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Fiesta Association Kicks off Parade Season PAGE 3 FOUNDED IN 2002


JANUARY 13-26, 2017 • VOLUME 15, ISSUE 1

Looking Ahead San Juan’s mayor talks issues, projects coming down the pike in 2017 E Y E O N S J C / PAG E 6

Mayor Kerry Ferguson plans to work on bringing greater security to neighborhoods and continuing to pursue sensible development in town. Photo: Allison Jarrell

City to Examine Strengthening Ban on Short-Term Lodging EYE ON SJC/PAGE 3

Hotel Capistrano Developers Announce Summer 2018 Opening EYE ON SJC/PAGE 4

Sebastian Much Making a Difference on the Court for JSerra SPORTS/PAGE 18



LOCAL NEWS & IN-DEPTH REPORTING Return of the Swallows celebration on Sunday, March 19. For more information on future Fiesta Association events or on becoming a member, visit or follow the association on Facebook at —Allison Jarrell

Applications to Serve on City Foundation Due Jan. 13

Sign-ups for the Fiesta Association’s Hairiest Man Contest will take place Saturday, Jan. 14 at 2 p.m. at The Swallow’s Inn. Each year the contest concludes during the Fiesta Grande in March. Photo: Allison Jarrell

What’s Up With... Five things San Juan should know this week Fiesta Association Kicks off Swallows Day Parade Season THE LATEST: Each year, January brings ambitious resolutions, new beginnings and, if you live in San Juan Capistrano, the start of the Fiesta de las Golondrinas season. The San Juan Capistrano Fiesta Association kicks off the 2017 Swallows Day Parade season with a membership mixer on Jan. 13. The all-volunteer nonprofit organization hosts an array of events each year during the three-month Fiesta de las Golondrinas, which leads up to the Swallows Day Parade and Mercado Street Faire—one of the nation’s largest nonmotorized parades. The Fiesta Association’s Jan. 13 mixer and membership drive will take place at The Vintage Steakhouse, located at 26701 Verdugo Street in San Juan Capistrano. Tickets are $20, which includes a buffetstyle dinner and dessert station with a nohost bar. Fiesta members can renew their membership at the event, and new members will receive free entry to the mixer. The Capistrano Dispatch January 13-26, 2017

For more information or to volunteer at the mixer, email Leanna Bradshaw at The Fiesta Association is also holding weekly meetings each Wednesday to prepare for upcoming events and, of course, for the grand finale—the 59th annual Swallows Day Parade and Mercado on March 25. Meetings take place at the Nydegger Building, located at 31421 La Matanza Street in San Juan. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for socializing and refreshments, and meetings generally run from 7-8 p.m. This year’s parade theme is “Destination San Juan: A Fiesta for Everyone!” The Fiesta Association recently announced that the 2017 Parade Grand Marshal will be Steve Nordeck, owner and manager of The Swallow’s Inn and El Adobe de Capistrano. WHAT’S NEXT: On Jan. 14, the Fiesta Association will hold “Hairiest Man” sign-ups at 2 p.m. at The Swallows’ Inn, located at 31786 Camino Capistrano. There’s a $5 sign-up fee to enter the facial hair-growing competition, which will conclude at Fiesta Grande on March 22. Other upcoming Fiesta de las Golondrinas events include: Taste of San Juan on Feb. 9 from 6-9 p.m. at the San Juan Hills Golf Club; the Kid’s Pet Parade on Feb. 18 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Los Rios Park; El Presidenté Ball on March 17 from 6-10 p.m. at El Adobe de Capistrano; Fiesta Grande on March 22 from 6-9 p.m. at the Swallow’s Inn; and Hoos’Gow Day and the annual Frog Jumping Contest on March 24. In addition to the Fiesta Association’s event lineup, Mission San Juan Capistrano will host its annual St. Joseph’s Day/The

THE LATEST: After voting in October to finalize the creation of a city nonprofit, the City Council continues to look for applications from residents interested in serving on the City Foundation’s board. In a statement released on Jan. 10, the city announced that the deadline for applications would be extended to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 13. Applications must be delivered to the City Clerk’s office at City Hall, located at 32400 Paseo Adelanto. Last February, the Parks, Recreation, Senior and Youth Services Commission made a recommendation to the City Council to create a city nonprofit public benefit corporation. Commissioners sought to increase city fundraising opportunities and provide another way for residents and businesses to contribute monetarily to city projects or programs. The Council voted in July to approve the recommendation, and in October, city staff filed Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. The San Juan Capistrano City Foundation was officially created on Oct. 14. On Dec. 6, the Council voted to approve a set of draft bylaws, which were modeled after the city of Fountain Valley’s Community Foundation bylaws. The bylaws do differ in some ways—the San Juan Capistrano City Foundation will not be allowed to borrow money or incur debt. The nonprofit 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation aims to, “aid, sponsor, promote, advance and assist in the provision, development and maintenance of public parks, recreation, and community services in the city of San Juan Capistrano; aid, sponsor, promote and advance the programs and services provided by the city; engage in any other activities in furtherance of the purposes for which the Foundation is formed; and receive, invest and utilize funds, property and in-kind materials or services acquired through the solicitation of contributions, donations, grants, gifts, bequests and the like for the purposes for which the Foundation is formed.” WHAT’S NEXT: The mayor’s subcommittee, which consists of Mayor Kerry Ferguson and Mayor Pro Tem Sergio Farias, is responsible for reviewing the applications, conducting interviews and making appointment recommendations to the rest of the Council.

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The subcommittee will recommend at least seven residents to serve on the board. Appointed members will serve a term from April 1, 2017, through March 31, 2019. Farias and Ferguson will present their recommendations at the Council’s Jan. 17 meeting, which begins at 5 p.m. at City Hall. For more information on applying for the City Foundation, call the City Clerk’s office at 949.493.1171. To view the application, visit www.sanjuancapistrano. org. —AJ

Council Will Consider Allocating More Funds to Fight Substation Expansion THE LATEST: The City Council has already voiced its continued opposition to the recently approved San Diego Gas & Electric substation expansion, and next week the Council will consider dedicating more funding to that fight. On Dec. 15, the California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to approve SDG&E’s proposal to expand its substation in San Juan Capistrano, as part of its South Orange County Reliability Enhancement (SOCRE) project. The SOCRE project will expand the current substation in San Juan’s residential Las Brisas neighborhood by rebuilding and upgrading a portion of its transmission infrastructure. The project aims to create a redundant electrical system that would rely on two substations rather than just the current facility in Talega. On Dec. 19, the City Council voted unanimously in a special closed meeting to maintain opposition to the project and to pursue an application for rehearing, as well as a motion for a stay of the PUC’s administrative decision from last week. City Attorney Jeffrey Ballinger said that if the request is denied, the city would have the ability to file with the Supreme Court. WHAT’S NEXT: The Council was scheduled to discuss the matter in closed session on Jan. 12. During the Jan. 17 public meeting, the Council will consider modifying the scope of work of the law firm of Goodin, MacBride, Squeri & Day to continue assisting the city with “administrative review proceedings and litigation” regarding the SOCRE project. That means allocating more funds from the city’s General Fund Reserves to retain those special legal services—an additional $25,000. The current approved budget for the extra legal services is $405,000, and according to the staff report, about $398,000 of those funds has been spent. The Council’s Jan. 17 meeting begins at 5 p.m. at City Hall. —AJ (Cont. on page 4)

EYE ON SJC (Cont. from page 3)

Review Begins for Playhouse Property, Lower Rosan Ranch Proposals THE LATEST: After receiving proposals for the city’s two redevelopment properties, the City Council is set to begin reviewing the bids in closed session on Jan. 17. The two parcels up for sale are the Camino Real Playhouse property and parking lot in downtown San Juan and the Lower Rosan Ranch, a 16.48-acre property located north of Stonehill Drive. The Council will be briefed on the proposals during closed session. According to the Jan. 17 agenda, there are 10 negotiating parties for the playhouse property and 13 negotiating parties for the Lower Rosan Ranch.

City Manager Ben Siegel said via email that “staff will be recommending that any evaluation option includes a public outreach and public input component,” which “will be further explored in closed session.” WHAT’S NEXT: To view the closed session agenda, visit and click “City Council Live Stream” on the right. —AJ

City to Examine Strengthening Ban on Short-Term Lodging in Residential Areas THE LATEST: San Juan Capistrano is continuing to see a proliferation of short-term lodging in residential areas, according to city officials, and some of those living

situations are having adverse impacts on residents’ quality of life. City staff has reported receiving an increased number of complaints from “residents who are concerned about other transitory-lodging uses” and “secondary effects such as excessive traffic, littering, and outdoor noise and smoking,” according to the city’s Development Services Department. In response to those concerns, the City Council initiated an amendment to the city’s Land Use Code in October, which would clarify and strengthen the city’s existing ban on “transitory lodging uses” in residential zones. On Jan. 17, the amended ordinance will appear before the Council for a first look. The ordinance was presented last month to the city’s Planning Commission, and the commission ultimately recommended the Council adopt the ordinance. The commission received public comments on the pro-

posed changes, and due to some residents asking for an exception for renting rooms or “home sharing,” the commission also suggested the Council consider a “narrow exception that would allow certain low-impact room rentals as long as the exception does not dilute the overall enforceability of the ordinance.” However, staff wrote in next week’s agenda report that after further analysis, such an exception would in fact weaken the enforceability of the ordinance and cause “financial and administrative burdens that would outweigh the limited benefits.” So staff is not proposing any exceptions to the reinforced ban on shortterm lodging. WHAT’S NEXT: The Council’s Jan. 17 meeting begins at 5 p.m. at City Hall. To view the agenda, visit www.sanjuancapistrano. org. —AJ

Hotel Capistrano Developers Announce Summer 2018 Opening Lawsuit filed against the hotel’s approval continues to move through hearing process BY ALLISON JARRELL, THE CAPISTRANO DISPATCH


evelopers of the Hotel Capistrano by Kimpton—a 102-room 4-star boutique hotel approved in downtown San Juan Capistrano—announced this week that they expect to open the hotel’s doors in the summer of 2018. Stratus Development Partners and Steve Oedekerk, Hollywood director and owner of the 3.18-acre property along Camino Capistrano, issued a release on Jan. 10 publicizing the opening date of the hotel, which they said represents a $40-million investment in San Juan’s Historic Town Center. The hotel will be managed by Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, and according to the release, it will be the first hotel to be built in downtown San Juan in over 50 years. Developers also estimate that the hotel will increase city revenue by over a million dollars annually, with at least $5 million in increased revenue per year for local businesses. Hotel amenities listed include a farm-totable restaurant with outdoor patio dining, a rooftop bar, pool area, courtyard, fitness room, roof deck yoga and a garden. The Hotel Capistrano announcement comes amid a lawsuit filed by local developer Bill Griffith over the legality of the city’s September approval of the project. After dropping his plans for the Inn at the Mission hotel project in September, Griffith filed a complaint on Oct. 4 against the city for approving the Hotel Capistrano. The Kimpton hotel will be built between The Capistrano Dispatch January 13-26, 2017

the Egan House and the Esslinger Building, which are both owned by Griffith. Griffith recently renovated the Egan House, which is now home to Ellie’s Table Café and Bakery. The petition for writ of mandate that was filed in the California Superior Court claims that the Hotel Capistrano “violates many provisions of the city’s General Plan, other plans and planning policies established by the city, and the city’s municipal code,” making it an “illegal” development that will “have negative impacts on the adjacent, historic Judge Egan House.” A status conference with Superior Court Judge Kim Dunning is scheduled for Feb. 1. Despite the ongoing litigation, Oedekerk said in an email that engineering for the hotel is already underway and has been the primary focus since the hotel received approval as it’s the most timeconsuming. “There is nothing keeping us from moving forward to the grand opening, so we have been and continue to be full steam ahead since project approval,” Oedekerk said. When it comes to pre-construction grading, Oedekerk said there’s far less work to do since the hotel plans largely utilize the current grade of the property. He added that currently there’s no exact date set for the official ground breaking, but developers will be working on a detailed schedule within the next three to four weeks. “In the interim, our current global schedule has us comfortably landing with the grand opening in summer 2018,” Oedekerk said. “Physical construction will

(Above and below) Renderings of the 102-room boutique hotel slated to open in 2018. Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Capistrano by Kimpton

be 12 months.” When asked about Mayor Kerry Ferguson’s recent remarks at the Dec. 12 City Council meeting and her wish to move the hotel’s restaurant building back to preserve the view of the Egan House’s balcony from the Mission, Oedekerk had this to say: “We’re talking to Mayor Ferguson, and

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even at the moment of this conversation, our restaurant building currently has the largest setback of every one of our neighbors, and the Egan House is clearly visible from every conceivable angle on Camino Capistrano,” Oedekerk said. For more information on the Hotel Capistrano, visit CD



City Partners with Saddleback to Host Art Class The city of San Juan Capistrano is partnering with the Saddleback College Emeritus Institute to host a new art class, “Beginning Sketching.” The course will run from Jan. 20 through May 19 and will be held in the meeting room of the San Juan Capistrano Community Center, located at 25925 Camino Del Avion. Interested adults must register through Saddleback College at For more information, call Saddleback College at 949.582.4835.

Sandbags Available for San Juan Capistrano Residents During each rainy season, sandbags are made available to San Juan Capistrano residents for flood control purposes. The city’s Public Works and Utilities Department allows each resident to pick up 10 empty sandbags at City Hall, located at 32400 Paseo Adelanto. Additionally,

Orange County Fire Authority allows residents to pick up empty sandbags at Fire Station 7, located at 31865 Del Obispo Street. Residents are then directed to the sand pile in the SJC Library parking lot, located at 31495 El Camino Real, where they can fill their own bags. For details regarding sandbag and sand locations, call City Hall at 949.443.6352.

Homefront America Named Liaison to City’s Adopted 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment Homefront America, an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) military outreach and support nonprofit, has joined forces with the city of San Juan Capistrano to provide expanded support to the city’s adopted 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton. Since adopting the 1/11 in 2006, the city has worked with community residents and volunteers to support 1/11 Marines, Sailors, and their families. At the City Council’s Dec. 6 meeting, Council members voted to partner with Homefront America and established a Memorandum of Understanding, which allows Homefront America “to act as the liaison on behalf of the city to provide support services, organize events and solicit


Dana Point: Capo Cares Unveils Dog Park Plans, Discusses Options with Residents Members of Capo Cares unveiled their plans for a dog zone in Pines Park on Wednesday, Jan. 11, and were met with some hesitation to make the designated area strictly for dogs and their owners. A number of Capistrano Beach residents met inside Capo Beach Church to see the plans created by the Architectural Guild of South Orange County for a dog zone in a lower area of Pines Park. The area once held a gazebo that overlooked the ocean and a boardwalk for people to walk across. Now, the residents refer to the undeveloped area as the “dust bowl.” “I’d like to see it developed,” said Toni Nelson, co-founder of Capo Cares. “The reason we thought of a dog park was because every day we go there and everyone I run into there has a dog. The dogs know each other.” She added that if they’re going to restore it, they should look at the primary use of the park. The Guild showed the public two different plans, one with a switchback trail to reach the lower area from the playground section of the park, the second with a 105foot bridge—similar to the bridge in the The Capistrano Dispatch January 13-26, 2017

Shultz and his owner take a walk through Pines Park on Tuesday, Jan. 3. Capo Cares unveiled plans for a dog park during a community meeting on Jan. 11. Photo: Kristina Pritchett

Harbor over the Dana Point “waterfall.” The bridge would be ADA-compliant, as well as strong and big enough for city maintenance vehicles and emergency vehicles to drive across to reach the lower area. Members of the Guild, along with Nelson, reminded the public that nothing was set in stone and the sole reason for the meeting was to get the public’s input and support before heading to Council with a plan. One resident, who lives across the street from the park, said he would like to

support for 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment.” Mamie Yong Maywhort and Arthur Hasselbrink founded Homefront America in 2005. The organization provides a wide range of year-round programs that support military families, including 1/11 families at Camp Pendleton and surrounding military communities. Its mission is to provide meaningful programs that nurture and enrich social and emotional well-being. For more on Homefront America, visit

Lecture May Reveal Mysteries of Mission’s Art Collection Mission San Juan Capistrano’s extensive art collection will undergo revealing scrutiny when appraiser Sheryl Gillett answers questions about the works during an Art Guild Lecture titled, “A Step Back in Time, Treasures from the Mission San Juan Capistrano Collection” on Wednesday, Jan. 18 from 1-2 p.m. in the Mission’s Soldiers Barracks. Gillett is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Society of Appraisers (ASA), the oldest appraisal organization in the United States. She will conduct the lecture with an eye toward learning about

see it used for families and children, but didn’t see an issue creating a dog run. Many in attendance agreed with the motion. “By doing this kind of development, it provides access to an unusable part of the park, a large percentage of the park,” said Cindy Fleming, a member of the Guild. Nelson said it will be a long process but added that it was good to have community involvement. “Maybe this isn’t something we can do right away, but I’d sure like to look at the feasibility,” Nelson said. Nelson said they plan on going to the city and asking them to do a feasibility report on the idea of a bridge and expansion of the park. “Whether it contains a dog run or not remains to be seen, but this is what compromise is about,” Nelson said. —Kristina Pritchett San Clemente: CLUP Approval from Coastal Commission Could Be Delayed a Year On Friday, Jan. 13, the California Coastal Commission (CCC) is expected to vote to delay the adoption of the city of San Clemente’s proposed Coastal Land Use Program (CLUP) in order to continue studying documents related to the program. The CLUP is the CCC’s way of giving development application authority to local governments while the CCC retains ultimate authority over developments within

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the works’ history. Using what you learn during the lecture, guests may be able to discover secrets about their own antique treasures. To make a reservation for the free event, call Pat March at 949.234.1322 or email at For more information, visit

Update on Sports Park, Marco Forster Lighting Repairs In City Manager Ben Siegel’s weekly update released on Jan. 5, Siegel wrote that “due to recent heavy rains, repair and replacement of 22 lights at the Sports Park and five lighting magnetic starters at Marco Forster has been tentatively rescheduled for the week of Jan. 23. “The new schedule is also dependent on weather, as recent rains have made playing fields unstable for accommodating the heavy equipment needed for installing the new lights. The Public Works and Community Services Departments are coordinating the new schedule and installation timeline with field users.” Have something interesting for the community? Send your information to

the coastal zone, which spans about 1,000 feet inland from the coastline. “We don’t see a problem with (delaying) it, and it is pretty typical that they do such a thing,” City Manager James Makshanoff wrote. “It will give us some time to work through some of their comments. Staff plans to meet with the CCC staff next week to discuss the process.” Noaki Schwartz, a spokesperson for the CCC, said the city will not be able to change their application at-will, but the commission’s staff can work with the city to make amendments. “The commission continues to process coastal development permit applications in the city until there is a fully certified LCP,” Schwartz wrote in an email. “The certified LUP (the old plan) is used as guidance. Commission staff would check to make sure new proposed projects do not conflict with the proposed new coastal LUP.” Groups and people who have outstanding lawsuits against the city’s sober living and short-term rental zoning ordinances may have to wait to see what the final outcome of the CLUP will be. As of right now, the current CLUP will remain in place until the new one is adopted. The new CLUP includes the city’s zoning for sober living and short-term rental residences. We will update this article with the CCC’s vote on Friday. Live streaming of the meeting is available at —Eric Heinz


Looking Ahead Mayor Kerry Ferguson talks issues, projects coming down the pike in 2017 BY ALLISON JARRELL , THE CAPISTRANO DISPATCH


ach year we take the time to look back on the biggest stories of the year, so it’s only fitting that this month we look ahead at the year to come. The Dispatch sat down with San Juan Capistrano’s newly-appointed Mayor Kerry Ferguson to hear about projects coming up this year and issues she hopes to focus on in the coming months.

Three Themes After Councilwoman Ferguson was appointed the new mayor on Dec. 12, she began her term by sharing her goals, which she said are centered around three main themes: “bring greater security and wellbeing” to all neighborhoods, “continue on the path of sensible development,” and help the town “prepare for the vast technological innovations.” Security and Wellbeing in Neighborhoods Ferguson said she plans to continue lobbying for streets in San Juan’s least-served neighborhoods to be repaired sooner, and will also look for ways to maximize the city’s code enforcement resources in order to deal with the impacts of overcrowding and short-term rentals in residential areas. “I will also continue to look into the maintenance and management of some of our HOA’s to find ways to better serve their residents,” Ferguson said. “I began convening meetings of neighbors with staff to work on these problems, including neighborhood parking and safety, two years ago, and I will continue to work with this committee.” Sensible Development “We are mostly built out, and that makes it crucial for our remaining properties to be handled with the greatest of care,” Ferguson said. Regarding the city’s redevelopment agency properties up for sale—the downtown playhouse property and the Lower Rosan Ranch—Ferguson had this to say: “As we look at proposals for two of our redevelopment agency properties, we will look carefully at how each would enhance our city’s future, taking into account impacts on traffic, etc. “I am in hopes that the downtown property that is for sale will eventually house a bonafide performing arts center that will showcase all the arts in order to offer opportunities for all, not just one,” Ferguson said, listing opportunities like hosting traveling theatre troops, operas, symphoThe Capistrano Dispatch January 13-26, 2017

Mayor Kerry Ferguson stands outside Ellie’s Table at the Egan House. Photo: Allison Jarrell

nies, ballets, mariachi performances or jazz concerts. “A great performing arts center, even in a modest size, would be a great draw for our community, and it needs to be built as a centerpiece of our downtown core.” Embracing Technological Advancements Ferguson spoke extensively about her interest in switching city buildings over to solar power, pursuing urban farms that utilize vertical and hydroponic farming techniques, and encouraging more electric automobile powering stations, such as the hydrogen fuel cell power station at the 7-Eleven on Junipero Serra Road. “We are swiftly moving into a new age of technology that our town needs to tap into and prepare for,” Ferguson said. “The LED streetlighting that both former Mayor Patterson and I proposed last year will be coming to our City Council for approval soon, and it will mean huge savings in electricity once installed.”

Projects in 2017 Downtown Hotels Plans for the Inn at the Mission hotel were dropped last fall, but Ferguson said at the Council’s Dec. 12 meeting that she knows a four-star hotel will rise at the site. When asked why she made those comments and where that certainty comes from, Ferguson only said that she is “taking the lead in an effort to help with the few outstanding issues needing to be resolved in order for both hotels to move ahead.” Ferguson declined to elaborate on the effort or outstanding issues she referred to. Meanwhile, the developers of the Hotel Capistrano by Kimpton recently announced their intention to open the

102-room, four-star boutique hotel in the summer of 2018. Ferguson commented at the last Council meeting that she feels adjustments should be made to the hotel’s restaurant building, and said in an interview that she’s in favor of “moving the restaurant portion of the Hotel Capistrano back far enough that the view between the Mission entrance and the unique dormer balcony of the Egan House can be preserved for posterity. “This can be done,” she added, “without changing the design of the building or revoking any of its project entitlements.” Landowner Steve Oedekerk said he is currently speaking with Ferguson regarding that matter, but said in an email that the “restaurant building currently has the largest setback of every one of [its] neighbors, and the Egan House is clearly visible from every conceivable angle on Camino Capistrano.”

Improving Transportation Ferguson recently established a delegation—which includes herself, City Manager Ben Siegel, Councilwoman Pam Patterson and Commissioner Mark Speros—that she said will be meeting soon with the Orange County Transportation Authority regarding mobility for the immediate region. “We will be discussing how to best widen the Ortega while requesting that a new east/west connector just north of the Ortega should be placed back on the Master Plan of Arterial Highways,” Ferguson said. “These improvements were the two most desired by the well-attended public forums put on by our South County Mobility Working Group this past fall.” Ferguson said she’d be willing to revisit the Ortega Highway widening if aspects

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like the sound walls could be scaled down. Ferguson also brought up the recent Transportation Corridor Agencies agreement that prevents toll roads from being constructed through San Onofre State Beach, the Donna O’Neill Land Conservancy and San Mateo Watershed. “Councilwoman Kathy Ward and I were the only dissenting votes,” Ferguson said. “We knew as Council members that this would put undue pressure on our communities to accept this road somewhere in our midst. I will be making a closed session presentation [to the Council] on this as I’m a member of the South County Mobility Working Group.” Ferguson also mentioned her continued efforts with the summer trolleys. She said an OCTA grant program allowed the city to secure two trolleys for this summer. “There will be service every 20 minutes, and it will connect to Dana Point, which connects to Laguna Niguel and Laguna Beach,” Ferguson said. “This kind of regional system is what is going to be needed in the future in order to get our next generation to use cars less and public transportation opportunities more.”

On Leading as Mayor When asked how she plans to maintain or improve communication with the public, Ferguson replied that she has “always responded to residents and met with them at their convenience,” adding that she makes an effort to reply to every person who writes to her. We also asked Ferguson about how she plans to address the lack of decorum and civility that has been present at Council meetings over the years—how will she bring residents together? She responded by calling out previous councilmen whom she feels opposed the new Council majority in 2014 at every turn, often with “rude and childish behavior.” “In this last election, they lost again in both districts because, frankly, they aren’t representative of our residents,” Ferguson said. “They are a small, negative minority.” Ferguson said she plans to utilize the skills she honed as a teacher to “maintain a respectful environment where all residents can be heard, not just a noisy few, and where no one is intimidated by the behavior of a rowdy minority.” We also asked Ferguson if she is concerned about the perception voiced by many residents at Council meetings that she and other Council members are beholden to certain developers and show favoritism to projects. Ferguson replied that working with developers is always a part of the Council’s job. “Every council has worked with developers,” Ferguson said. “What is important is to continue to ensure that rules are followed while doing all we can to encourage the best possible use of each parcel. Past Councils have often forgotten that. Each of us on this Council is committed to the task.” CD


Community SJC Sheriff’s Meetings Blotter

going door to door and “trying to sell stuff.” SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCES Verdugo Street, 26700 Block (6:44 p.m.) A man was seen singing for about 30 minutes at the train station parking structure by the entrance. The caller thought the man was possibly on drugs.



Parks, Recreation, Senior and Youth Services Commission Meeting

6 p.m. The city’s Parks, Recreation, Senior and Youth Services Commission meets at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. To see the agenda, visit TUESDAY, JAN. 17

Utilities Commission Meeting

8 a.m. The city’s Utilities Commission meets at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. To see the agenda, visit

City Council Meeting

5 p.m. The city’s governing body meets at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. To see the agenda, visit WEDNESDAY, JAN. 18

Downtown Farmers Market

3-6 p.m. Fresh flowers, produce and specialty foods from dozens of vendors in downtown San Juan Capistrano, on the corner of Camino Capistrano and Yorba Street. Occurs every Wednesday. Visit or call 949.493.4700 to find out more. FRIDAY, JAN. 20

Coffee Chat

8 a.m. A spirited town hall forum on community issues. Occurs every Friday at Hennessey’s Tavern, 31761 Camino Capistrano. All are welcome. Follow Coffee Chat SJC on Facebook for more information. MONDAY, JAN. 23

Youth Advisory Board Meeting

5 p.m. The San Juan Capistrano Youth Advisory Board meets at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. Log on to to see the body’s agenda. TUESDAY, JAN. 24

Cultural Heritage Commission Meeting

4:30 p.m. The San Juan Capistrano Trails and Equestrian Commission meets at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. Log on to to see the body’s agenda.

Planning Commission Meeting

6:30 p.m. The San Juan Capistrano Planning Commission meets at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto. Log on to to see the body’s agenda. FRIDAY, JAN. 27

Next issue of The Dispatch publishes The Capistrano Dispatch January 13-26, 2017

All information below is obtained from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department website. The calls represent what was told to the deputy in the field by the radio dispatcher. The true nature of an incident often differs from what is initially reported. No assumption of criminal guilt or affiliation should be drawn from the content of the information provided. An arrest doesn’t represent guilt. The items below are just a sampling of the entries listed on the OCSD website.

Wednesday, January 11 PATROL CHECK Stallion Ridge, 29200 Block (12:59 p.m.) A caller requested a patrol check at San Juan Hills High School for parents speeding while leaving the area. The caller said he was almost hit twice. ID THEFT Ortega Highway, 27800 Block (8:52 a.m.) A woman received a TV from an account opened under her name without her permission. DISTURBANCE Del Obispo Street, 31800 Block (7:50 a.m.) A woman who was apparently homeless was seen in front of a store “using wipes to bath and scaring customers.” BURGLARY REPORT Rancho Viejo Road, 31400 Block (4:38 a.m.) Mailboxes were broken into near the cross street of Avenida Los Cerritos between 11:20 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. Deputies found pry marks around the mailboxes.

Tuesday, January 10 PEDESTRIAN CHECK Plaza Drive/Del Obispo Street (10:17 p.m.) A pedestrian stopped a man after witnessing him throw a meth pipe on the ground. The subject was cited. KEEP THE PEACE Los Rios Street, 31300 Block (8:17 p.m.) A woman was about to return to pay but her landlord was being aggressive and verbally abusive. A deputy explained the civil process “and civility in general” to both of them. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCES Paseo Terraza, 31800 Block (6:54 p.m.) A man came to the caller’s door and asked to come into the residence. The caller said it was the second time that day that it happened. The caller thought the subject had possibly been casing his house. ILLEGAL PEDDLING Imperial Drive, 29800 Block (6:51 p.m.) A patrol check was requested for a woman

SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCES Peppertree Bend/Calle Aspero (5:35p.m.) A patrol check was requested for a man going door to door selling magazines.

SUSPICIOUS PERSON IN VEHICLE Ortega Highway/Rancho Viejo Road (3:11 a.m.) The driver of a vehicle had blood on their arms and hands and a loaded syringe in plain view on the driver floor board. Police searched the vehicle and found approximately 20 syringes with heroin, a meth pipe with a useable amount of meth, and other drug paraphernalia. The driver was cited.

Monday, January 9

WELFARE CHECK San Juan Creek Road/Valle Road (5:03 p.m.) A woman with spiky short hair was seen walking along San Juan Creek Road waving sticks in the air.

DISTURBANCE San Juan Creek Road/Camino Lacouague (10:24 p.m.) A patrol check was requested for subjects in a ditch who could be heard talking. The caller said they weren’t “being obnoxious” but they shouldn’t be down there.

PETTY THEFT REPORT Camino Capistrano, 32200 Block (4:53 p.m.) A man told police that he left his backpack out on the curb of Wells Fargo for several minutes and returned to find it missing.

DISTURBANCE Oso Road, 26200 Block (8:59 p.m.) A man in a red Ford pickup had aggressive dogs in the back and a caller said he became verbal when the caller advised him that he was spooking the horses.

DISTURBANCE Verdugo Street, 26700 Block (4:50 p.m.) A caller reported that an ex-employee of the business was outside and harassing other employees to “give him money that he thinks the business owes him.”

WELFARE CHECK Ortega Highway, 21700 Block (12:35 p.m.) A Best Western employee reported a man on a bed who wouldn’t check out. The caller requested that police remove the occupant. The deputy found the subject inside the room standing next to heroin foil and syringes. The man was on probation and was cited.

SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCES Via Solana, 31100 Block (4:39 p.m.) A patrol check was requested for two men soliciting door to door. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCES Valle Road, 32800 Block (4:12 p.m.) Police were called about an ongoing neighbor dispute. A resident complained about their neighbor who keeps “peeping through” their window. The only pathway to the subject’s back patio is adjacent to the caller’s trailer—the pathway is on his property—so the subject has to pass the caller’s windows to get to his backyard. No crime. DISTURBANCE Malaspina Road/Rancho Viejo Road (3:27 p.m.) Five subjects were seen riding on their skateboards in the middle of the street. SUSPICIOUS PERSON/CIRCUMSTANCES Los Rios Street, 31700 Block (9:37 a.m.) A homeless man had a fire going at Los Rios Park, and a caller was concerned because it was close to a wooden fence. Police contacted the man, who had an open can of beer and admitted to drinking in public. The man was cited. DISTURBANCE Rancho Viejo Road, 31500 Block (8:38 a.m.) A man on a bike and a woman in a blue dress were reportedly causing a disturbance and refusing to leave. Both appeared to be on drugs.

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GENERAL BROADCAST Rancho Viejo Road/Ortega Highway (11:24 a.m.) OCSD received secondhand information from OCFA about a gray Toyota Tacoma swerving in the lanes going southbound on Rancho Viejo Road toward Ortega Highway. WEAPONS VIOLATION Verdugo Street, 26700 Block (11:12 a.m.) A patrol check was requested at the train station parking structure for a man in his late 20s to early 30s who was looking into car windows with a flashlight. When police arrived, the man was sitting in a green Ford Explorer at the bottom level of the structure. When a deputy confronted the man, he admitted to possessing drug paraphernalia and the deputy discovered Adderall. The man was also found to be in possession of “burglary tools” and a “billy club.” The man was cited and a report was taken. PEDESTRIAN CHECK Calle San Francisco/Avenida de la Vista (3:09 a.m.) A pedestrian stopped a “known subject.” The subject admitted to having a “meth and weed pipe” in a case. A deputy arrived, opened the case and found two meth pipes—one had a useable amount of meth inside and a small amount of black tar heroin. The subject confirmed that the substance was heroin and a useable amount of meth in the pipe. The subject was cited.



Letters to the Editor

AIRPORT AIR TRAFFIC OVER SJC, DANA POINT CAUSES NOISE POLLUTION —Robert McDonald, San Juan Capistrano Starting last November, commercial jet traffic, as well as other air traffic, began to crowd the skies over San Juan Capistrano as well as Dana Point. Most noticeable is the parade of flights that circle back in from over the ocean after departing Orange County’s John Wayne Airport. They fly at low altitudes coming back over land around the Dana Point Headlands area. The air traffic then proceeds over homes on the hillsides of San Juan Capistrano, creating noise and accelerating and climbing. There is no need for an aircraft that has departed as far away as John Wayne Airport to be at such a low altitude at this point in its flight. This begins at approximately 7:03 a.m. and continues sometimes after 10 p.m. When contacted, John Wayne Airport states there is nothing they can do. When the Orange County Board of Supervisors’ office(s) are contacted, they reply there is nothing they can do. The story goes that the Federal Aviation Administration has control over our airport. Apparently the FAA is trying to push through new routes that will be more cost effective for the airlines. The cities of Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, as of several months ago, already filed a lawsuit against the FAA over the proposed flight path changes, but the County of Orange has not. I’m told that the changes could further negatively impact our cities, as well as additional cities. When contacted, the county supplies phone numbers for the FAA that go to individuals who have no clue as to what is taking place. One of the best answers I received from an FAA contact was that “people need to get places.” Most troublesome is it appears the airport has no relationship or contact person with the FAA. It appears there is no concern over the negative impact operations at John Wayne Airport have on the county taxpayers. Should this be negatively affecting you right now, or potentially later, I urge you to take action to protect your peace and quiet and property values. Contact the following representatives should you wish. Lisa Bartlett, chairwoman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors and your 5th District representative, can be reached at 714.834.3550. The noise complaint office at John Wayne Airport can be reached at 949.252.5185. You can contact them each and every time you are impacted by a The Capistrano Dispatch January 13-26, 2017

noisy, loud aircraft. Again, you may be referred to an FAA phone number for someone who has no information on what is taking place at John Wayne Airport. Congressman Darrell Issa can be reached at 760.599.5000. You can request that Issa email a complaint form or “constituent assistance form”—simply fill the form out and return it to Issa asking for help on this. Ask the Board of Supervisors to take back control of our airport; and if you see fit, request that the Board of Supervisors file a lawsuit now, not later.

The Dispatch Launches “Week in Review” Email Blasts To supplement our bimonthly print edition, The Capistrano Dispatch provides readers with the latest news, features, sports stories and event listings online each week. Our editorial team prioritizes keeping The Dispatch’s website fresh with news on a daily basis, and we’re renewing that commitment by creating new digital content and letting readers know what’s happening in town with a weekly email blast. We hope you enjoy our new weekly emails as a way to stay up-to-date on all things San Juan Capistrano. To sign up for our “Week in Review” e-blasts, visit and click “E-Blasts” at the top right corner of the page.

PLANT-BASED MEALS MAKE MARKET HEADWAY —Lobart Ikle, Laguna Beach The coming New Year’s resolution should be pretty obvious, particularly when it comes to diet: 2017 will go down in history as the year when plant-based meats revolutionized the food industry. A dozen start-ups, led by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, are creating plantbased burgers and other meats that are more delicious, convenient and healthy than the old-fashioned animal-based variety. They are backed by tech industry pioneers like Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Google principals Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt, and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. Even animal meat behemoth Tyson Foods has announced a $150 million venture capital fund to explore and invest in these products. The plant-based food revolution is going mainstream. Hundreds of school, college, hospital and corporate cafeterias have embraced Meatless Monday. Fast-food chains Chipotle, Panera, Subway and Taco Bell are rolling out plant-based dinner options. And American consumers are responding, with fully one-third reducing their intake of animal-based meats, milks and other animal food products. Let’s make this New Year’s resolution about exploring the rich variety of delicious, convenient, healthy plant-based dinners, lunch meats, cheeses, milks and ice creams available in every supermarket. The internet offers tons of recipes and transition tips.

logic: More of these short-term rentals (STRs) would negatively impact residential neighborhoods, and CEQA requires mitigation that I guess many think 30 pieces of silver from taxation coffers adequately compensates. 1. People bought their places without the commercial entitlement, without the mandated Conditional Use Permits required for businesses. 2. These same people now want to acquire such concessions/exactions but without due process, circumventing local land use ordinances—in essence re-zoned mixed use. 3. Just because they’ve been getting away with it for years doesn’t allow them to allege non-permitted activities are retroactively (grandfathered) legal. Typifying it as prohibition is disingenuous. It’s a taking. 4. Charging $400 per night might be slightly cheaper than our other motels/ hotels but is still beyond low income budgets. Now add how much more local amenities/entertainment, groceries and/ or restaurants cost; think we’re still talking affordable? STRs are a slippery slope, a commercial Trojan horse.

LEARN FROM THE MISTAKES OF YOUR NEIGHBORS —Roger E. Bütow, Laguna Beach Just filed in Orange County Superior Court is a lawsuit that’s being stealthily pushed by our taxpayer’s association: Forget about the fact that this is actually a diminishment from 95 percent of your total population’s quality of life. That includes long-term renters and homeowners. For your information, here in Laguna, 43 percent of our residents are in fact renters. Proponents invoking CEQA or Coastal Act use an Alice-In-Wonderland, pretzel

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU To submit a letter to the editor for possible inclusion in the paper, e-mail us at letters@ 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. Page 8

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HOW TO REACH US CITY EDITOR Allison Jarrell, 949.388.7700, x108 SPORTS Steve Breazeale, 949.388.7700, x110 ADVERTISING PRINT AND ONLINE


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


> Susie Lantz (San Clemente)


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Group Managing Editor > Matt Cortina City Editor, The Capistrano Dispatch > Allison Jarrell

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SPECIAL THANKS Robert Miller Jonathan Volzke CONTRIBUTORS Megan Bianco Victor Carno Debra Holm Tim Trent

The Capistrano Dispatch, Vol. 15, Issue 1. The Dispatch (www.thecapistranodispatch) is published twice monthly by Picket Fence Media, publishers of the DP Times ( and the SC Times (www. 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 2017. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.



tain and Lady Washington. Enjoy blasting cannons, towering rigging, bustling decks and the magnificence of canvas full of wind. Work with the crew hauling up sail or simply sit back and enjoy the spectacular demonstration of skill, knowledge and survival. Tickets are $60 for adults, with discounts for seniors, military and children. 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point. 949.496.2274.


FRIDAY, JAN. 20: SHOWOFF! INTERNATIONAL PLAYWRITING FESTIVAL 8 p.m. The annual ShowOff! International Playwriting Festival features the world premiere of seven 10-minute plays. The audience votes for their favorite plays, and the top three winners get cash prizes after the last performance. After nearly 300 entries are received from all over the world, a team of readers selects, reads and grades each play, keeping the identity of the playwrights anonymous until the top 10 plays are selected— attendees only see the top seven plays. Festival runs through Jan. 29, and tickets start at $20. Camino Real Playhouse. 31776 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano. 949.489.8082.

The List

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

Friday | 13 MISSION ART WALK 11 a.m. A docent-guided tour highlighting the art collection of rare paintings related to the Mission’s history. 26801 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano. 949.234.1300. LIVE THEATER: ‘KITCHEN WITCHES’ 8 p.m. Combine Martha Stewart and Jerry Springer and you have the rousing, hilarious comedy, Kitchen Witches, which premieres at the Cabrillo Playhouse. Show runs through Feb. 5, and tickets start at $20. 202 Avenida Cabrillo, San Clemente. 949.492.0465.

Saturday | 14 SUP YOGA 8 a.m. I Heart Yoga and Westwind Sailing join together to hold stand-up paddleboard yoga. The class is held every second Saturday of the month. $35 with board rental, $25 if you bring your own board. Sign up online, classes fill quickly. Westwind Sailing. 34451 Ensenada Place, Dana Point. 949.363.3152. The Capistrano Dispatch January 13-26, 2017

REPLACE YOUR LAWN WORKSHOP 9:30 a.m. Join Tree of Life’s Sam Manning as he gives this practical, easy-to-follow talk about how to remove your lawn to make way for a fresh and more sustainable landscape. The workshop is part of an ongoing series. Tree of Life Nursery. 33201 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano. 949.728.0685. TINKERGARTEN PARENT & ME FREE CLASS 10-11:15 a.m. Stop by the beach for a free trial class with Tinkergarten, where play-based learning enables kids to pick up skills in a new way. San Clemente State Park Campgrounds. 225 Avenida Calafia, San Clemente. 949.412.9889. WATERCOLOR FOR BEGINNERS WORKSHOP 10 a.m.-4 p.m. This two-day painting workshop runs Saturday and Sunday and will teach students how to create a successful watercolor piece. Become a confident watercolorist by learning the tools that will allow you to achieve great drawings, beautiful gradients and more. Cost is $150 per student. San Clemente Art Supply. 1531 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente. 949.369.6603. OCEAN INSTITUTE CANNON BATTLE SAILS 1-4 p.m. Witness the annual mock cannon battle at the Ocean Institute. The Spirit of Dana Point will engage in a pretend fight with visiting tall ships, the Hawaiian Chief-

SATURDAYS AT THE SWALLOW’S INN 2:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Dalton Gang kicks off a day of live music at 2:30 p.m., followed by Rob Staley Band at 8:30 p.m. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. 949.493.3188. SECOND STAGE STAND-UP 6 p.m. The Camino Real Playhouse hosts their monthly night of comedy, Second Stage Stand-Up. This month, laugh along with Fritz Coleman, Dana Eagle, Matin Atrushi, Tom Riehl and Ron Ruhman. Admission is $17.50, and reservations are recommended. 31776 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano. 949.489.8082.

Sunday | 15 BEND AND BREW 11:30 a.m. I Heart Yoga holds a Bend & Brew at Left Coast Brewing Company’s tasting room in San Clemente. It’s a one-hour yoga class followed by a pint of beer. Admis-


sion $10. 1245 Puerta Del Sol, San Clemente. 949.363.3152. CASA KIDS: SWAZZLE PUPPET SHOW 3-4 p.m. Swazzle’s The Tortoise and the Hare is a hilarious, action-packed reimagining of the classic Aesop’s Fable. Children participate in the puppetry show with games that teach important lessons about manners and habits. Admission is free. Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens. 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente. 949.498.2139.

Monday | 16 BRIDGE LESSONS FOR BEGINNERS 9:30-11:30 a.m. Bridge lessons will be held for those new to the game as well as those who haven’t played in a while. The lessons span four Mondays in January, and the series costs $60 total. South Orange County Bridge Center. 31261 Rancho Viejo Rd., Suite 205, San Juan Capistrano. Contact for registration.

Tuesday | 17 TINY TOTS: PARENT AND ME PROGRAM AT THE OCEAN INSTITUTE 9-10:15 a.m. Children ages 2 and 3 and their parents are invited to the Ocean Institute to explore shapes, colors, textures and more with the sea star. Program runs on six successive Tuesdays until Feb. 21.



enus are powerful tools for setting expectations in a restaurant. Though it may be an esoteric exercise to appreciate the menu as an individual item—instead of as a means to an end (that is, food)—we’re all influenced consciously and subconsciously by the arrangement of photos, text and numbers on any given menu. So what, then, do we make of “Thai Juan On’s” dish “Red Devil”? First, Thai Juan On stands out amongst the bevy of pun-filled Thai restaurants in Orange County, as it endearingly doubles— nay, triples down—indicating food type, location and the amount of drinking you’ll do at its excellent bar. And “Red Devil,” the anglicized name for the curry dish masaman nue, inspires at least bravery and at most an order of milk to deal with whatever diabolic spice is involved. (Though no need to worry about the heat—the end of Red Devil’s menu entry reads “COPACETIC!”) In short, if you can get past the pun, Thai Juan On is a bastion for imaginative fun. That imagination, thankfully, extends to

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the food. In the Red Devil, whose spiciness can be made to taste, chunks of pull-apart beef roast are simmered in a coconut milk red curry, and garnished with chunks of red potatoes, onions and peanuts. It’s an ideal dish for our recent rainy weather, warming the soul with the fattiness of the beef, the richness of the curry and the familiarity of peanut. It’s meat and potatoes dressed up in a story, then dressed down to a casual, palate-pleaser. Thai Juan On 31878 Del Obispo St., San Juan Capistrano. 949.234.0332.

GETTING OUT Each session includes exploration, an animal encounter and an activity. Cost is $30 for a single drop-in class and $150 for the full series. 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point. 949.496.2274. LECTURE: FUN WITH FUNGI 7-8:30 p.m. Explore the fascinating world of wild mushrooms with amateur mycologist Joanne Schwartz. Learn about finding and identifying fungi in Southern California and beyond, as well as about their place in nature. Admission is free, but reserve a spot online. A separate mushroom hunt will be conducted on January 21. Guest House at the Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo. 28811 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano. 949.489.9778.

Wednesday | 18 KARAOKE AT THE SWALLOW’S INN 7 p.m. Sing karaoke, imbibe and eat free popcorn at The Swallow’s Inn’s karaoke night with Bobby and Joel. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. 949.493.3188. MIXOLOGY UNIVERSITY 7 p.m. Every Wednesday, Waterman’s Harbor bartenders and mixology experts teach guests how to make the restaurant’s cocktails. Guests will have the opportunity to make and taste three cocktails. Event is $25. Waterman’s Harbor. 34661 Street of the Golden Lantern, Dana Point. 949.764.3474. LIVE MUSIC: CALAFIA STONES 7-10:30 p.m. Listen to live music from Calafia Stones at Iva Lee’s. 555 N. El Camino Real, Suite E, San Clemente.

Thursday | 19 SESSIONS AT STILLWATER 7 p.m. Listen to live music when artists from around the world perform together. Stillwater Spirits and Sounds. 24701 Del Prado, Dana Point. 949.661.6003. LIVE MUSIC: THE KALAMA BROTHERS 7-10:30 p.m. Listen to live music from the Kalama Brothers at Iva Lee’s. 555 N. El Camino Real, Suite E, San Clemente. 949.361.2855.

Friday | 20 MEET THE ARTIST: ALAN NOWELL 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Stop by the Mission Fine Art Gallery to meet artist Alan Nowell, who will also be giving a water-based oil painting demonstration. 31760 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. 949.291.7738. The Capistrano Dispatch January 13-26, 2017

On Stage at the Coach House: THE DISH The Blind Boys of Alabama

Saturday | 21 REPLACE YOUR LAWN WORKSHOP 9:30 a.m. Learn how to make a preplanned native garden with Tree of Life Nursery and My Avant Garden. Tree of Life Nursery. 33201 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano. 949.728.0685.



RAINWATER HARVESTING WORKSHOP 10 a.m. Learn how to capture and store rainwater in soil, plants, rain barrels and more with The Ecology Center. You’ll receive step-by-step instructions on installing a rain barrel, explore different rainwater catching systems and hear about water-friendly garden design. Cost is $20 for members, $30 for non-members. 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano. 949.443.4223. SATURDAYS AT THE SWALLOW’S INN 2:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Family Style kicks off a day of live music at 2:30 p.m., followed by The Fulltones at 8:30 p.m. 31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. 949.493.3188. LIVE MUSIC: THE CHOLULAS 7:30-11 p.m. Listen to live music from The Cholulas at Iva Lee’s. 555 N. El Camino Real, Suite E, San Clemente. 949.361.2855.

Sunday | 22 OPERA NIGHT 2017 WITH RITA RUDNER AND MARTIN BERGMAN 3-5 p.m. Enjoy breathtaking ocean views, Champagne and hors d’oeuvres at the home of Rita Rudner and Martin Bergman. There will be performances by graduates of the Opera Night Program as well as discounted theater tickets and a live auction. Cost is $50 per person. 23482 Seaward Isle, Niguel Shores. Contact cynthiatusan@ for more information.

Wednesday | 25 LIVE MUSIC: THE MOON POLICE 7-10:30 p.m. Listen to live music from The Moon Police at Iva Lee’s. 555 N. El Camino Real, Suite E, San Clemente. 949.361.2855.

Thursday | 26 LIVE MUSIC: SHAWN JONES 7-10:30 p.m. Listen to live music from Shawn Jones at Iva Lee’s. 555 N. El Camino Real, Suite E, San Clemente. 949.361.2855. HAVE AN EVENT? Submit it to The Capistrano Dispatch by going to, and clicking “Submit an Event” under the “Getting Out” tab.

e asked Jimmy Carter, a founding member of the Blind Boys of Alabama, what it felt like to earn two Grammy Award nominations 78 years after the group first sang together. “This is nothing new,” Carter said, laughing. “We’ve got five already. Even if I don’t win, I won’t feel too bad. I would love to get the sixth one though.” It’s easy to imagine how awards might be of minimal importance in a singing career that started in the Jim Crow era, in 1939 at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind, and saw the Blind Boys become a vital Photo: Courtesy part of the Civil Rights Movement soundtrack, playing at benefits for Martin Luther King, Jr. and at rallies across the country. And though times have changed, the Blind Boys’ music hasn’t. “We haven’t changed our sound,” Carter

said. “When the Blind Boys first started out, we had nothing but an acoustic guitar. (But) now we have the whole works; we have the bass guitar, lead keyboards, drums… that’s the only thing we’ve changed.” The group’s message hasn’t been altered much either—the gospel group has always been rooted in Christian identity and is hoping to bring in a wider audience. “We are a gospel singing group,” Carter said. “We have a message for the people. … We try to let the people know about Jesus and about God. If we can’t convey that to them, then that song is no good.” The Blind Boys will take their message and music to the Coach House on Friday, Jan. 27. In the meantime, Carter says the group is working on an album with Amazon that will bring their sound “back to basics”… almost 80 years later.

At the Movies: Scorsese’s Eerie ‘Silence’ BY MEGAN BIANCO, THE CAPISTRANO DISPATCH


artin Scorsese’s Catholic upbringing has followed him his whole career. It is evident from his consideration of becoming a missionary, to his films Mean Streets (1973) and The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), to religious imagery subtly appearing in films of his no matter the genre. His movie currently in theaters is Silence, based on the Japanese novel by Shusaku Endu. The movie has been a decade in the making as a passion project of the director’s. In 1640 Japan, Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson) is kidnapped and tortured by local samurai after Christianity has been forbidden despite many successful years of missionary work led by Europeans. Father Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Garupe (Adam Driver) leave Portugal to go on a quest to seek Ferreira’s whereabouts and if he has really turned away from the church, Page 11

Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

as was rumored. Their guide is a cowardly drunk named Kichijiro (Yosuke Kubozuka). Silence was co-adapted by Scorsese and Jay Cocks, marking their third film together after The Age of Innocence (1993) and Gangs of New York (2002). This is one of the harshest, yet respectful films to ever be made about Catholicism. Focusing on a piece of history that could have been a mess narratively, it is more genuine coming from the auteur. Garfield gives the performance of his career as a priest who feels it’s his duty to spread the word of the lord, while also facing his inner demons of doubt. The lack of score—hence the movie title—is eerie and effective. If you can stomach it, take a look at Scorsese’s latest. CD



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

Meeting Single Seniors in the New Year

Community involvement goes a long way when it comes to creating new relationships


love it when older singles contact me with a question or a comment after reading one of my “On Life and Love After 50” columns in The Capistrano Dispatch, Dana Point Times or San Clemente Times. The readers don’t always agree with what I wrote, but I appreciate them responding. They often say something like, “I was at my hair salon, or at a shopping mall, or my doctor’s office, or maybe even at a friend’s house and read your article.” Which is why, on Dec. 30, I was at the Starbucks across from the Mission San Juan Capistrano, discussing the tri-city senior dating scene with Jim, a ON LIFE AND 69-year-old divorcée. Jim LOVE AFTER 50 had read an article in The By Tom Blake Capistrano Dispatch and thought I might be able to suggest where to meet quality senior women in and around South Orange County. While he and I were discussing the importance of older singles getting out of the house and becoming involved in activities, I spotted my friend, Ann Ronan, sitting at a window table. Ann is well known in San Juan Capistrano—she owns San Juan Capistrano Travel, has been a Chamber of Commerce board member since 2012, is a board member of the Friends of the Library, and is also a docent at the Mission. I introduced Ann to Jim; Ann told him she met her husband, Ted, online nine years ago. Learning that piqued Jim’s interest, as he hadn’t had much luck in the online dating arena. Ann also said that attending Chamber of Commerce mixers and events in all three South County cities is a great way to meet new people. Jim enjoys riding his bike and said meeting people along the bike trails isn’t easy, but there is always a chance that he can make some new friends there as well. By coincidence, later that night, I received an email from a woman named Yoko, who said, “I recently started receiving your weekly online newsletter, and I have to say those newsletters are a ‘hoot.’” Of course, Yoko’s comment got my attention, so I read further. She said, “I am 61 and just moved to SJC

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and am having the time of my life. OC is raining men! I have met so many wonderful people and even though I have finally narrowed my dating to one man, I keep in touch with others as I value their friendships. “Senior dating is about the attitude. If you grumble and complain all the time, who wants to be around you? Tell those singles out there to be positive, happy, active and volunteer in programs that help those less fortunate than you.” Yoko’s next comment surprised me: “I’ve discovered great biking trails and hiking is fantastic in OC. ‘Silver Sneakers,’ (the age 65+ exercise group she observes when she is at 24 Hour Fitness) is a blast, and I volunteer in a homeless outreach and a food pantry through my church. Meetup. com (an online activity website, not a dating site) is also a great place to meet people. “I belong to Sunset to Sunrise Hikers and there are three to five hikes every day. The Saturday Hike with Mike along Dana Point Strand and Salt Creek is a great place for a man to meet ladies.” Yoko even offered to be Jim’s “bike friend” if he wants to road bike (no offroad bike trails for her). I shared Yoko’s comments with Jim. Another great place for seniors to make new acquaintances is in the Emeritus program at Saddleback College. The courses offered there are free to seniors. Yoko is right. Single seniors hoping to meet other singles just need to get out and involved in our tri-city area as she has done with so much energy and enthusiasm. Here’s to Yoko, Jim and all the tri-city senior singles in 2017. Tom Blake is a Dana Point resident and a former Dana Point businessman who has authored several books on middle-aged dating. See his websites at; and www. To receive Tom’s weekly online newsletter, sign up at Email: tompblake@ CD PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to provide our readers with a wide variety of opinions from our community, The Capistrano Dispatch provides Guest Opinion opportunities in which selected columnists’ opinions are shared. The opinions expressed in these columns are entirely those of the columnist alone and do not reflect those of the The Capistrano Dispatch or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at editorial@

SJC LIVING Los Angeles and continued his education studying plein air painting and portrait painting from nationally recognized artists. Gallery owner Janine Salzman said the monthly event was created in order to help connect local artists with the community and to give back a bit. “We felt it was important to keep putting ourselves out there,” Salzman said. “We wanted to remind the community that we’re here.” Salzman said each month will feature a new local artist whose works can be found in the gallery. Each event is free and open to public, and Salzman said she hopes visitors will take the time to watch some demonstrations, ask questions and learn more about the art scene in South Orange County. —AJ

Business Beat News from San Juan’s business community BY ALLISON JARRELL

Grand Opening HEIGHTS CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS, SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO PRESCHOOL 31501 Avenida Los Cerritos (On the campus of South Coast Christian Church) 949.429.5660 Heights Christian Schools, San Juan Capistrano Preschool (HCS-SJCP) is hosting a grand opening and official ribboncutting ceremony with the city on Saturday, Jan. 21 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The free family-friendly event features train rides, face painting, bounce houses, popcorn, cotton candy, activities/crafts in every classroom and raffle prizes every half hour. Guests can also tour the campus, visit classrooms and meet HCS teachers and staff. Families that register before Jan. 30 will receive 50 percent off tuition. HCS-SJCP was licensed by the State of California’s Community Care Licensing in August 2016 under the leadership of Director Angela Esslinger, who has been a preschool director for 32 years. HCSSJC Preschool is located on the campus of South Coast Christian Church. Heights Christian Schools, founded in 1980, own and operate multiple locations in Brea, Chino Hills, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, and now, San Juan Capistrano. HCS currently serves more than 2,000 students, preschool through eighth grade, in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties.

New Product SPOOLIES 844.776.6543, You could say Jeanne James is a risk taker. James, who currently resides in Dana Point, lived with her family for a year in Kenya doing missionary work and running a guest house there. She’s sailed across the Atlantic with her husband and two sons. And she quit her full-time job to dedicate all of her resources and energy on reviving a quirky 1960s hair product— Spoolies. Not only have James and her husband, Tim, succeeded in bringing Spoolies back, but the San Juan Capistrano-based company has won two awards for the trendsetting silicone hair curlers and is now selling the American-made styling tools at 400 Wal-Mart stores across the nation. The recent partnership with Wal-Mart is part of the retailer’s 2013 commitment to buy an additional $250 billion in U.S. products The Capistrano Dispatch January 13-26, 2016

Opening Soon

An aerial view of the new Heights Christian Schools preschool, set to open Jan. 21. Photo: Courtesy of Ascending Upwards Aerial Media

by 2023. James is completely self-taught when it comes to all things manufacturing—she attended trade shows, made endless phone calls, researched online and picked up on industry nuances. “You have to be tenacious,” James said of being an entrepreneur. “I think a lot of running a business is not giving up. You have to fight for what you want.” James initially got the idea to revamp the retro rubber curlers in 2003. After working for a year in Kenya, James was inspired to raise money to help send some the young girls there to school, but she didn’t want to just ask for donations. James wanted a sustainable model—a business opportunity that could continuously raise funds. James eventually remembered Spoolies—the curlers she wore as a kid that allowed her to avoid the dreaded frizzy perm. She wondered whether they were still in production. After a bit of research, James discovered that Conair had pulled the Spoolies trademark in the 90s and had since released it, giving her the opportunity to revive the product. James obtained a patent, set out to find a U.S. manufacturer and updated the design and materials—trading latex rubber for 100 percent hypoallergenic silicone. Manufacturing the curlers would have been much cheaper in China, but James said it was imperative to keep production in the U.S. so that she could truly “trust the product and the quality behind it.” Not only did she end up keeping production in the States, but she found a factory in San Clemente, just 10 minutes from her home. The new and improved Spoolies debuted in December 2014. Since then, they’ve popped up on the shelves of Wal-

Mart stores, and James said they’ll be an “impulse buy” in 350 stores next year, which means the curlers will be on display throughout the store—not just in the beauty aisle. Beginning in February, stores will carry 9-packs of James’ new jumbo curlers, as well as the regular size. The retro curlers have also been getting attention online from a younger generation of beauty bloggers—recent video reviews on Instagram have reached thousands of viewers. But most importantly to James, proceeds from Spoolies’ sales have been donated to Sister Freda’s Foundation in Kenya, which operates a hospital and clinic, a girls’ high school and a college for nursing, among other programs. To date, Spoolies has funded 30 beds at the school, which will sleep 60 girls. In addition to select Wal-Mart stores, Spoolies can be found online in 12- or 24-packs. For more information, follow the company (@spoolies) on social media. —Allison Jarrell

TREVOR’S AT THE TRACKS 26701 Verdugo Street, 949.493.9593 Trevor Baird, the 35-year-old proprietor of Trevor’s at the Tracks (formerly Sarducci’s Capistrano Depot), said the restaurant is nearing its opening after passing health and fire inspections in December. Pending final approval from the city’s building official, Baird said he anticipates a soft opening toward the end of January. “We’re excited to get cooking with the team,” Baird said. “There’s been a real organic buzz about the place; everyone’s so pumped about it.” The restaurant has been closed and undergoing renovations since April. Baird said the menu has been finalized and they’re working on perfecting the café, which he hopes will act as a breakfast hub during the week. “We’re going to offer quick, casual service at the trackside café,” Baird said. The café—open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.—will serve up gourmet coffee, fresh juices, fresh-baked pastries, sandwiches and salads during the day, and beer, wine, tapas, gelato and charcuterie spreads in the evening. For updates on Trevor’s opening, follow the restaurant on Facebook under @TrevorsAtTheTracks.—AJ

New Event MEET THE ARTIST MISSION FINE ART GALLERY 31760 Camino Capistrano, 949.291.7738 Mission Fine Art Gallery in downtown San Juan Capistrano is kicking off the New Year with a new series of free monthly events simply titled, “Meet the Artist.” January’s featured artist is painter Alan Nowell, of San Clemente. On Jan. 20 from 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Nowell will be demonstrating painting in water based oil paints at the Mission Fine Art Gallery, located across the street from the Mission. Nowell studied drawing and painting at the Art Center of Design in

Page 13

New signage outside of Trevor’s at the Tracks. Photo: Allison Jarrell

SJC LIVING GUEST OPINION: The Bartlett Bulletin by Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett

GUEST OPINION: Dirt Therapy by Marianne Taylor

Counting the Homeless Population in Orange County


n a county with one of the state’s most expensive housing markets, providing additional resources to help homeless people transition to long-term housing is more critical than ever, as well as addressing the complex social and medical issues that result in chronic homelessness. To that end, every two years, during the last week of January, a countywide PointIn-Time Count (PIT) takes place to count and survey the homeless population in Orange County. The PIT Count is planned, coordinated and carried out locally to meet Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development requirements for Continuum of Care (CoC) homeless programs. Locally, the CoC supports the coordinated efforts of 15 nonprofit agencies that provide rapid rehousing and permanent supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness within our communities. The PIT Count process is a critical factor in determining the amount of federal funding the county receives to serve the homeless population. It also provides information on how to improve the available resources and approaches to meet the needs of the different populations. Two years ago, my staff and I were pleased to participate in the 2015 PIT Count. This year, the 2017 Count provides another opportunity for communities to come together to learn about the resources available, gain insights into the plight of people that are currently experiencing homelessness, and make a contribution to the broader solutions to end homelessness

in our county. Because having an accurate and comprehensive Count relies on the participation of hundreds of volunteers, I am inviting you to volunteer for the 2017 Point-In-Time THE BARTLETT Count on Saturday, Jan. BULLETIN 28 from 4:30-9 a.m. The By Lisa Bartlett 2017 Count will be deployed from deployment centers located in each of the five Supervisorial Districts to survey the surrounding neighborhoods for homelessness. An estimated 1,500 volunteers are needed to work in the field and at deployment centers on the morning of the Count. The South County deployment centers will be Family Assistance Ministries in San Clemente, and Families Forward in Irvine. To register as a volunteer, please visit the project website at or email Additional information on ways to get involved or make a charitable donation is available at Thank you kindly for your generous time and selfless effort in assuring that homeless and at-risk individuals and families in our county receive the care and services they need. CD PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to provide our readers with a wide variety of opinions from our community, the SC Times provides Guest Opinion opportunities in which selected columnists’ opinions are shared. The opinions expressed in these columns are entirely those of the columnist alone and do not reflect those of the SC Times or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at

Pet of the Week: Sedona


edona is a 4-year-old playful American bulldog/pit bull mix who was rescued by local nonprofit Doggie Bonez. She loves to go on walks and snuggle, has lived with smaller dogs before, and has even had one training session with renowned “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan. Sedona is spayed and has no medical needs. Doggie Bonez is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, no-kill, volunteer dog rescue organization based in San Juan Capistrano. Volunteers rescue dogs from high-kill shelters, backyard breeders, hoarding situations, neglect and abandonment. Dogs are rescued regardless of their age, temperament and physical needs. Volunteers make sure each dog’s medical needs are taken care of before finding them loving homes. For more information on Sedona or other dogs up for adoption, visit CD

The Capistrano Dispatch January 13-26, 2017

Connecting in Nature

Turn off the electronics and find rejuvenation in the great outdoors


hy do we feel better when we’re in nature? Our physical and mental connection to nature is greater and more powerful than you think. We are a product of nature; through thousands of years of adaptation and endless interactions with the natural environment, we are intrinsically linked to a relationship with nature. A body of research is mounting regarding DIRT THERAPY the positive effects of conBy Marianne Taylor tact with nature on our physical, emotional and mental well-being. One such practice of connecting with nature—known as “forest bathing”—was first introduced in 1982 and encourages people to visit and spend time in forests. When we breathe in fresh air, we breathe in phytoncides (wood essential oils) that have antibacterial and antifungal qualities. Current studies and research suggest spending time outdoors and in forests makes us healthier by supporting increased cerebral blood flow, strengthening immune defense and decreasing stress, anxiety and depression. Spending time in nature also helps us focus. We are busier than ever with technological advancement and the demands of jobs, family and school. Keeping up with life is sometimes hard to do, but a regular walk in the park or garden will calm the spirit and reduce anxiety and stress. Studies have also shown that children who spend time in natural outdoor environments have a reduction of fatigue

Reata Park. Photo: Allison Jarrell

and behavioral outbursts and have better focus. School recess couldn’t be more important—studies show juvenile diabetes rates drop when children spend less time on computers and watching TV and take to the great outdoors. It’s hard not to burn calories when you’re running around in nature—maybe that’s why our moms kicked us outside when we were acting up inside the house. Running around outside burns calories, reduces stress and lowers cortisol. Want to feel better? It’s time to connect in nature. Turn off the electronics, get your shoes on and come for a 30-minute power walk at Reata Park and Event Center in San Juan Capistrano. We meet up every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from noon to 12:30 p.m. (weather permitting). Bring a bagged light lunch and take a seat on a park bench and breathe in the phytoncides of the old oak and sycamore trees. Watch your stress melt away and the smile on your face grow. Check out our list of classes and programs offered weekly at Reata Park and Event Center at Marianne Taylor, of San Juan Capistrano, is the founder and executive director of Goin Native Therapeutic Gardens, a 501(c)(3) teaching gardening and life skills as a way of empowering, engaging and connecting people. Goin Native focuses on educating local families, special needs adults, seniors, at-risk youth and members of the military. CD PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to provide our readers with a wide variety of opinions from our community, The Capistrano Dispatch provides Guest Opinion opportunities in which selected columnists’ opinions are shared. The opinions expressed in these columns are entirely those of the columnist alone and do not reflect those of the The Capistrano Dispatch or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at editorial@


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

Sedona. Photo: Courtesy of The Sage Hound

Page 14


Boy Scout Proposes Enhancements for Patriot Trail Summit

GUEST OPINION: Moments in Time by Jan Siegel

A Walk around Town Can Reveal Artistic Depictions of San Juan’s Past


ew Year’s resolutions always seem to include diet and exercise. In San Juan Capistrano, we can achieve both in an interesting and enjoyable way— you can learn about local history and lose those holiday pounds at the same time. The Friends of the Library sponsors the Architectural Walking Tours of historic San Juan Capistrano every Saturday at 10 a.m. The MOMENTS IN TIME Historical Society sponBy Jan Siegel sors the Adobe Walks every Sunday at 1 p.m. Both walks start at the train station kiosk on Verdugo Street. For further information, you can contact the library or the Historical Society. The city also has a program that allows you go into many businesses in town and enjoy San Juan Capistrano history. Known as the Historic Depiction Program, this policy of the City Council was adopted in 1996 in accordance with the General Plan and involves protecting and preserving “the city’s unique cultural, historical, political, architectural and economic heritage” in the form of “historic depiction programs, which portray quality design and materials, relevant representations and are accessible to the general public.” This program applies to all “commercial, industrial, office, institutional, recreational, or other non-residential projects.” As you walk around the town, you may have noticed the mural at the end of Plaza Drive in the Plaza Del Obispo shopping center, the mosaic in the courtyard of Mercado Village, and the archaeological viewing well at the Franciscan Plaza. Applications for depictions are reviewed by the Department of Planning Services and the Planning Commission, and the Cultural Heritage Commission approves the historical accuracy of the depiction. It looks like this might be the year that the current drought is over, and one of the best ways to see the historic effects of drought and flood over the years in the Capistrano Valley is the viewing well at the Franciscan Plaza. The developer of the plaza created a visual history of the impact water has had on our community over a 500-year period. The banks of the Trabuco and San Juan Creeks could not hold the torrents of water that overflowed their banks during the Great Floods of 1821, 1862, 1863, 1916, 1938 and 1969. In stark contrast, the creeks and rivers were bone-dry during

The Capistrano Dispatch January 13-26, 2017

The City Council is set to consider the proposal on Jan. 17 BY ALLISON JARRELL, THE CAPISTRANO DISPATCH

the droughts of 1857, 1884, 1912, 1923, 1938, 1990 and 2015. By walking into Franciscan Plaza behind the Avila Adobe, you can step back into time and relive the period in San Juan Capistrano history when the area was a farm, garden and orchard that included the 169-acre Avila property. A fire in 1874 destroyed most of the 10-room adobe, and in 1936, the cistern and well were covered by an asphalt driveway. In 1990, the archaeological excavation that gave way to Franciscan Plaza uncovered, documented and stabilized the well and cistern as part of the historic depiction program for this site. This year, spend a “Moment in Time” and make a resolution to visit and enjoy all of the historic depictions that continue to make San Juan Capistrano such a unique community. A list of all historic depictions in the city can be found on the city’s website, Jan Siegel is a 28-year resident of San Juan Capistrano. She served on the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission for 13 years and has been a volunteer guide for the San Juan Capistrano Friends of the Library’s architectural walking tour for 18 years. She was named Woman of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce in 2005, Volunteer of the Year in 2011 and was inducted into the city’s Wall of Recognition in 2007. CD PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to provide our readers with a wide variety of opinions from our community, The Capistrano Dispatch provides Guest Opinion opportunities in which selected columnists’ opinions are shared. The opinions expressed in these columns are entirely those of the columnist alone and do not reflect those of the The Capistrano Dispatch or Picket Fence Media. If you would like to respond to this column, please email us at editorial@


14-year-old Boy Scout is looking to change the way hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians enjoy the coastal views atop San Juan Capistrano’s Patriot Hill. John Boranian, a freshman at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, plans to install a picnic table, benches and public telescope at the peak of the popular Patriot Trail for his Eagle Scout project. A Life Scout with San Juan’s Boy Scout Troop 724, Boranian said when it came time to choose his Eagle Scout project, he opted to focus on Patriot Hill because “it honors those who have served our country” and “has the most spectacular view overlooking San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point and the Pacific Coast.” Boranian met with city staff in November to learn about the city’s review process and to make sure his proposal was compatible with the character of the area. After designing the project, gathering samples of materials and coordinating fundraising, he presented his plans to the city’s Trails and Equestrian Commission in December. During his presentation, Boranian said the majority of the project’s estimated cost—$3,500—would come from the $2,500 telescope. The young scout intends to secure funding through a combination of crowdsourcing and donations from local businesses, family and friends. Boranian estimates the project will take three to five days to complete with the help of four or five scout volunteers.

While the entire commission expressed interest in the proposal, several commissioners voiced concern about the potential for theft and vandalism at the site. Boranian replied that vandalism would be the main issue, as the telescope and table would be cemented in place. Assistant Public Works Director Tom Toman said that much like San Juan’s other parks and trails, the city would respond to service requests at the site. Trails and Equestrian Commission Chair Renee Ritchie commended Boranian for his enthusiasm and ambition. “I think that you’re very passionate about this; it’s something you have your heart in,” Ritchie said, “and if you’re willing to take that leap, I think that’s great.” Commissioner Brian Maryott—who was recently elected to the City Council—said he understood the vandalism concerns, but also pointed out that it’s possible the site would be respected by visitors. “I don’t think we should stop doing good things just because we worry about the behavior of others,” he said. “I think we need to have faith and expect good things and good outcomes.” Toman said the Patriot Trail improvements will go before the City Council for approval on Jan. 17. Boranian’s proposal will be listed under the Council’s consent calendar, which means that unless the item is pulled by the public or a Council member, it will be approved without discussion. The Jan. 17 meeting begins at 5 p.m. at City Hall, located at 32400 Paseo Adelanto. CD

Luke Acuna, a 9-year-old Palisades Elementary student, grew his hair out { I N S AN JUAN } to cut and donate it for a wig after seeing a college football player donate his hair for the same cause. To read the story, visit Photo: Eric Heinz

SCENE A tile mural depicting Mission San Juan Capistrano in the 1800s can be seen at the end of Plaza Drive in the Plaza Del Obispo shopping center. Photo: Allison Jarrell

Page 16

BUSINESS DIRECTORY CLASSIFIEDS Submit your classified ad online at

FOR SALE CUSTOM AREA RUGS You pick style, color and size. Typically made in 2 weeks. Stainmaster nylon, wool, polyester or designer carpet. Carpet showroom in Lantern District of Dana Point. Carpet and flooring remnants also available - all shapes, sizes and kinds of flooring. We sell tile too! Mike 949-240-1545.

HELP WANTED DANA POINT MARINA INN – JOB FAIR The Dana Point Marina Inn is a 136 room community oriented hotel located in the heart of the Dana Point Harbor. Our primary business is local and regional leisure and group travelers. We are experiencing an increase in business and are looking for enthusiastic people to help make the hotel the best place to work and visit. Current positions openings: Front desk clerks – Full and part time • Reservation agents – Phone experience helpful • Breakfast room attendants -Monitor and stock breakfast room 6am to 10am • Maintenance – with basic plumbing and electrical knowledge • Painters with some dry wall patching experience • Housekeepers – cleaning guest rooms • Porters and runners – to stock housekeepers • Janitorial services - cleaning public areas pool/lobby and hallways. Competitive pay and a great work environment. Expecting applications from January 3rd through January 21, 2017. 24800 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, Ca 92629 Se habla Español

SERVICES HANDYMAN CHRIS Flat screen TV’s installed, anything Electrical, Plumbing, Finish Carpentry, Drywall Repairs, Mold and Wood Rot issues, Waterproofing, Decks and Patio covers repaired, Doors, Windows, Kitchens and Baths, Water Damage Restoration, Custom Sheet Metal Fabrication and Much More. Phone Chris – 949 510 6645

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



Call 949.388.7700, ext. 104 or email

Call 949.388.7700, ext. 104 or email

WOOD DECK REPAIR WIZZARD Wood Rot Repair Certified Specialist, Wood Decks, Balconies, Patio Covers + Outside Stairs Repaired / Replaced, New Decking Systems, All work Guaranteed. Phone Chris -949 510 6645

WANTED STAMPS! Buying Large U.S and International Stamp Collections! Nick 619-672-0434 The Capistrano Dispatch January 13–26, 2017

Page 17


Much in the Clutch

come within striking distance. The Lions’ roster has received a boost since the start of league play thanks to several impact transfers who are now eligible to play after sitting out the required 30 days. Junior guard JT Robinson, who had 16 points against Santa Margarita, 6-10 center Joel Mensah, and guard Kevin White are transfers that have made impacts since joining the squad. But it’s been Much who has kept the Lions’ engine humming from day one. He is averaging just over 23 points per game, the eighth-best mark in Orange County, 10 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.3 blocks. He’s scored 20 or more points nine times, and scored 30 points or more four times.

Sebastian Much proving he is a difference maker for JSerra basketball COMPILED BY STEVE BREAZEALE, THE CAPISTRANO DISPATCH


he clock was against him, and he was running out of time. JSerra senior forward Sebastian Much was dribbling the ball down the court against Santa Margarita on Jan. 11, looking to score and break what was a deadlocked game in overtime. Once he crossed the 3-point line, Much, a 6-foot-8 Princeton commit, went to his left, straight into the heart of the defense. He picked up his dribble, maybe a little too high, and split two defenders near the basket. The ball got away from him, but only for a moment. He picked up his dribble on the baseline and laid in the uncontested basket for the game-winning shot as time expired. He jumped and pumped both hands as the buzzer sounded and the JSerra fans stormed the court, capping a 78-76 upset victory over the No. 5 ranked team in CIFSS Division 1AA. Much was definitely the difference-maker in the game, which propelled the Lions to 11-4 on the season and improved their record to 2-0 record in the Trinity League. Much scored a season-high 40 points and reeled in 11 rebounds. One second. That’s all Much was allowed for rest during the game. He stayed on the court the entire time, except for 1.3 seconds before halftime when he was subbed out. Not once did he appear tired while converting on jump shots from the elbow, anchoring the middle of the Lions’ zone defense, or when he was driving to the lane, which he did often as the Eagles got into foul trouble late. He scored 21 points in the second half, and scored five of the team’s final nine points in overtime. He made 15 of 22 free throws. “When he’s out there playing like that he’s tough to guard,” JSerra coach Zach Brogdon said. “He does everything for us. It’s amazing.” With the game hanging in the balance in the fourth quarter, Much made one of his many heads-up plays of the night while standing at the free throw line. He made the first free throw, missed the second, but instinctively followed his shot and scored on a put-back for a three-point play and a 64-63 lead. Much grabbed his own rebound on a

The Capistrano Dispatch January 13-26, 2017

Sebastian Much scored 40 points and hit the game-winning shot against Santa Margarita on Jan. 11. Photo: Courtesy

A quick look around the rest of the San Juan high school basketball landscape: • Saddleback Valley Christian senior guard Trey Smith has picked up right where he left off last season. Smith, who captured the Orange County scoring title as a junior, currently leads all players in the county in scoring again. Through 19 games, Smith is averaging 27.7 point per game. The Warriors (17-2) are in the midst of another solid season, and have won six in a row. • San Juan Hills boys basketball has already surpassed its win total from last season. The resurgent Stallions are heading into Sea View League play with a 10-8 overall record. CD

A Scout’s Perspective

The JSerra boys basketball team celebrates its 78-76 overtime win over Santa Margarita on Jan. 11. Photo: Courtesy

free throw attempt moments later, only to be fouled again. This time, he knocked down both free throws to make it 67-65. Santa Margarita’s Adrease Jackson tied things up with a pair of free throws on the next possession, setting up overtime. An 18-10 JSerra advantage was dashed in the second quarter by the sharp shooting of Santa Margarita’s Kaden Rasheed and Jackson, who combined for 20 points in the quarter to give the Eagles a 40-34 lead at the half. It was in the Lions’ locker room during the halftime break where Much delivered quite possibly his biggest moment of the night. Much, a team captain, addressed the team and lit a fire under them with an

impassioned speech. “I told the team that we have been in this situation many times down at the half and couldn’t bounce back, and tonight wasn’t going to be one of those nights,” Much said. “Sometimes it takes some tough love to wake up your team and get them going again. Luckily that was the case in this scenario.” “Our leader came into halftime and said we’re not losing this game,” Brogdon said of Much’s halftime comments. Just minutes into the third quarter, Much ignited a JSerra run when he handled an errant pass on the baseline and finished with a strong one-handed dunk. JSerra went on a 15-8 run from there to Page 18

We asked basketball scout and writer Devin Ugland, publisher of the NCAAcertified scouting service and senior writer for Open Gym Premier, his thoughts on Sebastian Much. Here’s what he had to say: “I’ve seen Much at least 10 times between high school and club seasons and the two aspects of his game that stand out to me are his offensive versatility and basketball IQ. He’s adept with his back to the basket, finishing with both his strong and off-hand. He can step out to 15 feet and knock down the mid-range jumper and he has touch out to 3-point range, which is rare for someone his size at the high school level. What impresses me most about his game, though, is his ability to identify what his team needs from him at specific points in the game. He knows when he needs to be the primary scorer, but I’ve also seen him identify when he’s being double and triple-teamed and turned into more of a distributor. He’s able to do that because he has incredible vision both out of the low and high post. He draws multiple defenders, stays patient, and uses that vision to set up teammates for open looks.”

January 13, 2017  

The Capistrano Dispatch

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