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Going Green: the Local Scene This year’s Green Issue highlights environmentally friendly businesses and more SPECIAL INSERT

Goin Native’s Los Rios Garden Angels have planted and care for more than 50 types of native and drought tolerant plant species in Los Rios Park. Photo by Brian Park

So Long, Juan: Zoomars Dinosaur Denied by Tie Vote

Shea Center Shatters Donation Goal, Raises Over $82,000

Freshman Standout Brings Stability to Warriors Volleyball







SAN CLEMENTE The artificial reef funded by Southern California Edison to mitigate damage done to the kelp bed near San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has produced a strong kelp bed. But the fish living there remain smaller than anticipated, meaning the reef has failed to meet “objective standards” for success as determined by a team from UC Santa Barbara monitoring the reef. The monitoring team presented findings to the public at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point as part of an annual public workshop on the state of the reef, which is located over 153 acres just south of the San Clemente Pier. The standing stock of fish at the site has been expected to be at approximately 28 tons, but even in the best year recorded, 2012, the stock found was approximately half that number.



DANA POINT The Dana Point City Council officially adopted an ordinance permitting and regulating short-term vacation rentals last week, amidst boos from homeowners who pleaded with the council to take more time to consider the implications. “Our homes are safe and friendly, all we ask is to assist the city in proper language that helps us all achieve our mutual goals,” said Chris Jones, owner of Capistrano Reality. But after five years of work, city staff seemed anxious to move forward with regulations. “We’ve put a lot of time into this ordinance and have multiple revisions over lots of years … it would be nice to have this part behind us,” said City Attorney Patrick Munoz, who highlighted that there would still be an opportunity for the city and residents to work out issues. The ordinance will take effect in January 2014.


What’s Up With... 1

…the Zoomars Dinosaur?

THE LATEST: An appeal to save Juan, the controversial dinosaur replica at Zoomars Petting Zoo, failed to pass on the City Council’s 2-2 vote on Tuesday, April 2, bringing to an end a nearly 10-month debate over its place in the Los Rios Historic District. After hearing close to two hours of public comment—from 21 dinosaur supporters and 11 opponents—the City Council discussed the item for nearly an hour themselves before reaching a deadlocked vote. Councilman Roy Byrnes voted against the dinosaur, saying that it was inconsistent with the provisions of the Los Rios Specific Plan. Mayor Pro Tem Allevato wanted to see the dinosaur stay, stating, “I believe in Father Serra’s motto, ‘Siempre Adelante’ or ‘Always Forward,’ and I think that’s the way we need to look.” WHAT’S NEXT: The city issued Zoomars owner Carolyn Franks a notice to remove the dinosaur by May 3. Franks has indicated that she will comply with the city. FIND OUT MORE: For the full story, visit – Brian Park


…a SONGS License Amendment?

THE LATEST: Southern California Edison received preliminary approval for a license amendment to operate Unit 2 at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station at 70 percent power for five months, according to a letter from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Edison formally submitted the amendThe Capistrano Dispatch April 12–25, 2013

ment earlier this week for consideration, after submitting a draft proposal last week, noting that it was looking to try and get the plant running by the summer when power usage peaked. WHAT’S NEXT: The NRC’s investigation into the cause of the tube wear, as well as Edison’s proposal to restart Unit 2, is on track to be completed this spring with a restart decision coming in May or June. The public may submit comments on the proposal for 30 days by visiting and searching docket “NRC-2013-0070.” FIND OUT MORE: For the full story, visit – Jim Shilander


…Safety on the East Side?

THE LATEST: The Orange County Sheriff’s Department will set up a temporary base of operations to better serve San Juan Capistrano’s eastern community over the two-year course of the Ortega Highway/Interstate 5 Interchange project. Lt. John Meyer, the city’s chief of police services, told the City Council on Tuesday, April 2, that sheriff’s deputies will work out of a space at the Best Western on Ortega Highway, east of I-5, because construction on the interchange will adversely affect emergency response times while travelling from the department’s headquarters in the west. Deputies will use the area for staging, phone calls, report writing and restroom breaks. WHAT’S NEXT: The Orange County Fire Authority will also set up their personnel

and fire-fighting apparatuses at designated locations throughout the eastern parts of the city. Ambulance services will stage units near OCFA locations.

revision of the district’s budget in May, Superintendent Joseph Farley said the waivers provide financial flexibility at the collective bargaining table.

FIND OUT MORE: To view the presentation, visit – BP

FIND OUT MORE: For the full story, visit – BP


…CUSD Class Sizes?


...Orange County’s Beachside Fires?

THE LATEST: Despite protests from parents who said their children are stuck in crowded classrooms, the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees on Wednesday, March 27, moved ahead with fee waiver requests that allow for increased class sizes. Fee waivers approved by the state Department of Education eliminate penalties for classes above state-prescribed limits. CUSD’s waivers, which are extensions of waivers granted for the 20112013 school years, will allow average class sizes for kindergarten, first through third grade and fourth through eighth grade to go above 31, 30 and 29.9 students, respectively. The waiver also allows individual class sizes to increase to more than 33 students in kindergarten and 32 students in the first through third grades, with maximums of 35 for each of those grade levels.

THE LATEST: What began as a local debate over whether or not the city of Newport Beach should remove dozens of fire rings from two beaches has grown into a two-countywide debate over the fate of Orange and Los Angeles county beach fires. Calling it an attempt to protect public health, the South Coast Air Quality Management District recently proposed banning beach fires year round on state beaches from Playa del Rey to San Clemente. Currently, beachside bonfires are permitted in park-provided fire rings throughout 14 beaches in the two counties, but the proposal would render some 890 rings useless. And those opposed to the ban aren’t convinced health interests spurred the proposal. “It’s an attempt to steal away historical and cultural traditions,” said Bill Brooks, president of the Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association.

WHAT’S NEXT: Previous waivers have always led to increased class sizes, parents complained. Parents urged the board to take a stand to limit class sizes, saying large class sizes hindered students’ ability to learn and overburdened teachers. With negotiations with the teachers’ union expected to begin, following

WHAT’S NEXT: On May 3, the SCAQMD will meet to decide on the whether or not beach fires stay. The meeting is at South Coast AQMD headquarters, 21865 Copley Dr., Diamond Bar at 9 a.m.

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FIDE OUT MORE: For more, visit – Andrea Papagianis



Compiled by Brian Park and Jim Shilander


Ark of San Juan Presents 5th Annual Garden Tour Tickets are now available for the Ark of San Juan’s 5th Annual Garden Tour event, Paws in the Garden. This fundraising event takes place on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and allows guests to tour four different and unique gardens, including two in San Juan Capistrano and another two in Laguna Hills. Refreshments will be served, and guests can all enter to win a door prize and participate in a raffle. Advance tickets cost $20. Tickets purchased at the door cost $25. Tickets can be reserved by mail or online using PayPal. Visit to download and print out a ticket form. The Ark of San Juan is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing euthanasia rates and finding homes for lost and abandoned pets. Since forming in 2007, the organization has rescued more than 400 animals. For more information, call 949.388.0034.

Atria San Juan Hosts Art Show on April 20 Atria Senior Living in San Juan Capistrano is hosting an art show featuring the work of one of its residents, Bruce Brown, on Saturday, April 20, from noon to 4 p.m. Brown suffered a debilitating stroke at the age of 52 that robbed him of his speech and mobility and paralyzed the right side of his body. Although he was only an amateur painter at the time,

Brown began to paint religiously, using art as his therapy and has since become a proficient painter with his left hand. Since his stroke, Brown has sold more than 100 paintings and some of his work is also featuring in Atria’s hallways. Guest author and artist Dr. William Havlicek will be on hand to talk about the life and art of Vincent Van Gogh, starting at 1:30 p.m. Havlicek is the author of the book Van Gogh’s Untold Journey. For more information, visit or call 949.625.4889. A group of Tiger Scouts from San Clemente Troop No. 112, along with their younger siblings, paid a visit to the Picket Fence Media offices as part of an effort to earn a badge. Photo by Brian Park

Night of the Arts Gala Supports Friends of the Library, Rotary Club San Juan Capistrano’s Friends of the Library and the Rotary Club are coming together for a fundraising event featuring an event of art, dancing, food and culture during the Night of the Arts Gala on Saturday, April 20. The event will take place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Family Classic Cars, located at 33033 Camino Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano. The evening’s festivities include a silent auction, a live art auction and music courtesy of Eddie Bañuelos and his 10-piece orchestra. Local artist Kerne Erickson, whose art depicts life in Southern California from the 1930s to the 1950s, will be on hand to discuss his life and work and to participate in a book signing. Proceeds from the event benefit both the Friends of the Library and the Rotary Club. Tickets cost $50 per person and can be purchased by visiting the Friends of the Library’s website, For more information, call 949.218.4512.

Shea Center Fundraiser Raises Over $82,000

Atria San Juan resident Bruce Brown with one of his original paintings that was inspired by the opera “Madame Butterfly.” Photo by Brian Park

The Capistrano Dispatch April 12–25, 2013

The Shea Therapeutic Riding Center raised more than $82,000 during its annual Drive-to-Ride fundraising campaign, shattering their starting goal of $75,000. Nearly 80 fundraising teams—consisting of Shea Center staff members, volunteers, riders, family members and friends—participated in the 37-day campaign, which began on Valentine’s Day. “Overall, we received more than 800 individual donations,” Sonya Violette, the Shea Center’s manager of donor relations, said in a statement. “Our team members Page 4

The scouts received a special mock-up of a front page of the San Clemente Times to commemorate their visit, as well as a page with their interviews and photographs.

The Youth Advisory Team helped raise more than $82,000 during the Shea Center’s Drive-to-Ride fundraising campaign. Courtesy photo

did a fabulous job telling the Shea Center story and encouraging friends, neighbors and business associates to join us.” The Shea Center’s $75,000 goal was a 50 percent increase over last year’s final contributions, according to a release. Violette’s own group of volunteers, the Youth Advisory Team, raised more than $20,000. Donations will go toward financial aid for riders with special needs and for horse care at the Shea Center. For more information about the Shea Center, visit

Local Scout Troop Visits The Dispatch Ten members of San Clemente Cub Scout Troop No. 112 Den No. 19 visited the Picket Fence Media offices, home of The Capistrano Dispatch, on Friday, April 5, to get a look at how the newspaper gets put together and to share a bit about what they like about scouting. The scouts were interviewed by members of the Picket Fence Media staff about what they enjoyed most about being scouts. “The best thing about being a Tiger Cub is doing activities, like coming here, and other fun stuff,” said Conner Martinez. Many of the scouts talked about their performance at the Pinewood Derby race, held recently at Vista Del Mar Elementary in San Clemente. Nolan Rooker, the winner of the event said simply, “it felt good.”

OCTA Seeks New Citizen Panel Members The Orange County Transportation Authority is seeking community leaders to fill seats on the Citizens Advisory Committee. The 34-member committee meets throughout the year to provide input on a broad spectrum of transportation projects, studies and outreach activities and offers input to OCTA staff and board of directors. Appointed by OCTA’s board of directors, the CAC is responsible for identifying opportunities for community input, recommending methods for obtaining public feedback on specific transportation issues, serving as a liaison between the public and OCTA and participating in roundtable discussions. Candidates must be at least 18, live in Orange County and willing to participate for a two-year term. Potential committee members should also demonstrate a history of involvement in community and transportation issues and be willing to dedicate at least 20 hours per year to OCTA meetings and activities. Applications will be accepted through May 7 and are available at www.octa. net/cac. The board is expected to select members by the end of June. For additional information, contact Alice Rogan at or call 814.560.5577. Have something interesting for the community? Tell us about awards, events, happenings, accomplishments and more. Forward a picture along, too! We’ll put your submissions into “News Bites.” Send your info to


SJC Sheriff’s Blotter

caller’s son had parked it around the corner.

Monday, April 1 TERRORIST THREATS REPORT Rancho Viejo Road, 31600 Block (8:35 a.m.) Police were contacted after a threatening fax was received at the Seasons Senior Apartments.

Sunday, March 31 COMPILED BY ELYSIA GAMO 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.

Wednesday, April 10 VANDALISM REPORT Camino Capistrano, 29900 Block (11:07 a.m.) Deputies responded to a call reporting vandalism at the Mountain Pines Christmas Tree Farm.

Monday, April 8 DISTURBANCE – AUTO INVOLVED Via Entrada/Avenida Placida (3:34 a.m.) A caller complained of loud engine noise coming from three to four trucks in the area. The sounds were discovered to be coming from city maintenance bulldozers making repairs to water lines.

Sunday, April 7 PETTY THEFT REPORT Via de Gavilan, 26200 Block (2:32 p.m.) A caller placed a second call to deputies regarding a previous petty theft report. The caller said the reported crime was a misunderstanding and to cancel the call.

Friday, April 5 WELFARE CHECK Ortega Highway/Rancho Viejo Road (4:06 p.m.) A welfare check was requested for two male juveniles seen walking in the middle of the roadway, eastbound on Ortega Hwy. toward Interstate 5. One of the boys was wearing a sailor’s hat. 9-1-1 HANGUP La Novia Avenue, 31600 Block (11:04 a.m.) Dispatch received a 9-1-1 call from St. Margaret’s Catholic High School. Only background noises were heard before the line went dead. Deputies made contact with the school and were told they were testing the phones. STOLEN VEHICLE Paseo Tecate, 26600 Block (7:12 a.m.) A caller told police a car that was previously reported stolen was found. The The Capistrano Dispatch April 12–25, 2013

SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Paseo Carolina, 32100 Block (2:22 p.m.) Two male juveniles were seen loitering in the area and looking into vehicles.

Saturday, March 30 SUSPICIOUS PERSON IN VEHICLE Camino del Rio, 27900 Block (12:56 p.m.) A caller reported a suspicious looking man parked near the location. Deputies discovered the man was waiting for his wife who was cleaning a house in the area. CITIZEN ASSIST Camino Capistrano, 31900 Block (11:36 a.m.) A man was standing in front of Chase Bank holding a sign with “radically derogatory” comments on it.

Friday, March 29 DISTURBANCE Paseo Carolina, 32100 Block (10:38 p.m.) A group of people were reportedly talking loudly and kicking things in a garage.

Wednesday, March 27 PETTY THEFT REPORT Paseo Adelanto, 32500 Block (8:36 a.m.) Windshield wipers were stolen from the caller’s vehicle.

Sunday, March 24 DISTURBANCE Park Avenue, 25700 Block (5:53 p.m.) A woman called police regarding kids playing soccer in the street when their ball kept hitting her car. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Ortega Highway/Del Obispo Street (midnight) A woman called police after being followed to her car in the Ralphs grocery store parking lot by a man asking for a ride. According to the caller the man appeared to be on drugs.

Saturday, March 23 SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Highland Drive/Windsor Drive (9:40 p.m.) A man in his late 20s was trying to flag down vehicles. Sheriffs made contact and transported him to the Shell Page 7

on Ortega Highway where he took a cab home.

The caller told Sheriffs the man had been drinking and was being very loud.

UNKNOWN TROUBLE Lighthouse Court, 33000 Block (8:14 p.m.) A caller reported seeing juveniles in a heated dispute at the lighthouse. The caller thought the incident looked like it could turn into a misdemeanor assault or battery at any time. No weapons were seen.

DISTURBANCE Park Avenue, 25700 Block (6:01 p.m.) A group of juveniles were playing hockey in the street and hitting the ball against the caller’s vehicle.

DISTURBANCE Oso Road/Camino Capistrano (5:30 p.m.) A man with black hair in a white tank top and black pants was seen yelling at drivers and chasing their vehicles. DISTURBANCE Verdugo Street, 26700 Block (4:03 p.m.) A male customer at Sarducci’s Restaurant was disturbing other patrons and was going into the women’s restroom. The man was wearing a black T-shirt and had tattoos. CITIZEN ASSIST Alipaz Street, 32500 Block (9:41 a.m.) A woman reported that neighborhood juveniles have been repeatedly leaving trash in the bed of her pick- up.

Friday, March 22 DISTURBANCE – MUSIC OR PARTY Del Obispo Street, 31900 Block (6:05 p.m.) A caller complained about loud music coming from a car parked in the alley behind the Cancun Restaurant. SUSPICIOUS PERSONS/CIRCUMSTANCE Calle Borrego, 33800 Block (3:19 p.m.) A group of juveniles were seen smoking marijuana. DISTURBING THE PEACE Camino Capistrano/ Del Obispo Street (2:42 p.m.) A caller reported seeing two men in the Big Lots parking having an argument. One man was holding a folding chair and the caller believed the argument could turn physical. SUSPICIOUS PERSONS/CIRCUMSTANCE Roundtree Court, 26200 Block (1:26 p.m.) Two men were seen smoking marijuana from a bong in front of their residence. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Via Monterey, 26100 Block (10:55 a.m.) A woman saw a young man in her neighbor’s backyard. He was dressed in all black and riding a black bicycle. The caller did not know his name but told authorities his is a problem kid and deputies have looking for him.

Thursday, March 21 DISTURBANCE Paseo Pamela, 26400 Block (10:51 p.m.) A man reported that there was a man in a black car parked in front of his residence.

ILLEGALLY PARKED VEHICLE Paseo Santa Clara, 26500 Block (12:19 p.m.) A gray minivan was parked behind the caller’s location in the alley blocking the garage. FOUND PROPERTY Del Obispo Street, 32300 Block (10:23 a.m.) A man reported that a bag of drug paraphernalia was found on a gardening bed inside the Armstrong Garden Center.

Wednesday, March 20 ILLEGALLY PARKED VEHICLE Mission Street, 26600 Block (10:54 p.m.) A caller reported a brown Dodge truck, a white SUV, and a dark gray or brown sedan were parked in the no parking zone on the cross streets of Lobo Street and Los Rios Street. SUSPICIOUS PERSON IN VEHICLE Camino Del Rio, 27900 Block (10:31 p.m.) A man who was believed to be under the influence of drugs was seen parked in a red Honda in front of the caller’s location. TRESPASSING Plaza Drive, 31800 Block (10:56 a.m.) Two men were seen throwing trash into the dumpster behind Rite Aid. This had been an ongoing problem with the same men. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Via de Toledo, 26100 Block (5:07 a.m.) A man who was across the street was seen looking into vehicles with a flashlight. He was last seen headed southbound on Via De Toledo. The caller was unable to provide a description of the subject. DRUNK IN PUBLIC Camino Capistrano, 31700 Block (12:02 a.m.) A drunken 50- to 60-year-old woman was was seen stumbling around on the sidewalk in the area near the Swallow’s Inn. She was last seen walking around the bar.

Tuesday, March 19 DISTURBANCE – MUSIC OR PARTY Calle La Purisma, 31500 Block (9:10 p.m.) A caller reported a group of drunken people who were having a verbal dispute in the alley. The caller also heard loud music coming from the garage.



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 7. 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: By Renee Ritchie

Open Space Improvements Came With Hard Work San Juan Capistrano’s open space is reserved for all—equestrians, hikers and cyclists


was asked a few weeks ago what the Open Space, Trails and Equestrian Commission (OSTEC) had done for not just the city’s open space, but for trails and the equestrian community. It made me think about my roles over the years, from serving on the Community Trails Committee— along with Shelly Barker, Ilse Byrnes, Dr. Julie RyanJohnson, Gail Zukow and Kim Gould, who is now in “cowgirl heaven”—to my current stead. Has any of that made a difference? So I thought about it, and although my mom has always taught my brother and me to be humble, it is also important for me to let our community know how much I care about all our citizens and what I’ve accomplished. I’ve had a passion for the equestrian lifestyle since I was 2 years old, when my grandpa put me on his donkey, who threw me off more times than I care to admit. I was taught, however, to always climb back on and show “Goliath” who the leader was. I served for five years on the Open Space Committee. I was asked to take on the responsibility of educating our equestrian community on Measure Y. I’ve spoken at a few equestrian functions to answer whatever questions I could answer about Measure Y and its purpose. That bond passed, as well as Measure X, and that is how the city was able to purchase the Riding Park and what was then referred to as the lemon grove, now Reata Park and Event Center. Once completed, Reata Park will feature an equestrian staging area, which will include a round pen, arena and 12 hold pens. The vision is to have some clinics and equestrian groups rent this area and bring in some income for our city, as well as inviting other cities to visit our 40-plus miles of trails. Planning for Reata Park was something I took seriously. I met with city staff from Norco and did some online research for over two years. Our plans and what was originally planned by the Open Space Foundation conflicted. A few of us met with the city council to educate them on why the changes needed to be made, and they all agreed. The Capistrano Dispatch April 12–25, 2013

Open Space, Trails and Equestrian Commissioner Renee Ritchie and her horse, Rosalyn. Courtesy photo

Since I live on the south side of Ortega Highway, I was very familiar with those trails but not so much the northwest area. Folks had approached me about those trails being hard to maneuver, especially if emergency personnel needed to locate someone. So I went on several field trips to become more familiar with that area. With four stables in the area, I noticed that these trails were used by many equestrians, in addition to hikers and bikers. Keeping our folks safe is not only my goal, but the city’s and OSTEC’s as well. It was clear to me that we were remiss on trail signage because I had no idea where I was without going to the city’s website and doing a virtual tour. It took over one year to get 10 new signs, which were recently installed. You will soon be seeing nine new trailhead signs, which will have Quick Response Codes. Just use your smart phone, scan the bar code, and if you are in trouble, you will be easily tracked by emergency crews. There were parts of a couple of trails—the Highland and Trabuco Creek Ridge—not being maintained by the city, and there was a discrepancy between a homeowners association and the city regarding who should be maintaining them. I met with a resident and HOA Page 8

board member, who provided the city with information on their responsibility. Now, the Highland Trail is maintained by the city and the Trabuco Creek Ridge Trail has been repaired and made safer for bikers, hikers and equestrians. I also met with San Juan Hills Golf Club to put in a corral, since hitching rails are unsafe in an urban community. They agreed, after I did some research about Norco’s holding pen, I came up with a rough drawing. I went to a steelyard in Santa Ana and picked out the pipe and found a professional to install it. American Horse Products and the San Juan Capistrano Equestrian Coalition put up the money. We held a ribbon cutting for its opening, and a year later, it’s shown to be very successful. The best part for me, truly, is to see folks riding down San Juan Creek Road, hitching their horses in a safe environment and enjoying drinks and food at a wonderful business. I just want to assure you all that I took on the role as an advocate for our multi-use trails to ensure our open space would be equally used for all—not only for equestrians, but for our hikers and bikers as well. I have no other agenda. I am hope hopeful that OSTEC is allocating more money for trail connections, including an equestrian crossing over Ortega Highway near Reata. My term on OSTEC is coming to a close, and I will not be reapplying—my husband is singing “Hallelujah.” However, I ask you all: Don’t just leave it up to a few of us to speak up. When it comes to voicing your concerns, bring it forward to the city council or the appropriate commission. Know that I have no other agenda than to be an advocate for our equestrian and trail users. After all, we’re blessed to have 50-plus miles of trails. There’s enough to be shared by all. Happy trails. 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

SOAPBOX GUEST OPINION: The Way I See It by Patrick O’Brien

‘In God We Trust’ Letter Exposes Right Wing Ploy Creativity moves the country forward while extreme conservatism threatens to stagnate it


ongratulations to Ruth Clark on her letter to the editor in the last edition of The Capistrano Dispatch (“‘In God We Trust,’ An Example of Faith Forcing the Issue”). It is particularly interesting that a woman who proclaims herself to be “an old lady” is in complete agreement with a 15-year-old high school student—the student who informed the city council that the Constitution of the United States provides for a separation of church and state. Some folks don’t seem to get that. Our city council doesn’t. I guess the view is that so-called “American exceptionalism” relates to the notion that the Constitution relates to everything except the First Amendment. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and state.” San Juan should not be involved in religion. City

Hall does not need “In God We Trust.” We are a diverse nation of many religions and no religion. Ruth Clark rightfully exposes the attempts by the right wing, Tea Party et al, to institute their own Patrick O’Brien version of Sharia law. I am not a young man and I can honestly say that I have never seen this country so frightened of everything. This is particularly true of those who are “devout” members of the Republican Party, a once great party, now a sliver of itself and perhaps on the way to extinction. I hope not. “The times they are a-changing” said the folk singer. In a poll by the Los Angeles Times, “only 19 percent of the California voters polled favored deporting illegal aliens.” These people are deemed necessary to our economy. The rights of LGBT, the rights of women, the rights to restrict rampant gun sales, the rights of the common good are all being challenged by “wave the flag and control

the fear.” Ruth Clark is right on the money. The jingoists among us are ruining the sense of community, the sense of “thy brother’s keeper,” the sense of all that made America strong. Now they would have us huddle in our homes, clutching guns and some sort of individual religious certainty and “by golly” everyone else better wave flags and pray and fall in line. We did not elect a Pope. We elected a President. We did not elect cardinals. We elected congressional representatives and senators. We did not elect priests. We elected council members. The nonthinkers should be removed as quickly as we can remove them. Vote them out. The face of the electorate is changing. That is evolution. Evolve or drown in a pool of loneliness, one of bitterness and fear mongering, one where you guard your money like Midas. This is a creative country, not a conservative country. We arrived here through education and thinking, not whining and fear. It is

easier not to move than to move. It is more interesting to move than stagnate. Thank you, Ruth Clark. Your ideas are young and vibrant and what America is all about. You see things clearly. You have done a great service to our community. Patrick O’Brien and his wife Marilyn have been residents of San Juan Capistrano for forty years. He is a former professor of English and Dean of the Language Arts Division at Cypress College. He currently has four novels available for the Kindle on Amazon: “Visitation: A Novel of the Paranormal,” “Under Occam’s Razor,” “Mordida” and “The Erebus Pool.” He can be reached at pallenob@gmail. com. 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

Letters to the Community KUDOS TO ‘SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE’ LETTER —Janet Holtz, San Juan Capistrano Hip hip hooray that Ruth Clark lives in our city. What a refreshing change of reason and intelligence in a letter to the editor in our local paper (“‘In God We Trust,’ An Example of Faith Forcing the Issue,” March 22). Everything she says is so spot-on. I hope more people listen to her and I hope there are lots like me who believe what she says wholeheartedly. Ruth, you are a very well-spoken and intelligent woman for “an old lady in my 80s.” I don’t need to go over her many good points other than I always wonder why so many have forgotten one of the great founding principles of our nation: separation of church and state. There are many people who have little to no interest in religion—why can other people not accept this? Religion is a personal matter and needs to be entirely left out of politics, including small town city halls. CUSD SHOULD PASS SONGS RESOLUTION —Jen Moffroid, San Clemente Spring is here and so is the exciting milestone of enrolling my child for kindergarten next fall. Living in southwest San Clemente, I have heard nothing but The Capistrano Dispatch April 12–25, 2013

amazing reviews of Concordia Elementary School. So it was quite a bubble burst during the online enrollment process to have to check a box where I give authority to the school to give my child potassium iodide in the case of a nuclear emergency at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. This is yet another wake-up call that I am living, and raising a child, in close proximity to a toxic waste dump, for which there is no current solution but to stop producing more nuclear waste immediately. Thankfully, that process has been stopped for over a year. But Southern California Edison is trying to get the plant running again, saying that they think it will be safe to run at 70 percent for five months. This does not instill confidence. The year since it closed went by fast. Let’s just skip your proposed risky term and quit while we are ahead. We all remember Fukushima—two years ago this month and still not under control. The San Diego Unified School District board passed a resolution calling on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to hold an Adjudicated license amendment hearing on SONGS earlier this year. I’d like to see our own Capistrano Unified School District board take as much care of its children. Is it so much to ask

to have a complete hearing on the plant instead of taking the word of the people who caused the breakdown? Let’s be smart and take the thorough precautions instead of risking Southern California. Contact a CUSD board member and ask them to pass the same resolution—for an adjudicated hearing. VOTERS SHOULD HAVE SAY IN SAN ONOFRE —Denny Freidenrich, Laguna Beach There is a simple and direct way to resolve the debate about San Onofre. The issue needs to be put to a vote in Orange and San Diego counties on the same day. County supervisors in the two regions need to draft identical ballot measures that simply ask for a thumbs up or thumbs down vote on reopening the nuclear power plant. This way, the six million people living closest to San Onofre, which is operated by Southern California Edison, will have their say in the matter. I’m guessing those evacuated from Fukushima two years ago in Japan might like to have this option as a do-over. Today, their former homes, schools, shops and parks are shuttered in a veritable 20-kilometer “dead zone” which, some experts predict, could last as long as 10,000 years.

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Last September, the Friends of the Earth reported that 58 percent of SCE customers polled living within the San Onofre service area opposed the reopening of the power plant. The only trouble was that figure represented a mere 406 out of 700 people questioned—hardly an overwhelming groundswell of opposition, in my opinion. To counter those findings, SCE said, any survey of its customers’ opinions should “accurately describe the role San Onofre plays both in power generation and reliability and grid support.” Not exactly the most comforting of words if you ask me. A simultaneous special election in Orange and San Diego Counties will allow millions of people the opportunity to voice their opinion on this contentious issue. After all, if San Onofre blows one day, where will everyone go? There simply aren’t enough condos in Palm Springs to accommodate us all. To submit a letter to the editor for possible inclusion in the paper, e-mail us at or send it to 34932 Calle del Sol, Suite B, Capistrano Beach, CA 92624. The Capistrano Dispatch reserves the right to edit reader-submitted letters for length and is not responsible for the claims made or the information written by the writers.




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


TOMORROW’S ARTISTS OF TODAY EXHIBIT 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Casa Romantica displays student art with works by kids from local schools through April 18. 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, 949.498.2139,


EDDIE B 7:45 p.m.-11 p.m. Live music at The Vintage Steak House 26701-B Verdugo St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.661.3400, ROUTE 66 8 p.m. Cabrillo Playhouse presents a musical review of the classic ’50s-’60s automotive songs onstage. $20-$25. Shows through May 12. 202 Avenida Cabrillo, San Clemente, 949.492.0465, CARL PALMER 8 p.m. The Coach House. Tickets $25. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930,


COMMUNITY GARDENFEST 8 a.m.-4 p.m. The San Clemente Garden Club hosts the GardenFest at the SC Community Center featuring plant sales, flea market, floral design competitions, educational info and much more. 100 N. Calle Seville, San Clemente, 949.498.2335.


SECOND SATURDAY ART FAIR 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Local artists feature their arts and crafts, also includes musicians, business, restaurant specials and more in downtown San Juan Capistrano. 949.493.4700, ANNIE SLOAN BOOK SIGNING 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Annie Sloan, best-selling author of books on decorative painting techniques, will be signing copies of her latest book, Color Recipes for Painted Furniture and More, at The Abode. 228 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, 949.412.4499. SECOND STAGE STAND UP 7:30 p.m. Comedians hit Stage II at the Camino Real Playhouse. Tickets $15. 31776 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.489.8082, The Capistrano Dispatch April 12–25, 2013

AT THE MOVIES: THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES In December 2010, documentary filmmaker Derek Cianfrance released his first fictional feature, Blue Valentine, with great acclaim and two brilliant performances by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. Now, 2.5 years later, his highly anticipated second movie The Place Beyond the Pines is out in theaters. The film stars some of the biggest actors in entertainment, and also marks Cianfrance and Gosling’s second collaboration. In the city of Schenectady, N.Y., the lives of motorcycle stunt rider turned bank robber Luke Glanton (Gosling) and local policeman Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper) collide as their worlds unfold with family issues and the discovery of corruption in the police department. Rose Byrne, Dane DeHaan, Bruce Greenwood and Ray Liotta co-star. While Blue Valentine was an intimate © Focus Features portrait of a turbulent couple, Beyond the Pines is both an intimate and epic tale of two fathers and their sons. The long and slow narrative is unfortunately the film’s weakest link, but Cianfrance creates an unusual storytelling style with performances that still manage to save the film. Cooper proves once again he can lead dramas and not just comedies. And a new star is born in DeHaan, who shines as Gosling’s son. —Megan Bianco

HART & SOUL 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Live music at Thai Juan On. 31878 Del Obispo, San Juan Capistrano, 949.234.0332, BIOLUMINESCENCE CRUISE 8 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Ocean Institute’s cruise to learn about the ability of some marine animals to glow in the dark and to witness the phenomenon. Cost $35 adults, $22 for children. 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, 949.496.2274, EDITOR’S PICK: DOHENY WOOD CAR SHOW 8 a.m.-3 p.m. The SoCal Woodie Club presents Doheny Doheny Wood 2012. Photo by Tony Tribolet Wood 2013, a woodie car show at Doheny State Beach. Admission is free. Parking is $15 in the state beach lot or free along PCH. 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, 949.496.2704,


YOUTH EXPO 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Expo at the OC Fair & Event Center with tons of fun, activities, workshops, displays and much more for youngsters. Free admission; all weekend event. 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.708.1500,


THE SERRA CHAPEL TOUR 11:15 a.m. A brand new tour at the Mission in honor of Father Junípero Serra, who was born 300 years ago this year. Offered Sundays. Admission $6-$9. 26801 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949.234.1300, BOOK SIGNING 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Author Cheryl Gardarian will be available to sign her latest novel, “The Cookie Tree,” at American Horse Products. 31896 Plaza Drive, Ste. C4, San Juan Capistrano. SOUTHBOUND JOHNNY 2:30 p.m. Sunday Funday at The Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.3188, Page 10

SUNDAYS AT SUNSET CONCERT SERIES 6 p.m. The South Orange County School of the Arts Jazz band performs in the Dana Point Yacht Club. Tickets $10-$14. 24399 Dana Drive, Dana Point, MURDER BY THE MISSION 6:30 p.m. Murder mystery dinner theatre at Sarducci’s presented by the Camino Real Playhouse. Tickets $59 and includes meal. 26701 Verdugo Street, San Juan Capistrano, 949.489.8082,


BOOK SIGNING 5 p.m.-7 p.m. San Clemente Wine Company presents Kimberly Carlson, the author of Out of the Shadows, signing books at the winery. 212 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, 949.429.7067,


FAMILY STORYTIME 7 p.m. Bedtime stories at the library for the whole family. 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.1752,



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

LUNCH LOCAL 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Join the SJC Chamber of Commerce for lunch at L’Hirondelle. Free admission plus cost of lunch. 31631 Camino Capistrano, 949.493.4700, JAM SESSION FOR SENIORS 10:15 a.m. Bring your instruments and make music at the Dorothy Visser Senior Center. 117 Avenida Victoria, San Clemente, 949.498.6524.


STORY TIME FOR KIDS 10 a.m. Every Wednesday kids ages 3-5 are invited to hear stories at Casa Romantica. Free. 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, 949.498.2139,


WINE DINNER AT VINE 7 p.m.-9 p.m. A four-course wine and food pairing at Vine. Reservations recommended. Cost $40 per person. 211 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente, 949.361.2079, (Cont. on page 12)

Going Green: the Local Scene Area entrepreneurs provide a myriad of eco-friendly businesses


he tri-city area of San Clemente, Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano is home to a community full of environmentally-friendly businesses. So, as part of this year’s Green Issue, we are taking a look at one entity from each of our three cities “greening” the local business scene.

CNG United Frustrated by a declining real estate market, in 2007 San Clemente resident Michael Laub made a decision to ditch his career as a real estate broker in favor of a new, environmentally friendly venture. As an entrepreneur, Laub said he felt the need to reinvent himself and write his own ticket. He did just that when creating CNG United, a company focused on the conversion of conventional gasoline-powered vehicles to compressed natural gas and teaching automotive technicians how to convert and repair CNG-powered automobiles. “I wanted to go into something environmentally friendly and considered solar power, wind power and artificial turf before stumbling across natural gas. I had my ‘ah-ha moment’ that year when gasoline prices topped $4 per gallon and natural gas was only 83 cents per gallon,” he said. Laub said the idea really took hold when he learned that “natural gas is the first by-product that comes out of the ground when drilling for petroleum, is 80 to 90 percent cleaner, less expensive and an abundant resource right here under U.S. soil.” Since opening its doors, CNG United has educated nearly 400 technicians on the ins and outs of conversion and that number continues to grow by 15 to 20 per month. As a general rule, a conversion costs somewhere between $4,500 to $5,000, depending on the vehicle, engine size and the size of tank chosen, according to Laub. “Big savings in fuel costs add up and the conversion quickly pays for itself. And with the new technology, vehicles maintain the same relative ‘gas’ mileage and performance.” Technicians visit San Clemente to learn how to convert and repair CNG cars and the company also holds off-site training sessions and has handled conversions for many municipalities and companies. Recent in-state work includes the conversion of five ambulances in Long Beach, a plumbing fleet in Rancho Santa Margarita, the replacement of about 50 CNG tanks for the city of Hawthorne’s municipal fleet and numerous privateparty conversions and tank replacements. Next month, Laub’s company will be working with the city of St. Louis, Mo. to provide mechanic training through a program dubbed The St. Louis Project, created to help war veterans and prisoners learn a new, marketable skill. “We’re also working with a couple of federal prisons in Florida, where we will teach the instructors in the prison how to train the inmates to convert cars,” Laub said. “The benefits are twofold. Not only will prisoners have a marketable skill upon release, inmate labor costs pennies on the dollar and during their time in jail these new skills can be used toward converting the prisons’ fleet of vehicles.” The training program also provides curriculum to other auto mechanics programs in high schools and colleges. Wayne Richardson, a Colorado-based auto technician of 25 years and recent CNG student said learning this skill has become a necessity in his business. “This is the wave of the future. Our fuel consumption in this country demands that we move toward this technology. Many, many of my customers are inquiring about it right now,” Richardson said.

Laub agreed wholeheartedly. “Based on motor vehicle department reports that show the group of over 150,000 registered CNG vehicles in the U.S. continues to increase along with demand for our training program, the way I see it, we have plenty of room to grow,” Laub said. For more information about CNG United, visit —Andrea Swayne

Goin Native In 2009, after 30 years as a hairdresser, Marianne Taylor decided to make a style change of her own by turning her passion for gardening into her new life’s work. With help from a business partner, Taylor started Goin Native, a series of gardening classes from a small property near her home in the Los Rios Historic District in San Juan Capistrano. “The mission statement is to get people aware of sustainability and get them involved in the garden,” Taylor said. “I call myself a teacher and a ‘dirt therapist’ because you learn a lot about yourself when you get your hands in the dirt.”

Goin Native’s Los Rios Garden Angels have planted and care for more than 50 types of native and drought tolerant plant species in Los Rios Park. Photo by Brian Park

But along with classes on planting succulents and cooking organic foods from the garden, Goin Native also provides a public service in the form of some generous green thumbs. Twice a month, Taylor leads a group of eight to 15 volunteers, known as the Garden Angels, to Los Rios Park, where they do the lion’s share of the work in looking after more than 50 plant species in the 6.5-acre city park. Since Goin Native started at the same time the park opened, Taylor and her dedicated volunteers have spearheaded many of the landscape changes to the park, specifically in the area surrounding the Montanez Adobe. “The look that we wanted was to plant it in such a way that it appears as if it was designed naturally without human hands,” Taylor said. Most of the plants in Los Rios Park are native or drought tolerant species. In addition to California poppies, the park also boasts buddleia, Cleveland sage, purple sage and a variety of succulents. In recent years, more succulents and drought tolerant plants have been introduced due to severely less rainfall, according to Taylor. Parts of the park feature a timed, drip

system to water plants, but an unusually dry winter season has forced volunteers to use garden hoses more often. “The plants rely on local rains, but unfortunately, we’re in the middle of a drought, so we’ve been giving them a hand up,” Taylor said. “We’ve also added a few more aloe vera plants because they need a little less water than the drought tolerant plants.” The Garden Angels have also taken it upon themselves to boost the dwindling numbers of Monarch butterflies and bees. In the case of the butterflies, volunteers have planted milkweed, which is the primary food source for Monarch larvae, or caterpillars. “We really want the Monarch butterflies to be a specialty here. They’re a migratory species, so we want them to find a pathway here and call San Juan Capistrano their home, just like the swallows,” Taylor said. For more information about Goin Native or to volunteer with the Garden Angels, visit —Brian Park

Organic Tree Juice Bar Unlike many juice bar chains, Organic Tree Juice Bar in Dana Point takes an artisanal approach to their products and an environmentally responsible approach to production, packaging and food waste disposal. Started in 2011 by Brian and Rachel Dunn from Capistrano Beach, the juice bar is located in the back of the Pacific Ashtanga Yoga Shala near Dana Point Harbor. “Many of our competitors start with ready-made blends,” said Rachel Dunn. “We start with only raw, organic materials and know where all of our food comes from.” Dunn said the idea for the juice bar was first hatched by her husband Brian Dunn, who has been a wheatgrass, natural foods and yoga enthusiast for years. And while the two were developing their concept for Organic Tree, they worked to create a company that would incorporate the most sustainable methods of operation and the best organic products they could find. “We make sure to buy as much of our organic produce as we can locally and found one of our main suppliers in San Juan Capistrano, South Coast Farms,” Dunn said. “Sourcing close to home also cuts down on transportation costs and the related pollution it creates.” The idea of farm-to-table food and environmentally friendly practices, carry across the company’s entire operation. Juices are served in either compostable cups made from corn starch or reusable glass jars. And the pulp by-product created in the juicing process is returned to South Coast Farms, to be used as compost. Organic Tree has become a favorite gathering spot where health- and environmentally-conscious locals meet, converse and enjoy the benefits of juicing, a subject that the well-educated staff has an impressive knowledge of. “Our employees are super mindful and want to do things the right way, the green and healthy way,” Dunn said. “Not only because their bosses say so, but because they feel an inner responsibility.” Their menu includes juice blends designed to address health issues, provide energy, cleanse and just for enjoyment of the fresh, natural flavors. The Dunn’s will soon be expanding their business to include a new venture, Organic Tree Landscaping, focused on chemical-free eco-friendly organic landscaping. To find out more, log on to www.organictreejuicebar. com. —Andrea Swayne

Concordia Rain Barrels, Butterfly Garden a Guide for Local Schools Gardens provide environmentally sound educational opportunities for students


oncordia Elementary School students have been getting a personal view of the life cycle of butterflies, vegetables and native flora as part of a partnership with the San Clemente Garden Club since 2008. Dave Gerhard, principal of Concordia Elementary School, said for the last five years, his students have had the opportunity to get very hands-on in lessons about science and the environment. “They really enjoy it,” Gerhard said. “They really take great pride in their gardens.” To water, the school utilizes 11 rain barrels, which are attached to the drainpipes on various school buildings and stored alongside them. While San Clemente doesn’t have the reputation of being a particularly wet city, parent volunteer Kris Ethington noted that the rain barrels more than suffice to keep all of their gardens in bloom. “It’s surprising how much rain is collected,” Ethington said. “It’s a great supplemental water source.” Ethington, whose own children have graduated to middle school, has helped to set up similar garden programs at both Shorecliffs Middle School and Marblehead Elementary, and serves as a liaison of sorts as co-chair of the Garden Club’s junior gardeners program. Current parent volunteer Michelle Johnson said it’s a common site to see students use their recess time to water their vegetable or flower gardens, especially the kindergarten and first graders. “It’s geared for all of the different age

The rain barrels at Concordia Elementary School trap water for use on drier days in the school’s many gardens, which encourage students to learn about their environment in a hands-on way. Photos by Jim Shilander

groups, which is great,” Johnson said. “And there are native plants all over the school.” In addition to the vegetable garden, other classes have their own projects. Fourthgraders, for example, study worm composting, and fifth-graders get the most time with the rain barrels, as they paint them every year. Kindergarteners through third-graders get to enjoy getting an even closer look at butterflies, since there are a number of small “butterfly gardens” at the school. This includes a selection of native plants

important to the entire life cycle of the butterfly, including some to serve as food for caterpillars and as sources of nectar for grown butterflies, Ethington said. “The kids really love watching the whole life cycle of the butterflies in one place,” Gerhard said. Gerhard credited Ethington with helping to get the butterfly gardens going and said the school had also worked closely with nearby San Onofre State Park to help students understand butterfly migrations and other interesting tidbits. Among the butterflies that regularly make appearances at the gardens are the monarch, the painted lady and the gulf fritillary. “It’s a pretty comprehensive program,” Gerhard said. Ethington said that rain barrels similar to those used at the school are widely available and can cost as low as $20 from suppliers— combined with approximately $30 for the parts to attach it to the home. She suggested those interested in learning more attend one of the regular workshops on making use of rain barrels held by The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano, The San Clemente Garden Club will also be providing information about butterfly gardens at its GardenFest event Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the San Clemente Community Center. For more information, log on to —Jim Shilander

At the Harbor: County Works Toward a Clean and Green Facility Harbor Director shares efforts and goals for continually improving environmental practices at one of the area’s most popular recreation destinations


n 2005 the Orange County Board of Supervisors created the Dana Point Harbor Department, now called OC Dana Point Harbor, with the goal of having an independent department with the resources to concentrate their efforts on the Dana Point Harbor Revitalization Plan. One of the unexpected but now welcomed consequences has been OC Dana Point Harbor’s attention to water quality and facility improvements through the Harbor’s Water Quality Improvement Program. Since 2007—with program goals of source control, diverting runoff, treating runoff, conservation, outreach and education— the department has effectively improved water quality throughout the Harbor. It should be noted that we are not alone in our efforts and the great work of the city of Dana Point, OC Parks, OC Watersheds, Health Care Agency, South Coast

Water District, Dana Point Earth/Ocean Society, Headlands Reserve, San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, the Ocean Institute, Harbor operators and numerous By Brad Gross, director community cleanup volOC Dana Point Harbor unteers combine for our water quality improvement efforts. Our successes were accomplished by first taking over and improving some already established programs. For example, the Earth/Ocean Society started a “smoker’s outpost” program at some key locations in the Harbor before the establishment of the Harbor Department. There are now more than 30 outposts ringing the walkways of the Harbor. And in early 2008, the Harbor voluntarily participated in the Metropolitan Water District’s Public Sector Water Ef-

ficiency Program where a Harbor-wide audit of water usage and procedures resulted in numerous measures implemented to conserve water and reduce runoff. Following the audit, several adjustments were made to landscape, such as lowering soil levels in many planter areas and replacing spray irrigation systems with bubblers. Irrigation systems are frequently inspected and repaired. Low maintenance, yet visually appealing, plants have been chosen for the common areas and landscaping is now trimmed more frequently to minimize the amount of leaves falling into the water. All street and parking lot cleaning is performed using surface cleaners with built-in wash water recovery to eliminate runoff. Daily trash collection is mandated and bird-proof lids have been installed on trash receptacles to prevent birds from scattering the contents. Pet waste bag dispensers

are conveniently located throughout the Harbor and continually checked for supply. Fishing line recycling collection stations have been purchased and installed at several locations. There are also provisions for the disposal of oil, oil filters, automatic transmission fluid, engine anti-freeze and coolant, batteries and bilge pads which were not previously available. Also available for boaters are free oil absorbing bilge pads, which can be obtained by visiting any of the marina operators. These pads are placed in the bilges of boats to absorb oil, fuel, etc. as opposed to discharging these items overboard through bilge pumps. Once saturated, the pads are easily recycled via one of our stations. In coordination with the South Coast Water District, storm drains and sewer lines are inspected routinely for debris, (Cont. on page 6)

Many strategies are employed by the OC Dana Point Harbor Department in an effort to create a more environmentally sound facility. Photo by Andrea Swayne

At the Harbor (Cont. from page 4) obstructions and line integrity. Catch basin inserts have been installed in all drains leading into the harbor to stop debris and trash before it enters. In an effort to prevent line blockages that can lead to sewer spills, quarterly lateral and main line cleaning and maintenance takes place. During construction of the launch ramp in 2006, a trench drain was installed to collect and filter runoff. Grease interceptors have also been installed in several restaurants to collect material instead of letting it flow to the sewer system. In 2006 both the East and the West Marinas were designated Clean Marinas by the Clean Marinas California Program. The Launch Ramp was certified in 2009 and the OC Sailing & Events Center along with the Dana Point Yacht Club in 2011. The Shipyard received one of the first certifications as a Clean Maritime Facility last year. All these operations continue to exceed the program’s requirements which include solid and liquid waste management, clean boating policies, clean operational practices, emergency action procedures, a recycling program and employee and boater training. The Harbor now strictly enforces the Best Management Practices and has increased education and awareness efforts in order to encourage boaters to take an active role in safeguarding water quality. Other projects include the Headland’s installation of a storm water diversion system, timers on wash down water supply at the launch ramp, installation of waterless urinals in the new public restroom and the

recent installation of four new boat holding tank pump out stations. The Shipyard will soon be installing a water clarifying system for their facility and the fuel dock is also in the process of upgrades. In 2009, the Harbor started to conduct biannual underwater cleanups with local volunteer divers removing more than 27,000 pounds of debris from the Harbor’s bottom. And, as a result of a grant from the Orange County Transportation Authority, one of our proudest accomplishments is the recent installation of six new debris skimmers. The skimmers are strategically placed throughout the Harbor working 24/7 collecting surface debris from the water. Each skimmer collects on average about 7,400 pounds of debris annually. Ongoing efforts to improve the water quality at Baby Beach have also been successful. Part of the problem in the past was found to be caused by the water coming from outfall out of the Headlands and bird waste. The installation of the Headlands diversion and filter system has taken care of that for the most part. As for the bird droppings, bird proof netting has been installed under the pier and staff members are sent out each day to manually remove droppings off the beach. Also, since the area was dredged in 2008 and the top two feet of sand on the beach removed and replaced with clean fresh sand, documented improvements have been made and can be reviewed in the Heal the Bay annual Beach Report Card. The reports are posted online at www. As we look ahead we recognize that we are quickly approaching what will prove to be a challenging but exciting time full of opportunities to execute new and innovated approaches to environmental controls for construction activity during the implementation of the Revitalization Plan. But more importantly, the project will finally allow us to upgrade such items and water supply, electrical supply, sewer capacities, grease interceptors for the restaurants and to lay the foundation for reclaimed water to be used for irrigation. As you can see, we are never done when working to improve water quality. Please come and enjoy your Harbor. Take a walk, sit on the beach, cruise on your boat, have a meal or go to sea to see a whale. On your way out, if you see a piece of trash on the ground, pick it up. I am sure you will find a trash can with a bird-proof lid close by.

Earth Day Events Saturday, April 13 Doheny State Beach Earth Day Native Planting Project 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Join volunteers at Doheny State Beach to help plant an assortment of native plants, shrubs and trees around the park. Bring a shovel and working gloves, if available. Upon entry to the park, let the gate guard know that you are volunteering. 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, 16th Annual Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Volunteer at San Clemente State Beach or Doheny State Beach for the California State Parks Foundation’s annual Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup. More info and registration is available by phone or online. 225 West Calafia Avenue, San Clemente, and, 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, 888.987.2757, www. Community Recycling Event at Dana Hills High School 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Drop off plastic bottles and aluminum cans (no glass please) in the back parking lot of Dana Hills High School near the tennis courts and pool area for students from the school’s chapter of the California Scholastic Federation to collect and sort. Funds collected are distributed by the school’s PTSA for student programs. Rain or shine. 33333 Golden Lantern Street, Dana Point, We Are Earth Day Festival 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Join The Ecology Center’s 5th annual Earth Day celebration with live music, fresh local food, eco-activities, the annual spring seedling sale and more. Free admission. 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.443.4223,

Thursday, April 18 Earth Day Fair 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Eleventh annual public education and outreach effort at the SJC Community Center Gymnasium with hands-on displays, environmental games, giveaways and more. Exhibitors include the Ocean Institute, Goodwill of Orange County, Green Castles and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley. Call or email for more information. 25925 Camino Del Avion, San Juan Capistrano, 949.234.4413

Saturday, April 20 Doheny State Beach Mother Earth Beach, Creek, Park Cleanup 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Volunteer to help clean up Doheny State Beach, park and San Juan

Creek. Bring work gloves. Meet at Lifeguard Headquarters. Upon entry to the park, let the gate guards know that you are volunteering. 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, 949.496.6172, vwiker@parks., E-Waste and Shredding Event 8 a.m.-noon. The city of San Juan Capistrano and Goodwill Industries offer free e-waste disposal and document shredding. Dispose of old cell phones, computers, TVs and more. Documents will be collected in a lock box for transport to a secure shredding facility. City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto, 949.234.4413, Ritz-Carlton Earth Day Celebration 10 a.m.-noon. Meet at Salt Creek Beach for a volunteer cleanup event. Supplies provided. 33333 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point. The hotel will also be hosting a free Eco-Adventure Garden Tour from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. showcasing sustainable gardening practices and indigenous flora and fauna in the resort’s organic garden. 1 Ritz Carlton Drive, Dana Point, 949.240.5020, www.

Sunday, April 21 Ocean Institute Earth Day 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Explore marine wildlife and create eco-friendly crafts. Admission is $6.50 for adults (13 and over) and $4.50 for children (3-12); Children 2 and under and members are free. Volunteer for the beach and harbor cleanup from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and receive free admission. 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, 949.496.2274, Earth Day at Panhe 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Native American celebration at Panhe, the historic village and sacred ceremonial site of the Acjachemen/Juaneno people. Event features singers, dancers, storytelling, food, music, artisans, vendors and more. Free off-site parking and shuttle available at Concordia Elementary. Free admission. San Mateo Campground, San Onofre State Beach. Visit for more information and directions.

Saturday, May 11 Harbor Underwater Cleanup 8 a.m.-noon. Volunteers needed for OC Dana Point Harbor’s semi-annual Underwater Cleanup. Approximately 60 divers will remove debris from the Harbor floor. Participants receive a T-shirt, food and beverages. Prizes will be awarded for most unusual items recovered. Participating divers must have current open water or equivalent certification (PADI, NAUI or equivalent) and parental consent if under 18. For more information or to volunteer, call 949.493.6222 or see

What Can One Person Do? Eight great ways to take better care of the earth


t’s hard to argue against the sound philosophy behind the three R’s of conservation: recycle, reduce and reuse. It’s all about making good choices to help our communities and the entire planet. By now, many have made a habit of the three R’s by doing things like separating recyclables for disposal, carpooling and turning off lights when leaving a room. Beyond that, what else can we do? According to environmentally-focused organizations such as the National Forest Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency, most people would like to do more to help the environment but don’t either due to financial

 Prevent chemicals found in unwant-

ed medicines—both prescription and over-the-counter—from entering the waste stream. Instead of flushing unused or expired medications or throwing them in the garbage, dispose of them safely, anonymously and free of charge at the medication drop box at Dana Point Police Services, City Hall, 33282 Golden Lantern. No appointment necessary. San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano also periodically hold drug take-back days.

 Visit the San Diego Gas & Electric website at www. and search “Your Energy Costs: A Roomby-room Guide” to find out how much everyday electrical appliances use. When you add up the 18 to 36 cents per hour it takes to power a hair dryer, saving money on electricity is as easy as choosing to air dry every once in a while.  Keep your reusable shopping

bags in the trunk of your car. That way you’ll always have them at the grocery or other store—even on those impromptu stops to grab just a few items on the way home.

 Say “bye bye” to bottled water.

Invest in a filtering pitcher and a selection of reusable water bottles. With so many fun, sporty and artistic designs to choose from, your water bottle will not only let people know that you care for the environment but can also reflect your personal style.

restrictions—from large and expensive projects like converting a home to solar power—or the belief that minor changes by an individual can’t have much of an impact. Below is a checklist of inexpensive and easy ways to renew our efforts, in honor of Earth Day 2013 to take more steps toward living a greener life. Most involve minor changes in the way we do things like shop, eat, work and discard unwanted items. So check off a few—or all eight— and make a commitment to incorporate more environmentally sound practices into everyday life. —Andrea Swayne

 Upcycle. Instead of sending unwanted items off to the landfill or to be recycled, why not get creative and think of clever ways to repurpose things. Not only is it good for the environment, it’s trendy too. For instance, an old filing cabinet turned on its side with the drawers removed, becomes an organizer for gardening tools or sporting goods in the garage. Half of an old suitcase fitted with a cushion can become a fun and funky pet bed. Be creative. Upcycled items can be both functional and decorative, and a simple Google search of the word “upcycle” yields thousands of great ideas.

 Grow at least a portion of your own food. A big yard is not necessary. Many vegetables and fruits thrive in small containers.  When making purchases,

consider the packaging. Choose products that keep packaging to a minimum and use recycled materials.

 Switch at least five incan-

descent bulbs in your home to energy star-labeled bulbs. According to the EPA, if every U.S. family did this, it would prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to those produced by 10 million cars.


What Do You Do to Make Every Day Earth Day? John Saffold, Dana Point There is a balance between the earth being here for human use and enjoyment and humans being caretakers of the earth for future generations. I am very conscious about turning lights off. As long as it’s daylight, no lights are on. And we only wash clothes and run the dishwasher before 11 a.m. and after 6 p.m., because of the pull on the grid. So, unless it is an emergency, that is a rule in our house. Ellen Watters, Dana Point I choose to use ecofriendly detergent and recycle in my home. If everybody chips in, the world is going to be much cleaner and much better for everyone. Sharon Stewart, Dana Point It all started around 1991. It just didn’t make any sense; we mowed the lawn, leaves fell off the trees and we had vegetable scraps from the kitchen, and I knew from reading that by having even a passive compost pile, you could—instead of buying compost—put all of these things back into your garden and keep more waste out of landfills and the water system. More than 20 years later, we still have it. We aren’t running food waste down the garbage disposal and are recycling the grass clippings. Plus, it has such a great benefit—rich soil with red worms. I put it into my rose beds. Ernie Koch, San Clemente We are very careful about how much waste we make in the first place. We don’t throw away as much as other people. A lot of times, we won’t even need to take our trash barrel to the street every week. We’ll just throw it in with our neighbors’. We’re also trying to be very careful with water, since we have big front and back yards. Elizabeth French, San Clemente We go through a ton of water bottles, and we’re always sure to take them in for recycling, and we also recycle and reuse everything we can. We also do

our best to try and conserve water and energy, even if it’s just turning off all of the lights when we leave. Kara Fuentes, San Clemente I’ve been gardening since I was a child and am currently operating three separate gardens—one at my house, one at my friend’s house and one at Saddleback College. My main garden has over 19 different fruits and vegetables. I also like to shop at used clothing stores and will occasionally make my own clothes in order to recycle and stray away from consumerism. Maggie Kiner, San Juan Capistrano I take out all the bottles, cans and recyclable objects before throwing out my trash. I also have my family on board with recycling. Another way I try to lessen my carbon footprint is to use reusable grocery bags. Jennah Shmuckler, San Juan Capistrano We have a garden in our backyard, so we get our produce right from there. We just moved here. We lived in Alisa Viejo before, but now we have a yard. We used to have a patio and we just did it in pots. Right now, we just planted watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, squash, basil, oregano, strawberries and cucumbers. I’ve never done the watermelon and I guess they can get up to 25 pounds, so I’m really looking forward to that. Scott LeFever, San Juan Capistrano My freshmen year (at the University of San Francisco), I joined USF Recycles—kind of like a recycling club. From there I got a job in the recycling department and handled all the recycled material on campus. Through that experience I got a really interesting take on waste—what people throw away and what’s considered trash. I was actually able to decorate my apartment in San Francisco with stuff that I found. I think that’s really stuck with me down here. I’d prefer, if I can, to buy second hand—something that’s done for someone else—and just give it a second life. —Compiled by Staff

San Juan Councilman Shows How Water Conservation is Done W

ater conservation is on the minds of many Southern Californians who are feeling the effects of drought conditions and water shortages in their lawns and in their wallets. The solution? Well, if you ask San Juan Capistrano City Councilman Larry Kramer, if you want to save water and your wallet, consider ditching your lawn. That’s exactly what Kramer did in his own backyard, where he’s replaced about 700 square feet of grass with decomposed granite, outdoor seating, a fire pit and several varieties of native and drought tolerant plants. “The grass was just soaking up a lot of water, and it was just sort of sitting there,” Kramer said. “Now I’ve got a nice outdoor area and it’s become very useful.” Like other local municipalities, the city of San Juan Capistrano has had to tighten its purse strings while tackling the problem of water conservation. In 2008, the city took over the day-to-day operations of the Groundwater Recovery Plant, located adjacent to city hall. Although the plant has come under fire from some residents who say it’s become too expensive to operate—some going so far as to file a lawsuit against the city—city leaders and water officials have maintained that the plant can supply half of the city’s water needs, minimize the city’s reliance on imported water and promote conservation through a tiered rate structure.

San Juan Capistrano City Councilman Larry Kramer maintains his own compost piles using trimmings and fallen foliage from his backyard. The compost, in turn, helps save water by trapping moisture. Photo by Brian Park

Kramer has been among the most vocal supporters of the plant, both on the council dais and in the local media. Although some residents say the plant and the city’s tiered rate structure unnecessarily increase water bills, Kramer believes more effort must be taken to conserve water. “If you’re using the same amount of water as before, your bills will go up,” Kramer said. “My water bills have not gone up. My average for the year is probably less than $100

a month, and that’s because I’ve taken the steps at home to conserve water.” In addition to removing his backyard lawn, Kramer participated in the city’s toilet replacement incentive program, which provides rebates for customers who replace their old toilets with new, low-flush models. Kramer has also taken advantage of the Municipal Water District of Orange County’s SoCal Water$mart rebate program, through which he’s installed a “smart”

controller and timer to his irrigation system. “It adjusts the amount of water depending on the time of the year, the temperature, humidity and so forth,” Kramer said. “If my standard time is six minutes and it’s in the winter time, it’ll water for only three minutes. If it rains, it won’t water at all.” In addition, Kramer and his wife, Chris, have also planted more than 50 species of native and drought tolerant plants, including dwarf coyote bush, California poppies, Baja bush snapdragon and showy milkweed, which attract monarch butterflies. “It’s amazing the beauty we have out here with our native plants.” Kramer also maintains his own compost piles, using dead foliage from his yard. “When I trim bushes, I shred it all. I have an electric lawnmower, so I catch all the trimmings and it all goes into my compost pile,” Kramer said. “The compost holds water well so we don’t use much water.” Kramer is currently working on replacing a small hillside in his backyard with native plants. Although he said his front yard is small, Kramer is considering resculpting his lawn to include a swale that can catch water runoff. As for what his constituents and other south Orange County residents can do to save water and lower their bills, Kramer recommends contacting city offices and regional water agencies for information about conservation and incentive programs. —Brian Park

Waste No More

Commercial food recycling grows with residential expansion eyed for future


rom the ground and back, food scraps from area businesses are making it full circle and returning to the earth they came from, averting being discarded at the county landfill. What began in 2010 as a year-long pilot program to wean businesses off landfill use, with a $400,000 grant from OC Waste & Recycling, continues today on a voluntary basis, said Maria Lazaruk, senior compliance manager at CR&R. According to CR&R, between January 2012 and February 2013, participating businesses in the cities of Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente diverted approximately 322, 140 and 115 tons—respectively—of food waste from landfills. That’s a total of 577 tons, or 115,000 pounds of food scraps, from 13 businesses being converted from trash to nutrientbased composts in just 13 months. And the tonnage from Dana Point comes from only three participants—Salt Creek Grille, The St. Regis Monarch Beach and The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel.

“The problem before was that within our culture and the country it was cheaper to trash everything, and for the first time in history, it is finally more expensive to trash than to recycle, which is encouraging more people.” —Danna McIntosh At the Fisherman’s Restaurant in San Clemente, employees there are accountable for nearly 60 percent of the city’s weight collected, said Danna McIntosh, San Clemente’s environmental services coordinator. Now, the food recycling service—once limited to 41 businesses in Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Juan Capistrano, Tustin, Laguna Hills and unincorporated areas of the county—is being offered to all restaurants and business that use CR&R trash hauling and environmental services, Lazaruk said. Just two weeks ago, Albertson’s locations in Dana Point and San Clemente came on board and from the flower, produce, bakery and meat departments, everyone is partaking in the program, McIntosh said.

But expansion of the program has been slow, she added. “The problem before was that within our culture and the country it was cheaper to trash everything, and for the first time in history, it is finally more expensive to trash than to recycle, which is encouraging more people,” she said, adding it costs businesses half as much to recycle than it does to trash. McIntosh, who oversaw the beginnings of the food scrap-recycling program, said in an effort to expand the service, the involved cities and CR&R are reaching out to educate area businesses on both the cost and environmental savings. One motivating factor for business participation, Lazaruk said, could be state Assembly Bill 341, since an estimated 45

percent of restaurant waste comes from food. The bill, which took effect in July, requires all California businesses, generating four cubic yards—or a dumpster—of waste each week, to recycle at least 50 percent of the refuse. The adopted measure aims to achieve the state’s goal of diverting 75 percent of solid waste from landfills by 2020, something Lazaruk said south Orange County is on track to accomplish. With CR&R slated to open a new processing facility in Perris next year, Lazaruk said, someday—in the near future—residential curbside pick-up could include food waste. Right now all food waste is trucked 150 miles to a composting facility in Thermal, 25 miles outside of Palm Springs. “The hope is that those of us at home can start mixing food waste and green waste, so that will stop being land-filled too,” McIntosh said. For more information on commercial food recycling, visit —Andrea Papagianis

GETTING OUT (Cont. from page 10)



EARTH DAY FAIR 9 a.m.3 p.m. Public education and outreach effort at the Community Center. 25925 Camino Del Avion, San Juan Capistrano, www.



inger, songwriter and pianist Vonda Shepard is bringing a mix of cover tunes from her five seasons on the TV show “Ally McBeal,” music from her album Solo and newly penned songs to the Coach House, April 25. We caught up with her to discuss her music and what audiences can expect from the show. DISPATCH: What are fans in store for? SHEPARD: For this show I’ll have the trio, which is one of my favorite configurations. We can still have the intimate feeling of the solo show at times, but also with the three of us singing and playing, it really can sound like a full band and we can get the place hoppin’. What has influenced your musical style? Soul music, especially Aretha Franklin, Candi Staton, Stevie Wonder, but also the great singer songwriters ... James Taylor, Carole King, Rickie Lee Jones, Paul Simon …eclectic music by Habib Koite of Mali, Africa is a favorite, as well as Billy Holiday, Duke Ellington and many others. What’s next for you? I enjoy great art films, so I have considered doing some scoring in the future. I have worked consistently, but since having a child, my priorities have shifted ... however I still do love to play.

ORGANIC COOKING CLASS: EARTH DAY CELEBRATION 6:30 p.m. Chefs Caroline Cazaumayou and Lisa Soto teach you to cook a healthy meal at Antoine’s Café. $65 includes recipes, dinner and wine. 218 S. El Camino Real, San Clemente, 949.492.1763, SPEAKER SERIES: EDIBLE LANDSCAPE 7 p.m. Casa Romantica presents master gardener Jodie Cook for a discussion on incorporating edible plants into ornamental landscapes. General admission $10. 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, 949.498.2139,


CHILDHOOD NUTRITION: MYTHS, REALITIES AND POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS 9 a.m. The Parent Teacher Fellowship Parent-Up Speakers Series at St. Margaret’s presents Dr. Barry Sears talking about research and info on children’s nutrition and the obesity problem. 31641 La Novia Ave., San Juan Capistrano, 949.661.0108,


LORD OF THE STRINGS CONCERT: JIM AND MORNING NICHOLS 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. San Franciscobased jazz musicians perform at the Dana Point Community House. Tickets $25. 24642 San Juan Ave., Dana Point, 949.842.2227, SAM CONTI 7:45 p.m.-11 p.m. Live music at The Vintage Steak House 26701-B Verdugo St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.661.3400, SCAPINO 8 p.m. Camino Real Playhouse presents an Italian farce by Robb Rigg. $24. 31776 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.489.8082, AMERICAN MADE 8:30 p.m. Live music at The Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.3188,



THE ARK DOG ADOPTION 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The Ark hosts an adoption event at PetSmart. 33963 Doheny Park Road, San Juan Capistrano, 949.388.0034

THE NIGHT OF THE ARTS GALA 2013 6 p.m.-10 p.m. The SJC Friends of the Library and the SJC Rotary Club present a fundraiser event with food, dancing to an orchestra, silent auction, live art auction and more. Held at SJC Family Classic Cars. $50. 33033 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.212.4484, ARTS ALIVE SNEAK PEEK Noon-8 p.m. Art festival at the Kaleidoscope with murals and sculptures, professional chalk art, art workshops and more. 27741 Crown Valley Pkwy., Mission Viejo, SWALLOWS WALK AND TALK 1 p.m. A new tour at the Mission that gives visitors an opportunity to learn about the legend of the swallows of Capistrano. Offered daily. Admission $6-$9. 26801 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949.234.1300, The Capistrano Dispatch April 12–25, 2013

See Vonda Shepard at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano on April 25. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. For tickets or dinner reservations, visit or call 949.496.8930. —A.J. Bardzilowski

Vonda Shepard. Courtesy photo

BACKYARD SKILLS WORKSHOP: NATIVE GARDENS 1 p.m.-3 p.m. The Ecology Center hosts the workshop in conjunction with Tree of Life Nursery to teach you how to use less water and support beneficial wildlife and pollinators. Cost $10-$15. 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.443.4223, SATURDAY’S AT THE SWALLOW’S 2:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Family Style performs at The Swallow’s Inn. Jeffrey Michaels at 8:30 p.m. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.3188,


SALT CREEK HALF MARATHON 8 a.m. Wake up early and run by the beach at the half-marathon in Dana Point. 10k, 5k and kids run also available. Entry fees $15-$99. More info:


EXPLORING SAN JUAN HOT SPRINGS AND COLD SPRINGS 9 a.m.-noon. Join naturalist Karin Klein on a 3-mile journey exploring the San Juan Hot Springs and Cold Springs Canyon. Meet at Caspers Wilderness Park. Free. 33401 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano, 949.923.2210, ART FOR KIDS SAKE 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Art auction at the Casino San Clemente to benefit the local Boys & Girls Club, also featuring wine, live music and art from local artists. Tickets $40. 140 W. Avenida Pico, San Clemente, 949.369.6600, LOCAL SUNDAY SESSIONS 6 p.m. Cabrillo Playhouse features three local musicians: Jesse Daniel Edwards, Sasha Evans, and Gal Musette. $5 suggested cash donation. Beer and wine served for cash donation. 202 Avenida Cabrillo, San Clemente, 949.492.0465,



COUNTRY DANCIN’ WITH PATRICK AND FRIENDS 6:30 p.m. Monday at The Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, 949.493.3188, Page 12



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,

HALF-PRICE WHALE WATCHING Noon and 2 p.m. Dana Wharf offers half-price whale-watching trips on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.496.5794,


WRITING CLASS FOR KIDS 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. San Juan Capistrano is offering a writing class for students in the second through fifth grade at the Community Center. 25925 Camino del Avion, San Juan Capistrano. For more info and to register, call 949.493.5911.


OLD CAPISTRANO FARMERS MARKET 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Wednesdays at El Camino Real and Yorba; 949.493.4700. MICROBREWS BY THE MISSION 4 p.m.-8 p.m. A 14-venue “pub crawl” in downtown San Juan Capistrano. 949.493.4700,


10TH ANNUAL RELAY FOR LIFE – KICKOFF CELEBRATION 6 p.m. Learn about the annual event, enjoy light fare and more at Sarducci’s Capistrano Depot. RSVP. 26701 Verdugo St., SJC, 949.289.9000,


SEMINAR: BREAKTHROUGH IN VISION IMPROVEMENT 7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Join Richard J. Shuldiner, OD, FAAO and learn about low-vision rehabilitation therapy at Atria San Juan Senior Living. 32353 San Juan Creek Road, San Juan Capistrano, 800.636.6742, *For our full calendar, visit the “Event Calendar” at Have an event? Send your listing to





Saturday 4.20

Thursday 4.25

City Council and Successor Agency Meeting 6 p.m. City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto.

Free E-Waste and Document Shredding 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The city is hosting a free E-waste and document shredding event at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. For more information, contact Ziad Mazboudi at 949.234.4413.

Fraud and Phone Scam Presentation 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. A free presentation by the San Juan Capistrano Police Services Department on computer and phone scams at the Community Center, 25925 Camino del Avion. For more information, call 949.493.5911.

Friday 4.19 Coffee Chat 8 a.m. A spirited town hall forum on community issues, hosted by The Capistrano Dispatch founder Jonathan Volzke. Occurs every Friday. El Adobe Restaurant, 31891 Camino Capistrano.

Tuesday 4.23 Friday 4.26 Planning Commission Meeting 6:30 p.m. City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto.

Next regular issue of The Capistrano Dispatch publishes

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

Women Keep Stealing Our Men I n the 18 years I have written articles about finding love after age 50, the No. 1 complaint from single women has been that there are not enough men single men to go around. I think I know why there is such a shortage of men. Women keep “stealing” them. Let me explain. In June, 2012, Tutor and Spunky’s, my Dana Point Deli, started sponsoring monthly meet and greet gatherings for singles age 50-plus. Of course, there were more women than men who attended. There’s a valid explanation why. According to the 2010 Census, the ratio of single women in the 60-64 age range to single men is approximately 2.3-to-one. In the 70-74 age range, the ratio widens to approximately four-to-one. At our events, there’s another explanation why there are more women than men. Women keep stealing the men. When that happens, the men don’t attend anymore. My barber Alex attended the first


few events and then he stopped. Why? Because a couple of months ago he got to chatting with a woman there and now they are a couple. He says he doesn’t attend anymore because she’s a good cook. What? That’s one single man stolen from our pool of

guys. But there’s more. Alex recruited 93-year-old Dave to come to the meet and greets. Dave was a hoot. He loved to grab the microphone during the break time when we encourage singles to introduce themselves and did impersonations of JFK, Robin Leach and Winston Churchill. The women loved him. I asked Alex, “Why isn’t Dave coming anymore?” Alex said, “He met a woman there who is now his girlfriend and he says she’d kill him if he kept attending.”

I asked Alex, “How old is Dave’s new girlfriend?” Alex claimed he didn’t know. But I saw Dave leave one of our events with a woman who told me she was 70. Hmmm. So, that’s two men who found a girlfriend at a meet and greet. And then there’s Robert. He was the realtor who leased me our first deli location on Pacific Coast Highway next to the old donut shop in 1988. He attended one meet and greet. I saw him on the street a while later. He said he didn’t return because he met a very special woman the one time he was there. Another man stolen. I know there are other men who have been stolen from our meet and greets; I can’t verify that since I don’t see them anymore. Thankfully, new men keep showing up. I’m pretty sure we won’t reach a 50-percent ratio, but at least the ratios won’t be getting worse.

Message for single men: There are lots of fine women who attend the meet and greets at Tutor and Spunky’s on the 2nd and 4th Thursday nights of each month, 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The next event is next Thursday, April 11. And on Thursday, April 25, Carl the renowned disc jockey will spin the oldies. But he doesn’t count in the number of men who attend; he’s happily married. Tom Blake is a Dana Point business owner and San Clemente resident who has authored books on middle-aged dating. See his website at 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

Calling All Artists: Enter the Inaugural 2013 Doheny Blues Festival and Dana Point Times T-shirt Design Contest


ne lucky winner will win a pair of GOLD Weekend Passes to the 2013 Doheny Blues Festival and have their design printed on a limited run of T-shirts to be sold at the two-day concert May 18-19 at Doheny State Beach. The winner will also be presented an award by Dana Point Times on the Backporch Stage during the festival.

IMPORTANT DATES April 5 Competition opens and online entries will be accepted April 26 Competition closes at noon The Capistrano Dispatch April 12–25, 2013

April 26 Judging begins April 26-28 Winner will be notified via phone and email between April 26 and 28 April 29 Winner must submit printer-ready artwork by 5 p.m. Visit for more information. CD Page 14

SJC LIVING GUEST OPINION: Moments In Time by Jan Siegel

Tracing the Origins of the Historical Society The Historical Society’s own past is part of San Juan Capistrano’s rich history


n 1963, the Historical Society was a committee under the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce. President Gerry Gaffney felt that the historians of the town should be a separate organization. An organizational meeting in May was well received by all of the local groups in town. What is amazing is how many relatives of those first interested members are still members today. H. L. Remmers was elected temporary chairman of the group. The purpose would be to preserve the many structures worthy of attention in this area. The first fundraiser for the new Society was held on August 7, 1963 at El Adobe Restaurant. The event raised $500, which allowed the Society to file its articles of incorporation. It was recognized by the state on December 31, 1963. On February 2, 1964, the new Historical Society elected Don Durnford president, Fred Hunn as vice-president and Donna Chermak as secretary treasurer. Directors elected to a two-year term were Betty Forster, Lucana Isch, Richard Day, Chief Clarence Lobo and H. L. Remmers. Don Dumford served two terms as president. He was followed by Gerry Gaffney. Mrs. Gaffney followed her husband as president in 1968. From 1968 until 1976 meetings of the Historical Society took place at various locations around the city. To continue to be successful, the Society needed a permanent home. The Garcia/Pryor residence was one of the first frame houses in San Juan Capistrano. It was located behind the present El Adobe Restaurant. Jose Delores Garcia was a saloon owner and built the home sometime between 1870 and 1880 for his bride Refugia Yorba. In 1896, Garcia was murdered in his saloon, located at the corner of Forster Street and Camino Capistrano. As part of the folklore of San Juan Capistrano, it was rumored, but never proven, that some prominent citizens wanted the land that housed the saloon, and contracted to have Garcia murdered. In 1903, Albert Pryor purchased the house from the Garcia family and the Pryors lived there until 1955. Albert The Capistrano Dispatch April 12–25, 2013

Pryor was known for sitting on his porch, smoking a cigar and watching the trains go by. After his death, “the ghost” of Albert Pryor was often seen and the smell of cigar MOMENTS smoke filled the air. IN TIME By Jan Siegel This made the house difficult to rent and it remained vacant. In 1976, the Cornwell family, who owned the El Adobe Restaurant, donated the building to the Historical Society. The Historical Society leased property on Los Rios Street from the Oyharzabal family to house the structure. The Society raised funds to move the house, then restored and furnished it with period pieces at a total cost of $100,000. The O’Neill family donated $60,000 and the building became known as the O’Neill Museum in honor of Marguerite O’Neill. The Oyharzabal family has since donated the property to the Historical Society. As the Society prepares to celebrate 50 years, it is in the process of creating a true historic architectural picture of San Juan Capistrano. On Saturday, May 18 you will be able to experience a little of what life was like in San Juan Capistrano over the last century. A day of fun, crafts, storytelling, games and food are planned at the Historical Society from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Save the date and plan to spend a Moment in Time at the Historical Society. 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. 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

Page 15




GROM SPOTLIGHT JACK BENJAMIN Grade: 8, Marco Forster Middle School Jack Benjamin, a longboarder from San Juan Capistrano, has been surfing competitively for only a year and a half but has already made great strides in SSS and NSSA interscholastic competition as part of the Marco Forster Middle School surf team as well as in the WSA. In WSA, Jack is currently the No. 6 ranked surfer in the Junior Longboard U18 division. The former club ice hockey player decided not to return to the rink after suffering a broken foot while running hurdles in PE class.

Jack Benjamin. Courtesy photo

“After my foot healed my mom told me I had to either join the marathon team or surf,” he said. “I chose surf and got sucked in by how mellow it is compared to all the rough play and fighting in hockey. Now, thanks to my mom, I love it.”

Jack has recently taken an interest in learning how to shape boards. He has been talking to and watching shapers and is working on some of his own boards. When not surfing he likes to cheer his three younger siblings on in soccer and baseball or join his whole family to surf just for fun. Jack is a straight-A student whose first priority is school. He plans to go to college but is still unsure of what type of career he’ll pursue, though he is fairly certain it won’t be pro surfing. “I just want to have fun with it. It would be cool to get a sponsor but mainly I just enjoy it and being around my family and all the good people in the surf community.” — Andrea Swayne

Dyer Brings Experience, Confidence to Warriors Volleyball By Steve Breazeale The Capistrano Dispatch


he arrival of freshman setter Noah Dyer has drastically changed the culture of boys volleyball at Saddleback Valley Christian. That much was apparent in the team’s three-set win over visiting Orangewood Academy on Wednesday, April 10. Since Dyer arrived on campus, bringing years of club-level experience with him, the Warriors (11-2, 2-0 league) shifted their offensive focus toward Dyer’s ability to set up their big middle blockers and outside hitters. Last year the Warriors setters were not true, polished setters, according to head coach Ryan Van Rensselaer, which made Dyer a prized commodity on the 2013 roster. “Both of our setters last year had never played volleyball before … Having (Dyer) come in with his awareness and knowledge of the game and how to run an offense totally changes everything,” Van Rensselaer

Freshman Noah Dyer had 24 assists in the Saddleback Valley Christian boys volleyball team’s 3-0 win over Orangewood Academy on April 10. Photo by Steve Breazeale

The Capistrano Dispatch April 12–25, 2013

said. Dyer dished out a team-high 24 assists in the match against the Spartans (9-6, 1-1) and helped fuel the Warriors offense past their league rivals, who were tied with Saddleback Valley Christian atop the San Joaquin League standings to start the match. After a 5-0 run early in the first set, the Warriors jumped out to a 12-4 lead and didn’t look back and coasted to a 25-12 set win. Warriors senior middle blocker Nick Worrell began his nine-kill night by tallying four in the first and recorded two blocks. “Our team is really big and we can play with the higher division teams because we are big and have good setting,” Van Rensselaer said. “(Worrell) is hard to stop. He’s pretty dominant and he’s only been playing for a few years so he’s doing a good job.” Worrell wreaked havoc on the Spartans back row all night and closed out the second set by tallying three of the Warriors final six points to take a 25-13 set win. The Spartans fought back in the third set and were threatening to make a “Having (Dyer) run with the scored tied at 11-11, but Dyer and come in with his Worrell, along with junior awareness and outside hitter Torrey knowledge of the Karlsen (13 kills), caught fire late and closed things game and how out for good at 25-17. The Warriors are to run an offense currently ranked No. 1 totally changes in the CIF-SS Division 5 coaches poll. With their everything.” new-look, 6-2 offense and —Ryan Van Rensselaer with Dyer controlling the tempo and passing aspect of the game, the team has lofty expectations in the coming months. “They’re capable of winning CIF. They’re capable of going far in state,” Van Rensselaer said. Saddleback Valley Christian was set to play against cross town opponent St. Margaret’s on April 11 in a non-league match. Results were not available at press time. CD Page 16

Junior Anthony Cecere shot a 38 (+2) in the St. Margaret’s boys golf team’s close 183-187 loss to JSerra on April 10. Courtesy photo

St. Margaret’s Golf Turns in Season’s Best Performance By Steve Breazeale The Capistrano Dispatch


he St. Margaret’s boys golf team had their best all-around performance of the year on April 10 as all five players shot in the 30’s for the first time this season. However, the Tartans’ (6-6, 4-0) season-low score of 187 (+7) was not good enough as they were narrowly edged by JSerra 183-187 in a non-league match at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club. Seniors Robert Deng and David Freed turned in even-par rounds of 36 (E) in the match to lead the Tartans. Both Deng and Freed had one birdie and one bogey on the front nine of the course. Juniors Anthony Cecere and Will Morrison both carded rounds of 38 (+2) while James Frahm shot a 39 (+3). “The seven-over-par total was the best the team has shot in the last several years,” St. Margaret’s head coach Rocky Parker said. For JSerra, Jack Lutz and Jonny Unterman paced the squad and earned co-medal honors after shooting 34 (-2). CD




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St. Margaret’s Sweeps Competition in the Bay By Steve Breazeale The Capistrano Dispatch


he St. Margaret’s boys lacrosse team traveled north to the San Francisco area to compete in the Jerry Langkammerer Lacrosse Invitational and swept away the tough competition with three wins. The tournament, which was held on campus at St. Ignatius, was comprised of eight teams from California, Arizona and Oregon. The Tartans (8-2, 3-0) defeated Sacred Heart 15-13 in their opening round match on April 5 behind the efforts of senior attacker Chase Williams, who tallied three goals and two assists. Another game on April 5 against Marin Catholic yielded another win for the Tritons, as their defense held their opponents to just five goals in an 11-5 victory. The final game of the tournament for the Tartans was against Bellarmine College Prep on April 6 and the Tartans

Senior Riley Pok and the St. Margaret’s boys lacrosse team have won eight games in a row. Photo by Steve Breazeale

won again, 18-12. Senior Alex Waller tallied three goals and three assists in the contest. The Tartans extended their win streak to eight games with a return

home and a 17-4 Trinity League victory over Santa Margarita on April 9. A match with league title implications against league rival JSerra is set for April 16 at St. Margaret’s. CD

Lions Advance to Semifinals of Boras Classic, Drop First of Two With Lancers By Steve Breazeale The Capistrano Dispatch


laying with a healthy lineup and getting solid efforts out of their deep pitching staff, the JSerra baseball team made it to the semifinals of the Boras Baseball Classic on April 4, but were bounced by Oaks Christian 5-2. Before the season started, Lions (7-10, 2-4) head coach Brett Kay knew that pitching wouldn’t be much of a question mark for the team. The hole that

would need to be filled would be on the offensive side of the ball. In the first of three games played at the inaugural tournament (held at JSerra) the Lions seemed to balance things out with both solid pitching and timely hitting. A healthy Dane McFarland proved helpful to the Lions in their tournament opener against El Camino Real on April 2. McFarland went two for three with an RBI in his return from off season hand surgery and the Lions cruised to a 6-0 victory. Staff ace Quentin Longrie

pitched six innings in the game, ensuring a shutout. The Lions went on to defeat West Ranch 5-2 on April 3, setting the stage for their semifinals appearance. JSerra then hit the road to resume Trinity League play with an April 10 match against Orange Lutheran, which they lost 7-1. The Lions now sit in the bottom third of the league standings. They will cap off the two-game series against the Lancers with a home game on April 12. CD

San Juan Hills’ Brook Miko on a Tear


an Juan Hills junior shortstop Brooke Miko is feasting off of opposing pitching so far in 2013. In 15 games played, Miko is batting .510 with 12 RBIs and 19 runs scored. In the Stallions (7-7-1, 0-2) most recent win, a 9-5 victory over Saddleback Valley Christian on April 4, Miko went two for four with one RBI and two runs scored. Her two for four effort was her ninth multi-hit game of the year. CD

San Juan Hills shortstop Brook Miko is batting .510 through 15 games played. Courtesy photo

The Capistrano Dispatch April 12–25, 2013

Page 18

SAN JUAN HILLS BASEBALL SHINES AT TOURNEY, PREPS FOR HOME STRETCH The San Juan Hills baseball team got back on the winning track at the Anaheim Lions Tournament from March 30 to April 3, going 4-1 to pull their record to up to 11-8 overall. The Stallions started the tournament off with a bang, tallying 20 runs against Walnut in a 20-1 victory on March 30. The Stallion bats were led by Curran Lapes (two for two, 3 RBI). Pitcher Marco Cianciola went five innings, giving up only one hit. Sophomore pitcher Michael Carr notched his first win on the varsity squad in the Stallions 7-2 win over J.W. North on the same day. After beating Brea Olinda and Murrieta Mesa by the same score, 3-2, on April 1 and April 2, respectively, the Stallions win-streak came to an end in a 3-2 loss to Laguna Beach on April 3. The Stallions are still in the mix in the Sea View League at 2-2 and will face first-place San Clemente on April 17. The Tritons beat the Stallions in a close 3-1 contest back on March 20. — Steve Breazeale

JSERRA BOYS VOLLEYBALL POWERS PAST EAGLES 3-0 The first two sets between the JSerra and Santa Margarita boys volleyball teams April 9 match were neck and neck, the first set ending 25-20 and the second at 25-22, both in JSerra’s favor. The third and final set is when JSerra (8-6, 2-2 league) picked things up and won 25-15, pulling out the three-set win in their first match against Santa Margarita (6-10, 0-4) in league play. The win pushed the Lions to .500 in Trinity League play. “There is nothing I would change about the team, they’re playing volleyball at an extremely high level right now,” JSerra head coach Tim Layton said. Layton said that even though the team is 2-2 in league, the times that they have lost (to Mater Dei and Servite) have only been by a few points in the fifth set. Sophomore Connor Palumbo and senior Carl Nolet were dynamic for the Lions in the game. Palumbo had a total of seven aces on the night while Nolet led the team with 18 kills. JSerra was set to continue league play with an April 11 road game against Orange Lutheran. Results were not available at press time. —Victor Carno

April 12, 2013  
April 12, 2013  

The Capistrano Dispatch