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Archive for January, 2008

    Entrepreneur Magazine this week named Mission Viejo as the second best place in the U.S. to purchase a home.  It particularly mentioned the economic climate in the area and the low crime rate in the City.

    Only a region in central Texas preceded Mission Viejo.  The magazine pointed to the Austin-Killeen-Round Rock region for the lowest average home prices and dynamic job growth. 

    Mission Viejo was also cited as a “good place to raise a family.”  Click here to view the article . . .

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    Orange County Supervisor Pat Bates represents South Orange County and hails from Laguna Niguel.  Jack Anderson, the county’s Interim Sheriff, is from Mission Viejo, Pat’s largest constituent city, and a next-door neighbor to Laguna Niguel.  So it would seem to be in the interest of Pat’s district for Jack to complete the unexpired portion of Mike Carona’s term as Sheriff. 

    Pat, however, slipped a knife in Jack’s back recently by joining a split vote of the Supervisors, approving a nationwide search for a candidate to complete Carona’s remaining 3-year term.  Observers point out, however, it would take 3 years for an outsider to begin to understand Orange County; unless of course he or she was a TV fan of The OC and Orange County Housewives.   Norby and Moorlach comprehended the foolishness of spending $75,000 to find an outsider when OC has qualified replacements, but Pat abandoned them.

    The San Clemente City Council recently joined the fray regarding a replacement Sheriff.  Councilmembers piled on by sending a resolution to the Board of Supervisors asking for their former police chief, Bill Hunt, to be appointed.  The SC City Attorney advised his Council the endorsement was a legitimate policy matter and not subject to prohibitions against political activities; which was highly ironic since a member of Hunt’s camp is accusing Jack Anderson of illegal political activity for recently speaking to a meeting of the San Clemente City Council while wearing his Sheriff’s uniform. 

    Yesterday Jack ran into an ultimate test in his climb up the political beanstalk.  He felt a gun barrel on both sides of his head when he addressed the Supervisors about their plan for a lawsuit to reduce pension benefits for sheriff’s deputies.  Two giants held the triggers – the Supes on one side, and Wayne Quint and his Deputies Union on the other. 

    The Supervisors will be deciding whether to keep or replace Jack after their nationwide interview process.  The Deputies will be releasing an internal vote in the next few days on who to recommend for the balance of Carona’s term.  Quint and his Board know how to play hardball, and it’s unlikely they would welcome an outsider. 

    Jack suggested to the Union’s Board that it would be premature for members to vote a preference at this time.  Jack requested his name not be included on the ballot, but Quint told Jack his name would appear on the ballot regardless of whether he wished to participate.  If Jack didn’t submit a ballot statement, a notation would be made next to his name, “Did Not Submit.”  Jack previously won a straw poll in the OC Register by a substantial margin, but the Union’s political dynamics and inside campaigning cannot be analyzed at this point.  Click here to view Jack’s letter to the union . . .

    Jack’s wisdom and seasoning showed in his careful remarks to the Supervisors.  He complimented the Supes for their financial diligence, but supported a strong compensation plan to maintain quality personnel in the Sheriff’s department.  He advised the best resolution of the pension dispute might be further collective bargaining instead of the cost and uncertainty of legal action.  It raises the question:  Would Quint & Company deal away some of the pension in return for naming Carona’s replacement? 

    Meanwhile, Mission Viejo’s favorite son has been left hanging in the wind by his own City’s slumbering City Council.  Jack was a popular Planning Commissioner for the City, including serving as its chairman.  Yet Mission Viejo, the giant of South County, has remained silent since his appointment.  Jack seems to be earning plenty of respect without their help, but the Council’s inaction seems to reflect consistent criticism about its inexperience and weakness in dealing with regional matters.  

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    Frank Cordes of Mission Viejo, planned to return to California yesterday from St Martin where his wife is still missing.  Leta has been missing since January 12 after leaving their hotel alone to walk to a nearby resort casino.  While in St Martin Mr. Cordes offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to her return.

    According to the St Martin Daily Herald, Mr. Cordes’ stated purpose for flying home was to discuss the case with Leta’s family.  He said police were aware of his trip, and he would be returning to St Martin in 3-4 weeks.  Click to view article in the St Martin Daily Herald . . .

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    Rains have faded memories of the Santiago fire, pictured overlooking Lake Mission Viejo.  Thanks to Kevin LaBianco for permission to use his October photograph. 

   fire-lake-mv-article-crop-3.jpg

    If the fire photo causes tension, readers can retreat to a peaceful 2-minute video trip around the Lake by clicking here.     

    Despite the rain, a brush fire threatened homes in Mission Viejo only 11 days ago.  An employee of the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Course noticed smoke from his viewpoint in the clubhouse restaurant.  After reporting the fire, he watched as fire trucks were unable to access the hillside behind local homes.  He tells the Dispatch a helicopter arrived at the scene a few minutes later.  It loaded its water bucket three times from a small lake serving as a water hazard for golfers.  The fire was extinguished after burning about two acres.

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    Gateway Center at Alicia and Jeronimo is working with the City on a plan to visually improve the shopping plaza.  The Center has a significant number of retail shops and restaurants, including a Starbucks.  A stand alone restaurant, originally a Coco’s, has changed tenants several times and is currently vacant.

    In November an administrative approval was given for some minor hardscape and landscape improvements, but the approval was appealed by two Planning Commissioners, Sandzimier and Atkinson.  At the PC meeting on January 14, the appeal was withdrawn, but the Commission requested its Design and Review Committee consider the Center’s Master Site and Landscaping Plans before further consideration by the whole body.

    David DeMiranda, of Westwood Financial Corp., agent for Gateway, advises the Dispatch that discussions are occurring with Keith Rattay, the City’s Director of Public Services, regarding possible designs and new signage, prior to submitting them for the Committee’s review.  

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Following are current scores, stats and rankings for local teams.  Click on links to view results.

MV HIGH SCHOOLS – BOYS BASKETBALL

MV HIGH SCHOOLS – GIRLS BASKETBALL

MV HIGH SCHOOLS – BOYS SOCCER

MV HIGH SCHOOLS – GIRLS SOCCER

SADDLEBACK COLLEGE – MENS BASKETBALL

SADDLEBACK COLLEGE – WOMENS BASKETBALL

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    Cindy Sage, who initially performed tests on electromagnetic frequency (EMF) radiation along the SCE corridor in Mission Viejo, will be the radio guest of George Noory tonight (Tues.) on KFI Radio, Channel AM 64o.  The program is broadcast worldwide. Cindy will discuss the potential health implications from EMF exposure between 10pm and 2am. 

     The Noory website is www.coasttocoastam.com.  The program can be streamed via the website; alternatively it can podcasted or downloaded to computer later via the website.  An access charge of $6.95 applies for the streaming or downloading features.

    Cindy will appear at the Mission Viejo City Council Meeting on February 18 as part of a public hearing regarding current EMF exposure levels along the overhead powerline corrider operated by SCE.

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