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M AY 1 3 –2 6 , 2 0 1 1 VOLUME 9, ISSUE 9

Battles Continue for Juaneños Native Americans plan appeal in denial of federal recognition E Y E O N S J C / PAG E 5

The Juaneño Band of Mission Indians’ flag flies above the Mission. Photo by Jonathan Volzke

New City Manager Hired from Del Mar

Did CUSD Coaches Get Kickbacks?

SJC Marine Brings City Flag Home







SAN CLEMENTE Plans to sell alcohol at San Clemente’s underconstruction La Pata-Vista Hermosa Park were hampered this week. Members of the Beaches, Parks and Recreation Commission nixed year-round alcohol sales in the lease agreement between the city and the proposed Paradise Miniature Golf and Flowrider, a privately owned business at the park. The unanimous vote came after a handful of residents decried the potential for beer and wine sales at Paradise, which is proposed by resident Scott Melcher. It’s unclear how the commission’s vote will affect alcohol sales overall. The City Council has already granted Melcher permission to sell wine and beer at his facility, which will take up slightly less than one acre of the 45-acre park. The City Council, which is expected to take up the lease agreement at a future meeting, can accept the commission’s recommendation, reject or modify it.



DANA POINT A letter sent to the City of Dana Point on May 4 by Beach Cities Collective medical marijuana dispensary founder/managing director David Lambert offering a truce has been taken off the table. The letter asked the city to agree to disagree on whether Dana Point’s stance against medical marijuana dispensaries is legal and wait for the court of appeals’ ruling on the issue. Lambert asked that he be allowed to reopen, pending the court’s final ruling. In return, Lambert said he would drop his $20 million lawsuit filed against the city in response to the city’s suit that closed his business and ordered him to pay $2.4 million in damages. The offer expired on May 9 and as of the 10th, the city had not responded. Lambert’s attorney Jeffrey Schwartz said they plan to continue on their original path.


What’s Up With... 1

…Bad Parents?

THE LATEST: The parents of a Marco Forster Middle School student were arrested Tuesday morning in San Juan Capistrano for allegedly allowing their child to be chronically truant—the first of such arrests in Orange County, as part of an anti-gang effort. Parents were also arrested in Orange and Anaheim, according to Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Authorities say truancies are one of the earliest indicators someone is headed for serious trouble. Defendants, Alice Haddadin, 45, and her husband Ayman Haddadin, 47, are Dana Point residents whose child attends Marco Forster Middle School and had accumulated 12 unexcused absences during the current school year, prosecutors said. Prosecutors said the parents had been repeatedly warned about the truancies by police and school officials. WHAT’S NEXT: The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned June 7 in Santa Ana. The five parents are each charged with one misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and face a sentence ranging from probation up to one year in jail and $2,500 in fines, the DA said. FIND OUT MORE: See the full story at —Jonathan Volzke


...City Finances?

THE LATEST: Fitch Ratings this month announced it is downgrading San Juan Capistrano’s Public Financing Authority’s bond ratings from AA to A. The highest Fitch rating is “AAA.” The The Capistrano Dispatch May 13–26, 2011

lowest, in default, is “D.” But the Fitch announcement lays out dire short-term circumstances for Capistrano’s water utility, which faces an $8.2 million deficit. That shortfall comes primarily because of troubles with the city’s Groundwater Recovery Plant, which has not operated up to expectations since it was built. The city expected to save money by producing water, and receiving an MWD grant for doing so, but MTBE and operational issues have curtailed the plant’s production to about half of its goal. That means the city must pay MWD for water and is losing the grant but still paying for the bonds that built the groundwater plant. WHAT’S NEXT: City officials said the key to improving the financial situation is getting the water plant working properly. They expect it back on line fully in July. FIND OUT MORE: See the complete report at —JV


…A Community Health Assessment?

THE LATEST: Perhaps not surprisingly, those living below the poverty level and Latinos in San Juan Capistrano have more trouble getting access to health care, are more likely to suffer domestic violence and are less likely to exercise, according to a 300-respondent telephone survey and focus group conducted by Mission Hospital. The survey, a follow up to a 2008 poll, asked 147 questions and was followed up by community forums in an effort to determine the community’s health. WHAT’S NEXT: Christine Cornwall,

director of Community Benefit for Mission Hospital, said the results of the surveys will be weighed by hospital trustees to develop a plan to address three to five issues over the next three years. FIND OUT MORE: See the complete story at —JV


… SONGS’ Safety?

THE LATEST: Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors identified three issues — of which two rose to violations — at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station though the violations were described as having “very low safety significance.” The NRC issued its latest 50-page report May 5 on the Southern California Edison-owned power plant. The report is based on the three-month inspection period that ended March 24. The first issue stemmed from the failure of plant personnel to perform seasonal maintenance on the roof drains of the emergency diesel generator buildings, causing rainwater to accumulate on the roof of Unit 2 and eventually into the building and onto electrical equipment. The second issue, which was noted as a non-cited violation, arose when operations personnel didn’t follow procedures to come up with a temporary plan while an immersion heater—in an emergency diesel generator—was removed from service. Finally, the report identified a non-cited violation because of poor system design on one of the plant’s refueling water storage tanks dating back to 1982. In rare instances for cleaning, the tank was tied into a piping system that wasn’t designed for seismic activity. Also, during the cleanup, valves were opened, creating a potential secondary hazard. Ultimately,

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this was labeled a “performance deficiency” that was “more than minor.” WHAT’S NEXT: The power plant has 30 days to contest the violations, but Alexander said the utility does not plan to contest the NRC’s findings. FIND OUT MORE: See for the report. —Stacie N. Galang


...A Library Fundraiser?

THE LATEST: Famed sax player Henry Alexander and internationally known harpist Julio Montero join the gala at the San Juan Capistrano Library set 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 14. The “Night of the Arts” features Gregorio Luke, a world famous art lecturer who will speak on “The Lives and Work of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.” The evening is being presented by the Friends of the Library, a non-profit 501(C)(3), to benefit the library and improve the landmark Michael Graves’ postmodern structure. The Friends need to raise about $350,000. The evening will feature a live art auction of California artists’ original work and a silent auction, along with wine and food from “Two Guys Grilling.” WHAT’S NEXT: “This is a unique opportunity to meet Mr. Luke in such an intimate environment, as well as listen to two of Orange County’s best musicians,” said Rosa Beas, Chairwoman of the Gala. “What a fun way to support one of San Juan Capistrano’s most valued treasures.” FIND OUT MORE: Tickets (tax deductable) are $50, available at the Library or call 949.248.5132. —JV

Eye on SJC

Juaneños Plan Appeal of Federal Denial

Contentious history, specter of casino haunt tribe’s efforts By Jonathan Volzke The Capistrano Dispatch


he Bureau of Indian Affairs calls its March 15 rejection of a federal recognition for the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians a “Final Determination.” The 147-page document painstakingly undermines the Juaneños’ contentions that they are descendants a pre-Mission tribe, have lived under their own governance and continually been recognized as a tribe, pointing out that nearly half of the 200 living Indians around the Mission in 1862 were wiped out by smallpox. Then, the federal government says, the tribe sort of drifted away. “There is no evidence that the petitioner’s SJC Indian ancestors were distinct within this community after 1862, or were part of an Indian entity that evolved from the SJC Indian tribe in 1834; rather, they appear to be Indian individuals who became absorbed into the general, ethnically-mixed population of Old Mexican/ Californio families, as well as with non-SJC Indians who moved to the town prior to 1900.” To be federally recognized a group must “comprise a distinct community and have existed as a community from historical times,” must have “political influence” over its members; must have membership criteria, must have membership that consists of individuals who descend from a historical Indian tribe and who are not enrolled in any other tribe. The feds say the Juaneños failed to demonstrate they’ve been recognized as a distinct community, that the tribe has continued from a historical tribe, have maintained political influence over members and that its members descended from Native Americans in the tribe. But the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians, which claims 1,940 members, said the rejection is anything but the last word, anything but final. The tribe has until midJune to appeal the 147-page decision to a special panel in Washington D.C. “We have to appeal . That’s just part of the process,” Juaneño Chairman Anthony Rivera, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Brigham Young University and a Masters Degree from Harvard University. “It’s a long process. We have to go through the appeal process. We have to demonstrate they are wrong.” It’s just part of the battle. The Juaneños have battled for federal recognition for decades. At times, they’ve battled the city. Through it all, they’ve even battled with each other. The Juaneños first started their quest for recognition in the 1940s, when Clarence Lobo worked to formalize an exchange between the Juaneños and The Capistrano Dispatch May 13–26, 2011

David Belardes and his son, Domingo, in front of a Native American kiicha in behind the Blas Aguilar on El Camino Real. Native American demonstrations are planned there over the next two weekends. Photo by Jonathan Volzke

Washington D.C. A federal process for recognizing tribes was ultimately set up, and the Juanenos, also known as the Acjachemen, applied for recognition in 1982. Federal recognition, awarded to 564 tribes so far, gives a tribe sovereignty and the right of self-determination. A federally recognized tribe can establish legal requirements for membership, enforce civil and criminal laws, tax, license and regulate activities and zone tribal lands. Their limits are the same as those applied to states: they can’t coin money or declare war, among other things. In California, federally recognized tribes were able to strike agreements with the state to operate casinos. That threat, or fear, has been at the root of much of the dissension in Capistrano, outside of the tribe. In in 1997, the Juaneños split a second time—into three main groups—when former leader David Belardes negotiated an agreement with a Nevada corporation that could have brought a casino to Capistrano—if the Juaneños had received recognition then. The City Council quickly called a special meeting to calm an outrage public and vowed to fight any attempt at a casino in town. Amidst the battle, then-City Manager George Scarborough received a rifle bullet in the mail with a threatening note, a pattern repeated a dozen times among OC city officials and real-estate developers involved in projects where or near

Native American bones or artifacts had been found. The casino card was played by JSerra High School supporters in 2004, who worked to curry support from residents for their athletic complex at Camino Capistrano and Junipero Serra Road by saying Juaneños still wanted a casino there. By that point, Belardes was working for the school as a consultant, because the athletic fields are located over a Native American burial ground. More recently, Native Americans who have joined with Rivera chanted over a prayer and blessing by Belardes’ group during the groundbreaking for the Montanez Adobe. The divisiveness among the Juaneños was cited in the March 15 Final Determination, as federal officials noted that many names initially carried on the Juaneno membership rolls had been excised. “The [Juaneno Band of Mission Indians] claims that 100 percent of its 2009 membership can document their descent from the historical SJC Indian tribe,” the report says. “The 2009 membership list dramatically differs from its prior membership lists, with the removal of 928 adults and the addition of 1,244 new people. In making such dramatic changes to its membership list, the petitioner has created a new problem in that the composition of the group the list now describes is very different than the

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group described in the materials submitted for the Preliminary Finding.” “In the documentation for the PF, the petitioner indicated that many of the people who have since been removed from the group’s membership were part of a SJC Indian social group. The removal of a large number of people who had had little to no contact with the petitioner would not affect the social composition of the petitioner, but the removal of a number of people who had previously been described as integral to the group calls into question the nature of the group as a continuous community.” In fact, the report says, the tribe is only recognized as a continual entity since 1997, and only 61 percent of those on its membership rolls can prove their lineage back to the early Mission tribe. Rivera, who traveled to Washington to lobby, clarify questions and meet with Bureau of Indian Affairs officials more times than he can remember during the bid for recognition, says the feds are flat out wrong, and denied the Juaneno petition because of ignorance and politics. He says his group, which paid all of its expenses through member donations, hired a certified genealogist who verified the information submitted, and used Mission records to prove the criteria on behalf of the tribe. “They completely mis-evaluated the information we provided,” Rivera said. “They were pretty much set on their conclusion of the proposed [2007] findings. Additionally, the tribe battled reports and information submitted by the California Cities for Self-Reliance/Joint Powers Authority, a coalition of Los Angeles County cities that have card clubs and battle any perceived threat of potential competition—such as a new Indian casino. Rivera said the tribe will continue its efforts. “The government has denied our rights for 160 years, what is another few months?,” Rivera said. “The tribe is still functioning, the tribe will continue regardless of what this particular government says.” For his part, Belardes said the rejection was predictable. He and his son, Domingo, donate their time at the Blas Aguilar Adobe, which is a Juaneno cultural center on El Camino Real. “As far as I’m concerned, I’m Juaneno and will always be Juaneno,” he said. “I’m going to keep promoting my culture until I end up on the hill [in the Old Mission Cemetery.] We know who the community is, even if the federal government doesn’t.” See the complete report at CD

Eye on SJC

‘Yes on B’ Winning Fundraising Race

Supporters say many residents still unaware of issue By Jonathan Volzke The Capistrano Dispatch


ust weeks before the June 7 referendum on the Distrito La Novia project, the committee supporting the project has raised more than $90,000 to get its message out, while those opposing it have garnered less than $5,000. The Yes on Measure B, funded entirely by Distrito developer Advanced Real Estate, has spent nearly $60,000 on the campaign so far, while the “Citizens for Sensible Development” have spent just over $2,800, according to mandatory campaign-finance reports filed with the San Juan Capistrano City Clerk. Campaign supporters say the money is necessary to overturn a natural anti-development bias in Capistrano, as well as let voters know Measure B boils down to a choice between two building projects. The largest donor to the “no” campaign thus far is Capistrano resident Trevor Dale. Dale, a retired teacher, sat on the committee that helped shape the Distrito project as an alternative to the already-approved 440-home project, but has since said the final Distrito project is not one he signed off on or can support. The current Distrito project combines the 440-home San Juan Meadows project on the south side of La Novia

east of the freeway with nearly 19 acres on the north side of La Novia. In November, the City Council approved 94 homes and up to 500 horses on the south side, along with 90 condos and apartments, 32,000 square feet of office and 75,000 square feet of retail on the north side. Dale was one of the residents who circulated the referendum petition to get the issue on the ballot. He has donated $2,953 to the no campaign, by far the largest amount. The other donors include B.R. Dumais, who gave $100, John Kauffman, who gave $100, Gerald or Donna Ehle, who gave $500 and San Clemente resident Charles Mann, a Capistrano property owner

City Threatened With Another Development-Related Lawsuit By Jonathan Volzke The Capistrano Dispatch


an Juan Capistrano couple contends the city intentionally undermined their plan to build an office building, costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars when they ultimately sold the property for a loss. The couple, Dr. Victor Cachia and his wife Jo, is being represented by the same attorneys who won a multi-million judgment against the city in another developmentrelated suit. In that case, the city ultimately settled with the Scalzo Family Trust for $6.3 million. In a claim filed against the city, a precursor to a lawsuit against a municipality, attorney Charles S. Krolikowski of the Newport Beach firm Newmeyer & Dillion says city staff undermined the Cachia’s attempts to build an office building on Avenida Los Cerritos in 2008. “The city implemented a plan to strategically delay and derail the project,” Krolikowski wrote in the claim, which was rejected without comment by the City Council on Tuesday. The Cachias purchased the property at 31551 Avenida Los Cerritos in 2006. According to the claim, the Cachias worked two and half years to get approvals to build their office building. But at one point, city staff allegedly told the Cachias to redesign the project to gain approval from the Design Review Committee. “However after spending several months and tens of thousands of dollars redesigning the project, the DRC informed the Cachias that their original design was preferred over what staff recommended,” Krolikowski

The Capistrano Dispatch May 13–26, 2011

wrote in the claim. Additionally, the project planning continued until 2008 when the city notified the Cachias that the project was inconsistent with the city’s General Plan and zoning. The project was ultimately approved in 2009, but the claim contends the Cachias were forced to redesign the medical building, pay the debt service on the property and “deal with the city’s ever-changing development requirements. “Due to the city’s unreasonable delay in respect to processing the project, the Caias have suffered a severe hardship, including the cost of servicing the loans on the subject property and paying for increasing development cost,” the claim says. “Not until approximately June of 2010 were the Cachias able to sell the subject property at an enormous loss, thus, realizing their full damages resulting for the city’s unreasonable conduct and delay.” The loss, the claim, are “several hundred thousand dollars” and the Cachias would likely seek other damages, Krolikowski says in the claim. Krolikowski urges the city to contact him for a settlement. In the Scalzo case, a judge ruled the city imposed improper conditions on a proposal to build a housing project on Del Obispo Street. A jury ruling on damages, costs and interest quickly pushed the total to more than $9 million. The City Council earlier this year settled for $6.3 million, but also must spend as much as $3 million for drainage improvements at the edge of the project, which were central to the lawsuit. CD Page 6

who donated $797.50. Other than Mann, the donors are all retired. Much of the spending by the “Yes on B” group has gone toward market research. Campaign consultant Eilleen Padberg said the Yes group hosted 32 Capistrano residents in three focus groups. They were evenly balanced between gender and political party, and selected by a computer to come from throughout Capistrano. “Everyone going into the focus groups opposed more development,” Padberg said. “Two-and-a-half hours later, coming out, everyone supported Measure B.” Padberg said those in the focus group knew little, if anything, about the project going into the focus group, which was led by a professional moderator. But the biggest mover of the participants’ opinion was learning Measure B is not a choice between Distrito and no development, but a choice between two development projects. “People felt misled and lied to,” Padberg said. “They were angry over that.” Padberg, who has worked many campaigns in Capistrano, said the focus groups were an important tool to the Yes on B campaign because they cemented what she knew—voters in town rely on word of mouth and their neighbors in deciding how to vote. See the reports at CD

Capistrano Sets Restaurant Week The Capistrano Dispatch


early 20 restaurants are scheduled to participate in the first Juan Capistrano Restaurant Week, May 16-22. Restaurant Week features restaurants that offer customers a premium three-course menu for a fixed price during a one-week period. Selected restaurants will offer a special three-course meal at the fixed price of $15, $25 or $35 for dinner and $10 or $15 per lunch. The courses are a deal at about 25 percent less than standard prices. Diners who purchase a special VIP wristband for $10 will receive extra values—small wine pairing, a dessert upgrade, additional side dish, etc.,—throughout the entire week. Wristbands are being sold at the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce, 31421 La Matanza Street, and at participating restaurants before and during restaurant week. Cooking lessons, wine tastings, cultural experiences and other events will also take place at many of the restaurants during the week. The participating restaurants thus far include Cedar Creek; Hidden House Coffee; Hummingbird House Cafe; Café Mozart; L’Hirondelle; Marie Callender’s; Sundried Tomato Cafe; The Tea House Los Rios; The Vintage Steakhouse; Skimmer’s Panini Cafe; Ricardo’s Place; Tannins Restaurant and Wine Bar; Rick’s Cafe in the Regency Theater; Thai Juan On; Sol Del Sur Bistro; Sarducci’s Capistrano Depot; Ruby’s Diner; and El Adobe de Capistrano. For more information, visit or call the chamber at 949.493.4700. CD

Eye on SJC

Capistrano Taps Del Mar for New Manager Karen Brust hired for experience in finance, utilities By Jonathan Volzke The Capistrano Dispatch


he Capistrano City Council is tapping a woman with a strong financial background and experience in the water industry to serve as City Manager, addressing two of the most pressing issues facing the community. Karen Brust is expected to take over the job at the end of June. She has served as Del Mar’s City Manager for four years. Capistrano’s City Manager’s position has been a lightning rod for debate since the previous City Council granted Joe Tait two contracts naming him Utilities Director and City Manager, for a total of $324,000 a year. City officials contended Tait was uniquely qualified to do both jobs and the dual roles, which came without benefits, actually saved Capistrano money. But after a new majority joined the panel in December, the City Council decided to quickly move ahead with hiring a new City Manager and relegating Tait to a $175,000 contract as a consultant to the utilities department. Former City Manager Dave Adams, a San Juan Capistrano resident, was brought on with a $15,000a-month contract, plus expenses. His agreement runs through June 1. Selected from a pool of more than 80 applicants, Brust is expected to receive an annual salary of $218,000 plus benefits. But Brust will pay all of her employee retirement costs, which the city says is a “$21,909 savings” for taxpayers. The scope of her benefits were not immediately released. The City Council will consider

the final agreement on May 17. San Clemente City Manager George Scarborough, by comparison, earns $213,576 a year, plus $17,004 a year in deferred maintenance. In Dana Point, City Manager Doug Chotkevys earns $203,483 a year, plus $11,050 per month in the city’s cafeteria benefits plan. He also gets up to $12,000 a year for professional development and memberships. Brust has worked in government more than 24 years, as was touted by Capistrano officials as an expert in finance, water and sewage operations. That would be key in Capistrano now, where officials are forecasting an $8.2 million deficit in the water-utilities fund, primarily because of issues related to the hobbled Groundwater Recovery Plant. Moving from Del Mar to Capistrano is a big jump. Del Mar is just under 2 square miles, with fewer than 5,000 residents. Capistrano is 14 square miles with 37,000 residents. Additionally, Capistrano is an ethnically diverse community, while Del Mar is 95 percent Caucasian, according to Census data, said Mayor Sam Allevato in a statement, that Brust’s energy and experience will greatly complement San Juan Capistrano and its goals. “The City Council was very deliberate in looking at the over 80 applications that we received,” he said. “Karen’s strong financial experience in finance, especially dealing with water operations, made her a unanimous choice for the position. We are thrilled that she is joining us and look forward to Karen getting started.”

Brust is a “Certified Public Finance Officer” through the Government Finance Officers’ Association. Before taking the reins in Del Mar, Brust served nearly a decade as the director of finance/treasurer for the San Diego County Water Authority, where she prepared and administered a $1.48 billion two-year operating budget and a $3.5 billion capital budget. She has also held director of finance posts for the cities of Gardena and South Gate. In Del Mar, Brust reportedly was instrumental in securing the City’s AAA Credit rating by increasing city revenues and making budget cuts. In the statement released by the city, Brust said she’s long held an affection for Capistrano. “One of my passions is public service and working with an involved and engaged community,” she said. “There are definite parallels between the cities of Del Mar and San Juan Capistrano in terms of historical perspective and a very village-like character and pedestrian-oriented downtown with a charming ambiance like none other. I want to work collaboratively with the Mayor and City Council to build a relationship with the community and regional agencies as well—so together we realize a vision that will benefit this community for years to come.” Brust also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in administrative science and a Master of Science degree in organizational management from Central Connecticut State University. She and her husband, Michael, have been

married for nearly 17 years and have a young daughter and two grown children. In a statement released by Del Mar, officials there said they’ll miss Brust. “Karen has placed the city on a solid track towards accomplishing long standing goals and leaves with an outstanding record of achievement. We will miss her energy, enthusiasm and cheerful approach to every task at hand and we wish her the very best as she goes forward to meet new challenges,” Deputy Mayor Carl Hilliard said in a statement from Del Mar. “The city was very fortunate to have Karen Brust come on board in fall 2007. Thanks to her leadership and financial acumen, the city quickly responded to the faltering economy and significantly reduced costs without reducing city services or sacrificing projects. Karen is a creative problem-solver who contributed much during her time serving Del Mar. She will be missed,” former councilmember Crystal Crawford said in the statement. In addition to the challenges with the budget and groundwater production— which the city hopes will clear up in July when an additional treatment facility to remove MTBE goes online—Brust faces other pressing tasks: The city is without a Utilities Director and Deputy City Manager Steve Apple left last month. The city under Tait had launched a look at potentially reorganizing City Hall and increasing the use of outsourced services. It’s unclear how much that drive will continue, under the new City Council and manager. CD

Open 4 Years, Stallions Football Finally Getting Stadium School district, developer settle lawsuit over money, land By Jonathan Volzke The Capistrano Dispatch


he Stallions should be playing football at a San Juan Hills stadium by the 2012-13 season, after the developer and Capistrano Unified School District settled key points of lawsuit blocking the stadium’s completion. The settlement comes about a couple of weeks after the same developer setting to build 155 homes at Whispering Hills applied for permission to build 100 homes that would include affordable housing. In the legal battle, the developer contended CUSD owed $6 million on the $51 million deal for the original land and

The Capistrano Dispatch May 13–26, 2011

grading. The district contended the money wasn’t due until the communityfacilities district for the 155-home development around the school was funded. The district countersued, seeking lot-line adjustments that would give the district enough land at the north end of the school to build the stadium bleachers. Under the settlement approved by trustees on Monday, the developer will get the $6 million incrementally once the CFD funds—when the houses are built—and the school district gets the land adjustments it needs to finish the stadium. The settlement cleared the way for a new agreement between the

school district and developer over how much money the community-services district would generate for the school district and city. That number will be less now because the homes will sell for less. The Capistrano City Council is expected to sign off on that deal in coming weeks, too. In other Whispering Hills news, a developer has asked San Juan Capistrano for permission to build a 100-unit multifamily housing project on vacant land between Ortega Highway and San Juan Hills High School. The project, which includes affordable housing, would be on a parcel that is 10.2 acres, with a net buildable area of 4 acres.

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Proposed by Woodbridge Homes, the project includes some cottages—a far cry from the three-story apartment complex proposed by former Whispering Hills developer Dennis Gage. That project included 163 units, but was short on parking and faced other obstacles. Woodbridge has also taken over the 155-unit housing project around San Juan Hills High, a former Gage project. The project is now known as “Rancho San Juan” and the developer has pulled permits to build model homes. The homes will be 2,800 square feet to 3,800 square feet. The developer has an informational page up at CD

Eye on SJC

SJC Sheriff’s Blotter

A resident complained a clothing store was going door-to-door and “being really rude.” DISTURBANCE Camino Capistrano, 32400 Block (2:02 p.m.) A man causing a ruckus outside a store first tried to steal a bicycle outside, then caused problems inside when they wouldn’t sell him beer.

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.

DISTURBANCE Avery Parkway/San Diego Freeway (1:52 p.m.) A man reported some soccer players, and their coach, were threatening him after he found them sitting on his vehicle.

Sunday, April 8

Friday, May 6

CITIZEN ASSIST Spotted Bull Lane, 29500 Block (6:38 p.m.) A resident called about a woman who may or may not have been missing. He thought she was missing, dispatchers said, because she wouldn’t contact him.

SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES Avenida Olivera, 32900 Block (11:20 p.m.) A man reported a woman came to his door and asked for a pair of scissors. She then went to the side of the house. Deputies gave the woman a ride home.

SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES Wildwood Lane, 26300 Block (10:37 a.m.) Two men took up residence in a home under construction while the owners were out of state.

SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES Camino Capistrano, 32200 Block (11:21 p.m.) A caller was worried about a woman sleeping near a business. The caller didn’t mind the woman being there, but was worried because the woman wasn’t well sheltered.

Compile d by Pant ea O m m i Moh a j e r

VANDALISM REPORT Calle Miramar, 33400 Block (3:04 a.m.) A black suitcase and cellular phone were taken by crooks who left in a light-colored Suburban.

Saturday, April 7 SUSPICIOUS PERSON Avenida de La Vista/La Zanja Street (6:33 p.m.) A man reported a woman threatened to make false reports against him unless he gave her money. DISTURBANCE Paseo Sanchez, 32100 Block (6:34 p.m.) A woman locked herself in her bedroom to avoid a fight with her roommate. The other woman, however, was pounding on her door, trying to break it down. DISTURBANCE Camino Santo Domingo, 28000 Block (6:38 p.m.) A woman reported her daughter was hammering on her bedroom door, out of control. Deputies had been out there in the past.

DISTURBANCE Las Brisas Del Mar, 28000 Block (9:43 p.m.) An 8-year-old boy reported his father hit his 16-year-old brother.

GRAND THEFT Calle Winona, 31900 Block (10:33 a.m.) Someone left $1,500 in an unlocked car. It was stolen. DISTURBANCE Ortega Highway, 27400 Block (9 a.m.) A resident reported two men were removing speed bumps on their property.

Wednesday, May 4 DISTURBANCE Via Monterey, 26100 Block (7:04 p.m.) A caller reported their 11-year-old son was threatened by an older boy with a stick. GRAND THEFT Plaza Baja Del Sol, 0 Block (5:03 p.m.) An iPhone was stolen, but the owner was tracking it by GPS. CITIZEN ASSIST Paseo Adelanto, 32500 Block (12:23 p.m.) A man reported his ex-girlfriend was making accusations against him because he broke up with her. DISTURBANCE La Zanja Street/Los Rios Street (7:38 a.m.) Six males were drinking and blocking the street so women couldn’t pass through.

Tuesday, May 3

ASSAULT REPORT Calle Rolando, 26400 Block (5:54 p.m.) A caller reported her 12-year-old sister was beat up at school.

ARREST Ortega Highway/Del Obispo Street (11:58 p.m.) A 59-year-old man, who identified himself as a cook, was arrested on suspicions of drunken driving.

SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES Avenida Pedrigal, 25700 Block (1:20 p.m.) A witness saw a woman in her late 30s to early 40s entering numerous unlocked cars. She was wearing pajama bottoms, a tank top and was carrying a wash cloth she used to wipe her mouth. DISTURBANCE Los Rios Street, 31500 Block (9:36 a.m.) A 14-year-old boy locked himself in the bathroom because he did not want to go to school.

Thursday, May 5

CITIZEN ASSIST Ortega Highway, 27100 Block (4:51 p.m.) A merchant complained a neighboring business was using his lot for valet services, leaving his customers no room to park.

CITIZEN ASSIST Via Del Cerro, 28000 Block (3:35 p.m.) Deputies were called to speak to a man who said a woman thought he hit her car vehicle, then followed her to San Juan Capistrano.

ILLEGAL PEDDLING Via Belardes/Paseo Belardes (2:49 p.m.)

DISTURBANCE Via Positiva, 0 Block (10:58 a.m.)

The Capistrano Dispatch May 13–26, 2011

A 7-year-old boy was being violent and throwing things.

DISTURBANCE Paseo Sanchez, 32100 Block (11:31 p.m.) A man with a baseball bat allegedly broke a window at a home. The caller said he took off, jumping fences and making his way toward Del Obispo Street. A 58-yearold man, who identified himself as an assistant manager, was taken into custody. DISTURBANCE Rancho Viejo Road, 30700 Block (6:24 p.m.) A man and woman got into an argument in a parking lot. The woman walked away and the man followed her—about 50 feet behind. VANDALISM Briarwood Lane, 26400 Block (4:04 p.m.) A woman reported her family was being harassed; another caller reported yelling at that address. A 20-year-old man, identified in booking papers as a vet assistant, was taken into custody.

Page 10

SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES Paseo Segovia, 27500 Block (7:48 a.m.) A woman reported two people walking around her neighborhood. She thought that was suspicious because her neighborhood is a “destination.” DISTURBANCE Los Rios Street, 31300 Block (12:59 a.m.) A woman reported her husband pulled her hair and left on foot.

Monday, May 2 WELFARE CHECK Paseo Del Mar, 26400 Block (3:54 p.m.) A woman called from Pennsylvania because she hadn’t be able to reach her sister, who lived with her husband. The woman’s cell phone was disconnected and the house number is answered by someone she didn’t know. GENERAL BROADCAST La Novia Avenue/Via Entrada (3:25 p.m.) A car was hit by a paintball.

Sunday, May 1 CITIZEN ASSIST Calle La Purisma, 31500 Block (11:09 p.m.) A caller reported their neighbor was watching them from his bedroom window. PETTY THEFT Camino Capistrano. 32100 Block (5:21 p.m.) A bench was stolen from in front of the San Juan Urgent Care, a day after other items were taken from the front area. BURGLARY IN PROGRESS Pepperwood Lane, 26400 Block (4:39 p.m.) Two men and a woman were trying to break into a vacant home. FOLLOW UP REPORT Camino Capistrano, 32000 Block (7:59 p.m.) A man who’d reported his car missing found it at a Chevron station. He’d forgotten he’d parked it there.

Saturday, April 30 DISTURBANCE Mission Hills Drive/Lariat Circle (8:03 p.m.) A resident spotted kids lighting bottle bombs. He chased one, but lost him.

Friday, April 29 DISTURBANCE San Juan Creek/Valle Road (7:58 p.m.) A caller spotted a Ford Ranger with a woman riding in the bed of the truck. The woman banged on the back window of the truck when it was stopped at the traffic signal. A man got out and began hitting the woman, then dragged her into the truck. They were last seen on the freeway heading north.


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


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The Capistrano Dispatch, Vol. 9, Issue 9. 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 2011. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.



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Letters To The Community THE TRAFFIC IS COMING...MAYBE —John Perry, San Juan Capistrano San Juan Capistrano is one of the oldest communities in California. Its road system dates to before Father Sierra founded the mission in 1776. The road system started with Indian trails then horse and wagon roads and then automobile roads. The system wasn’t master planned; it just grew to fit the needs of the city at that time. San Juan Capistrano is a city bisected by a freeway, two creeks, and railroad tracks which makes circulation difficult. Our roads are rural by circumstance and by choice. San Juan is a small rural city; maybe the last one in Orange County but things may be changing. In November 2010 the San Juan City Council voted to depart from the rural low intensity building of the past to a new urban planning concept of mixed use development. This concept seeks to build vertically to pack more buildings into a smaller footprint. It’s not really a new concept; it’s the way east coast cities have been built for centuries. However Distrito is the first

development in San Juan to employ this high intensity building concept. Is this concept in tune with the existing San Juan Capistrano rural culture with its open space and equestrian lifestyle that we all moved here to enjoy? Or is the Distrito development a onetime departure from our well established building pattern? Is the City Council seeking to use the high intensity urban mixed use of Distrito as a model for all future development in our City? They need to answer these questions because of the impact on our already congested roads. If ARES is allowed the build Distrito as planned, one of the major impacts will be increased traffic congestion on the roads around the project site. Because our roads cannot be significantly expanded, any additional traffic will congest at wellknown choke points. The San Juan Capistrano Planning Commission denied approval of the Distrito because the additional 8,000 traffic trips generated by the development will clog neighborhood streets to unac-

Business Operations Manager > Alyssa Garrett Distribution Manager > Andrea Swayne INTERNS Pantea Mohajer SPECIAL THANKS Robert Miller, George Mackin CONTRIBUTORS Tawnee Prazak, Christina Scannapiego, David Zimmerle

ONLINE POLL ceptable levels. Our already congested streets will look more like an urban center instead of a rural small town. Long after the developers and builders have left town and the current City Council have moved-on to other things, the residents of this City will have to live with the impacts of the project forever. We just cannot allow the Distrito development to go forward. Vote No on Measure B on June 7, unless of course you love traffic congestion.

IN SUPPORT OF DISTRITO —Elliott Levenson, San Juan Capistrano As we get closer to the June 7 Measure B ballot issue, some of us seem to be hardening our positions against the measure. I sincerely believe that we as a community will be negatively impacted if this measure is defeated. Although the revised plan has been debated and reviewed over a number of years, some of the remaining arguments being accepted in the community are

Make sure to sound off each week on “The Dispatch Poll of the Week” at Then go to our community Message Board and share your opinions. The Dispatch Online Reader Polls are notscientific and do not reflect the opinion of The Dispatch.

just not true. This entire election comes down to a choice between two developments—one that was approved in 1998 that is rather large and dense and has virtually no public open space and the 2010 project that went through 3 1/2 years of public meetings. Myth 1: If we fight them long enough nothing will be built and we can just look at the planted sweet peas and beautiful surrounding hills forever. Fact: Just think logically about this argument. The developer has an approved project that will build out 440 homes, a 300-room hotel, 10 acres that are zoned for a public facility and equestrian. If the revised 2010 project is defeated the 1998 project will


What Are the Conservatives Conserving? I t doesn’t take long to decide how to vote on Measure B. A quick look at the names of those opposing it—all good memPatrick O’Brien bers in good standing on the “conservative” side, those who claim to have the interests of San Juan in their hearts. It looks like a partial roster of the Common Sense Crowd. Nope that’s not my group. I just don’t have any faith in their skills to understand their own positions. Everything The Capistrano Dispatch May 13–26, 2011

seems to come down to “money” for the “conservatives.” They just blew a lot of city money forcing this petition election, a petition drive that I found a bit dishonest and sold through the Republican fear factor. That’s how the national Congress is operating. I guess it works that way on the local level. Mr. Ryan did you have a hand in this in your new budget? No, I’ll go with Sam Allevato, Laura Freese, and Larry Kramer. I would say that 30 public hearings over a three-year period is enough democracy for anyone. Some 216 fewer homes than the original

plan that attempts to preserve the small town feeling, plus the additional sales tax revenues is a win-win for the city and its residents. But as usual, the so-called “conservatives” trot out the usual property rights argument, a shallow one at best and the loaded phrase “scheme to increase debt” and certainly swirling around in this stew of words must be “good old boys.” Do these folks ever get tired of clichés? Why is it that the “conservatives” continue to use the fear factor and keep playing the same tune over and over

Page 12

and over? Perhaps a new one is too difficult to learn. Life is a bit more complex than they see it. Even the crossopterygian understood that and struggled out of the sea and on to the land. Change is the natural impulse. What are these folks “conserving?” Considering the money spent on this election, it can’t be that. I expect there will be scolding letters on this from “the good old boys and girls” about how I just don’t get it. And they would be right—for once. Capistrano resident Patrick O’Brien is a college professor and author.


Yes on Measure B; ‘Yes is Less’


provides for the latter. The owners of the Distrito La Novia/ Meadows site purchased the property in 2000 with the above 1998 approvals and entitlements. After they submitted a conceptual plan for the site, I, as Mayor, and the rest of my colleagues on the City Council at the time asked the owner ARES (Advanced Real Estate Services) if they would consider redesigning their approved plans to build a less-dense project more in keeping with the character of our community. Although they did not have to consider a redesign, they agreed, as they wanted their project to fit within the city’s unique character. After 3 1/2 years of planning and more than 30 public meetings, the City Council unanimously approved the revised Distrito project in 2010, and yet the opponents of this project would have you believe that the City Council did not listen to the public. I believe you elected my colleagues and I to represent you and to consider the opinions of all the residents of this city. All the council members from the previous council in addition to all the council members of this current council, except one, have recognized the superior benefits of the Distrito project over the previous 1998 plan. Those seven elected officials

represent the wishes and desires of the vast majority of our citizens and they have all thrown their support behind this project. As most of you know, I enjoy our open spaces and fabulous trail system. This project not only consists of 62 percent open space, it extends our trail system and provides public trailhead access and parking for all our residents. Additionally, two lookout points will be created, all of these features at no cost to the city or our residents. Our economy continues to improve slowly, but still many of our residents remain unemployed and are looking for work. According to an independent Economic Impact Analysis of the Distrito project, approximately 2,800 full and part-time jobs will be added to our community by the creation of retail and commercial establishments in the project area. I know that “traffic” continues to be a concern to residents and visitors alike. I subscribe to the philosophy that from a financial standpoint, there is “good” traffic and there is ‘bad” traffic. “Bad” traffic is the traffic that is simply pass-through commuter traffic that adds congestion to our roads and little else. “Good’ traffic is the type that brings shoppers to our

retail establishments and builds “community” by bringing residents and visitors to our town. The Distrito project, I believe, will bring the good traffic because of its close proximity to the I-5 and its variety of new shops and dining experiences. The creation of sales tax revenue, additional open space, and increased property values all contribute to a healthier city, both financially and aesthetically. Also of critical importance is the fact that all of the traffic improvements along La Novia and San Juan Creek Road and the La Novia/Valle Road interchange must be completed prior to the opening of this project and all on the developer’s dime! I do not take your support for granted, but hope that I have given you some solid facts to base your opinion on. In my heart of hearts, I believe this project is much superior to the 1998 project and will help us to continue to build on the momentum we have in bringing new life and vitality to our wonderful city. So won’t you join me in “Voting Yes for Less on Measure B” on June 7 and seeing a shining example of what a collaborative effort can achieve by a willing property owner and a forward-thinking City Council. Sam Allevato is Mayor of San Juan Capistrano.

Letters (Cont. from page 12)

in the arguments against this project. The most recent was a poorly copied rendering of the project sent out in a flyer format. This rendering is a 2006 preliminary rendering and is not representative of the current project. The two names most associated with the “No” crowd are Trevor Dale and John Perry. Trevor, you were part of the subcommittee that designed and outlined the plan which included 450 more horses, over 20 more residential units and 50 percent more office than what the city council approved in November for the Distrito La Novia/San Juan Meadows project. In essence you were one of the closest people in the city to the planning for this project to replace the larger and denser 440 homes and 300-room hotel plan. I have talked to people that served on that subcommittee with you in addition to attending almost all of the planning and City Council meetings. I cannot understand why you would help to create something you are now opposed to, what’s the real issue for you? John, you were in favor of taking away open space a few years back for residential for a development at the golf course. Now you are in favor of taking away a project that includes 62 percent more open space. Now

you are saying that the Distrito project is too dense and large, when it actually has a lot of open space and gets rid of a large and dense project. John and Trevor, you both have misled people in our town for far too long and it’s shameful. The voters need to look closely at this election and what is truly on the table, not what hearsay is being said about the project, take a close look and see that the 2010 plan is much smaller and that the referendum on this project was full of lies and misconceptions. If you are in favor of this project “you must vote.” It is estimated that less than 5,000 people will take the time to vote on this project. The anti-equestrian crowd, along with people who think that they can just wait out the project and nothing will be built, will be out in force! Please review the project website. It discusses in much greater detail the Facts and the Myths associated with this project. Measure B is a vote for less development and more open space.

the projects to be built on La Novia. I purchased my home eight years ago, and when we did there was mention of more homes being built on the vacant land, but there was no mention of an equestrian facility being built within the area. I spent many years growing up in Ohio where my grandparents had horses. I do not own a horse or ride one here in town—I still like horses, but have never planned to live near a stable or equestrian facility. Does that mean I should move out of San Juan? I moved to San Juan for many other reasons. I knew there were horses in San Juan, horse trails, etc., but I specifically didn’t buy my home near one. Many of the people that live along the La Novia corridor do not want an equestrian facility within such close range. I worked the table at Vons and I never pressured anyone into signing the petition to get this project to come to a vote. I do remember the picture of Distrito and we were told before we worked that the picture was not up-to-date and the developer was asked to provide us with a new picture. We never received one. At the table at Vons we told those signing it was not to keep the open space. The property was going to be developed. It was (Cont. on page 16)

easure B is coming up for a vote of the public on June 7 and I would like to explain to you why I support a “yes” vote on Sam Allevato this issue and would ask for your “yes” vote also. I am a 35-year resident of San Juan Capistrano, raised my family here, and intend to enjoy my grandchildren many years in my current home. I have seen a lot of development over those 35 years and our city has now reached near buildout and it is more important than ever that we support “smart” development for the remaining 5 percent of vacant developable land in our city. The supporters of a “no” vote on Measure B would have you believe that this is a choice between the Distrito development and no development. This is a blatant attempt by the opponents to confuse the issue. In fact, Measure B is a choice between two developments—one that was approved in 1998 that could be built today with 440 homes, a 300-room hotel, and a public facility versus a more modest development with 50 percent fewer residential units and over 62 percent of the project area remaining open space. A “no” vote gives you the former, while a “yes” vote

let this kind of investment go undeveloped. Personally I do not want to live next to a 300-room hotel. Also another fact, not mentioned by the “No” crowd is that a street connection between La Novia and Camino Las Rambles’ is in the 1998 plan. What do you think will happen to traffic on La Novia then? Myth 2: I do not care what is built there as long as there are no horses. Or stated differently, the older plan will not have any horses. Equestrian center are permitted in open space anywhere in the city base on city code, the 1998 plan could have over 500 horses. Myth 3: Our Real Estate values will decline because of this project. Nothing could be further from the truth. The 94 homes planned for the 2010 Meadows side of the project are slated to be priced above $1 million. If you were to visit other communities in South County, such as Nellie Gail, The Hunt Club, Stone Ridge and others that are zoned equestrian, that feature has a very positive effect on both the life style and values. This also holds true for the immediate surrounding communities. There are many other myths involved The Capistrano Dispatch May 13–26, 2011

And Against —C. Schneider, San Juan Capistrano I would like to respond to the two Letters to the Community regarding

Page 13


The following is a summary of the two options we face:

When “Yes” Means No


am voting “Yes” on Measure B and I urge you to do the same. It is very confusing when you read all the material being sent out by the variMark Nielsen ous groups supporting or opposing the Measure. However, in this case a “Yes” vote is actually a vote to preserve more open space and limit the amount of development. In the past two referendums (Whispering Hills and the golf course project), I was a leader of the group urging a “No” vote because No meant more open space and reduced development. However, in this election, a “No” vote actually results in less open space and a higher density residential development. A “Yes” vote will reduce the residential development by 50 percent and increase the open space by over 100 percent. How can this be? The golf course referendum in 2006 was a prime example of a decision by the city to allow a private developer to convert open space into high density housing. The benefit for the citizens was nowhere equal to what was being lost. However in today’s case, we are talking about significantly reducing a developer’s property rights that were approved in 1998. Currently he has the right to build 275 homes and 165 apartments, plus a 300-room five-story hotel and a school, church or other public

Letters (Cont. from page 13) a choice of which plan would be implemented. Yes, the developer towards the end of the signature-gathering process, I understand, offered to make changes to the development. Many of those changes were favorable to many, but the offer came too late. Those plans are no longer on the table. It is either the original entitlement of 400-plus homes and school, hotel, etc., or the lesser amount of homes, a large equestrian facility and a densely packed retail, commercial and residential project. Why people, it is better to have more retail and commercial space when the city is filled with vacant spaces seems unrealistic today. I disagree that the election expenses rest squarely on the shoulders of those who pushed for the referendum. The election costs rest with all of those involved in this project: City Council, who was so hungry to get more money into the system, didn’t take into consideration how much dissatisfaction existed about the project, a developer who was The Capistrano Dispatch May 13–26, 2011

facility with massive unearthing of the old landfill and thousands of daily car trips added to our roads. In addition, he has the right today to seek a Conditional Use Permit for 535 horses to be stabled on the land. A “No” vote on Measure B will allow all this to be built and the city has no ability to rescind those approvals. A committee was formed four years ago with two City Council members and citizens from various parts of town to see if a better plan could be negotiated to reduce the density, allow more open space and end up with a final product that would provide more benefit to the citizens and be consistent with the character of our historic community. The committee was unanimous in agreeing to the final product that then began a series of over 30 public hearings before the city commissions and City Council. During all those hearings and public input, the plan continued to be further refined. The Planning Commission had reservations as to the retail side of the project, but passed it on to the City Council to address their final concerns, rather than holding the process up any longer. The City Council made further reductions based on those concerns. We successfully reached agreement on a plan that costs the city nothing while reducing the number of homes to 93 with lots that are all 10,000 square feet,

anxious to get his project off the ground regardless of what those closest to the project were concerned about, and the committee who organized the petition. Perhaps if those groups could have been listened to, and brought together, we wouldn’t need this election. It was not to be, but to blame specific individuals for the special election really is not fair. I remember a City Council meeting where I was in attendance that it was announced the Planning Commission would not recommend this project to go forward. At least half of the commissioners saw something(s) wrong with the development. I find the timing of these letters interesting—weeks before the special election.

More Distrito Support —Kathy Holman, San Juan Capistrano As I write this letter the Distrito La Novia/San Juan Meadows project is under attack by the same few troublemakers that forced our local developers into the June 7th special election. The time is now for us to put an end to the lies being

Homes Lot Sizes Apartments/Condos Commercial Commercial Sq. Ft. Horses allowed* Open Space City Cost

Vote YES 93 10,000 sq. ft. 130 Retail & Office 107,000 500 90+ acres 0

Vote NO 275 3 - 6,000 sq. ft. 165 300-room hotel & School/Church 250,000+ 535 30+ acres 0

(*Both need a Conditional Use Permit which requires additional public hearings) instead of the original 275 homes with much smaller lots of 3-6,000 square feet In addition, the number of apartments was reduced from 165 to 130. The Conditional Use Permit is capped at 500 horses instead of 535. Instead of a 300-room hotel and school or church, there will be a retail and office center about the size of Marbella Plaza. And very importantly, dozens more acres of open space will remain with far less disruption required of the old landfill. The traffic generated by each plan is not much different, but the new plan requires developer-funded major traffic improvements, including the straightening of the La Novia/I-5 intersection. Also important as revenue to the city is many millions of dollars more under the new plan. A “Yes” vote allows the city to annually receive significant revenues that would otherwise be lost. When you look at our 20-year financial projections, it is imperative that we find new recurring revenue sources such as this project in

order to keep up our quality of life and level of city services. A “No” vote would result in a net loss to the city every year in the future since the city only receives 10 percent of the property tax on homes (about $500/year for a $500,000 home). This amount does not cover the cost of ongoing city services for each new homeowner. The new plan adds sales tax, and a much greater amount of property tax is kept by the city due to the major development portion being inside the Redevelopment Agency boundary. So if you want more open space, more revenue to the city, less development and less digging up of the old landfill, then it is pretty clear that a “Yes” vote is the same as a No vote in previous referendums. Vote “Yes” to preserve more open space and our equestrian character. No wonder things look so confusing. Mark Nielsen is a local businessman and 23 year resident who served as Mayor in 2009 during his four years on the City Council

spread about the Distrito La Novia/San Juan Meadows development. We need to vote “Yes on Measure B” to protect our city’s heritage and open space. A “Yes on B” vote in June will allow this project move forward generating an estimated $11 million in development fees that could go towards traffic and infrastructure improvements as well as our community parks. The truth is that a handful of rabble-rousers perched in front of our local stores lied, bullied and tricked shoppers into signing a referendum to block this modest development. What those troublemakers didn’t tell the public is that the project had been approved unanimously by the San Juan Capistrano City council in November of 2010 and is less dense than the previously approved 1998 plan. They lied and said that in forcing a vote you would be blocking all development on the property. So now we are faced with a choice. Do you want the very dense 1998 plan or the unpretentious 2010 plan? A “yes” vote on B will insure a development with 50 percent fewer residential units. A yes vote will allow 62 percent of the property

to be left as open space. The truth is if you vote “no” on B, the project reverts back to the denser, approved and entitled plan with 440 homes and space allocated for a hotel and also an “institutional use” such as a private school or church. Remember, as this election gets closer, the same few will be littering your doorway with their poisonous literature; they will again be out in front of the stores trying to bully you into voting no. Stand up to these fanatics. They are costing the city hundreds of thousands of your tax dollars to defend their false accusations. Tell them you’re not interested in their lies. Show them you know the truth and vote “Yes on B”. If you choose to vote absentee the last day the Registrar of Voters can mail you an absentee ballot is May 31—the last day to register to vote is May 23.

Page 16

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.




A day-by-day guide to what’s happening in and around town this week. COMPILED BY TAWNEE PRAZAK


Mariachi music will echo off the stone walls of Mission San Juan Capistrano on Saturday, May 21 as the historic landmark hosts the Seventh Annual Battle of the Mariachis Festival. The event, included with the cost of admission, includes a dozen mariachi bands, which will be judged by music professionals, local residents and even Capistrano Mayor Pro Tem Larry Kramer. The event also includes demonstrations from top mariachi groups and performers, including Genesis Codina, a 12-year-old mariachi prodigy who is recognized by her participation in television shows such as Univision’s International TV show Sabado Gigante and most recently in the televised Latin talent competition Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento where she competed with more than 1,000 contestants (mostly adults) for the grand prize of $100,000. Genesis is among the top five finalists. The Festival will be emceed by Laura Garciacano Sobrino, dubbed the “Mariachi Queen” in 1995 by the Los Angeles Times. Area Mexican restaurants will also be selling their best food and visitors can bring picnic baskets Courtesy photo but they will be checked to ensure alcohol is not brought onto the grounds. The day begins with the ringing of the Mission’s historic bells at 10:30 a.m., followed by a bilingual marionette show at various times throughout the day. The Mission is at Ortega Highway and Camino Capistrano. See Admission is Adults: $9, Seniors: $8; Children (4 to 11 years): $5 and children under 3 years are free. —Jonathan Volzke

NIGHT OF THE ARTS - ART AUCTION & GALA 6 p.m.-10 p.m. The library hosts an event with a presentation by Gregorio Luke on Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, performances, live art and a silent auction featuring local artists. 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.248.5132, PEDAL POWER 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at The Ecology Center. Free bicycle workshop on maintenance and more at the Ecology Center. Also features a group ride, free Chipotle picnic, raffle to win a new bicycle. Sign up online. 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.443.4223,


SWEET CHARITY 8 p.m. The multi Tony-winning Broadway musical premieres at Camino Real Playhouse. Shows through May 29. Tickets $24-$40 (or May 14 Gala night for $50). 31776 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.489.8082,


JOHN SLOAN SINATRA TRIBUTE 7:30 p.m.-11 p.m. Live music at The Vintage Steak House. 26701-B Verdugo St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.661.3407, DOO WAH RIDERS 8:30 p.m. Live music at Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, SJC, 949.493.3188,


SECOND SATURDAY ART FAIR 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The SJC Chamber hosts the monthly event showcasing dozens of talented artists, craftspeople and musicians held in downtown San Juan Capistrano on Camino Capistrano, Yorba, Verdugo and Los Rios streets. 949.493.4700,


FOOD FOR THOUGHT 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Western Youth Services 2nd annual event at Capo Valley Church with free food, medical screenings, social service information and more. 43032 Del Obispo St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.487.6080,


PET ADOPTION 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The Ark pet adoption event at Petco. 32391 Camino Capistrano, Suite A, San Juan Capistrano, 949.388.0034,


NATURE HIKE 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Join Park Rangers Sunday mornings for an easy 1-mile hike on the Nature Trail at Caspers Park. Free. Parking $5. 33401 Ortega Hwy., 949.923.2211,


MIKE DEBELLIS AND FRIENDS 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Jazz music on the patio at Ciao Pasta Trattoria every Sunday. 31661 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.5002,


VERMICULTURE CLASS: PUTTING WORMS TO WORK 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Goin Native garden workshop on growing your own worms for organic soil conditioning. Class fee $10. 31661 Los Rios St, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.5911,

CADDYSHACK GOLF TOURNAMENT 1 p.m. Fourth annual Caddyshack Golf Tournament at San Juan Hills Golf Club benefiting Coastal Mountain Youth Academy. $150 per golfer; $550 Foursome. 32120 San Juan Creek Road, San Juan Capistrano, www.cmya. org/events.html.

DE ANGELIS VOCAL ENSEMBLE: NOCTURNES 8 p.m. Concert with music that is inspired by, or evocative of, the night at Mission Basilica. General Admission $25. 31520 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 714.928.9567,

LAVA JAM WITH BRIAN VASQUEZ 6 p.m. Free concert at Hulaville with musical artists from Kona who play fusion of Hawaiian sounds, spanning decades of music. 2720 Camino Capistrano, San Clemente, 949.369.1905,

The Capistrano Dispatch May 13–26, 2011


Page 21



CITIZEN COPE 8 p.m. An intimate solo acoustic performance at The Coach House. Tickets $25. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930,



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

GARDEN TOURS 10:15 a.m.-10:45 a.m. explore the Mission grounds with a tour guide. Free with paid admission of $5-$9. 26801 Ortega Hwy., 949.234.1300,


MISSION READERS BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP 10:30 a.m. Discussion of My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult at the SJC library. 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.1752,


BRANT VOGEL 8 p.m. Live music at Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, 949.493.3188,


ERIC GALES 8 p.m. Incredible guitarist at The Coach House also with 7th Sons and Jason Lee & Friends. Tickets $13 advance, $15 day of show. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930,


FERNANDO RAMOS 6 p.m.-9 p.m. The solo mariachi guitarist plays at El Adobe every Friday and Saturday night. 31891 Camino Capistrano, 949.493.1163, (Cont. on page 24) THIS WEEK’S WEATHER 5.13 Partly Cloudy H: 68° L: 55° 5.14 Partly Cloudy H: 64° L: 52° 5.15 Partly Cloudy H: 63° L: 51°

5.16 Sunny H: 64° L: 53° 5.17 Sunny H: 65° L: 52° 5.18 Mostly Sunny H: 66° L: 54° 5.19 Mostly Sunny H: 67° L: 55°

GETTING OUT (Cont. from page 21)


The Ark’s Paws in the Garden 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The Ark of San Juan presents its third annual garden tour to support The Ark’s mission of saving abandoned pets. Stroll through two incredible local gardens at: 27001 Calle Mara, Capo Beach and 30581 Hunt Club Drove, San Juan Capistrano. Tickets $20 in advance and $25 at the door.


Dispatch Restaurant Spotlight

The Ramos House 31752 Los Rios Street, San Juan Capistrano, 949.443.1342, Best Known For: Soju Bloody Mary Most Popular Item: Crab hash with bacon scrambled eggs and sour cream remoulade Walking into The Ramos House takes you to a different world. One where the sun always shines, the people always smile and it’s always time for a Soju Bloody Mary, topped with a Scotch quail egg. “I started here as a hostess,” said Michelle Tkach, now the manager. “Walking in with a smile on your face, spending your day in the sun, I can’t imagine a better life.” John Q. Humphreys, the chef and owner, opened the restaurant 17 years ago. Originally from Balboa Island, the time he spent training as a chef in New York City and living in Louisiana explains the exquisite details on the menu, and the Southern comfort in the air. “People get charmed by the whole thing, it’s a place to call home,” Tkach said, with a smile, of course.

Songbird Friendly Native Garden 9:30 a.m. Class at Tree of Life Nursery with summer-berrying natives and design ideas for attracting birds. 33201 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano, 949.728.0685,



Sierra Sage Walk 2 p.m.4 p.m. take a walk with experts through The Donna O’Neill Land Conservancy. Free. Call for info and directions, 949.489.9778, www.theconser

Larry Bagby 2:30 p.m. Musician from Walk the Line performs at Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, SJC, 949.493.3188,



Morning Gardeners 8 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Volunteer at Los Rios Park. 31661 Los Rios, San Juan Capistrano, 949.606.6386,

Country Dancin with DJ Bubba 6:30 p.m. The fun starts early and goes till late at Swallow’s Inn every Monday. Plus it’s steak night! 31786 Camino Capistrano, 949.493.3188, Memorial Day Grilling 6:30 p.m. Interactive Cooking Class at Antonie’s Cafè with Chef and Caterer Caroline Cazaumayou featuring recipes, dinner, wine and more. 218 S. Cost $50 each. El Camino Real, San Clemente, 949.492.1763,

Price Range: $3-$35 Payment: Cash, credit cards Reservations: For parties of 12 or more, but waits not unusual on weekends. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m., Saturday, 3 p.m.–7 p.m. for Bites & Chef’s Tasting Menu, closed on Monday

Soju Bloody Mary. Photo by Pantea Ommi Mohajer

Go to and under “Getting Out” share your thoughts about this week’s restaurant.


Thor Conquers Mostly

The Capistrano Dispatch May 13–26, 2011


California Missions Resource Studio 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mission San Juan Capistrano presents its new studio with information on all 21 missions for students, teachers and more. Free with paid admission of $5-$9. 26801 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949.234.1300,

Native American Basket Weaving 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Learn the art and culture of basket weaving at Mission San Juan Capistrano on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month. Free with paid admission of $5-$9. 26801 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949.234.1300,

Two-for-One at the Wharf Now offered Tuesday and Wednesday through April: Dana Wharf has half price on all fishing trips, whale watching and other adventures. 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.496.5794,

Vine Wine Tasting & Food Pairing 7 p.m.-8 p.m. Educational wine tasting at Vine featuring four wines paired with food; $40 per person. 211 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente, 949.361.9376,


AT THE MOVIES When one hears the name Thor, one might think of German paganism, comic books by the same name, supernatural powers of said character or even a minor By Megan Bianco character in Adventures in Babysitting (1987). When one hears the name Kenneth Branagh, some of the best screen adaptations of Shakespeare to date are most likely to pop into mind. So when it was announced in early 2010 that Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures were combining to produce a film adaptation of Thor directed by Branagh, there were double takes. Thor is a part of the present Avengers film franchise, and surprisingly, its odd choice of director is no misfire. After disappointing and shaming his father and king (Anthony Hopkins) of the fantasy planet Asgard, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) loses his extraordinary powers of thunder, and he and the source of said powers—a hammer—are stuck in the middle of New Mexico. Scientists Jane (Natalie Portman), Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) and Darcy (Kat Dennings) discover him and take it upon themselves to evaluate where he and his hammer came from. Meanwhile, the government has taken control of the hammer and is studying its meaning, and back on Asgard, Thor’s brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) seems to have plans of his own.

By Pantea Ommi Mohajer




Jim Messina 8 p.m. Country rock artist at The Coach House, also with Scarlet Furies and Johnson McCue. Tickets $20. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930,



Swing Shift 8 p.m. Live music at Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, 949.493.3188,

Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman in Thor. Photo © Zade Rosenthal/Marvel Studios

What Thor succeeds with is a good cast and director, vibrant special effects and battles seen in the Asgard scenes, equal action and dialogue between the male and female characters and decent comic relief. Underdevelopment of the Jane character keeps the film from flawlessness. A typical love plot between Thor and Jane would have actually worked better platonically. And finally, the film’s villain, Loki, has what seems like three different motives for his menacing, but we never know exactly what his goal is by the end of the film. Nonetheless, Thor does visually entertain its audience and fans, as an action and fantasy film should, enough to spend almost two hours of a weekend. CD Page 24

Food Truck & Fare Thursdays 11 a.m.-2 p.m. A variety of gourmet food trucks that changes weekly at the OC Fair & Event Center. 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.708.1500, Ibiza Ultra Lounge 7 p.m.-close. European-style nightlife featuring a DJ spinning in the ultra lounge at Tannins Restaurant & Wine Bar. 27211 Ortega Hwy., Suite C, San Juan Capistrano, 949.661.8466, *For our full calendar, visit the “Event Calendar” at Have an event? Send your listing to




COMMUNITY CALENDAR friday 5.13 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 tuesday 5.17 City Council Meeting 6 p.m., City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto

tuesday 5.24

wednesday 5.25

Utilities Commission Meeting 8 a.m., City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto

Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees 5 p.m. District Headquarters, 33122 Valle Road Agenda at

Cultural Heritage Commission Meeting 5 p.m., City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto Planning Commission Meeting 6:30 p.m., City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto

friday 5.27 Next regular issue of The Dispatch publishes. *Meeting agendas at


Dating When a Spouse is Institutionalized with Alzheimer’s W hen a spouse has Alzheimer’s disease, is committed to an institution, no longer recognizes her or his spouse, and it’s been going on for years, is it OK for that person’s spouse to seek comfort in a relationship? Ed said, “My wife has early onset ON LIFE AND Alzheimer’s disease, a beautiful woman LOVE AFTER 50 By Tom Blake age 59, whom I love very much. She is mentally gone now, doesn’t know me or anyone else and sleeps much of the day. “We traveled to Israel and Hawaii in 2007, and it was clear to me at that time that our traveling days were over. The rapid onset since has been very discouraging; she has been in assisted living for two years. “My family and friends are OK with my ‘moving on,’ so long as my wife receives the care she has now. I have no problem with that; I see her three to four times a week, but cannot bring her home anymore. “I met a new lady two months ago who is widowed; we have seen each other several times a week since. We have tentative plans to do some traveling. Our relationship is beyond platonic. The lady I am seeing is very traditional, and says, ‘Who gives me a pass to date a

married man?’ “Society, her friends and the church we attend have sanctions, which she is concerned about.” I don’t know how to answer her. What should I say?” I publish a weekly e-newsletter. I asked members to comment on Ed’s situation, thinking a variety of opinions would help him. Diane, who was in a similar situation, but with the roles reversed, said, “It’s a long and dark tunnel when going through Alzheimer’s with a loved one, but it helps to have a light at the end of that tunnel and someone waiting there for you who loves you.” Gregory added, “Justice O’Connor dealt with the reverse situation. Her husband found a ‘friend’ while at the nursing home. She delighted in the fact he had someone to be with.” Jon said, “Considering that there really is no marriage anymore and his spouse is apparently unable to comprehend what is going on, a relationship is within reason.” Cydne, emailed, “If Ed’s friend is concerned about what other people think, her answer is no. I don’t worry about what society or others think about my life decisions. That’s why I am so happy.” Mary said, “There will always be some holier

than thou, judgmental busybody who will make her life miserable with criticism and condemnation. So what, go for it!” George, “Alzheimer’s is a vicious disease. The dementia associated with it is irreversible. A victim can linger for years. Spouses are as ‘imprisoned’ as patients. If there is another person to whom a spouse can reach out—it’s not cheating or being unfaithful.” My answer to Ed: You and your new friend sound well matched. I feel you should cherish each other. You have a right to be happy as you have been loyal and wonderful and will continue to ensure your wife is well taken care of. And your friend has the right to be happy as well, as she learned from being a widow. As far as the “sanctions” you mentioned, only your new friend can decide whether they are more important than happiness with you. Doesn’t God want us all to be happy? If the sanction sources are too judgmental, perhaps she should find more enlightened sources that are more accepting. What would you say to Ed’s girlfriend? Email comments to CD Tom Blake is a San Clemente resident and Dana Point business owner who has authored three books on middle-aged dating. See his website at

San Juan Hills Students Witness Fatal DUI Wreck Crumbled cars littered the parking lot and blood ran onto the asphalt Monday at San Juan Hills High School, where students watched two classmates leave campus in a mortuary van, others in ambulances and one handcuffed in a California Highway Patrol black-and-white. It was a hard lesson about the dangers of drinking and driving—but fortunately, it was just that, a lesson. With the help of a state grant and city support, the San Juan Hills PTA put on a mock DUI crash designed to graphically illustrate the impact of a drivingunder-the-influence tragedy. Those in the Monday’s drama were students, and throughout the day students will be pulled from class, “killed” in a DUI accident. The state grant was $10,000, while the Capistrano City Council donated another $1,500. The day after the “accident,” the students gathered in the gym to listen to a man convicted of drunk driving—in an accident that killed his younger brother. —Jonathan Volzke The Capistrano Dispatch May 13–26, 2011

Photos by Cory Saul

Page 26


Juaneños Suffered from Smallpox, but Thrive in Town I t is not often that history and the present come together in a neat little package. But when you have as much history as our community has that happens more than you might think. 1862 was a pivotal year in San Juan Capistrano. It started, as 1861 had Jan Siegel ended, with rain, rain and more rain. Rivers and streams overflowed. Adobe walls crumbled. But the worst was yet to come. Salvador Canedo was a prosperous rancher in town. His home was on the corner of El Camino Real and Ortega Highway, where the parking lot is next to the Playhouse. He wanted to improve his home. So, according to Pam Gibson in Two Hundred Years in San Juan Capistrano, he had his ranch hands go up to San Francisco with a herd of cattle and instructed them to return with enough lumber so that he would be able to put in new wooden floors, a shingled roof, and new corridors into his property. They did return with the lumber. But unknowingly the ranch hands also brought small pox back with them. There was at this time an epidemic of small pox that was running rampant through northern California and as far away as British Colombia. San Juan Capistrano was the first of southern California communities that were hit hard by this epidemic. There was no vaccine available in town. The Juanenos were particularly hard hit by this

epidemic. “The Mission death register, between the dates of November 16 and December 31, 1862, recorded 129 deaths, all Native Americans. The epidemic continued into 1863, and ironically the last recorded death attributed to the disease was Salvador Canedo, the man who unintentionally brought small pox to San Juan Capistrano. What makes this epidemic even more sad is the impact that it has had on the Native American population today. In the federal report issued on March 15 that denied recognition to the Juaneños, one of the reasons given for not believing the continuity of Juanenos in San Juan Capistrano was the 1862 small pox epidemic. The report states “that the evidence in the record indicates that a community of San Juan Capistrano Indians persisted around and at the former San Juan Capistrano until 1862, when a small pox epidemic killed almost half the estimated Indian population (88 of 200) in a period of less than three months. No evidence in the record indicates that the community was able to recover from this event.” The report goes on to suggest that there is no record to show that the Native population that was left in San Juan Capistrano were indeed all Juaneno. But the Juaneno Nation does exist in our town. For one, It is kept alive through the effort of the Blas Aguilar Adobe Foundation and Juaneno Acjachemen Cultural Center. And during the month of May, in

honor of the City 50th Incorporation Celebration, the Blas will demonstrate and acknowledge this culture. On Saturday May 14 and Sunday May 15 there will be demonstrations on basket weaving. Saturday and Sunday May 21 and 22 will be devoted to Native games. And on Saturday May 29 there will be storytelling. All events are free to the public. The culture of the Juaneño has survived despite floods and epidemics. 1862 was also the year that created Cinco de Mayo. This was actually a minor battle between the French and the Mexicans. The Battle of the Puebla as it was originally called, was the first time that the Mexicans had defeated the French, but it was only a moral victory because the French would be in Mexico for another 6 years. But the Battle has been a favorite among Mexicans for showing their endurance. And so today, Cinco de Mayo is a day of celebration and cultural awareness which often extends throughout the month of May. On Saturday May 21 the Mission will host its annual Mariachi competition, which this year will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the city. History and the present do come together in San Juan Capistrano. Spend a Moment in Time during the month of May at the Blas Aguilar and the Mission and celebrate the cultures that help make our community so vibrant and special. Jan Siegel serves on the Historical Society Board of Directors and the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission.

DON TRYON: Old San Juan

Our Law-Abiding Town! Hmmm…. T he O’Neill Museum on Los Rios Street has a rather large collection of old photos of our village. Some go as far back as the 1870s. The collection includes many of the Mission, buildings and homes, people, farming, ranching, Dana Point, aerials, Ortega Don Tryon Highway and many scenes of the town. On the early day photos, the word “SALOON” can be seen on some roofs of buildings. These fine establishments were responsible for dispensing an elixir that erased all the cares and woes after toiling in the fields or on the ranch all day. They were also important meeting places for serious discussions relative to logistics on cattle roundups and branding, about Father Quetu’s ostrich races, or perhaps casual observations of a pretty new teacher at the elementary school. But in the 1920s tragedy struck! “Prohibition!” That meant we had trouble in Capistrano Valley, as no one could make or sell alcohol. And all the saloons were closed! How could meetings of importance be held without these establishments? This was really serious as no wedding, wake, bar-b-cue, or other celebration was complete without a little of the “refined” spirits. But, that didn’t stop a few enterprising individuals. These could be our prominent citizens who were renowned for thinking outside the saloon…er box. When special occasions arose they could be depended upon to even break the law if it was in the best interests for the welfare of the community. They were known to do a little “Moonshine” and did a little “Bootlegging,” a term used for illegal The Capistrano Dispatch May 13–26, 2011

controlled distribution and sales. Marketing or brand establishment was never a serious problem. Word of mouth sufficed. Moonshine was not difficult to make. One person, who later became the town constable, made his own beer in the cellar of the little yellow house on El Camino Real across from the Mission. One night’s mishap caused him to give up the idea when his brew exploded! There are also stories of “rum-runners” who used Dana Point Cove as a place to land their boats from offshore ships. Their cargo was illegal spirits from other countries and distributors would pick up their orders for delivery to consumers. The former Coastline Dispatch reported in 1931 “July 4 was marked by an absence of any disorderly conduct, and that no drinking or carousing marred the day, which is as it should be and the [Temperance, ed.] committee in charge deserves much credit. But just the same this human scribe can’t help wondering if the theft of 21 gallons of booze from the home of Capistrano’s leading bootlegger, a few days before the fourth, had anything to do with the absence of liquor at the celebration. Now don’t ask us who Capistrano’s leading bootleggers were for we don’t know; all we know is that the theft was not reported to the sheriff and that some other community probably got what was made for local consumption.” [How inconsiderate.] Even years after Prohibition, moonshiners were reported. The Santa Ana Register headlines on August 6, 1965, read “Moonshiner Arrested in Capo. Revenoors [sic] Destroy Corn Still.” The article followed: “Orange Page 27

County Sheriff’s deputies and U.S. Treasury Department agents moved into upper Capistrano Valley early today to smash what they called illegal corn liquor operations.” Apparently one deputy knew about it for six months, but was unable to locate the operation. [I wonder how hard he tried.] However, about a week before the raid, several individuals noticed a plain white car parked about a block from a barn on Ortega Highway. This was about where the entrance to the Hunt Club area is today. Also they saw someone up on the ridge looking down into the valley. Later a culprit was arrested and he was none other than the local Santa Fe Railroad agent. He claimed he was only experimenting. Agents were able to locate the still by making “buys.” When they broke in, they found two stills and 30 onegallon jugs, all filled with liquor along with six barrels of corn mash. To heat stills, the moonshiners burned old lumber and logs. They also discovered that the spirits were shipped, presumably by rail, all the way to Bakersfield. This was quality merchandise from the Capistrano Valley that was enjoyed by very select customers. And why not! We produce the best of everything. The moonshiners were a 92-year-old and his assistant. The older man claimed that he had been distilling for 80 years and the still was built by a friend of his grandfather in the hills of Kentucky. Too bad we don’t have that historic artifact to put on display. Don Tryon is the archivist for the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society and a member of the Cultural Heritage Commission.


Capistrano’s Flag Survives Tour in Harm’s Way It didn’t take Gunny Sgt. Joe Morales and his family long to make San Juan Capistrano home after they moved into the Habitat for Humanity housing tract off Calle Rolando. So much so that among the photos of his family and special pieces of jewelry that Morales took with him on his recent sevenmonth deployment to Afghanistan was a bit of Capistrano itself: A city flag presented to him last year by then-Mayor Lon Uso. On deployment, Morales’ belongings are limited to what he can carry in his backpack. The Capistrano flag took up a bit of room, he said, but it also made him feel closer to home, closer to his wife Katia and

daughters Kamille, 10, and Josie, 8. “It always reminded me of home,” Morales said. “Being on that deployment makes you really appreciate all you have when you see how people live around the world.” Morales hoisted the flag above the outposts and mud-hut villages along the Helmand River. He and a few other Marines were embedded with Afghan security forces. The Afghanis liked the flag so much, they thought it was a gift and wanted to keep it. Morales, 40, brought it home to Capistrano this month though, unharmed. He will be honored at a ceremony at the City Council’s May 17 meeting. —Jonathan Volzke

Signs of a homecoming are on the wall of Gunnery Sgt. Joe Morales’ home. Morales, above, in front of a banner his family made with his daughters Josie and Kamille and wife, Katia. Photo by Jonathan Volzke

The city of San Juan Capistrano’s flag flies above the Afghan flag over a checkpoint. Photo courtesy Morales family

Gunnery Sgt. Joe Morales on duty in Afghanistan. Photo courtesy Morales family

Gunny Sgt. Joe Morales, Josie, Kamille and Katia with the city flag after Morales returned from deployment Sunday. Photo by Jonathan Volzke

The Capistrano Dispatch May 13–26, 2011

Page 28

Locals Only

Business Directory The only directory featuring San Juan Capistrano businesses exclusively

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

Assisted Living Del Obispo Terrace 949.496.8802 32200 Del Obispo Street,

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


Auto Repair Star Motors 32959 Calle Perfecto


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

949.240.1200 949.240.9240

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



Your business here! Sign up to be featured as our monthly Locals Only Business Spotlight for only $100! Write-up of 50 words with logo. Four weeks in print and online.



This handy, cost-friendly, go-to reference tool keeps your business in front of potential customers 24/7. Get your business listed today. Call Angela Edwards at 949.682.1667 or email aedwards@

Printing OC 949.388.4888 27134 Paseo Espada #B 203,

RestaurantS Las Golandrinas Mexican Food 949.240.3440 27124 Paseo Espada #803,

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


Capistrano Valley Christian Schools 949.493.5683 32032 Del Obispo Street,

Four-A Electric 949.240.8844 32432 Alipaz, Ste. C, Slab leak repair Excel Electric - CA #793860 949.493.7769 SCP Plumbing/ CuraFlo of O.C. 949.493.2426 32238 Paseo Adelanto E-I, 27126 Paseo Espada STE. 705,

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

FLORIST Mother Earth Flowers 949.493.4400 32158 Camino Capistrano, Ste. 105


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

Kitchen Design




San Clemente Computer & Network Services Insurance 949.276.1581 Capistrano Health & Life Tired of Waiting I.T. Services 949.922.7727

Friess Electric 949.248.4222 32332 Camino Capistrano, Suite 102

DC Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning 949.365.9044 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,

Kitchen & Bath Designs 27231 Ortega Hwy., Unit B


MOLD REMOVAL Jarvis Restoration 949.362.5388 31942 Paseo Sagrado,

MORTGAGE Capistrano Health & Life


PAINTING SUPPLIES Dunn-Edwards Painting, Inc. 949.234.1201 31896 Plaza Dr. Unit D-1, Plaza Del Obispo Center

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

PLUMBING A to Z Leak Detection Chick’s Plumbing

949.499.4464 949.496.9731

TELEVISION Reeltime Sight and Sound 949-240-0555 26381 Via De Anza,

WATER CONSERVATION Xeriflo Plumbing Systems 949.276.7000

WATER DAMAGE Jarvis Restoration 949.362.5388 31942 Paseo Sagrado,

WINDOW CLEANING/ PRESSURE WASHING Bayside Window Cleaning 949.290.8230

Women’s Clothing Blu:Echo 949.496.4810 31878 Del Obispo (Marshalls Center)

YOGA Adelanto Studio Yoga & Life Arts 949.705.7344 32118 Paseo Adelanto, Ste.9,

Business Directory CLASSIFIEDS Submit your classified ad online at


Help Wanted E-mail your garage sale to classifieds@

DEADLINE 5PM MONDAY GARAGE SALES Elks Cares, Elks Shares ATTENTION ALL HOARDERS. We need your stuff! The San Clemente Elks Lodge ANNUAL RUMMAGE SALE. You may drop off your donations at the lodge, on the patio, Mon-Wed., 3 p.m. to closing through the month of May. For large donations, estates or assistance, please call Margie Stenson anytime 949-3699721 or Elena Nauman, during Elks Lodge office hours 949-492-2068. No worries, you may repurchase your donated items at the RUMMAGE SALE on JUNE 4TH AND 5TH, 7AM-2PM.


Huge Community Garage Sale! Saturday! Waterford Point community in Dana Point, corner of Golden Lantern & Selva Road, Gates will be open this Saturday, May 14th, 8am - 2pm. HUGE COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE Forster Ranch, San Clemente. Saturday May 14th 8:00 to noon. Go to very end of Camino De Los Mares to pick up street map of all locations. 10th Annual Community Garage Sale! DANA KNOLLS / DANA POINT. Please join us, multiple homes participating, follow the signs and shop till you drop! Saturday, May 14th, 7:00 am - 1:00 pm. Off Del Obispo & Up Blue Fin Drive.

Do you want to reach 11,500+ people in the San Juan Capistrano area? Then you need to be in the Capistrano Dispatch. Call us today!




949.388.7700 ext. 104

The Capistrano Dispatch May 13–26, 2011

Page 31






Super Regional Tournament Mt. San Antonio College May 13-15, TBA

CIF Prelims Trabuco Hills High May 14, TBA The stakes are high and competition is fierce as San Juan Hill’s finest square off against the best of the best at the CIF Prelims.

Saddleback College’s Lady Gauchos are set to compete at the Super Regional Tournament.


Info: www.saddleback. edu/athletics




Sporting KC vs. LA Galaxy, Home Depot Center May 14, 7:30 p.m.

Trojans vs. Anteaters Anteater Ballpark May 17, 6:30 p.m.

Things are heating up on the pitch as the LA Galaxy look to get its game in gear as it hosts Sporting KC in a key match.

UC Irvine gets ready for a crucial non-conference game at home against the University of Southern California Trojans.


Info: www.ucirvinesports. com

Red, White, Blue Tournament May 25, TBA San Juan Hills Golf Course The Men’s Club at San Juan Hills Golf Course holds its monthly tournament. Info: www.sanjuanhillsgolf. com

Report Implicates Coaches in Kickback Scheme Jonathan Volzke and Stacie N. Galang The Capistrano Dispatch


an Clemente High Football Coach Eric Patton has a defender in the booster club despite reports last week that he was among a group of Capistrano Unified School District coaches caught up in an alleged kickback scheme with a now-defunct athletic team supply company. “I’ve worked alongside Eric for countless hours for six years,” said Mark Klein, president of Triton Football. “There’s not a more honest, honorable and forthright man than he is.” Patton did not return phone messages. An investigative report by David Nazar of PBS SoCal named Patton and former Capistrano Valley Coach Chi Chi Biehn. Programs at Aliso Niguel High, Dana Hills High and Tesoro High were also allegedly involved in the scheme, which apparently went on for years but stopped in 2007. Nazar’s report stems from the fallout of the failed Lapes Athletic Team Sales, a Laguna Hills company that would provide team clothing and equipment to schools, colleges and sports leagues throughout Southern California. When the company got into financial trouble, control of the firm changed from owner William Lapes to Geoff and Teresa Sando in 2007. A public records request shows that CUSD paid Lapes Athletics $372,430 between 2001 and 2008. The Sandos in 2009 sued Lapes in Orange County Superior Court and received a million-dollar award. But according to the story by reporter David Nazar that first aired May 4, the Sandos discovered files labeled “slush fund” for nearly 30 Orange County High Schools. Essentially, coaches would pay for equipment and material ordered through Lapes with school district or booster

The Capistrano Dispatch May 13–26, 2011

funds, but a portion of the payment would allegedly go into a “slush” fund for those coaches. Patton figured prominently in the report by Nazar who showed cancelled checks made out to him and members of his family. He told Nazar the issue was complicated and that he had been told by Capistrano Unified School District officials to remain silent. Patton, family members and assistant coaches allegedly received more than $10,000. Nazar showed one document that appeared to be a note from Patton telling Lapes where to send his checks. Patton was deposed, however, in the civil lawsuit between the Sandos and Lapes. According to the report, Patton admitted the money was kept secret. The revelations come as Capistrano Unified and other districts are struggling with the fallout of a lawsuit by the ACLU, which challenged fees students were charged for academic classes. The district is formalizing a strategy that will eliminate the sometimes thousands of dollars parents pay for athletics and cheerleading. Klein, however, rebuffed the notion that the money collected from Lapes Athletic had been a slush fund for coaches. Instead, the money had gone back into the football program. Klein explained that today the booster club negotiates a bulk rate for team equipment with the suppliers and charged players a small markup, a price far less than what athletes would have paid at a traditional retailer. The boosters reap the difference as a fundraiser, Klein said. In the past, equipment suppliers handled the sales directly with parents and passed along the marked-up difference to coaches who would return the funds to the football program, the booster

president said. Klein believed Patton received the checks from Lapes Athletic and turned it over to the boosters or the football program. These days, Triton Football pays suppliers the bulk rate, collects the funds directly and keeps the difference. He stressed that the booster club had checks and balances to ensure every penny is accounted for. Capistrano Unified officials issued a statement saying they were aware of the allegations and were conducting their

Page 34

own investigation. Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jim Amormino said the department investigated Lapes for 18 months and turned a potential case over to the District Attorney’s Office. But DA spokeswoman Farrah Emami said prosecutors did not see the case as one they could prove, so they declined to file charges on March 2. Amormino said if CUSD’s investigation determines the school or a booster club was the victim of a crime, the sheriff’s department would reopen its investigation. CD

Eagles Get New Coach their skills, Coach Dodd, because of his background, can connect them to the ulane University’s Assistant Head right college recruiters and coaches.” Football Coach, Offensive CoorDodd came to TU after nine seadinator and Quarterback Coach, sons at the University of New Mexico, Dan Dodd, accepts position of K-12 Ath- where he served as the special team’s letic Director and Head Varsity Football coordinator with additional duties of Coach at Capistrano Valley Christian overseeing recruiting, wide receivers Schools. and kickers. Dodd was the offensive Dr. Ron Sipus, Head of Schools for coordinator and quarterback coach for Capistrano Valley Christian Schools six seasons (2000-05), and was also the said, in announcing the hire, “Coach Lobos’ passing game coordinator and Dodd will clearly bring a new look to our quarterbacks coach under former head football program which will be highly coach Dennis Franchione in 1996 and attractive to student athletes who want to 1997. Dodd was a member of coaching play for a coach who believes in young staffs at New Mexico and TCU that men and what they can accomplish. His produced four straight winning seasons 31 years of coaching experience includes from 1996-1999 and participated in serving as a high school coach and head three consecutive bowl games (1997coach, junior college head coach and 99). All told, Dodd has been to seven 17 years at Division I colleges as an asbowl games in 12 years. sistant head coach, offensive coordinator A native of San Clemente, Dodd is and quarterback coach. All of that will be a 1978 graduate of Drake University, focused on developing the very best in where he earned his bachelor’s degree our athletes. in Education. He set three school passOur athletes will get playing time in ing records as the Bulldogs quartera quality program and if they develop back, and was a co-captain in 1977. CD The Capistrano Dispatch


The Capistrano Dispatch  

May 13, 2011

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