Page 1


Trial Underway for Egan’s Alleged Killer

Siegel Tracks Down Historic Mission Movie





A P R I L 2 3 – M AY 1 3 , 2 0 1 0 VOLUME 8, ISSUE 8

Out of Class, On the Lines

Dana Hills High teachers, like those throughout the 55-school district, took their unhappiness with whether contract cuts were permanent or temporary to the streets on Thursday. Photo by Andrea Swayne

CUSD Teachers Strike Over Contract Imposed by Trustees E Y E O N S J C / PAG E 6

Restaurant Guide

Why drive out of San Juan Capistrano when there are choices like these?




SAN CLEMENTE The city of San Clemente will tap the consulting firm Fehr & Peers Transportation Consultants to outline a plan that provides the best safe passage for bicyclists on two of the city’s most difficult roads to navigate—Camino Vera Cruz and El Camino Real along the busy Avenida Pico corridor. The City Council voted 5-0 April 20 in favor to pay the consulting firm $64,300. The money will allow a plan for safe passage on the proposed roads, and give a recommendation on the best way to build a safe bikeway between North Beach and Dana Point’s city limit along El Camino Real on Pacific Coast Highway. Public Works Director Bill Cameron said he wants to see a Class 1 bikeway, which is a bike path separated from cars, on much of the Pico route.



DANA POINT Woodie car lovers rejoice! Dana Point will host Doheny Wood, one of the largest allwoodie car shows in the country on April 24 at Doheny State Beach from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year’s event marks the 13th year of the gathering and the SoCal Woodie Club is expecting nearly 200 cars to take part. Enjoy a day at the beach browsing the rows of some icons of the California surf culture. Doheny State Beach is located in Dana Point Harbor area at 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA 92629. The woodie car show will be held at the south end of the park along PCH. Admission to the show is free but the State Park entry fee is $10. For questions contact Tom Mac Donald at or log on to

San Juan Capistrano’s Top 5 Hottest Topics

What’s Up With... 1


…In-N-Out Out?

THE LATEST: The City Council on Tuesday all but killed an In-N-Out Burgers proposed for Del Obispo Street. The council approved an ordinance allowing drive-through restaurants, but excluded any new ones from Del Obispo. The vote was just the latest chapter in the city’s love-hate relationship with drive-through restaurants. New ones were banned in town about a decade ago after three opened within blocks of the historic Mission. But now the prohibition has some drawbacks: existing drive-through restaurants are reluctant to undertake major remodels because they likely wouldn’t get their drive-up windows again. When Sizzler on Del Obispo closed, In-N-Out applied to take over the Sizzler property. But traffic’s always a concern in town, and others thought a drive-through restaurant would not fit in with new plans being drafted for the downtown. WHAT’S NEXT: The vote was 3-2, with Mayor Lon Uso and Councilman Sam Allevato in dissent. Uso and Allevato argued the city needs new businesses, and that the land was privately owned, so the property owner had rights to develop it as he saw fit. FIND OUT MORE: See The Capistrano Insider blog at www.thecapistranodispatch. com —Jonathan Volzke



…Dumhart Headed North?

THE LATEST: After nearly 24 years with the city, Economic Development Director Douglas Dumhart is moving to take the top planning/redevelopment job in La Palma. Dumhart started his career with

the city in the planning department, and has run Economic Development as a one-man show for the past several years. He leaves with several key projects in the pipeline: The reopening of the theater and reconstruction of the Vaquero West building downtown both have redevelopment ties, as does the relocation/expansion of Costco. Also in the mix is the proposed downtown hotel that is just starting to work its way through City Hall. He played a key role in bringing Fluidmaster to town, along with sales-tax generator Pacific Sales, but Dumhart might most be remembered for quote he gave during a battle over whether Home Depot should be built on the Lower Rosan Ranch. He likened the proposal to a bowl of spinach, saying the city might not like how it looks, how it smells or how it tastes, but ultimately it was good for us. WHAT’S NEXT: Dumhart’s last day is May 7. No word yet on how he will be replaced. FIND OUT MORE: See The Capistrano Insider blog at —JV



…Penalty Phase in Egan Murder?

THE LATEST: Trial is underway in a Santa Ana courtroom for a San Diego man accused of murdering Thomas Egan of San Juan Capistrano, who was working as a manager at a Tustin Home Depot when he was shot to death during a robbery attempt. Jason Russell Richardson, 39, Oceanside, faces the death penalty if convicted. On the morning of Feb. 9, 2007, Richardson, wearing a full painter’s outfit and mask, allegedly approached Egan and pulled out a gun before demanding all the

cash kept in the store’s safe. After Egan said he did not have access to the safe, the robber headed toward the store’s front cash registers. Egan told nearby employees to call 9-1-1 and then followed Richardson. Richardson allegedly tried to rob an employee at gunpoint as Egan discouraged him from hurting anyone. Egan was shot in the stomach, and the robber made off with about $500. He left behind a sock, however, that led to his arrest through DNA. Egan, a retired U.S. Marine Sergeant, was a married father of 3-year-old twin girls. WHAT’S NEXT: If Richardson is convicted, a second phase will start to determine if he should receive the death penalty. FIND OUT MORE: —JV



…Dana Man Killed by Train? THE LATEST: Authorities identified the man who drove in front of a train at Avenida Aeropuerto in San Juan Capistrano on April 9 as Leif Anderson of Dana Point. The cause of death is listed as suicide. Witnesses told authorities they saw Anderson pull his Toyota RAV onto the railroad tracks in the path of a southbound Amtrak train after 11 a.m. The train pushed the vehicle several hundred yards down the tracks. Anderson was 49. A woman who identified herself as a neighbor of Anderson wrote on The Capistrano Insider blog describing him as “a strong, yet gentle intelligent soul, whose offbeat humor was informed by his incredible science background.” WHAT’S NEXT: Capistrano is working on implementing “quiet zones,” at train

crossings, which would make it much more difficult for motorists to cross railroad tracks when the crossing arms are down. FIND OUT MORE: —JV



…TCA Joins Firewatch Program?

THE LATEST: The Toll Roads have become a major partner in the OC Fire Watch, a new countywide program to alert the public when fire dangers are elevated. As part of the OC Fire Watch program, The Toll Roads work to prevent wildfires through education and encouraged vigilance. During Red Flag conditions, changeable message signs and special toll plaza planter signs will carry a warning. Customers inquiring about fire conditions will receive a handout from toll attendants with motorist tips for fire safety and prevention and information on the OC Fire Watch program. “By warning the public that Red Flag conditions are present and that extra vigilance is needed, The Toll Roads are helping us reinforce that wildfires are a community problem, not just a fire department problem. I applaud them for that,” OCFA Chief Keith Richter said in a statement. WHAT’S NEXT: The Toll Roads also will keep the public up-to-date on fire conditions through the organization’s Web site, Facebook and Twitter accounts. FIND OUT MORE: www.OCFireWatch. org, —JV Have a story idea or topic you would like to read about? Send your suggestions to

April 23–May 13, 2010 • The Capistrano Dispatch • Page 3


Chamber Connection


Dear San Juan Capistrano Business Owners, March Madness has come and gone, but the Chamber continues on with our impressive winning streak of events and professional development opportunities. This past quarter we have had an incredible run. In January we started the season with our Business Breakfast speaker Council Member Sam Allevato to discuss the OC Great Park Phase Production and had a good showing at our SCORE workshop on Networking. In February we faced off against the economic blues with our combined San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente and Laguna Niguel Mixer and our well-attended State of the City Breakfast at El Adobe. We finished the quarter strong with a breakfast with Lyndon Golin of the Franciscan Movie Theater, a SCORE workshop on Developing a Winning Business Plan, a mixer at Del Obispo Terrace-- all topped off by our inaugural Lunch Local event at Sarducci’s in March. Whether your business is a “Cinderella Story” or is one of the “Elite Eight,” the Chamber is dedicated to being your respected coach, loyal fan and ever-optimistic cheerleader. With so many activities and opportunities that the San Juan Capistrano Chamber offers, the ball is in your court-- it’s up to you to run with it. The Chamber is always researching innovative ways to add value to your membership and to maximize the incredible network of professionals belonging to our organization. I am pleased to announce next month’s “Lunch Local” event, taking place on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at Mr. B’s Pizza, located at 31111 Rancho Viejo Road, beginning at noon. I warmly extend to you an invitation to our informal gathering. The Chamber is pleased to be the first in Orange County to offer a Lunch Local program to help support local restaurants and engage members in an intimate setting. The Chamber staff randomly selects a member restaurant to dine at and extends an open invitation to members, non-members, and friends of the Chamber. I’d like to encourage you to break away from the computer and the Blackberry for an hour to catch up and perhaps convert casual acquaintances to opportunities. Simply bring your name tag, business cards and an appetite! Whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned player, we look forward to dining with you and hearing more about your successes and challenges. As always, the mission of the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce is to create and promote a climate where business can operate in a productive and profitable manner. You are our Most Valuable Player. Our goal is to help you to deliver your shining moments of success. Sincerely,


What the Chamber is Doing For You


ver the past year, the Chamber has been hard at work for the businesses and members of San Juan Capistrano. Here are a few items we have been working toward: Advocacy. We are the go-to organization in San Juan Capistrano for involvement with issues on local, county, state and national levels. The Chamber is the leading proponent for the interests of local businesses. Business Resources. The Chamber offers unlimited business referral services exclusively for members. Members are entitled to Chamber member mailing labels to promote your direct mail, free monthly SCORE workshops on over 20 relevant subjects, and SCORE Business Counseling Services by appointment. We offer Certificates of Origin for international trade, an annual business tax deduction for membership, and the exclusive ability to post job openings and events on the Chamber website. Marketing. Members receive benefits such as a business listing and links on the Chamber website, advertising discounts in The Capistrano Dispatch Quarterly Chamber Connection page, a free quarter page ad for new members in the Capistrano Dispatch, and sponsorship opportunities for raffle prizes, the State of the City, Annual Installation & Awards Dinner, and Vintage at the Mission--A Celebration of Taste.

New Members APRIL 2010

MARCH 2010

Savory Grace

Capistrano Car Wash

Debra Marie 949.545.6269

Tyler Hartge 949.488.2500

Newman Realty

Homefront America, Inc.

Leonard Newman 949.218.6252

Autobody USA Barbara Beard 949.248.1590

Hummingbird House Cafe

Karen Richesin Executive Director

Please Join Us For Breakfast Historic Town Center Master Plan Wednesday, May 5 • 7:30 – 8:30 am Please join us on May 5th, 2010 at Sarducci’s Capistrano Depot at 7:30 a.m., for our monthly Business Networking Breakfast. This month’s breakfast speakers are principals in the new Historic Town Center Master Plan. Michael Bohn and David Sergeant will be discussing the project process, schedule, area of study and appropriate strategies. Members $10 • Potential Members $20

Milen Teekov Mariana Artatchka

PrimeCare Home Care Eric Bergstrom 2372 Morse Ave., Ste. 10 Irvine, CA 92614 949.677.5630 www.PrimeCarePlusHH. com

Mamie Maywhort 949.248.9468

Super Media Brent Hodges 619.237.4140 brent.hodges@

Cottage Home and Garden Richelle Rowland 949.493.3920 cottagehomeandgarden@

Dynasty Creative Arts Candace Gates 949. 240.1800 studio@

Networking. A substantial networking program is offered to members to cross-promote business. Our events include monthly mixers hosted by member businesses, a quarterly new member orientation, a monthly Lunch Local event at a member restaurant, joint events with local area chambers, and a Monthly Educational Business Breakfast. Public Relations. The Chamber produces a Weekly eSpark e-mail newsletter to keep you informed. Members are encouraged to submit events to the Chamber for posting on the website. Our staff also engages and updates members through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Special Discounts. Members can take advantage of member-only pricing for special events, a special business membership to the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano, and Ben-e-lect Chamber Group Health discounts. Added Value. The Chamber provides members free listings in the annual Chamber directory, free ribbon cutting ceremonies and publicity for grand openings or anniversaries, membership certificates and decals, display space for marketing materials at the Chamber/Visitor Center lobby, new member announcement for 4 weeks in the weekly eSpark, the opportunity to post a Hot Deal on our website, and business booths at the Summer Nights Concert Series and Business Expo.

UPCOMING EVENTS Wednesday, May 5 Networking Breakfast

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Sarducci’s Capistrano Depot. Topic: Historic Town Center Master Plan. Speakers: Representatives of Studio 111. Cost is $10 for members, $20 for non-members.

Saturday, May 8 Second Saturday Art Fair

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Along Yorba, Camino Capistrano, Verdugo and Los Rios Park

Saturday, May 8 Ribbon Cutting – ARK of San Juan 12:00 noon. At the Second Saturday Art Fair; space 422

Tuesday, May 11 SCORE Workshop

5:30– 8:30 p.m. Selling Techniques That Work, The City’s La Sala Room at the SJC Library

Thursday, May 13 Evening Networking Mixer

5:30 – 7:30 p.m. F&M Bank, 31873 Del Obispo, SJC. $10 Members; $20 General Public

Tuesday, May 18 Lunch Local

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Mr B’s Pizza Kitchen, 31111 Rancho Viejo Rd Cost: Purchase your lunch with a Chamber discount

Thursday, May 20 Four Chamber Evening Networking Mixer 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Laguna Cliffs Marriott, $10 Members; $20 General Public

Thursday, June 10 Evening Networking Mixer

5:30 – 7:30 p.m Camino Real Playhouse, 31776 El Camino Real, SJC, $10 Members; $20 General Public

The Chamber is Just a Call or Click Away 949.493.4700 or








The Chamber is Just a Call or Click Away 949.493.4700 or

Eye on SJC

CUSD Teachers Call a Strike Over Imposed Contract Early statistics show 88% of teachers honor picket line as students stay home, toos By Jonathan Volzke The Capistrano Dispatch

he overwhelming majority of Capistrano Unified School District teachers worked the picket line instead of in classrooms on Thursday, in protest over the terms of a contract imposed on them by the board of trustees. Attendance records show that students stayed away from school, too, with only 24 percent of high school students attending classes. Figures released by CUSD showed that only 12 percent of teachers—the union has 2,200 members—showed up for work. The striking teachers were replaced by 600 substitutes, and parents who did send their students to school complained that most watched movies or did mindless busy work—such as word searches—well beneath their academic level. A war of words fought with a flurry of letters and news releases exploded late Tuesday, as CUSD teachers announced they would call a strike starting Thursday. There was no word by Thursday afternoon on how long the walkout would last.


Youngsters were among the protestors at the CUSD offices during a student walkout earlier this month. Photo by Jonathan Volzke

The announcement came after teachers seemed to offer the Board of Trustees an olive branch to head off a work action. The board seemed to begrudgingly accept it, agreeing to return to the negotiating table, but the union called the strike because leaders did not believe the district was sincere

Preliminary Stats Show Strike Cut Deep The Capistrano Unified School District on Thursday afternoon released preliminary information about attendance—by students and teachers—on the first day of a teacher’s strike. According to the district: • 1 in 8 classroom teachers reported to work (12 percent of the district’s 2,200 teachers) • 600 qualified and vetted substitute teachers reported for duty. • 48 percent of elementary students attended school • 41 percent of middle school students attended school • 24 percent of high school students were at school. District negotiators and Capistrano Unified Education Association representatives were due to meet at 2 p.m. on Thursday, although union officials called the meeting a “discussion,” not negotiations. Teachers walked out over whether cuts imposed on them by the Board of Trustees were permanent or temporary, and when, if ever, their salaries and benefits could be restored. Source: Capistrano Unified School District

Frequently Asked Questions Frequently asked questions, provided by the Capistrano Unified School District: Will student absences be counted during a strike? Yes. Schools will maintain regular accounting of absences in the event of a strike. If your student is sick or if you choose to keep your student out of school, please phone in the absence as usual or your student will be considered truant and subject to normal consequences. Once a student comes to school, the district will not be able to respond to ‘early out’ requests made during the school day in response to messages from your students to “call them out” of school. Therefore, it is important that you make your decision on school attendance before sending students to school. If students come we expect them to remain until the end of their school day.

What will my child be doing in class? Although the instruction will not and cannot be the same as when our teachers are teaching, emergency substitute plans have been developed, materials have been gathered, and they are ready to be put into place. The lessons involve enrichment activities related to subjects that we hope will be of high interest to high school students—i.e. the economics of the credit system and credit cards, interest and skills inventory and tests, interpersonal communications, etc. These activities will not impact student grades positively or negatively in their classes. Who will be teaching students in the event of a strike? In the event of a strike CUSD substitutes who have received fingerprint clearance through the Department of Justice and have met the same safety clearance as all CUSD employees will be covering classes. Substitute teachers are required to have 4-year college degree as well as verification of passing the CBEST (California Basic Educational Skills Test). Many of our substitutes hold California

Page 8 • The Capistrano Dispatch • April 23–May 13, 2010

in its offer. “We asked for three specific things … and their answer was clear as mud from a lawyer,” said Vicki Soderberg, who heads the 2,200-member Capistrano Unified Education Association. Teachers cast their ballots whether to authorize a strike on April 15 and 16. With 85 percent of eligible teachers casting ballots, 1,600 CUEA members voted “yes” and 248 voted “no,” the union reported. “We are saddened that the union has decided to take this action and hope that its leadership will accept the Board’s offer to negotiate in good faith in accordance with the Educational Employment Relations Act,” Anna Bryson, President of the CUSD Board of Trustees, said in a statement. The strike propelled the district into emergency mode: Substitutes were called in at each school to teach lesson plans prepared weeks ago just in case. District officials said students should teaching credentials as well. We will continue to ensure that volunteers on our campuses are cleared through a Megan’s Law Check and have received DOJ clearance if they are alone with students. Will transportation services be available during a strike? Yes. If for any reason transportation services are not available, parents will be notified directly. We would also encourage parents to check the CUSD website at for up-to-date information. Will food services be available during a strike? Yes. Will after school activities be cancelled during a strike? All after school activities and athletics would be cancelled on the 1st day of a strike. At the end of the 1st day, high school activities and athletics will be evaluated for possible reinstatement on subsequent days on a case-by-case basis. Reinstatement will

still attend school, and absences would be counted. “The parents need to know that we will provide and have been working very hard to ensure the safe and stable education environment for their children,” Bryson said a day before the strike. “So they should send their children to school every day … It will be a positive experience in education for them.” But anyone driving by any of the district’s 55 campuses Thursday saw teachers with picket signs and nearlyempty parking school parking lots. Union leaders said the CUSD action is the first teachers’ strike in Orange County in a decade, and the first in Capistrano Unified’s history. The strike is the crescendo in a song of political discord playing in the district for years. All seven board members were initially ushered into office by a “reform” group that lead the recall of former trustees Marlene Draper and Shelia Benecke. Many believed the board—which has a politically conservative bend—to be anti-union, and the board in early 2009 fired Superintendent A. Woodrow Carter, who was popular with teachers and parents alike. Trustees have defended their decision to let Carter go, saying he was insubordinate and violated district policies, and his breach-of-contract lawsuit has been dismissed. Bryson also denied the board is anti-union, crediting teachers with test scores that continue to climb, even amid the political turmoil. “We have nothing but respect for our teachers, and admiration,” Bryson said. But trustees also inherited a fiscal disaster. As the state economy crashed, CUSD was required year after year to (Cont. on page 10) be offered based on the availability of certificated teachers and certified coaches. Will the school district lose money if students do not attend school during a strike? Possibly. While the bulk of school funding comes from the State’s ADA accounting which ended March 19th, the school district receives categorical funding from the state and federal government which may be calculated on overall ADA throughout the year. Will armed security guards be on campus? No. School Resource Officers (who are regular employees at our secondary schools), may be armed as they are on any given school day, however additional security guards who may be present to assist with traffic duty and supervision around the perimeter of the schools will not be armed. For schools with the following programs— will the YMCA and after school child care (i.e. Kids’ Factory) be cancelled during a strike? No.

Eye on SJC Tumultuous Times in CUSD April 2005: A grassroots effort to recall all seven CUSD trustees is announced. Superintendent James Fleming issues memo to trustees about recall issues. Sometime after, he allegedly takes names from a parent email about the recall to order the creation of the first enemies list, pairing parents with information about their children. November 7, 2005: The CUSD Recall committee submits petitions to Registrar of Voters Office. December 22, 2005: The Registrar of Voters announces the recall group failed to gather enough valid signatures to move forward. August 14, 2006: Investigators raid district offices, seizing computers and files. Teachers at Kinoshita Elementary School reported 100 percent participation in Thursday’s strike. Photo by Jonathan Volzke

(Cont. from page 6) make deep cuts. The district’s budget is back to 2005-2006 levels, and $34 million in cuts is still needed. A contract impasse led to an independent mediator’s recommendation of a package of salary cuts, furlough days and other cost savings that totaled about 10.3 percent. Teachers supported that recommendation, but trustees at the end of March imposed a contract with 10.1 percent in cuts. The difference: the independent mediator’s recommendation clearly stated the reductions would be temporary, while the imposed contract contained no such language. In all, district officials said the contract terms would save the district $20 million. Trustees signed off on nearly $6 million more in cuts earlier thismonth, meaning $8 million is still needed. And CUSD, like many districts, is already on a financial watch list, where county education officials supervise the

SJC Sheriff’s Blotter Compile d by Heath e r T u r n e y All information below is obtained from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Web site (www.ocsd. org) and reflects data available from calls placed from the field by the responding officer(s). An arrest doesn’t represent guilt. The items below are just a sampling of the entries listed on the OCSD Web site.

budget process. As the political back-and-forth continued—students staged walkouts and sickouts district wide earlier this month—the board and union exchanged letters and news releases that seemed to indicate both sides were willing to sit down and discuss creating a memorandum of understanding that would make the cuts temporary and allow salaries to be restored if any unexpected money came to the district. District officials were concerned about locking up any additional money to return to teachers; union officials were also concerned about the precedence of an imposed—rather than negotiated—contract. Bryson said Wednesday the district remains ready to talk. “The door is open,” she said. Soderberg said in the end, union leaders said they did not believe the district was sincere in its

Saturday, April 17 SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Camino Las Ramblas/ Las Palmas Del Mar (3:04 p.m.) A teenager was seen crouched behind an electrical box with what appeared to be an air soft rifle.

Friday, April 16 VANDALISM IN PROGRESS Oso Road, 26300 Block (7:43 p.m.) Three or four juveniles reportedly got into an equipment cage on the football field at Saddleback Valley Christian School and took hockey sticks out. The kids were then seen using the hockey sticks on the field.

Thursday, April 15 Sunday, April 18 DISTURBANCE Del Obispo Street/ Alipaz Street (9:36 a.m.) A transient living in The Good Neighbors Park apparently tore 6 ft. plants out of the ground and scattered them around the park. The homeless individual also reportedly tied plastic bags to all of the park benches.

DISTURBANCE Calle San Juan, 31200 Block (8:05 p.m.) An informant reported that a neighbor was yelling at their 8-year-old son and scaring him. The neighbor claimed that the young boy threw rocks at their house.

Wednesday, April 14

Page 8 • The Capistrano Dispatch • April 23–May 13, 2010

August 31, 2006: Fleming retires after 15 years at CUSD. November 2006: “Reform” candidates Ellen Addonizio, Anna Bryson and Larry Christensen are elected. May 24, 2007: Orange County District Attorney’s office announces James Fleming has been indicted for the misappropriation of public funds while he allegedly created the first and second lists. The DA states that these lists are allegedly created during work hours, using district resources and employees, accessing confidential district information. Former Assistant Superintendent Susan McGill is indicted for perjury and conspiracy. July 2007: Petition to conduct a recall of trustees Sheila Benecke and Marlene Draper presented at board meeting.

board meeting; recall committee begins new signature-gathering drive. Dec. 10, 2007: The Capistrano Unified school board unanimously votes to make interim Superintendent A. Woodrow Carter the permanent district head. June 24, 2008: Longtime Trustees Marlene Draper and Sheila Benecke are recalled in a special election and “reform” candidates Ken Lopez Maddox and Sue Palazzo are elected. November 4, 2008: Maddox and Palazzo are re-elected and joined by “reform” candidates Mike Winsten and Jack Brick, giving the reform group all seven seats on the board. March 9, 2009: Trustees unanimously fire Superintendent A. Woodrow Carter at a meeting packed with his supporters. May 20, 2009: All seven trustees attend a premere of “Not as Good as You Think: The Myth of the Middle Public School.” The documentary, by the Pacific Research Institute, criticizes public school management and includes Mike Winsten before he was elected to the board, among “reform” supporters. The film is now being used by the group trying to recall two trustees. June 2009: The board hires Roberta “Bobbi” Mahler as interim superintendent. January 2010: Another recall, this one targeting Trustees Ken Lopez Maddox and Mike Winsten, is launched. March 31, 2010: The board imposes a contract on teachers, totaling 10.1 percent in pay and benefits cuts. Tuesday, April 13, 2010: Students across the district stage a walkout in support of teachers.

September 2007: New interim superintendent Woodrow Carter presides over first

Thursday, April 22, 2010: Teachers start strike district wide. —Compiled by Jonathan Volzke

offer. Both sides were going to talk at 2 p.m. Thursday, even as the walkout began—and even as both sides were saying the strike was the last thing

they wanted. For more information, see The Beyond the Blackboard blog at CD

KEEP THE PEACE Shamrock Lane, 33700 Block (8:19 p.m.) A woman reported that she wanted to say hello to her son, but the father was refusing to answer the door.

Tuesday, April 13 MISSING CHILD Pas Carolina, 32200 Block (9:16 p.m.) An informant reported that the children of a mother with mental issues were left alone. One child was found safe, but an 8-year-old boy is still missing. DISTURBANCE-FAMILY DISPUTE Via De Olivia, 32100 Block (2:01 p.m.) An informant reported that their 16-yearold son left the house on foot, wearing only swim trunks, after an argument. The informant suspected that the boy was under the influence of steroids. CITIZEN ASSIST Valle Road, 32800 Block (8:55 a.m.) A woman reported that she allowed her daughter to drive the car and she did not return.

Monday, April 12

SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE La Novia Avenue, 31600 Block (9:41 a.m.) An apparently homeless man was seen pushing a cart with sharp objects sticking out of it near Saint Margaret’s High School.

Sunday, April 11 DISTURBANCE La Zanja Street, 26500 Block (7:57 p.m.) A man reported that his upstairs neighbor was insulting him through the window. The informant went to confront the man, but he refused to open the door. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCE Camino Capistrano, 29900 Block (4:07 p.m.) Two teenagers were seen putting what appeared to be oranges on the railroad tracks behind the informant’s house.

Saturday, April 10 PROWLER Calle Delphina, 26500 Block (10:58 p.m.) A man reported that he saw a man wearing a dark hoodie run through his backyard toward the back fence.




Letters to the Community SOMEBODY NEEDS TO FIX THIS —Justin Crotty, San Juan Capistrano To the CUSD Board of Trustees and the CUSD teacher’s union president: My wife, Jill, and I are the parents of two children at Ambuehl Elementary in SJC. We are ardent public education supporters – both of us have been educated in public schools our entire lives and are dedicated to the public school mission. We adore and support the teachers and staff at Ambuehl through PTA and FROM THE CEO


Growth is Good

t’s hard for me to believe, but we’ve been publishing The Capistrano Dispatch for more than three years now. Now I’m thrilled to announce a new hire and several promotions that will allow us to become even better and more successful in providing the very best “Local News You Can Use” while ensuring The Dispatch remains your voice in your community. First and foremost, I get to move back into my role as CEO of the company and let the writing be done by professionals! We’ve hired David Zimmerle as our San Clemente reporter in addition to his duties as Dana Point sports reporter. We’ve also promoted Lauralyn Loynes to Associate Publisher (known to fellow SCHS grads from the Class of ‘82 as Lauralyn Hoidal), and promoted Norb Garrett Senior Editor Jonathan Volzke to Group Editor. Add to that the return of advertising/marketing director Michele Reddick from maternity leave (child No. 2, Ben, is doing great with sister Camryn) and the addition of San Clemente resident Susie Lantz to our sales staff and we’ve got plenty to celebrate as we enter year No. 4. Aside from my role as founder, owner and CEO of Picket Fence Media (we own the SC Times, DP Times, Capistrano Dispatch, El Despacho and South County Bridal Guide), the changes will allow me to continue to work in the magazine world, as I have since we founded the SC Times over four years ago. As CEO I’ll continue to build Picket Fence as a leader in community media and my new magazine assignment, as senior vice president, group publisher of the Action Sports & Recreation Group, even keeps me close to home at their office in San Clemente. So, please join me in welcoming David and Susie aboard, Michele back, and congratulating Lauralyn and Jonathan on their promotions. Thanks, as always, for reading The Capistrano Dispatch. Page 10 • The Capistrano Dispatch • April 23–May 13, 2010

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


Jonathan Volzke, 949.388.7700, x108 ADVERTISING PRINT AND ONLINE


Andrea Swayne, 949.388.7700, x113 BILLING Alyssa Garrett, 949.388.7700, x100

The Capistrano Dispatch, Vol. 8, Issue 10. The Dispatch (www.thecapistranodispatch ) is published weekly by Picket Fence Media, publishers of the DP Times ( and the SC Times (www.sanclementetimes. com). Copyright: No articles, illustrations, photographs, or other editorial matter or advertisements herein may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited manuscripts, art, photos or negatives. Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.


ADVERTISING Associate Publisher > Lauralyn Loynes

Group Senior Editor, Editor, The Dispatch > Jonathan Volzke

> Michele Reddick (San Clemente)

City Editor, DP Times > Andrea Swayne

> Sergio Sanchez (San Juan Capistrano)


Sales Associates > Angela Edwards > Susie Lantz

Senior Designer > Jasmine Smith Graphic Designer > Heidi Mefferd

a significant volunteer commitment. We founded a California non-profit Public Benefit Corporation, The San Juan Capistrano Education Foundation, Inc., to support the needs of Ambuehl Elementary ( We are appalled, disappointed, and angry about what is transpiring between the CUSD Board of Trustees and the Teachers Union representing the CUSD teachers. Apparently the Capo Unified teacher strike is on. This is simply unacceptable and each of you holds responsibility. Your inability or unwillingness to negotiate your differences without involving the children of CUSD – my children included – has brought the problems of the district and union into the homes of the district constituents you serve. I realize nobody wants a strike. I am not taking sides—I support neither side in a strike situation because this dispute now involves my children and my family. The parents of the children in your district— the children you have been hired or elected to serve and entrusted with a great responsibility—are irate at both sides. You are using our children as a bargaining chip now, have made CUSD the laughing stock of the California public school system, and will be impacting the administration’s ability to provide any semblance of a learning environment for the duration of this strike and potentially long-term. We expected grown professionals to resolve the outstanding differences and avoid a strike. We expected those leaders in whom we place a great deal of trust and responsibility—the education of our children—to resolve this dispute without involving our children or disrupting their learning experience. In doing so, apparently we have made a huge mistake. You have proven, due to your inability to resolve this labor stoppage, that you are not worthy of our trust. Earn it back if you care. We expect swift and rapid resolution and we expect the strike to end quickly. We expect the teachers back to work immediately and both sides to step up to the negotiating table in good faith. Anything less is simply unacceptable. Be the leaders you have claimed you are. Be the leaders we expect you to be. Restore CUSD to respectability by making progress at the negotiating table and removing our children as negotiating leverage. Neither side is winning supporters with this strike. You are all losing. We are all losing. If this strike is prolonged you will destroy this district, shame yourselves in the process, and force us parents to seek alternative options for our children’s educations. We will not tolerate prolonged ineptitude. Our children will not bear the brunt of a prolonged action and should not be expected to do so. Forget the specific issues being disputed. The parents’ number one priority is the education, safety

Billing/Collections Manager > Alyssa Garrett Distribution Manager > Andrea Swayne INTERNS Jamal Al-Sarraf, Danielle Juncal, Sherry Lucas, Austin Reagan, Heather Turney, Robyn Wyman Dill SPECIAL THANKS Robert Miller, George Mackin

OPERATIONS Finance Director > Mike Reed

CONTRIBUTORS Tawnee Prazak, David Zimmerle

ONLINE READER POLLS Make sure to sound off each week on “The Dispatch Poll of the Week” at Then go to our community Message Board and share your opinions. The Dispatch Online Reader Polls are not scientific and do not reflect the opinion of The Dispatch.

and welfare of our kids. You have put our kids at risk by failing to resolve the dispute through negotiations. Do not expect an ounce of parent sympathy or support for either side until you remove our kids as a negotiating tool and restore their daily educational environment to normal with the regular teachers back in the classrooms with our kids. Get it done. Now.

OPEN LETTER OF THANKS… —Amal Khalil, World Language Teacher, Capistrano Valley High School I want to thank all those who have given words of encouragement to CUSD teachers, parents, and children. We are all in need of a peaceful voice of wisdom. More than words, we are desperate for actions that result in a productive education for our children who deserve no less. I think of our federal government’s goal to send more high school graduates into a competitive global economy, and remain confused by how our district contradicts that goal by limiting resources in public schools. Or worse, how will our children become diplomats of tomorrow or foster peace if they cannot understand or create discourse at school? I am in my fourth year as a CUSD teacher. I chose CUSD over three other job offers for several reasons (diverse student population, quality of faculty, staff development, etc.) despite previous board challenges. Before that, I had a successful 14-year career in hotel management. I decided to leave, because I thought I could contribute more to the world outside of tourism. I always dreamed to teach, to share my experience with children so they in turn could make a positive difference in this world. In order to leave my previous career, I had to save significant funds to return to school full-time, take refresher courses, go through teacher training/student teaching, get a reputable credential, then go through a two-year induction process. In order to prove my ability as a teacher, I established five levels of curriculum in my given discipline from scratch, became a lead teacher and assumed AP/IB responsibilities before my third year. (Cont. on page 12)

SOAPBOX Letters (Cont. from page 10) To maintain my teaching skills, I’ve attended several specialized conferences, staff development seminars, and continually spend hours collaborating with my peers. In addition to my job, I spend countless hours after school assisting students in study sessions, chaperoning events, and attending sports and performing arts events in support of what they do outside of the classroom (as those are invaluable connections, and there is nothing like the smile a student projects when they see you in a crowd). Before I began teaching, I had never invested more time or money in my life for any one cause. But again, this is my life’s dream. I choose to be here, and if given the same choice today, I still choose to stay. After just 4 years in the classroom, I have learned more about myself, other adults, my communities, learning styles, business, funding, various other disciplines, but most of all, I have connected with this generation of young adults who, if given the opportunity, could become the greatest ever. I believe that public education in America, like Horace Mann once stated, is the “great equalizer,” and I believe strongly that our children deserve not only to be equal, but the opportunity to reach their full potential. Without public education in tact, we have failed our children. No matter what race, creed, or socio-economic background, each child has the right to pursue fulfillment through education. I also believe that we, as Americans, must value the resources required to establish an excellent public education: modern materials, safe schools, and qualified teachers. It is frightening that these resources are entrusted to people who do not have the same values as the community they serve. Teachers deserve to be valued, parents deserve a return on tax investment, but most of all, our children deserve an education that provides them confidence and a chance to become valuable global citizens. I received my first pink slip last month. I am fearful that I may well lose my job whether or not there is a strike. As a result, I will be homeless. All my savings have already gone to my schooling and into my classroom. Nonetheless, I remain in solidarity with my peers, parents, and students. I am not about to fail this “test.” This test is certainly scary, but I am far more afraid of what might happen if we stay silent. As for all the training, funding, and time I have invested to reach this point, it has not gone wasted. I look back (and hopefully forward) with great pride. I have grown my AP/IB programs by triple since I arrived 4 years ago, encouraging and training students of all backgrounds to reach for levels they had not imagined. As they are receiving acceptance at prestigious universities around the country, their response has been, “thank you!” That’s all I need.

Thank you, Capistrano —Kathy Hooper, 1/11 Adoption Committee Member I want to thank the citizens of San Juan Capistrano. This past Saturday, this city and the Adoption Committee for our 1/11 Marines sponsored a picnic for our adopted Marine battalion, the 1/11’s. It was wonderful, not only was the weather perfect, but the amount of love and support shown to our 1/11’s and their families by this community were heart warming. We had pie-eating contests, egg-toss games; face painting, bounce houses, balloons. We had wonderful hot dogs and hamburgers BBQ’ed all day by Jerry’s Dogs. Of course it was a picnic so yes the beer was cold and well appreciated. I am very proud to tell you that I sit on the board of directors for the committee, but I would have gone to the BBQ Page 12 • The Capistrano Dispatch • April 23–May 13, 2010


Why Another Recall? I ’m sure this is a question that you’ve asked yourself at least once in the past month. Why are we yet again trying to recall members of the Capistrano Unified School Board? The first recall failed, the second one cost us $800,000, ERIN why even consider a third? It’s a KUTNICK good question and one that I had to really consider before supporting this effort. In general the regular election cycles are the appropriate place to vote in or out our representatives. I believe in democracy and have been a regular voter since I turned 18. But sometimes, the system just doesn’t work the way it was intended and unfortunately that is what has happened to us in CUSD. After several years of turmoil in our district, a group of interested parents including myself started to look for some real and long-term solutions to end the drama and bring the focus back to education. There has been a complete turnover in leadership in the past two years and yet we are in worse shape than ever. Our parent group spent most of 2009 leading the effort to change the way we elect trustees. Our district has grown so large and it has become impossible for the average voter to truly know who they are electing to school board. By breaking it down to more local elections, it saves money, provides greater accountability, and affords the opportunity to know your elected representatives better. We were extremely disappointed during that process when the trustees continued to spend money and use their influence to stop this much-needed change. Our district stands to save $1 million a decade with this simple change. After a year-long battle we realized that the current

anyway. I am also proud of our committee that worked on this event; City staff gave their own time to help, the City Council and their families joined us. Rotary folks pitched in and helped all day and Fiesta Association members who are still recovering from the Parade were there to help. I even saw the editor of “our” newspaper helping to move tables. Grandma’s and Grandpa’s introduced there little people to these young men and women with so much gratefulness in their hearts. One little guy made “placemats” and gave them to the Marines, telling them in his own pictures and words, “Thank you.” The entire day was special, to see these families play together knowing what they would be facing in the next week or so, being deployed, was enough to make me cry, of course. I do have to tell you, a young woman whose husband has already been deployed sang our National Anthem, and to watch our Marines stand at attention was very sobering to say the least. These are very, very special people. The Adoption Committee is already planning other events to keep our community stay in touch with these young families to support them, and help them with what we can, after all isn’t that why we adopted them. Anthony Gilbert, the balloon clown at the event, sent an e-mail saying this: “Without doubt, this was one of the very few events I’ve attended where I got far more out of it by being there than any of the attendees”. I think that’s how we all felt. So Thank you to all of you who sent or gave donations to help, those of you who were able to attend, and thank you to those of you who will

trustees were not really interested in reform. We attended board meetings and watched first hand as they ignored their constituents, spent money frivolously, and hired friends and associates. The final straw for many was the vote to award large outof-court settlements to their friends and campaign supporters. For me, it was all of these things. I’ve been involved in this district for 12 years. I come from a family of educators and support public education. But this is much bigger than just the 52,000 students in our district. Even if you do not have children in our public schools, this issue affects you. As a real estate professional my entire career, I can tell you the quality of schools is one of the single most important factors that affects property values and for most homeowners; their largest single investment is their home. No matter when you plan to sell your home, the reputation of our district can negatively or positively impact that value. As residents, parents, tax-payers, and constituents, we must stand together and demand that our school board work together to make the best decisions possible for the students of this district. This has not happened in the past 18 months and now we need to change it. Please take a moment to sign the recall petitions today and help us qualify this issue for the November ballot. We only have a short period of time left and we need your help. Even if you aren’t 100 percent sure where you stand, please sign now so that we can all have the opportunity to choose in November. For more information, see the Capistrano Recall 2010 Web site at Erin Kutnick is a former PTA leader active in Capistrano schools. She has a blog at http://

keep our 1/11’s in your thoughts and prayers. Please try to join us in person next time, I can guarantee you will feel really good about the way you spent your day.

Distrito La Novia Not Good —John Perry, San Juan Capistrano There is much to dislike about the proposed Distrito La Novia project. The Planning Commission has heard over and over again objections from city residents who live in adjacent neighborhoods about the impacts this project will have on their quality of life and their ability to live in harmony with the project they seem bent on approving. Lets recap some of the more serious aspects of this project that cannot be mitigated: * Nearly a half million cubic yards of soil, old refuse, and hillsides will be graded and relocated using neighborhood streets. This will create impossible traffic, noise, dust, and unhealthful hazards to residents downwind of the project. * The construction of 10 buildings which will be up to 45 feet in height on a graded ridge will provide visual barriers to the neighborhood residents. The mass of the buildings will be out of character with existing single story structures in the surrounding community. * The concept of mixed-use, where residents will live above retail business, does not exist in San Juan Capistrano at the present time. Is the Planning Commission willing to bet the city’s and the community’s future on a radical planning concept? A similar project in Anaheim near Angel stadium remains unoccupied

SOAPBOX and repossessed after several years on the market. Is it wise planning to locate equestrian facilities on the top of a hill? As you know, water drains downhill from its source and will eventually end up in the ocean. Although you assure the community that you can design a system to confine the runoff, the foul mess will have to drain somewhere. Horses make good pets but are bad neighbors. The planned 775 horses will generate at least 25 tons of manure daily that will have to be hauled over city streets to some disposal site. Have you considered the carbon footprint of such a facility? Think of the energy to provide the animal food, water, manure disposal transportation, methane gas from manure decay, traffic, and spectator consumption. Compare this carbon footprint to a passive park or simply open space. I think you may be amazed at how much pollution 775 horses generate. The city has rationed water consumption because of the drought and political uncertainty of the Northern California water supply. How can you as planning commissioners in good faith approve the addition of up to a thousand or more city residents without knowing where the additional water will come from? Either we have enough water or we don’t. Which is it? The project could not be located in a more congested site. The freeway on and off ramps and the cut through traffic using San Juan Creek Road to bypass central city traffic already causes an impossible amount of traffic at the intersection of Valle Road and San Juan Creek Road. Multiply the existing traffic when the Pacifica San Juan homes are complete, the Ortega overpass in under construction, the increased number of high school drivers getting off on San Juan Creek Road to bypass Ortega Highway, and the residents of Meadows and Distrito La Novia are on the street at the same time. Then restrict traffic to right turn only on San Juan Creek Road and you will have gridlock sort of like the fast food traffic fiasco only worse. I believe if this project is approved, the community may rise up and initiate a referendum to force an election to see if the people really want this kind of project in their community.

Another Against Meadows Project —Marsha Norman, San Juan Capistrano The proposed San Juan Meadows and Distrito La Novia projects at La Novia, Valle and San Juan Creek roads are on the fast track for approval by your City Council. The combined two developments will bring to our city a 775-horse/equestrian facility, 94 single-family detached dwelling units, 68,200 gross square feet of commercial-retail, 27,500 gross square feet of office space, 90 residential condominium units, 50 residential apartments, and approximately 3,600 parking spaces, which includes a five or six story parking facility. This requires a General Plan Amendment and rezone. Is this what you expect when you think of downtown redevelopment? We already have the Ventanas project, a 416-home/condo Sun Cal defunct housing project, and 15,000-home development east of La Pata laying in wait...and now this! Wake up San Juan. It is all coming to and through your town. Please don’t let “sleepy little San Juan Capistrano” mean that the residents are sleeping while the City Council is quietly bringing the bulldozers, massive development and traffic to our town. May I recommend that each council member and resident read the minutes of the Planning Commission meeting of April 13. Pretty telling from the many informed residents and commissioners concerns as to just how unpopular the development of Distrito La Novia and San Juan Meadows is. Residents basically issued a resounding “no” on these projects. Three items that drew most of the negative attention were: inability to mitigate “D” level traffic, dump site remediation, and the 775 horses. Someone calculated the waste from that


Truth, Lies and Consequences W ords are powerful. They can paint images, educate or give totally incorrect impressions. Anyone can twist words. A number can be grabbed from one article, then plugged into another article and come off with LAURA a whole new meaning. Arguments FREESE are enhanced with opinions that are identified as facts. Based on fictional stories, bullies have a heyday and kids commit suicide. In this day and age of super fast communication, words - right or wrong - can be regarded as the truth—just text them, put them in a newsletter or blog and people believe them. The moral of this story is: Don’t believe everything you read. Statistics are a favorite way to scare people when the source is not stated. In the Common Sense newsletter it said that “53 percent of legal/illegal immigrant families are on welfare including food stamps, Medicaid, free school lunches…” That may very well be correct, but where did that statistic come from? Is it 53 perdcent of immigrant families in California, the U.S. or just little SJC? When statistics are not identified they are handily interpreted any which way. Great for adding more fuel to any fire. So, look for the sources when you see statistics. Opinions are an essential part of any argument

number of horses would fill 14 cement mixers. Daily? Wrap your nose around that and it evokes a whole different essence to the SJC equestrian life style. Besides these three objectionable items, the “do not want” list was endless. Also, shouldn’t the south corridor into San Juan Capistrano with its natural rolling, verdant hillsides be protected by this council? You promised to protect the north end view corridor’s hillsides, citrus groves and fields of flowers quite vocally. I am listening and so are many other residents. The $30 million bond money should have been spent on this property, hands down. It is truly “open space” and not the monolith that the ranch property is with its untold costs and unknown problems. Not to mention it being inaccessible to the taxpayers who bought it!! Maybe someone would like to buy it...and then maybe this true open space could be purchased within our city limits? Just a summary...time for this council to listen to its voters. Dial into Planning Commission meeting, April 13, 2010 and all prior meetings on this subject. And residents wake up, speak up and get to the next planning commission and city council meetings.

Out With In-N-Out —Barry and Mary Eidsvold, San Juan Capistrano We just inched our way home along Del Obispo with cars turning left across double lanes of block long lines, honking horns and near misses. It makes no sense for a town, whose biggest problem is traffic, to put an In n Out on Del Obispo unless the goal is to funnel more freeway traffic in and out of our already impacted streets. Adding and remodeling drive thru fast food places is not the way to attract economic development or encourage people to linger and enjoy the small town atmosphere of our beautiful city. Fast Food Row says “Welcome to Anywhere.” Having the smell of

but they should be identified as opinions, not as fact. Recently, Lon Uso used opinion as fact when he was bashed the council about “transparency” in the Dispatch. He stated that the council didn’t back transparency. Absurd! In reality, per an interview he gave to the Voice of OC, he was upset because the council wouldn’t back him in the purchase of a new city hall on Valle Road and blamed the loss of the real estate deal on a lack of transparency! Then there are just plain old untruths. Clint Worthington in the 2/5/10 The Dispatch blamed Mark Nielsen, personally, for a multitude of things that happened when Mark was mayor. In reality, Mark was one of five votes. If you want to point a finger, point at the council as a whole. But the sad reality is that readers may not be able to distinguish between truth and fiction. Its fun to play with words to enhance stories and make jokes funnier. But when it comes to statistics and arguments, I request that the critics keep to the facts. In the world today, misinformation moves along just as fast as truth and the outcome can be devastating. Using words unwisely causes more suspicion and hate. It is easy to be a critic. It is also easy to stretch the truth to make a point. So, dear intelligent residents of SJC, remember that old saying when it comes to the printed word: “Buyer beware!” Laura Freese is a business owner who was elected to the City Council in 2008.

hamburger wafting through the air of the gateway to our city and our Historic Park ,all day, every day, from the summer concerts to the tree lighting ceremony at Christmas would take away from the charm of the season as well as nearby restaurants trying to attract business. InNOut would bring badly needed tax revenue. But putting it at this location would only add to the existing traffic nightmare and the freeway fast food atmosphere. This is too high a price to pay for those of us who live here and goes against the city’s mission statement, “Preserving the past to enhance the future.” To submit a letter to the editor for possible inclusion in the paper, e-mail us at letters@thecapistranodispatch. com or send it to 34932 Calle del Sol, Suite B, Capistrano Beach, CA 92624. The Capistrano Dispatch reserves the right to edit reader-submitted letters for length and is not responsible for the claims made or the information written by the writers.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU To submit a letter to the editor for possible inclusion in the paper, e-mail us at or send it to 34932 Calle del Sol, Suite B, Capistrano Beach, CA 92624. The Capistrano Dispatch reserves the right to edit readersubmitted letters for length and is not responsible for the claims made or the information written by the writers.

April 23–May 13, 2010 • The Capistrano Dispatch • Page 13



THE LIST A day-by-day guide to what’s happening in and around town the next two weeks.



6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. “Sunset Rare & Reserve” Wine Tasting at the Dana Point Yacht Club; tickets $85 in advance. The fun continues Saturday with an array of wine, food, live music, special events and more. or


7 p.m. The South Orange County School of the Arts presents “42nd Street,” a timeless and inspiring tale, on stage in Porthole Theater with performances through May 1. $12 Adults, $10 Students & Seniors. 33333 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.240.1994,


8 p.m. Camino Real Playhouse presents the play where confusion and hilarity reigns in a tale of nuptial nightmares! Tickets $20. Last show April 25. 31776 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.489.8082,


7 p.m. Capistrano Valley Christian Schools’ award winning Performing Arts Department presents the zany Roaring Twenties musical romp that took Broadway by storm winning the Tony Award for best musical in 2002! Taking place in New York City in 1922, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” tells the story of young Millie Dillmount, from Kansas, who has just moved to the city in search of a new life for herself. April 23, 24, 29, 30 and May 1. Performances are 7 p.m. with both a 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. show on May 1. Tickets ($10 - $15) may be purchased online at www.cvcs. org or at the door if available. 32032 Del Obispo Street, San Juan Capistrano. 949.493.5683


10 a.m.–2 p.m. The Ark of San Juan hosts two events at Ralphs (31874 Del Obispo) and PetSmart (33963 Doheny Park Road). San Juan Capistrano, 949.388.0034,


8 a.m.–3 p.m. Check out a big display of woody cars at Doheny State Beach. Free. $10 parking at the beach. 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point,


8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The ultimate FUNd-raising walk with the dogs in Dana Point Harbor sponsored by the Pet Project Foundation with food, music, entertainment, pet contests, prizes, pet-related sponsors and booths. Cost $35. Go to Page 16 • The Capistrano Dispatch • April 23–May 13, 2010


The three-day Dana Point California Wine festival kicked off on Thursday, April 22 at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel with a “Taste the Future: 21st Century Classics,” wine and sustainable seafood tasting event. The event continues on Friday from 6: 30 p.m.–9 p.m. with a “Sunset Rare and Reserve” wine tasting, gourmet food sampling and live music at the Dana Point Yacht Club, 24399 Dana Drive. Tickets are $85 in advance, $100 at the door. File photo Day three of the Festival continues on Saturday from 1 p.m.–4 p.m. with the main event, a beachside wine and beer tasting, food sampling and live music at Doheny State Beach. Tickets are $59 in advance, $75 at


9 a.m.–1 p.m. Help clean San Juan Creek and the beach in honor of Mother Earth Day. Enjoy a barbecue after the hard work. Sponsored by Surfrider Foundation. 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, 949.496.6172,


7 a.m.–10 a.m. CR&R will distribute bags of processed green waste (compost) to customers; a coupon from your billing is required. City Hall Back Parking Lot. 32400 Paseo Adelanto, 949.493.1171,

THE CALIFORNIA WINE FESTIVAL the door. Roughly 100 exhibitors, including about 60 wineries, Orange County restaurants and microbreweries, such as Left Coast Brewing Company, Inc., of San Clemente, will also be present said Don Fritzen who, along with his wife Kami, owns Evergreen Events LLC which runs the festival. “We’re expecting a great festival in Orange County this year. Orange County is ‘Wine Lover Country’ with a reputation for supporting wine events like no place else. We’re really excited about the new Festival and the high level of enthusiasm in Orange County,” said Fritzen. For more information or to purchase tickets, log on to the Festival Web site at —AS


6 p.m. Bring your knitting or other craft project and discuss the book: Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomberat the SJC Library. Copies available at the checkout desk. 31495 El Camino Real, 949.493.1752,


9 p.m. Rock n roll at BeachFire Ladera. 25682 Crown Valley Pkwy., Ladera Ranch, 949.542.7700,



8:30 p.m. Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, 949.493.3188,


9 p.m.–1 a.m. Rock music at The Lounge at 210. 32124 Paseo Adelanto, San Juan Capistrano, 949.661.9800,


7 p.m.–10 p.m. The Vintage. 26701-B Verdugo St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.661.3407,


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


5 p.m.–7 p.m. Simple Fondue features $1 wine tastings every Saturday and Sunday held on the patio. Guest also receive free corkage OR a complimentary appetizer with purchase of $20 or more. 31761 Camino Capistrano, 949.240.0300,


3 p.m.–7 p.m. Every Wednesday at El Camino Real and Yorba; 949.493.4700.


9 p.m. Soulful originals and popular covers at BeachFire Ladera every Wednesday. BeachFire Ladera. 25682 Crown Valley Pkwy., Ladera Ranch, 949.542.7700,


5:30 p.m.–10 p.m. Country line-dancing lessons, two-stepping and free country dancing at 210 Dance at the Lounge every Wednesday. 32124 Paseo Adelanto, 949.661.9800,


6 p.m. Aki and Fino bartend at Swallow’s Inn and at 8 p.m. Mr. Nobody plays live music. 31786 Camino Capistrano, 949.493.3188,


8 p.m. Acclaimed comedic play at Cabrillo Playhouse. Performances through May 16. 202 Avenida Cabrillo, San Clemente, 949.492.0465,







9 p.m. Singer/songwriter live at BeachFire Ladera. 25682 Crown Valley Pkwy., Ladera Ranch, 949.542.7700,

7:30 p.m. Free dance lessons and DJ Bubba at Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, 949.493.3188,


4 p.m. –7 p.m. Free pool, Military appreciation night and rockin ‘80s music at The Lounge at 210. 32124 Paseo Adelanto, San Juan Capistrano, 949.661.9800,

6 p.m.–9 p.m. The solo mariachi guitarist plays at El Adobe de Capistrano every Friday and Saturday night. 31891 Camino Capistrano, 949.493.1163, 9 p.m.–1 a.m. Rock music at The Lounge at 210, 32124 Paseo Adelanto, San Juan Capistrano, 949.661.9800,


7 p.m.–10 p.m. The Vintage. 26701-B Verdugo St., San Juan Capistrano, 949.661.3407,


8 p.m. “Positive vibrations” at The Coach House with Pato Benton, Entropy, Waterhouse and Jahrootsalem. Tickets $15. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930, www.


Dispatch Restaurant Spotlight


By Jonathan Volzke

Have you eaten at this restaurant?

Sky Ranch, on the patio at Ruby’s

Go to www.thecapistranodispatch. com and rate your overall experience. We’ll post the results in next week’s issue of The Dispatch.

31781 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.7829, BEST KNOWN FOR: Great atmosphere, rounded menu and consistently high quality. MOST POPULAR ITEM: Kobe burger, $10.99 for the combo

Web Extra: Online voters gave

Ruby’s has been a family favorite, with great burgers and shakes and that train running around the ceiling. But now the old favorite has a new buzz: Sky Ranch. Ruby’s completely redid its outdoor patio overlooking the corner of Camino Capistrano and Verdugo Street, providing great new views and even a great new menu. Even the familiar red-and-white uniforms have been replaced with a new western motif, and the menu offers a great nacho plate, tacos and more. The patio also recently received its permit for a full bar, so mixed drinks will be available in a couple of weeks. “We’re trying to bring a little bit of San Juan into Ruby’s, and that kind of western cowboy is San Juan, and the patio is such a nice warm beautiful setting overlooking the Mission, the train station and the hills of San Juan,” said John Fisher, who owns the restaurant with Joe Campbell. “You’re not going to feel uncomfortable with a martini or margarita on the patio the way it looks now. We wanted to go up a notch or two and really bring San Juan into the equation.”

Sky Ranch. Courtesy photo

PRICE RANGE: $8.49–$13.99 PAYMENT: Cash or credit cards RESERVATIONS: Not necessary HOURS: Mon–Thu, Sun, 7 a.m.–9 p.m.; Fri–Sat, 7 a.m.–10 p.m. (Summer hours will increase to 10 p.m. and midnight on weekends)

Proud Mary’s


34689 Golden Lantern Street, Dana Point, 949.493.5853 (Rated on a scale of 1–5 stars)

Last issue online voters gave

Panera Bread 802 Avenida Talega, Ste. 101 San Clemente, 949.366.3800 (Rated on a scale of 1–5 stars)

ABOUT OUR REVIEWS: In each issue we’ll highlight universally critical points including “Most Popular Dish,” “Best Known For” and “Price Range.” But most importantly, we’re inviting you to participate each week and rate the restaurant based on your experiences. Go to and under “Restaurant Guide,” rate it from 1 to 5, then share your thoughts on the Dispatch forums.


10 a.m. Tours of the nursery facilities and gardens with professional advice on plant care and maintenance. 33201 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano, 949.728.0685,


11 a.m. The Library shows a fun movie “Planet 51,” with little green people and an American astronaut. Free admission and popcorn for this fun family event.. 31495 El Camino Real, 949.498.1752,


8 p.m. Live music at The Lounge at 210. 32124 Paseo Adelanto, San Juan Capistrano, 949.661.9800,


8 p.m. English musician at The Coach House with This Side Up Blues Band. Tickets $25. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930,


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

8:45 a.m. The Library offers free computer lessons with instruction on a variety of topics; class space limited so arrive early. 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 949.248.5132,


11 a.m. Children ages 3-6 and their caregivers are invited for stories, songs, crafts and fun. 31495 El Camino Real, 949.493.1752,

wednesday05 KARAOKE

7 p.m. Get onstage and sing or enjoy cheap tacos at Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, 949.493.3188,


10 a.m.; 12 p.m.; 2 p.m. ‘Tis the season to search for migrating gray whales with Dana Wharf. Adults $29, Kids $19. 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.496.5794,


6:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m. The talented musician performs variety music at Savannah Chop House. 32441 Golden Lantern, Laguna Niguel, 949.493.7107.

thursday06 MARCIA BALL

8 p.m. Singer/pianist performs an emotionally charged concert at The Coach House. Tickets $20. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, 949.496.8930,


2:30 p.m. Live music at Swallow’s Inn. 31786 Camino Capistrano, 949.493.3188,


8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Art from the collection of Mrs. Joan Irving Smith and the Irvine Museum on display at the Mission. Admission of $5–$9. 26801 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, 949.234.1300,


10 a.m.–12 p.m. Discover history-related replica artifacts once used at the Mission. Free with paid admission, $5–$9. 26801 Ortega Hwy., 949.234.1300,



Upcoming: May 7


7 p.m. The Library shows “The Informant” on the food industry starring Matt Damon. 31495 El Camino Real, 949.248.5132,

Upcoming: May 8


10 a.m.–4 p.m. Enjoy a self-guided tour of local private gardens hosted by the Rose Society of Saddleback Mountain Presale tickets $20; $25 day of. 31701 Peppertree Bend, San Juan Capistrano, 949.433.4778, 949.837.2141,

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

Right at Home Bill Medley set for a night at The Coach House


seminal figure in the history of American music, Bill Medley is perhaps best known as half of the unmistakable duo, The Righteous Brothers. In the mid-1960s, the Righteous Brothers became a fixture on Top 40 radio with hits like “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin,” “Just Once in My Life,” “Unchained Melody,” and “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration,” creating an ultra-dramatic take on Sixties pop romance. Raised in Santa Ana, Medley always had a passion for music. On May 7, he will return to south Orange County for a one night show at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. The Capistrano Dispatch caught up with Medley to talk about his new album and the upcoming show. Since 2003, you’ve taken a break from the studio, what was it like to get back in there and record your recent album “Damn Near Righteous?” It was a lot of fun. I worked with some great musicians, and just loved recording the actual songs. The producers I worked with are friends of mine, so I felt really comfortable sitting in there with them and just pushing the songs around a bit. How do you maintain a sense of longevity in today’s everchanging music industry? It’s all about the songs really–they never went away. Throughout the 80s and 90s movies like “Top Gun” with “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin,” “Dirty Dancing” and “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” and “Ghost” with “Unchained Melody,” really propelled us for 20 more years. I love what I do, love the business and love the songs, and that’s what makes it easy. As an Orange County native, what is it that you love about playing the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano? It’s one of those laid-back, intimate and very comfortable venues. When you play there you don’t deal with a lot of stress and it’s a really good-feeling place. I hope everyone shows up. I’ll play all the hits, with a great new band and it’s going to be a lot of fun. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets can be purchased for $55 at The Coach House by calling 949.496.7935 or online by visiting www.thecoachhouse. com. CD —David Zimmerle April 23–May 13, 2010 • The Capistrano Dispatch • Page 17




COMMUNITY CALENDAR friday 4.24 Coffee Chat 8 a.m. The Capistrano Dispatch hosts a spirited town hall forum on community issues. All are welcome. Camino Real Playhouse, on El Camino Real, just south of Ortega Highway. Occurs every Friday.

tuesday 4.27 Utilities Commission 8 a.m.., City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. Cultural Heritage Commission 5 p.m., City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto.

Planning Commission Meeting 6:30 p.m. City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto.

wednesday 5.12 Transportation Commission meeting 6 p.m., City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto.

tuesday 5.04 City Council meeting 6:30 p.m., City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto.

Friday 5.14

tuesday 5.11

*Meeting agendas at

CUSD school board meeting 7 p.m., CUSD Ed Center, 33122 Valle Road. Agenda at

Next regular issue of The Dispatch publishes.

JAN SIEGEL: Moments in Time

Mission is Star in Historic Movie A s you know from reading past articles, this year, 2010, marks the 100th anniversary of the first movie being made in San Juan Capistrano. The movie, entitled “Two Brothers,” starred Mary Pickford and was JAN SIEGEL directed by David W. Griffith. The wedding scene was filmed in the ruins of Great Stone Church. Scenes of the outlaw camp were filmed in the foothills of San Juan Capistrano. A chase scene was taken on the old Hot Springs Road, which is now Ortega Highway. The Historical Society has a copy of this film and it will soon be shown in San Juan Capistrano at the new Regency Theater once the theater announces its opening. There were other silent films made in town, but most have been lost. There were no pictures made in San Juan Capistrano between 1912 and 1917, because the Selig Company had exclusive rights to the making of motion pictures at all of the California missions, and since San Juan Capistrano was in such poor condition, it was not seen as a possible motion picture site. Father St. John O’Sullivan would change that when he started his restoration of the Mission. He saw that opportunity to raise money for historic preservation at the Mission by charging the movie companies a fee for filming. Mademoiselle Midnight made in 1924; The Rose of the Golden

West made in 1927, the Gay Defender made in 1928 are some of the films that were made here but are no longer available. After a year of searching on the internet for any copies of any other silent films that have survived I was able to track down “For the Soul of Rafael” which is an adaptation of a novel by the same name by author Mary Ellis Ryan. Ryan lived at the Mission in 1910 and used local history to create her novel. The movie was made in 1920, and was not popular with local citizens, because they felt that it did not respect the local citizenry. According to a review from Moving Picture World on May 15, 1920, it is a “story of California seventy years ago, with its old missions and its old convents. The scene of the romance is laid near San Juan Capistrano, and the photography, with the exception of the interiors, were taken in that locality.” I think that some of the interior shots were from the Mission as well. “All of the important people in the cast with the exception of three, are Spanish. Clara Kimball Young, in the part of the aristocratic Spanish girl just out of a convent and facing life with the contending problems of love and duty tearing at her conscience, does some of her best, if not the very best work of her career.” The film runs for 85 minutes. Nothing is mentioned about local people being used as extras, in the wedding and fiesta scenes, but it seems likely. It would be in-

teresting to see if any old timers in San Juan Capistrano recognize a great-aunt or distant cousin. The shots of the Mission show some of the restoration work started by Father St. John O’Sullivan. Along with “Two Brothers.” “For the Soul of Rafael” will soon be shown at the Regency Theater in San Juan Capistrano. The cost will be five cents, just like the old Nickelodeons of the 1920s. As part of its opening festivities, the Regency Theater is going to show these two silent films for the community. The theater is waiting for final inspection from various City departments so that it can open. The DVD of these movies was made by Parrot Video, 33161 Camino Capistrano, in San Juan Capistrano. Mike Allen of Parrot can digitally enhance any of your old movies, films, photos or slides. For further information contact him at 949.240.7141 or at Be sure and come and spend a Moment in Time to see the old movies made in San Juan Capistrano 100 years ago. Jan Siegel is a longtime downtown tour guide and member of the Cultural Heritage Commission. She was recently honored with the addition of her name to the city’s “Wall of Distinction.”

Community Groups Plan Fundraisers Three Capistrano organizations and schools have fundraisers in coming weeks, and with money and donations tighter than ever, the grass-roots fund-raisers are more important than ever. Ambuehl Elementary School, at 28001 San Juan Creek Road, will have its Carnival and Silent Auction on May 1. The carnival will go from noon to 5 p.m. with the auction set for noon to 3 p.m. Don’t miss this exciting day for the whole family featuring great rides, fun games and prizes, outdoor laser tag, good food and—always a highlight— 200 fabulous gift baskets to bid on. The Capistrano Valley Boys & Girls Clubs 16th Annual Benefit Dinner “Under the Big Top” will be held May 8 at 5 p.m. in the city gymnasium, as those who attend will enjoy its transformation into a circus. Gunner the Stilt Walking Bird and his keeper will be on hand as well as local teens who will wear designer balloon costumes. This year’s honorees are Board of Regents, Kim and Page 18 • The Capistrano Dispatch • April 23–May 13, 2010

Bill Chetney. Every dollar raised at this event helps to support more than 52 programs implemented annually at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley. Tickets are $150 per person ($110 tax deductible) or $1,500 for a table of 10 ($1,100 tax deductible). More information is available from Kelly Reynolds at 949.240.7898, ext. 13. The 3rd Annual Stallion Classic Golf Tournament will be on May 21 at San Juan Hills Golf Club. Following the event will be a delicious barbecue, silent auction and raffle. Proceeds support SJHHS Athletic Programs and improvements to their strength training facilities. Fees are $150 per golfer or $500 per foursome. If you don’t golf you can still join in the dinner reception for $25. Online sign up is available by visiting www.sjhhs. org/golftournament. More information is available from Lori Bickel, Golf Tournament Chair, at 949.218.4585 or

Locals Only

B u s i n e s s D i r e c t o r y The only directory featuring San Juan Capistrano businesses exclusively ALSO





Air Conditioning DC Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning 949.365.9044

Air Conditioning & HEATING

EmbroidMe – SJC 949.276.7910 32241 Camino Capistrano , A102

Experience The Mission

Oasis Air Conditioning & Heating 949.420.1321 Historic Mission San Juan Capistrano 31648 Rancho Viejo Rd., Ste. A, Exciting New Audio Tour 949.234.1300 26801 Ortega Highway, Antique Restoration Sarah Whitcomb Antique Restoration 949.234.9740 FLORIST 32432 Alipaz, Ste. B, Mother Earth Flowers 949.493.4400 32158 Camino Capistrano, Ste. 105

Assisted Living

Del Obispo Terrace 949.496.8802 32200 Del Obispo Street,

Law Office of Skinner & Skinner 31461 Rancho Viejo Rd., Ste. 103


Auto Repair Star Motors 32959 Calle Perfecto


Bands / Entertainment Evergrove





Signs of a water leak are: - You see water where you shouldn’t - You feel warm spots on the floor - Water heater is always running - Your water bill is higher than normal If you experience any of these symptoms PLEASE CALL A to Z Leak Detection! 949.481.7013 since 1961

Banking Comerica Bank 949.234.9683 32022 Camino Capistrano, Suite F3, Independence Bank 949.373.1570 Marbella Plaza 31107 Rancho Viejo Rd., Pacific Mercantile Bank 949.487.4200 31601 Avenida Los Cerritos, Ste 100,

Beauty Salon Charisma Salon & Supply 32301-F Camino Capistrano Curtis Michaels Hair Salon 31882 Del Obispo, Ste. 150,



Community Services CHEC Family Resource Center 31411 La Matanza Street, Suite B

HOME THEATER Reeltime Sight and Sound 949.240.0555 26381 Via De Anza,


Insurance Capistrano Health & Life



Kitchen Design

Orange Coast Database Association 949-489-1472 32422 Allipaz St., Ste. B,

Construction Services 949.661.2054

Kitchen & Bath Designs 27231 Ortega Hwy., Unit B


LAUNDRIES Sparklean Laundry 31952 Del Obispo


MOLD REMOVAL Jarvis Restoration 949.362.5388 31942 Paseo Sagrado,

ELECTRICIANS FM Electric 31658 Rancho Viejo Rd., Ste. B,

GHA Inspection Services & Mold Testing/ Remediation   949.331.8899 San Juan Capistrano,

Abby’s Fine Jewelry Design 949.493.3632 949.489.7742 32382 Del Obispo, Ste. C-3,


Tony Brown Design & Build e-mail


Jennifer Wong, Cht - Certified Hypnotherapist & 949.240.9240 Meditation Instructor 949.878.6870 30320 Rancho Viejo Rd. Ste. #103,

Lightning Technology, Inc. 949.488.0029 32963 Calle Perfecto,



MORTGAGE Capistrano Health & Life


Photo & Digital Lab



Four-A Electric 949.240.8844 The Medicine Shoppe 949.661.9141 32432 Alipaz, Ste. C, 31952 Del Obispo #270,

San Juan Photo & Digital 32301 Camino Capistrano,


Capistrano Valley Christian Schools 949.493.5683 32032 Del Obispo Street,



Alerra Home Health Services 949.545.6646 32332 Camino Capistrano #205,

A to Z Leak Detection 949.499.4464 Pronto Plumbing (El Plomero) 949.246.3589 Slab leak repair 31878 Del Obispo Ste. 118-227, SCP Plumbing/ CuraFlo of O.C. 949.493.2426 SCP Plumbing/ CuraFlo of O.C. 949.493.2426 27126 Paseo Espada STE. 705, 27126 Paseo Espada STE. 705, TELEVISION DC Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning 949.365.9044 Reeltime Sight and Sound 949-240-0555 26381 Via De Anza, PRESCHOOLS Mission Parish School 949.234.1385 31641 El Camino Real, WATER DAMAGE

PRINTING Printing OC 949.388.4888 27134 Paseo Espada #B 203,

RestaurantS Las Golandrinas Mexican Food 949.240.3440 27124 Paseo Espada #803, Skimmer’s Panini Café 949.276.6300 31451 Rancho Viejo Rd. #103,

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

Jarvis Restoration 949.362.5388 31942 Paseo Sagrado,

Women’s Clothing Blu:Echo 949.496.4810 31878 Del Obispo (Marshalls Center)

YOGA Adelanto Studio Yoga & Life Arts 32118 Paseo Adelanto, Ste.9,



LIST YOUR BUSINESS IN “LOCALS ONLY” This handy, cost-friendly, go-to reference tool keeps your business in front of potential customers 24/7.

Get your business listed today. Call Angela Edwards at 949.682.1667 or email

Business Directory Classifieds Garage sale listings are FREE! Call 949.388.7700, ext. 103

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E-mail your garage sale to classifieds@

DEADLINE 5PM MONDAY Home Improvement CUSTOM CARPENTRY, doors,mantels,mouldings. John Jenkins 949-310-9605

Misc. Business Services Leo’s HandyMan Services Professional Handyman Services. Remodeling,Paint, Repair, Drywall, Demolition, windows, Fence,Patios. Call Free Estimates: 949-716-4359

Do you want to reach 11,500+ people in the San Juan Capistrano area?

Then you need to be in the Capistrano Dispatch. Call us today! 949.388.7700 ext. 104

April 23–May 13, 2010 • The Capistrano Dispatch • Page 21


The Sound of Mariachi Music

Capistrano mariachi school called one of country’s finest By Robyn Wyman-Dill The Capistrano Dispatch

ust one mile north of San Juan Capistrano’s landmark Mission off the San Diego Freeway at the Junipero Sera exit more than 100 violin, trumpet, guitar, guitarron, and viheula students congregate on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings to create a little night music at JSerra Catholic High School. The pristine campus lends a safe and serene environment for families to educate their youngsters in traditional Mariachi music under the tutelage of Musical Director David Ceja and his staff of four professionallytrained music instructors. “Our program offers students and their families three levels of instruction,” said Ceja. “We start classes at the first level, getting those kids with no prior musical knowledge to learn how to read music, hold instruments and over time, become familiar with other music formats.” In collaboration with CREER, a nonprofit organization whose purpose is committed to programs, projects and activities designed to achieve positive outcomes through cultural, educational and social networks, the Capistrano Community Mariachi Program (CCMP) has already made a huge difference in a short period, breaking down a pattern of low self-esteem and gang assimilation among low-income and poorly educated youths by providing favorable alternatives. “While the student ages range from five years to 19, we really encourage the whole family to become involved in exploring their musical roots in a nonthreatening environment,” Ceja said. Founded in 2008, CCMP is the first program in South Orange County that gives its participants the opportunity to develop their musical skills at the first level, sharpen their playing and stylistic approach specifically in Mariachi music at the second level and, audition and perform nationally at the third level as part of “Mariachi Capistrano” ensemble. Richard Ybarra, the executive director of CREER who has worked with foundations, nonprofit and grassroots organizations and businesses across the country focusing on leadership, civic engagement, outreach, and local and state government issues with Latino groups across the country, said the mariachi program is one of the finest in the United States. Ybarra, a graduate of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, said the program is an asset to the area and an excellent opportunity for youngsters. CCMP requires its students to be committed. Everyone must supply their own instruments and those who can afford it are charged a tuition fee of $40 per month for the first family member and $20 per month for each additional family member. Typically, course instruction runs from


The Capistrano Community Mariachi Program, open to children of all ages with any musical ability, is already making a difference. Courtesy photo

January through the end of June, with required attendance up to two times a week for each two-hour instruction and practice session. Students are also obliged to wear traditional black and white Mariachi ties, white shirts and black slacks or skirts and attend the school’s presentations. “For those low-income families that qualify for funding, we have the Amigos Program, which sponsors up to 15 families,” Ceja said. CREER, Wells Fargo Bank, Ricardo’s Place Mexican Restaurant and the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation are some of the local businesses that support the Amigos Program. “A lot of sponsor requests come from individual members of the community,” Ceja said. These goodwill sponsors are invited to observe student practices and given recommendations of families in need of tuition subsidies. In addition, MMCP

is gaining visibility through continuing public performances at Ricardo’s Place and neighborhood churches. Both Mariachi music and CCMP hail from solid foundations in the Roman Catholic Church. Mariachi music is part of the church’s most sacred of rituals; the Mass. The musically inclined Ceja family, who are members of San Felipe De Jesus Catholic Church in Capistrano Beach, established a Mariachi choir in 1998 that performed Mariachi-style masses throughout Orange County. “I have seven uncles who are Mariachi musicians so it was only natural that my little sister wanted to start a kid’s choir at our church at age 13,” Ceja said. “I was 15, and pretty much a self-taught trumpet player but I was willing to help her.” Ceja enrolled in the Rhythmo program where he learned to expand his musical craft to other instruments; the guitarron, guitar and viheula over the next

The Capistrano Community Mariachi Program rehearses at JSerra Catholic High School. Photo by Sergio Sanchez

Page 22 • The Capistrano Dispatch • April 23–May 13, 2010

four years. That education gave him the inspiration to form MMCP in 2008. Although the origin of the word and music is still up for scholarly debate, the prevailing opinion is that the word mariachi comes from Mexico and not France. Mariachi, once believed to be from the French word mariage, meaning to marry, is now attributed to the name of the wood used to make the platform on which the performers danced to the music of the village musicians. The music is also believed to be grounded in Mexican native roots and not Spanish ancestry. But whatever its true source - Mariachi music knows no borders. It is practiced and performed on the distant shores of China, Africa and Spain. The Mariachi Capistrano ensemble, which participated in the Swallows Day Parade for the first time this year, will be performing at the Tucson Mariachi Festival April 21 - 25, CREER’s Dia de los Ninos celebrations in Stonefield Park on April 30, The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation’s Cinco De Mayo Half Marathon 5k at the Irvine Spectrum on May 2 and Mission San Juan Capistrano’s “Battle of the Mariachis” on May 22. “As we look ahead, we envision developing more after-school programs in San Juan Capistrano and the surrounding communities with the ultimate dream of having our own cultural heritage center where students are empowered by these disciplines; completing homework, paying attention, participating, being on time, and practice through incentive education programs,” Ceja said. For information about the program, call 949.683.2216 or see the Web site at CD









San Jose vs. Chivas USA, Home Depot Center April 24, 7:30 p.m.

Yankees vs. Angels Angels Stadium April 25, 12:35 p.m.

Lancers vs. Lions JSerra High School April 28, 3:15 p.m.

Riding through a 10game home stand, the Angels host the Yankees in their third game of the series.

The race for the top spot in the Trinity League heats up as JSerra hosts Orange Lutheran in an important game.

Philadelphia Union vs. LA Galaxy Home Depot Center May 1, 7:30 p.m.

Sea Kings vs. Stallions, San Juan Hills High School May 4, 3:15 p.m.

Info: www.losangeles.


Chivas USA is set to rebound from a rocky start to the season with hopes for kicking past the Earthquakes of San Jose. Info:

The strong start to the 2010 season gives the LA Galaxy a formidable presence as they take on their foes from out east.

The Stallions are set to elevate their game and separate from the competition with a key game against Corona del Mar. Info:


Gardner, Crooks win at Blenheim

Riding park’s next series is April 29

Courtesy photo

Capistrano Team Places High in Enduro

The Capistrano Dispatch


The Capistrano Dispatch


an Juan Capistrano horse and rider team Allan Horn and Arabian Red Hot Rosa+ (Rosie) won second place under rainy skies at the 20 Mule Team 100 Mile Endurance Ride in Ridgecrest on Feb. 27. Rosie also won the coveted “BC” Award, or Best Condition, that is awarded to one of the top 10-finishing horses judged the fittest, freshest and soundness after the ride. The BC judging takes place the morning after the ride. Twenty-two riders started the ride and only 13 riders completed it. Allan’s ride time was 13.15 hours and he was three minutes behind the first place rider and was first place Heavyweight rider in his weight division. This was Horn’s and Rosie’s third 100-mile race. Allan and his wife Lauren compete in endurance riding all year long, mostly riding 50 milers. In 2009, Allan placed second for year-end regional awards in his heavyweight division riding another of his Arabian horses’, Royal Sassha HP. In endurance riding, heavyweight division means the horse carries 211 pounds and over; combined weight of rider and tack. CD Page 26 • The Capistrano Dispatch • April 23–May 13, 2010

Photos by JumpShot Photography

urnout for the third and final week of the Blenheim Spring horse show series was again fabulous. Spectators and exhibitors alike enjoyed watching both the $10,000 The Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA International Hunter Derby on Friday afternoon and the $35,000 Blenheim Spring Classic III Grand Prix late Saturday afternoon. The Derby festivities, including wine and cheese during the final round and a post-Derby party with guest DJ John Huntington of A&E’s Inked, put the icing on a perfect horse show weekend. The $10,000 The Chronicle of the Horse/ USEF International Hunter Derby honoring Arthur Hawkins was won by rider Katie Gardner; shown above with her horse, Parker, and awards presenters (L to R)- Rider’s friend (name unavailable); R.J. Brandes, Blenheim EquiSports CEO; Shawna Dietrich, founder of Dietrich Equine Insurance; Melissa Brandes, Blenheim EquiSports Marketing Director; Robert Ridland, Blenheim EquiSports President. The $35,000 Blenheim Spring Classic III Grand Prix was won by rider Jennifer Crooks, shown here with her horse, S.F. Uryadi. Blenheim EquiSports next hosts the Showpark of San Diego series, starting with the “A” rated Showpark Spring Festival, April 29 to May 2. See www.showpark. com for more details. CD

The Capistrano Dispatch  

April 22, 2010

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