Archive for July, 2008

    Three city council members replied to an email question from me stating neither they nor their families will ride in the City of Mission Viejo float in the Tournament of Roses Parade. They are Gail Reavis, John Paul Ledesma and Frank Ury.

    Council members Trish Kelley and Lance MacLean have not responded. I will report any replies received from the final two.

    Here is my question on 7/18 and the responses:

“Please state for the record whether you our any member of your family plan to ride on the Mission Viejo float in the Tournament of Roses Parade.” From Allan Pilger

  • 7-18-08   Gail Reavis: “ABSOLUTELY NOT!”
  • 7-18-08   John Paul Ledesma: “Are you kidding? No and no.”
  • 7-20-08   Frank Ury: “Allan. I will not be riding on the float in the parade, nor will anyone in my family. My hope is that we select some prominent folks from MV, perhaps the MV Nadadores athletes who go to Beijing, or the kids of Flo Jo, or some other famous MV residents.

Allan Pilger


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   Cost Plus World Market (“Cost Plus”) announced today it recently learned that PIN pads at its Mission Viejo Store may have been tampered with between February 2008 and April 2008. As a result, certain account and PIN numbers may have been acquired by unauthorized third parties. There have been reports of unauthorized debit card activity on some of those accounts. To date there is no evidence of any credit card fraud associated with this incident.

    The payment card data read by a PIN pad is limited and it is not believed that other customer information, including name, address and social security number, was obtained. Cost Plus has changed its point of sale procedures nationwide to improve security.

    Cost Plus strongly recommends that consumers who have used a payment card at Cost Plus between February 2008 and April 2008 carefully review their account statements and immediately notify their credit or debit card company or bank if they suspect fraudulent use.

    Seven other stores were also involved. Since learning of the incident, Cost Plus has worked closely with the financial institutions and law enforcement officials to ensure that any of its customers impacted by this incident are identified. Cost Plus is also working with its merchant bank and the payment card issuers to ensure that any affected cards are blocked and reissued. In addition to the chain-wide changes in its point of sale procedures, the Company has begun the process of replacing the PIN pad devices throughout all of its stores nationwide and expects to complete the process by the end of August.

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    Samantha was diagnosed with cancer at the age of eighteen months.  Today she is a 17-year-old junior at Mission Viejo High, in the Special Education Program.  Although she survived cancer, the treatment left her mentally and physically disabled, requiring special care 24/7.

    The Mission Viejo High football team adopted Samantha and pediatric cancer as their charitable focus.  The team officially kicked off a campaign, “On a Mission to Find a Cure,” in support of the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF), and in honor of their angel, Samantha.

5K Runners

   Today the team generated support and awareness for PCRF with a 5K run and walk held at the Great Park in Irvine.  There were 421 participants, exceeding expectations, according to race director Debra Chandler.  Vic “The Brick” Jacobs from KTLA Sports Radio was emcee for the event. 

    On May 4th the entire team participated in another walk event for the PCRF. The team and booster parents hosted a Spirit Booth during that walk. [Photos by Vivian Frerichs]

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As the old Joni Mitchell song says:
“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot” and…”you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”

Let’s not lose any more of the precious green space that Mission Viejo has.  Our city seems to want to cement over anyplace that will bring in a nickel and a new developer.

They then open their pockets during elections to these developers.  In the last city council election, after allowing Southern California Edison to bring 14 story tall cement and steel towers into our city, the three incumbents took a record amount of money from Edison to fund their campaigns.

Keep an eye on their pockets and on the few last remaining green spaces in Mission Viejo.

Diane Greenwood

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Mission Viejo’s planners determined the appropriate amount of greenspace and recreational space the community should have. The resultant CASTA DEL SOL golf course is an example. Shrinking the golf course will adversely effect the USGA rating of the course.

Sunrise Housing is like a pit bull. They grab on and never let go. They ignore the yelling and the pleading. Reasoning makes no difference. They keep shaking their head to get all they can. If they cannot get all, they’ll just rip off a piece. They don’t care about what’s left. They’re of one mind – destroy the whole.

They’re bred that way.

Wayne Block

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    As part of a strategy to close 600 stores nationwide, Starbucks has announced two closings will occur in Mission Viejo.

    The store near Henry’s Market on Santa Margarita Parkway will be closed.  The street address is 27775 Santa Margarita Parkway.

    The second store slated for closing is on Marguerite Parkway across the street from the entrance to Saddleback College.  That address is 28171 Marguerite Parkway.

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Photo Courtesy of David Images

    Last year Sunrise Assisted  Living entered a provisional contract to purchase Casta Golf Course. It then conducted a PR campaign to condition residents to its plan to construct a multi-story housing facility in the area of the current clubhouse and maintenance yard.  Its plan assumed the City would rezone that site for high density housing.

    The Company is now exploring a different section of the golf course according to information received by the President of the Finesterra HOA and the President of the Casta del Sol HOA.  Sunrise is considering slicing 6 acres from the west portion of the course.  Although the new configuration is unknown, a parcel that size would place the facility on the 9th fairway, with potential extension onto the first and eighth holes.

    Aesthetically it seems a facility with that height and placement would eliminate the partial view of the course through the trees from Marguerite Parkway, because the project would extend from Atria del Sol to the homes at Finesterra on the Green.  Unsightly high netting might be required to protect the proposed housing project from golf balls.  The Sunrise exploratory plan includes a study to re-route the creek which runs through the west section of the course.

    Sunrise’s initial proposal to convert a portion of the golf course brought an outcry from the community. The City Council subsequently imposed a one-year moratorium on any rezoning of the property, pending a review of the City’s General Plan for the purpose of re-analyzing the importance of recreational and open space to local residents in light of the growth of the City.  The Planning Commission has not yet begun that review.

    Casta del Sol Homeowner’s Association presented the City Council with signatures from over a thousand residents opposing plans by Sunrise, and threatened a referendum if the Council yielded to Sunrise.  Proponents of an initiative have also announced their intention to gather signatures for a ballot measure that would similarly prevent rezoning without majority approval of voters.

    The original Sunrise plan was to close the course, giving the unused portion to the City for park land, but the City already has very large park holdings and wasn’t interested in the additional maintenance costs.  Sunrise now appears to be seeking a plan which shortens the already compact course, and which would be palatable or tempting to the City Council. 

    Typical enticements by developers to City Councils for such entitlements include millions in developer fees payable to the City treasury or applied to improvements to City facilities.  In San Clemente a developer offered the City 11 million dollars to create a sports park if it would rezone a portion of a local golf course for housing.  In San Juan Capistrano developers also offered the City large developer fees if it would likewise rezone part of a golf course for housing.  In both cases the city councils approved the rezoning, succumbing to the developers and their money.  But in both cases voters passed referendums by 2-1 margins overturning the action by their councils.

    Mission Viejo council members recently approved dipping into city reserves to finance pet projects, so it appears it could be susceptible to compromising the golf course and swooning to the the siren songs of the developer’s money.

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