them on the street to fend for themselves. This crisis needs more than one solution. The homeless fall into three main categories: mentally ill, financial burdens and addiction and lifestyle choice. In all cases, more family involvement should be encouraged. As President of the ACC-OC, we are working with the county, nonprofits, and private developers to build affordable permanent housing. In addition, we have implemented efforts to provide job training for those that have taken to The Capistrano Dispatch February 14-27, 2020


Voters will see two Democrats and three Republicans on the March ballot for the 73rd Assembly District. The Democrat and Republican with the most votes, respectively, will go on to appear on the General Election ballot in November. To give our readers a sense of the contenders’ platforms, each candidate was asked two questions: 1. What is your plan to alleviate and remedy homelessness in South Orange County? 2. How should transportation agencies address South County traffic? (Answers for this question can be viewed online.)

their car or streets due to financial burdens. There are many success stories, and we can build upon those models. No matter the diagnosis or cause of mental illness, a family network should be encouraged. But often, due to privacy laws, families and those who care are unable to help until the situation is out of control, and law enforcement is called. By that time, commitment to a hospital for 3-14 days does not stabilize the person, and the cycle repeats. Many universities, hospitals and military bases are recognizing the illness and are expanding their behavior health units. Research is being developed to “cure” some forms of mental illness. I will encourage research and development, longerterm hospitalization, as well as loosening some of the privacy laws to allow those who care to help those who need. There is no easy answer for addiction, but needle exchange programs and establishing rehab facilities in residential neighborhoods are not the answer. Again, early detection, family involvement, longer-term treatment and follow-up with licensed medical professionals in licensed facilities should be encouraged through legislation.


1. Like in any crisis, we need to triage the problem—break it up into parts. That has been the flaw in our approach to date; we’re looking for one-size-fits-all solutions to a very complicated issue. First, no shipping homeless from one place to another; if homeless populations form in certain areas, there is a reason for that, and moving people masks the reason why that population formed in the first place. Second, I don’t believe we will ever build enough housing or spend enough money on support services to fix this problem. While compassion is an ingredient in the solution, it is not the sole solution. We must stop coddling the entire homeless population and differentiate between a homeless child or veteran dealing with PTSD versus those with poor life choices that engage in street crime. Prop 47 was fraudulently passed with a deceptive ballot title (much like the gas tax, Prop 57 and soon-to-be Prop 13) and is undoubtedly a major contributing factor to the surge in street drugs and homeless we have experienced locally. We must make these incredibly harmful street drugs felonies again, as well as the street crime that feeds the habit. With the threat of a felony, district attorneys can mandate people into treatment early on before their addiction becomes next to impossible to defeat. I feel our current representation in the Assembly has done far too little to address these issues, and if I receive the honor of representing South County in the Assembly, I will immediately draft legislation to make repeat street crime a felony again and will increase the severity of punishment for drug use and sales near schools, parks, beaches and in residential neighborhoods.


1. Homelessness is an increasing problem in South County that inhibits our ability to access and enjoy public areas, such as beaches and parks, and has left many of our most vulnerable Page 6

community members with few options to gain stability, improve their lives, and obtain long-term housing. While I am empathetic to the plight of the homeless, it is not healthy, nor sustainable for South County, to have increasing numbers of people living on the streets. Further, without clarity of their authority, law enforcement officers have had their hands tied and have been pressed into duty as social workers. The Boise decision made clear that in order for local cities to enforce anti-camping laws, there must be available lawful places to sleep. Any plan must balance the goal of assisting the homeless to find affordable or permanent supportive housing with the need to take action to preserve the safety and quality of life of our communities. With these interests in mind, I would propose a countyfunded-and-managed temporary homeless shelter serving South County’s homeless population. The shelter would be located inland, where real estate is more affordable, preferably on state-owned land, and staffed with mental health professionals, substance abuse counselors, job training experts, and affordable housing representatives. Social workers would be tasked with offering temporary housing services to the diverse homeless population in South County so that they may take advantage of these resources. Deputy Sheriffs would have the authority to take appropriate action where these options are offered but rejected. Again, the goal of this effort would be to put vulnerable people back on their feet, but it would also empower communities to protect the integrity of their businesses, transportation hubs, beaches, parks, and other public areas. As our state assembly representative, I would lead this initiative and hold myself accountable for its success. I would bring Orange County and South County officials together to identify and allow the creation of a temporary homeless shelter that would serve all of South County. This collaborative, pragmatic approach is the best way to build the widespread support needed to move the project forward. Conversely, state-mandated, top-down requirements and quotas imposed on South County cities are the wrong approach. Such mandates unfairly penalize South County cities for being attractive places for homeless people to travel to and reside in, and they do not account for cities’ budget constraints or local interests.


1. First, there is no “my plan” to alleviate and remedy homelessness in South Orange County, the state or the nation. Homelessness requires an “our plan” to address the contributing factors leading to the increase in our homeless population and to begin solving this public health crisis. An increase in Federal Housing Programs, permanent supportive housing and enhanced housing-first initiatives would all be major steps in solving our homeless crisis. Locally, it should not have taken an emergency request by a U.S. District judge to shame us into action here in Orange County. I look forward to working with local, state and federal representatives to move solutions forward. CD thecapistranodispatch.com


Road to Capitol Hill GOP Looks to Regain Battleground District from Democrats THE CAPISTRANO DISPATCH

The race for California’s 49th Congressional seat to the U.S. House of Representatives features two candidates: MIKE LEVIN The Democratic incumbent is currently serving his first term on Capitol Hill. BRIAN MARYOTT The Republican challenger is a San Juan Capistrano Councilmember. In an effort to give voters an idea of where the candidates stand on issues related to the 49th District, each candidate was asked three questions:

If elected, how do you plan to address the storage of nuclear waste? Would you advocate to revive the Yucca Mountain plan or support an alternative site to store spent nuclear fuel? LEVIN: One of my top priorities in Congress is moving the spent nuclear fuel from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) as quickly and safely as possible. I believe it is imperative that people who live around SONGS have a voice in that process, which is why one of my first actions after being elected was to establish a San Onofre Task Force made up of nuclear energy experts, local stakeholders, and concerned citizens to analyze all of the major issues regarding SONGS and to help identify the best path forward. I introduced the Spent Fuel Prioritization Act of 2019 to prioritize the removal of nuclear waste from decommissioned plants in areas with high population density and seismic hazards, such as San Onofre, and I cosponsored the STORE Nuclear Fuel Act of 2019, directing the Secretary of Energy to establish a program for the interim storage of highlevel radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. I have also met personally with scores of officials on this topic, including Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chair Kristine Svinicki, where I strongly emphasized the need for the NRC to exercise more safety oversight at San Onofre, and that the spent nuclear fuel at San Onofre must be removed as quickly and safely as possible. If reelected, I will build on that progress and continue to push for the safe storage and removal of the hazardous nuclear waste at San Onofre. MARYOTT: The fact that 3.55 million pounds of nuclear waste is going to be buried for an indefinite number of years in the sands of our beautiful coastline is unnerving, illogical, and seems almost immoral. Taken together with the fact that 90,000 metric tons of waste are buried at local sites in 35 different states, you have the tragic consequences of one of the greatest domestic failures of our elected leaders in U.S. history. The U.S. government was charged with the obligation to establish a permanent repository decades ago. They emThe Capistrano Dispatch February 14-27, 2020

barked on a plan and spent $15 billion to study Yucca Mountain, deemed it feasible, and then let a handful of cowardly politicians pull the plug. It’s a disgraceful failure, and it will take determined and unwavering leadership to resolve it. Collectively, it will take a national effort. And it should begin with real action. Efforts to establish blue ribbon commissions and study committees should come to an end. And unhelpful pandering with meaningless bill filings and press conferences should end as well. When I’m elected to Congress, I will immediately join the efforts of California Congressmen Scott Peters and Salud Carbajal to pass their bill calling for the restart of the Yucca Mountain Repository effort. I will also author legislation to allow for the federal government to enter into public-private partnerships to initiate intermediate-term storage facilities, supplementing Yucca Mountain as needed. It is absolutely appropriate that for-profit businesses be allowed to be part of the interim solution. Lastly, I will work with the presidential administration and the Department of Energy in supporting funding for this national repository as well. The Trump administration has tried three times to secure this funding, and I will encourage and support their persistent efforts. If we have a change at the White House, I will remain hopeful that a new administration will be similarly vigilant on this, and I will work with them, their cabinet and agency officials to achieve the required funding. I will not “resist” the new administration in a way that harms the needs of our communities.

If elected, what sort of priorities would you support in defense spending budgets, particularly in regard to the needs of Camp Pendleton? LEVIN: I’m incredibly proud to represent Marines, Sailors, and their families at Camp Pendleton. Throughout my first year in Congress, I fought for federal funding to support Camp Pendleton, and I was proud to secure $128 million in the National Defense Authorization Act for critical infrastructure projects on the base. When the President threatened to take funding from military construction projects in order to pay for the border wall, I spoke out and defended Camp Pendleton. Ultimately, our base was spared, but I will continue to defend Camp Pendleton from any budget cuts that hurt servicemembers in the 49th District. I was also glad to see that the NDAA included many proposals from a bipartisan bill I introduced to increase accountability over private housing for military families, which has suffered from serious health, safety, and environmental problems. Finally, we must ensure that servicemembers have the best possible services and benefits when they return to civilian life. I’m proud to Chair the Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, and through that subcommittee, I’ve been able to author and pass nine bipartisan pieces of legislation to help our veterans, one of the most among freshman members of Congress. Two of these bills already have been signed into law by the President. I will always be a fierce advocate for our servicemembers and veterans who give so much to our country every day. MARYOTT: On the top line, it will be an honor to fight every year for funding sufficient to handle the immense challenge that our brave men and women face every day. We have had two generations of heroes actively deployed for over 20 years, and we have asked a great deal from them and their families. Page 7

It is inexcusable that they went years without the required parts, equipment, and hands-on training required for the incredible challenges they faced. Finally, the administration led the way on meaningful funding increases that have made a dramatic difference already for troop readiness. Additionally, it allowed real pay increases for the last three years for our servicemen and women and their families. When elected to Congress, I will not compromise when it comes to the naïve and childish demands of the progressive caucus to limit defense spending to the same level as discretionary domestic spending. Nor will I accept that the halving of defense spending, advocated for in the repulsive Green New Deal, should ever be given any credence at a time when our adversaries are more determined than ever to wreak havoc around the world. Pendleton is an amazing base, and we are blessed to have it in our community. Like all of the Marine Corp installations, Pendleton fights a constant battle to have funding needs met within the Department of the Navy. But while it isn’t the glitziest spending, it’s critically important to the safety of our young men and women. I want them to have sufficient training in the most authentic way possible. Some of the long-planned projects have been funded on schedule, including the vehicle maintenance building, potable water upgrade, and the information command center. We also need to look ahead at some largerscale needs in the North Mobility area. My goal would be to enhance the base over time so that a full expeditionary force could take part in highly realistic training from sea to shore, and directly inland. One either supports the defense of our country as the single most important role of the federal government, or one doesn’t. I do.

As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives what sort of initiatives and ideas would you support, or even propose, in order to strengthen border security? LEVIN: This issue is deeply personal to me. My mother’s parents immigrated from Mexico because they wanted to achieve the American dream and create a better life for their children and grandchildren. Our country was founded on that promise, and we must continue to live up to that principle. Our immigration system is broken. Ultimately, we need members of both parties to come together on comprehensive and humane immigration reform that includes protections for Dreamers, a path to citizenship, and increased funding for smart border security technology. I have been to the border and seen firsthand what we can achieve with smart investments. There is absolutely no reason that innocent children should be ripped from their families, locked up in cages, or denied basic necessities like soap, toothpaste, and blankets. As a father of two young children, I find this reprehensible. I have cosponsored a number of bills to hold this administration accountable, improve conditions at the border, and to ensure that children remain with their families. Most of all, I believe we must always be committed to treating immigrants with respect and decency. MARYOTT: Our country is badly in need of three things: a border that is safe, secure, and above all, sovereign; thoughtful and meaningful immigration reform that is rooted in the rule of law, while also being compassionate; and elected leaders willing to put aside their own political agendas and petty politics to forge compromise. The overwhelming flow of unlawful immigrants, the flood (Cont. on page 8) thecapistranodispatch.com


By the Numbers:

Where and How to Vote


Starting with this year’s elections, voters in Orange County will receive vote-by-mail ballots, as the Orange County Registrar of Voters has officially moved over to the Voter’s Choice Act system. Under this new election model, registered voters can cast their votes by either returning the completed ballot to the county registrar’s office via mail; drop the ballot into a drop-box location; or deliver it in person to a vote center. Eleven days ahead of March 3 Primary Election, the Registrar’s office will open 38 vote centers throughout the county and another 188 locations four days before Election Day. In addition to voting in person, the voter centers, which are similar to traditional polling precincts, will allow residents to register, update their address, or change their party affiliation, as well as get a replacement ballot. Voters can also deliver their ballots to one of the 110 metal drop boxes that have been installed at various locations throughout the county. The boxes are open 24 hours a day during the 29-day voting period leading up to an election. Below are lists of locations for the vote centers and drop boxes in Dana Point, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.


With the primary elections coming up in March, what are the voting demographics in Orange County? Historically regarded as a Republican stronghold, the tide could be shifting in Orange County. Registered Democrats make up more than 572,100 voters, while registered Republicans make up more than 552,000 voters. The number of total active voters was more than 1.6 million. Those with no party preference totaled more than 415,700. Boiled down to city levels, though, party affiliation in the tri-cities area does not appear to be shifting toward Democrats. In San Juan Capistrano, declared Republicans outnumber Democrats at 41.3% to 30%. In Dana Point, the Republican-to-Democratic comparison is 42.7% to 28.1%, and in San Clemente, the Republican-to-Democratic ratio is 44.7% to 26.3%. The number of no party preference is 23.2% (4,737) in San Juan Capistrano, 23.1% (5,098) in Dana Point, and 23.1% (9,335) in San Clemente. Mark Baldassare, president/CEO and survey director for the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonpartisan policy research organization with offices in San Francisco and Sacramento, said more voters in Orange County are registering with no party preference and as Democrats due to changing demographics. Voters claiming no party preference may even lean Democrat, Baldassare said. “The growth of the Latino and AsianAmerican population, and the decline of the white population, has led newer voters to go with no party preference or the Democratic Party instead of the Republican Party,” Baldassare said. The shifting demographics reflect a statewide trend in California, and new and


37% DEMOCRAT 572,100

36% REPUBLICAN 552,000

DANA POINT Vote Centers

• Dana Point Community Center 34052 Del Obispo Street (11-day center)




• Dana Point Branch Library 33841 Niguel Road (four-day center)

Drop Boxes 295,000 in the 73rd Assembly District and more than 106,000 in the 49th Congressional District. On the city level, the total number of voters is more than 20,400 in San Juan Capistrano, more than 22,070 in Dana Point, and more than 40,370 in San Clemente. Regarding city-level voting demographics, Baldassare said voter preferences in a city may depend on how much the area is growing or changing.

young voters registering as Democrats or with no party preference may not necessarily mean people are switching party preferences, Baldassare said. Let’s look at voting demographics on the district level. In the 73rd Assembly District, there are also more Republicans than Democrats—41.2% to 29.1% (121,963 voters to 86,027 voters). For the 49th Congressional District, Republicans are at 43.2% compared to Democrats’ 27.5% (46,038 voters to 29,290 voters). No party preference levels are 24.3% (71,780) in the 73rd Assembly District and 23.6% (25,134) in the 49th Congressional District. The total number of voters is more than

EDITOR’S NOTE: The cited statistics are based on available data on the Orange County Registrar of Voters website as of Feb. 5, 2020. CD

• Dana Point Branch Library 33841 Niguel Road


• San Clemente Community Center 100 North Calle Seville (11-day center) • San Clemente Aquatic Center 987 Avenida Vista Hermosa (four-day center) • San Clemente Library 242 Avenida Del Mar (four-day center) • The Volarè Resort 111 South Avenida de la Estrella (four-day center)

Drop Boxes

• San Clemente Municipal Golf Course 150 East Avenida Magdalena (drive-thru only) • Jim Johnson Memorial Sports Park 560 Avenida Vista Hermosa • San Clemente City Hall 910 Calle Negocio

(Cont. from page 7) of drugs that are poisoning our children, the related tragedy of human trafficking, and the financial and public safety-related impacts to families, require that we properly secure our border. The challenge is vast, but it is one we must meet. This will require every tool in the toolbox. First, it can’t be done without barriers in the more accessible areas of the border. Those in place now have been effective at slowing down the traffic and allowing other measures to be more effective. Older barriers should be modernized and reinforced; other accessible areas without The Capistrano Dispatch February 14-27, 2020

current barriers should be prioritized for construction. I will support those efforts and the funding they will require. I will also support the establishment of a border safety trust fund, so the Department of Homeland Security can have the predictability and certainty of funds necessary to provide the staff and other resources to keep our borders manageable. This should include funding for increased manpower, enhanced technology, more immigration judges, and appropriate spending for detainment facilities. No matter how successful we are in curbing unlawful immigration, we must have the ability to detain indi-

viduals and families safely and humanely. Once we can accomplish truly safe, secure and manageable borders, we can turn our attention to the status of those here unlawfully. I will support a path to permanent legal status for some, and deportation with the right to apply for reentry for others. For a select few individuals within the DACA program, mainly those who came in at a very young age, I support an eventual path to full citizenship. Both major parties have some major soulsearching about how we conducted ourselves for decades on this issue. We now have to resolve it in a way that is firm but fair. CD

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• Reata Park & Event Center 28632 Ortega Highway (11-day center) • La Sala Auditorium 31495 El Camino Real (four-day center) • San Juan Capistrano Community Center 25925 Camino del Avion (four-day center) • Capistrano Unified School District 33122 Valle Road (four-day center)

Drop Boxes

• La Sala Auditorium 31495 El Camino Real





n a small building at Stonefield Park in San Juan Capistrano, young students learn to read, write and speak English, along with getting help in mathematics and science. The kids participate in afterschool programs through CREER Comunidad y Familia, a small local nonprofit that aims to help kids with learning and boost their self-confidence. The organization started in 2004, with summer and afterschool programs coming thereafter. Afterschool programs are broken up in two groups of classes: kindergarten through second grade and third through sixth grade. “Creer” means “to believe” in Spanish. “We came in, and we painted everything,” Executive Director Angeles Ceballos said of their current afterschool facilities. “We got bookcases. We turned this into a classroom.” Ceballos’ passion is clear when she talks about the value CREER has. She grows animated when talking about how they help out kids and the various programs CREER runs. One of the youngsters, 10-year-old Aaron Jimenez, has been coming for years. Aaron said CREER is fun and educational. “I’ve learned to write neatly and how to read,” Aaron said. Other students also love learning about folklore and said CREER has helped them. The kids who come to the afterschool programs have enthusiastic interactions with the volunteer instructors and are a tight-knit group who love to talk and laugh together. They gather around classroom tables for instruction and hands-on learning, eagerly and closely listening to instructors. Ceballos said the kids that attend the program want to come. The volunteers work with various kids and said the students are appreciative. The majority of the students are second-language, with Spanish as their first language. In some cases, they may be incorrectly perceived as having a learning or behavioral disability because of communication barriers. “In the majority of cases, the kids didn’t really have exposure to English until they went into school,” Ceballos said. “When they get thrown into the classrooms, you have the teacher working with 30 kids. Obviously the teacher will be overwhelmed. The kids get segregated and get further behind.” Some students need educational support and have special needs, and in the view of Ceballos are severely neglected. “They want to learn,” Ceballos said. “They’re eager to learn. They want to be able to do the tests, and they are so proud of their accomplishments.” Asked how students get to participate, Ceballos said CREER works with school liaiThe Capistrano Dispatch February 14-27, 2020

Top: CREER Comunidad y Familia Educaion Director Rosario Rowell guides students through an afterschool program. Below: Students at CREER Comunidad y Familia have made their own books to help them with reading and writing. Photos: Collin Breaux

sons if it appears a student needs extra support. CREER also works by word-of-mouth, and forms have to be filled out before a student joins. The classrooms are small and intimate, and kids get to learn arts and crafts, along with other skills. All the educational materials are provided to the kids, who get to take them home whether it’s notebooks, crayons or pencils. Volunteers are the lifeblood of CREER. Louise Dumais is a volunteer writing teacher with the program and oversees different projects for the students, such as when they make their own books. Kids learn to improve their literacy through an interactive curriculum, because they have to apply all of the

principles of the alphabet, Dumais said. “Every kid loves to make a book,” Dumais said. “We write books, and they do a little research. They have to read, and they read each other’s work. We do a writer’s workshop.” Books made by the students have discussed their lives and subjects such as alligators. It gives them a chance to tell their life story and reflect on things they like, and for the kids reading each other’s books, it allows them a window into another world. “Once they get the fluency, there’s no stopping them,” Dumais said. Kathy Rowley, Homework Club supervisor, said she has found her niche with the club, where she assists students. Rowley has seen students improve through the program and

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rise up to the standards of their grade level. “They’re nice kids. They’re compliant,” Rowley said. “It’s very rewarding in that sense.” Andrea Romero has been a volunteer music teacher for several years and started working with CREER in her senior year of high school. Her time volunteering has been fun. “Since then, I went to college and decided I wanted to be a music teacher, so almost every summer while I was on that journey, I had to come here and practice what I’ve been learning about pedagogy in college,” Romero said. “Developmentally, music education is really huge. There’s plenty of studies showing that incorporating music into education increases literacy and math skills.” Rowley and Dumais, indeed, note that students tend to learn about other subjects such as literacy and math when they get into music education. The three volunteers clearly love what they do and relish the opportunity to help the kids. High school students also come in to volunteer. “We are successful because of the volunteers,” Ceballos said. The curriculum also aims to mix in science. CREER receives grants from the City of San Juan Capistrano, for which they are grateful. They also welcome individual monetary donations and volunteer time. An upcoming benefit event on Sunday, March 1, at the San Juan Hills Golf Club is intended to bring in funds for CREER. “That’s how we survive,” Ceballos said. “We need money. We would not be able to survive to do these programs without support. We are going to be very needy for the summer programs.” Visit creeroc.org to donate and for more information. CD thecapistranodispatch.com



Events at The Ranch FEB. 14

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. This is a Ranch-resident-only event. 65 Esencia Drive, Rancho Mission Viejo. 949.768.1882. ranchomissionviejo.com/events. FEB. 29

Shooting Stars Wildflower Talk

8-11 a.m. Look for wildflowers such as the Padre Shooting Star while exploring The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo. Local wildflower expert Bob Allen will guide the trip. Event is for ages 8 and up. Participants must be registered by 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28. The Richard and Donna O’Neill Conservancy, 28811 Ortega Highway. 949.489.9778. rmvreserve.org. MARCH 2

Monday Trail Clearing and Weeding

A new health center in Sendero Marketplace offers family medicine physicians and other services. Photo: Collin Breaux

MemorialCare Opens Health Center in Sendero Marketplace BY COLLIN BREAUX, THE CAPISTRANO DISPATCH


emorialCare announced in a press release the opening of a new 26,000-square-foot, comprehensive health center in Rancho Mission Viejo’s Sendero Marketplace, located at 30492 Gateway Place. The new facility has a wide range of primary care physicians and services. Providers include family medicine physicians, pediatricians, obstetricians and gynecologists, sports medicine specialists and other specialty physicians, nurses, medical assistants and support personnel, according to the press release. There are also X-ray and lab services, 3D mammography, and breast ultrasound. Hours begin at 8 a.m. “Rancho Mission Viejo and MemorialCare share a passion for achieving, sustaining and improving the quality of life and health—that’s why we’re proud to be the exclusive medical provider for this incredible community,” Mark The Capistrano Dispatch February 14-27, 2020

Schafer, MD, CEO, MemorialCare Medical Foundation, said in the press release. “We’re excited to open this state-of-the-art, custom-designed health center capable of providing comprehensive medical care all under one roof.” Marcia Manker, CEO of MemorialCare Saddleback and Orange Coast Medical Centers, said MemorialCare’s new health center is the foundation of community health for the active, growing and exciting Rancho Mission Viejo community. “The new health center is a perfect fit for people of all ages with a wide range of health care needs. If patients require hospital care, MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center’s exceptional team of clinicians and support staff are just a short distance away,” Manker said. MemorialCare is working with the RanchLife community association to offer events and health seminars on topics such as diet, exercise and preconception planning to support the active outdoor lifestyle

residents like. “Physicians at MemorialCare Medical Group are dedicated to delivering the highest quality, most easily accessible care to our patients,” said Ian Bare, MD, Medical Director, Rancho Mission Viejo Health Center. “Our goal is to be the preferred provider for families of all of South County—Rancho Mission Viejo, Ladera Ranch, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Hills, Laguna Woods, Irvine, Rancho Santa Margarita and every city throughout the region—where we have numerous community physician practices, outpatient surgery, medical imaging, urgent care, breast health, dialysis and other health care services.” A grand opening celebration was held on Feb. 1. For additional details about the Health Center, visit memorialcare. org/rmv or call 877.696.3622 to make an appointment. To schedule a mammogram, call 949.452.7200.

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7:30-9:30 a.m. Come out bright and early on Monday morning to help maintain The Reserve. Event is for ages 10 and up. Participants must be registered by 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 1. The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo Headquarters, 28811 Ortega Highway. 949.489.9778. rmvreserve.org. MARCH 9

Yoga in Nature

10-11 a.m. Stretch and work on your flexibility while enjoying the beauty of the natural outdoors in South Orange County. Certified teacher Dale Eisenberg will lead you through traditional poses, breathing exercises and meditation practice. Bring your own mat and water and wear comfortable shoes. Event is for ages 18 and up. The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo Headquarters, 28811 Ortega Highway. 949.489.9778. rmvreserve.org. MARCH 14

Leprechaun Hunt

1-2:30 p.m. Bring the kids out to The Reserve to look for leprechauns in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Decorate a blarney stone and play games while you search. This event is for all ages, with activities geared for ages 5 and up. Participants must be registered or on the wait list by 4 p.m. on Friday, March 13. The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo Headquarters, 28811 Ortega Highway. 949.489.9778. rmvreserve.org.




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

HOW TO REACH US CITY EDITOR Collin Breaux, 949.388.7700, x109 cbreaux@picketfencemedia.com SPORTS Zach Cavanagh, 949.388.7700, x110 zcavanagh@picketfencemedia.com ADVERTISING PRINT AND ONLINE

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PICKET FENCE MEDIA PUBLISHER Norb Garrett EDITORIAL City Editor, The Capistrano Dispatch > Collin Breaux Senior City Editor, DP Times > Lillian Boyd City Editor, SC Times > Shawn Raymundo 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

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The Capistrano Dispatch, Vol. 18, Issue 3. The Dispatch (thecapistranodispatch) is published twice monthly by Picket Fence Media, publishers of the DP Times (danapointtimes.com) 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.



The Capistrano Dispatch February 14-27, 2020

GUEST OPINION: Grow, Eat, Make at The Ecology Center

More Than a Farm Stand


his month, we’re inviting you down to The Ecology Center to check out our newly renovated farm stand. It’s full of winter produce, an incredible amount of seasonal citrus, and all the bulk items you need for ecofriendly spring cleaning, plus general day-to-day use. As members, you not only get 10% off your entire purchase at the farm stand, you get 10% off a Farm Share membership – a weekly or bi-weekly produce box, full of organic fruits and vegetables from our farm and local farmers in the region. Signups are open until March 1, either at the farm stand, by phone or by email. With all the cool days, chilly nights, and above-average rainfall we’ve been getting, the winter greens are loving it – from broccoli to cauliflower, hearty lettuces, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, apples, heirloom Kyoto red carrots, and lots of root vegetables ready for roasting. All that rain also means the thousands of strawberries we’ve planted are taking a little longer to mature than usual, a trend you can expect across Southern California this year. But when they are ready, they’re going to be delicious. Keep an eye on our online calendar. In April, we will have the TASTE Festival to celebrate the

Letters to the Editor RESPONSE TO JOANNA CLARK’S LETTER IN LAST ISSUE ON CLIMATE ACTION PLAN —RONALD BACON, San Juan Capistrano If our elected city leaders wish to join you in making a cause out of anthropogenic climate change, then they can do so after either being voted out of office or simply resigning, thus maintaining a separation between state and religion. There is a significant difference

strawberry with interactive art installations and a you-pick! By transitioning The Ecology Center from an education center to an ecological oasis with a working regenerative agriculture farm, community events, education, and more, we knew a lot of our success was going to come from you caring about your food, where it comes from, and the people who grow it. As one of the only organic farms in Orange County, we’re growing produce and creating access to whole foods and a sustainable lifestyle for more than 3 million people. With most food traveling 1,500 miles to get to our plate, it’s usually out of season, flavorless, full of pesticides, packaged in plastic, and eventually bound for the landfill. For us, the farm stand is about a tangible way we all begin to transform our food GROW, EAT, system by connecting MAKE to it and the model By Lindsey Bro we’ve created for how food gets from the soil to our home. In America alone, the amount of food waste is nearly unbelievable, and one of the easiest ways we can tackle the problem is by supporting local, seasonal agriculture. Currently, our food system is a linear cycle in which we lose not only valuable nutrients, but vast quantities of food. As we shift toward a more cyclical and connected cycle, it’s crucial we connect the consumer to the farmer. As with most things, shifting toward a more conscious form of consumption starts with education and gets put into

between arguing that humans “contribute” to climate change and stating that human activity actually drives the changes being reported. As I read the literature, the question of whether or not humans are the driving force in climate change is unproven and unsupported by the latest evidence. We can all agree that taking care of our surroundings and environment is good and responsible, and I am glad to join you in that effort. The aspiration of “banning fossil-fueled vehicles by 2025” is one of religious zealotry and not science. You would be far more believable and effective if you were advocating for nuclear energy, given that it is far more effective in cost and space than solar or wind for energy generation and is entirely clean in its emissions into

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practice through access. If you’re looking to make a shift, start by supporting local farmers or buying in bulk and refilling your bottles, rather than buying new items packaged in plastic. Our bulk section at the stand includes Dr. Bronner’s castile soap, sea salt, Epsom salt, baking soda, bulk soap, dish soap, and laundry soap; there’s also white rice, brown rice, flor de mayo beans, quinoa, French green lentils, red lentils, and farro. Come experience the ongoing tradition of a local farm stand by visiting ours daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano. As a resident of San Juan Capistrano, you can claim your annual membership to The Ecology Center here; just be sure to bring proof of residence. UPCOMING EVENTS AT THE FARM As we work to put the culture back in agriculture, keep an eye out on our calendar for a full range of exciting spring events happening at the farm. Coming up is the TASTE Festival, exploring strawberries and much more. For more details or to sign up for Farm Share, visit theecologycenter.org. Lindsey Bro is a Southern Californiabased copywriter and content creator for purpose-driven brands. As a contributing writer and friend of The Ecology Center, her most recent work with them has been The Community Table cookbook. 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 editorial@thecapistranodispatch.com

the atmosphere. Opposition to nuclear energy generation is based on unfounded fears and outdated technology and could use support of those fearing an “eight-year” opportunity window to address energy emission levels.


Have something you’d like to say? Email your letter to cbreaux@picketfencemedia.com 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 What’s going on in and around town COMPILED BY STAFF

HAVE AN EVENT? Submit it to The Dispatch by going to thecapistranodispatch.com, and clicking “Submit an Event”under the “Getting Out” tab.

Friday | 14 LIVE MUSIC AT TREVOR’S AT THE TRACKS 3-6 p.m. Enjoy live music by Roderick Chambers while you dine downtown. The outside patio is a great place to catch some tunes while you eat. Trevor’s at the Tracks, 26701 Verdugo Street, San Juan Capistrano. 949.493.9593. trevorsatthetracks.com.

Saturday | 15 ADOBE BRICK MAKING 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Kids can build their own adobe brick and learn about the experiences of Native Americans. A bundle cost for other events that day is available at $10 per person and $5 for Mission San Juan Capistrano members. Mission San Juan Capistrano, 26801 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano. 949.234.1330. missionsjc.com. KIDS’ PET PARADE Noon. The San Juan Capistrano Fiesta Association, as part of the Fiesta de las Golondrinas Season going into the Swallows Day Parade, will host the annual Kids’ Pet Parade at Los Rios Park. Signups start at 10 a.m.; parade starts at noon, with judging following the parade. Children from ages of 5–12 can show off their favorite animals in contests for best team costume with pet and owner, best domestic/household pet, best exotic pet, best barnyard/ farm animal and best bird. Pets must be leashed, haltered, or caged, and an adult must accompany children. Los Rios Park, 31747 Los Rios Street, San Juan Capistrano. 949.493.1976. swallowsparade.com.

Wednesday | 19 COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY MEETING 5:30-8 p.m. Find out what you can do, and what the City of Irvine has done, about cli-

The Capistrano Dispatch February 14-27, 2020

An upcoming concert will benefit CREER Comunidad y Familia, which assists children through afterschool and summer programs. Photo: File.

SUNDAY, MARCH 1: THE DIVA DIARIES: LADIES OF THE ’70S CREER BENEFIT CONCERT 6-9 p.m. Melanie Taylor, along with other singers and musicians, will perform songs by 1970s female singers during a benefit concert for CREER Comunidad y Familia. The show is $50. Doors open at 6 p.m. San Juan Hills Golf Club, 32120 San Juan Creek Road, San Juan Capistrano. 949.493.1167. eventbrite.com.

mate change. Learn about Orange County’s emerging Community Choice Energy program. Featured speakers Selene Lawrence and José Trinidad Castenada will also give an update on solar policy and technology. The meeting is hosted by the South Orange County Democratic Club. Attendees are asked to RSVP online and bring a receipt or have it on your phone. Marie Callender’s Restaurant & Bakery, 31791 Del Obispo Street, San Juan Capistrano. 949.500.2461. secure.actblue.com. INFO NIGHT FOR MARINERS936 PROGRAM 6:30-8 p.m. Come out for an informational night about the Mariners936 program, a coed boating program for teens, ages 14-18. The Mariners936 unit was started more than 40 years ago by former Mission Viejo High School math teacher Jim Wehan. Admission is free. OC Sailing and Events Center, 34451 Ensenada Place, Dana Point. 949.923.2215. mariners936.com.

Thursday | 20 THIRSTY THURSDAY WOOD WORKSHOP 6:30-9:30 p.m. Learn how to make a wood

project in a DIY class. You can make a plank wood sign, wood clock, cake stand or photo frame. Bring your own drinks and snacks to sip and munch on while you work. AR Workshop San Juan Capistrano, 31107 Rancho Viejo Road, Suite B2, San Juan Capistrano. 949.482.1362. arworkshop.com.

Friday | 21 SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO GHOST WALK 8 p.m. Listen to stories of the dead spirits in historic San Juan Capistrano. Hear ghastly tales of bandits, pirate attacks and an 1812 earthquake while walking through the Los Rios District and on Camino Capistrano toward the outskirts of Mission San Juan Capistrano. Tours meet just outside the brick visitor’s information booth near the train tracks located behind the Franciscan Plaza Parking Structure at the end of Verdugo Street; they run approximately 90 minutes. Franciscan Plaza Parking Structure, 26732 Verdugo Street, San Juan Capistrano. 866.446.7803. hauntedoc.org.

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Saturday | 22 2ND ANNUAL S.O.S. WALK FOR WELLNESS 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Everyone of any age is invited to participate in the 2nd annual Strength Over Silence (S.O.S.) Walk for Wellness. S.O.S., a student-led organization developed and executed by Future Problem Solvers Club at San Juan Hills High School, intends to raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention. The walk will be along the San Juan Hills High track, with everyone encouraged to attempt at least 12 laps. Proceeds raised will be donated to the San Clemente Wellness and Prevention Center. San Juan Hills High, 29211 Stallion Ridge, San Juan Capistrano. 949.429.9351 or 949.290.5624. strengthoversilence.net. LIVE MUSIC AT SWALLOW’S INN 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Come down to the popular downtown San Juan Capistrano bar for live music by Whiskey Ridge. Have some drinks, hang out with friends and have a good time on a Saturday night. Swallow’s Inn, 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan (Cont. on page 16)


GETTING OUT (Cont. on page 15) Capistrano. 949.493.3188. swallowsinn.com.

Monday | 24 MONDAY MOVIE 2:30 p.m. Enjoy a monthly movie in the fireplace room of the San Juan Capistrano Library. This month’s movie is Abominable. San Juan Capistrano Library, 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano. 949.493.1752. ocpl.org.

Thursday | 27 LIVE AT THE COACH HOUSE: LEO KOTTKE 8 p.m. Acoustic guitarist Leo Kottke will perform while you enjoy a meal and drinks. Doors open at 6 p.m. The Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. 949.496.8930. thecoachhouse.com.

Saturday | 07 KAHUNA CONCERT FOR A CAUSE 6 p.m. A benefit concert featuring Common Sense, The Pollen Collective and other acts will assist local special needs communities.

On Stage at The Coach House: Tinsley Ellis

OC Tavern, 2369 S. El Camino Real, San Clemente. 949.542.8877. kahunacaresfoundation.org.

Saturday | 28 OC WINE & SPIRIT FEST 1-5 p.m. Get ready to enjoy wine, craft beer and fine spirits on March 28-29. Festival attendees can relax and enjoy highlevel tastes while mingling with experts in the wine, craft beer and spirit markets. “This will be our best event of the year, and we’re looking forward to bringing something extremely special to Orange County,” said OC Wine & Spirit Fest co-founder, Linda Kearns, also a partner in A Stone’s Throw Winery. Online ticket sales are discounted. Tickets at the door will cost $125 for general admission or $150 for VIP, which includes the food, plus wine/spirits pairing lunch, if space is available. Designated drivers are welcomed and encouraged, and they get in for just $20 (no alcohol tastings). Parking will cost $5, and ridesharing or carpooling is highly recommended. Early VIP access starts at noon. A Stone’s Throw Winery, 29943 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. 949.364.2063. ocwineandspiritfest.com.

At the Movies: ‘Birds of Prey’




insley Ellis has brought his rocking style of blues music to The Coach House in the past, and when he takes the stage once more on Sunday, March 8, he expects the night to be another fun one because Jimmie Vaughan is also performing. “It’s a comfortable place to perform,” Ellis said. “Us and Jimmie Vaughan, that’s a home run.” Ellis’ most recent album is Ice Cream in Hell. The unique title comes from playing around the common expression of people in hell wanting ice water and related sayings. Ellis also felt strongly enough about the title track—the last song to be added on the album—to make the phrase front and center. “The goal was to make a real guitarcentric and rocking album,” Ellis said. That description is true—the songs “Last One to Know” and “Don’t Know Beans” are lively enough to make the listener start dancing. Ellis talks about B.B. King and Muddy Waters when discussing the blues, influences clearly heard in his music. Ellis saw B.B. King when he was a teenager and later toured with the


sually right after the Oscars, I write a follow-up piece on the winners, the surprises and expectations. But this year, with the exception of Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite (2019) making history as the first foreign film to win Best Picture, nothing much else happened at the awards show that I hadn’t already expressed my feelings about during my Golden Globes and SAGs articles. So, instead, I’m just going to jump right into the first, memorable release of 2020: Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey. Villainess Harley Quinn (played by 2020 Oscar nominee Margot Robbie) gets redemption in more than one way. The former love interest of the Joker has her own wacky character arc that includes a team of anti-heroines. They are Dinah Lance, also known as Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell); Helena Bertinelli, aka Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead); Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco); and Detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez). Dinah is a reluctant employee of the worst crime boss in Gotham City, Roman Sionis, aka Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), and Renee is a recently demoted detective for Gotham

The Capistrano Dispatch February 14-27, 2020

Photo: DC Films/Warner Bros. Pictures

Police Department. Birds of Prey doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t. Its campy, flamboyant, over-the-top look and tone are like half music video and half video game. Both the creators and the characters just treat the whole story as a big romp, and it works because ultimately these are comic characters, and they should be flashy and fun. I’ll go as far as to say this is also what the Joel Schumacher Batman movies from the late 1990s could have been if they had had a little more self-awareness. If you’re just not into superheroes or comic book movies anymore, then Birds of Prey probably won’t keep your attention. But if you just want to see some quality fight sequences with an entertaining performance by Robbie, it will do. CD

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legendary bluesman, whom he called “very gracious.” Ellis got into the blues through the British Invasion music that was on the radio in the 1960s, a style itself influenced by blues. From there, Ellis listened to Cream and then the blues itself. “That let me know where it was all coming from,” Ellis said. Ellis said The Coach House treats performing musicians very well, and though he agreed The Coach House can be intimate as other musicians have noted, Ellis has played smaller spaces such as jazz clubs. He was born in Atlanta and grew up in southern Florida. Ellis enters a comfort zone when he steps on stage, and during the March 8 performance, the songs will be a mix of new material from Ice Cream in Hell and his older songs. Ellis is curious to see who will be in the audience, and what they’re looking to hear. “We have a lot of friends there at the venue and in the audience,” Ellis said. “We’re looking to make it a party.” The March 8 concert at The Coach House is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets are $40. Visit thecoachhouse.com for tickets and more information. CD thecapistranodispatch.com


GUEST OPINION: Moments in Time by Jan Siegel

Zorro’s Link to San Juan Capistrano T he year 2020 has many events that are celebrating a 100th anniversary. These events have all had a profound effect on San Juan Capistrano. Throughout the year, these events will be highlighted. The song “When the Swallows Return to Capistrano” was written by Leon Rene in 1939 and first recorded in 1940. Popular artists such as Xavier Cugat, the Ink Spots, Glen Miller, Gene Krupa, Gene Autry, Tony Martin, Pat Boone and Elvis Presley helped put San Juan Capistrano on the world map. But 20 years before the song, there were a series of cliff-hanging stories by Johnston McCulley that already had made San Juan Capistrano a household name. In 1919, The All-Story Weekly pulp magazine published a series of MOMENTS stories by McCulley IN TIME titled “The Curse of By Jan Siegel Capistrano” and introduced the public to the Zorro character. Zorro was the first super hero. He set up the stories of Superman, the Shadow, Spider Man, the Green Hornet, Captain Marvel, Batman, Wonder Woman and many more. In 1920, the silent movie was renamed the The Mark of Zorro and was made with Douglas Fairbanks as the title character. The short stories of McCulley were turned into a novel with the movie name. Years later, a TV series would also become popular, and more movies would follow. The original story line was divided

into 39 short chapters, each one ending with a cliff-hanging question to make the reader want to buy the next installment of the magazine. Although called The Curse of Capistrano, the hero does not spend a great deal of time here. His stay is mentioned only once in episode 17. It states, “He (Zorro) will ride around Reina de Los Angeles and take the trail to San Luis Rey. He will rest for a time, no doubt, to throw off all pursuit, and then will continue to the vicinity of San Juan Capistrano. That is where he began this wild life of his, and for that reason, the Curse of Capistrano he is called. Yes, he will go to Capistrano.” Very little is actually known about Johnston McCulley. His life is one of contradiction, speculation and mystery. One thing we do know is that between 1944 and 1951, he wrote 53 more Zorro stories for West Magazine, another pulp publication. After the magazine folded, two more Zorro stories were published, one in 1954 and one in 1959, one year after McCulley’s death. You can spend a Moment In Time either checking out The Curse of Capistrano at the library or watching episodes of the TV show on YouTube. But because of Johnston McCulley and Leon Rene, you can be sure that when you say you are from San Juan Capistrano, people have heard of our small village. Jan Siegel was a 33-year resident of San Juan Capistrano and now resides in the neighboring town of Rancho Mission Viejo. She served on the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission for 13 years, has been a volunteer guide for the San Juan Capistrano Friends of the Library’s archi-

Capistrano in the late 1950s. 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 cbreaux@picketfencemedia.com.

tectural walking tour for 26 years and is currently the museum curator for the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society. She was named Woman of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce in 2005, Volunteer of the Year in 2011 and was inducted into the city’s

Wall of Recognition in 2007. 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 editorial@thecapistranodispatch.com



The Capistrano Dispatch February 14-27, 2020

FROM THE ARCHIVES This photo depicts downtown San Juan


Adoptable Pet of the Week: Belle his pretty pup is Belle, a sweet Labrador Retriever mix looking for her forever family. Only about a year old, Belle is full of energy and just loves to play. Belle has the makings of a great running buddy and would do well in an active home, where she can get all the exercise she requires. If you would like to know more about Belle, please call the San Clemente/Dana Point Animal Shelter at 949.492.1617 or visit with her at 221 Avenida Fabricante, San Clemente. CD

Photo: Courtesy of Karlene Hickman and OC Public Libraries

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 Solution:

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

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Submit your classified ad online at thecapistranodispatch.com GARAGE SALES GARAGE SALE LISTINGS ARE FREE!

Call 949.388.7700, ext. 104 or email debra@wellsadsolutions.com

E-mail your garage sale to info@thecapistranodispatch.com DEADLINE 5PM MONDAY. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.

HELP WANTED HELP WANTED: MARKETING REP We are seeking an immediate hire for a part-time street team marketing representative. Our street team is responsible for opening dialogue with local businesses and maintaining a relationship in order to develop a route list of places that we can display our concert schedules at.Please email in a basic resume to Luna luna@thecoachhouse.com.

FOR SALE RESTAURANT LIQUOR LICENSE (TYPE 47) Type 47 Restaurant Liquor License for sale. Text or call for details 949.510.9724


Ruth S. Wright Ruth S. Wright was born in August 13, 1921 in Louisville, Kentucky. She went to be with the Lord on January 28, 2020 while in an assisted living facility in Llano, Texas. She is survived by: Her loving daughter, Susan Munson and husband, Rick Munson of Valley Spring, Texas; by her loving grandsons, Dominick Marini (and his wife, Ericka) and Joseph Marini (and his wife, Valentina); her great grandchildren Aidan, Nadia, Isabella and Dominic; and her many extended family members. Ruth was preceded in death by: Her husband, Bill Wright; her father and mother, Joseph and Rose Schneider; and her two sisters, Rosalie and LaVerne, and younger brother, Joseph. In lieu of a funeral, she requested a memorial service at Rick and Susie’s Texas ranch where family will celebrate her life.

The Capistrano Dispatch February 14-27, 2020

PLACE YOUR BUSINESS CARD HERE Call 949.388.7700, ext. 104 or email debra@wellsadsolutions.com

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For in-game updates, news and more for all of the SJC high school sports programs, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SouthOCSports

JSerra, CVC Boys Basketball Advance in First Round All five San Juan Capistrano high school boys basketball teams made the CIF-SS playoffs in five different divisions, but only two advanced out of the first round on Wednesday, Feb. 12. In Division 1, JSerra secured the No. 4 seed in Division 1, but as the third-place team out of the Trinity League, the Lions opened the CIF-SS playoffs on the road at Rancho Verde. JSerra posted a slim lead after the first quarter, 12-11, and maintained its advantage at halftime, 27-21. The Lions held off any Rancho Verde advances to maintain the six-point lead and advance, 53-47. JSerra (22-7) hosts Canyon of Anaheim in the second round on Friday, Feb. 14. The Lions lost in the second round last season and haven’t won in the second round since 2017. In Division 2AA, Capistrano Valley Christian pulled off a dramatic upset after a dramatic playoff clincher a week earlier. On Feb. 7, the Eagles were forced into a third-place tiebreaker game against city rival Saddleback Valley Christian. If CVC had lost, the reigning Division 3A champion would have been in danger of missing the playoffs, but the Eagles prevailed over the Warriors, 69-61. CVC didn’t waste its second life, despite being saddled with the tall task of taking on the reigning Division 3AA champion, Rolling Hills Prep, on the road in their Division 2AA opener. Rolling Hills showed its strength as CVC was shut out in a 12-0 second quarter, but the Eagles found their game in the second half. CVC won a 19-15 third quarter and dominated the fourth quarter, 14-5, to battle back and force overtime. In the extra session, the high scores dissipated, but CVC found just enough, 3-2, to take the game and the upset win, 41-40. Adam Garza led the Eagles with 11 points, and Bence Duka and Luke Powell The Capistrano Dispatch February 14-27, 2020

All five San Juan Capistrano boys basketball teams qualified for the CIF-SS playoffs, but only JSerra and Capistrano Valley Christian advanced out of the first round. Photo: Zach Cavanagh

each scored 10 points. Duka added six rebounds and a block. CVC (14-15) will continue in the second round at Compton. If the Eagles advance, they would host the winner of Chaminade and Los Osos in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, Feb. 18. In Division 3AA, San Juan Hills lost at Cerritos, 70-63. In Division 3A, Saddleback Valley Christian lost at Eisenhower, 70-54. In Division 4A, St. Margaret’s lost at home to Norwalk, 60-48.

San Juan Hills Qualifies in All Five Winter Sports Playoffs San Juan Hills had a banner winter season as both Stallions basketball and soccer teams, as well as girls water polo, qualified for the CIF-SS postseason. The San Juan Hills girls basketball team (21-5) was undefeated in Sea View League play to capture the league title and make the playoffs in Division 3AA. The Stallions hosted Chaparral of Temecula in the first round on Thursday, Feb. 13, but results were not available at press time. If San Juan Hills advanced, the Stallions would go on the road against the Lancaster-Thousand Oaks winner on Saturday, Feb. 15. The CIF-SS quarterfinals are Wednesday, Feb. 19. The San Juan Hills girls soccer team

(9-4-4) posted its strongest South Coast League campaign to date with a secondplace finish at 3-1-4, including two 1-1 draws with league champion Aliso Niguel and two wins over rival San Clemente. After a quarterfinal run last season, San Juan Hills returned to Division 1 and earned a first-round home game. The Stallions hosted Vista Murrieta on Thursday, Feb. 13, but results were not available at press time. If San Juan Hills advanced, the Stallions would travel to the winner of No. 2 seed Los Alamitos and Northwood on Saturday, Feb. 15. The CIF-SS quarterfinals are Wednesday, Feb. 19. Unfortunately for San Juan Hills, its other three playoff teams did not survive the first round. The Sea View League champion girls water polo team (18-8) was downed at home in Division 3 by Valley View, 9-4; the boys soccer team qualified in Division 1 but fell at Santa Ana, 2-0; and, as mentioned, the boys basketball team lost at Cerritos in Division 3AA, 70-63.

CIF-SS Playoffs Results JSerra boys soccer (13-3-1) got two goals from Max Carvalho and a goal each from Carson Kendall and Rocco Bon in a 5-1 win over Long Beach Cabrillo in the

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Division 1 first round on Wednesday, Feb. 12. The Trinity League champion hosts Godinez in the second round on Friday, Feb. 14. If the Lions advance, they would play at the Palos Verdes-Mission Viejo winner on Tuesday, Feb. 18. St. Margaret’s boys soccer (10-7-4) earned another San Joaquin League title this season, but the Tartans went no further with a 1-0 loss at home to Garey of Pomona on Wednesday, Feb. 12. In Division 1 girls soccer, JSerra (13-4-0) played at Long Beach Millikan on Thursday, Feb. 13, but results were not available at press time. If JSerra advanced, the Lions would host the TroyNewport Harbor winner on Saturday, Feb. 15. St. Margaret’s girls soccer (14-1-3) earned the No. 2 seed in Division 3 and hosted Chaparral on Thursday, Feb. 13. Results were not available at press time, but if the San Joaquin League champion Tartans advanced, they would play on the road at the Alemany-Chaminade winner in the second round on Saturday, Feb. 15. JSerra girls basketball (13-9) played at Downey to open the Division 1 playoffs on Thursday, Feb. 13, but results were not available at press time. If the Lions advanced, they would host King of Riverside or play at Sonora of La Habra in the second round on Saturday, Feb. 15. CD thecapistranodispatch.com

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