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Archive for September, 2008

    I hope residents are paying attention to this. We, the taxpayers of Mission Viejo, are suing ourselves, the taxpayers of CUSD. CUSD is awash in red ink, and the money for legal costs will come from classrooms – a lawsuit on the backs of children.

    I attended the CUSD board meetings as the busing disaster was unfolding. The only MV council member attending was Gail Reavis. The other four couldn’t be bothered to challenge decisions that were devastating to Mission Viejo.

    The CUSD superintendent wouldn’t listen to the advice of attorneys, and he ignored suggestions from the bus drivers, who were the only ones with viable ideas to save the bus routes. Bus drivers apparently don’t have a voice in academia when they challenge those educated beyond their intelligence.

    Frank Ury, who is on the city’s CUSD subcommittee, has been speaking out in favor of the litigation.  He failed as a trustee at Saddleback Unified School District.  Now, as a city councilman, he is failing kids and taxpayers in the Capistrano Unified School District.

    We’re funding a lawsuit, not by happenstance but because of failed leadership in CUSD and our city hall.

Connie Lee

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    Today the minimum 24-hour public notice was given for a Special Meeting of the City Council tomorrow (Tuesday) at 5pm. 

    The closed session will consider whether Mission Viejo should use joint legal representation with Rancho Santa Margarita to pursue litigation against the Capo School District over Capo’s reduction of bus routes from 62 to 18. The cities contend CUSD failed to adequately study the environmental impacts of the decision under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

    The agenda lists separate case numbers for “existing litigation” by MV and RSM, indicating the lawsuits have already been separately filed.  The Dispatch has repeatedly requested documents and information from the City regarding the case and filing date, but received neither.  The MV case was filed on September 22, and the RSM case was filed the next day.

    The joint legal representation is recommended by staff and will be revealed in an open meeting announcement following the closed session.  A second agenda item, dealing with a proposed performing arts center at Capistrano Valley High School, is also listed for open session.

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Benjamin Sanson

Sanson Exits Lake MV

    Benjamin Sanson, a former World Champion swimmer, won the inaugural Orange County International Triathlon in Mission Viejo yesterday.  Sanson built a comfortable lead during the one-mile swim.  He expects the event will be great preparation for his Kona Ironman competition next month in Hawaii.

    Lake Mission Viejo was shrouded in fog for the swimming leg of the event, making it difficult to see the buoys marking the rectangular course.  The beginning of the race was delayed because the lake was invisible through the fog.

    Following the swim, a 24-mile bicycle competition into Santiago Canyon proved difficult because it headed through hills, steadily climbing into Santiago Canyon until reaching the turn-around point.  Riders jumped off the bikes near Saddleback Church to run the final 6 miles to the finish line near the Lake.  

    Runners found the trek highly challenging around and over the hills of Mission Viejo’s hiking trails.  Beth Gerdes of San Diego, the overall women’s winner in 2:24 wrote this morning, “I hit T2 (transition 2) and threw on the run shoes. I had been waiting for this! I heard the run course was very tough, but I laughed during the first mile or so…this was tough? Yeah right! Okay, I spoke WAY too soon. All of a sudden we were in xterra land with big big climbs, dirt, deep mulch, carnage walking everywhere!”

    But she enjoyed the entire event:  “Turns out i picked a GREAT race to do well at…these guys had an actual podium, real trophies and prizes and things! I got nice sunglasses and some fun tri gear too…all size Mens XL. perfect : ) Needless to say, this was a fantastic experience. I went in with few expectations and came out with the best race of my season. I was especially happy to have enjoyed all three portions of the race.”

    It was significant that Beth felt it was her best race this season.  She has participated in 8 events since April, winning 5 times and finishing 2nd twice!

    Another triathlete, Donna Skaggs, was an observer at MV after finishing fifth in last week’s Long Beach Triathlon, but wrote that Mission Viejo “had one devil of a run course… which followed a bewitching bike course.”

    In the men’s division, 379 finished.  Sanson (1:58) was followed by Robert Skaggs (age 42 @ 2:05) of Trabuco Canyon and Max Biessmann (age 23 @ 2:06) of Irvine.  Male finishers from Mission Viejo were:

Name

Age

Time

BRANDON CAMMELL

23

2:23:28

MICHAEL LEE

42

2:28:54

FRITZ REIMERS

50

2:31:57

KEN GRIER

39

2:33:17

JON NICANOR

28

2:36:24

IAN STEVENS

41

2:38:49

TOM RICHTER

44

2:40:31

JOE BOWMAN

49

2:43:57

FRANCISCO PRESTON

18

2:46:08

MIKE GIBSON

47

2:48:27

MIKE MONTELLANO

28

2:50:14

RYAN WESTENDORF

35

2:51:41

NICHOLAS REIMERS

16

2:55:14

CRAIG GUTJAHR

34

2:56:38

ADAM ALCARAZ

34

2:57:26

MICHAEL YURKOVICH

37

2:58:04

TOBY RAMOS

35

2:59:18

JEFFREY KLEIN

40

2:59:18

JAMES MAYVILLE

51

3:04:00

JON PRUN

53

3:05:21

RANDY KEITH

51

3:06:54

MARC TANGUAY

41

3:08:58

JIM DUGUE

50

3:10:29

DOUG POWERS

52

3:10:46

ANGEL PEROZO

46

3:11:31

MARK SCHAFER

45

3:11:53

DAVID DE LA CERDA

44

3:17:32

JEFF URISH

51

3:18:26

STEPHEN BELLISSIMO

19

3:18:52

BEN WAGNER

42

3:20:30

BRIAN BERGER

47

3:23:32

JEFFERY HAMEN

41

3:25:17

BILL DEMAURO

49

3:27:57

SAM SHAHIDI

25

3:30:32

PAUL HENISEY

55

3:31:00

RAMON SANCHEZ

53

3:45:06

CRAIG DEWALT

36

4:07:25

    Three of the MV runners were under age 20: Nicholas Reimers (age 16 @ 2:55), Francisco Preston (age 18 @ 2:46) and Stephen Bellissimo (age 19 @ 3:18).  Click here for all male results.

    In the women’s division, 162 finished the race including 72-year-old Mickie Shapiro of Costa Mesa (3:58) who finished one hour behind 62-year-old Trish Kimper of Solana Beach.  Mission Viejo women finishers were:

Name Age Time
JANNINE MCGAULEY 40

2:52:32

JILLIAN GAUER 37

2:56:26

HEIDI GERMAIN 52

3:09:19

MEGAN HEDGES 36

3:13:53

CANDACE BOYD 48

3:18:35

JILL HODGES 43

3:28:15

MELISSA MCDONNEL 29

3:30:29

SUMAYA MCCLEAVE 31

3:42:25

TERESA SCHERNER 47

3:47:15

    Heidi Germain finished 3rd in her 50-54 age category.  Click here for all female results.

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Capo Board (from left): Addonizio, Christensen, Darnold, Stiff, Maddox, Palazzo (Bryson Absent) (Photo by Vivian Frerichs)

    A teachers group, Capistrano Unified Education Association (CUEA), has set the stage for a lawsuit against the Capo Trustees if the Board fails to admit alleged violations of open meetings laws known as the Brown Act.  The alleged wrongful acts occurred after the successful recall of two trustees.

    The Brown Act requires that accusers first file a “cure and correct” demand letter with the offending body.  If the Board does not then publicly admit and cure the violations, a civil lawsuit may be initiated.  A cure would also require revealing information that should have been accessible to the public.

    The letter was submitted on behalf of CUEA by Marianne Reinhold from the law firm of Reich, Adell & Cvitan. The allegations include:

  1. An illegal decision was taken outside a formal meeting. CUEA believes a board majority made a prior decision to include an unaffiliated attorney in an August 11 closed session.
  2. An agenda item for August 11 meeting was improperly described.  CUSD states the agenda item was listed as “Public Employee Performance Evaluation” which was legally inadequate when the discussion allegedly extended to considering the termination or suspension of the Superintendent.
  3. An illegal “serial” meeting occurred.  The letter charges an unnamed board member contacted less than a majority of other members, which in turn led to serial communications involving a majority of the board.
  4. An illegal subcommittee meeting was conducted.  CUEA contends an ad hoc committee consisting of a sub-majority of the Trustees forfeited its Brown Act exemption when two other board members attended a subcommittee meeting as members of the audience, asking questions and making comments.

    CUEA alternately could ask the District Attorney to investigate instead of proceeding with a civil lawsuit.  Recently the DA issued a scathing letter against the pre-recall board for flagrant and continuing violations of the Brown Act.  The DA failed to prosecute based in part on the successful recall and the intention of the new board to retain permanent legal counsel to prevent future violations.

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Photos by Lisa Detrick

    Last night receiver Kevin Chandler set a Diablos record as Mission Viejo coasted to a 42-20 victory over Vista, ranked 8th in San Diego County. He gained 236 yards on pass receptions.

    MV ranked first in Orange County and Vista was rated eighth in San Diego County.  The Diablos donned new black home uniforms for the game, but the fashion didn’t impair function.

    The MV passing game was dominant.  Allan Bridgford topped his personal passing yardage record.  Bridgford finished the night 18 for 31 to achieve 443 yards passing.  The offensive line prevented Vista from making any sacks of Bridgford. 

Jake Marshall

Jake Marshall

    In addition to Chandler’s 236 yards, Alex Mascarenas caught 6 passes, scoring adding another 134 yards and two touchdowns.  

    A key factor in the victory was turnovers.  Mission Viejo capitalized on three Vista fumbles, converting them into three touchdowns.  Those 21 points turned out to be the final margin between the two teams.

    Although the effort was primarily an air attack, rushing helped establish the successful passing.  Jake Marshall was a workhorse for the Diablos, carrying the ball 19 times and scoring two touchdowns.

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    Frenchman  Benjamin  Sanson  is  the  “best swimmer in the world of triathlon” according to Eduardo Sturla, winner of this year’s Brazil Ironman event.  That may give Sanson an edge in Sunday’s OC International Triathlon in Mission Viejo.  Bib numbers will be assigned at sign-in on Saturday.

Ben Sanson's Facebook Photo

    The Frenchman finished 3rd in this year’s Brazil Ironman competition, 13 minutes behind Sturla, with a time of 8 hours and 41 minutes.  At last year’s British Triathlon, he finished 7th. 

    There were 525 entrants before Saturday’s sign-in.  Organizers set a limit of 700 participants. 

    Fifty-five of the competitors are from Mission Viejo.  Six of of those are between 17 and 19 years of age.  There is only one other teenager, the youngest at age 16, from Long Beach. 

    The median age is 37. MV’s oldest entrant is 56-year-old Marty Milster.  The field boasts ten men and one woman over age 60.

    There are 153 female participants, although none seem to stand out as favorites, according to Race Director Bill Leach.

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    Trabuco Hills High School is joining a growing list of public schools seeking private contributions to finance their wish lists. It recently established a private foundation called the Trabuco Hills Educational Endowment Association (THEEA).

    John Barnes, President of THEAA, sent a fundraising letter announcing the creation of the Mustang Legacy Wall in front of a new classroom building.  The wall is currently being constructed and will be covered with tiles that are laser-inscribed with personal messages from donors who contribute a tile.  The tiles vary in size and require donations from $250 to $1,250.  Click here for order form. The wall should be finished next Spring.

    Saddleback Valley Unified School District and Capistrano Unified School District already have private foundations to raise money for their schools, but individual schools are increasingly starting their own funds.  SVUSD spokesperson Tom Turner tells the Dispatch even some elementary schools have very active foundations.

    The Capo Foundation is currently raising money for a performing arts center at Capistrano Valley High School.  They are counting on a state grant for Capo to help with the projected $11 million project.

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