YO U R N O. 1 SOURCE FOR LOC A L N EWS, EV EN TS , S P O RTS A N D M O R E
OUR COMMUNITY, OUR VOICE JULY 26–AUGUST 8, 2013 FOUNDED IN 2002
VOLUME 11, ISSUE 14
City Council Says No More Alcohol in Los Rios The decision brings an end to the second hotlycontested item in the historic district this year E Y E O N S J C / PAG E 6 The San Juan Capistrano City Council last week voted down a business owner’s request to sell beer and wine at the Hummingbird House Café. File photo
City Unveils ‘In God We Trust’ and Freedom Shrine
City Clerk Receives Raise, Council Approves Entry Sign for Reata Park
Q&A with San Juan Hills Golf Club’s Head Pro
EYE ON SJC/PAGE 3
SJC LIVING/PAGE 8
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
Dining in San Juan Capistrano is akin to visiting an international food fair with its wide variety of ethnic cuisine, American food classics and impressive selection of fine wines. With so many mouthwatering possibilities, make a point of exploring local eateries often as a regular part of enjoying life in this beautiful city. Dine local. It’s a culinary adventure your taste buds will thank you for.
MISSION GRILL Mission Grill is an affordable family restaurant with a wideranging menu of great, fresh food such as our popular chorizo burger and sweet potato fries. Set in the heart of San Juan Capistrano’s downtown, we offer plenty of open-air seating, beautiful views of the Mission and are located within an easy stroll to all the historic city has to offer. 31721 Camino Capistrano, 949.240.8055, www.missiongrillsjc.com, facebook.com/MissionGrillSJC
FIANO’S RESTAURANT AND BAR
FIVE VINES WINE BAR Come in and visit our cozy wine bar in downtown San Juan Capistrano. Explore our selection of over 60 unique wines by the flight, taste, glass or bottle. Enjoy a bottle to go too. Craft beers and yummy small bites are also available. Live Music Fri-Sat nights 7:30 p.m. Happy Hour Tue-Fri, 2 p.m.-7 p.m. Cheers. We look forward to seeing you soon. 31761 Camino Capistrano, #11, 949.800.9145
Fiano’s provides some of the finest modern Italian food in an upbeat and friendly atmosphere that is inviting to people of all ages. The menu includes a wide variety of salads, seafood, beef and pasta dishes that can satisfy anyone’s palate. Stop in for a wine flight and a nice cheese board or enjoy an elegant dinner. 31781 Camino Capistrano, 949.481.8300
SOUTH COAST KITCHEN South Coast Kitchen, San Juan Capistrano’s newest bistro, is located within the Marbella Plaza. Chef owned and operated, this new bistro features modern California cuisine with classic French, Italian, Asian and Pacific Northwest influences. Open for dinner Tues-Sat, 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Happy hour 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Marbella Plaza, 31105 Rancho Viejo Road, Suite C-7, 949.481.9596
Sundried Tomato features fresh, innovative California cuisine from locally sourced and organic ingredients whenever possible. Located in the historic area of downtown San Juan Capistrano, it is walking distance to Amtrak, the Mission and the movie theater. Daily Happy Hour 2 p.m.-7 p.m. with drink and appetizer specials. 31781 Camino Capistrano, 949.661.1167, www.sundriedtomatocafe.com
THE SKYRANCH SALOON AT RUBY’S DINER A’S BURGERS A’s has been family owned and operated for over 50 years and is a true part of the community. Being around so long has allowed A’s to truly perfect their menu. From the mouth-watering bacon
cheeseburgers, fried zucchini or famous breakfast burritos to their newer items such as ceviche and veggie burritos, it’s no wonder customers always leave smiling! A’s prides itself on serving delicious, fresh food fast—not the other way around! 28698 Camino Capistrano, 949.364.2099
Ruby’s offers patio dining overlooking the historic Mission! The SkyRanch Saloon at Ruby’s features classic Ruby’s Diner fare combined with incredible new Southwest menu items, a full bar and outdoor fireplace with a view of downtown San Juan Capistrano. On Saturdays during summer, our sumptuous Chuckwagon Cookout features soup, salads, fresh grilled corn and a full carving station with the best BBQ in town. Enjoy our handcrafted cocktails, amazing view and outdoor fireplace! Open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! 31781 Camino Capistrano, upstairs in Franciscan Plaza across from the Mission, 949.496.7829, www.skyranchsaloon.com and on Facebook.
EYE ON SJC
LOCAL NEWS & IN-DEPTH REPORTING
SAN CLEMENTE Last Wednesday, the San Clemente Planning Commission moved to reject a proposed rooftop bar near North Beach, citing pedestrian safety and noise concerns. David Gutierrez, the owner of the property at 1509 N. El Camino Real, said he not have a specific tenant signed to take over the property, but was in negotiations with several companies about putting in an artisanal restaurant and splitting from the Mexican, Italian and burger establishments already in the neighborhood. He said several parties had expressed interest in the potential of the property but all wanted Gutierrez to get the proper permits from the city before signing on. Residents who spoke before the commission said they were concerned about the potential noise. Planning commissioners voiced worry about the lack of parking and pedestrian safety for those forced to cross the street at a nearby curve.
NEXT DOOR WH AT ’S GO I N G O N I N OU R NE IGH B O R I N G TOW N S
The city of Dana Point will seek guidance from the California Supreme Court on two cases pertaining to an access dispute at Strand Beach. The disagreement has been ongoing for three years and involves the California Coastal Commission and the Surfrider Foundation. The city is at odds with the two parties over access to trails that lead from Strand Vista Park to Strand Beach that are gated and have limited hours of access. Since the gates were installed, Surfrider has argued for the public’s right to beach access. The Coastal Commission has held the city needed its approval to implement such restrictions. However, the city has maintained the measures were necessary to protect the public. In June, an appellate court said the city must prove there was a nuisance when the restrictions were implemented and sent the cases back to a trial court to enter a ruling.
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO’S TOP 5 HOTTEST TOPICS
What’s Up With... 1
…In God We Trust?
THE LATEST: San Juan Capistrano’s City Hall received a makeover this month with the addition of the nation’s motto, “In God We Trust,” along with a collection of historical documents in its City Council chamber. The council and city staff were joined by Orange County Supervisor Patricia Bates and a small group of residents during a ribbon cutting ceremony before the council’s meeting on Tuesday, July 16. The new display, located on the southern wall of the council chamber, features the nation’s motto written in gold capital letters. Below it, the city has also put up 20 reproductions of historical documents, including the Bill of Rights, documents from the city’s incorporation and President Abraham Lincoln’s 1865 proclamation that returned ownership of the Mission from the Mexican government to the Catholic Church. In March, at the urging of Councilman Derek Reeve, the council voted unanimously to take up an offer from Jeff Péo, a resident who said members of his church congregation would be willing to donate money to have “In God We Trust” installed in City Hall. Additionally, Mayor Pro Tem Sam Allevato suggested the city include a “Freedom Shrine,” an assortment of historical documents put together by the Exchange Club, to go along with the motto and add historical context. Péo and around 25 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donated $1,400 to the $2,100 display. Reeve and Allevato were part of a subcommittee to determine which documents to include in the shrine and where it would be installed. Along with Péo and The Capistrano Dispatch July 26–August 8, 2013
Mayor John Taylor is joined by his fellow councilmen and San Juan Capistrano resident Jeff Péo as he cuts the ribbon to the city’s new Freedom Shrine. Péo and 25 members of his church congregation donated $1,400 for the $2,100 display. Photo by Brian Park
City Clerk Maria Morris, the committee reached out to the Mission and the Exchange Clubs of Irvine and Orange County, who contributed a number of documents to choose from. WHAT’S NEXT: Ten remaining documents will be placed in a secondary shrine in the lobby, according to Morris. Along with the motto and shrine, the city also repainted the chamber’s walls and reupholstered the wall directly behind the dias to a grey color. FIND OUT MORE: For more photos from the ribbon cutting ceremony, visit www.thecapistranodispatch.com. – Brian Park
…the Verdugo Street Improvements?
THE LATEST: The San Juan Capistrano City Council last week received an update on a five-year-old project that aims to create a more pedestrian-friendly experience in the heart of downtown. The project proposes to add several
improvements along Verdugo Street, between Camino Capistrano and the pedestrian plaza adjacent to the railroad tracks, including widening the sidewalks and adding landscaping, lighting, street furniture and new hardscape materials on sidewalks. The council last reviewed the project in 2008 before it was put aside due to the economic downturn. Designs for a previously approved concept still require $40,000 to complete. The total cost of the project, as initially proposed, is $1.2 million. The city had budgeted only $244,000 for the project this year. The total cost of the project, however, could be pushed to up to $1.85 million with additional improvements proposed by the city. Traffic studies could modify circulation in the area and would cost $28,000. Based on those studies, the city is considering closing traffic on Verdugo Street on nights and weekends to create an open pedestrian plaza, according to Joe Mankawich, an associate engineer with the city. The city is also considering adding a paved crosswalk between Verdugo Street and Camino Capistrano, which would cost $250,000. Another proposal includes improving a small alley, known as Aguello Way, located just south of the Capistrano Trading Post that connects Camino Capistrano to a public parking lot. “If we could stylize that, maybe bring some more lighting and open that up, it may be a good option for additional pedestrian access to the downtown,” said Mankawich, who added that it would cost an additional $160,000 to improve that area. The council did not take any action on the plan since it was an informational
item. “I would like to see us move forward. This is the gateway into our city for our commuters and folks arriving by train and folks going to the Mission,” Mayor Pro Tem Sam Allevato said. WHAT’S NEXT: Cindy Russell, the city’s chief financial officer, said remaining bond proceeds from the dissolved redevelopment agency could cover the $1.2 million for the original plan. The city could also consider tapping into its capital improvement project funding, Russell said. FIND OUT MORE: For updates, visit www.thecapistranodispatch.com. – BP
…the Toll Roads Appeal?
THE LATEST: The Transportation Corridor Agency on July 17 appealed a June 20 decision of the San Diego Regional Water Control Board denying the agency a permit to extend the State Route 241 toll road to an area just outside of San Juan Capistrano. In its filing to the state water resources control board, the agency cited what it called an “abuse of discretion” by the regional body in denying the permit. In a 3-2 vote, the regional board denied the 5.5-mile extension that would have extended SR-241 from its current terminus at Oso Parkway, just south of Rancho Santa Margarita, to Cow Camp Road, east of San Juan Capistrano. The extension would have affected nearly a half-care of wetlands with tributaries flowing into San Juan Creek and the surrounding watershed. If the permit had been granted, the TCA would have (Cont. on page 5) www.thecapistranodispatch.com
EYE ON SJC (Cont. from page 3) been required to restore about 35 acres of the wetlands and add over 40 drainage swales to separate debris from runoff. Opponents of the extension believe the agency is once again attempting to extend the toll road to Interstate 5 south of San Clemente, which was rejected by both the California Coastal Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2008. Members of the board who voted against the proposal cited similar misgivings. The appeal filing asserts that the regional board violated guidelines related to the California Environmental Quality Act. TCA spokeswoman Lisa Telles said in an email that the board “acted in excess of its jurisdiction because it denied the water quality permit for reasons wholly unrelated to water quality.” WHAT’S NEXT: The state board has up to 330 days to respond to the petition. FIND OUT MORE: For the full story, visit www.thecapistranodispatch.com. – Jim Shilander
…Beach Fire Rings?
THE LATEST: In a narrow 7-6 vote, the
board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District voted Friday, July 12 to place restrictions on fire rings on beaches throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties. After initially proposing to ban all fire rings throughout the two counties, the proposal was amended to allow fire rings in areas with a 700-foot buffer or at least 100 feet between each pit. In some areas with fewer pits, such as San Clemente, the buffer area would not apply. In Dana Point, more than 30 fire rings between Capistrano Beach and Doheny State Beach could be removed or relocated to nearby campgrounds, which are exempt. The vote followed more than three hours of testimony and debate from residents and board members, with most of the residents coming from Orange County. Of the 49 speakers, only a few voiced support for the restriction. In June, the San Juan Capistrano City Council adopted a resolution opposing the proposed ban. During the council’s report on outside agencies on July 16, Councilman Derek Reeve was critical of the board and the city of Newport Beach, which made the initial proposal to ban 60 of its fire rings but later withdrew its application. “You can thank your government entities, not us though, but other institu-
tions and the city of Newport Beach for starting that disaster,” Reeve said. In an air district staff presentation to the board, Philip Fine said the district discovered what it considered to be unhealthy levels of particulates in the air at monitoring sites at Balboa Beach and Corona del Mar that spiked during periods where beach fires were most prevalent. The ill-health effects of wood smoke, he said, were also clear, noting that one pit produced similar carcinogenic effects as second-hand smoke from 800 burning cigarettes. WHAT’S NEXT: SCAQMD staff indicated any future efforts to address the health effects from wood smoke would be based on non-regulatory approaches, like public education programs. FIND OUT MORE: For the full story, visit www.thecapistranodispatch.com. – JS
THE LATEST: Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric have taken the first step to recover funds from the manufacturer of malfunctioning steam generators that ultimately led to the retirement of the San Onofre
Nuclear Generating Station last month. Edison filed noticed against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems for a breach of contract, alleging the manufacturer “is responsibility for the enormous harm its failures have caused California ratepayers, SCE and the other SONGS owners.” SDG&E and the city of Riverside own a combined 21.8 percent share of SONGS. Contractually, Edison and Mitsubishi are obligated to negotiate for 90 days. If a settlement is not reached, the two sides will enter binding arbitration before a three-person panel. Each company will choose one arbitrator, and the two appointees will choose a third. In a separate filing, SDG&E filed a lawsuit against Mitsubishi, arguing the manufacturer did not provide “like-forlike” products when it replaced generators in the two reactors. WHAT’S NEXT: Edison spokeswoman Maureen Brown said the exact scope of monetary damages will be a part of the discussion, but indicated Edison may ask for the cost of replacement power and repairs made to the facility, which as of April stood at approximately $550 million. FIND OUT MORE: For the full story, visit www.thecapistranodispatch.com. – JS
EYE ON SJC
City Council Says No More Alcohol in Los Rios The council’s decision brings an end to the second hotly-contested item in the historic district this year “I believe that the entire district— property owners, residents and business owners—should have the same privileges to compete economically in the same neighborhood community,” Mukai wrote. “A win for one is a win for all in the long run, as we should have the same property rights.” Mayor Pro Tem Allevato added the previous council decisions had disrupted the playing field and that he didn’t want to disrupt it further. “Every time we meddle with the Los Rios, it gets more complicated,” Allevato said. “It’s just one more complication that’s going to be added to this district.”
By Brian Park The Capistrano Dispatch
he San Juan Capistrano City Council put a cap on alcohol sales in the Los Rios Historic District last Tuesday after unanimously turning down a business owner’s request to sell beer and wine in the neighborhood. Monica Mukai sought to establish beer and wine sales at her property, the Hummingbird House Cafe, also known as the Lupe Combs House, located at 31776 Los Rios Street. However, one by one, the four councilmen, with Mayor John Taylor recusing himself because of his residence nearby, said the city had to make a stand for the residential character of the district, which is a popular destination for both tourists and residents. “The residential quality of Los Rios must be protected,” Councilman Roy Byrnes said. “I’ve come to realize when you’re talking about an 18th century historic residential district, overwhelming commercialization will kill the goose that lays the golden egg.” Mukai’s supporters had contended that a favorable decision would represent another victory for local businesses, which the city has shown more support for in recent council decisions. They also said a decision on Mukai’s request was a matter of fairness, since two other Los Rios businesses, the Ramos House Café and The Tea House, currently sell alcohol. Those two were each granted a short-lived permit in 1996, before it was rescinded a year later over concerns that increased alcohol sales would create a bar or tavern scene in the neighborhood. The council had previously voted 2-1 at its previous meeting, with Byrnes absent, to continue the item to give city staff time to perhaps grant Mukai’s request while protecting the residential character of the area, which is known as the oldest continuously inhabited neighborhood in California and is on the National Register of Historic Places. At that meeting, councilmen Sam Allevato and Larry Kramer said they would like to see, at the very least, restricted alcohol sales. Councilman Derek Reeve voted against Mukai’s proposal outright. City staff offered the council a solution that would establish a core commercial zone within the district, in which businesses could obtain conditional use permits to sell beer and wine. However, the permit would also restrict businesses from selling no more than The Capistrano Dispatch July 26–August 8, 2013
As a combined residential and commercial district on the National Historic Register, governance in the Los Rios Historic District comes with a unique set of challenges for the city. File photo
two drinks per customer and limit food service hours between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Those business owners would also be required to live on their property. Although Mukai lives in another house in the district, the Lupe Combs House received a residential occupancy exemption in 1995 due to its relatively small size (686 square feet) and its unique orientation fronting Verdugo Street and the nearby pedestrian plaza. John Q. Humphreys, owner of Ramos House Café, which is adjacent to the Hummingbird House Cafe, asked the council to reject Mukai’s proposal, since she did not live at her business. Stephen Rios, a descendent of one of San Juan Capistrano’s founding families and whose home sits across from Mukai’s property, said granting one proposal would lead to others and make life difficult for Los Rios residents. “There’s going to be too much policing falling down on us homeowners,” Rios said. “We don’t want to do that. We just want to simply live there and enjoy it.” Former San Juan Capistrano mayor Phil Schwartze agreed with Rios. “Everything that’s going on now is pouring water on that slippery slope,” Schwartze said. Among those who spoke in favor of Mukai was Carolyn Franks, board president of the Chamber of Commerce and owner of Zoomars Petting Zoo and the Olivares House, which is occupied by Hidden House Coffee. Franks was one of two Los Rios residents who indicated Page 6
to the council that they would also like to sell alcohol in the future and asked that the city’s proposed zone be expanded to include other properties. Councilman Kramer, who had previously expressed interest in restricted alcohol sales, said those inquiries were enough for him to side with residential character over commercial expansion. “I’ve heard too many people already that also want wine and beer,” Kramer said. “From what I’m hearing from people tonight and outside, there would be appeals to expand it, and I don’t want to see a residential area destroyed more than Councilman Byrnes does. It’s not a business district. It’s a residential district.” Chamber of Commerce CEO Mark Bodenhamer said that while the core zone was a creative concept, it still created a murky situation for future applicants and councils. “It was sort of arbitrary. There’s no way of truly determining what is a commercial core and which businesses fit,” Bodenhamer said. “That’s the problem in general. It’s not a consistent application of rules. It’s spot permitting, and it was still creating a situation where one guy gets something and another gets nothing.” Mukai said in an email that she believes requests from the podium to expand the commercial core hurt her case. However, she also said the proposed zone would have created further divisions and unfair competitive advantages.
GOVERNANCE IN LOS RIOS Mukai’s proposal was the second hotly-contested decision to come down in the Los Rios Historic District this year. In April, following a yearlong debate, an appeal to save the controversial apatosaurus replica at Zoomars Petting Zoo failed to pass on the City Council’s 2-2 vote. Based on her similar experience dealing with the city and Los Rios residents, Franks said she could relate to Mukai’s situation. “We need to start replacing fear with facts,” Franks said. “There’s a lot being said about the commercialization of Los Rios, that the residential aspect is crumbling. A lot of that talk has been used as a scare tactic.” Franks suggested that the Los Rios Specific Plan, the guidelines for land use in the area, be reviewed to fit modern business needs. “Although it’s a great guide, it was written in the 70s. We need to look at the specific plan as it relates to retailers and the restaurants,” Franks said. Meanwhile, Rios supported the existing plan, saying that it was “balanced and functional” and that any controversy arose out of previous council decisions that have now allowed applicants to challenge the plan. “We opened up the door that perhaps we shouldn’t have,” Rios said. Byrnes acknowledged the likelihood of future challenges to the plan and said that while the city would like to help more applicants that come to council with solid plans, a concerted preservation effort had to be made in Los Rios. “I want as much commercial activity in the city as possible,” Byrnes said. “But the problem is, the more you try to get rid of gray areas, you legislate more. More laws don’t mean better policy.” CD www.thecapistranodispatch.com
EYE ON SJC
Compiled by Brian Park and Andrea Papagianis
PROPS, RECOGNITIONS AND MORSELS OF INFO CUSD Offers Free Summer Lunch Program Children can have a free “picnic in the park” this summer through a meal program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Capistrano Unified School District’s Food and Nutrition Department will offer free lunches for children under 18 at Bucheim Field in San Juan Capistrano until August 30. Lunches will be offered Monday through Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., behind the Regional Occupational Program Center, located at 35122 El Camino Real.
Local Elementary Student Wins Design Contest
Morgan Finelt, from Ambuehl Elementary School, was selected from more than 2,000 Capistrano Unified School District fourth- and fifth-graders as the winner of the Elephant Parade: Welcome to America design contest. Courtesy photo
Ambuehl Elementary School student Morgan Finelt was named the winner of the Elephant Parade: Welcome to America design contest, the Resorts of Dana Point and the Asian Elephant Foundation recently announced. More than 2,000 fourth- and fifthgraders from the Capistrano Unified School District went through a two-week educational course about the plight of the Asian elephant and each decorated a small elephant sculpture inspired by their experience. Finelt’s winning design, “Bright Beauty,” features an intricate pattern using geometric shapes and bright colors. Her design is currently being painted on a 6-foot-tall elephant sculpture with the help of Kent Baker, visual arts instructor at Capistrano Valley High School. Upon completion, Finelt’s design will join dozens of others in a 10-week tour launching August 23 in Dana Point. In November, Finelt’s elephant will be auctioned off, with 15 percent of the proceeds going to her school. Her design joins a collection of elephant sculptures The Capistrano Dispatch July 26–August 8, 2013
decorated by celebrity artists including Tommy Hilfiger, Katy Perry and Diane von Furstenberg. Additionally, selected CUSD students’ designs have been donated to the Asian Elephant Foundation to raise funds for global conservation efforts.
Congressman Issa Holds Photo Contest for Constituents Rep. Darrell Issa’s office is sponsoring a photography contest for anyone who has visited or lived in Orange and San Diego counties. Winning photos will be displayed in Issa’s district and capitol offices and shared in newsletters and social media pages. Entrants are asked to submit no more than three original photographs of their favorite scenes from California’s 49th District, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, San Clemente, Camp Pendleton, Carlsbad, Coto de Caza, Del Mar, Encinitas, Ladera Ranch, Oceanside, Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach and Vista. Photos must be family friendly and appropriate for all audiences. Those looking to enter can send an original, high-resolution photo to firstname.lastname@example.org with their name, city, where the photo was taken and a description of the photo. Submissions confirm ownership and grant the office permission to distribution the photo on social media pages and the Congressman’s website. For more information, contact Issa’s Washington, D.C. office at 202.225.3906.
Broadway Star Set to Perform at Mission Benefit Gala
Susan Egan, known for her role as “Belle” in the original Broadway cast of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, is the featured act for the Mission’s Romance of the Mission Benefit Gala on September 20. Photo by Javier Naval
The Mission has announced awardwinning Broadway performer Susan Egan as its featured artist for the annual Page 7
Romance of the Mission benefit gala on September 20. Egan, an Irvine resident, is known for her role as “Belle” in the original Broadway cast of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, for which she received Tony Award and Drama Desk nominations for Best Actress. The concert will take place in the ruins of the Great Stone Church. Egan will perform a number of pieces from her Broadway productions, in addition to other popular ballads. The Mission has also announced Mike Hagan as the honorary chair of the gala. Hagan is a longtime supporter of the Mission and a Mission Preservation Foundation board member. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception in the Mission’s front garden, followed by the concert and a four-course dinner, prepared by The RitzCarlton Laguna Niguel, in the courtyard. Individual tickets cost $350 and underwriting opportunities are still available. Proceeds benefit the Mission’s preservation efforts, specifically the initial investigation work for conserving the historic Sala building. For more information, visit www.missionsjc.com.
Youth of the Year Winner Moves onto National Competition Fresh off being named the Pacific Region Youth of the Year winner this month, Yossymar Rojas is moving onto the national level to compete for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s highest honor. Rojas, a Dana Hills High School graduate and a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Capistrano Valley, will go up against five other regional winners to compete for the National Youth of the Year award, as well as a $15,000 scholarship and the chance to travel to Washington, D.C. to visit the White House and meet President Barack Obama. “Yossy is the perfect example of what kind of young men and women the Boys & Girls Clubs help produce each and every year,” said Boys & Girls Club of Capistrano Valley Executive Director James Littlejohn in a statement. “We are so proud of not only Yossy, but all the other outstanding young people that were part of the Youth of the Year program and process.” In June, Rojas became the first member of his family to graduate from high school, where he was a valedictorian and was recognized as an Advanced Placement scholar. In the fall, Rojas will attend UC Irvine, where he will study biomedical
After winning at the state and regional levels, Dana Hills High School graduate Yossymar Rojas will now challenge for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year award. Photo by Brian Park
engineering. After he was named the state Youth of the Year winner in April, Rojas was featured on the cover of The Dispatch and the Dana Point Times in the story “No Stopping This Kid.” To read the story, visit www.thecapistranodispatch.com.
Equestrian Coalition Debuts New Summertime Event In an effort to promote the city’s Western heritage and equestrian lifestyle, the San Juan Capistrano Equestrian Coalition is a hosting a new event called “Two Stepping Under the Stars” on Saturday, August 10, at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park. The event begins at 6 p.m. and features live music, dancing and food and beverages courtesy of Bad to the Bone’s new mobile restaurant. The event is free to attend and is sponsored by Blenheim Facility Management. Free line dancing lessons are available at 5 p.m. Parents are encouraged to bring their kids, who can also enjoy games and entertainment in the “Kiddy Corral.” There will also be a silent auction and raffle, from which all proceeds will go toward the San Juan Capistrano equestrian community. The Equestrian Coalition is still looking for underwriting sponsors and silent auction items. To help or for more information, visit their website at www.sjcec. org or contact Gwen Grierson at gwen. email@example.com. 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 information to firstname.lastname@example.org. www.thecapistranodispatch.com
EYE ON SJC
SJC Sheriff’s Blotter COMPILED BY VICTOR CARNO 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. An arrest doesn’t represent guilt. The items below are just a sampling of the entries listed on the OCSD website.
Sunday, July 21
Wednesday, July 17
ILLEGAL PARKED VEHICLE Via Belardes, 31900 Block (4:56 p.m.) Deputies were called by a man complaining that someone had parked their maroon Dodge Durango illegally on the sidewalk. When the caller asked that man to move his car, the man refused.
9-1-1 HANGUP Shadybrook Road, 26300 Block (7:08 p.m.) Police dispatch received a call with no one on the line. All that could be heard was a man and a woman speaking in Spanish and a young child crying in the background.
DRUNK IN PUBLIC Alipaz Street, 32300 Block (3:31 p.m.) A drunk woman was seen leaving the park and attempting to drive away. The caller knew the woman and said she was trying to drive to her apartment.
DRUNK IN PUBLIC Alipaz Street, 32100 Block (4:22 p.m.) A drunk man and a drunk woman were reported to deputies after they were seen walking through a parking lot. Deputies arrested and held the man in custody overnight for being uncooperative.
Saturday, July 20
Monday, July 22 DISTURBANCE Ortega Highway/Del Obispo Street (11:14 a.m.) Deputies were called after a man and a woman were seen in a verbal confrontation while sitting in a black Jeep in the Bagel Shack parking lot. DISTURBANCE Camino Capistrano, 32000 Block (10:49 a.m.) Two homeless men in their 60s were seen screaming and threatening people who were walking in the Kentucky Fried Chicken and Starbucks parking lot.
ASSIST OUTSIDE AGENCY Via Cordova, 31100 Block (4:27 p.m.) Deputies were called after a woman was seen having multiple seizures. It was reported that the woman was having trouble breathing.
Friday, July 19 BURGLARY ALARM-AUDIBLE San Juan Capistrano, Various Locations (11:49 p.m. – 3:01 a.m.) Dispatch received 25 burglary alarm calls between Friday night and early Saturday morning due to the power outage.
Tuesday, July 16 WELFARE CHECK Camino Capistrano/Stonehill Drive (3:13 p.m.) Deputies were alerted after an elderly woman was seen walking in and out of traffic lanes on Camino Capistrano. The woman was described as wearing a red shirt and white pants. BURGLARY ALARM-AUDIBLE Paseo Lomita, 27200 Block (5:31 a.m.) A woman’s security system was triggered at her home office, but when dispatch called, no one answered.
Dispatch was able to reach her on her secondary number. The woman said she was out of town and would like deputies to respond.
Monday, July 15 SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Paseo Corrales, 28200 Block (8:45 a.m.) A woman notified police of two females who had just shown up at her house, claiming that they were hired by someone to clean her residence. The caller later discovered the two women were telling the truth.
Sunday, July 14 FIREWORK VIOLATION Bay Tree Road, 26400 Block (7:57 p.m.) A man called in to report that the neighbor in the residence directly behind his was setting off fireworks. The caller said that the neighbor was setting off both ground and aerial fireworks.
Saturday, July 13 HIT AND RUN PARKED CAR REPORT Del Obispo Street, 31700 Block (2:34 p.m.) A man was seen hitting a vehicle in the parking lot of Marie Calendar’s and then getting out of his vehicle and walking to the patio area.
CITY HALL NOTES NEWS AND NOTES FROM SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO CITY HALL u City Clerk Maria Morris will receive a raise of more than $12,000 over the next two years following her annual performance review and the City Council’s approval on July 16. Morris, who has worked in the city since 1999 and has served as city clerk since December 2009, will receive annual salaries of $105,334 and $108,357 in the next two fiscal years. Her salary and benefits increase by $8,177 and $4,228 each year, respectively. The changes to Morris’ contract are retroactive, dating back to the beginning of the month. As part of her restructured contract, her annual auto allowance of $3,000 was eliminated, as was the city’s one percent deferred compensation match. Morris’ life insurance benefit was also increased from one-and-a-half to two times her annual salary. u The entry gate into the future Reata Park and Event Center will bear the logo of the city and the organization responsible for the park’s design and construction, the Open Space Foundation. The sign will be located at the park’s entrance on Ortega Highway and features two stone pilasters with both logos. The foundation’s original proposal did The Capistrano Dispatch July 26–August 8, 2013
not include the city’s name, but at city staff’s request, two options were given. The City Council voted 3-2 to approve a 24-by-8 sandblasted wood sign with the city’s name in white lettering, similar to the signs at other city parks. The council also approved the installation of a flagpole. An existing monument plaque will be relocated within the park to serve as a base for the flagpole. Prior to their meeting, the city received several letters about the item from members of Capistrano Common Sense, a local activist group and publishers of a monthly newsletter often critical of the Open Space Foundation and council decisions. The city purchased the land, formerly known as the East Open Space Lemon Grove, in a 2010 deal for 132 acres for $27.5 million collected from $30 million bond voters approved in 2008. Although the foundation is footing the $2.7 million to construct the park, Capistrano Common Sense member Clint Worthington objected to having a private organization’s logo placed on a sign for a public park. “Honor the residents who worked hard for the purchase of this property,” Worthington said. Mayor Pro Tem Sam Allevato dePage 8
fended the foundation’s logo, saying that their volunteers donated significant time to build the park at no cost to the city. “The small number of complainers has not contributed one iota to this effort yet they continue to criticize,” Allevato said. “However, unless you’re willing to give sweat equity, you should be grateful. This beautiful monument entry into Reata Park would’ve cost the city thousands of dollars to construct and is being given to the city for free.” u The City Council on Tuesday, July 16 unanimously approved a new loading zone for Mission Grill, located at 31721 Camino Capistrano. The new 40-foot loading zone will be marked off in front of the restaurant, starting 335 feet north of Verdugo Street, and will be available for deliveries between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Outside of those times, two additional public parking spaces will be available. Since opening in March 2012, Mission Grill has used several locations for delivers that were deemed too cumbersome or dangerous, including the center island on Camino Capistrano. While the restaurant was being renovated, city staff observed that large construction vehicles parked in front of the site did not affect traffic flow in the area.
Councilman Larry Kramer suggested reviewing the city’s other loading zones because they were not clearly marked and often resulted in tickets. u The city will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Dr. Joe Cortese Dog Park on Saturday, August 17 at 10 a.m. The 2.5-acre park, located in the city’s northwest open space at 30291 Camino Capistrano, is named after the late local veterinarian, Dr. Joe Cortese, who passed away in 2008. Affectionately known as “Dr. Fleas,” Cortese was an active volunteer, serving two years as president of the Rotary Club and more than 30 years in all. He was also a founding member of the Capistrano Animal Rescue Effort. The park features an open roaming area for dogs, picnic tables, benches and an access ramp for guests with disabilities. Water fountains are also available for both people and their dogs. The ceremony will include exhibit booths, demonstrations, hot dogs and goodie bags for dogs. Guests are invited to bring their dogs, as long as they are leashed for the ribbon cutting and other event activities. For more information, call the city at 949.493.5911. CD www.thecapistranodispatch.com
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34932 Calle del Sol, Suite B, Capistrano Beach, CA 92624 phone 949.388.7700 fax 949.388.9977 www.thecapistranodispatch.com The Capistrano Dispatch, Vol. 11, Issue 14. The Dispatch (www.thecapistranodispatch ) is published twice monthly by Picket Fence Media, publishers of the DP Times (www.danapointtimes.com) and the SC Times (www.sanclementetimes.com). 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.
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SPECIAL THANKS Robert Miller, Jonathan Volzke CONTRIBUTORS Megan Bianco, Victor Carno, Tawnee Prazak, Dana Schnell
GUEST OPINION: Sam Allevato, Mayor Pro Tem of San Juan Capistrano
Road to Nowhere? Water Quality Control Board oversteps authority, hinders traffic relief for south Orange County
n June 19, I had the opportunity to attend the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board meeting in which they turned down the SR-241 Tesoro extenSam Allevato sion’s waste discharge requirement permit—even though the regional board staff had recommended approval of the permit to their board. I heard claims from opponents that the proposed 5.5-mile road, from the terminus at Oso Parkway to Cow Camp Road (approximately half a mile north of Ortega Highway), was going to pollute Trestles surf beach to claims that this toll road extension would be like putting a road through Yosemite Valley or Yellowstone National Park (Trestles surf beach is over 10 miles away and this road does not drain anywhere near Trestles). But probably most egregious and insulting was a comment by San Diego Supervisor Dave Roberts that he felt the Tesoro extension is a “road to nowhere.” This comment came from a supervisor that lives in Solana Beach, 50 miles away, and has obviously not been to San Juan Capistrano. The proposed extension would terminate in the area of Ortega Highway and Antonio Parkway, an intersection which is across the street from our city limits and home to 35,000 residents. It also terminates in the beginning phases of the Rancho Mission Viejo’s “Ranch Plan,” which includes 14,000 dwelling units. It is truly insulting for this supervisor to claim we are nowhere. The Capistrano Dispatch July 26–August 8, 2013
In front of a packed house on June 19, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board voted 3-2 to reject the Transportation Corridor Agency’s permit to extend the SR-241 toll road. The TCA has since appealed the decision. Photo by Andrea Swayne
The Ranch project was approved unanimously by the Orange County Board of Supervisors, which resulted in a lawsuit settlement with the same environmental groups that oppose the road today. Additionally, the Ranch Plan can be built with or without the toll road, so their attempts to stop development—their real end goal—by opposing the toll road will not stop the Ranch Plan from being built. Instead of this traffic using a privately funded toll road, they will more likely use Ortega Highway, thus further increasing traffic through our town, instead of around it. The vote was a close 3-2, however, the board, in my estimation, overstepped their authority by denying the permit. They were only supposed to look at the proposed 5.5-mile extension that affected less than half an acre of state jurisdictional waters with the toll road agency proposing approximately 34
acres of wetlands creation and watershed buffer restoration. The mitigation ratio on this project was 20:1, compared with the usual mitigation by Caltrans of 3:1. But in their statements, three of the board members chose to take the approach that they didn’t care about the limited 5.5-mile project, but wanted to make a statement about the proposed eventual project that would terminate at the Interstate-5 near Trestles. The toll roads have always been built in segments and it is no surprise that the Transportation Corridor Agency is committed to completing the system all the way to the I-5. Some of the speakers talked about the Tesoro extension just being the “camel’s nose under the tent” and they wanted to stop this road from desecrating a state park, with no mention that this land is really Camp Pendleton and not a state park owned by the state of California. The proposed “Green
Alignment,” which was rejected by the California Coastal Commission, did go within 200 feet of the nearest campsite. However, this land does not belong to the state parks. It is in reality part of USMC Camp Pendleton and the entire San Onofre State Park is only part of a 50-year lease that terminates in 2021. While the state of California now only pays $1 per year for this lucrative lease with the Department of the Navy, recent federal legislation now requires a market rate lease payment for federal land. With the financial condition of the state, it will be interesting to see how and if the state can renew its lease with the Marines. So here we have Board of San Diego residents that can stop or hinder traffic relief for south Orange County residents, who overwhelmingly support the Tesoro extension by more than a twoto-one ratio (61 percent approval rating versus 27 percent oppose). So where do we go from here? The TCA met July 17 to discuss options. Stay tuned. If you would like to give feedback or have questions for the TCA, please email them at 241update@thetollroads. com. Sam Allevato is a 37-year resident of San Juan Capistrano. He is currently serving on the city council as mayor pro tem and has served on the council for the last 9 years, including two years as mayor. 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 email@example.com
SOAPBOX GUEST OPINION: Mark Bodenhamer, Chief Executive Officer of the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce
A Big “Thank You” to Our City Leadership W e often speak about cities that are or are not “business friendly.” Although cities often do get reputations with regard to business friendliness, it can be a hard concept to define. There’s no official benchmark for such a status and it’s impossible to quantify an appropriate form of measurement. In addition, every city is different and presents unique challenges. There are things a city council could do in Mission Viejo or Irvine that simply wouldn’t be appropriate here in this historic community. The reality is that being business friendly is a moving target with many dynamic variables. Things change and what may have been business friendly last year can be detrimental or simply irrelevant today. The only true way for a city to hit that target is to consistently work with local businesses to find creative solutions for the issues that arise in real time. San Juan Capistrano has grown in this regard over the past few years. More importantly, as the Ortega project evolved from planning to execution, our city council and staff have re-doubled
their efforts and have shown a collective dedication that is both necessary and greatly appreciated. This effort has been in progress for a while now. As noted above, singular moments and choices are less relevant than the overall trend of supporting and appreciating the contributions of our local businesses. With that said, some things do stand out. It’s probably time to stop calling her “new,” but in the relatively short time she has been with in town, City Manager Karen Brust has made some very positive and substantive changes in the way City Hall operates. She led an effort to streamline essential permitting processes, which is extremely helpful for businesses. Many cities operate in a way that disregards how important time is for a commercial enterprise, especially in this economy. Our city isn’t just aware of that; it’s making solid efforts to improve and assist. The creation of the Economic Preservation Committee is a great example of San Juan Capistrano facilitating true communication between itself and its business community. This group, which meets weekly to address the
needs of our local economy during the Ortega project, is a model that more cities should follow. The good natured relationship it cultivates has all of the involved groups creatively working together to address each other’s needs in a very challenging time. More importantly, the city isn’t just using this time to give token attention. All five members of our City Council have thoughtfully accepted the suggestions from this group. Unanimous votes are rare occurrences usually, but most of the efforts from this committee have garnered that level of support from the council. In addition, the recent elimination of the Design Review Commission is a great example of reducing unnecessary regulation. The DRC was essentially duplicating efforts that the Planning Commission was (or could have been) carrying out. For our city to voluntarily cut that layer of bureaucracy out of its process is very important. It demonstrated creativity, attention to the needs of the community and a commitment to providing service, rather than roadblocks. Of course, there is still plenty of work
to do. Our local businesses are by no means thriving, given the double-whammy of poor economic conditions and major construction going on. Many of the things that make this town amazing and wonderful also create obstacles to economic success, and navigating those issues is a delicate balance. However, it’s the systems that we are putting in place today and the teamoriented partnership between the city and the business community that will be a great foundation for efforts to continue solving those problems in the year ahead. On behalf of the Chamber of Commerce, I want to thank the City Council, staff and the many others who have contributed to these thoughtful and valued efforts. Mark Bodenhamer has served as CEO and executive director of the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce since 2010. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
YOUR TWO-WEEK EVENT PLANNER
A day-by-day guide to what’s happening in and around town. COMPILED BY TAWNEE PRAZAK
BALLROOM BASH 7:30 p.m.10:30 p.m. Dancing at the San Clemente Community Center featuring a lesson in East Coast swing followed by open dancing to a variety of music. Admission $10, includes munchies. 100 N. Calle Seville, San Clemente, 949.498.0233, www.ballroombash.com.
JIMI NELSON AND THE DRIFTING COWBOYS 8:30 p.m. Live music at The Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.3188, www.swallowsinn.com. JOHNNY WINTER 8 p.m. Concert at The Coach House. Tickets $30. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930, www.thecoachhouse.com.
MISSION SJC PAINT OUT 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Nearly 60 artists visit the Mission for a special “paint-out” of the historic monument and its surrounding grounds. Free to view with admission fee of $6-$9. 26801 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949.234.1300, www.missionsjc.com.
MULTICULTURAL ARTS SERIES: THE FUGOWIES 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Live classic rock music as part of the Multicultural Art Series in the San Juan Capistrano Library courtyard. $10. 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.1752, www.musicatthelibrary.com BACKYARD SKILLS WORKSHOP: BACKYARD CHICKEN CARE 1 p.m.-3 p.m. The Ecology Center invites you to learn about chicken husbandry, coop building and maintenance, brood boxes and more. Cost $10-$15. 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.443.4223, www.theecologycenter.org. FOOD SWAP Noon-2 p.m. Support local food and bring something local and/or from your garden to the swap to barter with fellow community members at T. Patterson Surfboards. 11407 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente, www.sanclementemarket.com/food-swap. The Capistrano Dispatch July 26–August 8, 2013
ON STAGE AT THE COACH HOUSE: JEFFERSON STARSHIP Jefferson Starship will rock the Coach House stage Sunday, July 28 with a show paying tribute to the band’s storied forbearers, Jefferson Airplane and the original Jefferson Starship, as well as showcasing the band’s own music. This most recent incarnation of Jefferson Starship features legendary vocalist, guitar player and songwriter Paul Kanter, a founding member of both Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, along with David Freiberg, who has also been a member of both bands. The critically acclaimed group of San Francisco Bay Area musicians also includes Slick Aguilar on guitar, keyboardist Chris Smith, Donny Baldwin on drums and vocalist Cathy Richardson, who played Janis Joplin in the original off Broadway cast Jefferson Starship. Courtesy photo of the hit show Love, Janis. The set list will include the entire collection of tunes from the trailblazing Jefferson Airplane album Surrealistic Pillow. Enjoy an entire night out by making dinner reservations before the show and catching the two opening acts, Usual Suspects and Rum Soaked Raisins. The concert is an all-ages show. Catch Jefferson Starship at The Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano, on July 28. Doors open at 5 p.m., show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $28. For tickets or dinner reservations, visit www.thecoachhouse.com or call 949.496.8930. —Andrea Swayne
PET ADOPTIONS 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dogs, cats and kittens for adoption at PetSmart in the Costco/Staples plaza. 33963 Doheny Park Road, San Juan Capistrano, 949.388.0034, www.arkofsanjuan.org. COVERFIRE 8:30 p.m. Live music at Montego Restaurant and Bar. 27211 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949.481.2723, www.montegorestaurant.com. MARK “SELLY” SELIGSON 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Live music at DaVine Food & Wine along with wine tasting starting at 4 p.m. $15 for five wines. 34673 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.493.4044, www.davine-wine.com. BLUE WHALE CRUISE 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Search for blue whales with the Ocean Institute. Cost $55, includes continental breakfast. 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, 949.496.2274, www.ocean-institute.org. MICRO CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING 8 p.m. Event at The Coach House. $20. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930, www.thecoachhouse.com.
SAN ONOFRE EXHIBIT 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Casa Romantica’s Coast Culture Exhibition on San Onofre that features historical stories, photographs, surfboards, paintings, vintage memorabilia and more. $5. 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, 949.498.2139, www.casaromantica.org.
LATIN GUITAR AND WINE TASTING 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Live guitar with Miguel de Alonso at SC Wine Company. 212 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, 949.429.7067, www.scwinecompany.com SUMMER CONCERTS IN THE PARK 3 p.m.- 6 p.m. Concert at Heritage Park with Old Money Jim and Revival – A Tribute to Creedence Clearwater Revival and John Fogerty. 34400 Old Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.248.3500, www.danapoint.org. FREE FISHING FOR KIDS Noon. A fishing lesson and more for kids at Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching. 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.496.5794, www.danawharf.com. NEIL MORROW 1:30 p.m. Live music at The Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.3188, www.swallowsinn.com. Page 12
THE SERRA CHAPEL TOUR 11:15 a.m. 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, www.missionsjc.com.
OPERATION SEMPER FUNNY 6 p.m. An evening of comedy, dinner, silent auction and prizes at the Irvine Improv benefiting Dana Point’s 5th Marines and their families. Tickets online. 71 Fortune Drive, #841, Irvine, www.danapoint5thmarines.com/semper-funny, www.irvine.improv.com.
STORYTIME 11 a.m.-noon. Entertaining stories read for kids at the San Juan Capistrano Library. 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.1752, www.ocpl.org. SUMMER CAMP PROGRAMS: SESSION II CLAY CAMP 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Students can learn ceramic handbuilding techniques and how to throw clay on the wheel at this camp at the Mission. Camp meets daily through Aug. 2. Cost $330. 26801 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949.234.1300, www.missionsjc.com.
SAN ONOFRE FOUNDATION PHOTO EXHIBIT 6 p.m.-8 p.m. The San Onofre Foundation’s “Coastal Presence,” a photography exhibit, runs July 17 to Sept. 30 with a display of photos for sale and much more. 3030 Avenida del Presidente, San Clemente, 949.366.8599, www.sanofoundation.org.
SIDEWAYS DOWN 8 p.m. Live music at The Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.3188, www.swallowsinn.com. KNIT LIT BOOK GROUP 6 p.m. Bring your knitting or other project and join a discussion of the latest book at the San Juan Capistrano Library. Call 949.493.1752 for more info. 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, www.ocpl.org. MEET THE CHEF 7 p.m. Local chef Sima Gahaba visits the Dana Point Library for a food-inspired presentation and Q&A. 33841 Niguel Road, Dana Point, 949.496.5517, www.ocpl.org. (Cont. on page 15) www.thecapistranodispatch.com
GETTING OUT (Cont. from page 12)
RIBBON CUTTING 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Celebrate the opening of the Mission’s new gift store with the chamber. Free. 26801 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949.234.1300, www.missionsjc.com.
MICROBREWS BY THE MISSION 4 p.m.-8 p.m. “Pub crawl” with 14 venues featuring seasonal craft brews, live music, food and appetizers and more in downtown San Juan Capistrano. Occurs the last Wednesday of the month. Camino Capistrano and Ortega Highway, 949.493.4700, www.facebook.com/microbrewsbythemission. AUTHOR READING AND LECTURE 6 p.m. Archaeology lecture by Professor Patrick Geyer at the San Juan Capistrano Library. Free. 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.1752, www.ocpl.org. CRAFT AND ACTIVITY DAY 2 p.m. The final program of the summer at the San Juan Capistrano Library featuring crafts and activities. 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.1752, www.ocpl.org.
RIBBON CUTTING AND GRAND RE-OPENING 5:15 p.m. Celebrate the opening of Law Offices of Cheryl L. Walsh with the chamber. 31421 Rancho Viejo Road, Ste. 102, 949.370.9664, www.sanjuanchamber.com.
COUNTRY NIGHT WITH GRAND BAND JUNCTION 8:30 p.m. Live country music at Montego Restaurant and Bar. 27211 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949.481.2723, www.montegorestaurant.com. RUBBER BEAN WITH TUNNEL VISION 7 p.m. Reggae at StillWater. 24701 Del Prado, Dana Point, 949.661.6003, www.danapointstillwater.com. SUMMER SPLASH THURSDAYS 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Head to the San Clemente Aquatics Center for a family-friendly evening of recreation at the pool. Rec swim fee applies, swim passes valid. 987 Avenida Vista Hermosa, 949.429.8797, www.san-clemente.org.
FIRST FRIDAY FILM 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Showing of a special movie at the library. Donation $2. 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.248.5132, www.ocpl.org.
ERIC SARDINA AND TINSLEY ELLIS 8 p.m. Concert at The Coach House. $20. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930, www.thecoachhouse.com.
FAMILY FILM FEATURE 10 a.m. Watch a movie at the San Juan Capistrano Library. Free popcorn. 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.1752, www.ocpl.org.
LIVE BLUEGRASS/FOLK JAM MUSIC 10 a.m.2 p.m. Music group meets at Historic Town Center Park to perform a free concert of bluegrass, old time and folk jam music. 31806 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano. The Capistrano Dispatch July 26–August 8, 2013
MUSIC UNDER THE STARS SUMMER CONCERT SERIES 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. The Mission’s concert series featuring Hot August Night – A Tribute to Neil Diamond. For info call 949.234.1300 or visit www.missionsjc.com. 26801 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano. FARM TO FORK: KIDS 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Kids are invited to explore the garden, harvest and prepare a meal alongside a professional chef at The Ecology Center. Ages 6-12. Cost $20-$25. 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.443.4223, www.theecologycenter.org. DESIGNER SERIES: SELECTING PLANTS WITH A DESIGNER 9:30 a.m. Tree of Life Nursery presents a lecture series with workshops on plant design every Saturday in August. 33201 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949.728.0685, www.californianativeplants.com. ASTRONOMY NIGHT 8:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Gaze into the night sky through telescopes and learn about the constellations with astronomy experts at The Reserve/ Richard & Donna O’Neill Land Conservancy. Adults $10, kids $5. 949.489.9778, www.theconservancy.org. JUMPING JACK FLASH 8 p.m. Rolling Stones tribute band at StillWater. 24701 Del Prado, Dana Point, 949.661.6003, www.danapointstillwater.com. HARBOR MUSIC CRUISE 8 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Dana Wharf’s music cruise in the Harbor. $15. 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.496.5794, www.danawharf.com. DON PEDRO AND THE RIFFTIDE 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Live music, cocktails and appetizers overlooking the Harbor at Vivo Rooftop Lounge, Hilton Hotel Doheny Beach. 34402 Pacific Coast Hwy., Dana Point, 949.661.1100. PILGRIM PARENT-CHILD OVERNIGHT CAMP 3 p.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. on Sunday. Parents and children are invited to spend the night with the Ocean Institute on the tall ship Pilgrim and enjoy activities, hearty meals and more. $315 per parent and one child, $45 for additional participant. 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, 949.496.2274, www.ocean-institute.org.
SUMMER CONCERTS IN THE PARK 3 p.m.- 6 p.m. Concert at Heritage Park with The Mighty Cash Cats and Jim Curry presents – A Tribute to the Music of John Denver. 34400 Old Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.248.3500, www.danapoint.org.
FIRST SUNDAY BOOK SALE 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The Friends of the Library monthly book sale in front of the San Clemente Library with used books at bargains price for children and adults. 242 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, 949.276.6342, www.sanclementefol.org. HISTORICAL WALKING TOUR 1 p.m. The San Juan Capistrano Historical Society leads a tour to see Los Rios Historical District, O’Neill Museum, Montanez Adobe, the Mission, Rios Adobe and more. Meet at the train depot on Verdugo Street. Every Sunday. $2 adults, $1 children. 949.493.8444, www.sjchistoricalsociety.com. WHALE AND DOLPHIN TOURS Get eye-to-eye underwater with dolphins and whales without getting wet on Capt. Dave’s catamaran sailboat. $55 adult, $35 child (3 to 12), under 2 free. 24440 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, 949.488.2828, www.dolphinsafari.com. Page 15
XAVIER RUDD 8 p.m. Australian musician performs at The Coach House. Tickets $25. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930, www.thecoachhouse.com.
AUTHOR TALK AND WORKSHOP: PARENTING WISDOM 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Guidelines and principles for raising children to achieve their highest potential at The Dana Point Library. 33841 Niguel Road, Dana Point, 949.496.5517, www.ocpl.org. COUNTRY DANCIN’ WITH PATRICK AND FRIENDS 6:30 p.m. Every Monday at The Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, 949.493.3188, www.swallowsinn.com.
FARM LAB CAMP 9 a.m.1 p.m. Three-day camp at The Ecology Center for kids to become a junior farmer and experience the daily rhythm of farm life. Cost $185, 10 percent off for family memberships. Ages 7-12. 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.443.4223, www.theecologycenter.org.
NATIONAL NIGHT OUT 5 p.m.-8 p.m. “America’s Night Out Against Crime” at the San Clemente Aquatic Center at Vista Hermosa Sports Park featuring family fun with food, educational info and more. 987 Avenue Vista Hermosa, San Clemente, 949.361.8386, www.san-clemente.org. FAMILY SCIENCE NIGHT 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Lecture and hands-on labs in tide pools at the Ocean Institute. Cost $7 per person of $25 per family. 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, 949.496.2274, www.ocean-institute.org.
NETWORK BREAKFAST MIXER 7:30 a.m.9 a.m. Join the chamber on the first Wednesday of the month for breakfast at the Vintage Steak House. Cost $15-25. 26701-B Verdugo St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.661.3400, www.thevintagesteakhouse.com.
OLD CAPISTRANO FARMERS MARKET 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Every Wednesday at El Camino Real and Yorba Street, San Juan Capistrano. 949.493.4700. THE BISHOP’S CHESS CLUB 6 p.m.-7:45 p.m. The club meets the first Wednesday of the month at the San Juan Capistrano Library for chess games, instruction, discussion and more. 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.1752, www.ocpl.org.
FARM FILM SERIES: THE GREENHORNS 7 p.m.-9 p.m. The Ecology Center hosts a night of drinks, popcorn and inspiring films under the stars. Free. 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.443.4223, www.theecologycenter.org.
READ TO A DOG 3 p.m. Kids can practice reading skills to Chloe, a certified therapy dog, at the San Juan Capistrano Library. 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.1752, www.ocpl.org. *For our full calendar, visit the “Event Calendar” at www.thecapistranodispatch.com. Have an event? Send your listing to email@example.com www.thecapistranodispatch.com
LIFE IN OUR COMMUNITY
COMMUNITY CALENDAR Wednesday 7.31 Zoning Administrator Meeting 5 p.m. City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. www.sanjuancapistrano.org. Pet Vaccinations 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The city will be hosting a lowcost vaccination clinic for dogs and cats in the parking lot behind City Hall. For dogs, the four-in-one DHPP vaccine and the bordetella vaccines cost $17 and $14, respectively. For cats, the three-in-one FVRCP and leukemia vaccines cost $17 and $19, respectively. Rabies and Purevax
rabies vaccines cost $7 and $20, respectively. Identification microchips can also be implanted for $28. Only cash payments will be accepted. Pets must be on leashes or in carriers. For more information, call the city at 949.234.4565.
City Council, Housing Authority & Successor Agency Meeting 6 p.m. City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. www.sanjuancapistrano.org.
Coffee Chat 8 a.m. A spirited town hall forum on community issues, hosted by The Dispatch founder Jonathan Volzke. Occurs every Friday. All are welcome. El Adobe de Capistrano, 31891 Camino Capistrano.
Open Space, Trails & Equestrian Commission Meeting 6 p.m. City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. www. sanjuancapistrano.org. Tuesday 8.6
Friday 8.9 Next issue of The Dispatch publishes
GUEST OPINION: On Life and Love After 50 By Tom Blake
Chances are if it Feels Wrong, it is Wrong Listen to your heart, hold your head high and refuse to settle
F ON LIFE AND LOVE AFTER 50 By Tom Blake
inding love after 50 is difficult, especially for women. Despite this reality, most women refuse to compromise their standards. They would rather be alone than accept a relationship that is not right for them. They often say, “I
won’t settle.” But some women are willing to settle and it’s hard for them to break away. Liz is one of them. She wrote, “I met someone at work. We have been dating for six months and it’s going well. We no longer work at the same place. “I fell in love with him, but he tells me that he is not in love with me. I have no choice but to accept this feeling. I casually asked a while ago if he would want to live together. He stated he will never live with me. I was very surprised. “He also said he would never marry me. He feels he is too old. He is 62 and I am 60. This further hurt me. He has never married but was involved in relationships with women and says he was very loyal. He told me he asked the last woman he was dating—for many years, and not living together—to marry him. She refused. Now, she calls him and wants to get back together. He told me that is impossible, but I don’t know why they broke up. “I find him very rigid and set in his ways. I told him to relax. I’m a divorcee without children. We both like cats too. I’m still dating him but at the same time trying to lose weight so I can get back The Capistrano Dispatch July 26-August 8, 2013
to meeting people. This will take a lot of time. “We are friends and have been intimate but I still feel the hurt from the rejection. He has been living in the same house for 45 years. I have never been to his apartment. He said it was small and a mess. He also says he has a single bed. He was a mama’s boy, but she is gone now. “I like his qualities. He’s very intelligent and giving to his students. He always takes me out to dinner by the sea, has come to my place whenever he gets an extra day off near the weekend, is fun to talk to and is a real gentleman. I love that part a lot. He is not dating anyone else and I like that as well. He said to just understand that for the next four years, until he retires, nothing will happen since he works six full days a week and lives 80 miles north of me. His job is 15 miles from where he lives. “I want a good, loving man who wants to get married and is right for me. If not, then living together with a legal, signed agreement is good. I don’t want to live separately any more from my male friend.” Response: There is plenty wrong with this picture and the chances are, if it feels wrong, then it is wrong. They’ve been dating for six months and she feels the relationship is going well? Despite his telling her he isn’t in love with her, that he will never live with her and will never marry her? And she’s never been to his house? That’s an unusual definition of things going well. And she feels she has no choice in the matter? That’s pretty sad. This is a
classic case of a woman being willing to settle just to have a man in her life. He has been single and dating and lived in the same apartment for 45 years with just a single bed? That’s not very accommodating to women. There is one positive in the relationship: they both like cats. I don’t mean to be harsh on Liz. Give her credit. She is willing to invest time in improving herself. By writing to me, she asked for help. She needs a booster shot of self-esteem. Liz’s boyfriend doesn’t want to drive an extra 130 miles six days a week. I can’t fault him for that. But does she want four more years of similar treatment? If he feels he’s too old to marry
now, I doubt if he will think differently in four years. As long as Liz hangs her hopes on him, her life is going to be pretty miserable. She should listen to the women who say, “I won’t settle.” To comment: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tom Blake is a Dana Point business owner and San Clemente resident who has authored books on middle-aged dating. See his website at www.findingloveafter50.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 The Capistrano Dispatch or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at editorial@ thecapistranodispatch.com
Could a newly approved wind turbine electrical farm in the Tehachapi Mountains spell doom for endangered California condors? www.thecapistranodispatch.com
BUSINESS DIRECTORY CLASSIFIEDS SUBMIT YOUR CLASSIFIED AD ONLINE AT WWW.THECAPISTRANODISPATCH.COM
FOR RENT 3BR, 2 BA - QUIET, PRIVATE CANYON HOME with panoramic ocean view. Walk to downtown San Clemente and minutes from beach. Just remodeled with gourmet kitchen, 48” Wolf range and plenty of storage. Open, light floor plan with custom cabinetry and built-in dining banquette. Beautiful yard and garden with built-in gas BBQ and rooftop deck overlooking 25 acres of coastal canyon. Concordia, Shorecliffs and SC High schools. $4000/mo. Avail. Aug 1st. Year lease. Please call/text Jason 949.939.8186 email@example.com
FOR SALE BLACK FENDER GUITAR & AMP FOR KIDS Kid’s size black Fender electric guitar with matching amp. Great condition, just needs a few new strings. Barely used. $140 or make me an offer. Call or text 949.533.9761.
GARAGE SALES CAPISTRANO BEACH GARAGE SALE: Saturday, July 27th- 6:30am. 34821 Calle Del Sol. Collectables, Hawaiiana, Beach Décor, Hawaiian Surf Clothes, TV’s, Bikes and assorted great stuff!
SERVICES HANDYMAN: Carpentry, electrical, tile, auto, detailing. Alex 949-813-2967
BUSINESS DIRECTORY The only directory featuring San Juan Capistrano businesses exclusively AIR CONDITIONING & HEATING Oasis Air Conditioning & Heating 949.420.1321 31648 Rancho Viejo Rd., Ste. A, www.oasisair.com
Independence Bank 32291 Camino Capistrano, Suite A, www.independence-bank.net
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Then you need to be in The Capistrano Dispatch. Call us today!
949.388.7700 ext. 104
Jarvis Restoration 949.362.5388 31942 Paseo Sagrado, www.jarvisrestoration.com
PHOTO & DIGITAL LAB
COMPUTER SERVICES San Clemente Computer & Network Services firstname.lastname@example.org 949.276.1581
Do you want to reach 24,150+ people in the San Juan Capistrano area?
BUSINESS • SPOTLIGHT 949.661.0967
GraCorp Coins & Collectibles www.gracorpcoins.com
LANDSCAPING Vermeulen’s Landscaping Inc. email@example.com
Excel Electric 949.493.7769 32238 Paseo Adelanto E-I, www.excelelectric.com
ELECTRIC CONTRACTORS Excel Electric - CA #793860 949.493.7769 32238 Paseo Adelanto E-I, www.excelelectric.com
JEWELER Abby’s Fine Jewelry Design 949.493.3632 32382 Del Obispo, Ste. C-3, www.abbysdesigns.com
San Juan Photo & Digital 949.661.5668 32301 Camino Capistrano, www.sjcphotodigital.com
PLUMBING A to Z Leak Detection www.atozleakdetection.com Chick’s Plumbing www.chicks-plumbing.com
Sign up to be featured as our monthly Locals Only Business Spotlight for only $100! Write-up of 50 words with logo. Four weeks in print and online. WATER DAMAGE
Jarvis Restoration 949.362.5388 31942 Paseo Sagrado, www.jarvisrestoration.com
WINDOW CLEANING/PRESSURE WASHING
PRINTING Printing OC 949.388.4888 27134 Paseo Espada #B 203, www.printingoc.com
ROOF MANAGEMENT SERVICES Bryan Krueger Enterprises, Inc. 33208 Paseo De Cerveza, Ste. B
YOUR BUSINESS HERE!
SCHOOLS Capistrano Valley Christian Schools 949.493.5683 32032 Del Obispo Street, www.cvcs.org
Bayside Window Cleaning, Inc. 949.215.2323 www.baysidewindowcleaning.com Clear Windows 949.485.8793 San Clemente, www.clearwindows-llc.com
LIST YOUR BUSINESS IN “LOCALS ONLY” Call today! Contact Angela Edwards at 949.682.1667 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
& OUTDOORS STORIES, SCORES, SCHEDULES & MORE
CHARITY GOLF TOURNEYS BENEFIT LOCAL CAUSES
Two charity golf tournaments are coming up at the end of summer, one of which will be held in San Juan Capistrano. The first annual HOPE Tournament: Building Brighter Futures for Families Affected by Domestic Violence will be held at Marbella Country Club on August 12. The tournament is hosted by South County Collision in Mission Viejo and is benefitting Laura’s House, an organization devoted to help-
ing families affected by domestic violence. South County Collision and their nine-member event committee are looking to raise as much as $10,000 for Laura’s House. So far, 72 players have signed up to play and registration is still open. The shotgun tournament will begin at 11 a.m., with lunch provided and a reception following. For more information or to register visit www. laurashouse.org/golf.php.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley is holding its 14th annual Golf Tournament on September 23 at El Niguel Country Club. Proceeds from the event will benefit youth ages 7-19 who attend the Boys & Girls Club. The event is open to the public and registration is still open. For more information about the Golf Tournament of any of the Boys & Girls Club programs, call 949.240.7898 ext. 13 or visit www.bgccapo.com.
Capo Girls Softball All-Stars Win Division Title By Steve Breazeale The Capistrano Dispatch
inning a program’s first ever All-Star district tournament would usually be enough for some. But for the Capo Girls Softball 12U AllStars, who accomplished that feat on June 23, it proved to be just the beginning of a deep postseason run. With their district tournament win, the 12U All-Stars qualified for the California State Championships at Hourglass Park in San Diego. On July 14, after two days of competition, the team walked away with the second-place trophy. The team began their California State Championship tournament run with a convincing 17-8 win over Upland. They followed that up with a 9-2 win over Culver City before facing Encino in the third round. Encino proved to be a tough test for the San Juanbased team. When the two squared off in the tournament’s preliminary stages, Encino bested Capo 9-6.
The Capo Girls Softball 12U All-Stars won their district championship tournament and finished runner-up at the state championships. Courtesy photo
They faced each other in the championship game and again, Encino prevailed, this time 8-3. Overall, the 12U All-Stars went 5-2 in the tournament.
Hedges Shows Off Arm at MLB Futures Game
The Capistrano Dispatch July 26–August 8, 2013
CHASE STRUMPF MAKES USA 15U NATIONAL TEAM JSerra sophomore shortstop Chase Strumpf was named to the USA Baseball 15U National team, USA Baseball announced on July 18. Strumpf joins 19 other elite players from across the country that will come together to compete in the 2013 COPABE ‘AA’ 15U Pan American Championships in Barranquilla, Colombia on July 26. Strumpf and the 15U team have been training in Cary, N.C. in preparation for the event. CD —Steve Breazeale
By Steve Breazeale The Capistrano Dispatch
laying in front of a national television audience as part of the SiriusXM Futures Game at Citi Field on July 14, budding baseball prospect and former JSerra Catholic Lion Austin Hedges showed why he is considered one of the top catching prospects in the game. The 20-year-old Hedges, who was taken by the San Diego Padres in the second round of the 2011 Major League Draft, started behind the plate for the USA team. In the top of the first inning, USA starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard allowed the World team’s Xander Bogaerts to reach first base which, thanks to Hedges, was as far as he would get. With two outs and the count at 2-2 Bogaerts attempted to steal second base but was thrown out by Hedges, who delivered a fast and accurate throw. The USA team would go on to win 4-2. Hedges caught five innings and went 0-2 at the plate.
The team won the program’s first ever ASA Central LA/South Bay District championship on June 23. The 12U All-Stars also won their own tournament, the Capo Classic, earlier this year. The 12U Capo Girls Softball All-Stars are: Caitlyn Sung, Jordan Parkhurst, Haylie Wellman, Taylor Hooper, Kevyn Banda, Alexis White, Kyra Massucco, Angelica Gonzalez, Alyson Salas, Mariah Bohl and Claire Steines. The team was coached by Dan Massucco and his assistants, Jason White and Jim Steines. The lower-age levels of Capo Girls Softball also did well this year and helped provide another first for the program. For the first time in their history, there were enough players to field two 10U teams. The 10U All-Star Gold team took home third place at the district tournament and qualified for the California State Championships. Results for the 10U All-Stars were not available at press time. The club also fielded a 10U All-Star Silver team. CD
Austin Hedges. Courtesy photo
Hedges has been playing high Class A ball for the Padres minor league affiliate Lake Elsinore. Through 60 games he is batting .263 with three home runs and 25 RBIs. Hedges missed roughly a month of the season after being hit in the hand by a pitch but has rebounded nicely. Page 20
In his first year of professional ball, while playing for Fort Wayne (A), Hedges batted .279 with 10 home runs and 56 RBIs. His bat has always been projected as average but his defensive abilities are what separate Hedges from other catching prospects. He boasts a career .982 fielding percentage and has thrown out 33 percent of all runners attempting to steal on him. He was ranked No. 73 by MLB.com in their 2013 top prospects list and is considered the No. 4 prospect in the Padres organization by Baseball America. CD www.thecapistranodispatch.com
SPORTS & OUTDOORS
Q&A With San Juan Hills Head Golf Pro Ray Ricardo By Steve Breazeale The Capistrano Dispatch
ay Ricardo fell into becoming a certified PGA instructor and head golf professional at San Juan Hills Golf Club. After graduating from the University of Hawaii, where he played for the football team, Ricardo entered the food and beverage services industry. He owned restaurants, tended bar and cooked. When he returned home to Orange County, he became a regular at San Juan Hills. One day, when the kitchen was empty handed, an employee who knew Ricardo asked him to jump on the line and help out. After spending a few hours cooking, Ricardo was asked to help out at the bar, another place that needed an extra hand. Never one to say “no,” Ricardo stepped in and performed well enough to grab the attention of the owners. He was offered a job and began working part-time in the kitchen and bar. “That was over 22 years ago,” Ricardo recalled with a smile while sitting on the patio outside the course’s clubhouse on a Wednesday afternoon. We sat down with Ricardo, who has been the club pro since 1995, to get his thoughts on how to have a good round, the state of golf in Orange County and how a leopard shark once caused his email inbox to overflow. THE CAPISTRANO DISPATCH: Unless you are a golfer, not many people know exactly what a head pro does. What’s a normal day like for you? RAY RICARDO: Every day is different, really. I do the operations in the pro shop, the sales. I control the tee box and make sure everyone is here doing their jobs. I make sure we are prepared and ready to go when the door opens. I make sure the flow of traffic on the golf course is steady, ensure the safety of the golfers, maintain pace. Greet and treat people the best possible way and make them feel comfortable and relaxed. CD: I heard a story that you set the course record out here but you did it in an unusual way. Tell me about that day. RR: The first time I set the record, I tied it another time, I did it with an old Daiwa ladies’ driver. It just so happened that my driver was being repaired, so I had the Daiwa from one of our rental sets and I borrowed it just to go play. Man, I could talk to that driver. I could go left, right, high, low—whatever I wanted to do with that driver, I could do. I hit it a decent distance, but I could control it. That’s when I figured out you don’t have to bomb the ball 300 yards to score well. You just have to be able
The Capistrano Dispatch July 26-August 8, 2013
Ray Ricardo has been working at San Juan Hills Golf Club for over 22 years. Photo by Steve Breazeale
“The most important thing out of all of it is just go out and remember to enjoy golf. It’s just a game. You forget it’s just a game. You cannot completely dominate this game, you can’t control everything. You can have days like that … But it is a game of mishits. The guy with the least amount of mistakes is going to win.” — Ray Ricardo to control your play. With that driver I could do that. I shot a 60 but had to add a stroke and make it a 61 because the course was playing under different conditions. Turns out later someone borrowed the driver and broke it. I was going to cry, it was like losing a girlfriend (laughs). CD: Slow play is a hot-button issue here in Orange County. How do you attempt to address that problem here at San Juan Hills? RR: I always say play well and play fast. If you don’t play well, still play fast. I tell people that and it sticks in their minds. What happens a lot of times is that people are so disrespectful to the people behind them. They don’t care. All we ask is to keep up with the groups in front of you. Enjoy yourselves but keep in mind the people behind you as well. Play ready golf. If you’re ready to go, go and hit it. CD: What’s the weirdest or funniest thing you’ve seen out on the golf course? RR: I was playing on a course in Hawaii one time. This guy in the men’s club there had a real bad temper. Page 22
Whenever he played bad you knew about it. He would yell and scream and throw clubs and stuff. So one day we got done and he was playing behind us. We were watching from the clubhouse. He comes in and had a bad hole. After they got done playing, he grabs his bag and throws it in the lake that was next to the hole. Later we see him walk down to the lake with a cart guy and he tried to give him money to get in the lake and get his bag. The kid said ‘no,’ so he goes in there and gets his bag, brings it out to the side, takes his wallet and keys out of there and boom, throws it back in the lake. CD: This course made national news when a leopard shark was found out on a tee box. What was the response you got when that happened? RR: It was all over the internet. I had a guy I know in Brazil and a guy in Chile send me emails. Even Tiger Woods tweeted about it. All over the country, I got a bunch of stuff. People asked ‘What will you guys do for business? That can’t be true,’ and I had to say, ‘Dude, it happened, I was here.’ But it was a big, big
deal. I wish we would’ve known what happened to the shark. The guy who went and dropped him back off in the ocean said he saw him swim away, so hopefully he’s still out there. CD: What’s the best advice you can give to the average golfer? RR: A lot of people don’t understand that golf is a game of opposites. The harder you swing, the less distance you’re going to get. Everyone tries to swing so hard and hit it so far that it’s not going to go anywhere. So to me, tempo is so important … You can see a guy who is 5-feet-8-inches tall who has a great swing, he can hit the ball 300 yards. Then you see a guy who’s 6-feet-4-inches try and kill the ball and it doesn’t go anywhere. The most important thing out of all of it is just go out and remember to enjoy golf. It’s just a game. You forget it’s just a game. You cannot completely dominate this game, you can’t control everything. You can have days like that … But it is a game of mishits. The guy with the least amount of mistakes is going to win. CD www.thecapistranodispatch.com