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Swallows Day Parade Marches On The Fiesta Association overcomes annual obstacles to plan the parade E Y E O N S J C / PAG E 5

A historic horse-drawn fire engine representing the California State Firefighters Association races up Camino Capistrano during a past Swallows Day Parade. Photo by Scott Schmitt/San Juan Photo & Digital

City Cuts Fees in Half to Support Downtown

San Juan Hills Boys Volleyball Wins League Opener

SPECIAL SECTION: Full Swallows Day Parade Lineup







SAN CLEMENTE The San Clemente Coastal Advisory Commission may look into adding a proposal to an upcoming election ballot to consider increasing the city’s transient occupancy tax and earmark the additional funds to pay for the proposed Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment project. Commission member Ken Nielsen noted that such proposals had passed recently in the San Diego County cites of Encinitas and Solana Beach as a part of a number of beach replenishment efforts in the county. San Clemente does have a transient occupancy tax in place. It currently sits at 10 percent and generated $1.46 million in 2011, according to the staff report. The estimated cost of the Corps of Engineers project, which would put 250,000 yards of sand on San Clemente beaches, is $4 million.



DANA POINT A science teacher at Dana Hills High School was among the three area educators named as Capistrano Unified School District’s Teachers of the Year. The awardee, Randy Hudson, has been a member of the Dana Hills faculty since 1999. In addition to teaching marine ecology, biology, environmental science and oceanography, Hudson has mentored several nationally ranked science teams. “Teaching is like woodworking,” Hudson wrote in his application. “We provide our students with the necessary tools to solve problems but we must also teach them how and when to use those tools effectively to complete their own projects.” The three district winners will be recognized at the Teacher of the Year celebration at Ocean Hills Community Church, 32222 Del Obispo St., San Juan Capistrano on May 2.


What’s Up With... 1

…Event Fee Reductions?

THE LATEST: In an effort to help downtown businesses during reconstruction of the Interstate 5/Ortega Highway interchange, the City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a 50 percent reduction in fees for special activities and use of downtown city parks over the next two years. Fee reductions will only apply to activities within the Historic Town Center area, which comprises most of downtown and includes Historic Town Center Park and Los Rios Park. Both reductions are effective until March 2015, the same year Caltrans’ $86.2 million project is scheduled to conclude. The city hopes reducing the fees, which are required to conduct special events on both public and private property, will encourage and promote downtown’s economy. WHAT’S NEXT: The council also directed city staff to determine the financial impacts of possibly expanding the fee reductions citywide or for all non-sporting events. FIND OUT MORE: For the full story, visit —Brian Park


…the Common Sense Banner?

THE LATEST: A local activist group has removed their disputed banner from city-owned open space following a hearing officer’s decision last Wednesday supporting a city staff decision. Capistrano Common Sense, a group of residents and publishers of a monthly The Capistrano Dispatch March 22–April 11, 2013

newsletter often critical of City Council decisions, posted a banner two weeks ago on a chain-link fence surrounding the future Dr. Joe Cortese Dog Park, located on the city’s Northwest Open Space. The banner was also placed nearby another posted by the Open Space Foundation, which funded the $150,000 project. Capistrano Common Sense requested an administrative hearing after they were issued a “Notice of Violation” and were ordered to remove the banner. After hearing testimony from the group and the city, the hearing officer, Michael Cantor, who also serves as the city’s safety and emergency services manager, sided with the city’s assessment that Capistrano Common Sense did not receive permission to post the banner. WHAT’S NEXT: Capistrano Common Sense contests that the Open Space Foundation receives special treatment from the city and that discussion surrounding the banner served as a platform to air the grievances. Capistrano Common Sense member Clint Worthington said the group has filed an appeal and applied for permits to place their banner in the Northwest Open Space and the future site of the Reata Park and Event Center, which the Open Space Foundation has also funded. FIND OUT MORE: For the full story, visit —BP


…the State of the City Address?

THE LATEST: Residents, city leaders and local elected officials gathered last Thursday night at El Adobe de Capist-

rano to hear Mayor John Taylor deliver the annual State of the City address. In his speech, Taylor highlighted infrastructure improvements throughout town, including reconstruction of the Rancho Viejo Road/Junipero Serra Road intersection, implementation of quiet zones at five city railroad crossings and the start of the Interstate 5/ Ortega Highway interchange project. Around 250 guests arrived at the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored dinner event. St. Margaret’s Episcopal School Headmaster Marcus Hurlbut, who announced he will be retiring at the end of the school year, was honored with the 2013 Arts and Culture Award. FIND OUT MORE: To view photos from the event, visit —BP



THE LATEST: Southern California Edison says an assessment of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station states the utility could operate Unit 2 at full power for 11 months at full tube integrity. As part of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s investigation into steam generator tube integrity at SONGS, the commission had asked the utility whether it might be possible to operate at full capacity. Edison is proposing restarting Unit 2 at 70 percent capacity for five months to assess tube wear. Unit 2 has remained shut down after tube wear caused a rupture in a steam generator tube in Unit 3 last January. Unit 2 was shut down for refueling, but tube wear was also discov-

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ered in its steam generator tubes. WHAT’S NEXT: A final decision on the restart proposal is expected by May or June to allow the NRC to review the final information sent by Edison. The NRC has stated that an additional public meeting will be held in Southern California before a decision is made. FIND OUT MORE: For updates, visit —Jim Shilander


…the Two-way Language Program at San Juan Hills?

THE LATEST: The Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees last Wednesday unanimously approved expansion of the two-way Spanish language immersion program at San Juan Hills High School. About 35 students who piloted the program at San Juan Elementary School in 2003, and later moved onto Marco Forster Middle School, will become freshmen at San Juan Hills this fall, according to Assistant Superintendent Julie Hatchel. Hatchel said students who wish to join the program must first demonstrate proficiency in Spanish. WHAT’S NEXT: A method to track students’ progress in the program could be written into the district’s memorandum of understanding with San Juan Hills, Hatchel said. The district and San Juan Hills are also working with Saddleback College to offer college credit if students pay the fees for a history course in Spanish. FIND OUT MORE: For the full story, visit —BP


Swallows Day Parade Marches On The Fiesta Association overcomes annual obstacles to plan the parade By Brian Park The Capistrano Dispatch


he latest San Juan Capistrano weather forecasts call for clear skies and a high of just under 70 degrees this Saturday – the folks over at the Fiesta Association couldn’t have prayed to St. Joseph, himself, for better conditions for the 55th Swallows Day Parade. And while the famed swallows remain elusive in the skies above, down below, a cavalcade of horses, carriages, wagons and marching bands will be readily available for all to see, as they make their way through downtown San Juan Capistrano. For members of the Fiesta Association, their moment of relief from months of parade and event planning is short lived. Come Sunday morning, they’ll be back at it, preparing for next year. “When the parade is over, if everything has come off smooth, organized and safe, then I can sit at Ricardo’s with a margarita and be happy,” said Ben Dixon, Fiesta Association board member and parade chair. “Once you do the parade, it’s such a great feeling that you’ve accomplished something and you’ve put this number of people together.” More than 40,000 spectators and participants are expected to attend this year’s event, which is billed as the nation’s largest non-motorized parade. That includes more than 600 horses, 3,800 walking participants and a slew of marching bands, carriages and wagons representing local schools, businesses and community organizations. Jeff Schroeder, the group’s publicity chair and treasurer, estimates his fellow board members put in between 900 to 1,500 hours organizing the parade and all the other events in the Fiesta de las Golondrinas season. “Of course, the Rose Parade is pretty famous. But we have more people and more horses in our parade,” Schroeder said. “It’s thousands of man hours. It gets about this time of the year when The Capistrano Dispatch March 22-April 11, 2013

More than 600 horses are scheduled to participate in this year’s Swallows Day Parade, which is billed as the largest non-motorized parade in the country. Photo by Scott Schmitt/San Juan Photo & Digital

everybody is a little bit on end.” Planning such an event is not without its fair share of challenges, of course. The Fiesta Association celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, but both longtime stalwarts and relative newcomers on the board say each installment of the parade provides its own sets of obstacles. “We get little challenges from year to year. All of sudden, the health department throws around health regulations—problems with enough sinks, water temperature,” Schroeder said. In recent years, the Fiesta Association has had to accommodate a larger group in their VIP booth, which used to include 30 to 40 people on the balcony of the Egan House but has now moved underneath a tent, onto Camino Capistrano, to house closer to 200 people. Financing the parade has also rePage 5

quired board members and volunteers to reach out to more sponsors and include additional fundraising elements into events. According to Schroeder, the parade used to cost $20,000 to $30,000, but it now requires at least $140,000. “There’s been a lot more emphasis on fundraising,” Schroeder said. “The city used to cover a lot more permits.” Among those things the city also used to provide included portable restrooms and wash stations. “Now, we’re paying a lot more.” This year’s parade will also be without coverage courtesy of Cox Communications, which in years past would record the parade and broadcast it locally in exchange for sponsorships. But after losing television rights for the San Diego Padres, Schroeder said Cox wanted to charge $5,000 to broadcast the parade. Instead, the Fiesta Association chose to

work with Saddleback College’s TV and Film Department, which will record the parade and broadcast it on SCTV, channel 39 for Cox subscribers. Perhaps the biggest new development to make local headlines this year was the cancellation of the beer garden at the parade’s accompanying event, the Mercado Street Fair. Due to a rise in alcohol-related incidents over the last several years, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department told the group they had to restrict beer sales to just two hours. Board members said it wasn’t financially prudent to open the beer garden for such a short time, so they elected to do away with beer sales entirely. “If you walked through that Mercado the last couple of years, especially late in the afternoon, it was rowdy,” Schroeder said. Although the board’s decision was not well received by all Fiesta volunteers, many have since come to realize that eliminating beer sales could make the Mercado a more family-friendly event. “My number one concern is safety, and by not having beer sales, you make it safer,” Dixon said. When board members get together for brunch at L’Hirondelle the Sunday after the parade, they will begin by talking about what worked and didn’t work this year. The discussion will then move on to 2014, which is already posing its own set of challenges, including the retirement of Brenda Troxel, who has been putting together parade lineups since 1997. “Putting together the parade lineup is an art from,” Dixon said. “It’s going to take a few people to replace Brenda because she had all the experience and she understood how it’s all put together.” Troxel said she’d like extra time for other pursuits, including taking her trained therapy dog, Winston, to children’s hospitals and nursing homes. “Winston has been with me on the golf cart at the parade since he was a puppy,” Troxel said. “I have many other interests. I think it’s just a change for the Fiesta Association to get some new blood into the group.” Troxel said she couldn’t completely abandon the Fiesta Association – after all, she met her husband, Charley Troxel, at the parade in 1997. She insists she will remain a constant presence at Fiesta events, if anything, to show her support for her friends. “Every one of them, everybody has a passion – a passion for the parade and community,” Troxel said. “Because of that passion, no matter what occurs, they will always be able to overcome any obstacles.” CD


SJC Sheriff’s Blotter COMPILED BY VICTOR CARNO All information below is obtained from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department website (www.ocsd. org). 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.

Saturday, March 16 DISTURBANCE-MUSIC OR PARTY Paseo del Lucero/Via del Rey (11:22 p.m.) A noise complaint was made about loud mariachi music coming from a party. No contact was made. RECKLESS DRIVING Via Estancia, 27800 Block (3:35 p.m.) Officers made contact with a juvenile riding up and down a hill on a dirt bike recklessly, following a call from a concerned resident. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Calle San Diego, 31000 Block (10:04 a.m.) Four males were reportedly doing drugs in the laundry room.

Thursday, March 14 KEEP THE PEACE Calle la Bomba, 26600 Block (7:47 p.m.) A man called police because he believed he was being stalked by his former business partner. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Alipaz Street, 32700 Block (7:45 p.m.) Someone reported hearing a male walking through the creek, toward the bridge, but no one was actually seen. DISTURBANCE-MUSIC OR PARTY Del Obispo Street, 31900 Block (6:43 p.m.) Cancun Restaurant employees were reported for playing loud music from their cars. They were all parked in the alleyway behind the restaurant in Alipaz Plaza. DISTURBANCE-MUSIC OR PARTY Calle Arroyo, 27100 Block (6:20 p.m.) Police received three calls, regarding loud music coming from 24-Hour Fitness. The music heard came from a spin class. TRAFFIC HAZARD Ortega Highway/Interstate 5 (6:07 p.m.) A woman in a gold Lexus was The Capistrano Dispatch March 22–April 11, 2013

reported for driving with a flat rear tire. The woman was driving northbound on Ortega Highway toward the San Bernardino Mountains.

Wednesday, March 13 SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Los Rios Street, 31300 Block (10:47 p.m.) A woman called police after seeing someone in dark clothing hiding in the bushes outside her front door. The woman thought the person hiding tried to gain access to her house.

Tuesday, March 12 PATROL CHECK Via Escolar, 26300 Block (9:17 p.m.) A man informed police that the parking lot lights were out at Capistrano Valley High School. The caller seemed concerned that the lights being out would attract suspicious activity.

Monday, March 11 SUSPICIOUS PERSON/ CIRCUMSTANCE Paseo Pamela, 26400 Block (9:40 p.m.) Police received second hand information from Patrol Masters about seven males loitering in an alley way. The men were reportedly drinking and had become rowdy. GENERAL BROADCAST Interstate 5/Ortega Highway (2:04 p.m.) A man was cutting numerous vehicles off and brake-checking drivers on the freeway. The driver was last seen exiting onto Ortega Highway.

Sunday, March 10 DISTURBANCE Calle Reynalda/Del Opispo Street (8:03 p.m.) Police were called because of an extremely loud leaf blower. No contact was made.

Saturday, March 9 DISTURBANCE Los Rios Street, 31400 Block (10:45 p.m.) Small children were heard running through alleyways and making noise. The informant believed they had come from a nearby party. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/ CIRCUMSTANCE Yorba Street/El Camino Real (6:26 p.m.) Five to six juveniles were all seen smoking in the park. Police did not make contact.

Friday, March 8 CITIZEN ASSIST Sandcastles Court, 26200 Block (8:29 p.m.) A caller informed police of a man getting into a verbal confrontation with a UPS driver. Page 6

A rendering of the proposed retaining wall along southbound Interstate 5 at Camino Capistrano and Stonehill Drive. Courtesy of the Orange County Transportation Authority

CITY HALL NOTES NEW I-5 RETAINING WALLS INSPIRED BY MISSION Plans to reconstruct two retaining walls along Interstate 5 will draw their design inspiration from San Juan Capistrano’s most historic landmark, the Mission. In a presentation to the City Council on Tuesday, the Orange County Transportation Authority revealed design plans for the structures, which will be constructed as part of a $286 million project that will extend northbound and southbound carpool lanes along a 6.5-mile segment of I-5, between San Juan Creek Road and Avenida Pico in San Clemente. A retaining wall, fronting Camino Capistrano and the Marriott Residence Inn, near Stonehill Drive, will be rebuilt to 800 feet in length and will range in height, along a slope, from 10 feet to 24 feet. Another retaining wall, on the north side of Stonehill Drive, across from auto dealerships, will be 110 feet long and 10 feet high. Both walls will feature design elements inspired by the Mission’s bell wall. Renderings of the Mission’s bells and arches will be placed along the longer retaining wall. The texture of the walls will be similar to the cobble found in the Great Stone Church. The longer retaining wall will be colored beige while the smaller wall will be grey. The overall project is scheduled to begin this fall. The retaining walls will be built starting September 2014 and will take about six months, according to OCTA spokeswoman Julie Toledo. CITY TO BEGIN NEGOTIATIONS FOR THREE TELECOMMUNICATIONS POLES San Juan Capistrano will begin negotiations with a wireless infrastructure company looking to build three new

By Brian Park

poles on public right-of-way to support telecommunications equipment. Irvine-based Crown Castle is proposing to rebuild two city-owned poles with newer ones that could support wireless nodes mounted on top. The two existing poles are located on the south side of La Zanja Street, west of Camino Capistrano, and on the north side of Calle Lorenzo, east of Camino Capistrano. A new pole would also be built on the west side of Aguacate Road, north of Via Quebrada. City staff will negotiate the terms of a right-of-way agreement with Crown Castle to determine the time, place and manner of the work. If the work meets the city’s approval, Crown Castle would pay for the poles but the city would still own them. Crown Castle would also assume maintenance responsibilities for the poles and pay the city up to $1,000 for each pole annually for access to them. CITY SELLS VACANT LAND NEAR MARBELLA PLAZA FOR $3.6 MILLION The city of San Juan Capistrano has agreed to sell a parcel of land that has remained vacant for several years and was at different times considered future sites for a fire station and a new city hall. Irvine-based Accretive Realty Investments has agreed to purchase the 4.79-acre plot, known as Lot 217, for $3.6 million. The land sits vacant off Rancho Viejo Road, just north of Marbella Plaza. The city first acquired the land from the Marbella Development Company in 1988. But the land was tied up in two lawsuits, starting in 2008, and has only been permitted for sale since last July, when a settlement agreement was reached with a former developer. For more on all of these stories, see CD



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. 11, Issue 6. 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 2013. 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 Group Editor > Andrea Swayne City Editor, The Capistrano Dispatch > Brian Park Sports Editor > Steve Breazeale City Editor, SC Times > Jim Shilander City Editor, DP Times > Andrea Papagianis

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

SPECIAL THANKS Robert Miller, Jonathan Volzke CONTRIBUTORS Megan Bianco, Victor Carno, Elysia Gamo, Tawnee Prazak, Dana Schnell

GUEST OPINION: My Turn by Jonathan Volzke

Tradition, Not Controversy, Remains Parade’s Staple The parade is still San Juan Capistrano’s, despite changes


e’re all gathering Saturday for the 55th Annual Swallows Day Parade, an event literally older than the city of San Juan Capistrano. There’s some changes to the parade and related activities this year—again. As you recall, last year a new law was in effect banning our one-day cowboys from firing real pistols during the festivities. Last year also saw a kerfuffle over whether a participant who required a motorized wheelchair could use it in the parade, which maintains a strict “no motors” rule. But you’ll remember there was still plenty of shootin’ and plenty of horses. Many of the participants scrambled and found replica six-shooters allowed by law, and the gentlemen in the wheelchair was one participant among hundreds of others who rode horses, crowded wagons, danced or walked through the streets. The parade goes on.

This year has even more changes. The beer gardens that occupied the Mercado are gone, after Sheriff’s Lt. John Meyer looked at arrest and crime stats from last year and decided things Jonathan Volzke were getting a little too edgy. He wanted the beer-serving hours in the Mercado cut back, and the Fiesta Association—the volunteers who put on the parade and related events—decided it wouldn’t be worth it, so they turned off the taps. I agree with Meyer’s decision—the Mercado, particularly after the parade, was getting a little too… adventurous for my tastes. We’d started walking the kids and visitors around it, rather than through it the past few years. The crowd in there wasn’t comprised of the friends and neighbors we enjoy seeing on parade day. While one of the great things

about the parade is the opportunity it gives us to (proudly) show off our town and traditions to visitors, some visitors are more likely looking for trouble than horses and marching bands. Besides, beer (and more) will still be sold at restaurants, and I’m sure the line to get into Swallows Inn will be longer than ever. The parade goes on. The changes in that 55-year tradition—second only to the true welcoming of the swallows at the Mission—can be a good metaphor for the changes we see in town, too. Sometimes we get stirred up and frightened by any suggestion of change in San Juan Capistrano. We should always remain vigilant to ensure our traditions are kept, our values are upheld, but—like a horse marching down Camino Capistrano— we need to learn not to be spooked so easily. Like the parade, change—evolution—can be good for Capistrano,

whether it’s the proposal to put a hotel and homes where the old Birtcher Plaza sits across from El Adobe or a new housing project off Calle Arroyo. Even the front of the 237-year Mission has a new look this year, and the new front gate and gift shop are beautiful additions. And even if we misstep a bit in our decisions, it will still be OK. The parade will go on. Happy Swallows Day! A San Juan Capistrano resident, Jonathan Volzke founded The Capistrano Dispatch in 2002. He left last year to take a position with Faubel Public Affairs. CD

is a form of our own Sharia fundamental religious laws. Look what other states and cities are doing to Planned Parenthood, war on women’s rights, LGBT rights, voting rights, gun violence and destroying the safety net for the elderly and poor—all in the name of God and country. Wave the flag and control with fear— take our country back to what? To the past? Which was not all that good as they believe it was. I know, I lived through the Depression and wars and a lot of misery as did my parents and

grandparents all the way back to the Revolutionary War and the Founding Fathers. I’m tired of the fear mongering. Whatever happened to the “common good?” I hear all the time that we can’t afford it. America is going bankrupt like Greece, the national debt, etc. Be afraid, very afraid. Yes, the national debt needs to be paid in a sensible, long-term way. What if instead of paying off your mortgage in 30 years, you are told you have to pay it off in 10 years? That (Cont. on page 10)

PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to provide our readers with a wide variety of opinions from our community, the Capistrano Dispatch provides Guest Opinion opportunities in which selected columnists’ opinions are shared. The opinions expressed in these columns are entirely those of the columnist alone and do not reflect those of the Capistrano Dispatch or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at

Letters to the Community ‘IN GOD WE TRUST’ AN EXAMPLE OF FAITH FORCING THE ISSUE —Ruth Clark, San Juan Capistrano Stop the “In God We Trust” display. It has no place in our City Council chambers. I don’t think the citizens of San Juan Capistrano were aware of this plan. Keep religion out of politics and politics out of religion. There must be a better way to spend $750 to $1,000. We don’t need to be reminded whether we believe in God or not, and yes, I do believe in God. The Capistrano Dispatch March 22–April 11, 2013

I live in San Juan Capistrano. I’m an old lady in my 80s. I have lived in the area over 50 years, before San Juan Capistrano became a city. I’m tired of the John Birch Society, now the Tea Party, McCarthyism, the Birthers and the religious right slowly chipping away at our freedoms by changing laws to fit their beliefs and forcing all of us to live their way, or else pay fines, prisons or in some cases even death (Dr. Tiller, etc.). Many are afraid of Sharia law and the Muslims yet they want to pass laws controlled by their religious beliefs, which

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Letters to the Community (Cont. from page 8) would certainly change and ruin your lifestyle and caring for your family. We are a great and wonderful country with many good, hardworking people. We are a rich country and there is no need for a severe austerity program. That doesn’t work and has been proved over and over again. I’m sure I will get a lot of “comments” regarding this letter, but this is my opinion and I’m entitled to it and it’s protected by the First Amendment. BE CAREFUL ABOUT TESTING CHANGES AT CUSD —Brian Mew, San Clemente I have always been interested in the way that our school district operates. And recently, my AP Language Composition teacher enlightened our class about a possible new development in the Capistrano Unified School District that could reshape the way in which students’ aptitude is evaluated. She explained that by the year 2015, CUSD may have students completing important tests via computers. Children would be required to watch videos, respond to visual media, type essays and use the mouse to highlight excerpts

from passages. At this stage, it is nothing more than a proposed idea, but is indeed an interesting one. It could bring a whole new dynamic to the testing process for both evaluators and students. There are a number of reasons for making the switch to digital testing. Scantron testing is not a perfect system and there is a margin of error for misread answers and sloppy bubbles. Eraser marks can completely throw off the results of the test. Computers would eliminate this issue, and the results would therefore be more precise and accurate. It also makes it impossible for a student to go back and change his or her answers after completing a section of the test. This issue cannot be controlled with the traditional method of testing used today, but once a student submits their answers digitally, they cannot be accessed or altered. However, the change can have negative consequences. Firstly, it is not cheap to make the switch to digital assessment, especially in these hard economic times. My school, San Clemente High School, has roughly 3,000 students, yet our computer lab is not large enough to hold a traditional 30-person classroom. Making this change would

require the district to spend money that it simply does not have on new computers and programs. Secondly, it is possible that computers will give students access to outside sources they may refer to while testing. Theoretically, any device that is connected to the internet can potentially be used to cheat. Who is to say that a student cannot minimize windows and websites containing helpful hints? Whether you are for or against the

idea, it is possible that the school district may see a major overhaul in the coming years. Only time will tell whether the testing process is ready to make the switch to the “digital world.” 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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Spurs and Satin BANNER - Fiesta de las Golondrinas USMC - Mounted Color Guard USMC - 3rd Aircraft Wing Band USMC - 1st Battalion, 11th VFW Post 3801/Amer. Legion 721 BANNER - Grand Marshal Grand Marshal - Joe Soto BANNER - Sycamore Trails Stables Sycamore Trails Stables BANNER - Rancho Mission Viejo Rancho MV and Portola - Wagon BANNER - El Viaje de Portola Rancho MV and Portola - Equestrian Clans of the Highlands BANNER - St. Margaret’s School St. Margaret’s Episcopal School St. Margaret’s Episcopal School St. Margaret’s Episcopal School St. Margaret’s Episcopal School St. Margaret’s Episcopal School St. Margaret’s Episcopal School Capistrano Youth Advisory Board City of San Juan Capistrano Ballet Folklorico de San Juan BANNER – DIVISION 1 (Fluidmaster)

Photo by Scott Schmitt/San Juan Photo and Digital

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Merced County Sheriff’s Posse Rusty Richards, former Sons of the Pioneers BANNER - El Presidente El Presidente - Steve Weekes BANNER - Fiesta Posse Fiesta Association - Mounted Posse Addie Alva Dana Hills High School Band Dana Hills High School Band Dana Hills High School Band

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Legion of Mary Historic Mission San Juan San Juan Mission Docent Society Mission Basilica School Mission Basilica School - Swallows Mission Basilica School - Royal Court Historical Society of San Juan Las Vaqueras Las Vaqueras Vincent Michael Salon Rancho Arroyo Saddleback Valley Christian School Saddleback Valley Christian School Saddleback Valley Christian School Mariachi for All (CCMP) Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley Yvonne Lee Juaneño Mission Indians Acjachemen Juaneño Mission Indians Acjachemen Kranz Intermediate School Kranz Intermediate School Kranz Intermediate School Kranz Intermediate School J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center Riverside Rancheros Jr. Equestrian Anna Bryson

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San Juan Elementary School Escondido Mounted Posse BANNER – DIVISION 2 Courtney Crother Oak Avenue Royals Band Oak Avenue Royals Band Oak Avenue Royals Band Oak Avenue Royals Band South Coast Shrine Club Santa Ana River Desperados Wild Santa Ana River Desperados Wild Cub Scout Packs 794 and 973 Wells Fargo Bank Capistrano Adult School Canine Companions Clifton Cubs Marching Band Clifton Cubs Marching Band Clifton Cubs Marching Band Clifton Cubs Marching Band Clifton Cubs Marching Band YMCA - Wild Wilderness Expedition Flamenco with Roots Youth Dance San Juan YMCA Afterschool Childcare Code of the West Padre Junipero Serra - Tortugas South Coast Farms

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Ricardo’s Place Restaurant Los Rios Rock School United Studios of Self Defense Camino Real Playhouse Saddleback Canyon Riders- ETI 357 American Horse Products Charros San Gabriel Mini Madness Marco Forster Middle School Palmdale Falcon Corps Palmdale Falcon Corps Palmdale Falcon Corps Ambuehl Elementary School Saber Guild C-Star Pleasure Rider - Lindsey C-Star Pleasure Rider - Pat Vanessa Arroyo Mormon Battalion Mormon Battalion Real Housewives of the Old West Real Housewives of the Old West Real Housewives of the Old West Real Housewives of the Old West Friesian Horse Club of Southern California BANNER - DIVISION 3

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Daphne Crother Katherine Edwards MS Royals Band Katherine Edwards MS Royals Band BANNER - Fiesta Dignitaries Fiesta Associaton Dignitaries BANNER - Pet Parade Sisters of San Juan - Pet Parade Corazones Alegres San Juan Capistrano Sister City California State Firefighters San Juan Capistrano Relay for Life Civil Air Patrol Civil Air Patrol

Photo by Scott Schmitt/San Juan Photo and Digital

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Civil Air Patrol Squadron 153 Independence Bank Girl Scout Daisy Troop 2901 La Habra High School Highlanders La Habra High School Highlanders La Habra High School Highlanders Cub Scout Pack 12 - SJC YMCA - Doheny Expedition Sons & Daughters of American Revolution Kinoshita Elementary School Juaneno Mission Indians #84 Juaneno Mission Indians #84 Ranchos Jalisco and La Tunera Orange County Guardian Angels Baha'i of San Juan Capistrano Del Obispo Elementary School Grand Ladies of the Old West Buy My Bikes Inc. Fountain Valley Marching Band JSerra Catholic High School JSerra Catholic High School JSerra Catholic High School JSerra Catholic High School JSerra Catholic High School Curly Patton-Scout Winchester Widows Hole in the Wall Gang Farmers & Merchants Bank Hanaeleh Chino Police Mounted Posse Debbie Herzman Calizona Appaloosa Horse Club Frontier Minis Hula Connection San Juan Hills High School San Juan Hills High School San Juan Hills High School Rancho Cucamonga Equestrian

Photo by Scott Schmitt/San Juan Photo and Digital

175 176 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196

Photos by Scott Schmitt/San Juan Photo and Digital

Ramblin' Rogues Square Dance Ramblin' Rogues Square Dance BANNER - DIVISION 4 Oxford Preparatory Academy Boy Scouts Troop 724 Veritas Lodge #855 F&AM Old Western Gals Zuri Pet Spa Victorian Roses Ladies Riding Dale McCarrell Rancho La Laguna San Juan Hills Equestrian Club Buccaneers of Tortuga Gaits in the Grapes Trail Rides Doheny Blues Festival Nextage The Mantelli Group Nextage The Mantelli Group Sullivan Solar Power La Danza Del Chinelo




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


HOOS’GOW DAY 9 a.m.-4 p.m. A San Juan tradition with the Fiesta Association’s “sheriff” and “deputies” roaming the town in search of city slickers. If you’re not wearing Western wear, watch out! More info:


THE DOO-WAH RIDERS 8:30 p.m. Live music at The Swallow’s Inn. Plus, country singer Jann Browne performs at 2 p.m. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.3188, 17TH ANNUAL TASTE OF DANA 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. More than 20 local Dana Point restaurants offer samples of their food, also featuring music, auctions, raffles and more fun. Held at Dana Hills High School. Tickets $15-$20. 33333 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, DIRTY DEEDS AT THE DEPOT 8 p.m. Play at Camino Real Playhouse set in 1895 during the glory days of San Juan Capistrano. $24. 31776 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.489.8082,


SWALLOWS DAY PARADE 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The 55th Swallows Day Parade and Mercado in downtown San Juan Capistrano, featuring fun for the family, the nation’s largest non-motorized parade and more to celebrate the legend of the return of the swallows to the Mission. Find out more online at www.


SATURDAYS AT THE SWALLOW’S INN 1 p.m.-Close. Special live music events all day at The Swallow’s Inn for the Swallows Day Parade, featuring Family Style and Pale Riders. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.3188, THE ARK OF SAN JUAN CAT ADOPTION Noon4 p.m. The Ark has rescued kittens and cats for adoption at PetSmart in the Costco plaza. 33963 Doheny Park Road, San Juan Capistrano, 949.388.0034, The Capistrano Dispatch March22–April 11, 2013

AT THE MOVIES: ‘STOKER’ IS A SHOCKER Spring is just around the corner and while there are fantasy family flicks and slapstick comedies on screens, Fox Searchlight brings something with a different style titled Stoker. Already gaining comparisons to Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt before it’s release due to a number of similarities, including a character named Uncle Charlie who appears in a young girl’s life just when a group of disappearances occur. This time, Stoker takes the famous theme to a higher more disturbing level. When father (Dermot Mulroney) of the Stoker family dies in a tragic car accident, daughter India (Mia Wasikowksa) becomes a recluse and distant from her flamboyant mother (Nicole Kidman). The day of the funeral, an uncle India had never met before named Charlie (Matthew © Fox Searchlight Goode) arrives to spend some time with his niece and sister-in-law. But the more time she spends around Uncle Charlie, the more dysfunctional her family appears to be and bizarre incidents begin happening in town. Directed by Oldboy’s Park Chan-wook and written by Wentworth Miller of Prison Break comes one of the most uniquely crafted films of 2013 thus far. With two subtle, but unnerving performances by Wasikowska and Goode, and two powerhouses backing them up (Kidman and Jacki Weaver) under Park’s creepy direction, Stoker makes viewers shiver and squirm and hope that our relatives do not have secret lives. —Megan Bianco

COMMUNITY RECYCLING EVENT 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Recycle your plastic bottles and aluminum cans at Dana Hills High School to help local students. 33333 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.496.6666, DANMAN’S KIDS CONCERT 2 p.m. Students and teachers perform at StillWater. 24701 Del Prado, Dana Point, 949.661.6003, LARRY FRESCH 7:45 p.m.-11 p.m. Live music and food at The Vintage Steak House. 26701-B Verdugo St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.661.3400, SOUL FOOD 10:30 a.m. Monthly music and faith program at The Baha’i Center. The theme this month is “A Sense of Time.” 3316 Avenida Del Presidente, San Clemente, 949.433.9555, THE MAVERICKS 8 p.m. Concert at The Coach House. Tickets $50. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930, FLAVORS OF SJC FOOD TOUR 10:45 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Walking historical and food tasting tour of San Juan Capistrano. Cost $55.


SOCSA’S 10TH ANNUAL OPERA CELEBRATION GALA 5:30 p.m. The South Orange County School of the Arts Foundation’s opera night gala at Soka Performing Arts Center featuring an opening a reception and the performance at 7 p.m. $35-$75. 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo, 949.307.2909,


THE FREIGHTSHAKERS AND CHICKEN SH*T BINGO 2:30 p.m. Sunday Funday at The Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.3188, TOMATO WORKSHOP 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Steve Goto will talk about organic growing techniques, insect and disease control, soil care and much more at Plant Depot. 32413 San Juan Creek Road, San Juan Capistrano, 949.240.2107 THE FERNS 6 p.m. The Coach House. Tickets $10. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930, Page 15

TAKE ONLY PHOTOS HIKE AND WORKSHOP 8 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Hike with a professional photographer for this active photography workshop at The Reserve/Richard and Donna O’Neill Land Conservancy. Bring your camera. Call for info and directions, 949.489.9778,



COUNTRY DANCIN’ WITH PATRICK AND FRIENDS 6:30 p.m. The Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.3188,


CLASSIC FILM SERIES: CASABLANCA 6:30 p.m.9 p.m. St. Margaret’s Episcopal School Classic Film Series presents a showing of the classic film in the Marcus D. Hurlbut Theater, with a pre-film discussion. $16.25. 31641 La Novia San Juan Capistrano, 949.661.0108,


ARCHAEOLOGY LECTURE 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Professor Patrick Scott Geyer visits the San Juan Capistrano Library to discuss his ongoing research of ancient Jerusalem. Free. 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.1752,


MICROBREWS BY THE MISSION 4 p.m.-8 p.m. A 14-venue “pub crawl” featuring seasonal craft brews for $4, live music, food and more in downtown San Juan Capistrano. 949.493.4700, www.facebook. com/microbrewsbythemission.


WILDFLOWERS FROM A-TO-Z LECTURE 7 p.m.8:30 p.m. The Reserve/Richard and Donna O’Neill Land Conservancy feature biologist Tony Bomkamp presenting interesting facts on wildflowers at the Avendale Village Clubhouse (Ladera Ranch). Free admission. Call for info and directions, 949.489.9778, BOOK SIGNING 6:30 p.m. Join author Anita Hughes in the St. Margaret’s Library as she reads from her newest book Market Street and talks about her writing journey. 31641 La Novia, San Juan Capistrano, 949.661.0108 x 217. (Cont. on page 17)

GETTING OUT (Cont. from page 15)


MISSION READERS BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP 10:30 a.m. Discuss the book Skeleton Canyon by J.A. Jance at the library. 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.1752,


TOMORROW’S ARTISTS TODAY OPENING 6 p.m.8 p.m. Casa Romantica debuts the student art exhibit titled “Tomorrow’s Artists Today” in a special evening event featuring an awards ceremony, refreshments and more. Free admission; donations accepted. On display through April 18. 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, 949.498.2139, TWILIGHT DINNER 5 p.m. Dinner event for seniors at the Dana Point Community Center. Donation $8. 34052 Del Obispo St., Dana Point, 949.248.3536,


ALIVE 2012 GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE 7 p.m. Calvary Chapel San Juan Capistrano celebrates Easter with three events March 29-31 in the Saddleback College gymnasium. 28000 Marguerite Pkwy., Mission Viejo, 949.443.2572,


ROB STALEY 8:30 p.m. Live music at The Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.3188, BENNY CHADWICK AND FRIENDS 7:45 p.m.-11 p.m. Live music at The Vintage Steak House. 26701-B Verdugo St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.661.3400, WINE AND MUSIC CRUISE 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Dana Wharf’s cruise on a luxury catamaran with wine, snacks, music and more. Tickets $49. 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.496.5794, FLOCK OF 80’S 8:30 p.m. Montego Restaurant and Bar. 27211 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949.481.2723, COCO MONTOYA 8 p.m. Coco Montoya with 7th Sons and Kingtime at The Coach House. Tickets $15. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930,


OCEANSIDE HALF-IRONMAN 7 a.m. Thousands of triathletes swim, bike and run a total of 70.3 miles of a course starting in Oceanside, making its way through Camp Pendleton and back. More info:


WATER / COMMUNITY FORUM 1 p.m.-3 p.m. The Ecology Center offers a free community skillshare on the topic of water, featuring experts and leaders in the regional water community. 32701 Alipaz Street, San Juan Capistrano, 949.443.4223, EASTER GARDEN PARTY Noon-2:30 p.m. The Kaleidoscope Entertainment Center and Color Me Mine host the 3rd Annual Easter Garden Party with an Easter egg hunt, petting zoo, face painting, pottery painting and more. Space for certain activities is limited. 27741 Crown Valley Pkwy., Mission Viejo, The Capistrano Dispatch March 22–April 11, 2013

DANA POINT EGG HUNTS 9 a.m. Easter egg hunts and more fun activities for kids at two locations in Dana Point: Pines Park (34941 Camino Capistrano, Capo Beach) and Sea Canyon Park (33093 Santiago Drive). More info: 949.248.3530, SPRINGTACULAR: EGG HUNT AND MORE 7:30 a.m. San Clemente’s event at Vista Hermosa Sports Park, starting with a pancake breakfast, crafts, games and fun with the Easter Bunny, then at 11:15 a.m. the Easter egg hunt begins. 987 Avenida Vista Hermosa, San Clemente, 949.361.8264, THE ARK OF SAN JUAN PET ADOPTION 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dogs and cats for adoption at PetSmart in the Costco plaza. 33963 Doheny Park Road, San Juan Capistrano, 949.388.0034, SATURDAYS AT THE SWALLOW’S 2:30 p.m.6:30 p.m. Helicopter performs at The Swallow’s Inn, then at 8:30 p.m. Brian Lynn Jones. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.3188, www. JOHN SLOANE (SINATRA TRIBUTE) 7:45 p.m.11 p.m. Live music at The Vintage Steak House. 26701-B Verdugo St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.661.3400, ARCHITECTURAL WALKING TOUR 10 a.m. Discover 200 years of San Juan Capistrano architecture on a 90-minute guided walk that includes adobes, Spanish-era dwellings and modern buildings. Meet at Verdugo Street. Occurs every Saturday; a $5 donation supports the Friends of the Library. For more info, call 949.489.0736. COMMUNITY EASTER BRUNCH A brunch for inneed individuals and families sponsored by the Family Assistance Ministries and the city of San Clemente. More info: 949.492.8477, WYLAND ART LESSONS IN THE WILD 9 a.m. Dockside presentation and art lesson via video with Wyland at Dana Wharf, followed by whale watching at 10 a.m. Cost $25-$45. 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.496.5794,


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


THE OLD BIRD 5 p.m. Special production on Stage II at Camino Real Playhouse. Tickets $18. 31776 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.489.8082, THE MARILYN SEARCH 3 p.m. Witness the final callback audition at Camino Real Playhouse, as women compete for the coveted role of Marilyn Monroe. Tickets $10. 31776 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.489.8082, BASTARD SONS OF JOHNNY CASH 1:30 p.m. Live music at The Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.3188, Page 17

EASTER SUNDAY BRUNCH AND EGG HUNT 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Join Bella Collina Towne and Golf Club for an Easter brunch buffet, as well as an egg hunt and much more fun for the family. Cost $39.95 adults, $14.95 kids. 200 Avenida La Pata, San Clemente, 949.498.6604,



MONDAY WEEDING 7:30 a.m.-10 a.m. Volunteer with staff at The Reserve/ Richard and Donna O’Neill Land Conservancy. Call for info and directions, 949.489.9778,


CURIOSITY CARTS 10 a.m.noon. A hands-on learning experience for kids 5 and older with replicas of mission artifacts used by the Juaneño Indians at Mission San Juan Capistrano. 26801 Ortega Hwy., 949.234.1300,


PRESCHOOL STORYTIME 11:15 a.m. Stories and more fun for children ages 3-6 at the library. 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.1752,


NETWORK BREAKFAST MIXER 7:30 a.m.-9 a.m. Chamber breakfast at The Vintage Steak House; topic: Rancho Mission Viejo Community Update. 26701-B Verdugo St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.4700,


MISSION GARDEN TOURS 10 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Guided tours of the Mission gardens. Free with paid admission $5-$9 plus $1-$2 for tour. 26801 Ortega Hwy., 949.234.1300, OLD CAPISTRANO FARMERS MARKET 3 p.m.7 p.m. Every Wednesday at El Camino Real and Yorba; 949.493.4700. KARAOKE WITH LES AND JOEL 7 p.m. The Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.3188, BISHOP’S CHESS CLUB 6 p.m. Chess instruction, games and discussion at the San Juan Capistrano Library. 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.1752,



READ TO A DOG 3 p.m. Kids can practice reading skills to a certified therapy dog at the library. 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.1752,

BIG HEAD TODD AND THE MONSTERS 8 p.m. The Coach House. Tickets $30. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930, *For our full calendar, visit the “Event Calendar” at Have an event? Send your listing to




COMMUNITY CALENDAR home lunch will be provided. To reserve a set, call 949.493.1171.

Tuesday 3.26 Cultural Heritage Commission 5 p.m. City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. Thursday 3.28 ‘Blast to the Past’ Presentation 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. A free educational seminar by Jeanette Alessio-Way, aka “The History Lady,” on the cultural and historic events associated with each month of the year. A complimentary take-

Monday 4.2 City Council Meeting 6 p.m. City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto.

Friday 3.29 Coffee Chat 8 a.m. A spirited town hall forum on community issues, hosted by The Capistrano Dispatch founder Jonathan Volzke. Occurs every Friday. All are welcome. El Adobe Restaurant, 31891 Camino Capistrano.

Thursday 4.4. Design Review Committee Meeting 4:30 p.m. City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. www.

Friday 4.12 Next regular issue of The Capistrano Dispatch publishes

GUEST OPINION: On Life and Love After 50 by Tom Blake

A Stark Reminder on the Fragility of Life I experienced firsthand last week how life can change in an instant. One second, your organized, wonderful life is moving along exactly as you had planned—in my ON LIFE AND case, over the last LOVE AFTER 50 70 years. The next, By Tom Blake something happens and throws a wrench into your hopes and dreams. My life-partner Greta agreed to let me publish this story, saying, “Hopefully, it will remind older adults to live life to the fullest, for we never know when it could change.” On Sunday, March 10, Greta and I met two of my 1957, Jackson, Mich., high school classmates and their wives for an early dinner at Shanghai Red’s— a waterfront restaurant in Marina Del Rey—near Los Angeles International Airport. Greta mentioned on the drive up she hadn’t eaten much that day because her stomach was queasy and at the restaurant, she only sipped water and didn’t order food. After two and a half hours of the old buddies reminiscing and telling summer-of-1960 stories, Greta and I got in the car, headed back to San Clemente and chatted about the enjoyable reunion. Near Long Beach, she dozed off. As we drove past the Orange County Airport, she said, “Was I dreaming?” I said, “I don’t know, you were pretty quiet.” Then, she got sick in the car. Luckily, we had a trash bag that served as a receptacle. And then she said, “Where are we?”

The Capistrano Dispatch March 22–April 11, 2013

I said, “On the 405 heading for home.” She said, “Where have we been?” Her question puzzled me. “In Marina Del Rey, with Rick, Linda, Mike and Roz.” “Really?” I said, “You don’t remember?” “No.” She repeated the “Where have we been?” question five times before we pulled into our driveway. At first, I thought she was joking, but quickly I knew something was seriously wrong. At home, she repeated the question. I called her daughter, Terri, and briefed her about what was going on. Terri and her husband Don immediately drove to our home, arriving in 10 minutes. When they came over, Don said to Greta, “What day is it?” “Wednesday,” Greta said. It was Sunday. “Let’s go,” Don said, “We are taking Greta to the emergency room at San Clemente Hospital.” The waiting room was like a circus, jammed packed with ailing folks. To the hospital’s credit, they took Greta, a potential stroke victim, inside immediately. Greta was a dichotomy. She couldn’t remember the events from that day or from the day before. However, when checking in, she stated—without hesitation—her social security number, home address and birth date. When she couldn’t remember her personal physician’s name, my heart sank. A battery of tests followed. I watched the monitor. Her blood pressure was way too high and her pulse too rapid. She had an IV in each arm and looked like a pin cushion. A couple of hours went by—slowly. Because there was no neurologist on

duty, one from Houston interviewed and tested Greta via Skype—today’s technology is amazing. The doctor could read all of the reports remotely. The doctor said Greta had a perfect score for normal brain functions. That was somewhat reassuring. But, the doctor was puzzled by the short-term memory loss. Greta still couldn’t remember where we had been just four hours before and why she was in the hospital. Greta stayed at the hospital overnight. I left at 1 a.m. The doctor said there was nothing more I could do. Other than the loss of short-term memory, she seemed OK. Monday morning, before going to the hospital, I kept busy. I washed a few clothes, tidied up the house and cancelled Greta’s early week appointments. Pondering the “what ifs” scares the living hell out of you. For 15 years, we have been a couple. Was our incredible life together about to change? When I entered the hospital room and saw her, with a big smile on her face— and that inner beauty she possesses shining through—I lost it. Tears of joy caught up with me. Terri cried as well. But Greta was not out of the woods by any stretch. A brain scan was scheduled for that morning. Her daughter Tina arrived from Temecula, giving Greta a big lift. Later that afternoon, after all the tests had been analyzed, a visiting neurologist came into the room and said the brain scan revealed no problems, and that Greta had suffered an incident of Transient global amnesia—a rare occurrence. For people over 50 in the USA, only 23 in 100,000 have this short-term memory loss. Normal memory function

Page 18

usually returns within 24 hours, and that seemed to be happening. Greta was remembering some events from the day before. Greta’s four children were incredible, three came to the hospital and Tammi called from Phoenix. What a support group they were, which Greta and I both needed and appreciated. The doctor said Greta could go home Monday afternoon. That’s when I lost it for the second time. When an event like this happens, we stuff our emotions into a corner and push them aside, focusing on what needs to be done. When the good news comes, the emotions erupt. My sweet Greta was coming home. She was going to be OK. At night, after a long nap, she joined me at the dinner table. I cooked her a salmon dinner with spinach and broccoli. We reiterated how blessed we are, and how much we mean to each other. Life can change in an instant. Be kind to everyone and hug your family, friends and loved ones. When it comes down to it, there is nothing more important in life than the people near and dear to us. Tom Blake is a San Clemente resident and Dana Point business owner who has authored three books on middle-aged dating. For dating information: www. To comment: CD PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to provide our readers with a wide variety of opinions from our community, the Capistrano Dispatch provides Guest Opinion opportunities in which selected columnists’ opinions are shared. The opinions expressed in these columns are entirely those of the columnist alone and do not reflect those of the Capistrano Dispatch or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at

Locals Only

BUSINESS DIRECTORY The only directory featuring San Juan Capistrano businesses exclusively ELECTRIC CONTRACTORS



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



Independence Bank 32291 Camino Capistrano, Suite A,

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



Vermeulen’s Landscaping Inc. San Clemente Computer & Network Services 949.276.1581


GraCorp Coins & Collectibles


Jarvis Restoration 949.362.5388 31942 Paseo Sagrado,



San Juan Photo & Digital 949.661.5668 Excel Electric 949.493.7769 32301 Camino Capistrano, 32238 Paseo Adelanto E-I,

949.499.4464 949.496.9731

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.

PRINTING Printing OC 949.388.4888 27134 Paseo Espada #B 203,

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



A to Z Leak Detection Chick’s Plumbing



Call Angela Edwards at 949.682.1667 or e-mail

SCHOOLS Capistrano Valley Christian Schools 949.493.5683 32032 Del Obispo Street,

WATER DAMAGE Jarvis Restoration 949.362.5388 31942 Paseo Sagrado,

WINDOW CLEANING/PRESSURE WASHING Bayside Window Cleaning, Inc. 949.215.2323 Clear Windows 949.485.8793 San Clemente,

LIST YOUR BUSINESS IN “LOCALS ONLY” This handy, go-to reference tool keeps your business in front of potential customers 24/7. Call Angela Edwards at 949.682.1667 or email

CLASSIFIEDS SUBMIT YOUR CLASSIFIED AD ONLINE AT WWW.THECAPISTRANODISPATCH.COM FOR SALE SKATEBOARD/LONGBOARD EQUIPMENT & DRE BEATS FOR SALE Sector 9 Roxanne $100 (Great Condition); Jet Peanut $15; Jet Revolver $10; Gunmetal Trucks $40; Comet Grease Hammer $110 (Great Condition); Rad Releases 81a $35; Sector 9 Race Forms $35; Abec 11 Free Rides $10; Cult Classics (green) $25; Blue Sector 9 Race Forms (slide) $15. Dr. Dre Beats Studios (red) $200. Call 949.533.9761 for more info

HELP WANTED HELP WANTED Open Position - Office Representative Opportunity At State Farm in Dana Point. For details go to http://

SERVICES LOCAL HOUSEKEEPER OR OFFICE CLEANING Reliable, affordable, meticulous. Excellent references. 949-456-2376

WANTED LOOKING FOR A ROOMMATE OR A STUDIO TO RENT OUT Employed full time and works out of home. Has a 30-lb. dog, well trained and very sweet. Both are gone most weekends. Does not smoke and is quiet and respectful, spends most evenings baking or studying. If interested, contact at

Do you want to reach 24,150+ people in the San Juan Capistrano area? *2.1 readership per 11,500 copies distributed

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

949.388.7700 ext. 104


A Baker with a Sweet Side Philanthropic pastry chef donates to epilepsy research and advocacy group By Victor Carno The Capistrano Dispatch


rmed with a sweet tooth and a sweet heart, a young, local pastry chef is making his dream career a reality while helping to fund epilepsy research. Kevin Montoya, 24, of Dana Point has embarked on a culinary endeavor, Carley Cakes, creating fresh pastries every morning and donating 2 percent of his annual earnings to the Epilepsy Foundation. After graduating from Dana Hills High School, Montoya attended the Institute of Culinary Education in New York where his proclivity toward pastries was sparked during a pastry module of the program. From there, he returned to Southern California and interned at Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine in Irvine before heading to San Francisco for a year and a half

Kevin Montoya sorts through a fresh batch of his signature Carley Cakes carrot cupcakes with white chocolate cream cheese frosting. Photo by Victor Carno

to attend the San Francisco Baking Institute. Montoya returned to Dana Point a fully-trained pastry chef with plenty of experience under his belt and quickly found work as a barista at Hidden House Coffee in San Juan Capistrano. This is where he met Lori Eissman, a regular at the Los Rios Historic District coffee shop, who lost her daughter, Carley Eissman, to epilepsy in 2011. After getting to know Eissman and

being touched by her daughter’s story, Montoya came up with a business model. He would combine his passion for baking with raising money for the Epilepsy Foundation. Montoya started his own bakery, Carley Cakes, in October of 2011 and vowed to donate a portion of his annual earnings in Carley Eissman’s name. “I was so happy she allowed me to use her daughter’s name for my business,” he said. Initially, Montoya baked all his pastries in the kitchen at Capo Beach Church and business was—as many new businesses experience—slow. After a year of struggling to keep things together, Montoya started receiving more and more calls. Customers came out of the woodwork and asked him to provide everything from fresh pastries for coffee houses to creative center pieces for weddings. Carley Cakes finally got off the ground. Today, Montoya’s business has moved to Hidden House Coffee, where he bakes from sunrise to sunset. He currently supplies pastries to a growing group of clients including Hidden House and Five Vines Wine Bar in San Juan Capistrano, Grant’s Marketplace in San Diego and Eva’s Caribbean Kitchen and Laguna Coffee Company in Laguna Beach. Now a full-time pastry chef, Montoya

wakes at 5 a.m., and heads to Hidden House where he scales and mixes the ingredients necessary to fill up the coffee shop’s pastry case, before completing his other orders. After concocting a cornucopia of treats, he loads his car and sets out on daily deliveries all over Orange and San Diego counties. He finishes out his day back at Hidden House, filling orders and prepping for the next busy day. His long work hours are testament to his passion for baking. What are Montoya’s goals for Carley Cakes? “I hope to someday open my own bakery in Dana Point or San Clemente,” he said. The realization of his goal could be just around the corner as his reputation spreads like wildfire. Thanks to popular creations such as a carrot cupcake with white chocolate cream cheese frosting and salted vanilla caramel tart topped with chocolate, business is thriving. Montoya said his favorite creation is his signature pumpkin muffins filled with cream cheese and topped with a pepita streusel. To find out more, visit Carley Cakes online at or swing by Hidden House Coffee, 31791 Los Rios Street, just behind the San Juan train station, and discover your favorite. CD

GUEST OPINION: Moments In Time by Jan Siegel

Portola Riders Celebrate 50th Anniversary A regular fixture in the Swallows Day Parade, the Portolas represent the city’s Western culture and equestrian lifestyle


his year marks the 50th anniversary of the organization known as El Viaje de Portola. Perhaps the group is best known for riding in the Swallows Day Parade, but without the generous support of the Portola riders, many organizations in San Juan Capistrano would suffer. Portola Riders did not start out as the large group it is today. In 1963, the owner of the new Saddleback Inn in Santa Ana wanted a Mission Bell to put in front of the building. The builder of the hotel, Bud Curtis, thought that bringing the bell to Santa Ana via San Juan Capistrano should be with some flourish. He had a horse-drawn cart with the bell, followed by eight riders. That core group became known as the “Big 8” and were the start of the Portola Riders. It was county historian Don Meadows who told the group about the march of Gaspar de Portola. Portola, the first governor of the Californias—Baja and Alta—from 1768 to 1770, led the military escort who accompanied Father Serra from Mexico into Alta California. The Capistrano Dispatch March22–April 11, 2013

The group was intrigued by the story and they could also see how the landscape of Southern California was quickly disappearing through development. They wanted to preserve both the MOMENTS history and the countryIN TIME By Jan Siegel side. Over the next few months, the group grew to 38 men who wanted to participate in a ride that would allow them to see the early rancheros before the developers came. It was never intended to be an ongoing event, but that first ride was so successful that the men wanted it to continue. But each year, space for riding was becoming more and more difficult. In 1977, Tony Moiso, president of Rancho Mission Viejo, offered space on the 40,000-acre ranch for the ride. Because of his generosity, Moiso joined the Big 8 as “Big 8 1/2.” The group has now grown to over 200 riders. Membership in the group is by invitation only.

Over the years, El Viaje de Portola has donated thousands of dollars to the Mission and the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society. In 1995, the Plaza Del Viaje De Portola was dedicated at the Mission with the empty saddle of a horse statue, which honors both Gaspar de Portola and the fallen members of Portola Riders. Now, as the Portola Riders celebrate their 50th anniversary, we should all spend a Moment In Time and reflect how this one group has kept the history of Orange County alive for half a century. In tribute to the Portola Riders, the Historical Society has an exhibit of Portola memorabilia at the Leck House on Los Rios Street. Rusty Richards, a former member of the Sons of the Pioneers singing group wrote a 25-verse poem about the Portolas. One verse sums up the experience of this spring ritual: “It’s grooming my horse in the cool grey dawn And loading him saddle and all; And then taking him down to where he’ll take me To answer the yearly call

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To saddle up men and go riding And I answer that call every spring And it rings my heart like the Mission bells That beckon the swallows, Take Wing. It’s music, friends and horse; It’s feeling close to God …It’s living life at its very best.” A 26-year resident of San Juan Capistrano, Jan Siegel has served on the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission for 11 years and has been a volunteer guide for the Historical Society’s Architectural Walking Tour for 15 years. She was named Woman of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce in 2005, Volunteer of the Year in 2011 and was inducted into the city’s Wall of Recognition in 2007. For the full story, visit CD PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to provide our readers with a wide variety of opinions from our community, the Capistrano Dispatch provides Guest Opinion opportunities in which selected columnists’ opinions are shared. The opinions expressed in these columns are entirely those of the columnist alone and do not reflect those of the Capistrano Dispatch or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at






Here’s a partial list of San Juan area basketCapistrano Valley Christian Boys: Kci Thompball players who were given first and second son and Peter Abramsky were named to the AllSan Joaquin League first team. R.J. Thompson team all-league honors. St. Margaret’s Boys: Brent Cahill was named was named to the second team. Head coach Zach Brogdon was named the San Joaquin to the All-Academy League first team. Matt Nicholas and David Nissenoff were named to coach of the year. the second team. Head coach Brian Carmer was JSerra Boys: Jamal Aytes was named to the All-Trinity League first team. Johnnie Vassar named the Academy League coach of the year. Girls: Julianna Coleman and Yamili Burgos were and Rex Pflueger were named to the second team. Girls: Coco Miller, August Touchard and named to the All-Academy League first team. Arreana Marko and Emily Morton were named Courtney Vaccher were named to the All-Trinity JSerra’s Coco Miller was named League first team. Megan House and Corrine to the second team. to the All-Trinity League first Saddleback Valley Christian Boys: Nick WorBoble were named to the second team. team. Courtesy photo San Juan Hills Girls: Abby Conklin was named rell was named the San Joaquin League MVP. to the All-Sea View League first team. Annika Van Galder Eric Rwahwire and Dontae Caldwell were named to the first team. Miles Seward was named to the second team. and Evelyn Fox were named to the second team. — Compiled by Steve Breazeale

Stallions Boys Volleyball Takes the Wind From Beneath Hawks’ Wings By Victor Carno The Capistrano Dispatch


he San Juan Hills boys volleyball team defeated Laguna Hills in a 3-0 straight set win to take home their first Sea View League victory of the season on March 19. The first set went in favor of the Stallions (8-3, 1-0 league), as they started the first with a 4-0 run en route to a 25-16 set win.

San Juan Hills junior Ryan Schickling tallied eight kills in a win against Laguna Hills on March 19. Photo by Brian Park

The second set wasn’t as easy for the Stallions. At one point the Stallions were down 4-9 and the momentum had clearly switched in favor of the Hawks. But

Tritons Baseball Tames Stallions 3-1 By Steve Breazeale The Capistrano Dispatch


he San Juan Hills baseball team was looking to build momentum as they opened league play against San Clemente on March 20. Despite having won three out of their last four games heading into the Sea View League contest, the Stallions failed to string together runs against the Tritons and were bested 3-1. San Clemente’s Kolby Allard and leadoff man Dan Caresio were the difference. Caresio led the game off with a single up the middle and scored on an RBI single by senior Cody Maples, giving Allard a one-run cushion to work with before he even stepped on the mound. Allard, who improved his record to 3-0 with the win, established his fastball early, retiring six of the first seven Stallions (3-6, 0-1 league) batters he faced. Caresio struck again in the top of the third, showing off his power swing by planting an offering from San Juan Hills senior starter Evanne Wilkes over the right field fence for a solo home run to give the Tritons (8-3, 1-1) a 2-0 lead. Wilkes pitched seven innings, allowed The Capistrano Dispatch March 22–April 11, 2013

seven hits, walked four and struck out three in the loss. The Stallions responded to Caresio’s big hit by manufacturing a run in the bottom of the third inning. After junior outfielder Colton Plourde reached first on a fielder’s choice, he advanced on a Triton throwing error and another fielder’s choice, finding himself at third base. An Allard wild pitch brought him home, narrowing things to 2-1. With the Tritons threatening to score again in the top of the fourth inning with runners on first and third and one out, Stallions senior right fielder Alex Larson corralled a fly ball and threw out the Triton runner attempting to score after the catch was made to complete the double play, ending the threat. After the Stallions’ one run, Allard settled down, retiring three consecutive batters in both the fourth and six innings. The Tritons would tack on one more run in the top of the seventh after sophomore Trevor Beard reached on an error and junior shortstop Kent Burckle singled him home. The loss was the Stallions’ first in-league and they now prepare for a March 22 game against Dana Hills. CD Page 22

the Stallions quickly changed their tempo and went on multiple three-point streaks and one five-point streak, to finish the set out at 25-19. “The team had to change their mindset and needed to get used to playing harder and faster for longer,” head coach Matt Prosser said of the Stallions second set efforts. With the Stallions back into the swing of things, they breezed through the third and final set with a dazzling 14-4 run to take a 25-13 set win. Junior setter/opposite Logan Zotovich led the team with nine kills while junior outside hitters Garrett Austin and Ryan Schickling racked up a total of eight kills each. The league win was a step in the right direction for the Stallions, who were set to face San Clemente on the road on March 21. Results were not available at press time. “I expect plenty of tough matches and a long road ahead of us...we still have nine more league games to play,” Prosser said. CD LIONS WIN DIVISION 2 OC CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE The JSerra boys volleyball team took home the Division 2 bracket title at the OC Championships on March 18, defeating Claremont in two straight sets. The Lions went 6-0 en route to the tournament title. Carl Nolet was named the tournament MVP while Dane Olson and Connor Palumbo were alltournament selections. DAVE LAWN RESIGNS AS JSERRA ATHLETIC DIRECTOR According to a press release issued by the school, Dave Lawn is no longer the Athletic Director for JSerra High School as of March 8. The press release states that Lawn, who was hired in June of 2011, decided to resign in order to pursue “full-time coaching opportunities.” Former athletic director and current head football coach Jim Hartigan has been named the interim athletics director. Lawn has roots in coaching baseball and was the head coach at Servite from 2007 until he was hired by JSerra in 2011. He was also a pitching coach at USC and UC Berkley, according to the school’s website. Lawn could not be reached for comment. For updates on the story, visit www.thecapistranodispatch. com.

March 22, 2013  

The Capistrano Dispatch

March 22, 2013  

The Capistrano Dispatch