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Council Candidates Report Fundraising

Stallions Football Moves to 5-0

Equestrian Coalition Barn Dance Set for Saturday




O C TO B E R 8 –2 1 , 2 0 1 0 VOLUME 8, ISSUE 19

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions The City Council takes on proposals for a hotel, Distrito La Novia and The Home Depot E Y E O N S J C / PAG E 5

McCracken Hill resident Richard Hill Adams speaks in favor of Distrito La Novia at Wednesday’s special City Council meeting. Photo by Jonathan Volzke




SAN CLEMENTE Clarence Eugene Butterfield, 57, formerly of San Clemente, was sentenced Wednesday to life in state prison without the possibility of parole for murdering his daughter and keeping her body in a freezer in his recreational vehicle. He was found guilty by a jury Aug. 19, 2010, of one felony count of special circumstances murder during the commission of torture and mayhem and one felony count of assault with a firearm. In December 2006, Butterfield murdered his 21-year-old daughter, Rebekah Butterfield. He tortured the victim and intentionally made her suffer by repeatedly shooting her in the leg, foot, knee, side of her head and body parts that would not cause fatal injuries. He tied his naked daughter’s ankles together and hands behind her back and stuffed her in the freezer of his RV while she was still alive, suffocating her to death.



DANA POINT The body of a man found washed up on the rocks of the jetty behind the Ocean Institute at the Dana Point Harbor on the morning of October 1 has been identified as 71-year-old Ford Park of Anaheim, said OC Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jim Amormino. According to Dana Point Police Services Deputy Gardner, a call came in at about 10:05 a.m. on the morning of Friday, October 1 alerting authorities to the discovery of a body that had washed up along the jetty rocks. Park’s vehicle was found nearby, unlocked and with the keys in the ignition. A search of the car by investigators yielded neither signs of foul play nor a suicide note and the cause of death is still under investigation, pending toxicology reports said Amormino.

San Juan Capistrano’s Top 5 Hottest Topics

What’s Up With... 1

…Political Fundraising?

THE LATEST: Political newcomer John Taylor and Transportation Commissioner Larry Kramer have built up political war chests that dwarf the accounts of the other seven men running for three City Council seats, each raising more than $35,000 so far. Taylor has $38,617, while Kramer reports $35,697. Both men, who are running as a team, have loaned their campaigns $15,000 each. The next nearest candidate, according to mandatory campaign-finance filings, is Councilman Mark Nielsen who reports $13,413, including a personal $6,500 loan to his campaign. Mayor Lon Uso, has $6,980, including a $5,000 loan to himself. Candidates Jim Reardon, Derek Reeve and Clint Worthington, running as a team, report less than $3,000 each. Jess Lopez and Jim Schneider reported zero. Kramer and Taylor’s financial supporters include Rancho Mission Viejo CEO Tony Moiso, JSerra Catholic High School founder Tim Busch and several former council members. WHAT’S NEXT: The next campaign-finance statements are due October 21. FIND OUT MORE: See the complete reports at The Capistrano Insider blog at —Jonathan Volzke


…A New Anti-Gang Program? THE LATEST: Four Capistrano elementary schools are part of a new anti-gang program that enlists parents to prevent graffiti and ensure children aren’t harassed before classes. Countywide, more than 750 parents have joined with law enforcement in the

effort, which will be in place at Del Obispo, Kinoshita, San Juan elementary schools and Marco Forster Middle School. Participating parents stand in front of the GRIP schools wearing orange vests before and after school to greet students and ensure that they are abiding by the school dress code and are not dressed like gang members. The presence of these parents also serves as a deterrent to gang members. Those schools that have unofficially started the parent greeter program have observed a noticeable decrease in gang presence and graffiti. Parent greeters all received training from their local police departments and the OCDA on gang prevention and safety and are subject to a law enforcement background review. The program was officially launched Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010, and all 25 schools are expected to be active within the next two weeks.

Council members have supported the idea of outsourcing positions where possible. That saves the city pension and other costs and gives the city flexibility to easily expand or contract staff in certain areas as demand grows or recedes. Crocker’s benefits package, for example, pushed her total compensation above $211,000 annually. Her salary is $135,528, but she received $44,274 for her retirement contribution, $21,569 in insurance benefits and a $2,700 car allowance that—along with a management cash out of $5,212—pushed her total compensation to $211,335. In addition to Crocker, four other Capistrano administrators earn more than $200,000 in total compensation: City Manager Joe Tait ($324,000) CFO Cindy Russell ($266,972), Public Works Director Nasser Abbasadeh ($237,923) and Deputy City Manager Steven Apple ($219,438).

WHAT’S NEXT: The program officially launched Thursday at 25 schools across the county.

FIND OUT MORE: See a compensation spreadsheet and other documents at The Capistrano Insider blog at —JV

FIND OUT MORE: See the full story at —JV


…Karen Crocker Leaving?

THE LATEST: Community Services Director Karen Crocker, who has worked for San Juan Capistrano for more than 20 years, is leaving to take a similar post in Aliso Viejo. Crocker held the director’s post about five years, moving up into the spot after Al King moved over to San Clemente to take the job there. Her last day with the city is October 22. WHAT’S NEXT: City Manager Joe Tait will have to decide whether to fill Crocker’s spot. He is undertaking a City Hall reorganization, and City


…More Pay Cuts at CUSD?

THE LATEST: Capistrano Unified School District classified employees agreed to a pay cut that will help the district restore a 2 percent reserve. The contract settlement with the California School Employees Association (CSEA), approved by the CUSD Board of Trustees earlier this month, saves the district $5.3 million and helps restore the state-mandated budget reserve at 2 percent. WHAT’S NEXT: The district’s classified workers, who include employees such as instructional assistants, occupational therapists, food service workers and clerical staff, overwhelmingly ratified

the contract on September 15. They will take between five and 12.5 unpaid days, accept a 0.7 percent pay reduction effective retroactive to September. 1, forgo automatic pay increases for individual employees for one year and consolidate work hours and calendars. With the CSEA contract, CUSD employees groups have contributed approximately $27 million in salary and benefit concessions, which contributed significantly toward closing the estimated $34 million shortfall the district faced for 2010-11. FIND OUT MORE: See the full story at the Beyond the Blackboard blog at —JV


…Future of the Open Space Committee?

THE LATEST: Councilman Mark Nielsen on Tuesday called for the end of the Open Space Committee, which he chairs. Some residents contend it has grown beyond its original scope, with members now reviewing development plans and even negotiating with other agencies on the city’s behalf. Nielsen suggests formation of a new panel, the Public Lands and Equestrian Commission, with the current equestrian function splitting off from the existing Parks, Recreation and Equestrian Commission. He suggests the new commission have seven members, with no more than three from the existing Open Space panel and no more than three from the existing Parks, Rec and Equestrian Commission. The new panel would not have any council members. WHAT’S NEXT: The issue will be on the council’s October 19 agenda. FIND OUT MORE: See —JV

October 8–21, 2010 • The Capistrano Dispatch • Page 3

Eye on SJC

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions Even with election looming, council takes on huge projects The Capistrano Dispatch


Like a drizzle that turns into a deluge, the Capistrano City Council this month found itself dealing with key projects that could have a huge impact on the future of the city: A long-awaited downtown hotel, a mixed-use development on the east side of the freeway and a potential Home Depot on Stonehill Drive.

Approved: A Hotel for Downtown

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved plans for a downtown 124-room boutique hotel that many are counting on to spur a revitalization of the historic area. Gretchen Stroscher Thomson proposesd the hotel, a restaurant, retail shops and conference space on family-owned land across from the Mission that used to house the Mission Inn and Walnut Grove restaurant. It will be called Plaza de las Banderas and fly flags to represent the different governments that have controlled Capistrano. Thomson’s father was born on the property. The council required that the plan return to the Planning Commission and Design Review Commission for a redesign of the project’s exterior. It was proposed as Spanish Revival, but leaders believe a more Montereystyled building would be more appropriate. Thomson said she was OK with the requirement— the fifth time the project will be redrawn. Although that requires redrawing the plans for Thomson, the unanimous support is a far cry from the initial reaction to the plan. When first proposed, the commercial section of the project, on El Camino Real, was two stories tall. Some thought it overpowered the Great Stone Church across the street. The hotel was also four stories tall. Now, the restaurant building is one story, and the hotel is three stories tall at its peak. The hotel would be 74,973 square feet and the project also includes 6,509 square feet of retail space and a 5,747-square-foot restaurant. Thomson told a breakfast meeting of the Chamber of Commerce last month that she hoped to start construction in 2011.When finished, she expects the hotel to create about 40 full time jobs. She estimated the project could generate about $350,000 a year in bed taxes for the city. Rooms, she said, would be about $180 a night. The hotel opens with a plaza area facing toward Cedar Creek, and Thomson sees that as a gathering spot for visitors and residents alike. She even plans vendors selling wares from carts in the area, and one of them will sell fresh orange juice. Growing up amid the orange groves of Capistrano’s past, the Stroscher family started every day with fresh-squeezed juice, and Thomson wants her project to bring that back.

Pending: Distrito La Novia

After more than two dozen public hearings, the Distrito La Novia mixed-use project proposed for the land east of Valle Road was poised for approval on Wednesday night. Supporters in the crowded City Council chambers outnumbered opponents. And all five council members repeatedly said how much they liked the project and how it would benefit the city. But they didn’t approve it. Instead, they gave developer Advanced Real Estate Services one more list of changes—making just about all aspects of the project smaller—and asked staff to draw up the final documents in time for a November 2 approval. ARES, which owns the land on both sides of La Novia east of Valle Road, proposed a mix of condos, apartments, retail and commercial space on 18.7 acres on the north side of La Novia and 94 homes and 750 horses on 135 acres on the south—a former dump site.

Next: The Home Depot?

The council this month also unanimously agreed to enter an exclusive negotiation period with The Home Depot, which wants to build on the city-owned Lower Rosan Ranch on Stonehill Drive. The Home Depot estimates the land is worth about $9 million, and says any building would be at least 176 feet away from a neighboring mobile-home park. Ironically, the last serious proposal to build on the property was in 2002, and it was then The Home Depot. Before they were elected to the City Council, Mark Nielsen and Lon Uso helped fight the 2002 proposal, which was rejected by 75 percent of voters in an advisory measure. Since then, Nielsen said he is open to The Home Depot, if done properly. He proposed, however, that the issue should again go before residents since voters had made their feelings clear eight years ago. That idea did not gain any traction with other council members, though. Uso now says he regrets fighting the 2002 Home Depot plan. The city needs revenue to supply services to residents, he said, and businesses such as Home Depot can be key contributors. Councilman Sam Allevato agreed. Tuesday’s decision just allows negotiations and is not a guarantee for Home Depot. “The three of you I trusted have let me down,” said Bobbi Decker-Austin, wearing her yellow “No Home

The project faced vocal opposition, primarily from nearby residents who raised concerns primarily about traffic and the number of horses. Some said it was unfair for the council to change the intended use for the land, where 440 homes were approved for the south side and a 300-room hotel approved for the south side. But council members pointed out the traffic generated by the projects was nearly equal—although the new plan generates a bit more traffic, particularly in the afternoon peak hours. As for the horses, the 440-home proposal could have also included at least 100 horses. Council members asked for the new plan because no hotel has ever expressed serious interest in the area and houses tend to cost the city more money than they bring in with property taxes. The council did reduce the number of horses allowed to 500, and told developer Rick Julian to remove 10 units from the condos and apartments to create more parking. Additionally, the council requested the 28,000-squarefoot office component be cut in half—and if that made the office component economically infeasible, Julian could add the remaining 14,000 square feet into the retail center. The project will return to the council for an expected approval on November 2. Some residents on Wednesday vowed to launch a referendum if the project is passed.

Depot” T-shirt from 2002. “Everything we tried to stop has moved ahead. It’s asthough we didn’t matter…we took it to the ballot. That should have ended it.” Steve Behmerwohld, president of the CVME residents’ association, said he is OK with the proposal. “I’d like to see it remain vacant land, too,” Behmerwohld told the council. “But I think 176 feet is the best we’re going to do.” Attorney Ken Steelman, who represented The Home Depot in 2002 and is back before the council with the proposal now, said the company will listen to residents and make the project as compatible with neighbors as possible. The Home Depot, he said, would create 275 jobs and provide an estimated $400,000 a year to the city in annual sales-tax revenue. That’s key for a city that once got 40 percent of its sales-tax revenue from automobile dealerships, only to see the industry crash. Since Proposition 13 passed in 1978, cities have been limited in how much they can boost property taxes to pay for services. That forced them to scramble for other sources of income—leading to the creation of Mello-Roos taxes—and increasing the reliance on sales-tax revenue and hotel bed taxes, which, unlike other taxes, go directly to City Hall. The situation creates unique challenges in older cities such as San Juan Capistrano, which weren’t planned or laid out to be home to big-boxes and other large sales-tax generators. And that means projects end up close to neighbors who often don’t want them. At least one councilman on Wednesday expressed dismay with the acrimony in the debate. “There’s only 10 parcels left in town,” Councilman Tom Hribar said almost exasperatedly as Wednesday’s special meeting wound down. “Whatever we try to do, it’s always the same questions, the same criticisms. You’ve got to try and maximize the potential for this town.” CD October 8–21, 2010 • The Capistrano Dispatch • Page 5


Building Hope Final families move into Habitat for Humanity Capistrano project By Austin Reagan The Capistrano Dispatch


n November of 2006, Habitat for Humanity designated an unoccupied plot of land in San Juan Capistrano as the site of its new affordable housing project. Since then, the anticipation has been building—quite literally. For nearly four years, thousands of volunteers from all around Orange County have laid foundations, hammered nails, and shingled roofs for twenty-seven economical and

The Stannard family stands in front of their newly purchased Habitat for Humanity of Orange County home during the dedication ceremony at the east end of Calle Rolando.Photo by Robert Rooks

SJC Sheriff’s Blotter C O M P I L E D B Y J O N AT H A N V O L Z K E All information below is obtained from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Web site ( and reflects data available from calls placed from the field by the responding officer(s). An arrest doesn’t represent guilt. The items below are just a sampling of the entries listed on the OCSD Web site.

Sunday, October 3 SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES Via Flores, 32000 Block (2:42 a.m.) A caller thought someone was jiggling the gate in their front yard.

Saturday, October 2 DISTURBANCE Verdugo Street/Camino Capistrano (10:57 p.m.) A man and woman got into an argument. The man left. The woman took a taxi to the Best Western.

The Martinez family, alongside San Juan Capistrano Housing Advisory Commission member and Family Partner Dave Solt, received the key to their new Habitat for Humanity of Orange County home from Mark Mathews, President & COO of Toshiba America Business Systems, during the September 25 dedication. Photo by Robert Rooks

state-of-the-art homes. All of the hard work came to a conclusion on September 25, when the community gathered to dedicate the third and final 18-home phase in the development. The event commemorated the complete transition from dirt lot to thriving neighborhood. The ceremony began with Sharon Ellis, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, welcoming those in attendance, and explaining that 11 of the 18 houses being dedicated that day were going to military families. This specific project, deemed the “Habitat for Heroes and Foundations for Families” development, is truly monumental, as it will act as a model all around the country for other Habitat for Humanity neighborhoods specifically earmarked for military personnel and their families. These homes also feature solar panels,

an eco-friendly initiative that Habitat for Humanity of Orange County hopes will inspire the construction of environmentally conscious neighborhoods elsewhere. After discussing the innovations seen specifically in this Habitat project, Ellis went on to thank the thousands of volunteers who had given their time, as well as the numerous financial contributors, some of whom have donated up to $50,000. But the best was saved for last. Each family, along with its sponsor (individuals who have guided the families through the ownership process), was welcomed to the stage, and presented with the key to the home, a Bible and, of course, the mortgage. The mortgages are helping Habitat repay about $3 million it borrowed from the city of San Juan Capistrano to finish the project. The charities donations are

BRANDISHING A WEAPON Via Positiva/Alipaz Street (9:16 p.m.) A carload of San Clemente gang members allegedly pulled up to a party and pointed a gun at someone.

(7:46 p.m.) A man was burned when his van was spotted engulfed in flames. He was taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana.

MISSING CHILD Via Rueda, 32700 Block (12:21 p.m.) A worried parent called when their 10year-old son did not show up on time. He was found at a friend’s house about 90 minutes later. UKNOWN TROUBLE Camino Capistrano/Junipero Serra Road (7:20 a.m.) A man called saying he’d found a dead body. His directions were only that deputies would first see pine trees, then go into the orange field. Cadaver dogs were called in, but no body found.

Friday, October 1 SUSPICIOUS PERSON Connemara Drive, 33800 Block (7:27 p.m.) A resident reported a man about 25 years old knocked on his door asking for money. The caller thought he might have been a drug addict. ASSIST OUTSIDE AGENCY La Novia/San Juan Creek Road

Page 6 • The Capistrano Dispatch • October 8–21, 2010

BATTERY REPORT Summerfield Lane, 27600 Block (7:31 p.m.) A parent reported their 10-year-old daughter was assaulted by a classmate at school. DISTURBANCE Verdugo Street, 26700 Block (6:59 p.m.) A man was reported yelling and trying to start a fight. A few minutes later, a fight was reported. THEFT Ortega Highway, 27100 Block (3:50 p.m.) Three men took two sixpacks of beer and jumped into a black Dodge without paying.

down because of the economy. Often, people make the common misperception that Habitat for Humanity “gives” away homes to those in need, however this is not entirely true. While Habitat does aim to serve low-income families that move frequently or are living in unsafe neighborhoods, selected families assume a mortgage when they receive the house, and must also complete 250 “Sweat Equity Hours” (per house occupant), in which they usually participate in the building process of the homes. However, being a not-for-profit organization, Habitat for Humanity sells the homes for the cost that it takes to build them, and no interest is charged on the mortgage. The interiors of the homes have been fully furnished by the organization “Furnishing Hope,” and, as a nice final touch, each family received a brand new laptop from Toshiba. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was then held at the front door of each home. I became involved as a volunteer with the project in August of 2009, and watching the homes in the cul-de-sac grow from the ground up has been an incredibly rewarding experience. But nothing could say “thank you” like the looks I saw on the new homeowners’ proud faces as they opened their front doors for the first time. This was truly representative of the many doors that owning a home will allow them to open in the future. New opportunities for education, work, and family life will undoubtedly bloom as a result of this new community, and several families—many of which give constantly through their military service—were helped in return to achieve the American Dream. CD off the overpass. SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES Del Obispo Street, 31800 Block (5:43 p.m.) A merchant reported that a woman known to live in her truck was using the bushes as a restroom.

Wednesday, September 29 DISTURBANCE Sundance Drive, 31500 Block (11:30 a.m.) A man reported he let a woman stay at his home and she began talking to herself, and yelling at herself, too. SUSPICIOUS PERSON Del Obispo/Los Rios Street (4:14 a.m.) A man was walking down the railroad tracks, waving his arms.

Tuesday, September 28

SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES Mission Street/Lobo Street (9:16 a.m.) A caller reported finding a bloody towel and shirt behind a tree. It was paint.

RECKLESS DRIVING Camino Capistrano/Del Obispo (4:22 p.m.) A woman in a black Audi was reportedly driving on the wrong side of the road.

Thursday, September 30

DISTURBANCE San Juan Creek Road, 28000 Block (9:51 a.m.) A woman reported a man hit her car, yelled at her and banged on her vehicle.

ASSIST OUTSIDE AGENCY Ortega Highway/Freeway (2:52 p.m.) Kids were reportedly throwing rocks


CUSD Candidates Discuss State of the District By Jonathan Volzke The Capistrano Dispatch


his week, we asked Capistrano Unified School board candidates the following question:

Capistrano Unified School District achieves well academically, but seems mired in political disputes that seem to capture more headlines than the student achievement. Is that a real problem and what is the key for the district to move forward with the confidence of the community behind it? Here are their answers, unedited, in the order in which they will appear on the ballot:

TRUSTEE AREA 5 JOHN ALPAY San Clemente Commissioner/ Businessman, The Board will say that API scores are at all-time highs and that we are the highest performing “large school district.” What they fail to mention is that “large school district” means they compare CUSD to other school districts in Santa Ana, Long Beach and Los Angeles. South Orange County institutions have no business comparing themselves to urban-based entities. Given what we pay in property taxes, we expect more than that. If we compare CUSD to other Orange County suburban districts, the API scores put us at the bottom of the pack. So despite our high taxes, our children receive a sub-standard education. CUSD’s decline is directly the result of self dealing at its highest levels. Two years ago, in response to a District Attorney’s report critical of CUSD’s efforts to follow the law, the Board responded that it would hire inhouse counsel and moved to fill the position. Once attorney Mike Winsten assumed office, he quashed the process and our taxpayer dollars started flowing to his fellow trial lawyers. Taxpayer money intended for the classroom is now diverted to the trial bar, directly impacting the quality of education and is reflected in our test scores. To cover up his misdeeds, Winsten seeks to divert our attention by falsely claiming this election is a Union takeover. As a Board candidate and Member-Elect to the Orange County Republican Party Central Committee, I refuse to be affiliated with any public employee unions. The removal of deceptive and misleading figures and the elimination of self dealing from the Board are necessary to restore community trust and allow us to rebuild our once proud school district.

Capistrano Unified School District headquarters are located at 33122 Valle Road in San Juan Capistrano. Photo by Jonathan Volzke

headlines to the public policy debates and political drama going on in CUSD, than on the less sensational but positive stories of how well CUSD provides a free world-class education? Obviously, political drama is what sells full-page ads to the well-funded union-backed candidates and their affiliated Children’s First slate during election season. The truth, however, is that the same public policy debates are also happening in other school districts, counties, cities and states across our country. Measured by the passion our children and their parents have for our schools, our community is strongly behind CUSD. To suggest otherwise is incorrect political grandstanding by far left wing teachers’ union leaders—who called last April’s strike for selfish political propaganda reasons—despite our global fiscal crisis—and their supporters. Our children’s continued achievement and success is all that is truly important—not political disputes. CUSD is successfully educating our children, showing year over year test score increases. Nonetheless, I believe we can do better with innovation and competition. My opponents fight to protect their unsustainable status quo by controlling both sides of the bargaining table. This is untenable. My Board colleagues and I showed the tough leadership you elected us to provide by making the mature decision to seek concessions totaling 10 percent from all our employees, because Sacramento’s diversion of money from public education required us to, and for no other reason. The Orange County Republican Party officially endorsed a “No” vote on the union backed recall.

MIKE WINSTEN Attorney/Independent Businessman, I’d like to challenge the premise of this question. Perhaps the real problem is the local media’s systematic choice to give more Page 8 • The Capistrano Dispatch • October 8–21, 2010

TRUSTEE AREA 6 GARY PRITCHARD Community College Professor, www. pritchardforcusd. com When CUSD is known more for its disruptive political climate than its ac-

complishments, the problem is absolutely real and points to a failure of leadership. The current board has succeeded in polarizing our district. The current trustees have failed to take ownership of any of the district’s problems and instead have blamed teachers and parent groups. We don’t elect trustees to pit parents against teachers, especially during difficult economic times. When many families are struggling to make ends meet, this board has suggested that our children’s teachers are greedy. Quality teachers are the single most important asset in high performing public school districts. Our trustees should know this. How can we attract and retain the best and brightest when there is so much turmoil in CUSD? Who would want to teach in a district where the school board thinks teachers are “thugs” and “greedy?” The way forward is simple. We need to elect a new board of trustees who know something about public schools. We need leaders who are invested in student achievement. We need a school board who will listen to all stakeholders when making crucial decisions regarding district finances. Trustees must be willing to listen to criticism. Quality public schools are a community effort. We all benefit from a successful CUSD. We must protect our excellent schools from politicians selling “reform.” GARY V. MILLER Retired Teacher Declined to submit an answer. PAUL HEBBARD Certified Public Accountant, www.paulhebbard. com One could hypothesize that the political morass which has entangled CUSD for the past 4 years has driven out some of its more talented teachers and administrators. If that is truly the case, then students’ core testing scores may

have been affected. It seems that the number of CA Distinguished Schools awards have dropped from a previous decade ago, and it might be because of the political infighting that begun back in the Fleming days. I can think of three former principals who were well respected in CUSD that are now working in other districts. One of my missions is to seek out those competent administrators and recruit them back to CUSD. If we can get these personnel back into the schools where they were not only respected but adored, the community will begin to turn around the perception that CUSD is dysfunctional. Because a high majority of the families in CUSD put a great emphasis on education, the high achievements of its students will never drop to the levels of LAUSD or any other ungovernable district. But as Trustees, we need to equip the parents with the means to help their children succeed in their academic pursuits, including but not limited to effective teachers and clean facilities. In time, the achievements of our students will begin to push away the political headlines that have crippled CUSD for the past 4 years. KEN LOPEZ MADDOX Businessman/Tax Consultant, I’ve been a member of the Board of Trustees for approximately two years. Student achievement has improved each of those two years. CUSD has never in its history, attained the results it is achieving today. We are the highest achieving large school district in the state. During my term, CUSD has exceeded expectations by every measurable definition of success. The teachers’ union and their allies have managed to place a costly recall election on the ballot. Their definition of success is much different than that of the average taxpayer and parent. The district and the union were engaged in contract negotiations this past year which proved to be exceedingly difficult. (Cont. on page 10)


CUSD Candidates Discuss State of the District (cont.)

(Cont. from page 8) California is out of money. Our district received millions of dollars less in funding. Labor costs account for roughly 86 percent of our general fund. Difficult decisions had to be made in order to preserve jobs, hold the line on class size and balance the budget. We were successful in doing all three without new taxes. I’ve resisted the demands to force another parcel tax on the homeowners of this district to pay for increased teacher salaries. Californians already pay too much in taxes. The Republican Party of Orange County and many local elected officials are officially on record in opposing this blatant abuse of the recall process. The Board of Trustees recently hired a new superintendent. He is in the process of putting into place an exceptional management team. We are a great district with outstanding teachers. But there is always room for improvement. Together we can attain even greater accomplishments. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the education of your children.

TRUSTEE AREA 6 ANNA BRYSON Capistrano Unified School District Governing Member, For many years, the perception—because of the indictment of Superintendent Fleming —was that the district had many problems, and at that time, the perception was accurate. The reform effort was initiated by parents who wanted transparency, higher education standards, and better facilities. The reform board has kept its word on all points, but the media commentary has not caught up with the reality. We have been the highest-performing large district in the state academically for 2 straight years, something not attained in the past. The reform board has had the confidence of the majority in the community for 4 straight years, through three elections. The community has witnessed the board’s changes: a focus on classroom excellence, a leaner administration, and living within our means—balancing the budget after years of Fleming profligacy SAAM ALIKHANI University Student, www.alikhaniforcusd. com Sadly, partisan politics has plagued Capistrano Unified for years, with the taxpayers and students paying the price. Under the ineffective leadership of the current Board, Capistrano Unified is now a failing institution by Federal standards and has been classified as a “program improvement district.” With the Board’s ideology that money should be

spent on attorneys that are close associates of current board members and on dubious settlements to campaign donors, there is little prospect for improvement. The “fiscal conservatism” in which they campaigned on has been forgotten. This Board seeks to run Capistrano Unified dry, through their blatant nepotism and wasteful spending. Trustee Anna Bryson’s husband pushed Capistrano Unified towards his own failed math program. Bryson also decided to hire her boss’ attorney for school business even though he was sanctioned twice by the State Bar, and her boss has since called this attorney unqualified. To make matters worse, she sought to have the District retain her boss for sound financial and investment advice. Good thing she failed because she works for Chriss Street, Orange County’s Treasurer, who has been stripped of his authority after his questionable financial practices. Our community has lost confidence and trust with the Trustees due to their secret meetings conducted in violation of the Brown Act, as well as their unwillingness to listen to their constituency. The Board must engage in an open dialogue with the community as well as listening to their needs. I am committed to bringing all stakeholders to the table to restore our District. We must regain the community’s confidence through respect, accountability and accurate representation.

TRUSTEE AREA 6 MARTHA MCNICHOLAS Engineering Entrepreneur, www. mcnicholasforcusd. com Capturing headlines has more to do with partisan journalism than it does with noteworthy accomplishments—academic or otherwise. And it often involves a few noisy, law-suit happy people diverting attention, and resources, away from student achievement. In CUSD, the confidence of the community will be restored when the trustees demonstrate that they are willing to listen to, work with and respect their constituents - parents, students, teachers, employees and community members in the district. ELLEN ADDONIZIO Certified Public Accountant, www. Voters elected me to the CUSD Board of Trustees to restore honesty, integrity and accountability to CUSD—and the community should be proud of all we’ve accomplished. Bringing reform and positive change is especially difficult in a district which spends approximately 85 percent of its budget on salaries/benefits for public

Page 10 • The Capistrano Dispatch • October 8–21, 2010

employees—most of whom are represented by powerful union leaders fighting to preserve an unsustainable status quo. Despite continuous union opposition, we have successfully balanced the budget; stopped deficit spending; refused to increase taxes; reduced bloated administration; reduced union contract expenses by 10.1 percent; enacted strong anti-nepotism policies; created a district-wide facilities assessment; promoted conservative fiscal policies and family values; and fought to keep smaller class sizes. This year, student achievement in CUSD soared to its highest levels. In fact, this year Capistrano Unified was the State’s highest achieving large school district! The community should be confident the future of CUSD remains very bright.

TRUSTEE AREA 7 LARRY CHRISTENSEN Capistrano Unified School District, Governing Board Member, www. Though there are two very vocal factions amongst the constituents who have their children in CUSD schools, most of the populous simply desires that their children obtain the best that public education can give; politics be darned. As a result of decades of improprieties that culminated in the indictment of the then superintendent who was “under the watch” of the then trustees, reform came swiftly whereby all of the current board members were elected by overwhelming margins. In short, the public was “fed up” with the shenanigans and the union control. Due to the necessary imposition of minor cutbacks to employee benefits by the courageous current reform trustees during our declining economy, CUSD did not have to fire teachers and increase class sizes as the union desired. As a result, recent test scores have been at an all time high. It’s about time! In retaliation the union has backed the other vocal faction who wants to replace the reform trustees with their own so that, as stated by the union, they “can elect our own bosses.” One shudders at the thought! The current reform trustees are endorsed by the Republican Party; the union backed candidates are not (though they infer that they are). The union wants to take control of the board by election, by recall and by Measure H which disenfranchises everyone’s vote. Allow the reform trustees to complete their uphill battle against the well-healed special interest unions by keeping all of the existing trustees in office and by defeating Measure H. Protect the younger teachers from being fired and assure that whatever little funds are left will be directed to the classroom.

LYNN HATTON Small Business Owner, Ten years ago, CUSD was one of the best large districts in California and, arguably, in North America. Unfortunately, we have spent most of the last six years focused on adult issues and politics rather than on creating a sound educational environment for our children. Currently, CUSD is achieving academically on the state accountability system but has failed the federal accountability system. If we keep the status quo, it will not be long before failure permeates the system. Because of the strife at the leadership level, we already have lost many talented site level leaders to outside districts. Too much is at stake and we must act now to effect positive change and restore the focus on our students. To rebuild the district and the confidence of our community, we must: Be visible and present at our school sites and community events Collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure success Build partnerships with local universities and businesses Invest in our strong teachers and leaders to constantly improve learning Create multiple supports and pathways for options to college and career Be fiscally responsible and creative in finding new sources of money I have the experience in education and in running my small businesses. At the same time, since my children currently attend our schools, I have a vested interest in our district. The boards is one of the most important elected offices as it makes decisions that directly impact children’s lives and the economic stability of a community. Let’s work together to remove politics and restore our district and our community to its culture of excellence. Vote Lynn Hatton, Area 7 Capistrano Unified School Board. CD

COMING NEXT ISSUE The October 23 edition of The Capistrano Dispatch will include more questions and answers from city and school board candidates.

AND ONLINE Watch The Capistrano Insider blog and the Beyond the Blackboard blog at for more political news and discussion.


Council Candidates Weigh In on Traffic Issues The Capistrano Dispatch


e asked candidates: Transportation is always a big topic in SJC. Do you support the San Juan Creek Road extension to La Pata? Putting El Horno through to Rancho Viejo Road? The 241 toll road as proposed? Widening Ortega to four lanes through town? What would you to do help traffic flow? Here are the responses, unedited in the order in which the candidates will appear on the November ballot:

DEREK REEVE Constitutional Attorney/ Historian, We must first prevent more traffic from being created by stopping the approval of new massive developments that place more traffic on our roads. Also make sure that mitigation is completed for developments that have already been built and/or approved. Previous city councils are notorious for approving developments without traffic mitigation, a major contributor to traffic congestion. The toll road is for the benefit of Rancho Mission Viejo, which needs two major arterial roads in place before they are allowed to build their envisioned 14,000 homes on our eastern border. The fallacy about the toll road that it will take traffic off the congested 5 freeway when in reality, it is designed to accommodate more development east of town that will only add more traffic. If it becomes clear the toll road will be built, I will ensure the negative impact on SJC is mitigated. I oppose widening of Ortega. Ortega will become primarily a freeway on and off ramp for the new city of Rancho Mission Viejo. The proposed San Juan Creek Road extension to La Pata would go through open space and would require a public vote. I oppose connecting El Horno to Rancho Viejo Road.

JIM REARDON Technology Executive, The San Juan Creek Road extension to La Pata has been bottled-up by members of the sitting City Council who live in the area. Our City’s high school is effectively isolated. “Open Space” zoning now makes the extension impossible without a vote of the public. El Horno should not be opened to public traffic. It is substandard for public use. Mission Flats should not be sacrificed. Emergency vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians only. Ortega Highway is already “four lanes” near I-5. The new freeway overpass renders this question moot—in town. Ortega Highway will connect directly to Del Obispo when the project is complete. Traffic flow can be improved by adding traffic signals in some obvious places and adding protected lanes. Local traffic circulation should not depend on the Ortega Highway or Interstate 5.

JOHN TAYLOR Businessman, www. JohnTaylorforCityCouncil. com Traffic is a problem and we need to explore all options including a southbound off ramp at Stonehill for Dana Point

traffic, promote traffic flow by synchronizing traffic lights in town, open up La Pata to San Clemente, explore options for 241 – the PBX or Christianitos extensions make more sense in light of the opposition to the green extension. We need more negotiations with Camp Pendleton to get this much needed roadway completed. San Juan Creek Road to La Pata, I would oppose because of the potential for high traffic volume, the neighborhood would lose its’ country road appeal. El Horno Street to Rancho Viejo Road, in my opinion would offer little in the way of traffic mitigation. Before I would even consider it, I would want to commission a traffic study. I just don’t believe it is the best use of our highway dollars and I most likely would oppose it. Ortega Highway needs to be widened to four lanes from La Pata to the Hunt Club Gate, where a traffic light should be installed. The existing four lane road from the Hunt Club to the I-5 should be left alone.

CLINT WORTHINGTON Locomotive Engineer, Let’s get the projects completed that were designed to mitigate traffic in our town as the first step in the process to ease congestion on our roads. As an example: Eliminate the dangerous new speed bump in the right hand lane at the railroad crossing on Del Obispo. In addition, let’s get the traffic light working at Oso and Camino Capistrano properly. These are just a few of the simple projects that need to be completed to ease traffic. The historic Mission Flats neighborhood does not need to be a thoroughfare. I would be opposed to any extension of El Horno to Rancho Viejo Road. The Ortega Highway through our town to the City limits is a beautiful highway. To widen the highway would bring undo hardships to the many residents and surrounding neighborhoods. We do not need to be the doormat for other communities. I would be opposed to the widening of the Ortega Highway. There are conservation easements that would prevent the extension of San Juan Creek Road to La Pata. In addition, an extension would divide the Open Space that was purchased last January. I would however be in favor of extending La Pata to San Clemente.

LARRY KRAMER Retired Naval Officer ww.larrykramerforcityco Extending San Juan Creek Road to La Pata would cause detrimental changes to the road characteristics. I would not support it. Extending El Horno was considered when the city studied building a city hall at Marbella. The city is not planning a new office; extending El Horno is off the table. I fully support completion of 241-toll road to I-5. Widen Ortega Highway in a minimal way to 4 lanes to cause least impact on the character of the road and surrounding neighborhoods. Many things can be done to improve traffic flow: - Complete La Pata to San Clemente. -Widen the remaining 2 lane portions of Rancho Viejo Road to 4 lanes. -Construct a southbound off ramp from I-5 at

Page 12 • The Capistrano Dispatch • October 8–21, 2010

Stonehill to route Dana Point traffic away from San Juan Capistrano. -Re-align the southbound I-5 off ramp at San Juan Creek/Camino Capistrano with La Novia. Widen the San Juan Creek underpass at Camino Capistrano. -Make the city more pedestrian and bike friendly. -Initiate trolleys connecting San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente and Dana Point. -Update 2002 Strategic Transportation Plan. -Project driven traffic improvements must occur before there is any project construction without exception.

JESS LOPEZ Retired Police Sergeant I do not support the 241 toll road, San Juan Creek Road extension to La Pata nor the El Horno cutting through historical Mission Flats to Rancho Viejo road. I would support a La Pata to San Clemente extension. I do support the widening of Ortega through town. I also support a S/B Off Ramp at Stonehill and the 5 FWY/Ortega Off-On Ramp related to our Downtown development Plan. I agree with our Transportation Commission that denied the La Novia Meadows project because of the high density traffic it would cause at La Novia and Valle Rd. My Campaign Pledge is to preserve and protect. At first glance, I agreed with the Downtown Development Plan Draft including the pedestrian walking district concept. However, after reviewing the City web site and the main artwork showing a parking lot replacing the iconic Camino Real Playhouse ( on pages 38-42), NO way can I support the afore mentioned proposal. Bulldozing one of our cities cultural venues in order to replace it with a parking lot is absurd. The Camino Real Playhouse is an important and valuable part of San Juan Capistrano’s unique cultural lifestyle! Save the Playhouse!

VICTOR J. SCHNEIDER Geologist Yes, I support the San Juan Creek Road extension. The San Juan Hills students need more than one way into and out of their school. Traffic reduction will occur at the 74 if this extension is completed. Yes, I support the El Horno extension; however, it seems it will come at a significant cost. I would ensure that the taxpayers are getting their moneys worth. The section of roadway will require a bridge or underpass. How important is this connection and how will it mitigate traffic are questions I need answered first. As proposed, I do not support an extension of the 241 toll road. The existing plan need revision. Widening Ortega Highway through town is not a solution to mitigate traffic. I would create drop off/pick up areas for each and every school in the City. Not an easy task, but it can be done. A classic example is at Ambuehl Elementary at 07:30 during the week. We need a pick up/drop off area across San Juan Creek at the existing park where the students can easily walk a pedestrian bridge and ne on school grounds.

MARK NIELSEN Businessman/Councilman, www.electmarknielsen. com We need to divert traffic around our town, instead of becoming a driveway to the I-5 for our neighbors. I’ve fought the extension of San Juan Creek Road for over a decade since trying to have it removed from our 1999 General Plan rewrite. Ruining the character of part of our community in order to help nonresidents get to the I-5 freeway makes no sense. The road is residential and has a grade school in its middle. The extension would add significant dangers to the safety of our school children who daily are walking and biking across the street. Likewise, El Horno should not become a thoroughfare to Rancho Viejo unless the majority of neighbors want it. We are already saddled with a major reconstruction of the Ortega interchange that is supposedly going to relieve congestion in crossing the freeway, though it will drastically change the area’s appearance. No need to ruin yet another historic area. The widening of Ortega, while a necessary evil , does not need 16’ sound walls (destroying views and making a tunnel), removing over 100 mature trees and putting in wider roads West of the Hunt Club when there is already room for 4 lanes. Finally, the 241 would relieve significant traffic on Ortega, but with a revised route that avoids San Mateo Campground and the O’Neill Conservancy areas.

DR. LONDRES USO Councilman/Dentist I would not support the extension of SJC Road any more than the extension of Las Ramblas. This would ruin a unique San Juan community in order to ease traffic for Ladera and future RMV residents. I would reluctantly agree to a temporary use of El Horno during the construction of the I5 interchange but not on a permanent basis, this is a historic and unique residential neighborhood that can’t safely accommodate that traffic. The 241 extension does not give me warm feelings but the reality of 14,000 new homes and the traffic consequences to SJC is undeniable, reality trumps personal feelings. Ortega should be widened to accommodate SJHHS traffic but the existing 4 lanes should not be touched. The eastern entrance to SJC is important to our character and the old, mature trees are irreplaceable. The worse traffic is over the I5 bridge and Del Obispo, the I5 interchange we approved will go a long ways to improve it. We need to stop developing properties as if they were in a bubble, for example, there are too many individual driveways on Del Obispo. An internal circulation plan accessed from one signalized intersection will make traffic frictionless. We need to invest in solid, proactive, out of the box solutions.




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The Capistrano Dispatch, Vol. 8, Issue 19. The Dispatch (www.thecapistranodispatch ) is published twice monthly by Picket Fence Media, publishers of the DP Times ( and the SC Times ( 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 2010. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.


ADVERTISING Associate Publisher > Lauralyn Loynes

Billing/Collections Manager > Alyssa Garrett Distribution Manager > Andrea Swayne

Group Editor, Editor, The Dispatch > Jonathan Volzke

> Michele Reddick (San Clemente)

City Editor, DP Times > Andrea Swayne

> Sergio Sanchez (San Juan Capistrano)


Sales Associates > Angela Edwards > Buddy Purel

SPECIAL THANKS Robert Miller, George Mackin


CONTRIBUTORS Tawnee Prazak, David Zimmerle

Senior Designer > Jasmine Smith Graphic Designer > Heidi Mefferd

Finance Director > Mike Reed

INTERNS Chris Bashaw, Kirsten Amavisca Sacher, Madi Swayne

Letters to the Community POTPOURRI OF LOCAL ISSUES —Doug Lowe, San Juan Capistrano Regarding the complaints about the purchase of the MV Ranch property for $27 million- plus; it seems to me a lawsuit is the only way to resolve this issue. Any young attorney out there, looking to make a name for him/herself should take notice. Short of a lawsuit, all the complaining, name calling, and crying over spilt milk, will not put the cows back the barn; nor money back into the citizens’ pockets. The City Council has not responded directly to any pointed question, and from what I’ve read, failed to justify their action. From all appearances, the manipulation of the public was well planned and well executed. Are there any number crunchers out there that can do return on investment calculations? My gut feel is; it’s a big negative, for the next 50 years. I’ll be dead by then, so in the interest of reducing what my kids will have to pay for their grandchildren to enjoy a picnic at a park one day in the distant future, I’m willing to spend a few bucks today to see if this deal can be undone. Regarding the latest plan to come from an expensive design firm for Del Obispo Street between Ortega and Camino Capistrano; whoever was involved in that was either stupid or dishonest. There is no other explanation. A common idiot could see that we could not take a very necessary four lane artery and reduce it to two lanes with a planted median, in front of a fire station, no less. Help, police, I’ve been robbed. Regarding the cost of water; personally, I am very grateful for everyone involved in the decision to build the Ground Water Recovery Plant. Clean water will always be a valuable commodity. Therefore, the value of our investment in the GRWP will continue to grow, regardless of what the initial cost where. If there is a real problem with the ongoing cost of operation, we can hire a different engineer to operate it. Citizens of SJC, I beg of you, never, ever, ever, sell our GRWP. As a community, I believe it would be to our benefit to figure out how to capture as much rain water as we can, and send it into the ground. If we do enough of that, we should be able to harvest more; reducing the amount we need to buy. Eventually we may also dilute the toxins leaked by the gasoline tanks in the ground (Tanks a lot Chevron). These are questions, difficult questions, for the best engineering minds, but I feel that, as a community, we should be taking responsibility for our own resources. Regarding the Indigenous People Celebration at Historic Town Center Park on 9/11; thank God some people have the good sense to stop morning our dead Page 14 • The Capistrano Dispatch • October 8–21, 2010

and start celebrating life. Life is for the living, and anyone that spent that beautiful day angry or depressed wasted a great day. The costumes, the music, the dancing, the poetry; all inspirational, causing an uplifting of my spirit that I have not felt for many years. My only regret was that the event was not better publicized, so I could have been there at the opening. I believe that people that are angry over the events of 9/11/01 have good reason to be angry; but most are angry for the wrong reason, and at the wrong people. There is, or was, plenty of evidence out there, published by experts in all fields, that refutes the official version of the cause and events that surround that day. I was angry because I do not feel justice has been done in nine years since. I was depressed because, I believe, short of a miracle, justice never will be done. Believing that, on that day (and every day thereafter)I chose to pray, then trust, that God’s will shall be done; and then I leave it up to Him, while I celebrate the life He has given me. I appreciate the efforts of the editors at the Capistrano Common Sense newsletter for their efforts to bring forth for public discussion items that would otherwise be overlooked; I hope they continue with their investigative reporting. I am also grateful to this paper for publishing my letter, and the letters of other citizens, complete and unedited. Freedoms of Speech/Press are the fundamental underpinnings of this country and I applaud this paper for continuing to maintain these rights through unbiased reporting and fair editing.

SAN JUAN IDOL CONTEST —Roy Nunn, San Juan Capistrano With all the political dialog that comes with an election mixed with concerns about development on the small portions of land not developed yet, I would like to share my view of a process that while not supposed to start out political always seems to end that way. I am speaking of the process of planning and designing a project in San Juan. The planning process is like being a contestant on American Idol. Before an applicant is able to sing to the judges they are screened in a process not unlike a singer showing up to tryouts. It is an endurance test to weed out the less desirable performance (incomplete project). When an applicant submits a project they work with the cities staff to determine if their application (performance) will have what the judges (Planning Commission) will need to make their decision and recommendations. The Planning Commission Judges offer their critique of your performance. It is

the responsibility of these Judges (commissioners) to determine if yours is a winning performance and conforms to standards established. When you survive the screening process you move on to the first of usually several cuts (hearings) with the judges offering their comments. First the judges (commissioners) say you were good but then they add on something like “make it more your own,” “be more yourself,” “we like hearing you go for those high notes.” Then when you try and give them what they ask for you get, “you should have done it more like the original artist,” “the original is to much a classic to mess with,” “it felt like you were screaming,” “ dude, dude, dude, listen up dude, it was a little pitchy for me.” This is when you are ready to throw up your hands and ask, “What do you want?” This is also why we have a General Plan, a Municipal Code, a Zoning Code, a Land Use Code, and “Design Guidelines”. And when you ask is there anything else you get the answer you did not want to hear, YES! In addition to the above there is usually what are referred to as “Overlay Districts.” These can cover everything from Architecture styles to special uses such as Historic Preservation. Okay so you think that’s it right? Well wrong! Now throw into the pot “Master Plan Studies” and “Planned Communities and Developments” And not to be forgotten dude that really pitchy one Home Owners Associations better known as HOA’s. HOA BOY. They provide us with guidelines and when properly used a line to measure from to reduce the amount of conflicting information given to applicants. Hey dude, dude listen up now that is a little pitchy. White is not white it is Navaho White, Creamy White, etc. etc. Brown is Tan and Beige and maybe a name like Saddlewood, which sounds good for a horse town like San Juan Capistrano. You may think or ask what good are guidelines that are not specific so there is no confusion. Simply this, without some room for interpretation and flexibility we would have all the singers singing the same song the same way. So who decides the correct interpretation and who will be the next San Juan Idol? As with American Idol the final selection is by the Public in the form of their elected officials the City Council. The Council members take the opinions of the judges and determine if you are runner-up or the next San Juan Idol. The decision may not be what you think is the right one but the fact is when they make it that far they are typically all winners. Personally I would have (Cont. on page 19)

SOAPBOX Letters (Cont. from page 14) picked Big Mike. So what happens when the judges change? Will the new judges make the same selection? What happens when Simon leaves? There is one thing we will never be short of and that is opinions. We can only hope that the new judges’ opinions are based on established guidelines that allow individuality but also respect for the original artists melody (common sense). As election time gets closer and the contestants start warming up in the lobby signing their versions of the same old songs, “dude, dude, listen-up now it seems a little pitchy to me,” but in my over 30 years as a resident of San Juan Capistrano we have been fortunate to have judges who have made positive recommendations to the public (council members) who may seem to be giving us different advice but have always been in general agreement. So as Simon would say I am going to tell you honestly in my opinion judges that do not have an axe to grind and are open to the opinions of others, remaining flexible to those other opinions are My Idols. Please vote, and vote for those who are there for everyone and not the few who might try and make you believe they are there for you.

PAYOFF FOR NIELSEN? — Alvin Ehrig Orange County Democrats gathered at a posh San Juan estate last week to honor Mark Nielsen, candidate for re-election to San Juan City Council. This will gather many thousands of dollars, expected to make Nielsen the most heavily financed candidate and a shoe-in to capture re-election. In an unprecedented act Supervisor Pat Bates, the 5th District Supervisor and the representative of the giant Mission Viejo Ranch complex, will lead the fundraising effort. The Ranch recognizes a special debt to Nielsen because, in 2008, when the Ranch was cash-strapped and the real estate market had tanked, Nielsen, like the cavalry in the glory days of the Old West came riding to their rescue with his scheme to dispose of the Ranch’s 134 acres of marginally buildable land by inducing the city of San Juan Capistrano to purchase it as “Open Space” for $27.5 million under special Ranch-favorable “sweet-heart” conditions. Consequently, Supervisor Bates, who pretty much does t he Ranch’s bidding, will lead Nielsen’s fund raising campaign. Observers expect the amount of money, really a payoff for arranging the so-called “Open Space” sale, to be substantial. It will provide Nielsen with a nest egg for his future campaign for Assembly or Congress. The task for Bates is not so easy because Bates, a “Conservative Republican” is under criticism for her blatant support of Nielsen, a very liberal “Progressive” Democrat in the Obama-Washington mold. On the other hand, Bates has little to fear from affronted San Juan Republican voters because she is “termed out” and will not face them again. Nielsen, widely admired by Liberals as a rising star for the Democratic Party because of his success in “Progressivizing” San Juan Capistrano City Hall, will claim his prize for salvaging the Mission Viejo Ranch by “arranging” to get them 27.5 million dollars cash under the guise of an “Open Space” purchase. The voters of San Juan Capistrano, oblivious to all of this, had been expected to return Nielsen to the Council in November but, in recent weeks, many protests have been heard and Nielsen’s political “Empire” in San Juan Capistrano is crumbling.

SUPPORT FOR NIELSEN —Donna L. Friess, San Juan Capistrano As a 38-year resident of San Juan Capistrano whose Page 16 • The Capistrano Dispatch • October 8–21, 2010


It’s Just Politics


he famous British poet Percy Bysshe Shelly once said that “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” As an undergraduate student studying English literature that line always seemed to me to be a little PATRICK bit self-serving, placing the writer/ O’BRIEN poet in such a self-important role. Nonetheless, I did feel that he had something to say about writing that was interesting for all of us, including my former college students. Often we don’t know what we think until we write it and often that which we think may well be what many others have thought . To be hyper-English teacher, quoting another English poet, Alexander Pope, “what oft was thought be ne’er to well expressed.” Simply said. If I’m thinking it, there are probably others who feel the same way. If I go any further with this I’ll be forever branded an Anglophile—and all the snootiness that suggests—and my words will cause me to fall like a clown over a coil of rope in the circus tent. What in heavens name does all this have to do with San Juan? Quite a bit actually. The way I see it…there are a handful of locals who have some real anger in their verbiage. Besides the “Teapartiers” and others who have a fantasized view of our country and our town, forgetting slavery, injustice, incarcerating the Japanese during WWII, miscegenation, anti-undocumented workers attracted here by not only their need but ours—picking fruit, tending to our babies, very senior citizens etc. etc. which is the sad part of our history and part of our ongoing story, there are the “attack politicos.” My term. A recent flyer entitled “No Incumbents,” which

cites one incumbent and one other person running for city council seems to fit the “attack politco” profile. I was astonished at its tenor and its authorship. As I tried to understand why there was this intense dislike of one incumbent, I suddenly realized. It really wasn’t personal. It couldn’t be, considering the source. It was pure right-wing politics. It was a mini party of “No” focused on political party rather than on any real issues. It was politics as a football game. “Our team must win and yours must lose.” Bring in conspiracy, bring in a few figures and you can argue anything. It seems real. The problem is—winning or losing is not the point. The point is how will the village survive its problems. The writer throws away two very viable candidates and then says: “The specifics cited herein are not intended to be harmful, or malicious, however…” Wow! That’s kind of like saying: “Doesn’t she look beautifully fat in that dress?” Having an opinion is American. Arguing it is American. Though sending out a “hit piece” is part of politics, I think we should remember—that too is American, but not our best side, nor always the right thing to do. This is not a game. Patrick O’Brien has been a resident of San Juan Capistrano for 40 years. He taught English and Journalism at Cypress College and was Dean of Language Arts at the end of his teaching career. He is still active in writing a newsletter for the college and writes freelance for various publications, as well as currently “shopping around” four novels--a fifth is on the way. He and his wife Marilyn are originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. They have two grown children, Curt and Craig, both of whom have successful careers, one a producer of national television advertising and the other a “problem solver” and partner in the corporate computer-program world.

heart belongs to the jewel of the missions city, I am saddened by the lack of cordiality in the current City Council race. The attacks on Mark Nielsen in his quest for re-election are outside the bounds of what this city is really about. As I go on my daily dog walk through this wonderful community, I see my fellow residents enjoying everything that San Juan has to offer, whether it is horses galloping along the ridge line, children squealing over a soccer game, little leaguers encouraging each other, a packed crowd at the historic town park, or changes in the Los Rios District which continue to preserve its historical importance. When I look at all of this and think of the people who have worked so hard to make our town what it is, it is difficult for me to understand the current level of negativity in this campaign. My husband and I have known Mark Nielsen for many years and though we have not always agreed with him, we respect his strength, his loyalty, his keen intelligence and his commitment to our city. Mark Nielsen stands out among the many candidates because of his willingness to put actions behind his words. He does not just show up at events to be seen, he is there to work. The best example of his involvement with our community can be seen in AYSO soccer. Every single Saturday of soccer season Mark can be found all day long in his role as soccer referee. In the campaign for city council I think it is important to elect people who will actually work for us. Please join me in supporting Mark Nielsen for City Council.

Orange County. As part of that process, we looked at homes from Fullerton to San Clemente. What brought us to San Juan was the small town atmosphere (we both grew up in a small town in Illinois) and the school district—I won’t comment on what has been happening there. Lately, in the local paper and at City Council meetings I have noticed quite a change in that small town feeling that brought many of us to San Juan Capistrano. We are subjected to mailers and e-mails that either border on un-truths or tell out-and-out lies. We are rapidly approaching Chicago politics and believe me I am familiar with those as the small town my wife and I grew up in was a suburb of Chicago. Much of the nastiness seems to be directed at Mark Nielsen, which I have a hard time understanding. As far as I can tell, Mark’s only agenda is to keep what drew so many of us to San Juan in the first place—not the least of these his being instrumental in acquiring 240 acres of open space. He also spearheaded Measure X which brings any rezoning of public space to a vote of the people. He reduced spending while maintaining public safety. Mark was instrumental in the first ever strategic and financial plan for our city. I could continue with a much longer list but the intent of my letter is two fold: Question the facts and make sure that they are correct before you base your vote on false information and join me in voting for Mark Nielsen on November 2.


To submit a letter to the editor for possible inclusion in the paper, e-mail us at or send it to 34932 Calle del Sol, Suite B, Capistrano Beach, CA 92624. The Capistrano Dispatch reserves the right to edit reader-submitted letters for length and is not responsible for the claims made or the information written by the writers.

—Terry Holdt Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the move that my family and I made from Northern California to



THE LIST A day-by-day guide to what’s happening in and around town the next two weeks.




8 p.m. A Benefit Concert Bringing Smiles To Our Kids at The Coach House featuring The Ken Garcia Band / Dr. Jeff Briney & His All-Star Band / Passion Gitana / Sasha Evans. Tickets $20. 33157 Camino Capistrano, SJC, 949.496.8930, www.thecoachhouse. com.


8 p.m. Camino Real Playhouse presents a hilarious romantic comic opera with pirates, buccaneers and maidens. Great for the whole family. Shows through Oct. 31. Preview night tickets $24; regular tickets $28-$30. 31776 El Camino Real, SJC, 949.489.8082,


7:30 p.m.-11 p.m. Live music at The Vintage. 26701 B Verdugo St., SJC, 949.661.3400,


8:30 p.m. Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, SJC, 949.493.3188,


10 a.m.-4 p.m. Shop and browse the monthly art event showcasing 60 artists, craftspeople and musicians in downtown SJC along Camino Capistrano, Yorba, Verdugo and Los Rios. 949.493.4700,


12 p.m.-2 p.m. Try your luck at finding the gold in a custom-designed trough at Mission San Juan Capistrano. Free with admission $5-$9. 26801 Ortega Hwy., SJC, 949.234.1300,


2 p.m.-7 p.m. Fun, family-oriented celebration of Orange County wildlife featuring activities, food and more hosted by The Donna O’Neill Land Conservancy and The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo. Free event; please register. More info: 949.489.9778,


12 p.m.-4 p.m. Capo Animal Rescue Effort hosts a pet adoption every Saturday at PetSmart. A gallery of available pets is online. 33963 Doheny Park Road, 949.240.1735,


2:30-6:30 p.m. Live music at Swallow’s Inn; continues into the night starting at 8:30 p.m. with Brandt Vogel. 31786 Camino Capistrano, SJC, 949.493.3188,



The classic tale of Peter Pan of CGI Neverland. is now showing at the Orange A dozen projectors deliver the County Performing Arts Center, 360-degree presentation, which but J.M. Barrie’s 1904 play is transproducers say is the world’s first formed with the modern technical 360-degree projected movie for a wizardry reminiscent of “Soarin’ live theater performance. Over California,” letting characters But it’s not all high-tech: The take to the sky and weave through animals in the play, including the the London skyline. crocodile, are puppets. Flight to Neverland. Photo by Kevin Berne The performances of the 22 The production, shown in the actors are outstanding— Itxaso Moreno plays Tinkerbell with round, opened in May 2009 in Kensington Gardens, where such attitude she should be called “Stinkerbell”—but the Barrie was inspired to write the story. It played for 16 sold out 360-degree CGI theater set steals the show. The producweeks and the audience included Prince Charles and Camilla tion is a in a tent beside the Performing Arts Center, and the Parker Bowles. It premiered in the U.S. in April 2010. Peter Pan interior of the tent is lined with more than 15,000 square plays at the PAC through November 21. Tickets are $30 to feet of high-resolution video—three times the size of an Imax $75, and special tours and packages are available. See www. screen. That immerses the cast and audience in 360 degrees or call 714.556.2787.







7:30 p.m.-11 p.m. Live music at The Vintage. 26701 B Verdugo St., SJC, 949.661.3400,

1 p.m. SJC Historical Society leads a tour to see Los Rios Historical District, OíNeill Museum, Montanez Adobe, the Mission, Rios Adobe and more. Meet at the train depot on Verdugo Street. Every Sunday. $2 adults, $1 children. 949.493.8444,


10 a.m.-3 p.m. Annual Seafest at the SC Pier featuring a Chowder cook-off, arts & crafts show, surf contest, business expo, U.S. Coast Guard, face painting, kids’ rides and more! Free shuttle parking is available at San Clemente High School. More info: 949.492.1131,


7 a.m. participate in a 10k or 5k walk/run to benefit autism research, finding a cure and awareness. Meet at the Plaza Pacifica shopping center. 951 Avenida Pico,


2:30 p.m. Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, SJC, 949.493.3188,


10 a.m. Special screening of the movie Life As We Know It for parents of infants at the Krikorian, tickets $6.75. 641 Camino de los Mares, San Clemente, 949.661.7469,

10 a.m. Casa Romantica hosts storytime for youngsters ages 3-5; free. 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, 949.498.2139, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. On Wednesdays, SJC residents with a valid photo ID may pay for one adult admission and bring in a guest for free. Admission $5-$9. 26801 Ortega Hwy., SJC, 949.234.1300,


3 p.m.-7 p.m. Every Wednesday at El Camino Real and Yorba; 949.493.4700.


7 p.m. Popular musician performs everything at Ruby’s Sky Ranch every Wednesday. 949.496.7829,

thursday14 THE WEEPIES

8 p.m. Duo presents acoustic/pop sounds of their “Be My Thrill Tour” at The Coach House also with Parlor Hawk and Sarah Wallace. Tickets $15. 33157 Camino Capistrano, SJC, 949.496.8930,


8:30 p.m. Michael and Joyce run the bar at Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, SJC, 949.493.3188,



10 a.m.-5 p.m. Learn about the science of space, rockets, engineering and more in a fun exhibit for all ages at Discovery Science Center. Adults $12.95, kids $9.95. 2500 N. Main Street, Santa Ana, 714.542.2823,


6:30 p.m. Free dance lessons and DJ Bubba at Swallow’s Inn. Free popcorn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, SJC, 949.493.3188,

tuesday12 CUSD MEETING

7 p.m. The Capo school district board meets in the Education Center Board Room, 33122 Valle Road, SJC, 949.234.9200,


8 p.m. Live acoustic music at BeachFire Ladera. 25682 Crown Valley, Ladera Ranch, 949.542.7700,


8:30 p.m. Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, SJC, 949.493.3188,


8 p.m. Led Zeppelin tribute band at The Coach House also with Inberst and Suburban Skies. Tickets $15. 33157 Camino Capistrano, SJC, 949.496.8930,


6 p.m.-9 p.m. The solo mariachi guitarist plays at El Adobe every Friday and Saturday night. 31891 Camino Capistrano, SJC, 949.493.1163,


7:30 p.m.-11 p.m. Live music at The Vintage. 26701 B Verdugo St., SJC, 949.661.3400,


9 p.m. Live pop music and happy hour all night at BeachFire Ladera Ranch. 25682 Crown Valley, 949.542.7700, (Cont. on page 23) October 8–21, 2010 • The Capistrano Dispatch • Page 21


Dispatch Restaurant Spotlight


By Rachel Namson and Madi Swayne

Mr. B’s Pizza Kitchen

31111 Rancho Veijo Road, San Juan Capistrano, 949.240.8100, BEST KNOWN FOR: Italian pizza, sandwiches and pasta MOST POPULAR ITEM: The Godfather Pizza

Web Extra: Online voters gave

A taste of Italy—or should we say, a slice of Italy—awaits at Mr. B’s Pizza Kitchen. Owner Richard Bracamonte has been serving up homemade Italian food since opening in February 2010. His menu boasts a variety of favorites, including the Godfather pizza. Topped with cheese, sausage, pepperoni, bell peppers, black olives, onion and capicola, this pie really is a meal you can’t refuse. Another favorite, the Torpedo sandwich, is served with salami, provolone, mortadella and all the fixings. Customer care sets Mr. B’s pizza apart—they aim to please by offering pizza of every thickness, from super thin to extra thick, with every topping from fresh tomato to meatballs. Everything is made to order, just the way you like it. Mr. B’s also puts a regional twist on the traditional with the brand new Capistrano pizza. The Capistrano’s toppings uphold the town’s south-of-the-border flare with beans, jalapeños and chorizo. A tasty way to top off your meal is with a homemade cannoli—a pastry shell filled with sweet Ricotta cream and chocolate chips, lightly dusted with powdered sugar—delizioso! Owner Richard Bracamonte (center), with Luis Galindos and Jose Perez. Photo by Madi Swayne

PRICE RANGE: $3.45-$25.95 RESERVATIONS: Not necessary

Have you eaten at this restaurant? Go to www.thecapistranodispatch. com and rate your overall experience. We’ll post the results in next week’s issue of The Dispatch.

PAYMENT: Cash, credit card HOURS: Tuesday-Sunday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Enne Cucina Italiana 647 Camino de los Mares, San Clemente, 949.940.8845 (Rated on a scale of 1–5 stars)

Last issue online voters gave

Mario’s by the Sea 32545 Golden Lantern, Suite F, Dana Point, 949.240.1967 (Rated on a scale of 1–5 stars)

ABOUT OUR REVIEWS: In each issue we’ll highlight universally critical points including “Most Popular Dish,” “Best Known For” and “Price Range.” But most importantly, we’re inviting you to participate each week and rate the restaurant based on your experiences. Go to and under “Restaurant Guide,” rate it from 1 to 5, then share your thoughts on the Dispatch forums. (Cont. from page 21)



6 p.m.-10 p.m. Annual celebration at the Mission featuring food, live entertainment, casino, auction and more. Proceeds benefit local businesses. Tickets $75 each or $850 for a table for 10. 26801 Ortega Hwy., SJC, 949.493.4700,


10 a.m. Discover 200 years of San Juan Capistrano architecture on a 90-minute guided walk that includes adobes, Spanish-era dwellings and modern buildings. Meet at Verdugo Street. Occurs every Saturday. $5 donation. 949.489.0736.


6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Blues guitarist Eric Bibb performs as part of the Multicultural Arts Music Concerts at the Library. Tickets $10 adults, $5children 12 and under. 31495 El Camino Real, SJC, 949.493.1752,


10 a.m.-2 p.m. The Ark of San Juan hosts a pet adoption at Pets Plus in San Juan Capistrano off Del Obispo & Camino Capistrano. 949.388.0034,


5 p.m. German beer & dinner specials, contests, dancing, bagpipe Band, etc. at BeachFire Ladera. 25682 Crown Valley, Ladera Ranch, 949.542.7700,


8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Children and adults can listen to Spanish-speaking audio tours at the Mission daily. Admission of $5-$9. 26801 Ortega Hwy., SJC, 949.234.1300,


8 p.m. The rock ‘n’ roll giants play at The Coach House also with Twice Fooled. Tickets $35. 33157 Camino Capistrano, SJC, 949.496.8930,

monday18 STEAK NIGHT

6 p.m. Get your steaks made-to-order at Swallow’s Inn and enjoy drink specials and more. 31786 Camino Capistrano, SJC, 949.493.3188,


7:30 p.m. Discuss books in Spanish at the library. Contact library for this month’s book. 31495 El Camino Real, 949.493.1752,


11 a.m. Children ages 3 to 6 and their caregivers are invited for stories, rhymes, crafts and fun. Session runs through Oct. 26. No registration required. 31495 El Camino Real, SJC, 949.493.1752,


The Social Network Succeeds


Half-price on all fishing trips, whale watching and other adventures at Dana Wharf every Tuesday. 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.496.5794, www.danawharf..


8 p.m. Live music at BeachFire Ladera Ranch. 25682 Crown Valley, 949.542.7700,


10 a.m.-1 p.m. The first and third Wednesdays of the month, experience the art of basket-weaving at the Mission. Admission $5-$9. 26801 Ortega Hwy., SJC, 949.234.1300,


11 a.m. Children of all ages are invited for stories and crafts in Spanish and English. No registration required.31495 El Camino Real, SJC, 949.493.1752,


8 p.m. Soulful Originals at BeachFire Ladera Ranch. 25682 Crown Valley, 949.542.7700,


6:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Live music at The Vintage. 26701 B Verdugo St., SJC, 949.661.3400,


8 p.m. The hit female artist performs at The Coach House also with Sasha Evans and Alyssa Jacey. Tickets $25. 33157 Camino Capistrano, SJC, 949.496.8930,


8 p.m. Music at BeachFire Ladera Ranch. 25682 Crown Valley, 949.542.7700,

*For our full calendar, visit the “Event Calendar” at Have an event? Send your listing to

Jesse Eisenberg as “Mark Zuckerberg” in The Social Network. © Columbia Tristar

Twenty years ago, if you worked with computers on a daily basis you were either an engineer or bona fide nerd. But now these types of people can also be the brains behind the most popular websites on the Internet. And with this in mind, enter David Fincher’s latest feature film, The Social Network. Set in Fall 2003, a genius Harvard undergrad named Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) goes on a date with a girl he likes (Rooney Mara), but discovers by the end of the date that she was completely turned off by his overall persona. He ends up getting drunk and ranting about her on his blog, and ultimately creates a poll by the end of the night comparing college girls’ faces—obtaining pictures of them through illegal hacker means. Mark then gains notoriety overnight and is then hired by two hot shot Harvard athlete twins (simultaneously played by Armie Hammer) to build a social network exclusively for Harvard students. Mark agrees, but decides midway through the project to make the network his sole creation—bringing along his best friend Eduardo (Andrew Garfield), Napster founder Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) and over a million college student members to his private online community called Facebook. The Social Network isn’t about Facebook and its content or users, but the odd guy who made it all happen just to gain some attention, and ended up having it explode his face. Much like Citizen Kane, Mark is a rather lonely protagonist who tries to change all that with a mixture of excess and success. Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin spend little time showing us the actual site, tapping into the arrogance and thoughtlessness of these brash kids who thought they couldn’t go wrong. Sorkin’s sharp dialogue, Fincher’s cinematic vision, fresh acting from Eisenberg, Garfield and Hammer and a unique, electronic score by Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, collaborate to give us the most interesting film of the fall season so far, which by the last scene, still feels like it’s only begun. CD —Megan Bianco October 8–21, 2010 • The Capistrano Dispatch • Page 23





tuesday 10.12

tuesday 10.19

Coffee Chat 8 a.m. The Capistrano Dispatch hosts a spirited town hall forum on community issues. All are welcome. Camino Real Playhouse, on El Camino Real, just south of Ortega Highway. Occurs every Friday.

CUSD Board of Education Meeting 7 p.m. CUSD Headquarters, 33122 Valle Road,

City Council Meeting 6:30 p.m. City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto.

Friday 10.15

Wednesday 10.20

saturday 10.09 Second Saturday Art Fair 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Artists of all mediums fill the downtown and live music fills the air.

Coffee Chat 8 a.m. Representatives of The Home Depot present preliminary plans for a home-improvement store on the Lower Rosan. The public is encouraged to attend. Camino Real Playhouse, on El Camino Real, just south of Ortega Highway.

Special City Council Meeting 5 p.m. City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. The council works on its long-term vision plan for the city.

Friday 10.22 Next regular issue of The Dispatch publishes.

Mission Announces Plans for New Front Gate The Capistrano Dispatch


ission San Juan Capistrano officials used their 2010 Romance of the Mission fundraiser as the stage to announce plans for a new entry and gift shop that will preserve a 1770’s historic building and return it to use as a museum. The September 10 gala, which honored Gilbert Aguirre of Rancho Mission Viejo for his dedication to historic preservation, netted $198,000. “This fundraiser was the beginning of a new chapter in the Mission’s history,” said Mission San Juan Capistrano Executive Director Mechelle Lawrence. “The Gate House Preservation Project will be nothing short of excellence in design, safety, compatibility and respect for the historic site. Romance of the Mission featured a magnificent live concert in the ruins of the Great Stone Church with Orange County native and internationally acclaimed soprano Robin Follman. Backed by the Ron Kobayashi Quartet, also of Orange County, Follman captivated

Left: Gilbert Aguirre, photographed here with former Mayor Wyatt Hart, was honored at the Mission Gala. Right: George O’Connell, photographed with his wife, Eden, is a longtime Mission supporter who emceed the event. Courtesy photos

guests with a wide selection of both classical and contemporary music. Aguirre, Rancho Mission Viejo’s Vice President of Operations, was recognized as honorary event chair

by Mission Preservation Foundation Board Chair George O’Connell. Aguirre has been integral to the conservation of the Serra Chapel, Great Stone Church and South Wing. CD

Seafit Studio Opens By Jonathan Volzke The Capistrano Dispatch


ity and Chamber of Commerce officials were on hand in September when Jessica Oltmans, center with certificate, opened her SeaFit Studio on Rancho Viejo Road. SeaFit offers SPX Fitness; a Pilates-inspired workout infusing cardio and strength training for optimal full body sculpting. Seafit is the first studio in Orange County to offer the all-new 2010 Megaformers, created by celebrity fitness guru Sebastien Lagree, founder of SPX Fitness and Pilates Plus. Oltmans, a mother of four children under six, said she had limited time to spend at the gym, and her search on how to stay active led her to SPX Fitness. “My life was changed forever,” she said. “I am very proud to offer this amazing, safe and unique 45-minute full-body workout to South Orange County.” SeaFit is at 31654 Rancho Viejo Road, Ste. A. (Ironically, next to Wendi’s Donuts.) Call 949.388.0002 or see CD

Page 24 • The Capistrano Dispatch • October 8–21, 2010


Volunteers Haul 2 Tons from Creek

Left: Cole Robinson, 3, with Hope Crossing Church was at the cleanup with his father, Matt Robinson of Ladera Ranch. Middle: Teacher Ann Lewis, with her children Weston, 10, Lily, 9, cleaned the banks with their friend, Marty Romero, 12. Right: The Henson family, Corey, Mike and Cali, 9, waded in to help. Photos by Jonathan Volzke The Capistrano Dispatch


ore than 300 volunteers removed roughly 1.5 tons of trash and a half ton of recyclables from San Juan Capistrano’s creeks during the annual creek clean up day September 25. The event, which was part of a statewide cleanup of beaches and inland waterways, attracted groups, organizations, individuals, families and friends who met at Los Rios Park before scouring the creek picking up litter. Mayor Lon Uso welcomed the crowd and spoke about the importance of what people do for the environ-

ment. Councilman Mark Nielsen echoed the importance of caring for the environment, and Mayor Pro Tem Laura Freese—who rode her bike to the event— said she was elated to see the dedicated volunteers take part in such a wonderful event. Cleaning the creeks and watersheds that drain to the ocean keeps trash and debris from ending up on local beaches. Before and after the event at Los Rios Park, volunteers enjoyed breakfast sponsored by the Bagel Shack and a barbecue lunch provided by the San Juan Capistrano Rotary Club. The city expressed gratitude to the volunteers and

groups that participated, including the Surfrider Foundation; Great Opportunities; Trout Unlimited; Ortega 4H Rangers; San Juan Capistrano Rotary Club; Hope Crossing Community Church; Church of Jesus of Latter Day Saints; and members of the City’s Youth Advisory Board. CD

Shea Barbecue Raises $400,000 The Capistrano Dispatch


ore than 1,500 attendees at the Annual BBQ and Family Faire helped raise $400,000 during The Shea Center’s annual fundraising event to benefit therapeutic equestrian programs that serve people with disabilities. The September 25 event began with demonstrations by Shea Center riders assisted by staff and volunteers. The eight demo riders—ages 3 to 78—are representative of The Shea Center’s more than 500 clients that will be served during 2010. Eighty percent of all Shea Center riders are under age 18. As emcee and auctioneer, Shawn Parr of Go Country 105 brought high energy and enthusiasm to the event, raising more than $16,000 in the live auction and $206,000 in the Fosheim Fund—a fund named for long-time supporters Penny and Jon Fosheim—which supports financial aid and program needs. Gifts made by the Klein and O’Connell families set the tone at $50,000 each. Athletes from JSerra Catholic High School and St. Margaret’s Episcopal School helped prepare the center for the event and clean up afterward, while members of the National Charity League helped during the barbecue. The Shea Center served 390 people during 2009 and expects to serve nearly 500 in 2010. Services offered include physical, occupational and speech therapies. Nearly 450 volunteers are active each year at the organization, which relies almost entirely on donations for its $2 million annual operations budget. For more information, go to or call 949.240.8441 x109. CD

Above: Members of the lacrosse team from St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, above, volunteered to help get the Shea Center ready for the barbecue, as did members of the JSerra Catholic High School baseball team and other volunteers. Courtesy photo

Left: Shea rider Charlie H. is helped by leader Judy Shumaker, sidewalker on the right Susan Alexander and sidewalker on the left Savannah Stubban. Photo by Joseph Mason

October 8–21, 2010 • The Capistrano Dispatch • Page 25


Capo Helps Shape New Housing Law


’ve often heard council members and city staff remark that it was unreasonable for the State of California to require San Juan to build more affordable housing. We already had a large supply of small condos in the downtown and other areas, they reaGILA soned, and it seemed we were unfairly JONES “not getting credit” for the affordable units already here. I applied to the city’s Housing Advisory Committee in 2009 determined to understand this issue and whether it could be changed. In my 18 months on the committee I’ve learned a lot about the state’s affordable housing laws, much more than you want to read about. Here are the main, but somewhat simplified, points. 1) Most people think “affordable housing” is whatever is available in a community at a cheap price. It’s cheap because it’s undesirable. 2) That’s not the state’s definition of affordable housing. To the State of California, an affordable housing unit is one that’s been set aside specifically for people with demonstrable low incomes. 3) Affordable housing is not (usually) privately owned. It’s generally owned by a government agency or a non-profit housing corporation and rented to qualifying individuals at a controlled price. This means that although San Juan Capistrano may have a lot of what seems like “affordable housing,” almost none of it meets the state’s definition. The units aren’t being rented to people with proven financial need, and the tenants pay market rates rather than controlled affordable rates. Though I came to understand these constraints,

they seemed wrong. All over Orange County I see low income families living in crowded, poorly maintained apartments and condos. I thought the State should allow cities to purchase, refurbish, and rent some of these units to qualifying people. Why should cities be required to supply only new affordable units? What about the people living in substandard existing homes? Weren’t they being ignored in the drive to build new? I began thinking about ways the law could be changed to allow cities like San Juan to help our low income residents, improve older neighborhoods, and meet part of our State affordable housing mandate. Then-Mayor Mark Nielsen and I tried to interest several state legislators in this problem, but it wasn’t until the city’s lobbyist, Townsend Public Affairs, got involved that we finally started to make headway. Eventually I began working with the Townsend staff and San Juan’s Housing and Redevelopment Coordinator, Laura Stokes, to write language for a bill. With Townsend’s help, Assemblywoman Diane Harkey agreed to be the bill’s author and last February our bill, AB 1867, was finally introduced into the Assembly. Laura Stokes and I continued to work on the bill with our lobbyist and the assemblywoman’s staff throughout the year. It passed the Assembly in April and the State Senate in August, and we spent September waiting impatiently to hear whether Governor Schwarzenegger would sign it into law. On Tuesday, September 28, after hundreds of meetings, emails, and phone calls, we learned he had done so. AB 1867 will allow California cities to meet up to 25 percent of their affordable housing requirement by purchasing and refurbishing existing condos and making them available to qualified renters at affordable rates. In San Juan it’s anticipated that the units we

obtain will be part of a program similar to our successful Little Hollywood program, which has helped many low income people move from substandard housing to affordable rentals. Finally we can “get credit” for housing we already have, while improving low income neighborhoods and making sure deserving low income people have access to safe, uncrowded, and well-maintained homes. It took many months of work, but in the end the City of San Juan Capistrano got everything we’d hoped for. Gila Jones has lived in San Juan Capistrano for 30 years, where she raised two children, owned two homes, worked, worshipped and volunteered. She is chairwoman of the city’s Housing Advisory Commission, but any views expressed here are solely her own. She is also the Democratic candidate for State Senate representing San Juan Capistrano.

Larry Thomas Receives Mayor’s Business Award

Army Again Wins Chili Cook-Off Chamber Executive Director Mark Bodenhamer with Business of the Year recipient Larry Thomas, Chamber President Becky Rodarte and Bill Cole at a celebration of Thomas’ honor at the San Juan Hills Golf Course. Photo by Lauralyn Loynes

The Capistrano Dispatch


Left: Capistrano’s own Leslie and Jim Leone, champion gun spinners, put on a demonstration that whipped Jim into shape. Right: Wives and members of the Marine Corps 1/11, Capistrano’s “adopted” battalion, were on hand for the Great Western Grubfest. Although local favorites, the Army’s chili won out. Photos by Joseph Mason

The Capistrano Dispatch


he Army’s 1394th Transportation Group again took top honors at Homefront America’s Grubfest chili cook off on September 26 at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School. The Army’s team took first place last year, too. USC Alumni, South Orange County Chapter won 1st place in the civilian category. The Submarine Squadron 11 won second place overall for Best Chili, and The Marine Air Group (MAG 11) came in third overall, but Page 26 • The Capistrano Dispatch • October 8–21, 2010

did win for the Best Decorated Booth. Organizer Maime Maywhort reported that despite 100-degree temperatures (and trouble with the beer truck) Homefront America raised a little more than $20,000. The Capistrano-based charity uses the money to support military families. In the dunk tank, Capistrano’s Chief of Police Services Lt. Dan Dwyer was the top money-earner, as folks paid a total of $129 to drop him the watere. Mayor Lon Uso was the second-most-popular target. Dwyer’s charity for the money was the troops. CD

arry Thomas, who founded Independence Bank with his brother Chuck in 2004, is the recipient of the Mayor’s Award for 2010 Business Leader of the Year. Mayor Lon Uso presented Thomas with the award on September 21. Thomas also serves on the board of the Chamber of Commerce and is often present at City Council meetings to speak in favor of the city’s business community. Independence Bank’s assets today are $350 million. Larry serves as First Vice President and manages the bank’s operations in South Orange County. Larry and Chuck Thomas founded Independence Bank with the philosophy the business should be a good corporate citizen, and in addition to his positions on the Chamber board, including serving as President last year, he is past president of the Costa Mesa Sunrise Rotary and is a member of the board of trustees for the Capistrano Valley Symphony. His chamber friends and co-workers surprised him with a celebratory party at San Juan Hills Golf Course after he received the honor. Larry and his wife, Brenda, live in San Clemente and have five sons and seven grandchildren. CD


The Historic Garcia Adobe O ur wonderful old Mission is, without a doubt, the oldest and most historic structure in town. And certainly the remaining few little adobes are almost as old and historic, however my favorite adobe is the Garcia Adobe. Located on Camino DON Capistrano, it’s one of the few remainTRYON ing two-story Monterey adobes left in California and the only one in Orange County near the El Adobe de Capistrano Restaurant. Justifiably it’s on the National Register of Historic Places and possibly the second most historic building, after the Mission, in town. Its history is rich and the legends are fascinating. The adobe was built in 1841 by Don Manuel Garcia, known as “El Portugues” because he came from Portugal. It first became known as Casa de Tapanco. Back then, and briefly for Mexican government political reasons, our town was called Pueblo San Juan de Arguello. Garcia operated a store on the lower floor and rented rooms above for travelers along the El Camino Real. This was our first hotel which became a stage coach stop and tavern. In earlier times travelers would have been accommodated at the Mission. In 1857 Juan Flores, California’s infamous bandito, and his “Manilas” raided San Juan and looted many of its stores in town including the one run by Manuel Garcia and Miguel Kraszewski. In a store nearby, Jorge Pflugardt was killed when his store was looted during the raid. Meanwhile, Miguel hid in a large Spanish basket while the raiders sat down nearby at a table in his store and had dinner. Either the raiders did not see him, or ignored him, but he lived to tell this hair-raising tale. Garcia left town shortly afterward and the adobe changed hands several times. In the 1870s, the first American-era post office was established in the adobe. Later Domingo Oyharzabal, a Basque sheepherder, purchased it sometime around 1880. Garcia previously had only partially covered the ground floor with a second story, so Domingo completed the second story and installed the beautiful carved balcony and wooden

Photo by Jonathan Volzke

railing with a very striking lace-like filigree design. After refurbishing the adobe, he established it as the French Hotel. The name picked was probably because he was French-Basque. The late Father St. John O’Sullivan, Mission Restorer, had written that this hotel was a popular spot for the townspeople to gather and await the stage coach when it pulled into town. They enjoyed meeting the passengers and hear all the latest news from Los Angeles and San Diego. There was no TV or radio then and newspapers were scarce. Many of the passengers would stay over to see the Mission ruins or visit the San Juan Hot Springs, northeast of town. The stop was a welcome rest as stage coach travel was arduous, dusty and dirty. Domingo Oyharzabal and his descendents continued to operate a general merchandise store downstairs and the hotel above for many years. They also had a barn with some out-buildings in back and operated a small farm. Next door is the historic Domingo Yorba Adobe in which descendent Carmen Oyharzabal lives. Ynez Forster Romer operated the La Casa de Adobe Restaurant downstairs in the Garcia Adobe in the 1940s and specialized in Spanish dishes. On the north side of the adobe a one story structure was built in the 1930s and was first

used as a garage and later converted into a small store. When Carmen’s mother, Eugenia, passed away in 1996, she willed the Garcia and Yorba adobes, along with the barn and out-buildings, to the Diocese of Orange with the proviso that Carmen be permitted to reside in the Yorba Adobe until she passes away. A few renters had used the Garcia Adobe for commercial purposes and one of our venerated old timers, David Corona, and his wife Maria lived upstairs until they too passed away. Now the adobe remains empty and no one seems to know what the plans are for its future. There is, of course, much conjecture around town. A group of townspeople had hoped the Bowers Museum would come forth and use this building for their Rancho Period Collection. Bowers Museum officials have indicated they would like to move the collection to our town but offer no money to bring it about. Sadly the adobe sits vacant, may be deteriorating, and with an uncertain future may just melt away like so many of our former adobes. This would be a much lamented lost treasure. Don Tryon is a Director and Archivist for the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society and member of the City Cultural Heritage Commission.

Annual Barn Dance Set for Saturday The Capistrano Dispatch


coalition of community groups are asking residents to join them for what promises to be a fun-filled, Western night of food, music, dancing, gaming tables and beer and wine tasting at the San Juan Capistrano Equestrian Coalition’s 8th Annual Barn Dance & Equestrian Fair on Saturday, October 9 at the Blenheim Farms in San Juan Capistrano. Tickets for the event, which runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., will be available online and at the door. This year, the Barn Dance Committee will honor Rancho Mission Viejo at the Barn Dance with the Coalition’s Distinguished Equestrian Award for its service to the San Juan equestrian community. The award will be accepted by Gilbert Aguirre. The San Juan Capistrano Equestrian Coalition has once again selected St. Margaret’s Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano and Special Camp for Special Kids programs as partners for the 8th Annual Barn Dance & Equestrian Fair. The equestrian heritage of San Juan Capistrano is one of the most unique and beloved parts of our Page 28 • The Capistrano Dispatch • October 8–21, 2010

San Juan Capistrano residents Michele and Brian Maryott and their children Maxwell and Tessa, who attend St. Margaret’s, at the 2009 Barn Dance. Courtesy photo

historic town, Coalition members say. This event supports the equestrian activities and facilities of our community. Proceeds from the event will also benefit

Breakthrough SJC, Special Camp for Special Kids and the San Juan Capistrano Equestrian Coalition. Breakthrough SJC, a year-round program sponsored by St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, works to help high-potential, under-represented students from San Juan Capistrano gain new academic and study skills and opportunity for a path to college. At the same time, Breakthrough SJC provides a positive classroom experience to 16 bright college and high school student-teachers to encourage them to consider pursuing careers in education. Special Camp for Special Kids provides a one-of-akind educational and recreational summer day camp for youth with disabilities in one-to-one peer relationships with volunteer counselors. Founded and based at St. Margaret’s, Special Camp just celebrated its 19th year. The mission of the San Juan Capistrano Equestrian Coalition is to support the unique character and charm of the equestrian heritage of Capistrano and is devoted to maintaining the standards and infrastructure of the equestrian profile, activities and facilities. The Coalition has hosted the Barn Dance & Equestrian Fair to support its efforts for the past seven years. For more information, see CD

Locals Only

B u s i n e s s D i r e c t o r y The only directory featuring San Juan Capistrano businesses exclusively ALSO





Air Conditioning DC Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning 949.365.9044

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Oasis Air Conditioning & Heating 949.420.1321 31648 Rancho Viejo Rd., Ste. A,

Sarah Whitcomb Antique Restoration 949.234.9740 32432 Alipaz, Ste. B,

Assisted Living Del Obispo Terrace 949.496.8802 32200 Del Obispo Street,

Chick’s Plumbing, Inc.

Attorney 949.248.0260


Comerica Bank 949.234.9683 32022 Camino Capistrano, Suite F3, Independence Bank 949.373.1570 Marbella Plaza 31107 Rancho Viejo Rd., Pacific Mercantile Bank 949.487.4200 31601 Avenida Los Cerritos, Ste 100,

Beauty Salon 949.240.1200 949.240.9240

BUSINESS COMPUTER SERVICES Lightning Technology, Inc. 949.488.0029 32963 Calle Perfecto,

CARPET CLEANING Capistrano Beach Steam Clean


ELECTRIC CONTRACTORS Four-A Electric 949.240.8844 32432 Alipaz, Ste. C,

Historic Mission San Juan Capistrano Exciting New Audio Tour 949.234.1300 26801 Ortega Highway,




HOME THEATER Reeltime Sight and Sound 949.240.0555 26381 Via De Anza,

HYPNOTHERAPY Jennifer Wong, Cht - Certified Hypnotherapist & Meditation Instructor 949.878.6870 30320 Rancho Viejo Rd. Ste. #103,

Insurance Capistrano Health & Life



Kitchen Design Kitchen & Bath Designs 27231 Ortega Hwy., Unit B



Orange Coast Database Association 949-489-1472 Sparklean Laundry 32422 Allipaz St., Ste. B, 31952 Del Obispo




San Clemente Computer & Network Services Jarvis Restoration 949.362.5388 949.276.1581 31942 Paseo Sagrado,

Construction Services Tony Brown Design & Build e-mail

Alerra Home Health Services 949.545.6646 32332 Camino Capistrano #205,

Slab leak repair

A to Z Leak Detection 949.499.4464 Pronto Plumbing (El Plomero) 949.246.3589 31878 Del Obispo Ste. 118-227, SCP Plumbing/ CuraFlo of O.C. 949.493.2426 27126 Paseo Espada STE. 705, DC Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning 949.365.9044

SCP Plumbing/ CuraFlo of O.C. 949.493.2426 27126 Paseo Espada STE. 705,

TELEVISION Reeltime Sight and Sound 26381 Via De Anza,


WATER DAMAGE Jarvis Restoration 949.362.5388 31942 Paseo Sagrado,

PRESCHOOLS Mission Parish School 949.234.1385 31641 El Camino Real,



Women’s Clothing

RestaurantS Las Golandrinas Mexican Food 949.240.3440 27124 Paseo Espada #803, Skimmer’s Panini Café 949.276.6300 31451 Rancho Viejo Rd. #103,

ROOF MANAGEMENT SERVICES Bryan Krueger Enterprises, Inc. 33208 Paseo De Cerveza, Ste. B

Blu:Echo 949.496.4810 31878 Del Obispo (Marshalls Center)

YOGA Adelanto Studio Yoga & Life Arts 32118 Paseo Adelanto, Ste.9,



Mother Earth Flowers 949.493.4400 32158 Camino Capistrano, Ste. 105

Abby’s Fine Jewelry Design 949.493.3632 32382 Del Obispo, Ste. C-3,

Community Services CHEC Family Resource Center 31411 La Matanza Street, Suite B


Photo & Digital Lab San Juan Photo & Digital 949.661.5668 32301 Camino Capistrano,

Printing OC 949.388.4888 Bayside Window Cleaning 27134 Paseo Espada #B 203,

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Charisma Salon & Supply 32301-F Camino Capistrano Curtis Michaels Hair Salon 31882 Del Obispo, Ste. 150,

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Proudly Serving South Orange County Since 1975 949.496.9731

Auto Repair Star Motors 32959 Calle Perfecto

The Medicine Shoppe 949.661.9141 Capistrano Valley Christian Schools 949.493.5683 31952 Del Obispo #270, 32032 Del Obispo Street,


Antique Restoration

Law Office of Skinner & Skinner 31461 Rancho Viejo Rd., Ste. 103



Friess Electric 949.248.4222 32332 Camino Capistrano, Suite 102


949.661.2054 Capistrano Health & Life


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October 8–21, 2010 • The Capistrano Dispatch • Page 31


Didier Selected San Juan Hills’ Homecoming Queen Group photo left to right: Lauren Adagio, Jordan Anderson, Darian Didier, Megan Merda and Negeen Sadeghi react as Didier is crowned Ho mecoming Queen. Pho tos by Joseph Mason

By Jonathan Volzke The Capistrano Dispatch


arian Didier, known as simply “D” around the San Juan Hills High campus, was named 2010 Homecoming Queen during half-time of the September 30 football game. Members of the court include Lauren Adagio, Jordan Anderson, Mega Merda and Negeen Sadeghi. Darian is actively involved in fashion and taking the ROP class Careers in Fashion. After high school, she plans to continue her love of fashion by attending the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and becoming a fashion stylist. In Darian’s spare time she enjoys relaxing at the beach. Darian was escorted by

her father, Dave Didier. Adagio was also escorted by her father, JP Adagio. Lauren enjoys swimming and baking. Anderson, nicknamed Jojo, was escorted by her father, Dave Anderson. Jordan enjoys drawing, acting and dancing and is a member of both National Honor Society and Mariners. Jordan is an active member of the drama department and has participated in eight school productions. After high school, Jordan plans on attending college. Homecoming court nominee Megan Merda was escorted by her father, Brad Merda. Megan is on the varsity volleyball team and in the yearbook class. She plans on attending the University of Oregon after high school.

Nominee Negeen Sadeghi, escorted by her father, Saeed Sedeghi, enjoys blogging, singing and Persian dancing. She is currently a member of ASB and holds the position of Senior Class President. She is also a member of the Habitat for Humanity Club and loves to watch San Diego Chargers football. After high school Negeen plans to go to college to study business. San Juan Hills, which has not had a graduating class yet, celebrated Homecoming with a rousing half-time show patterned after the Mario Brothers video game that included all four classes of students—including SJHHS’ first senior class. The football boosters hosted a Bad to the Bone tailgate party before the game. CD

Dracula Opening at San Juan Hills High The Capistrano Dispatch


chill runs down your spine as you hear the faint sound of flapping wings and see an ambiguous movement of dark shadows with a slight rustling of a curtain. You catch your breath. Just as you start to relax and convince yourself it is your imagination, the menacing and mesmerizing Count Dracula steps out of the darkness. There would be no Edward or Bella if there had not been Dracula or Lucy. For vampire fans and theatre lovers a like San Juan Hills High School Theatre Arts Department will be performing Dracula by John Balderston and Hamilton Deane. It is presented by special arrangement by Samuel French, Inc. Show times are 7 p.m. on October 13, 14, 15 and 16 Page 32 • The Capistrano Dispatch • October 8–21, 2010

in the San Juan Hills High School Theatre. Tickets are $14 for Orchestra seating and $13 with ASB card and $12 for balcony and $11 with ASB card. October 13 is a special student performance, so student tickets are just $5 with school I.D. The show is directed by Robb Rigg, with Student Director Brooke Dettman. The stage is managed by Lindsey Treff and Jordan Anderson, and Scenic Design is by Mitch Keller, Sound Design by Megan Walley and Jake LaRosa and Lighting Design by Amy Cheever. The cast includes Cody Nord as Count Dracula, Teryn Gray as Lucy Seward, Evan Frolov as Van Helsing, Leo Moneymaker as Renfield, Taylor Block as John Harker, Sara Scolieri as Mina, Wylie Simpson as Dr. Seward, Elizabeth Drake as Wells and Jon Phillips as Butterworth. CD








Nuggets vs. Clippers, Staples Center October 14, 7:30 p.m.

Friars vs. Lions Saddleback Valley College October 15, 7:30 p.m.

The Dolphins are ready to bring the heat and continue their dominating ways as they host a tough El Toro crew in a Info: www.homedepotcenter. key match.

NBA preseason basketball is in full swing. Head to Los Angeles if you have the time and take in a fun game as the Clippers host the Denver Nuggets.

JSerra looks to prove their resolve in the tough Trinity League as they face the top-ranked Servite Friars at Saddleback College.


Info: www.

Cougars vs. Dolphins, Tesoro High School October 8, 7:30 p.m.

Toronto FC vs. Chivas USA, Home Depot Center October 9, 7:30 p.m.

The Mustangs are on a roll this season and will look to continue its solid momentum as they host Huntington Beach

Head out to the Home Depot Center to watch another solid MLS battle on the pitch as Chivas USA hosts Toronto FC.



Chargers vs. Dolphins, Dana Hills High School October 12, 5 p.m.



Don’t Ever Underestimate the Heart of a Champion Stallions Romp University in Homecoming Game By Cameron Sadeghi The Capistrano Dispatch


wo words: Will Acromite. From three touchdowns in the first half, to four touchdowns in a game, it couldn’t have been scripted any better. A 45-16 rout has made Will Acromite’s stock go higher than any other because of his pocket awareness. If you made a bubble map about Will Acromite’s game on Thursday night, it would be full of adjective phrases. On the timing routes, he threw the ball into a position where only a receiver can get it, and on third downs he understood his hot route to fire on third downs. Also, when he threw the screens he got it out at the perfect timing so the defensive line would not be able to catch Michael Perriman. Lastly, his second touchdown in the 2nd quarter was in the back of the end zone to a tight end which tells you a lot. From a quarterback standpoint, he did a “look off” (looking at a receiver, but firing it to a different one) in which only a hand select of quarterbacks can do that very well, and I believe that Will is one of them. Aside from Acromite, Perriman went 98 yards all the way on a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Nevertheless, the ground game wasn’t as impressive as expected, which to me was OK for the game because Acromite made plays. Even though we are making a big deal about the offense for this game, there is still 66 percent of the game we haven’t covered yet. As lax in coverage as the Stallions were, they made third down as tough as making a 10-story house by yourself. There is not one player on the defensive side of the ball that you call M.V.P. (Most Valuable Player) because it was a collected effort by the T-E-A-M. The key area for the defense was definitely the line backing core because on third down, they made sure University couldn’t get close to a first down. Also, this line backing core in a 3-4 set caused pressure

Michael Perryman catches a touchdown pass from Will Acromite over two University defenders. Photo by Joseph Mason

through the “a gap” (the space between the center and guards) to get sacks. Lastly, throughout the whole game they only gave up 14 points which is really hard to do at such a higher echelon of football level. You could make the argument that the kicking game was sub-par because George Winckel, a hero with a gamewinner earlier this season, had trouble with extra points in the rain, but again this aspect of the game has never been a weakness. For kickers, the experience of kicking in the rain is worse than going to the dentist office. But, for George Winckel it was a blessing in disguise to miss all those kicks because

Page 34 • The Capistrano Dispatch • October 8–21, 2010

if he ever decides to go into the NFL he will be able to kick under any circumstances. For a lot of people, that was the main topic, but Kyle Bauer set the tempo for the game in the first quarter with a blocked punt return for a touchdown. As inconsistent as the Stallions were in the Special Teams game, they nevertheless faced adversity throughout the game. The arrogance of one group of people could have caused a melee in seconds, but the discipline of the Stallions didn’t create havoc. Who could it be, it can’t be the referees? Well, yes, the referees had a huge effect on the game morally and from a football

standpoint. According to one of my sources, one referee threatened Jeff Zawoysky by saying, “watch it kid,” after Jeff hit him on accident. Secondly, the 2:1 ratio favored University when a numerous amount of times there should have been holding calls on University after big runs in the fourth quarter. I am not showing any bias, but through the course of the game University couldn’t get anything on the ground. The last bit of criticism would be that they also needed to go to “Football 101,” because they took five minutes to decipher each call. A coach that has been from such inferior beginnings to reaching now the pinnacle of high school football, who is it? Oh, that’s Coach Greg Gibson because he did something that NFL coaches do…open the playbook! The offensive formation that he uses all the time is the double wing offense, but he called out a pro style offense (an NFL offense that uses a various amount of formations). Coach Gibson made the game more simplistic because when you spread the field out in the shotgun, you force the defensive line to go back in coverage. Since University didn’t understand what to do for the fact they were in a 4-3 defense, it became a game of picking apart the defense in man to man coverage. The presence of mind for such a man and a team that’s faced pity in the media, has now been well characterized as a winner. THE NEXT TWO GAMES FOR THE STALLIONS ARE: At Tesoro against Huntington Beach @ 7:30 p.m. At El Toro @ 7 p.m. *Both are on Fridays* Cameron Sadeghi is a 12-year-old San Juan Capistrano resident who aspires to be a sportswriter. CD

The Capistrano Dispatch  

October 8, 2010