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INSIDE: Check Out Our Annual Inside/ Outside Home Guide OUR COMMUNITY, OUR VOICE



AUGUST 9–22, 2019 • VOLUME 17, ISSUE 15

Roping up the Competition Contestants Look to RMV Rodeo as Launchpad to the Finals E Y E O N S J C / PAG E 7

With the PRCA season winding down, the Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo is an important step for contestants hoping to compete in the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas this December. Photo: Allison Jarrell

City Seeks Community Feedback on Open Space Use with Online Survey EYE ON SJC/PAGE 3

Target Looks to Replace Ralphs in San Juan EYE ON SJC/PAGE 4

State Football Participation Hits 20-Year Low SPORTS/PAGE 26




The city earlier this month launched an online survey to gather additional feedback from the community on how to use San Juan Capistrano’s Northwest Open Space. Photo: Shawn Raymundo

What’s Up With... Five things San Juan should know this week City Seeks Community Feedback on Open Space Use with Online Survey THE LATEST: More than a month after a mayoral committee conducted a pair of public workshops to gather input on how San Juan Capistrano’s Northwest Open Space should be used, the city this month launched a community survey that seeks to gain additional feedback from residents. The online survey, which can be found on the city’s website, coincides with the city’s continued efforts to iron out the municipal code’s inconsistent and ambiguous language related to open space use and zoning. The Northwest Open Space Community Survey “allows residents, visitors and business owners to share their thoughts on potential future use of the property,” the city’s website states, while noting that it takes a few minutes to complete and encourages the public to participate. Those who participate in the survey are asked a handful of questions pertaining to the use of the open space. “What features and/or amenities would you like to see at the Northwest Open Space?” the first question asks. Listed are several options, including picnic areas, camping, amphitheater, live entertainment, athletic fields, community gardens The Capistrano Dispatch August 9–22, 2019

and eating and drinking establishments. The list also includes the Putuidem Village Community Park Project—the city’s longstanding plans to construct a cultural center honoring the Acjachemen tribe on a portion of the Northwest Open Space. That project has been put on pause while the city works to fix the municipal code. The survey then looks to gauge the community’s support for the Putuidem project by asking whether it should be built by the city. It also asks whether the participant would support the $2 million project if all or a significant portion of it were paid for by a private individual or group. Other questions in the survey include “How often do you visit the Norwest Open Space?” and “What is the primary purpose of your visit?” Toward the end of the survey, participants are also asked to rank their preferred amenities, features and objectives. WHAT’S NEXT: During the second and final open space workshop in late June, City Manager Ben Siegel, answering a resident’s question, said the next step would be for city staff to receive direction from councilmembers, on what they would like to see, and then provide them with policy recommendations on how to implement and move forward. EDITOR’S NOTE: An extended version of the story can be found at—Shawn Raymundo

Council Lets Parking Fee Increase Stand after Weighing its Repeal THE LATEST: City council on Tuesday, Aug. 6, considered rolling back a temporary parking rate hike at the downtown parking

structure, as the owner of San Juan’s only movie theater has said the fee increase is negatively impacting his business. After a discussion and lengthy public comment portion at city hall, the council ultimately decided to let the current summertime rates at the Franciscan Plaza Parking Structure expire after Labor Day weekend, as planned. The fee hikes were part of a pilot program the city enacted this past May in which the plaza began to charge $2 an hour for stalls that were previously designated as free for three hours. Additionally, the program, which began June 7 and is scheduled to end Sept. 2, temporarily raised rates for the overnight spots and launched a valet service on weekends in the downtown corridor. Hoping to create more turnover in the structure, the city proposed the rate increases, as several downtown business owners had opined that employees were abusing the free spots and taking away availability from customers. While the temporary fees were meant to get more patrons into the local restaurants and shops, it has had the opposite effect on the Regency Theatre, according to its president, Lyndon Golin. “The concept to charge for parking is a deterrent to park in the structure; however, it’s only going to deter the community who made the downtown a success,” Golin told the council. Mayor Brian Maryott said he wanted to have the discussion of potentially repealing only the $2 rate hike ahead of schedule, after meeting with Golin, who told him of the fees’ negative impact. Golin said that since the pilot program launched in June, the theater has heard from angry customers displeased with paying for hourly parking in addition to paying the admission price of seeing a movie. Some of the customers, he said, were even given refunds. “The theater will lose business if people have to pay (for parking) to see a movie,” he said. Rather than making all downtown patrons pay for parking, Golin urged the council to consider employing a validation system for Regency customers. Such an idea was backed by many residents who echoed Golin’s concerns, as well as business owners in the Franciscan Plaza who advocated in favor of keeping the parking fees. Raymond Dagher, one of the owners of the Franciscan Plaza, asked the city to keep the new parking fees to prevent people from overstaying and abusing the previously free spots. He also supported a validation parking system, but only for patrons of the Franciscan Plaza businesses. WHAT’S NEXT: The city does not plan on making a determination as to whether it

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will permanently raise the parking structure rates until it has received a report from the city on its feasibility. The current plan is to use the pilot program to collect data that will be presented to the council this fall. The councilmembers decided to let the program run its course, believing it would defeat the purpose of it being a pilot. “My inclination is to not shut down this pilot program . . . to shut it down now before we take those measurements is an exercise in nothing,” said Mayor Pro Tem Troy Bourne.—SR

Neighborhood Implores City to Shut Down Unpermitted Wedding Venue THE LATEST: Residents of a San Juan neighborhood off Aguacate Road have turned to the city to end what they believe is an unpermitted wedding venue being run out of a private home. At the city council’s Aug. 6 meeting, a handful of those residents spoke out against one of their neighbors who has been hosting a series of weddings, which, they say, has created a nuisance from noise and traffic congestion. One resident, Scott Doll, claimed that the property owners have promoted their home as a wedding venue, “effectively thumbing their noses at the city and expressing total disregard for the legal rights of us, their neighbors.” “You got to go physically shut this down,” Doll said at the council meeting. “That’s the only way you’re going to stop these people.” Gabrielle O’Connor, another local resident, recalled speaking with the owners of the property, who had said they were building a home and home office “But this was a lie,” O’Connor said. “What she was, in fact, doing was building an event center for parties.” The owner of the home in question, Tonya Picerne, told The Capistrano Dispatch on Wednesday, Aug. 7, that she has hosted some weddings for her friends, but insisted she’s not running a wedding venue business on the property and never meant to cause any rift with her neighbors. “I don’t want to cause conflict with my neighbors,” she said. “I had one wedding for my girlfriend—my girlfriend; I’m not making money, I’m not in business to do weddings.” Joel Rojas, the city’s development service director, acknowledged that the city is well aware of the situation and had already taken steps to shut the venue down by issuing citations and submitting a cease-and-desist letter. The last citation, he said, was for $1,000. (Cont. on page 4)

EYE ON SJC (Cont. from page 3) “It’s clear that they do not have any intent to stop, as the neighbors have indicated tonight,” Rojas said, adding that the city has been in talks with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Orange County Fire Authority and other local agencies to put together a coordinated approach in stopping the events. Based on the outpouring of individuals who testified on the matter Tuesday, the city council agreed to go back into a closed session later that night for further discussion. As of press time, it’s not clear what actions the council decided to take, if any. According to Picerne, she had spent the past few years designing and constructing her home so when it was complete, she wanted to use the space by allowing one of her best friends to have her wedding there. “What I was thinking was an innocent thing, helping out somebody, has turned into something that I didn’t know was so illegal,” she said. Afterward, one of Picerne’s friends, who she said is an event planner, asked her to host more weddings for other close friends. She emphasized that she has not accepted any money for hosting the weddings. “I was told that as long as I don’t make any money that it should be legal, so I just finished building this house, and I thought I could host some weddings without it being a big deal if it wasn’t a business and making money off of it,” Picerne said. “That was my naïve understanding, I would say.” Some of those who brought the issue to light during the council meeting noted that there have been websites marketing the property for weddings as the Pepper Tree Estate. Picerne said she’s familiar with the online marketing; however, she said, it was her friend’s clients who created the postings. A Google search for Pepper Tree Estate offers sites such as Wedding Wire, an online resource for couples planning weddings. The “exclusive venue offers Southern hospitality in the convenient location of Southern California. The modern farmhouse structure is located on several acres of pristine land, presenting endless space for entertainment,” the website says of the property. On the wedding planning site, the venue is shown to be operated by The Event Loft, which describes itself on its own website as “Southern California’s highest profile event design firm” and offers several exclusive properties, none of which includes the Pepper Tree Estate—the Aguacate house. As of press time, The Event Loft had not returned requests for comment. WHAT’S NEXT: In the past eight weeks, there have been about six weddings, with the next one scheduled for Aug. 17, according to residents at the council meeting. The Capistrano Dispatch August 9–22, 2019

Pictured is a small-format Target in Mission Viejo. Target Corporation is proposing to add a similar one near San Juan Capistrano’s downtown district, potentially replacing the Ralphs grocery store on Del Obispo Street. Photo: Shawn Raymundo

Picerne said that event has been canceled. “So, yeah, we’re done. We’re done,” she said, repeating herself for emphasis. “I don’t want to break laws; I don’t want my neighbors to be upset.”—SR

NRC to Discuss Fuel Loading Operations at SONGS with Town Hall Forum THE LATEST: The federal government’s regulatory arm on nuclear energy will lead a town hall forum in San Juan Capistrano this month to go over the recent resumption of storing spent nuclear fuel at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). The Nuclear Regulatory Commission intends to use the public meeting at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center to provide the local community with details on its “ongoing inspection activities” as well as answer questions from the audience. “We scheduled a meeting for later this month to provide people with an opportunity to meet directly with NRC staff and get an update on our inspection activities since fuel loading operations resumed (at SONGS),” said Victor Dricks, senior public affairs officer for the NRC. Dricks noted that the NRC has regularly participated in public meetings and events such as the SONGS Community Engagement Panel, in which officials have responded to questions and addressed comments related to the Commission’s oversight activities. The forum comes more than a year after an incident involving a canister carrying spent nuclear fuel had occurred at SONGS. During the incident on Aug. 3, 2018, the canister was being placed into a vertical receptacle but wasn’t aligned properly, causing it to get stuck on a guid-

ing ring. Southern California Edison, the owner of the decommissioned power plant, and its contractor Holtec International, which built the canisters for spent fuel at SONGS, halted downloading operations, prompting a nearly yearlong effort to make corrective actions. Edison has said that in the months following the incident, it had reviewed its transfer operations and adjusted its program to include updated procedures, implement “better training” and add “more intrusive oversight.” The NRC penalized SCE with a fine of $116,000 this past March. Two months later, the Commission gave Edison the greenlight to start transferring spent fuel into dry storage again, determining that operations could be safely resumed. Edison made the announcement last month that it had officially resumed its continuing efforts to place the plant’s nuclear waste into a dry storage facility. WHAT’S NEXT: NRC officials will hold the town hall meeting at SJC Community Center, located at 25925 Camino Del Avion, on Aug. 20 from 7-8:30 p.m.—SR

Target Looks to Replace Ralphs in San Juan THE LATEST: Target could soon be rolling out a location near downtown San Juan Capistrano, as the popular department store chain is eyeing the space currently occupied by Ralphs on Del Obispo Street. The Target Corporation is proposing to replace Ralphs with one of its small-format stores typically found in dense suburban neighborhoods and meant to give shoppers a quick-trip option when picking up supplies. “Target’s interest in locating a store within San Juan Capistrano is rooted in the growing desire of residents of local

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neighborhoods to not have to leave their community to get their basic daily goods and services, as well as many residents seeking to take advantage of shopping online,” the company said in a letter to the city. Citing a conceptual floor plan Target had submitted, City Manager Ben Siegel told The Capistrano Dispatch that the proposed Target store would include a section for groceries, a pharmacy, Starbucks and other items typically found at Target stores. Siegel also said the city doesn’t anticipate that there will be additional traffic created from the potential change from Ralphs to Target. Andrew Stroscher, owner of the shopping center property where Ralphs is located, said he had spoken with the grocery store company about renewing the lease for the building, but an agreement couldn’t be reached. “I can tell you in speaking as the landlord, I gave Ralphs an opportunity to stay, but we’re going with Target,” Stroscher said, adding, “Ultimately, we couldn’t come to a deal with Ralphs.” If Target and Stroscher move forward with the plans, all of the changeover, he said, is expected to occur in 2020. As of press time, Ralphs had not responded to a request for comment. Target this past June submitted an application to the city proposing to adjust the façade of the existing building, install new signage and make accessibility improvements to the parking lot, according to the city. In its June 6 letter, Target said it plans on making improvements to the building, such as repainting it and stabilizing and restoring the clay tile roof. Improvements to the building’s energy efficiency are also planned by updating the mechanical and plumbing systems and implementing LED lighting systems. “We’re committed to being respectful of the community aesthetic as we integrate our store into the community,” Target said in its letter. It later added: “Both Target’s signage and the current tenant’s signage is red, so the new signs should blend in harmoniously with the other existing design elements in the center.” Because Target’s proposal includes the installation of three new buildingmounted signs that exceed city standards, such a sign-permit request, Siegel said, first needs to be approved by the city’s Planning Commission, likely sometime in September. WHAT’S NEXT: Siegel said Target also requested to have the Design Review Committee look over its request before it goes to the Planning Commission. The DRC’s meeting to review the proposal is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 22. EDITOR’S NOTE: An extended version of the story can be found at—SR


Roping up the Competition Contestants Look to RMV Rodeo as Launchpad to the Finals BY SHAWN RAYMUNDO, THE CAPISTRANO DISPATCH


odeo competitions have come a long way since a humble start in 1869, when—if the stories are true—two competing ranches in Colorado held an informal exhibition to settle an argument over which was the best at everyday cowboy tasks. While the cowboys of the past and present share a certain grit necessary to compete in ranch-based contests such as bull riding, saddle bronc riding and tie-down roping, participants and the sport itself have changed over the years. Nowadays, there are far more rodeos for cowboys to compete in during a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) season, there is more prize money on the line, and the cowboys also train more seriously. “Today, cowboys and cowgirls also travel internationally, win more prize money and train rigorously, paralleling other professional athletes,” Gilbert Aguirre, executive vice president of ranch operations at Rancho Mission Viejo, said in an email. Taylor Santos, a PRCA tie-down roping competitor, echoed Aguirre’s sentiments, noting that many current rodeo participants differ from the cowboys of previous generations. “There are so many more cowboys nowadays, compared to the ’70s and ’80s, who are using personal trainers and going to the gym,” said Santos, who was the co-champion in the Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo’s tie-down roping contest last year. Santos notes that while rodeos have certainly evolved, its ranch-based traditions have remained the same. “In some ways it has evolved, but in some ways it’s still all about the tradition and waking up every day and putting on your cowboy boots and cowboy hat and being a cowboy,” he said. As to whether Santos believes he’s evolved since first entering the world of rodeo, he said he has learned a lot over the years, including how to win. “There’s such a learning curve with rodeo, you know? . . . You’re always trying to get better and hone your skills,” he said. “But I feel like I’ve learned a lot more about how to win and compete. I think my roping and horsemanship have gotten a lot better in the past few years.” Santos is ranked 10th in the PRCA’s world standings for tie-down roping, havThe Capistrano Dispatch August 9–22, 2019

Taylor Santos and his young horse, Viejo, at home on the ranch. Photo: Courtesy of Taylor Santos

ways it has evolved, but in some ways it’s “stillInallsome about the tradition and waking up every day

and putting on your cowboy boots and cowboy hat and being a cowboy. —Taylor Santos

ing earned about $68,041 so far, according to the PRCA as of Wednesday, Aug. 7. Last season, he earned roughly $59,342, finishing in 22nd place. A cowboy is ranked based on the amount of money he’s earned throughout the season. The upcoming RMV Rodeo at the end of this month has one of the biggest payouts of the season, making it one of the most important competitions of the year. In total, the purse for the 2019 RMV Rodeo is $180,000, according to Aguirre. The top 30 contestants in the world will make their way down to South Orange County to compete in six different categories: saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping and team roping. This year’s RMV Rodeo will also see the addition of a cowgirl contest called Break Away Roping, which, Aguirre explained, is the equivalent to tie-down roping for cowboys and the fastest event at this year’s rodeo. “It’s a beautiful display of teamwork between a cowgirl and her horse,” he said in the email. “After a head start, the mounted cowgirl gives chase and ropes the spirited

calf. Once the rope leaves the cowgirl’s horse, her time stops—all happening in three to four seconds.” For competitors, the RMV Rodeo is particularly important, because it’s one of the final events of the PRCA season, which culminates with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas every December. “Cowboys and cowgirls on the bubble can use the RMV Rodeo to catapult them into the top 15 that qualify to go to Las Vegas,” Aguirre said in the email. Like many of his fellow competitors, Santos is looking to head to Las Vegas at the end of the season. “If I do well in San Juan, it’ll really increase my chances of making the Finals,” he said. Santos, a native of the Central Coast of California who is now in his third professional year with the PRCA and in 2016 was the All-Around Rookie of the Year for all of professional rodeo, said he looks forward to competing in the RMV Rodeo, as it’s a great rodeo and also gives him a day to visit loved ones. “We’re ‘rodeoing’ year-round, so I get to go home for a day and see all my family and friends,” Santos told The Capistrano

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Dispatch by phone from Colorado. “It’s just nice to get back in my home state and see everybody.” Santos also shares a bit of a kinship with the RMV Rodeo crew, as he attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with Aguirre’s grandson, Brent Freese. Santos even credits Aguirre with keeping the tradition of rodeo competition alive at The Ranch. “He has some the best stock anywhere at his rodeo, and it really highlights the guys who ride really good horses and use their horsemanship as an advantage at his rodeo,” he said, later adding that “it’s awesome what Gilbert’s done. He takes so much pride in every aspect of producing this rodeo, and it shows.” This season, Santos has already won four rodeos: the Sundre Pro Rodeo, Riversdale Rodeo, Redding Rodeo and Santa Maria Elks Rodeo. When he returns to San Juan Capistrano and the RMV Rodeo, he will naturally be looking to reclaim his championship title. Santos, who will turn 25 on the final day of this year’s RMV Rodeo, comes from a long line of cowboys and cowgirls. “My great-grandfather, my grandfather and my mom have always had deep rodeo ties in California, so I’m a fourth-generation California cowboy,” said Santos, whose older brother, Lane Santos-Karney, also competes in PRCA rodeos. “So I guess it’s bred into us, and I’ve always been into rodeo and the cowboy way of life.” With the road to the National Finals Rodeo being a long one, Santos said the main thing he does to stay in shape and remain competitive is to get as much sleep and rest as he possibly can. It’s easy, he said, to get worn down after spending several hours behind a steering wheel. “The main thing is trying to get good rest,” he said. That applies to his trusted steed, as well. “The animals of rodeo are so important, so whenever you drive to a rodeo and get there in the middle of the night, you take care of your horse first,” said Santos, whose No. 1 horse is Hank, and reinvested some of his earnings from the win at last year’s RMV Rodeo to buy a young horse he named Viejo in honor of this elite event. “We feed our horses before we feed ourselves,” he said. “They’re our partners and our first priority, and they’re so important to rodeo and the rodeo lifestyle.” The RMV Rodeo competitions are scheduled to kick off at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24. The gates to the two-day event open at 1 p.m., welcoming guests to entertainment and vendors. The opening ceremony will start at 3:45 p.m. A concert and dance will close out the first day of the rodeo, with a performance by Big City Hillbillies at 6 p.m. The gates will reopen Sunday, Aug. 24, at 11:30 a.m., with competitions beginning at 1:30 p.m. To find out more information or purchase tickets, visit CD


Community Meetings MONDAY, AUG. 12 Youth Advisory Board Meeting 5:30 p.m. The City’s Youth Advisory Board will meet at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. To see the agenda, visit TUESDAY, AUG. 13 Planning Commission Meeting 6:30 p.m. The city’s Planning Commission will meet at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. To see the agenda, visit WEDNESDAY, AUG. 14 The Ecology Center’s 13th Green Feast, celebrating local leaders in the culinary community, is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21. Photo by Scott Sporleder


The Ecology Center to Host Annual Farm-to-Table Dinner The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano is preparing to host its 13th Green Feast, an annual farm-to-table dinner, which celebrates local leaders in the culinary community who will prepare a meal using ingredients grown at the farm. “Together, we celebrate the abundance of the season and taste the delicious creative expressions in food grown, sourced, and prepared within our region of Southern California,” The Ecology Center said in a press release. This year’s Green Feast will honor women, as Chef Jennifer Sherman of Chez Panisse and Cathy McKnight, the former executive chef for Eilo’s Kitchen, have been selected to head up the dinner by leading a “powerhouse of incredibly talented women,” The Ecology Center said. “Each year, Green Feast provides a unique opportunity for leaders in the farm-to-table movement to share their inspiration with our community,” The Ecology Center said on its website. “As we celebrate our 13th Green Feast on our founding property, we are proud to share a meal in honor of women. “Innovative chefs and local purveyors such as Amy Lebrun, Danielle Kuhn, Dominca Rice, and Erika Fronseca” will work with Sherman and McKnight on the dinner, which is held at sunset to provide a beautiful backdrop for guests. The 13th Green Feast will be held at The Ecology Center farm in San Juan located at 32701 Alipaz Street on Saturday, Sept. 21. The price to attend is $350 a person. The The Capistrano Dispatch August 9–22, 2019

meal is to be served family-style, and guests can select their seats upon arrival, as there is no reserved seating. Reservations can be purchased at For comments or additional information, contact The Ecology Center at 949.443.4223 or

New Leadership for Mission Hospital Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo and Laguna Beach has appointed a new chief executive, longtime health care executive Seth R. Teigen. Teigen was most recently president at Ascension Healthcare’s St. Francis and Franklin hospitals in Wisconsin and has more than 23 years of experience working in the nonprofit health care system. Teigen succeeds Tarek Salaway, who relocated to the Bay Area late last year. Teigen was scheduled to join Mission Hospital on Aug. 5, on the heels of the opening of the Judi and Bill Leonard Institute for Cancer, Prevention, Treatment, and Wellness. This will serve as the only comprehensive cancer center in South Orange County. The Institute will house a research and clinical trial program, a nurse navigation program, radiation oncology, imaging services, an infusion center, complementary therapies and an education center. Mission Hospital has been serving the community for more than 40 years and provides a full range of specialty health care services from highly trained professionals. Teigen will make an excellent addition to the Mission Hospital team, given all the recognition he’s received for his work. Teigen has been recognized as one of the 50 Rising Stars in Healthcare under 40 by Becker’s Hospital Review in 2016 and Young Healthcare Executive of the Year in Wisconsin by the American College of Healthcare Executives in 2012.

“Seth is an inspiring leader. He is energetic, innovative and, most importantly, aligned with the mission and values of St. Providence St. Joseph Health to provide our communities with safe, quality, and compassionate health care,” said Victor S. Jordan, Health Network Executive and chief operating officer, Providence St. Joseph Health, Southern California Region.

Service King Collision to Donate Repaired Vehicle to Nonprofit Organization Service King Collision Repair of San Juan Capistrano this month is donating a vehicle to a nonprofit organization that has worked to provide mental health care and assistance to disadvantaged children in parts of Southern California. On Thursday, Aug. 15, Service King Collision will present a 2013 Nissan Altima and car seats to officials with The Guidance Center, benefiting the Laguna Beach-based organization in its efforts to transport children to and from their service appointments. The charitable donation is part of Recycled Rides, a program led by the National Auto Body Council, which collaborates with insurers, collision repairers, paint suppliers and parts vendors “to repair and donate vehicles to deserving individuals and service organizations in local communities throughout the country.” Service King has partnered with Allstate Insurance Company and Enterprise to donate the vehicle to The Guidance Center. The repair shop is hosting an event for the heads of the nonprofit to collect the Altima from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 15. Service King is located at 26361 Via De Anza, San Juan Capistrano. Have something interesting for the community? Send your information to

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San Juan Capistrano Rotary Club Offsite Meeting 6:15-8 p.m. The Rotary Club of San Juan Capistrano meets every Wednesday and will hold a special field trip meeting at the Ketel One headquarters located at 30 Journey, Aliso Viejo. For more information, visit FRIDAY, AUG. 16 Coffee Chat 8 a.m. A spirited town hall forum on community issues. Occurs every Friday at Hennessey’s Tavern, 31761 Camino Capistrano. All are welcome. Follow Coffee Chat SJC on Facebook for more information. MONDAY, AUG. 19 Parks, Recreation, Youth and Senior Services, Trails and Equestrian Commission Meeting 5: 30 p.m. The city’s commission on parks and recreation will meet at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. To see the agenda, visit TUESDAY, AUG. 20 Utilities Commission Meeting 8 a.m. The City of San Juan Capistrano’s Utilities Commission will meet at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. To see the agenda, visit City Council and Successor Agency Meeting 5 p.m. The city’s governing body will meet at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. To see the agenda, visit FRIDAY, AUG. 23 The next edition of The Capistrano Dispatch publishes.



SJC Businesses, Organizations Get into Western Spirt with Rodeo Events BY SHAWN RAYMUNDO, THE CAPISTRANO DISPATCH


hen the annual Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo comes to town, it brings with it an air of excitement for both the local community and spectators from far-away towns who want to enjoy some good, old-fashioned bull riding competitions and other ranch-based contests. Here in San Juan Capistrano and Rancho Mission Viejo, local businesses and organizations work to share in that excitement by offering plenty of fun and thrilling action, so the party doesn’t just start and stop at the rodeo. To help get into that Western spirit, here’s a breakdown of events leading up to, during and after the rodeo weekend. The Shea Center to Host its Annual Cowboy Camp for Kids As one of the rodeo’s top sponsors, the J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center

will be holding its annual Cowboy Camp on Aug. 14 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. for their clients. About 20 kids will be invited to interact and learn special roping techniques from the RMV Rodeo cowboys. The children will be able to watch several roping demonstrations, as well as participate in several horse and riding activities. All those invited by the Shea Center must RSVP in advance. For any additional information, call 949.240.8441.

Big City Hillbillies to Play the Rodeo To celebrate the end of the first day of competition, the RMV Rodeo will hold a concert and dance featuring the Big City Hillbillies. The band will be playing several catchy, pop-style songs and pieces. Big City Hillbillies will also be playing a couple of their own, true country songs. The concert and dance kicks off at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24, at Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park.

El Adobe Offers Tequila Tasting Ahead of Rodeo San Juan Capistrano’s El Adobe is hosting a Tequila Testing as a pre-rodeo celebration on Aug. 22. Guests will be able to try different types of tequilas, as well as several appetizers. The tequila tasting will be from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at El Adobe de Capistrano. Tickets are $30 per person; guests can RSVP or pay at the door. To RSVP, call 949.493.1163 or email office@

Bad to the Bone to Celebrate Post-Rodeo Cookout Bad to the Bone will be hosting its 11th annual After Rodeo Celebration on Saturday, Aug. 24 from 7 to 11 p.m. Following the RMV Rodeo, guests can head to Bad to the Bone BBQ, where they can enjoy live music and their usual BBQ menu options in the parking lot. The Kelly Rae Band will be playing live country music during the celebration. For more information, call 949.218.0227 or visit CD

Experience the Unmatched Lifestyle Enjoyed at the Award-Winning Village of Esencia New homebuyers searching for a wonderful quality of life are moving into the Village of Esencia at Rancho Mission Viejo—recently named America’s “Best Master-Planned Community”—drawn by The Ranch’s award-winning amenities, vibrant social life, breathtaking views and variety of new homes. “Our lives have become much more interesting since moving here,” said Gary and Laurel Warren, who reside in one of the Gavilan 55+ neighborhoods by Lennar Homes. “We work at the farm, we take a watercolor class, do yoga and participate in morning walking groups. We love that there are so many things to do here!” From its scenic South Orange County hilltop location, the Village of Esencia is just a short drive away from miles of idyllic Southern California coastline, museums and preserved historic sites, natural wonders and theme parks. Neighborhoods offer a full range of single-level


Fire Watch Training

7-10 p.m. Help out your community by becoming a South Orange County Fire Watch volunteer. Training will focus on understanding basic fire behavior, identifying signs of wildfire, dealing with suspect behavior, providing useful fire information and contacting proper fire authorities. Ladera Ranch Fire Station 58 located at 58 Station Way, Ladera Ranch. 949.489.9778. THURSDAY, AUG. 15

Volunteer Orientation and Training

6-9 p.m. This fun and informational orientation is the first step in becoming an official Reserve Volunteer. Learn about The Reserve’s history, philosophy and mission, as well as skills for working with the public. Meet other volunteers and learn how you can help preserve Reserve lands through conservation and education. This training is the first step in becoming a Certified Reserve Volunteer. Certified Reserve Volunteers are specially trained volunteers that lead and co-lead Reserve programs. RMV Presentation Center, 28811 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano. 949.489.9778. FRIDAY, AUG. 16

Hilltop Bar Night & Swirl. Sniff. Sip.

The Village of Esencia at Rancho Mission Viejo was recently named the “Best Master Planned Community” in America. Photo: Courtesy of Rancho Mission Viejo

and multi-story homes ranging in price from about $500,000 to more than $1 million. The beautiful homes were designed for a wide range of lifestyles, including first-time homebuyers, couples, families, adventurous empty-nesters and, at the Gavilan neighborhoods, for residents aged 55 and up. Residents enjoy access to the robust RanchLife program, which includes a number of fun daily, weekly and monthly events. Seasonal favorites, community-wide parties, cultural activities, happy hours, on-site programming by local organizations and more are provided, exclusively for residents. The National Association of Home Builders honored the Village of Esencia earlier this year with a Gold Award as North America’s Best Master-Planned Commu-

nity of the Year, selected from more than 1,300 entries. At completion, the villages on Rancho Mission Viejo will occupy approximately 6,000 acres or 25% of the historic 23,000-acre Rancho Mission Viejo, Orange County’s last working ranch, which has been held in the O’Neill/Avery/Moiso family since 1882. About 17,000 acres, or 75% of The Ranch, will be preserved for ranching, farming and the phased formation of a large habitat conservation area known as The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo. To learn more, visit or visit the Village of Esencia Visitors Center located within The NorthWalk Neighborhoods at Esencia.

A D V E R T O R I A L The Capistrano Dispatch August 9–22, 2019

Events at The Ranch

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5-9 p.m. The spacious event bar at The Hilltop Club is open every Friday evening, so come grab a drink, then stay to hang out with good friends and close neighbors. 65 Esencia Drive, Rancho Mission Viejo. 949.768.1882. ranchomissionviejo. com/events. SATURDAY, AUG. 17

So Long, Summer, Family Walk

8-10 a.m. Say so long to summer with a morning walk in nature. Observe how plants and animals on The Reserve survive the summer and prepare for fall. Make and take a summer-themed craft. Register or get on the wait list for this event by 4 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 16. The Richard and Donna O’Neill Conservancy. 28811 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano. 949.489.9778.



GUEST OPINION: Moments in Time by Jan Siegel

Cecelia Hunn Elected as New Matriarch


n 1967, The San Juan Capistrano Historical Society was the first Society in California to honor older men and women of the community with the title of “Patriarch” or “Matriarch.” To qualify for consideration, the applicant must have been born in San Juan Capistrano or have had parents who resided in the city when they were born, have lived most of their life in town, be among the older residents, in good health, willing to attend public functions and speak and participate in community service activities. Once appointed by the Historical Society, it is a lifetime appointment. There have been five Patriarchs since this honor has been bestowed: Mathias H. Belardes, Paul Abriso, Dick Mendelson, Julian Ramos and, currently, Happy Hunn. There have been seven Matriarchs. The first was Viviana Oliveras, and she was very proud of her Mexican heritage. Delphina Oliveras, whose maternal grandfather was Blas Aguilar, the last Mexican mayor of San Juan Capistrano, was next. Lucana Georgia Forster Isch followed and was the great-granddaughter of Don Juan Forster. Juanita Rios Foy was the fourth Matriarch and was a past president of the Capistrano Indian Council. Evelyne Lobo

Letters to the Editor HOW MANY MORE MUST DIE? Joanna Clark, San Juan Capistrano How many must die before Congress puts a stop to Trump’s xenophobic, hatefilled rhetoric—22 dead and 26 injured in El Paso, Texas and nine dead and 27 injured in Dayton, Ohio in less than 24 hours, bringing the number of mass shootings to 252 for 2019, with 281 killed and 1,025 injured. President Donald Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric did not just push his fellow candidates to the far right, it has gone beyond the political world and injected itself into everyday life, across dozens of states here and the world, in the most violent ways. On March 15, New Zealand felt the far-reaching sting of hate when 51 of their citizens were gunned down during worship services. Hate crimes with racial or ethnic bias jumped the day after Trump won the 2016 election, according to an analysis of FBI hate crime statistics. The FBI reported that hate crimes rose dynamically between 2016 and 2017 by The Capistrano Dispatch August 9–22, 2019

Villegas, sister to Clarence Lobo, chief of the Juaneño Indians, followed Foy. Dolores Wattenberg Meeker, a mission guide whose godmother was Eugenie Oyharzabal, came next. Then came Helen McMullen, a Juaneño descendent and mission guide. With the recent passing of McMullen, the Society has elected Cecelia Stansiele Hunn to be the eighth Matriarch. Hunn was raised in the Oyharzabal house, which sits on the property of the Historical Society. Although only one room of the house remains, Cecelia lived there with her 10 siblings and parents. There were two boys and MOMENTS nine girls. IN TIME By Jan Siegel The house had three bedrooms, a parlor, a dining room, kitchen and bath. Cecelia’s dad was a plumber. Her Juaneño heritage comes from her mother’s side of the family. She married Happy Hunn in 1956. They have four sons—Mike, John, Joe and Paul—six grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. This is the first time that the Matriarch and Patriarch are a married couple. 15.93%, as xenophobic, hate-filled rhetoric and actions came to dominate the news. Of the 8,828 hate crimes reported in 2017, nearly three out of five were motivated by race and ethnicity, with religion and sexual orientation the other two primary motivators. Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, responded by saying “someone in this administration probably should be arrested for negligent homicide.” Every person within the Trump administration and Congress who have stood idly by and done nothing to contain Trump’s xenophobic hate-filled rhetoric should be charged with the crime of “negligent homicide.” Unfortunately, self-preservation is the default mode of any politician, and protecting oneself is far more important than protecting one’s country. Amber Phillips, political writer for “The Fix,” points out: “Most of the congressional survivors of Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party went into self-preservation mode when Trump attacked a federal judge and again when he did not forcefully stand up for peaceful people protesting white supremacy.” So when Trump attacks someone, there is no political incentive for Republicans to say anything about it. Former Republican Congressman David Jolly said Monday on CNN that

Cecelia learned to make Native American baskets from her mother, a craft she stills does today. One of her sons got her interested in golf, and she and Happy play tournaments together. Cecelia has four holes-in-one to her credit; Happy only has three. The Society is honored to be able call Cecelia Hunn its Matriarch. You will be able to spend many Moments in Time with Cecilia and Happy as they participate in Historical Society and city-led activities representing the very best of our heritage and our culture. Jan Siegel is a 28-year resident of San Juan Capistrano. She served on the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission for 13 years and has been a volunteer guide for the San Juan Capistrano Friends of the Library’s architectural walking tour for 18 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 The Capistrano Dispatch or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at

every Republican up for re-election in 2020 should be removed from office. What do you think? Editor’s Note: As of Monday, Aug. 5, the number of mass shooting incidents in 2019 rose to 255, according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, which defines mass shootings as incidents in which four or more people were shot or killed.


Have something you’d like to say? Email your letter to no later than 8 a.m. on Monday morning. The Capistrano Dispatch reserves the right to edit reader-submitted letters for length and is not responsible for the claims made or information written by the writers. Limit your letters to 350 words or less. Please send with your valid email, phone number and address for verification by staff. Your address and phone number will not be published. CORRECTION: On page 7 of the July 26 edition of The Capistrano Dispatch, a story on The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo hosting a community service project for students incorrectly attributed information to Strategic Communications Principal Arlene Tendick. The information was provided by Reserve Executive Director Laura Coley Eisenburg.

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

HOW TO REACH US CITY EDITOR Shawn Raymundo, 949.388.7700, x108 SPORTS Zach Cavanagh, 949.388.7700, x110 ADVERTISING PRINT AND ONLINE


Tricia Zines, 949.388.7700, x107 GENERAL MANAGER Alyssa Garrett, 949.388.7700, x100

PICKET FENCE MEDIA Real Estate Sales > Debra Wells (SJC)

PUBLISHER Norb Garrett EDITORIAL City Editor, The Capistrano Dispatch > Shawn Raymundo City Editor, DP Times > Lillian Boyd

Multi-Media Assistant > Kendra Burns ART/DESIGN Art Director > Jasmine Smith Graphic Designer > Chelsie Rex

City Editor, SC Times > Cari Hachmann


Sports Editor > Zach Cavanagh Special Projects Editor > Andrea PapagianisCamacho

Finance Director > Mike Reed General Manager > Alyssa Garrett

Copy Editor > Randall Youngman

Accounting & Distribution Manager > Tricia Zines



Associate Publisher > Lauralyn Loynes

CONTRIBUTORS Megan Bianco, Tim Trent

> Traci Kelly (SC) > Debra Wells (SJC)


The Capistrano Dispatch, Vol. 17, Issue 15. The Dispatch (thecapistranodispatch) is published twice monthly by Picket Fence Media, publishers of the DP Times ( and the SC Times (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 2019. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.





30 Percent Federal Tax Credit for Solar Sunsets after 2019


he 30 percent solar investment tax credit has proven to be one of the most important federal policy mechanisms to incentivize clean energy in the United States, and it is scheduled to sunset in the coming months. Those who have yet to go solar are now rushing to take advantage of this federal incentive before it reduces in 2020, then disappears shortly after. The solar tax credit was approved in 2006 and has made solar affordable and accessible for hundreds of thousands of Americans. Residential and commercial solar has grown rapidly across the country, especially in California where rates are high, the sun is plentiful and the tax credit is a great bonus, which helped over 2 million families and businesses make the switch to solar. Many Californians are now adopting energy storage with their solar power systems as batteries can qualify to claim the 30 percent tax credit when paired with solar. Since the solar investment tax credit was enacted 13 years ago, the U.S. solar industry has grown by more than 10,000 percent, experiencing 53 percent growth annually and remains one of the nation’s fastest-growing industries. The solar investment tax credit was originally set to expire in 2016,

but was saved by a last-minute, bipartisan Omnibus Appropriations Act, which included an extension of the tax credit in its full amount through 2019. This extension includes a sunset clause, which sets the residential tax credit to reduce to 26 percent in 2020, 22 percent in 2021 and in 2022 it will be nonexistent. The commercial tax credit reduces to 10 percent in 2022 and remains at that level indefinitely. Solar power systems must be in operation with permission to operate by the local utility company by Dec. 31 to be eligible for the credit. “Annually, there is a rush from consumers to get their solar installed and turned on by the end of the year to claim the tax credit the following spring once they become aware of the deadline,” said Daniel Sullivan, founder and president of Sullivan Solar Power, “Given that this is the last year of the 30 percent tax credit, we highly recommend homeowners sign up to go solar before Sept. 30 so we can have your solar power system operational by the end of the year.” To learn more information on how to harness the power of the sun and capitalize on the 30 percent federal tax credit, attend a local seminar by visiting www. or visit


WELCOME TO INSIDE / OUTSIDE HOME It’s time to give your household that fresh, new look you’ve been wanting to do for a while now. The problem is, you’re just not sure where to start or how to begin. r ann al ide n interi r desi n and de rati n is here t hel . ith r nside tside s e ial section, you can explore various ways of giving y r livin s a e the date it needs. n this year s nside tside editi n e share tips on how to design your ideal space for relaxati n and meditati n as ell as er ays t arran e the rnit re in y r h me that ll all r a l harm ni s ener y als n n as en sh i.

y re a renter li e many millennials in th ran e nty y ll ant t read r ie e n the est ays t m ve r ard ith y r lanned rades that n t et y in tr le ith the landl rd. nd ith the end s mmer ast a r a hin e n many y are l in t thr ne last td r ash e re the all s e s re t he t r ti s n re arin y r nd the mmer arty.


Easy Updates for Renters By Haley Chi-Sing

aving a place of your own doesn’t quite feel offi ial ntil y ty r n si nat re stam n it. ever hen rentin an a artment h me et . it mi ht e sli htly m re di fi lt t ty r n t ist and s in n the s a e. So, where exactly does one start? Where should one look r advi e ertise deas r starters l first t y r trusted real estate agent or expert, so you can update and ren vate y r s a e t e me y r dream h me. i ntire has een in the real estate siness r m re than years e min ne ran e nty s leadin e erts and r essi nals n the mar et. ver the years ntire has een a le t are lly trim d n his t ri rities r renters hen datin their h me. s n a d et hether y have a r val r m y r landl rd and ma e s re y d n t dama e the ildin says the real estate a ent. ntire says the first ri rity r renters is t ma e a list of their wants and needs prior to updating anything in their h mes. his all s r the renters t stay ithin their d et hile still trans rmin their s a e int their dream h me. t als all s r the renters t tr ly lan t hat they ant and ima ine hat their s a e ld l li e. y ant t ne ntem rary r ld traditi nal rd y ant t h se a style that y ll ta e thr h t y r entire h se i re t hat y ant first and then r ard ntire says. ntire als em hasi es the im rtan e sti in t ne s rental a reement ri r t d in any dates r ren vati ns t the s a e. d intenti ned installment r alterati n in the s a e that is n t s e ified in the a reement an end stin the renter a air am nt at the end the lease a mista e made t ten y renters. ntire als lists his t ti s and re mmendati ns r renters l in t easily date and fi their s a e >> Work with colors: rdin t ntire renters an easily r ith the l rs and atm s heri a ents already availa le t them in the s a e. matter y r ideal style fi re t hat l rs and atterns y an se t a ent the s a e y have. ntire re mmends the se a lar e area r t n t nly add l r t the s a e t m letely t rn ar nd a r m. >> Add plants: lants an tr ly ma e a s a e me alive and rin a ne li ht t the atm s here. ntire as ins ired ith this i and easy h me additi n a ter seein an a artment livin r m ith di erent ty es and si es lants. t nly did they r ith the s a e the lants als enhan ed and r m ted a m re ea e l alm envir nment. >> Shop online: ith alm st every sh and st re nline st mers and lients an easily find their ideal ie e rnit re nline ith t leavin the m rt their h me. ntire s ests sin a te hni e alled r min hi h is taking a photo of your space and adding furniture and l rs nline ith st the s i e y r fin er. e elieves this is a great way of styling your area without ever having t hysi ally han e r m ve anythin in the s a e. n e you know exactly what you want and need, you can easily r hase all y r ie es r m the e site itsel . t the end the day ntire is all in r ma in a r m and the s a e at lar e all y r n. ever e ary ma in any h les r dama e t the s a e itsel ith t first ns ltin y r landl rd. t nly ill y save y rsel a li etime m netary and ers nal iss es t y ll e a le t finally live in a h me that is all y rs d n t the last m in y r a inet and the lant ne t t the d r.




Aly Morford and Leigh Lincoln, the owners of Pure Salt Interiors of Laguna Beach, say neutrals instinctively have a calming effect on the eye.

Make a Stress-Free Sanctuary Essential Ways to Transform a Space for Yourself

Aly Morford and Leigh Lincoln.

Energy Flow The Chinese art of Feng shui balances energies in a given space. According to the practice, balanced energy comes from a tidy, organized and well-oriented space. There are a few, easy ways to begin implementing Feng shui into your life in order to better embrace the space around you. n ra ti in en sh i d rs are nsidered rtals in hi h rt nities an enter y r li e. d rs are na le t e ened all the ay d e t l tter r i y r el n in s ta e al ays

INSIDE / OUTSIDE By Andrea Clemett hether you regularly commute to work on the I-5 Freeway or you r r m h me it may e di fi lt t find a ie e serenity in y r ree time. y reatin a san t ary inside y r h me it may e m re lfillin than sear hin r it tside. Aly Morford and Leigh Lincoln, the ners re alt nteri rs ana ea h say y r h me sh ld e a san t ary ll th rdinary and le endary m ments hile ein filled ith hara ter and almin vi es. he desi n d h m ined their talents t rm their siness th a ree that the first ste in reatin that ideal s a e r r m is t rem ve the l tter. he r ess ill n t nly r ani e t add a resh start eelin . e l tterin may e the m st da ntin as e t in the h le desi n r ess h ever the re ards t ei h the idle ears e innin a r e t. e al ays re mmend findin reative ays t st re the essentials a ay s that ta let s and ther visi le s r a es remain l tter ree r rd said. r m there e li e t ee stylin and de r as minimal as ssi le t ee the r m eelin as en and s a i s as it an. s a e is an iss e e in small y reatin a m si listenin rner r a readin hidea ay. r thers h share s a es and se their h mes r fi es it is im rtant r them t reate a se arate r s a e that all s them distan e r m mm n areas says r rd. ith an in reasin trend e le r in r m h me this ill hel initiate a se arati n between free time and work. hen h sin a l ati n r y r san t ary i a s t here there s nat ral li htin s h as near a ind s y an se the vie the



td rs r ity as a al int. nd i y r ideal s t la s an td r vie reate y r n i t res e s ene y h sin a rint r art r that trans rts y t y r tran il location. s r a l r alette nsider sin l t nes s h as l e reen ne trals r rey sin e they instin tively have a calming effect on the eye. r rd says lants are an ther essential r livenin the s a e and drawing out the character that will trans rm the s a e in a h me. ee in a e saved mement s that ev e eel d th hts are d ni na s t a ent the r m. t is vital t nsider h m h de r is sed in the desi nated s a e e a se it an easily et verhelmin ith t an r ani ed lan. reatin a desi n l r rd and Lincoln recommend drawing ins irati n r m interest se nd hand st res and l al mar ets. here are many d it y rsel ideas that an e n vered and desi ned n days . r the ne a ind finds that an ins ire the rest a r m the interi r desi ners have nd their est treas res at l al mar ets. hey s est ma in a day tri t asadena se l s lea mar et held n the se nd nday every m nth. ettin the time aside t ma e a s a e r y rsel is st as im rtant as it is ein in it. he s a e ill h e lly remind y t ta e time t r y rsel as y r n indin time is ri eless. r h me sh ld e a la e that eels serene and rela ed r rd said. r desi n hil s hy is all a t reatin s a es that are re le tive the e le that live there hile in sin te t res atterns and l rs that all ma e the h me eel li e a san t ary r m the stresses everyday li e.

How to Practice Feng Shui in Your Home y re l sin y rsel t rt nities. lear s a e all s r an en lean l ener y. mm n areas the h me sh ld e arran ed t s rt amily atherin r r m te harm ny in the h seh ld. y have a lar er s a in the livin r m it sh ld e a in the main entry. en sh i rin i les s est av idin harshly an led rnit re and instead h sin ir lar ee ta les. lid d is re erred ver lass. n y r edr m ee the s a e nderneath y r ed ree l tter r timal ener y l . arm l rs s h as ream l sh and r n hel r m te a s thin envir nment. s r the it hen the heart the h me en sh i re mmends ee in the eilin a li ht l r

and the floor a darker color for a grounding efe t. he st ve re ri erat r and sin sh ld rm a trian le s that n ne is dire tly ad a ent r site to each other. Lighting from the ceiling or natural li ht r m ind s sh ld ill minate dar rners. he se mirr rs ill en the s a e and reflect bad energy away. r h me ers y shelter a la e r rest ele rati n and re venati n s it is im rtant t sh ratit de and res e t t y r s a e. diyin the arran ements in y r h me t h ld leanliness and r ani ati n and an en l ener y are said t im r ve slee health and verall well-being. —Lillian Boyd



Out With the New, In With the Old

Repurposing and Recycling is the Latest Trend in Home Interior Design By Adam Gilles ith so many furniture options to choose from in stores and online, redecorating a home can be a daunting task. Which website to go to? Which showrooms are worth the drive? What if the solution is the furniture already sitting in your living room or with a friend or family member, just waiting for a new home? By simply repurposing and recycling older, well-made, furniture at your disposal, you can create a fresh look for y r h me r fi e that ill ntin e to stand the test of time, without makin t i a dent in y r finan es. Haideh Mehr of Bella Bazaar in Dana Point has been helping people turn their old into new for more than 13 years. “I think it’s important to not waste so much,” says Mehr. “Less is more. Get less items, but get quality items.” While Bella Bazaar carries a wide selection of new furniture and decorations for the home, the store also speiali es in refinishin and re h lstering old chairs and sofas for customers that appreciate the lasting value of their finely ra ted rnit re that mi ht just need a facelift. “Unfortunately, a lot of manufacturers are selling things that are meant to last for only a few years,” Mehr says. “Nowadays, unfortunately, a lot of things are made to break down, like the foam in the sofa, the cushions; all of that is made to break down after so many years.”


Shopping for high quality furniture items an r ve m re di fi lt r the younger generation that might not have a very high budget as they start de ratin their first h me r a artment. Mehr has plenty of ideas for them as well. “The younger generation has been handed down some great pieces, where the quality is there,” she says. “We’re really good about telling people if something is worth reupholstering, if something is worth redoing or not.” he easiest thin t d hen fi ring out how to decorate your personal space is to use what you already have and decorate around your lifestyle. “You don’t have money for art? Stick your surfboard on the wall. That’s the coolest art there is,” Mehr suggests. “You play the guitar? Stick all your guitars on the wall. Make that a total focal point. There are a lot of things you can do, and we love helping people out with stuff like that.” Bella Bazaar also has a wide variety ri inal art that an hel t the finishing touches on any interior design idea, while helping out local artists at the same time. “You can get a poster, and maybe you do want to put a poster in your kid’s room, but get a piece of original art from a local artist that you’re going to be able to hold onto,” says Mehr. “It has a story behind it.” For assistance with your own interior design story, you can visit Bella Bazaar at 34467 Golden Lantern in the Dana Point Harbor.

Perk Up Your Patio Quick Tips to Spruce Up Your Entertainment Area for a Summer Bash

By Zara Flores

With the weather heating up and kids gearing up to go back to school, what better time than now to throw an end of the summer party for all your friends and family, or even the whole neighborhood? t’s easy to get wrapped up and pages deep into Pinterest, so here are some quick and fool-proof ways to add some character and comfort to your outdoor entertainment area, whether you’re hosting a laid-back get-together or a party for the whole neighborhood. String lights and a Bluetooth speaker are perfect for a relaxed gathering. The lights add an atmospheric and decorative touch while still providing light when needed, and a speaker is easy to move around and set up for some cool tunes. Whether you’re blasting top chart hits or the Beach Boys, everyone can gather around and sing along for some fun. For a more comfortable and cozy touch to your outdoor area, colorful throw pillows and a blanket or two can provide some warmth once the sun sets and the temperature starts to drop. To coincide with the cool summer ni hts a fire it is a reat ay t add some functional decor.


Affordable options can be found at local hardware stores and can be used for added warmth. Gather around and pop a marshmallow on a skewer and make s’mores, a summer classic. For larger parties, head to your local retail store and check out some games such as cornhole or Spikeball. Games like these are reasonably priced, easy to set up and will offer seasons of enjoyment. Of course, no party is complete without refreshments and snacks. A big ice chest won’t run you a whole lot of money, and it’s the easiest way to chill some beers and other beverages without having to cram them all in your fridge. For some bite-sized snacks, head to your grocery store and pick up a party platter of assorted ite si ed ds s h as fin er sandwiches and even desserts. If you’re looking to host an intimate gathering or a large party, it’s easy to add little touches like these to your entertainment area, and they certainly don’t have to break the bank.


2019 Home Décor Picks



Denim Pouf $263


24625 Del Prado Ave, Dana Point 949.276.7833

Our Top Local Finds to Freshen Up Your Space By Chelsie Rex and Lillian Boyd

If you’re starting from scratch to design your dream space or hoping to freshen up your nest, look no further than what our local businesses have to offer. We’ve highlighted a few must-haves, statement pieces and home furnishings that speak to the coastal and Bohemian style for which our area is known. Be sure to explore our list of interior décor shops to find even more treasures. u

Kilim Pillow $115 BELLA BAZAAR

(Dana Point Harbor) 34467 Golden Lantern, Dana Point 949.429.6200 •

Natural Agate Bookend Set $159-$199


WHITE PELICAN GALLERY (Dana Point Harbor) 34475 Golden Lantern, Dana Point 949.240.1991

Corn Husk Basket




Abby Sofa $1,199-$1,499



31896 Plaza Drive, Suite E-1, San Juan Capistrano 949.770.8888 •

31862 Del Obispo, San Juan Capistrano 949.493.1031 •


Cane Chair $99.99


31862 Del Obispo, San Juan Capistrano 949.493.1031 •


Rattan Beehive Chandelier $1,495 TUVALU HOME

222 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente 949.542.8244 •

t Wood Orchid and Succulent Arrangement $250

Reclaimed Wood & Marble End Table $413 p


24625 Del Prado Ave, Dana Point 949.276.7833 •


109 Calle De Los Molinos, San Clemente 949.492.5589


Boho Metal Chair $169


109 Calle De Los Molinos, San Clemente 949.492.5589 •


The List


What’s going on in and around town COMPILED BY STAFF

HAVE AN EVENT? Submit it to The Dispatch by going to, and clicking “Submit an Event” under the “Getting Out” tab.

Saturday | 10 ATTRACTING AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES TO YOUR NATIVE GARDEN 9:30-11 a.m. Your garden does not have to be a pristine wilderness to attract beneficial creatures such as toads, tree frogs, salamanders, western fence lizards, alligator lizards and even helpful gopher snakes. They will come and hang around if you have a naturalistic design, complementary plant species, little or no disturbance (they don’t like mowers and blowers), a water source, a few rocks, shade, leaf litter, diversity, etc.—all the stuff that makes for a good native plant garden. You plant it, and they will come. Join local biologist Bob Allen and learn how to identify these unique garden residents, and understand why they are “beneficial,” as well as just plain cool to have around. Tree of Life Nursery, 33201 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano. 949.728.0685. CONCERTS ON THE GREEN 1-2:30 p.m. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the sounds of award-winning musicians as they perform live as part of the Festival of Arts’ “Concerts on the Green” series. Groove to the sounds of these living legends in a casual outdoor gallery setting that offers a memorable and unique concert experience unmatched in Southern California. This week’s musical act is Ellis Hall: The Ambassador of Soul. The Festival of Arts continues to build on its nationally and critically acclaimed reputation as one of the finest outdoor art venues. 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. 949.494.1145. BALLROOM BASH 7-9:30 p.m. Head to the Dana Point Community Services Center for a ballroom dance party. The event begins with a brief ballroom lesson, followed by an evening of dancing to great recorded music, including foxtrot, swing, waltz, tango, cha-cha, rumba and salsa. Entry fee is $10 per person, and admission includes delicious refreshments and soft drinks. Singles or couples are welcome. Ladies, no stiletto heels, please. You may pay at the door or pre-register through the Dana Point Community CenThe Capistrano Dispatch August 9–22, 2019

Couples two-step during the 15th annual Two Stepping Under the Stars event at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park on July 29, 2017. Photo: Allison Jarrell

SATURDAY, AUG. 10: TWO-STEPPING UNDER THE STARS 5-10 p.m. On behalf of the San Juan Capistrano Equestrian Coalition, the 17th annual “Two-Stepping Under The Stars” event will take place under the oak trees at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park, with more than 5,000 participants expected to kick up their boots. The organization emphasizes it’s important to the community that the event remains free to guests, which wouldn’t be possible without donations from local businesses and services that will be showcased during the event. Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park, 30753 La Pata Road, San Juan Capistrano.

dren’s activities and more. Admission is free. Free shuttle service will be available from San Clemente High School, 700 Avenida Pico and will run from 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. For questions or event details, call 949.492.1131 or visit

ter, 34052 Del Obispo Street, Dana Point. 949.248.3527.

Sunday | 11 SUMMER PICKLEBALL 2:30-5:30 p.m. Come to play indoor pickleball this summer at the San Juan Capistrano gymnasium. The group will meet every Sunday through Oct. 27. New to the game? No problem. Instruction and all equipment will be provided. For additional details and to register, please call the Community Services Department at 949.493.5911. 1 Via Positiva, San Juan Capistrano.

Monday | 12

SAN CLEMENTE FIESTA MUSIC FESTIVAL 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Thirty-six local nonprofit organizations participate in the Fiesta Music Festival, marketing an array of international food and free entertainment for the entire family. This annual event also features live music throughout the day on three different stages between the 100 and 200 blocks of Avenida Del Mar in San Clemente. Additionally, there will be food for all tastes, contests and games, arts and crafts, a business exposition and various exhibits, a motorcycle show, chil-

ART AND STORY TIME 12:30-1:30 p.m. “Art and Story Time” is a weekly series for children 5-and-under. Every Monday will feature a different book read aloud, plus a hands-on art project. There may even be special surprise visits from illustrators, story characters and more. Fun for children and their parents. Festival of Arts, 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. 800.487.3378 OPEN MIC AT BARNOA 7-10 p.m. Orange County singers and songwriters join host Gary Wright on the first three Mondays of every month to share their musical talent. Bring your musical instruments and love of live music. The stage is set with everything you need. Must be 21 and older. Barnoa Wine and Craft Beer Bistro. 831 Via Suerte, San Clemente. 949.388.4378.

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BINGO AT GOODY’S 7 p.m. Every Monday, Goody’s hosts a bingo night for a charity of the month. Cards are $1 per sleeve, and raffle prizes are offered. Goody’s Tavern. 206 S. El Camino Real. 949.492.3400.

Wednesday | 14 LIVE MUSIC AT IVA LEE’S 7 p.m. Join Iva Lee’s for live music every Wednesday through Sunday. For the ultimate live music experience, be sure to reserve a lounge table on Fridays and Saturdays. 555 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente. 949.361.2855. Check their website for the latest scheduled performances. WEDNESDAY NIGHT TRIVIA 7:30-9:30 p.m. Enjoy friendly competition and craft beers among friends during the BrewHouse’s weekly trivia night. Food trucks are on site during the trivia contest. The BrewHouse. 31896 Plaza Dr., Suite D3, San Juan Capistrano. 949.481.6181. (Cont. on page 20)

GETTING OUT (Cont. from page 19)

Friday | 16 SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO GHOST WALK 8-9:30 p.m. As the sun sets on the walls of the ruins of the great stone church, the dead walk the streets of old San Juan Capistrano. Join the newest venture into the dark and the macabre through the historic streets of one of California’s oldest cities. Tours meet just outside the brick visitors’ information booth near the train tracks located behind the Franciscan Plaza Parking Structure at the end of Verdugo Street. 26701 Verdugo Street, San Juan Capistrano. 866.446.7803.

Saturday | 17 CARDIAC SCREENING EVENT 9 a.m.-3 p.m. St. Margaret’s, in partnership with Heartfelt Cardiac Projects, is inviting the Tartan community to undergo cardiac screenings that can potentially alert you to risks associated with serious cardiac issues—issues that are sometimes detected in active, seemingly healthy people, including student-athletes. The screenings will be held in the Pasternack Field House, and are open to St. Margaret’s students (aged 5 and older), parents, alumni, faculty, staff and the local community. The cost of the screening is $85, which is a tax-deductible donation to Heartfelt Cardiac Projects. Reserve an appointment at 31641 La Novia Avenue, San Juan Capistrano. 949.661.0108. BUSY BUGS 9:30-11 a.m. This insect presentation is always a hit, among Tree of Life Nursery’s family-friendly Saturday workshops. Learn the important role natural gardens play in supporting diverse native insect

populations and a myriad of other wildlife species. Learn how to build a healthy habitat with native plants and natural landscape features. During the show-andtell portion of this workshop, you will get a true “hands-on” experience. Tree of Life Nursery, 33201 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano. 949.728.0685. MUSIC UNDER THE STARS SUMMER CONCERT SERIES 5:30-9:30 p.m. Music Under the Stars Summer Concert Series is a fundraising concert series in support of preservation and sustainability of Mission San Juan Capistrano. Each concert features a top-notch tribute band lineup, celebrating a variety of timeless and nostalgic classics in popular music at the beautiful and historic setting of the Mission. Mission San Juan Capistrano, 26801 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano. 949.234.1300.

Sunday | 18 FESTIVAL RUNWAY FASHION SHOW Noon-3 p.m. The Festival Runway Fashion Show is a not-to-be missed event. Now in its 11th year, this event features festival exhibitors who step out of their artistic medium and into the world of fashion. The result will blow your mind with over-thetop creative couture with the twist of all being made out of recycled, reused and reclaimed materials. It is a competition, similar to TV’s Project Runway. Festival artists start months in advance in hopes of taking home the top prize and bragging rights. Patrons will be amazed by this fully produced runway show, including a celebrity host and a panel of fashion experts. This event never disappoints; even after 10 years, the artists’ creativity and ingenuity keep it fresh with many surprises. Festival of Arts, 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. 800.487.3378

BRUNCH AT RAYA 11 a.m.-2 p.m. A tempting brunch with flowing champagne awaits guests every Sunday morning in RAYA at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Start with a fresh fruit martini and a selection of pastries, then enjoy a three-course a la carte menu. Cost is $72. One Ritz Carlton Drive, Dana Point. 949.240.2000.

Wednesday | 21 LADIES WINE AND SELF-DEFENSE NIGHT 6:30-7:30 p.m. Attention, all ladies, Pride Martial Arts is hosting a free self-defense series the third Thursday of every month and is inviting the whole community to join in a fun night of practical self-defense. The event is open to all ladies 21 and older. After the class, enjoy a complimentary glass of wine while networking with the other ladies in the community. Pride Martial Arts, 31103 Rancho Viejo Road, Suite 3, San Juan Capistrano. 949.218.8333. sjc@prideata. com. SAN JUAN SUMMER NITES 6-8 p.m. Mark your calendars and dust off your cowboy boots for country and western group Scotty Mac Band. There will be food and drinks provided by local restaurants, business expo vendors and free activities for kids. This year’s concert series will also include special event trolley services from 4-9 p.m. on concert evenings. Please visit the trolley service webpage on the city’s website for route details and the downtown parking webpage for additional summer parking options. Historic Town Center Park, 31852 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano.

Thursday | 22 BULLY-PROOF TRAINING CLINIC 5-6 p.m. Martial Arts expert and black belt instructor Ian Miller will partner with Zen Dojos Capistrano Karate to offer a special Bully-Proof Training Clinic. This is an event for the community to prepare their children against the growing threat of bullying. All students, family members and guests are welcome. Let us train your child to become bully-proof. No karate uniforms for this event; please have all attending students and guests wear comfortable clothing. Zen Dojos Martial Arts Academy, 31888 Del Obispo, #C6, San Juan Capistrano. 949.240.6574. HORSEMAN’S HAPPY HOUR 6-8 p.m. Join the San Juan Capistrano Equestrian Coalition to enjoy beer and horse talk with fellow equestrians at Bad to the Bone BBQ. The Happy Hour is open to all SJCEC members and their friends. Bad to the Bone BBQ, 31738 Rancho Viejo Road, San Juan Capistrano. OPEN MIC NIGHT 6-9 p.m. Five Vines Wine Bar presents its Open Mic Night every Thursday. Five Vines is looking for musicians, comedians, poets—anyone who wants a mic and an audience. Must be 21 and older. 31761 Camino Capistrano, #11, San Juan Capistrano. 949.800.9145. ACOUSTIC THURSDAYS AT BARNOA 7-9 p.m. Live music every Thursday. A rotating cast of Orange County’s most talented musicians play acoustic covers and original music. Enjoy a great wine selection, craft beers, tasty appetizers and Barnoa’s full dinner menu. Must be 21 and older. Barnoa Wine and Craft Beer Bistro. 831 Via Suerte, San Clemente. 949.388.4378.

At the Movies: ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ is Another Fast & Furious Spin BY MEGAN BIANCO


t is two decades later, and we’re getting the ninth addition of . . . The Fast and the Furious. A simple big-budget car flick is now one of the most profitable titles in cinema. There have been some duds, some pleasant surprises, and now in 2019, we’re officially onto spin-offs. After noticing the chemistry and popularity of the side characters played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham in The Fate of the Furious (2017), Universal Pictures began planning a full-length feature starring the two.

The Capistrano Dispatch August 9–22, 2019

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw has Luke Hobbs (Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Statham) assigned to be partners in tracking down an evil, super-powerful agent called Brixton (Idris Elba), who is on the hunt for a deadly virus that could wipe out the planet. But Shaw’s sister, Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), gets it first and drastically injects it into herself before Brixton can grab it. Now both the leads and the villain are racing to find her first before the virus is contagious in the next three days. The main reason this franchise has lasted so long is because it stopped tak-

Photo: Universal Pictures

ing the tone and theme seriously and just fully embraced the schlock. Hobbs & Shaw might be the schlockiest of them all. There is some particularly perplexing editing, though. The feature is directed by David Leitch, whose forte appears to be this brand of glossy blockbuster. There’s a

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glaring need to suspend your disbelief for the mindless fun with Hobbs & Shaw that you think audiences would be bored with by now. But as already proven, there’s a market for this sort of thing that won’t be going away any time soon. CD




Each Sudoku puzzle consists of a 9x9 grid that has been subdivided into nine smaller grids of 3x3 squares. To solve the puzzle, each row, column and box must contain each of the numbers 1 to 9. Puzzles come in three grades: easy, medium and difficult. Level: Medium

See the solution in next week’s issue.

Leadership participants pictured above: Back row, left to right: Toby Huddle, San Clemente Human Affairs; William Carson, Picket Fence Media; Alex Thornton, Community Outreach Alliance; Teri Steel, Community Outreach Alliance; Susan Parmelee, Wellness & Prevention Center; Lauren Gallegos, Wellness & Prevention Center. Second row, left to right: Ashley Ortiz, San Clemente High School; Cecilia Gallardo-Daly, City of San Clemente; Teresa Tran, Waymakers; Blair Verza, National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence; Marci Mednick, Mission Hospital; Naomi Willey, Waymakers. Front row, left to right: David Paddison, Waymakers; Brian Gunsolley, Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Photo: Courtesy of Susan Parmelee

GUEST OPINION: Wellness and Prevention by Susan Parmelee

Do You Know About the Wellness & Prevention Coalition?


ne of the most important responsibilities of the Wellness & Prevention Center staff is our leadership of the Wellness & Prevention Coalition. The Wellness & Prevention (WP) Coalition is part of the Federal Office of National Drug Control Policies Drug-Free Communities program. Through a five-year grant, we receive $125,000 per year to lead a coalition made up of every sector in our community. The mission of the WP Coalition is to WELLNESS AND lower the use of nicotine, PREVENTION By Susan alcohol, marijuana and Parmelee illegal drugs by youth under the age of 21. When we wrote this grant request three years ago, we chose lowering past 30-day use of alcohol and marijuana among our youth as our measurable goals. The program does allow us to add to these goals, as the challenges in a community may The Capistrano Dispatch August 9–22, 2019

change over a five-year span. At our last nationwide training in Washington, D.C., we were encouraged to include programming to help youth understand the health impact of vaping devices and to lower the stigma surrounding youth mental health and suicide. Last week, we held our second annual WP Coalition leadership strategy session. Following are a few key updates and some of our objectives for the next year: ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE WELLNESS & PREVENTION COALITION: • When we started the funded coalition in 2017, the California Healthy Kids Survey data reported past 30-day use of alcohol for seventh-, ninth- and 11th-graders were 4%, 16%, and 35%, respectively. In the most recent data, the past 30-day use of alcohol for seventh-, ninth- and 11th-graders were 2%, 13% and 27%, respectively. • San Clemente High School has a very active youth coalition that has made an impact on their peers through both on-campus and community-wide events. One of their favorite events is “Puttin’ on the Glitz,” where they serve hot chocolate and pass out red ribbons for car door handles to remind the community to drive responsibly. • Per the request of community members, we have increased education, online and through live events, that focuses on both the health impact of vaping and guidance on navigating the complicated social media world. OBJECTIVES FOR NEXT YEAR: • Increase WP Coalition focus on environmental factors that influence youth vaping, including partnering with city government to possibly ban the sales of flavored cartridges for vaping devices,

Photo: Courtesy of OC Public Libraries

FROM THE ARCHIVES Terry Martin reads to children during storytime at the San Juan Capistrano Library, circa 1990s.

Every issue, The Capistrano Dispatch will publish a historical photo. Online, The Capistrano Dispatch will create a gallery of the month’s photos. To submit your historical photo for consideration, provide information about the photo along with your name, date, location and a small description to

attempted buys at local vape shops, and a town hall to get input from the community on their views about how we can help youth make healthy choices. • Increase the voice of our youth in planning and implementation by facilitating youth coalitions in middle schools. • Develop a sustainability plan that ensures the continuation of WP Coalition work past the Federal grant funding award. • Plan to increase community knowledge about the signs and symptoms of the diseases of mental health in teens, lower the stigma surrounding talking about the diseases of mental health and substance use, and provide resources for community members to find support and referrals. The Wellness & Prevention Coalition always needs volunteers, donations, and ideas. PLEASE CONSIDER: • Attending one of our monthly meet-

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ings—these are open to the public—on the second Tuesday of each month from 3:30-5 p.m. at 189 Avenida La Cuesta. To be added to the meeting email list, email • Signing up for our bi-monthly email; it keeps you current on community activities and events, as well as providing educational materials. • Making a donation to support our work. Go to Susan Parmelee is a mental health social worker and one of the founders of the Wellness & Prevention Center, San Clemente. She can be reached at 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

SJC LIVING GUEST OPINION: On Life and Love After 50: By Tom Blake

It’s Time to Go


t’s hard to believe that almost a year has passed since my partner, Greta, and I departed on an 82-day cruise to the Far East. After the trip, people asked questions, such as “How did you two survive as a couple in a 390-square-foot stateroom for so long?” Now, people—especially those who’ve read about our travels in this newspaper— ask, “Where to next?” Our reply: “Ireland for 10 days—followed by a 20-day cruise stopping in Iceland, Greenland and Scotland.” “When?” they’ve asked. “Aug. 7 to Sept. 7, this year.” So when you read today’s column, we may be having a Guinness Stout at the brewery in Dublin. As seniors, our philosophy is to travel as often as we can, while we are physically able to do so. Greta and I are truly ON LIFE AND blessed in retirement LOVE AFTER 50 to be able to travel to By Tom Blake distant lands. We do not take that for granted. We realize there will come a day when we can’t. And we also realize that not all people aged 50 and older can take a trip like this. Readers, who either cannot travel or elect not to, have often said they enjoy reading about our trips and travel vicariously, by reading about them. Greta and I have friends in San Clemente. You’ve likely heard me mention Chris and Tina Anastasio’s names before. He’s 85, and she’s 77. They met 15 years ago, when Chris was a dance host on cruise ships. Tina was from England. They had the longest, long-distance relationship of which I’ve ever known: 13 years and 5,419 miles. On Feb. 12, 2017, they married at the Dana Point Yacht Club. Greta and I attended their wedding and continue to admire their senior spirit. Chris emailed this week: “I love that you and Greta travel as much as you do. I tell everyone: ‘Life is short. If you have

the time, the money and the health, go see the world. Life is like a book. If you don’t travel, you have only read one page.’ “Tina and I are going to Moscow for a week while we are in England, and we have booked a two-week cruise over Christmas and New Year’s. We will spend New Year’s Eve in Dubai. Travel safely.” “Why Ireland, Scotland, Iceland and Greenland?” people have asked. Here’s why: Two years ago, Greta and I were on a Holland America cruise around South America. The future-cruises director made a presentation to a very captive audience (passengers already on board). He talked about a cruise departing Amsterdam Aug. 18, 2019, with stops in Scotland, Iceland and Greenland. We were interested, because we hadn’t been to those countries. Because the cruise was two years away, Holland America dangled perks to the audience, enticing them to sign up. For example: a reduced airfare to Europe and back, waiving the daily tips to the crew, and a refundable $100 deposit. We took the bait. We added the Ireland land tour to our itinerary because we hadn’t been there, either. It’s amazing how fast those two years went by. I will do an article or two about the trip in this newspaper. We will have internet access in Ireland and onboard the ship. So, don’t hesitate to email me. It might take a little longer to respond than normal, but I will. Wish you were here to help with the luggage. It seems to get heavier every year. But these two late-70s seniors will do just fine, especially if we can locate that Guinness Brewery. Tom Blake is a Dana Point resident and former business owner who has authored three books on middle-aged dating. For dating information: To comment: DP 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

SENIOR MEET AND GREET The next Senior Meet and Greet will be at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli, 34085 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point, on Thursday, Aug. 22 from 5 to 7 p.m. For information, 949.248.9008.

Adoptable Pet of the Week: Gianni THE CAPISTRANO DISPATCH


ive-month-old Gianni is quite the charmer. With his big green eyes and outgoing personality, Gianni is quick to make friends with both cats and humans alike. Once you meet this playful little guy, he’s sure to win your heart. If you would like to know more about Gianni, please call the San Clemente/Dana Point Animal Shelter at 949.492.1617 or visit with him at 221 Avenida Fabricante, San Clemente. CD

The Capistrano Dispatch August 9–22, 2019

Gianni. Photo: Courtesy of San Clemente/Dana Point Animal Shelter

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BUSINESS DIRECTORY CLASSIFIEDS Submit your classified ad online at GARAGE SALES GARAGE SALE/ ANTIQUES ESTATE SALE August 10, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. 32707 Caspian Sea Dr., Dana Point. Collectibles and antiques estate, 50% off. Art, pottery, perfume bottles, lighting, glass, jewelry, small furniture, antique reference books and lots more. Make an offer on it all, almost free!

PLACE YOUR BUSINESS CARD HERE Call 949.388.7700, ext. 104 or email

HELP WANTED HELP WANTED Private Periodontal practice in San Clemente looking for a registered dental assistant or DA to join our team. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (Off Wednesdays) REQUIREMENTS: • Positive, team player with a winning personality and professionalism • Reliable, energetic and caring • Warm chair-side manner and hospitality • Strong work ethic • Excellent communication skills • Instrument sterilization • Bilingual a plus • Experience in a Periodontal Practice a Plus • X-Ray License (Required)

PLACE YOUR BUSINESS CARD HERE Call 949.388.7700, ext. 104 or email


TASKS INCLUDE: • Assisting doctor during surgical and nonsurgical procedures • Record blood pressure and patient medical updates, and complete periodontal charting • Take and process diagnostic digital X-rays • Effectively communicate oral hygiene instructions and dispense proper oral hygiene aids • Maintain office organization and keep rooms tidy, clean and stocked • Preparing rooms for next patients • Instrument and equipment sterilization • Occasional help at front desk when needed (i.e. filing, answering phone, scheduling hygiene appointments, etc.)

Call 949.388.7700, ext. 104 or email

Please email resume to:

LEGAL NOTICES Notice is hereby given that on September 6, 2019, at 9:30 a.m., or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard, in Department C16 of the Orange County Superior Court – Central Justice Center, located at 700 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana, CA 92701, Petitioner Alyssa Garrett intends to apply for an order, pursuant to California Government Code Sections 6000, et. seq., declaring The Capistrano Dispatch to be a newspaper of general circulation for the County of Orange, State of California circulated in the City of San Juan Capistrano.

WANTED VINYL RECORDS & MUSIC MEMORABILIA Best Price Paid For Your Vinyl Records & Memorabilia. 1960-Present Rock Jazz Blues Live Color Vinyl. I Will Come To You! Mike 310-756-7854 The Capistrano Dispatch August 9–22, 2019

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Football participation in California decreased for the fourth straight year, but San Juan Capistrano’s five high school programs have mostly held steady. Photo: Zach Cavanagh

Football Drop State football participation hits lowest level since 1998; San Juan numbers hold BY ZACH CAVANAGH, THE CAPISTRANO DISPATCH


igh school football participation was down 3.16% last year in the state of California, according to the 2018-19 California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Sports Participation Survey released on Aug. 1. Football was down to 91,305 participants in the 11-man variety across the state, which marked the fourth straight year of decline and the lowest overall participation since 1998. There were 91,301 high school 11-man football players in California in 1998—just four fewer than the 2018-19 total—according to numbers from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). “As in previous years, we have noticed a steady and continued decrease in football

The Capistrano Dispatch August 9–22, 2019

participants,” CIF executive director Ron Nocetti said in the CIF release. “It is imperative that we continue to partner with organizations such as USA Football and their Football Development Model, which provides a road map for how we coach, play and learn the game at every level.” Despite the decline in 11-man football, as well as the second consecutive dip in 8-man football, football is still by far the most popular sport in the state, with the 91,305 participants nearly doubling the totals of boys track and field’s 55,355 and boys soccer’s 54,996. While there is the decline with the state’s top dog, sports participation is up in the state overall by 0.67% to reach a new CIF alltime high for a seventh straight year. Boys volleyball (6.89%) and boys soccer (3.25%) saw the largest growth among the top 10 boys sports. Girls soccer topped the most popular girls sports with 49,342 participants, a 4.56% increase, followed by girls volleyball (45,997) and girls track and field (45,235). Traditional competitive cheer saw the largest girls increase at 12.26%. Boys swimming and diving (4.59%) and girls swimming and diving (5.08%) saw the largest percentage decreases in their respective top 10s.

As the most popular sport in the nation, football’s changes will always grab the main focus. Nationally, 11-man football hit a high of 1.1 million players in 2008-09, a number that declined by 75,000 as of the 2017-18 season. The NFHS’ 2018-19 national numbers become available later this month. California hit a high of 103,725 11-man football players in the 2015 season, but the sport in the state has seen an 8.8% decrease over the past four years. Five SJC Schools Stay Mostly Steady Here at home, San Juan Capistrano’s five high school football programs have roughly held their numbers, but each has different situations that present different numbers. The city’s lone public school, San Juan Hills, has continued with healthy numbers. The Stallions have 56 players listed on the current MaxPreps roster, and the program continues to grow overall. “We’re up,” San Juan Hills coach Rob Frith said. “We have three years in a row where we have big numbers at the freshman level. We’re up over 60 in camp right now. A lot of it (the participation numbers) depends on the area and the program.”

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Among the city’s private schools, JSerra has kept up with other big, private school members in the Trinity League. The Lions list 61 varsity players and 38 freshmen on their football website’s 2019 rosters. The Trinity League teams are some of the most high-profile teams in the country and won’t hurt for roster numbers unless the sport completely collapses. St. Margaret’s has continued to ride its reputation as a small, private school powerhouse and pull strong numbers for participation. Despite the overall small enrollment, the Tartans have pushed up to CIF-SS Division 6 and boast a total of 79 players on their MaxPreps roster, which matches last season’s numbers. The two programs in the lowest divisions, Capistrano Valley Christian in Division 14 and Saddleback Valley Christian in Division 12, have always had smaller rosters. It’s simply the nature of their situations. The roster sizes demand that a lot of their players play both ways, and both schools have seen some formerly regular opponents drop down to 8-man football. CVC was once an 8-man program but won its first 11-man league title last season. CVC listed 34 players on its MaxPreps roster last season, but there are only 20 on the current roster. SVC has held steady with 36 players this season, only one fewer than 2018. “I think it depends on where you’re at,” Frith said. “There are some schools in the lower divisions that struggle to field three teams. I think maybe people are finding other things to do, because football is a grind and a tremendous amount of sacrifice. For some, I think it has to be worth it to them as individuals, as well.” With these discussions, head injuries and concussions are brought up as symptoms of the decline of participation. Frith says those have always been there, but they are being better about teaching the game. “(Parents have voiced these concerns) since I’ve been a coach,” Frith said. “We always try to ease the worries by telling them we limit the head-to-head collisions, we limit the big collisions. We teach our kids to keep their heads out of the tackle. It’s all in our coaching and technique. We over-emphasize keeping your head out of the game, as far as a running back dipping their head, a linebacker leading with their head on a tackle.” Despite these overall participation numbers, Frith isn’t concerned about the state of the game. “I’m excited to see the evolution of the game—whether it be NFL, NCAA or CIF, how we continue to adjust the game to benefit our kids and their safety,” Frith said. “There’s rumors at some point that a kickoff won’t be part of a football game, and if they realize that’s better for kids and that’s an unsafe play, I’ll be right there along with them.” CD

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August 9, 2019  

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