Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thought 4 the Week

Monday, January 26, 2015

Around South County: Visiting With the "Trailmasters" of Laguna Niguel (A Brief "Newsflash")

Troop 772, "The Trailmasters" had a guest speaker at its' Patrol Meetings today .   Mr. Mike Darnold of the City of Dana Point shared insights on the dangers of Addiction.   What was striking was that he brought a special credibility to bear as he spoke:  He's a recovering addict himself and kept how long he'd been sober on his phone and shared it with the Scouts & all the scouters who were present.   

We will have further updates on this soon.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

An "Outsider" Newsflash: Witness to Democracy in Action at Aliso Viejo City Hall


It was a fabulous night as many were witness to Democracy in Action at Aliso Viejo City Hall in opposition to a permit to sell Beer and Alcohol at Edwards Stadium.   The eloquence of the Young was ever so evident.    One of the key Community Leaders shared key highlights which we are pleased to report on:

Jan 21, 2015
Phillips, Chun, Harrington, and Tsunoda were united in opposition. Munzing argued strongly for alcohol in the theater, but stood alone. 
50 people from the community signed up to speak, and there were as many standing as sitting, with people overflowing into the hallway.  Several youth presented arguments from local schools.  PTA presidents and board members presented.  
Arguments presented included concerns on safety, promoting underage drinking, lack of security and oversight, and a call for elected officials to represent their constituency and put people over profits.  
The overriding theme from every speaker was, "We've worked hard to create something special in Aliso Viejo; why would we change it?"
In the end, some of the major opinions stated were:
Phil Tsunoda
- Primary driver from the beginning opposed to this.
- He stated alcohol density was too high; there were insufficient safeguards; and alcohol doesn't belong in a family theater.
Ross Chun:
- There was no compelling business case brought to the council to balance the community outcry. The theater stated there would be no substantial increase in new customers, no additional parking impact, and there would only be a minor number of people buying alcohol. But then they stated it was essential to their business to compete. He felt a little deceived by the theater in their application, not meeting the letter and spirit of the law for an alcohol license given the requirements for a full kitchen/restaurant.
- He visited the other theaters used as comparison points (Cinepolis, Island, etc.), and said they were completely different from our theater. They were made from the beginning for adults and alcohol.  He said he was one of the younger people there, unlike ours which has many kids and teens. It would be totally different to introduce it to a cramped theater with minimal controls.
- Also quoted community concerns about children safety, such as what happens in restrooms in an environment with drinking. 
William Phillips
- He said the theater's challenge in competing was not the lack of alcohol, but the core product: lack of great movies.  They should fix that if they want to increase revenue.
- He said the community had worked so hard to build Aliso Viejo as a family-friendly, unique environment. He did not want to change that yet. There was the potential for a win-win and our theater could be a unique draw as a top family-friendly theater in the entire area. This will work in our favor.
- Agreed that our cinema is very different from Cinepolis and Island Theater, and the comparison is a poor one.
Dave Harrington
- He didn't make comments during the end, but during the Q&A asked the theater why they were unwilling to set apart a few theaters out of the 20 for adults drinking alcohol, to protect the kids. He was irritated that their response was that it would be too expensive to hire security.
Mike Munzing:
- He argued vehemently for alcohol in the theater.
- He said alcohol service was consistent with his vision of remaking Town Center, and this was what the new demographic of young, urban, high-net worth adults would want.
- He was visibly upset as he railed on people from the community in the room and the 100 emails he said he received.  He argued they were making irrational comments without real proof that problems will happen.  Upset people walked out during his comments.
- He said alcohol density isn't an issue any more, quoting other communities he's visited with 100 alcohol licenses on one street. (Santa Barbara)

The City Council's vote to  rescind the Administrative Action was a testament to a grass roots organizing effort led by the Youth of Aliso Viejo High School.     What was also quite gratifying to observe was the wonderful work featured at Aliso Viejo City hall as well:   

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Around Town In South County: On the Vibrancy of our Schools

The schools of South County are among st the brightest spots.     Some late breaking news from Capistrano Unified underscores how the Community is behind the Schools, how teachers are innovative and visionary enough to be on the quest for ideas and how the District Leadership team continues its' on-going vibrant outreach Efforts.  Excerpts of the latest "Capo Talk" released by the Capistrano  School District Reflects this continued outreach:  

CapoCapistrano Unified School District Logo  Talk

January 22, 2015Vol. 4, No. 40
Gift Celebrating School's 20th Anniversary
 Renowned Marine Life Artist Robert Wyland 
to Paint Mural at Malcom Elementary School
Robert Wyland
Renowned marine life artist Robert Wyland will be painting one of his iconic undersea murals at Malcom Elementary School on Wednesday, January 28, as an extraordinary gift celebrating the school's 20th anniversary. He will be joined by 20 student volunteers who will be contributing their own elements to the mural throughout the day.

The acclaimed artist, based in Laguna Beach, is known worldwide for promoting environmental conservation through his colorful and large outdoor paintings depicting whales and ocean life. Wyland is considered one of the most influential artists of the 21st Century, with artwork in museums, corporate collections, and private homes in more than 100 countries.
In December, Malcom students were treated to a two-day visit by Wyland's Clean Water Mobile Learning Experience, an interactive marine science learning center on wheels.

John Wyland to Paint Mural at Malcom Elementary School
Three Schools Earn New Science and Technology Grants
Superintendent to Host Second Community Forum
"Kindergarten Roundup" Dates Announced

Vice President

Kirsten M. Vital

Have questions or concerns? Email us

If your need is more immediate, feel free to call us at949.234.9200

Three Schools Rewarded With New Grants in Science and Technology
Three District schools - Aliso Viejo Middle School and Aliso Niguel and Tesoro high schools - have been named recipients of the first "Innovations in Education" grants from Cox Communications. The schools are among 14 Orange County schools awarded grants to help fund advanced science and technology programs for students in grades K-12.
The $1,731 grant for Aliso Viejo Middle School will support hardware and software purchases for the robotics and engineering class in which students learn to write computer codes and programming, and gain an understanding of logic, control parameters, and sensor feedback sequences. The grant application was written by science teacher Mark Groothuis.
At Aliso Niguel High School, the $4,948 grant will benefit the school's iPad Academy. More than 420 students use their iPads to take tests, share information about projects, and participate in online discussion groups in the Voluntary iPad Academy. The grant will provide iPads to students in the program who cannot afford their own device. The grant application was written by science teacher Erik Silberman.
Tesoro High School will use its $5,000 grant for science laboratory classes as students gather, analyze, and share sensor data collected using hand-held devices, such as in measuring water content in soil, UVB radiation, solar energy, energy from photosynthesis, and light needed for growth. The data can then be shared and processed wirelessly on any device with a web browser such as a smart phone or tablet. The grant application was written by science teacher Amy Varricchio.
The "Innovation in Education" grant program, which is in its inaugural year, invited principals, administrators, and teachers at eligible schools to submit a grant application for classroom projects that focus on skills-based learning, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design, and Mathematics), digital literacy, or cyber citizenship (responsibly using the Internet).
A panel of educational, community, and business leaders assisted in scoring the grant applications.
Supt. Kirsten Vital
Second in Series for Community
Superintendent to Host Next Forum on New State Standards January 26
CUSD Supt. Kirsten Vital will hold the second in a series of three community forums on Monday, January 26, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., in the Board Room of the District Education Center, 33122 Valle Rd., San Juan Capistrano.
The program is another ideal opportunity for District residents, parents, and other interested stakeholders to meet with and hear from the district's superintendent. No RSVP is required.

Along with comments by the superintendent, a short informational video will be shown on the new state standards in English/language arts and math. Afterwards, there will be an opportunity to ask questions of the superintendent and other District administrative staff in attendance.

The last forum for the school year will take place April 28, 7 p.m., at the Aliso Niguel High School Theater.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Around Town in South County: Being Witness to History as DICKEYS Laguna Niguel Opens Its' Doors :-)

A new era began @ South County as Dickeys  in Laguna Niguel finally opened its' doors this past Thursday.  Lines began forming a bit early in the day as the countdown began:

It is always gratifying when being part of history and the vibrancy that epitomizes South County.  The Grand Opening Celebration will continue onward for 3 Days.  We here @ Outsiders wish the team @ Dickeys All the best.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

View of the Week: A Tribute to the Eagle Scouts of the Tiburon District of Orange County

The Tiburon District--part of the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America--had a spectacular year as 33 Scouts attained the rank of Eagle. This simple yet profound poem is dedicated to them and their families:

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Around Town in South County: Notations For the Week-End

The vibrancy of life in South Orange County and the commitment of the Community is such a joy to be witness to as 2015 has begun in earnest.    One example of such vibrancy was ever so evident as we here @ #outsiders joined  the Tiburon District Committee on Wednesday, it was ever so.    As noted in the "Tiburon on the Web" Site:

As We Went to Press....

Posted on Jan 8 2015 - 10:41pm
We here @ "Tiburon on the Web" joined the  District Committee deliberations as it held its' first  meeting of the New Year earlier this week and the 2015 District Team was elected.   Here are some highlights: 
It is amazing how such selfless souls with a multitude of responsibilities continue to step and show up everytime.    This was ever so exemplified as we also joined the Monthly Round table at the Tiburon District as a very remarkable young man spoke about his experience as he thereafter decided to "get into Politics' and now serves as Policy Advisor to newly-elected Supervisor Lisa Bartlett.  

As the week drew to a close, being witness to the vibrancy of Aliso Niguel High School was ever so evident.   The Aliso Niguel Soccer Team was out there, the Aliso Niguel Basketball Team was battling El Toro And a group of committed parents were spread heading a fundraiser for the Aliso Niguel Music Department--what was ever amazing was that they were going to be again "back at it" at 7 AM This morning.

How can one repay such dedication and commitment?

Sunday, January 4, 2015