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Archive for January, 2009

    On Monday the City Council will approve a revised Noise Plan for Mission Viejo.  The City already benefits from sound attenuation resulting from the design of the planned community in the 1960’s by the Mission Viejo Company.  

    Sound measurements are reported in decibels (dBA), which are similar to Richter earthquake measurements because both are logarithmic.  An increase of 3 decibels is equivalent to the doubling of sound for the human ear.  The most common sounds vary between 40 dBA (very quiet) to 100 dBA (very loud). Normal conversation at three feet is approximately at 60 dBA, while loud jet engine noises equate to 110 dBA.

    Typical legal standards for residental areas are 65 for exterior and 45 for interior. State law establishes an interior noise standard of 45 dB(A) for residences.  Mission Viejo has established a exterior threshold of 60 dB at which point mitigation should be studied.

    Most noise in MV is from traffic.  The widest MV noise corridor is the San Diego Freeway which generates over 81 dBA outward almost 600 feet, and 60 dBA extending to 2500 feet.  Next is the Foothill 241 Tollroad which transmits over 72 dBA.  

    The freeways are followed by Crown Valley Parkway which emits about 70 dBA out 100 feet and 60 dBA for about 450 feet. All other arterial streets measure between 60 and 65 dBA for up to 50 feet.  Exceptions are stretches of Marguerite Parkway, 65-69 dBA, and Alicia Parkway at 68-69 dBA.

    Non-auto sources include the railroad line through MV that facilitates 57 trains per day. The City claims setbacks and walls mitigate residential back yard noise to within 65 dB.  The closure of the El Toro Marine Air Station reduced aerial noise to occasional overflights.

    Click here to view chart with current noise corridors by decibel range.

    Last week the Planning Commission adopted this revision to the Noise Element of the City’s General Plan.  The State requires cities to periodically review and update seven planning elements.

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CEO Kevin Davis

CEO Kevin Davis

    CEO Kevin Davis today told the MV Dispatch the closing of  Bristol Farms is due to the business environment at Kaleidoscope.  Davis said the problem is “the continuing problem of vacancies in the Center; there are continuing vacancies of 20-50%.”

   Mr. Davis rejected the characterization by Mission Viejo City Hall yesterday that the closure was due to “corporate problems.”  He said there was no pattern of closures and no corporate problem behind the departure.  Instead, the company is looking for a new location in South County.

    CEO Davis also denied the departure was related to rent increases or lease problems.  “We have an ongoing lease agreement so that’s not a problem,” he stated.

    Mission Viejo was home for the Bristol Farms store for eleven years and will close next month.  The nearest alternate location is in Newport Beach.

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    Next month Bristol Farms will close its store in the Kaleidoscope Center.  Community Services Director Chuck Wilson announced the departure today, noting El Torito Grill also recently left the center.

    The property management company is nevertheless optimistic.  It is contemplating the addition of  a delicatessan and ‘dueling piano’ bar.  The concept is proposed by current tenant, Riptide Rockin Sushi & Teppan Grills.  It will be considered by the Planning Commission on February 9.

    The Center is also hopeful that a bridal salon will take the space previously occupied by Bally Total Fitness.

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At Monday night’s Planning Commission Meeting we experienced a situation lacking both professional courtesy and a fair hearing. Our City contracted a traffic engineer from Arizona, Mr. Scott Ritchie, to create a feasibility study on the potential of roundabouts at various intersections in Mission Viejo. However, Mr. Ritchie was not invited to present his report at the Planning Commission Meeting, but rather another local traffic engineer was hired to make a presentation, which varied from Mr. Ritchie’s study. This circumstance resulted from a directive given by former Mayor Trish Kelley, supported by three other council members – Ury, MacLean, and Ledesma – directing Staff not have Mr. Ritchie present his report.

Although the presentation Monday night had merit, I feel when citizens request to see the findings of an engineer’s report, professional courtesy should be shown in allowing a fair hearing for that engineer to present his report, regardless of additional costs.

Modern roundabouts are coming into vogue in the US.  The more exposure citizens have to this engineering feat, including the pros, cons and examples of existing roundabouts, the more educated and accepting we can be of a new transportation solution that may benefit us. Citizens of Mission Viejo are still interested in seeing Mr. Ritchie’s presentation.

Barabara Anderson

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    The pastor of Mission Viejo’s Crossline Church says standards have changed drastically regarding cohabitation by unmarried couples.  He works to encourage a biblical view against such arrangements, even when economic conditions create additional incentive for living together.

    “These are not easy things because we are dealing with people’s hearts and feelings,” Pastor J.P. Jones told the Christian Examiner.

    The Examiner decribed current views:  “According to a 2005 U.S. Census Bureau report 4.85 million couples were cohabiting, up more than 1,000 percent from 1960, when there were 439,000 such couples. A 2000 study found that more than half of newlyweds have lived together, at least briefly, before walking down the aisle.”

    “A 2003 study by the Barna research group found that 49 percent of born-again believers said they consider cohabitation to be “morally acceptable,” compared with 60 percent of all adults. Only 12 percent of evangelicals called the practice “morally acceptable.””

    “When cohabitating couples wish to get married, most pastors will ask them to separate during the premarital counseling stage, if not longer,” according to the report

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    A St Maarten neighbor of Frank Cordes informed the MV Dispatch today that Frank was released from jail yesterday. The Mission Viejo resident had been arrested on October 14 as a suspect in the disppearance of his wife, Leta Lynn.  

    Windward Islands Prosecutor Taco Stein told the St Martin News that Frank remains a suspect in the case.  Although the court approved the extended three-month pre-trial detention, Stein still does not have enough evidence to make a case. 

    Sheriff’s deputies responded to a domestic dispute between Frank and Leta Lynn at their Mission Viejo home in 2007, but no arrests were made.  Frank said the relationship was harmonious since that time.

    Leta Lynn, 49, left the couple’s hotel alone on January 11, 2008 to walk to the Westin Casino, where she was a regular customer.  She was never seen again.  The couple visited the island each year and were purchasing a vacation home there.

    A year after the disappearance friends of Leta Lynn are organizing a new search for her with the assistance of volunteers and local authorities, according to the St Maarten Private Eye.  They plan to bring cadaver dogs from the U.S. to aid the effort.  Friends have appealed to Frank to bring closure to the matter if he was involved.

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    Saddleback College enrollment has experienced a sharp increase as the economy falters and state colleges have announced restraints on the number of students.  Last year there were 22,816 students at Saddleback; as of Jan. 16 there are 24,259 enrolled, an 8% rise.

    “We’re in a situation where people are getting laid off from their jobs, and they come back to school, and they get re-tooled and re-trained. There’s also been an impact on the state university system, and more students are staying longer in the community college system, delaying transfer,” Admissions Director Jane Rosecrans told the Lariat.

    One-third of the classes are full and the college is looking forward to adding additional courses and the budget is not impeding growth.

    “The College anticipated a state budget of some significance and generated a healthy ending balance to offset state budget shortfalls to the extent possible.” said Carol Hilton, Director of Financial Services at Saddleback College.

    Due to the Saddleback’s conservative financial planning, no spending freeze is in effect.   The college has not predicted any cuts for next year.  Much of its revenue comes from local property taxes which are independent from Sacramento’s budget.  It also generates income from a land lease for the Promenade Apartment complex adjacent to the campus.

    Rosenkrans summarized the financial situation, “We’re in a fortunate position, that is, we’re not in the same situation as most community colleges in California, where they can only grow a certain percentage each year, because they are funded by the state. We have a much more open door policy. The Deans and the Vice-President are adding classes. We’ve tried to open as many spaces and opportunities for students as possible, and we’re in a much better position, and that’s why our growth rate is higher.”

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