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Reflecting Back on 4 Years Served Laura Freese leaves the council but continues to serve business community E Y E O N S J C / PAG E 5

After four years on the San Juan Capistrano City Council, Laura Freese leaves the dias but vows to continue to serve the city’s local businesses. Photo by Brian Park

San Juan Loses JSerra Girls Cross Special Section: Beloved Vet Mannix, Country Finishes Three- Holiday Happenings Juaneño Leader Yorba Peat as State Champs and Gift Guide SJC LIVING/PAGE 18






SAN CLEMENTE The California Department of Parks and Recreation’s Office of Historic preservation will consider potentially recognizing Trestles as a historic district. Interested parties received a notice dated December 5 that the agency would be considering the nomination of the area to the National Register of Historic Places. Mark Rauscher of the Surfrider Foundation said the effort had begun after the failure to put the Toll Road in the area. Since the first surfing community at Trestles began in the 1930s, and many major developments in surfing had taken place there, the historians consulted by the Surfrider Foundation had said the area was potentially a very good candidate. The nomination of the Trestles Historic District will be considered at the State Historical Resources Commission Quarterly Meeting to be held Friday, February 8 in Sacramento.




City Council on December 4 voted unanimously to renew the Dana Point Tourism Business Improvement District, or TBID, and authorized the city manager to execute a $364,000 contract with current advertising agency, Agency 51, for 2013. The TBID was created in March of 2009 through a public/private partnership with the city and its four largest hotels. It amasses funds, via a $3 per night room assessment collected by the member hotels, to be used for branding and marketing the city. The vote also authorized an inaugural USA Elephant Parade—an international event featuring elephant sculptures painted by celebrities then auctioned off to raise awareness for the protection of endangered Asian elephants. According to the item staff report, the TBID is expected to spend roughly $2 million on its marketing efforts in the next year.


What’s Up With... 1

…the New City Council?

THE LATEST: Following a hotly contested election, the two victors, former mayor Roy Byrnes and incumbent Councilman Sam Allevato, were officially sworn into the City Council Tuesday, December 4. John Taylor was unanimously elected as the new mayor, but it was the selection of Allevato as the new mayor pro tem, over Councilman Derek Reeve, that drew the council’s first divided vote. Allevato, who is beginning his third full term and previously served as mayor in 2011 and 2007, was elected mayor pro tem by a 3-2 vote. Prior to the vote, however, Byrnes nominated Reeve for the position, explaining that all other council members had previous experience as either mayor or mayor pro tem, and asked Allevato to consider stepping aside. Allevato said he could not due to Reeve’s critical remarks published in local media during the election, which Taylor also cited in his support for Allevato. “In the course of our relations on the dais, I thought I’d been nothing but respectful,” Reeve said. “But we’re grown men. I’m thick-skinned. It’s like water off the back of a duck for me.” FIND OUT MORE: For the full story, visit —Brian Park


…the Zoomars Dinosaur?

THE LATEST: The Cultural Heritage Commission on Tuesday, November 27, approved Zoomars Petting Zoo owner Carolyn Franks’ proposed revisions to her conditional-use permit, which would allow The Capistrano Dispatch December 14-27, 2012

her to keep the controversial dinosaur replica on her property in the Los Rios Historic District. The commission’s narrow 2-1 approval, with two commissioners absent, represents the city’s first show of support for the dinosaur since it was installed in June. Shortly thereafter, Franks was issued a notice to remove the structure, following the city’s determination that it was inconsistent with the Los Rios Specific Plan. In August, the Planning Commission unanimously voted down Franks’ appeal to keep the structure because she hadn’t received proper city approval before installing it. “I feel very confident about evolving the zoo into something that maintains the historical integrity of Los Rios but that continues to provide good oldfashioned fun for kids,” Franks said at the Cultural Heritage Commission’s meeting. WHAT’S NEXT: The Planning Commission will now consider the item once more at a future meeting. FIND OUT MORE: For the full story, visit —BP


…the New CUSD Board?

THE LATEST: In its final meeting of the year, the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees welcomed back trustees John Alpay and Gary Pritchard to the dais and officially swore in new trustees Amy Hanacek and San Juan Capistrano resident Jim Reardon on Monday, December 10. Alpay, who won his re-election bid in Area 3, was elected board president by a 5-1 vote, with Reardon abstaining. Reardon initially nominated trustee

Lynn Hatton for the position, which was supported by trustee Ellen Addonizio’s vote. However, when the vote came to Hatton, she elected to support Alpay. Hatton was later unanimously elected as vice president of the board. Trustee Anna Bryson was unanimously elected as clerk. The reorganization of the board comes off what many voters and trustees called a difficult and contentious election season. WHAT’S NEXT: The next regular board meeting will take place January 7. FIND OUT MORE: To listen to audio from the meeting, visit www.capousd. org. —BP


…the Ortega Highway Speed Limits?

THE LATEST: The City Council unanimously voted to reverse a previous decision and will not increase the speed limit on a portion of Ortega Highway, after council members were inundated with angry emails from residents before their meeting on Tuesday, December 4. The council previously voted on November 13 to increase the speed limit on Ortega Highway, between La Novia Avenue and Via Cordova, from 40 mph to 45. Residents complained that increasing the speed limit would encourage even faster traffic on Ortega Highway, where they said they regularly observed vehicles traveling in excess of 50 mph. “This change is completely inappropriate for a primarily residential area,” wrote resident Gila Jones. “Raising the speed limit will make turning from our streets onto Ortega even more difficult

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and extremely dangerous.” WHAT’S NEXT: The council did, however, approve two speed decreases from 35 mph to 40 on Ortega Highway, between Interstate 5 and Rancho Viejo Road, and Junipero Serra Road, between Camino Capistrano and Rancho Viejo Road. FIND OUT MORE: For the full story, visit —BP


…Planning Commission Vacancy?

THE LATEST: Ginny Kerr, who has served on San Juan Capistrano’s Planning Commission for the past five years and ran unsuccessfully for City Council in the November election, announced her resignation. Kerr said her decision came out of a desire to speak freely about future issues she is tied to. As a commissioner, Kerr would have to recuse herself from discussing those issues. “I didn’t want to be in a position to ever be question about who I talked to or what I said,” Kerr said. WHAT’S NEXT: The City Council approved reducing the number of planning commissioners from seven to five on November 13. The council unanimously voted not to declare a vacancy on Tuesday, December 11, because new appointments will be made in June. Planning Commissioner Roy Nunn also asked the council to reconsider their decision to reduce the number of commissioners, saying that seven members were necessary. FIND OUT MORE: For the full story, visit —BP


Reflecting Back on Four Years Served Laura Freese leaves the council but continues to serve San Juan’s business community By Brian Park The Capistrano Dispatch


ack in December 2008, on the night she was sworn into the San Juan Capistrano City Council, Laura Freese said, “Tonight is the first step in a long journey.” In reality, Freese’s path to the council dais started long before her decision to run for office. As a council member, Freese often waved the flag for the city’s business community—a flag she first picked up as a local small business owner and member of several businessfocused groups, including the Chamber of Commerce. Fast forward to 2012, as Freese exits City Hall with only one full term to her name—many expected her to be a fixture on the council, and many still believe she will eventually make a return. To that, Freese says, “Never say never,” and of course, her replacement, former mayor and new Councilman Roy Byrnes, successfully accomplished that feat in the November election. Still, when asked to reflect back on her four years’ work on the council, she does so with a marked degree of satisfaction. More could have been done, she says, but in her lone term, Freese helped usher in several changes that have altered San Juan Capistrano’s course into an upward swing. “Four years later, we were able to get a lot of webs untangled,” Freese said. “I’m not a policy setter who sits back and lets things happen on their own time. I’m a roll-up-your-sleeves type of policy setter.” Most of the accomplishments Freese recalled have to do with local business. She is especially proud to have seen the completion of the Residence Inn by Marriott—San Juan Capistrano’s first new hotel in 30 years. With the dissolution of the redevelopment agency, Freese said she’s also glad that the city moved funds so quickly toward reopening the Regency Theatre and opening new car dealerships. “We in the public sector expect things to move fast, but government moves very slowly,” Freese said. “Across the street from the Mission, it was very different when I moved here in 1978. A lot of the changes came out because of redevelopment money … The Franciscan Plaza, the movie theater, Mission Promenade, parking—it’s all new.” In April, the City Council also adopted the Downtown Master Plan, which aims to create a more pedestrian-friendly downtown.

The Capistrano Dispatch December 14-27, 2012

Above: Laura Freese gives her farewell address to the audience at City Hall during her last City Council meeting. Right: As part of the Economic Preservation Subcommittee, Laura Freese helped put up welcome banners along the chain-linked fences surrounding the former Chevron and Jack in the Box properties on Ortega Highway and Del Obispo Street. Photos by Brian Park

“Back in the 1980s, you weren’t even allowed to eat outside in San Juan Capistrano. No outdoor gardens or patio restaurants,” Freese said. “The short-term plan was to widen the sidewalk across from the Mission and to create a more pedestrian-friendly downtown with walkable streets, flowers, lights and furniture.” Freese is quick to point that that plans to revitalize downtown began under previous councils but was accelerated in recent years. With the Mission’s Gatehouse Preservation Project still in process, Freese says future councils face a difficult challenge in further improving downtown while maintaining the city’s historical character. “Our local city councilmen of the past, present and of the future really have a passion for the city and its betterment,” Freese said. “Our motto, ‘Preserving the Past to Enhance the Future,’ is a very tough thing to do, but it can be done with the right balance.” Freese’s work to help businesses hasn’t gone unnoticed. “When I got here, I saw there was a master plan, but as I was talking to people, they said we’d gone through that before without getting much done,” said Mark Bodenhamer, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce. “Laura really carried Page 5

the flag for the master plan and made sure it wasn’t just some thought exercise … From the chamber’s perspective, she’s an ideal member of the council.” Even as she leaves the council dais, Freese says she will continue to help the city’s business community at-large, specifically as the chair of the Economic Preservation Subcommittee, which aims to curb the impact of Caltrans’ massive Interstate 5/Ortega Highway Interchange Project. Along with Mayor John Taylor and several representatives from local businesses, Freese and the committee are in constant contact with Caltrans and aggressively pursuing measures that will, at the very least, help preserve traffic to the city’s businesses and in turn, maintain revenue streams to the city. In fact, Freese says her decision to run for council four years ago was inspired by early plans for the construction project. “What really pushed me to run in 2008, rather than 2010, was knowing that it was going to come to a vote,” Freese said. “I talked to a lot of businesses and they were saying how business unfriendly San Juan was … I learned about the

importance of having good businesses, so that made me want to help the city get through this project.” One visible step the committee has taken is to place welcome banners along the chain-linked fences surrounding the former Chevron and Jack in the Box properties on Ortega Highway and Del Obispo Street. The committee is planning on additional beautification efforts in the area, which essentially serves as a gateway into downtown. Other plans include holding more public activities and events in downtown, specifically in Historic Town Center Park, and offering lower fees and streamlining the permit process for event producers. “She’s not leaving any stone unturned. Everything you can possibly think of, we’re throwing at the Orange County Transportation Authority and Caltrans to try and preserve businesses during this construction project. She literally thinks of everything,” Taylor said. Taylor said he fully believes Freese will run again for city council, and he’d be surprised if she didn’t win. He, along with many in the community, was surprised Freese chose not to seek re-election, but given her reasoning— her husband Steve’s cancer diagnosis earlier this year—Taylor said the choice was clear. “She absolutely made the right decision,” Taylor said. Freese reports that after six months of chemotherapy, five months of radiation and surgery, her husband’s cancer is now in remission. “He’s cancer-free now. He’s doing great and the family is in good spirits,” Freese said. At her last council meeting on Tuesday, December 4, Freese, joined by her husband, was met with a standing ovation from a capacity audience in the council chamber. In his farewell address to Freese, Councilman Larry Kramer, then still the mayor, read off a long list of all of the outside agencies and regional boards Freese served on. It was enough to draw muted laughs from the audience, not born of comedy but awe. Kramer closed by saying he fully expected Freese to continue serving the city in some capacity. Later, in her last few moments on the dais, Freese smiled and winked—a trademark sign of hers according to Taylor—before vacating her seat. “Probably the best ending to it all, I’m leaving the best city in better shape now.” CD

EYE ON SJC Sunday, December 9

SJC Sheriff’s Blotter COMPILED BY KEVIN DAHLGREN All information below is obtained from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department website ( The calls represent what was told to the deputy in the field by the radio dispatcher. The true nature of an incident often differs from what is initially reported. No assumption of criminal guilt or affiliation should be drawn from the content of the information provided.

Tuesday, December 11 DISTURBANCE-AUTO INVOLVED Via de Agua/Camino Las Ramblas (4:06 p.m.) Two juveniles were seen sitting in the bed of a pickup truck in an empty parking lot. The caller told police the truck had all the doors open and very loud music playing for more than two hours. BURGLARY ALARM-AUDIBLE Camino Capistrano, 31700 Block (2:41 a.m.) An alarm company reported an alarm sounding at a local business. A company representative told police that their alarm system detected a break-in and movement inside the business after hours. Officers patrol checked the area for suspicious activity but were unable to locate anything. RECKLESS DRIVING La Pata Avenue/Ortega Highway (1:30 p.m.) A white two-door hatchback was seen driving erratically near the equestrian fields on Ortega Highway. The vehicle was seen travelling eastbound on Ortega Highway at a high rate of speed while weaving between cars.

Monday, December 10 DISTURBANCE Edgewood Road, 29300 Block (11:58 p.m.) A loud argument was heard between a man and a woman. The caller could not determine where the argument was occurring but told dispatch that it sounded like the argument was becoming more aggressive. TRAFFIC HAZARD Ortega Highway/Rancho Viejo Road (8:37 a.m.) A red 1956 Chevy Camaro was seen stalled in lanes of traffic. The owner of the vehicle was attempting to contact AAA towing but was unsuccessful at the time of the call to police. The Capistrano Dispatch December 14-27, 2012

DISTURBANCE Alipaz Street, 32300 Block (7:59 p.m.) A man called police after a brief physical altercation with his girlfriend’s son. The man told police that there were no injuries and refused to have an officer present. The caller also told police that he did not want to file charges, only to file a report. DRUNK IN PUBLIC Del Obispo Street, 32200 Block (6:37 p.m.) A caller reported that an intoxicated male was seen yelling obscenities at customers of the Armstrong Garden Center. Officers were able to locate the individual, who was released to a family member to be taken home immediately. VANDALISM REPORT Alipaz Street, 32700 Block (1:48 p.m.) Police were called to Rancho del Avion Mobile Homes where a resident reported that her car had been vandalized.

Saturday, December 8 DISTURBANCE La Zanja Street, 26500 Block (11:11 p.m.) A group of five to six men were reportedly seen in a physical altercation outside of a residence. The caller was unsure how the fight started but several of the men had been in a verbal disagreement shortly before the physical altercation occurred. RECKLESS DRIVING Calle Arroyo/Sundance Drive (9:33 p.m.) A patrol check for the area was requested after a lifted black truck was seen driving at excessive speeds on Calle Arroyo. The caller was unable to give a make or model of the vehicle but told officers it was last seen heading toward the stables on Calle Arroyo. TRAFFIC HAZARD Camino Capistrano/Ortega Highway (5:09 p.m.) Multiple drivers reported a motorist stranded in traffic on the southbound freeway off-ramp. The driver of the disabled vehicle was seen attempting to flag down other drivers. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Calle Miramar/Paseo del Este (12:05 p.m.) A girl’s backpack was seen sitting on the ground near a flag pole for more than a week. The caller was unsure of the contents of the backpack but was worried there may be something dangerous inside.

Friday, December 7 TRAFFIC HAZARD Camino Capistrano/Del Obispo Street Page 6

(8:14 p.m.) City officials were notified after motorists reported a tree branch hanging from a tree in the center island of Camino Capistrano, partially blocking lanes of traffic near KFC. ILLEGAL PEDDLING Country Hills/Via Escolar (7:04 p.m.) A female wearing clothing of an unknown color was reported to be going door to door, soliciting residents. ABANDONED VEHICLE Calle Ricardo/Via Alicia (3:12 p.m.) An unattached trailer was seen parked in the same spot for more than four days. The caller was concerned that someone may have left it there on purpose. ILLEGAL PEDDLING Country Hills/Via Escolar (7:04 p.m.) A female wearing clothing of an unknown color was reported to be going door to door, soliciting residents. ID THEFT Capote De Paseo, 27200 Block (2:34 p.m.) A caller reported that someone was attempting to apply for a credit card in her name. DISTURBANCE-MUSIC OR PARTY Calle Las Ramblas/Montañas del Mar (12:07 p.m.) A live band was heard playing loudly on Montañas del Mar. The caller said that the band was obnoxiously loud and wanted an officer to ask them to quiet down a little bit. DISTURBANCE Alipaz Street, 32300 Block (2:34 a.m.) A call was received about an altercation at San Juan Mobile Estates between the caller and her female friend.

Thursday, December 6 SUSPICIOUS PERSON IN VEHICLE Vista Pointe East, 26900 Block (8:38 p.m.) A patrol check was requested for the area when two men were seen passing something between themselves while sitting inside a white Honda Accord. The caller believed the two men may have been using drugs or drinking alcohol. TRAFFIC ACCIDENT-NON INJURY Ortega Highway, 27100 Block (6:42 p.m.) A man called police after his Toyota 4-Runner was involved in a traffic collision. The driver wanted an officer to be present during the exchange of information between both parties involved. ABANDONED VEHICLE Calle Ricardo/Via Carlos(3:06 p.m.) A white oversized construction truck was reportedly parked in the same location for over three days. The caller

told the desk that the truck was causing some traffic congestion on the street. CITIZEN ASSIST Rancho Viejo Road, 31700 Block (5:31 a.m.) A caller reported that trucks doing emergency road repairs were blocking the entrance into the shopping center and that on one could get in.

Wednesday, December 5 DISTURBANCE-AUTO INVOLVED Paseo Carolina, 32200 Block (8:10 p.m.) A black Honda Civic was reported to be playing very loud music while parked in a residential neighborhood. The driver of the car was seen standing near the vehicle with a group of four other men. TRAFFIC ACCIDENT Ottega Highway/El Camino Real (4:22 p.m.) A traffic collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian was reported to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The caller told the desk that the pedestrian was complaining of pain in his head and neck area and was requesting medical attention. The driver of the vehicle refused medical attention.

Tuesday, December 4 SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Alipaz Street, 32700 Block (4:16 p.m.) Police were called after three juveniles were seen on the bike trail behind the caller’s house. Deputies performed a patrol check but were unable to locate the boys. TRAFFIC HAZARD Del Obispo Street/Alipaz Street (4:16 p.m.) City officials were notified when the left turn signal at the intersection of Del Obispo Street and Alipaz Street began to malfunction. A witness reported that only the turn signal was not working properly. City officials were able to reset the signal and return it to proper working order. KEEP THE PEACE Avenida Descanso, 32800 Block (11:41 a.m.) A local resident wished to have an officer present during a property exchange with a former business partner.

Monday, December 3 ABANDONED VEHICLE Via Banderas, 26900 Block (2:50 p.m.) An older model white Nissan pickup truck was left abandoned on a residential street. The caller told police the owner of the vehicle had not been seen in a few months and the car was beginning to deteriorate. Officers marked and warned the vehicle and contact was made with the owner of the truck.



Compiled by Brian Park


Local Vet Receives Special Certification San Juan Capistrano veterinarian Deborah Adams was recently certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners as a Diplomate, a recognition that means she is specialized to treat a specific category of animals. Adams, who works at Ortega Animal Care Center, received her certification in canine and feline practice after completing a two-day examination and six years of work at the hospital. Ortega Animal Care Center is located at 27341 Ortega Highway, 949.487.7600,

Shea Center Offers Financial Aid for Therapeutic Riding to Military Families The Shea Center, which provides therapeutic riding programs in San Juan Capistrano, has announced a new financial aid program specifically for past or present military families with special needs members. The funds were made available following a donation from Reach Out OC,

a fund organized by Orange County Community Foundation, which provides grants to local nonprofits. Eligible families include those with a member who has served or is currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Special needs clients can take advantage of the financial aid program to participate in the Shea Center’s riding programs. For more information, contact Adre Hudgson at 949.240.8441, ext. 123.

Holiday Toy Express Scheduled to Visit San Juan Capistrano December 15 The Metrolink Holiday Toy Express will arrive in San Juan Capistrano on Saturday, December 15, at 6:45 p.m. to collect gifts to donate to children. The train, which is adorned with more than 50,000 lights, travels to Orange County train stations each year to collect gifts gathered from the Spark of Love program. The unwrapped toys and sporting equipment will go to children in need during the Christmas season. Over the past 20 years, the program has collected more than 7 million toys for children. The Holiday Toy Express,

The JSerra High School string double-quartet, from left to right, includes AJ Krause, Brendan McFadden, Daniel Nguyen, Griffin Aroz, Connor Golley, Reid Spencer, Jack Yuan and Jason Bojun. The students will join Beatles and Rolling Stones tribute bands at the Coach House on January 12. Courtesy photo

which is organized by Metrolink and the Orange County Transportation Authority, made its first stop in San Clemente on Saturday, December 8.

JSerra Quartets to Join Beatles and Rolling Stones Tribute Bands The JSerra High School string doublequartet will join the stage with Beatles tribute band Abbey Road and Rolling Stones tribute band Jumping Jack Flash at the Coach House on January 12 at 8 p.m. Students Jack Yuan, Brendan McFadden, Daniel Nguyen, Reid Spencer, AJ Krause, Griffin Aroz, Connor Golley and Jason Bojun will join the bands in performances of “Yesterday,” “Eleanor Rigby” and “As Tears Go By.” “I’m looking forward to the Coach

House show because we get to play my favorite Beatles song, ‘Eleanor Rigby,’” McFadden said in a statement. The show is part of a larger tour called “Beatles vs. Stones, A Musical Shoot Out.” Tickets cost $15 to $18 and can be purchased online at www.thecoachhouse. com or by calling 949.496.8930. Doors open at 6 p.m. The show is appropriate for all ages.

Hunt Club Raises $30,000 for Boys & Girls Club The 17th Annual Yuletide fundraising event, hosted by Hunt Club residents, raised $30,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of Capistrano Valley on Friday, December 7. Although the event is typically held in a San Juan Capistrano home on the first Friday of December, this year’s Yuletide was hosted by Michael and Annie Crawford in Dana Point. Guests were greeted by Boys & Girls Club members singing Christmas carols and the evening festivities included a cocktail hour, dinner and a visit from Santa. “We are truly thankful. Yuletide is a holiday tradition for the Boys & Girls Club of Capistrano Valley. The support and dedication of all our sponsors is what makes this event such a success,” the club’s Executive Director James Littlejohn said in a statement.



Brian Park, 949.388.7700, x108 ADVERTISING PRINT AND ONLINE


Tricia Zines, 949.388.7700, x107 BILLING Alyssa Garrett, 949.388.7700, x100

34932 Calle del Sol, Suite B, Capistrano Beach, CA 92624 phone 949.388.7700 fax 949.388.9977 The Capistrano Dispatch, Vol. 10, Issue 23. 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 2012. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.





Senior Designer > Jasmine Smith

Finance Director > Mike Reed


Business Operations Manager > Alyssa Garrett

Associate Publisher > Lauralyn Loynes

Accounting Manager Distribution Manager > Tricia Zines

Senior Editor, SC Times > Jim Shilander Reporter, The Capistrano Dispatch > Brian Park City Editor, DP Times > Andrea Swayne Sports & News Reporter > Steve Breazeale Staff Reporter, Copy Editor > Justin Swanson

> Michele Reddick (San Clemente) > Debra Wells (San Juan Capistrano) Sales Associates > Angela Edwards

SPECIAL THANKS Robert Miller, Jonathan Volzke CONTRIBUTORS Ariana Crisafulli, Kevin Dahlgren, Adam Herzog, Darian Nourian, Tawnee Prazak

Letters to the Community OPEN LETTER TO THE COMMUNITY —By Liz Mannix, Coto de Caza My heart is broken. It’s difficult to grasp and comprehend the reality that “that” booming voice and “from the belly” laughter will never be heard again. I used to be so sensitive about his loud voice on the telephone with people, you know—“They’re not on another continent, Jack. We have technology nowadays. You don’t have to shout.” But it wasn’t shouting—it was a powerful energy full of life and a vehicle to carry his care and concern to others. It was full of excitement and emotion and expressed sincere interest in the person on the other end of the line. I knew I had won the lottery marrying Jack Mannix. I have to admit—his fellow Saintsmen at St. Augustine High School in San Diego let me know how special Jack was. I know I was being sized up to see if I deserved Jack Mannix. I pinched myself for 38 years, appreciating his talents, personality, love, devotion to family and intelligence. He was so much fun to be with. I am so overwhelmed by the community support for our family and animal hospital. The San Juan Animal Hospital staff has always been a part of the nuclear Mannix family and all are deeply touched by your expression of love and support. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I know that Jack is looking down, so incredibly touched by your outpouring of love. Be rest assured that he is at the rainbow bridge, greeting all of your much-loved animals and making sure that they are being personally taken care of by Dr. Jack himself. With deepest gratitude for your love and support, Liz Mannix. The Capistrano Dispatch December 14-27, 2012

THE GROUNDWATER RECOVERY PLANT CONTINUES TO LOSE MONEY —John Perry, San Juan Capistrano Only four months into the new fiscal year, the city has been forced to adjust the budgeted output of the Groundwater Recovery Plant from 4,545 acre feet for fiscal year 2012-2013 to 4,000 acre feet because of lower than expected water production. The reduction in the GWRP output will have serious budget implications that will cost the city $668,715 in lost revenue and unbudgeted expenditures during the fiscal year. First, the city will lose the Metropolitan Water District subsidy of $250 per a.f. for the 545 a.f. that the GWRP will not produce. This amounts to a reduction of $136,250 in budgeted revenue. Second, the city will have to purchase an additional 545 a.f. of imported water from the MWD at a cost of $977 per a.f. which will impact the budget with an additional expense of $532,465. The total impact to the 20122013 budget will be $668,715. So, who will have to pay for this miscalculation? It will be you, the taxpayer through your water rates. I am sure the City Treasurer will push some funding around to cover the shortfall so no one will notice. Unless you take time to read the entire multitude of incomprehensible financial reports presented in the council agenda, you would never know the difference. At the Utilities Commission meeting of November 13, 2012, Keith Van Der Maaten, director of the Utilities Department, stated, “the GWRP production loss was caused by the failure of the greensand filtration system.” He went on to say that the filters need to be rebuilt again before the output can be increased. For eight of the nine years the GWRP

has been in operation we have heard the same story over and over again: “As soon as we get this problem solved, the plant will produce over 5 million gallons per day.” As soon as one problem is fixed another pops up. Maintenance costs continue to skyrocket while the GWRP continues to underperform, so we have to import more MWD water to meet the city’s needs. It all costs money—our money. The city has none because the Utility Department still has a multimillion-dollar deficit.

and concentrate on the positive aspects of our lives and our community. The remembrance of the destruction of the Great Stone Church 200 years ago is a chance for a new beginning for our community. Let us not waste this opportunity to build on the friendship and respect that was shown during this ceremony.


As a Southern California small business owner, I find the toll roads invaluable in my commute between my home and my south Orange County restaurant. They save me time, and that saves me money. From a business owners’ point of view, the state should stay out of it. The Transportation Corridor Agencies, funded by private bond holders, filled the void created by the state’s inability to build new freeways—vital to our economic prosperity and quality of life. South Orange County, home to more than one million people, is served by one freeway. That is the situation the state created. The investors in the toll roads will do a far better job of judging the risk of the roads verses the return than the state. Other agencies have begun to build toll lanes, too. The state should get its own financial house in order by becoming more businesslike and leave the TCA alone.

—Jan Siegel, San Juan Capistrano On Saturday, December 8, peace came to the community of San Juan Capistrano. The Juaneno Band of Mission Indians, the Acjachemen Nation, came together in prayer and friendship to honor the memory of 40 of their ancestors who perished in the Great Stone Church during the December 8, 1812 earthquake. Those that perished were attending a Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Guadalupe. A Mass at the Basilica, followed by the ringing of the bells at the Mission, which was followed by a special Acjachemen service in the Great Stone Church was a moving and inspiring moment in the history of our community. Along with Mission Executive Director, Mechelle Lawrence-Adams, all the factions within the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians set aside all of their differences and came together in peace and respect for one another. This time of the year, as families come together, we are reminded how short life is and how much we all have in common. This is the perfect time of the year for all of us to put our differences aside

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STATE SHOULD STAY OUT OF THE TCA’S WAY —John Gillotti, Cypress, Owner of Mission Grill in San Juan Capistrano

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.

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Mark Robert’s Mini Stocking Ornament $24.75 Two Doors Down 949.443.1783 32291 Camino Capistrano #B San Juan Capistrano

Massage Therapy Gift Cards Treat your loved ones to a much needed hour of stress relief! $49 for a one hour gift card. The Massage Associates 31952 Camino Capistrano San Juan Capistrano 949.489.7924

Atenti Handbags $74 - $154 The Nest 31711 Los Rios Street San Juan Capistrano 949.661.1395

Cultured Opal Necklace & Earring Set Sale: $139 Zia Jewelry 31761 Camino Capistrano #3 San Juan Capistrano 949.493.1322




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


38TH ANNUAL BOAT PARADE OF LIGHTS 7:30 p.m. The annual holiday boat parade in the Dana Point Harbor with this year’s theme: “Lights, Camera, Action— Hollywood Holiday.” View for free from the harbor. Runs Friday and Saturday for two weekends. 949.923.2255,



WREATH-MAKING WITH NATIVE PLANTS WORKSHOP 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Make a Christmas wreath at this workshop held at Tree of Life Nursery. Cost $35. 33201 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949.728.0685,


HOLIDAY TOY EXPRESS 6:45 p.m. Holiday event at the San Juan Capistrano Train Station with a holiday show, lots of lights and Santa Claus. New and unwrapped toys will be collected for the ABC7 and Southland Firefighters “Spark of Love Toy Drive.” Bring a toy to donate and enjoy the holiday fun! 949.361.8254, A WONDERFUL LIFE: THE MUSICAL 8 p.m. Classic holiday play at Camino Real Playhouse. Regular shows through Dec. 16. $24. 31776 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.489.8082, PET ADOPTION 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The Ark has dogs and cats for adoption at PetSmart in the Costco Plaza. 33963 Doheny Park Road, San Juan Capistrano, 949.388.0034,


PET PHOTOS WITH SANTA 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Bring your pets in holiday outfits and have their picture taken with Santa at PetSmart in the Costco Plaza, hosted by the Ark of San Juan Rescue Group. 33963 Doheny Park Road, San Juan Capistrano, 949.388.0034,


The Capistrano Dispatch December 14-27, 2012

ON STAGE AT THE COACH HOUSE: AMERICA America is coming to the Coach House to celebrate the holidays. Known traditionally for their iconic rock in the ’70s such as “A Horse with No Name,” and “Sister Golden Hair,” among others, this rock group is coming to the southern California venue to jingle bell rock and promote their new Christmas album. No stranger to the Coach House, vocalist and guitar player Dewey Bunnell describes the group as “a southern California band” and says they’ve played at the venue dozens of times over the years. “It’s an intimate venue, as small as we usually play. We’ve always enjoyed it because we’ve got lots of friends in southern California. It’s nice to be in our home area and to play an intimate venue with our friends,” said Bunnell. Bunnell describes the four-decades-old Courtesy photo America as “a real touring band.” The duo has performed their hits all over the world and is still touring to this day. Their next stop is New Zealand. As of now, America is focusing on promoting their newly released Christmas album, Holiday Harmony, which features traditional Christmas songs as well as originals. America will be playing at the Coach House on Friday, December 21 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $75 and the doors open at 6 p.m. For more information, tickets or dinner reservations, see or call 949.496.8930. —Ariana Crisafulli


PAJAMA STORYTIME 7 p.m. National Charity League Sunshine Readers offer entertaining stories for kids of all ages at the library. Wear your pajamas and join the fun. 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.1752,



KNIT LIT KNITTING BOOK GROUP 6 p.m. The knitting book group meets at the library to discuss “A Redbird Christmas” by Fannie Flagg and do a craft/hobby of choice. 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.1752,



CHERYL SILVERSTEIN 6:30 p.m. Blues and jazz with holiday tunes at Montego Restaurant and Bar. 27211 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949.481.2723,




A CHRISTMAS TOGETHER 8 p.m. Annual Christmas show at The Coach House. $15. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930,

VON COTTON 7:30 p.m. Live music at The Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.3188,





SCHOOL BOY CRUSH 7:45 p.m.-11 p.m. Live music at The Vintage Steak House 26701-B Verdugo St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.661.3400, www. X-MAS 2012 CONCERT 8 p.m. Special concert at The Coach House. Tickets $30. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930, Page 15

LIVE MUSIC AT SWALLOW’S 2:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Rod & The Pistons perform, followed by 8:30 p.m. Rob Staley at The Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.3188, WALKING TOUR 10 a.m. Discover 200 years of San Juan Capistrano architecture on a guided walk. Meet at Verdugo Street. $5 donation for Friends of the Library. 949.489.0736.



SUNDAY FUNDAY WITH BIG FAT STEVE 2:30 p.m. Live music at The Swallows Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.3188,


CHRISTMAS EVE: CONCERT AND LATIN MIDNIGHT MASS 10 p.m.-12 a.m. Festive bilingual vigil mass at Mission Basilica in Serra Chapel, beginning with a concert followed by the service. Earlier vigil mass services will be held, as well. 31522 Camino Capistrano, 949.234.1360,



ELF CRAWL 4 p.m.-9 p.m. Dress up like an elf and participate in the 2nd annual Elf Crawl that starts at Sundried Tomato and travels to several other nearby restaurants/bars in the downtown San Juan Capistrano area, ending at Swallow’s Inn. Kids invited except at Swallow’s. More info on Twitter: @SJCElfCrawl.


HART AND SOUL 6:30 p.m. Live music at Montego Restaurant and Bar. 27211 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949.481.2723,



DUPP BROTHERS 7:30 p.m. The Swallows Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.3188,

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





Wednesday 12.19

Friday 12.21

Parks, Recreation and Senior Services Commission 6 p.m. City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto.

Oversight Board to the Successor Agency Meeting 3 p.m. City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto.

Tuesday 12.18

Zoning Administrator Meeting 5 p.m. City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto.

Coffee Chat 8 a.m. A spirited town hall forum on community issues, hosted by The Dispatch founder Jonathan Volzke. Occurs every Friday. All are welcome. El Adobe Restaurant, 31891 Camino Capistrano.

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

Friday 12.28 Design Review Committee Meeting 4:30 p.m. City Hall, 3240 Paseo Adelanto.

Next regular issue of The Dispatch publishes


The Downside of Long-distance Relationships T

he Internet is a valuable tool for singles over 50 to reach out beyond their social circle and meet potential mates who might live a block away, in another city, another state or even in a different country. Without the Internet, meeting these people would likely never happen. ON LIFE AND The majority of online encounters LOVE AFTER 50 By Tom Blake create long-distance relationships, which can be difficult because it’s hard to get to know the real person when you only see each other occasionally. Plus, you don’t know if someone else is involved. Brenda is 69, divorced, and has been meeting men online for seven years. She is a retired critical care nurse who describes herself as “self sufficient, home owner, great cook, world traveler, art collector, kind, supporting and caring, totally stable.” She said, “I recently met a wonderful man on He has a gentle soul and after a 29-year marriage in which his wife offered only criticism, not any kudos for his loving ways, he got both of his children through college and then walked out. He knew there had to be a better life with a woman who appreciated him.” Brenda likes that he is not afraid to express his thoughts about the way she makes him feel. “Everyone wants to know they are appreciated, even for small spontaneous gestures. You get that warm, fuzzy feeling inside when that happens,” Brenda said. “We have a strong emotional connection. Nothing physical yet; he told me he wanted to go slow and enjoy the ‘get-to-know-you period,’ which is fine with me.” They live 100 miles apart, but still have managed to see each other five times. She was optimistic that they had a future together. They were supposed to meet last Sunday night for dinner. She said, “We communicated Saturday morn-

The Capistrano Dispatch December 14-27, 2012

ing. Everything was great. He said he would call Saturday at 9 p.m. He didn’t. All kinds of things went through my head: Was he in an accident? Had he lost his phone? Was he with someone else?” Brenda got her answer Sunday morning: “He called to tell me he had a date with another lady and had just gotten home! I didn’t know he was seeing another woman,” Brenda said. “He had no remorse or guilt. He said they were trying ‘it’ out to see if they were compatible in that area! Trust is big with me. He wants us to continue seeing each other.” She asked for my opinion. I knew she was hurt and still had hopes for a relationship. Without question, I thought she should dump him, but instead I said, “Let the dust settle, you will figure it out.” Because of the 100 miles between them, they couldn’t meet face-to-face to discuss what had hapPage 16

pened. Brenda pondered the situation for a few hours. Then, she emailed, “I won’t have any connection with him anymore. Being a nurse, and knowing of the increase of STDs in the over-60 age group, I am adamant on testing. What I now know of his promiscuity, I don’t want anything to do with him. It’s not worth my health and safety.” Good decision Brenda. Long-distance relationships can be challenging. To comment: Tom Blake is a San Clemente resident and Dana Point business owner who has authored three books on middle-aged dating. For dating information: To comment: tompblake@gmail. com. The next 50-plus singles Meet and Greet is Thursday, December 13, at 5 p.m. at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli. CD


Juaneño Leader Francine Yorba Dies at 53 Yorba was among the Juaneño tribe’s leading voices in their quest to receive federal recognition By Brian Park The Capistrano Dispatch


Francine Pala Sommers Yorba. Courtesy photo

rancine Pala Sommers Yorba, vice chairwoman of the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians tribal council, died in her home Friday, December 7. She was 53. Yorba passed away in her sleep, according to family members. The cause of death has yet to be determined. Yorba was born in San Juan Capistrano and raised in the city’s Little Hollywood neighborhood in the Los Rios Historic District. She was a vocal representative of the Juaneño tribe in their efforts to gain federal recognition. The tribe was dealt a blow when they were denied recognition in 2011, but the tribe is currently working on appealing the decision. Yorba, who served on the council for 16 years, made frequent trips to Washington D.C. to speak out in favor of the tribe. “She was very powerful. She was very confident and proud of her heritage,” said friend and former tribal council member Nathan Banda, who also serves

on the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission. “When the government would say one thing that wasn’t true, she’d stand up to them. She was a rolodex of information.” Yorba also helped oversee membership of more than 1,900 tribal members and helped identify all the San Juan Capistrano families with ties to the historic Juaneño tribe. Friends and family say Yorba often took the lead role in speaking out on issues she was passionate about. “Sometime in the early ‘70s, when she was about 16 or 17, (Francine) and a bunch of her friends had a bunch of mopeds and they decided to protest against tourists in San Juan Capistrano. They drove through town honking their little horns,” brother Dennis Sommers said. “I have so many good stories about my sister.” According to Sommers, when Yorba was first elected onto the tribal council, “it was like a breath of fresh air.” “She was voted in because of her popularity and all the hard work she had

shown in the past,” Sommers said. “We can’t replace her. She was so important to the tribe.” Yorba was seeking her third term as vice chair in the January tribal council election. Sommers said Yorba brought the same helpful sincerity to her extended family—the tribe—as she did with her family. “Being her big brother but being the youngest of all my brothers, I had no fear of going to my sister when I needed help. When I didn’t tell her something, she’d find out and come to me. She did that for all my brothers and her kids,” Sommers said. “She was a bigger factor to her family than to her nation.” Yorba is survived by four brothers, two sisters, four daughters and three grandchildren. A viewing and rosary were held Wednesday in San Clemente. Yorba’s funeral was held Thursday at Serra Chapel in Mission San Juan Capistrano, along with a bell ringing ceremony and a funeral procession to the cemetery. CD

Local Vet Dr. Mannix Passes Away at 60 Head veterinarian at San Juan Animal Hospital was a noted supporter of animal service efforts By Brian Park The Capistrano Dispatch


eloved San Juan Capistrano veterinarian Dr. Jack Mannix, who regularly contributed his time and services to local animal efforts, died Tuesday, December 4, of unknown causes. He was 60. Mannix was found in his office at San Juan Animal Hospital, where he was taking a nap in between appoints. Fellow hospital employees say Mannix passed peacefully. After practicing veterinary medicine in Carmel, Calif. for two years, Mannix and his wife Liz arrived in San Juan Capistrano in 1982. In 1986, Mannix bought San Juan Animal Hospital, where he served as head veterinarian since. Co-workers said Mannix’s philosophy of veterinary medicine was based on his credo of personal care: “One of the things he used to say was, ‘If this was my dog, how would I want him to be treated?’” said veterinary technician Brianna Taylor. “He always put himself into his patients’ position. He was really relatable in that sort of way.” Friends, co-workers and former patients of Dr. Mannix offered their

The Capistrano Dispatch December 14-27, 2012

Dr. Jack Mannix and his wife Liz Mannix. Courtesy photo

condolences and personal stories on the hospital’s Facebook page, following news of his sudden death. “For years, Dr. Mannix has helped us with our furry kids. His bedside manner is irreplaceable.” wrote Lori KiserSchlobohm. “So very, very sad,” wrote Mark Chapin Johnson. “Apparently God needed a special man in heaven to help him with his four-legged friends.” Mannix was a passionate supporter of

animal service efforts. He offered free or discounted services to two organizations: Guide Dogs For the Blind and the local nonprofit organization The Ark of San Juan. Mannix was also a donor to Tee Off For Dogs, an Orange County-based nonprofit that organizes an annual golf tournament in support of guide dogs. Mannix and his wife also volunteered their time and services to the Boys Scouts, YMCA Indian Guides and Indian

Page 18

Princesses, Little League and local high schools, according to the hospital’s website. Mannix is survived by his wife, his three children, Ryan, Elin and Erika, and three grandchildren, Noah, Abram and Joseph. Mannix and his wife owned three pets: Riley, a Golden Retriever, Rusty, a Golden-Doodle, and Opie, an orange Tabby cat. Funeral services for Mannix will be held at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School on Saturday, December 15, at 1:30 p.m. A reception will follow at Sillers Hall. Guests are invited to bring their pets to the reception but not into the church. In lieu of flowers, the Mannix family has asked that donations be made in Dr. Mannix’s memory to the following organizations: • Guide Dogs For the Blind, P.O. Box 3950, San Rafael, CA, 94912-3950 • UC Davis Companion Animal Memorial Fund, Office of Development, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA, 95616 To read an open letter to the community from Liz Mannix, see Page 10. For the full story, visit, CD

Locals Only

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949.493.7769 Oasis Air Conditioning & Heating 949.420.1321 Excel Electric - CA #793860 32238 Paseo Adelanto E-I, 31648 Rancho Viejo Rd., Ste. A,


BANKING Independence Bank 32291 Camino Capistrano, Suite A,

949.493.3632 949.373.8963 Abby’s Fine Jewelry Design 32382 Del Obispo, Ste. C-3,

San Clemente Computer & Network Services 949.276.1581

COINS GraCorp Coins & Collectibles


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CLASSIFIEDS SUBMIT YOUR CLASSIFIED AD ONLINE AT WWW.THECAPISTRANODISPATCH.COM GARAGE SALES HUGE GARAGE SALE Saturday, December 15, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. 307 Poco Paseo, San Clemente. Collectibles, toys, clothing, household items, grom surfboards and more GARAGE SALE DEC 15TH... Christmas decorations, furniture, electronics, clothes, housewares. 8 am to 12 pm. 2385 S Ola Vista San Clemente

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Then you need to be in The Capistrano Dispatch. Call us today!

949.388.7700 ext. 104

Clifford Anthony Blank (‘Tony’) passed away peacefully in his sleep on December 10, 2012 after struggling for several years with mesothelioma. He was born on April 5, 1949 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Clifford L. and Nanette Blank and was the eldest of five children. The family moved to San Juan Capistrano in 1965, where he lived until graduating from San Clemente High School. He went on to serve in the military as a member of the Army Band, stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska. He later moved to Kauai where he lived for many years, spent the latter part of his life in the San Diego area and finally moved back to South Orange County to be near family as his health declined. Cliff loved music, was an accomplished pianist and composer, and was active in the music scene in San Diego for many years. He is survived by his loyal friend Beth Crawford, father Clifford L. Blank, brothers Marty, Barry and Daniel Blank and their families, and sister Shelley Bachelder and her family. No public services will be held.


Exhibit Provides Insights into the Lives of the Juaneños The new Native American room at the Mission is a tribute to Acjachemen Nation


f you have not been to the Mission lately, you should put it on your to-do list for the holidays. Although the Mission is going through a construction phase, it has opened a new Native American room, which is a tribute to the Acjachemen NaJan Siegel tion. This extremely well documented exhibit shows and explains how the Juaneños lived and survived thousands of years ago. Because of our location, the native peoples had access to numerous plants, animals and fish for an extremely varied diet. Our area was nature’s super market. It is interesting to think that thousands of years ago, native people went into the fields or the ocean to obtain their foodstuffs much as we go to Ralphs or Marbella Market. The question that is asked in the exhibit is how many of the products the Acjachemen used are available today? The list includes acorns, deer, blackberries, gophers, rabbits, grasshoppers, cactus fruits, locusts, insect larva, blackbirds, crows, wild plums, hawks, clover, sunflower seeds, tuna, seals, antelope, sea otters, shell fish, coyotes and whales. The Acjachemen may not have had Mission Hospital to go to for ailments, but they knew that many local herbs and plants had healing properties. Bay Laurel was used to cure headaches and colds. California sage-

The new Native American Museum and Interpretive Room at Mission San Juan Capistrano. Photo by Brian Park

brush was used as an insect repellant. The flower stalks of white sage were used to cure a sore throat. The soap plant was used as soap. Of course, the acorns of the coastal live oak were ground and used for cereal or bread.

The Acjachemen and neighboring tribes exchanged abalone shells, dried fish and salt for obsidian to use as arrowheads. Abalone shells could be used to make jewelry, fishhooks, scrapers and bowls. We recently returned from a trip to Austin, Texas, and in the State Historical Museum, in the Native Culture section, there is an abalone shell that came from Southern California in the trade that local Texas tribes had with west coast tribes. There was no abalone in Texas. The men hunted with bows and arrows, hunting sticks and set traps. A skilled hunter could throw a hunting stick 100 feet to kill a rabbit. Boys were taught from a very young age to acquire this skill. Boys were also taught how to make the tools needed for survival. Women worked together gathering plants and firewood, making food and weaving baskets. Girls were taught how to make baskets and to gather and prepare food. Many of the plants were also used to make musical instruments. In this exhibit, one has the opportunity to make music using the gourds, stalks and branches that were used by those early inhabitants. As we celebrate the holidays, spend a moment in time with your family by going to the Mission and enjoying the way people have lived in this area for thousands of years. Happy New Year to all! CD






On December 14, the JSerra boys basketball team will host a scrimmage against Crenshaw, a perennial CIF playoff contender out of the Coliseum League in Los Angeles. The Lions (6-2) are off to a solid start in the preseason schedule, having earned wins over Woodbridge, Santiago, and Ocean View, to name a few. The two losses on JSerra’s early season have come at the hands of Mission Viejo and Mater Dei, which are both in the top three of the CIF-SS Division 1AA coaches poll as of December 11. Mission Viejo is ranked No. 3 right be-

hind Mater Dei at No. 2. The Lions are currently ranked fifth in Division 4AA. The Lions had a successful run through the Jim Harris Memorial Tournament, which took place from December 4 to December 8, going 3-1 overall, including a 90-48 trouncing of host team Ocean View in the

semifinals. A balanced offensive attack has been key for the Lions, who currently have four players averaging double digits in scoring. Senior big man Jamal Aytes is averaging 16 points per game and nearly eight rebounds while senior guard Devon Pflueger and his brother, sophomore guard Rex Pflueger, are averaging a shade over 12 points per contest. Crenshaw (4-5) comes into the contest riding the momentum of a 72-63 win over league rival, Dorsey. —Steve Breazeale

Lions Cross Country Three-Peat as State Champs By Steve Breazeale The Capistrano Dispatch


hroughout the 2012 season, JSerra girls cross country head coach Marty Dugard made it known that he had a tough group of runners on his squad, and on November 24 at the CIF Cross Country State Championships held at Woodward Park in Fresno, the Lions proved it by winning their third consecutive Division 4 state title. Many of the Lions were running hurt or nursing lingering injuries, but five of the runners managed to finish inside the top-40 to earn 89 total points, clear-

ing their next closest competitor, Arcata, by 21. Sophomore Brooke Kunzelman finished 10th overall at the event and was the top runner for the Lions, posting a time of 18:50. Sophomore Ashley Geisler, the reigning Trinity League champion, finished 14th overall with an 18:50 time. Dugard was unsure about junior Hannah Clifton coming into the race, considering she injured her knee in the buildup to the final. The week before state, Clifton could not even run, according to Dugard. But on race day, Clifton came through for the Lions and placed 27th overall with a 19:37 time—third fast-

est on the team. Senior Colby Lindholm finished 30th (19:39) and junior Kylee Fracassi finished 39th (19:48). The tight grouping of Clifton, Lindholm and Fracassi provided the extra push that vaulted the Lions into first. Fracassi was another injured Lions runner heading into the race and was coming off a hip injury. “I was thrilled, as a coach, because we had so many injuries and question marks going into state and to see them overcome (the injuries), only for one day … the girls really pulled it off,” Dugard said. “They raced through pain and

it was really a selfless team win.” Dugard said the team will take a few weeks off to soak in their three-peat but will be back to training come early January. With a few key seniors departing, like Lindholm and Hannah Hunsaker, who suffered a broken foot and still raced at state, placing 123rd overall, the Lions’ sophomores and juniors will be charged with the task to repeat for a fourth time as state champions. “I want four (state titles), I want five,” Dugard said. “You never know what’s going to happen but that’s our goal (for next year), to win league, CIF and state.” CD





he winter sports season is underway for the San Juan schools; here is a recap of the past two weeks’ worth of action to get you up to speed. Girls Basketball: San Juan Hills traveled to play St. Margaret’s on December 11 and came away with a 43-28 nonleague victory for what was their seventh win in a row. The Stallions (8-3) shot 38 percent from the field and pulled in 32 total rebounds. The Stallions also had a season high 16 assists in the game and were led by junior Evelyn Fox’s seven. Fox is averaging 3.7 assists per game. San Juan Hills’ win streak was snapped following a 53-42 loss to Pacifica on December 12. The Stallions next match is against Newport Harbor on December 14 as part of the Ocean View Tournament. Girls Soccer: Capistrano Valley Christian fielded its first full girls soccer team since 2008 on November 28,

The Capistrano Dispatch December 14-27, 2012

when the Eagles took the pitch against Classical Academy and came away with a 1-0 non-league win. Freshman forward Lauren Messore scored two goals for the Eagles (2-1) and Rachel Matranga contributed with an assist. On December 5 the Eagles suffered their first loss of the season, falling 3-0 to visiting Mission Vista. Mission Vista got off to a quick start by scoring two goals inside the first five minutes of play. Capistrano Valley Christian goalie Mia Wallace tallied 36 saves in the contest. The Eagles also played against Tri City Christian on December 12 and Messore struck for two goals yet again, giving Capistrano Valley Christian a 2-0 victory. Boys Soccer: The Saddleback Valley Christian (1-2) and St. Margaret’s (2-3) boys soccer teams squared off in a non-league match on December 4. The Tartans won 4-0. CD —Steve Breazeale

he All-CIF honors for girls volleyand was named Academy League Coball were announced on December MVP along with Torok. 10. Here is the list of the San Juan Sophomore Peighton McRobie had a high school athletes who breakout sophomore season made the team. and was named to the first St. Margaret’s • After team All-CIF as well as first claiming the Division 3A CIF team All-Academy League. title, the St. Margaret’s girls McRobie, an outside hitter, volleyball team was awarded finished the year with 48 aces, a slew of first team All-CIF a team-leading 313 digs and honors. Senior setter Ashley 329 kills. Torok was named the CIF DiSt. Margaret’s head coach vision 3A player of the year in Susie Maga was also named St. Margaret’s senior setter her first year as setter for the the CIF Division 3A Coach of Ashley Torok. Courtesy photo Tartans. Torok finished the the Year. season with 902 set assists, 19 blocks, Saddleback Valley Christian • After a 48 aces and 131 digs. To go with her successful season that ended with a loss CIF Player of the Year award, Torok was to Hemet in the CIF-SS Division 4AA also named the Co-MVP of the Academy title game, two Warrior players were League. selected with first team honors. Tartan senior outside hitter Gigi MorSenior middle blocker Chelsea Duhs ally was also named to the first team, and sophomore setter/opposite Heidi after a season in which she led her team Dyer were selected to the first team. CD in kills (367). She also tallied 214 digs —Steve Breazeale

Page 22

The Capistrano Dispatch  

December 14, 2012

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