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I am so dissapointed in this decision I can barely find words.  I find the whole point of the Oso Creek Trail is to “escape” from the street traffic and to provide a small respite from the suburban sprawl that encroaches on our daily life – even in beautiful Mission Viejo.  I have, much to my dismay, a very limited knowledge of how our city government makes decisions, but I hope that they are able to reconsider this issue and keep the trail pure and simple without the blight these giant kisoks would bring.  I understand that the prospect of a grant is enticing – but at what cost to our beautiful city?  I urge the council to reconsider.  Sometimes simple is best.

Kim Baley

Oso Trail Kiosk    Let’s say the federal government offers to put a 13-foot tall monument in your backyard.  They’ll pay $50,000 of the $60,000 cost if you’ll contribute $10,000.  The height and nature of the design can’t be changed, and the structure may conflict with the natural setting, but you can place information on the monument describing the foliage in your yard or post other self-congratulatory information for guests to peruse.  Deal?

    Commissioners took the deal Monday, on behalf of taxpayers, by approving the installation of the controversial 13-foot tall ‘kiosks’ in MV’s backyard, Oso Creek Trail.  The vote was 6-1. 

    The City Council approved the kiosks last month but then ran into unhappy feedback from some residents who use the trail.  At a subsequent meeting the Council decided to refer the matter to the Community Services Commission, with Mayor Ury hinting something smaller might be more acceptable.   

    Chairman Brian Skalsky, an appointee of Cathy Schlicht and himself a hiker, opposed the injection of the large structures into the natural setting on the Trail in Mission Viejo’s backyard.  “I felt the 13 ft signs were not appropriate for the area and a more scaled down size would be appropriate,” he said.  

    Business signs are limited to less than half that height in the commercial parts of town.

    Other Community Service Commissioners seemed swayed by staff’s opinion that the kiosks could not be redesigned, nor the money used for an alternate purpose, because the federal grant was predicated on a specific proposal and drawings.  They also didn’t want to give up the ‘free’ money.  The grant is for $285,000 and the City will ante up $40,000. [Thank ’em or Spank ’em]

    Today the Securities and Exchange Commission named Mission Viejo resident Jacob Canceli, 50, as one of eight defendants in a complaint for penny stock manipulation.  Canceli is a penny stock promoter.

    The ring of defendants allegedly reaped more than $6.2 million in illegal profits from the scheme in 2006-2007. The SEC says the strategy, labeled “pump-and-dump,” used various methods to create false impressions of demand for stock in specific companies. After artificially inflating the price, the defendants supposedly dumped shares they held on behalf of the issuing companies.  Canceli allegedly held 312 million of those shares in his account.

    In addition to the SEC complaint, the Delaware District attorney filed felony criminal charges against six of the men, including Canceli.

When my little cousin (now 37 yrs old) sent me this article I couldn’t believe it! I used to work at Farrells (1979-1982) Ice Cream Parlour back in the ‘day’. What a place for a kid working his way through college to work at! The memories ALONE of a time in my life that was MUCH simpler with no worries and responsibilities are priceless. My biggest concerns in 1979 were to get that ‘ZOO’ over to table 41 before it melted. The hot fudge cake (wow!), the ‘Green River’ drink, the cheeseburgers and patty melts!

All their food was so, SO good that it was a mystery to me (and very dissappointing) how Farrells ever could’ve just dissappeared. So welcome back and thanks so much, Mr. Bob Farrell, for bringing back a piece of HISTORY! (at least Southern Californians think so!) I look forward to taking MY kids there very soon!

Maurice Quintero

    The residents of the Mission Ridge neighborhood have complained repeatedly to City Hall for relief from the nuisance and eyesore of a home remodeling project they say has continued for seven years.   A large portion of the work was done without permits, including a full basement that was excavated under the existing structure. 

    The homeowner requested permission to build an 18-car underground garage a few months ago, but the application was denied by the Planning Commission and the City Council.  The home has above ground garages for 8 cars, according to neighbors, and the house has grown to over 9,000 square feet.

    The architect for the project told the City Council on Monday that the property owner is now doing modifications necessary to receive “as-built” permits.  The current owner purchased the home from a general contractor who initiated most of the work, then tried to complete unfinished plans for the buyer.  On Monday a new contractor told the Council the previous owner/contractor, Mr. Holt, had been told to leave the property.  Mr. Holt has lived at the property since the sale, and a neighbor reported seeing him still on the site. 

    The Council was also told the property owner, Mr. Le, may decide not to use the home as his family’s permanent residence, due to the turmoil in the neighborhood.  If Le tried to sell the property, given the history, it begs the question whether there would there be any potential buyers; perhaps the previous owner, Mr. Holt?

    The new contractor provided a timeline and assured the City the work would be completed by September, after Councilmember Kelley agendized the issue for consideration of legal remedies.  The Council instructed Staff to soon provide an inventory of work done at the property, and directed the City Attorney to review the legal issues involved. 

    Several neighbors asked the Council to put themselves in their shoes.  One woman invited the Council to stay at her adjacent home for five days to appreciate the nightmare nearby residents are experiencing.  The residents have expressed dissatisfaction with the Staff and Council for allowing the situation to continue for so long.  A well-known local real estate agent chided the council, saying that before the City was incorporated, the Mission Viejo Company would never have tolerated such behavior.

Trabuco Poster AnnouncementI AM MISSION VIEJO is a photographic journey to all places that make up a student’s world. The exhibit will be displayed Wednesday, May 27, by the Trabuco Hills Photo Department in the MPR, rooms 701-702 from 6 pm to 8 pm. All photos are images and impressions created by students. Admission is free. 

    Mission Viejo voters were more broadly opposed to the state financial propositions than voters countywide or statewide.  State counts were running about 2-1 against the tax and budget propositions, while the county margin was approximately 3-1.  MV was averaging about 4% more opposition than the county vote.

    Prop 1-A, the “Rainy Day” proposal, was defeated by the largest margin.  MV voters, at last report, had cast 14,032 ballots against 1-A compared to 3,316 in support.

    The legislative pay restriction under 1-F was the only proposition passed yesterday.  Mission Viejo voters were supporting it by about a 2-1 ratio, 10,487 to 5,854.  About 28% of the City’s 61,938 registered voters had voted.