Saturday, May 30, 2015

Notations For the Week-End: The Boy Who Couldn't be a Cub Scout

For this edition of "Notations For the Week_End" we hope this selection is of interest courtesy of +Orange County Council Boy Scouts of America .

By: Mary Hickey, HuffPost Parents Contributor

We spent an hour stuffing his oversized backpack with everything he would need: Mess kit, head lamp, layers of wool. He asked six times if I was sure that the drop-off time for the trip was five o'clock. Four times he reminded me, or himself, that he would not be able to text or call. As I grabbed the car keys, he fastened the last clip on his bag with shaking hands, which he then clumsily stuffed into his front pockets. "Ready?" I said with a smile. He nodded and placed his hat on his head.
In the parking lot, the other Boy Scouts greeted him with smiles and high-fives. He dropped his camping gear in the growing mountain of oversized bags. The pack leader gathered them in and began the prep talk for their camping trek in the caves of upstate New York. Liam glanced over at me and mouthed the word, "Stay," when he saw me glancing at my watch. When the debriefing was over, they returned to their gear to get their hats and gloves as instructed. But Liam had missed the instructions while he was keeping his eye on me. He nervously asked me under his breath what he was supposed to be doing. "Get your hat and gloves," I said quietly, "just stop and think for a minute and you'll remember where we put them." I could feel a presence behind me. "Mom," it said, "I'm going to ask you to step back and let Liam handle this himself. He's got it from here." I turned and glanced sheepishly at the Scoutmaster as waves of emotions overcame me.

My mama bear instincts started to rare their ugly head and I wanted to say, "Listen, buddy, do you have any idea what this kid has been through in his life? Did you see that bag of medications I handed you? Do you think those are just children's aspirin? Don't tell me..." I instead chose to stop the outrage in its tracks, smiled, said OK, and took a step back. But I still thought in my head, do you know?

Do you know that this boy was born a month too soon? Do you know that in the hospital, I watched him through the glass as warming lights and IVs gave him the things that I couldn't provide? That when he was an infant he cried incessantly and barely slept? That I was the only one who could calm him down?

Do you know that when he was a toddler, it became glaringly obvious to me that his brain worked differently? He had no sense of danger. He ran away in parking lots, stores, the beach. He repeatedly banged his head on walls. He ate crayons and sticks. He went through life like a hurricane and all the recommended parenting strategies fell short in helping him.

Do you know that after years of trying to get help, and after he was kicked out of regular preschool because they "couldn't meet his needs," that I waited six long months to see a top specialist? Do you know that when he was 3, I drove for over two hours in a snowstorm with Liam screaming in the back seat to get to that appointment, come hell or high water? Do you know that that was the first day I heard the word "autism" and my child's name in the same sentence?

Click here to finish "The Boy Who Couldn't Be a Cub Scout"

Friday, May 29, 2015

Thought(s) For the Week

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.  ~ Mark Twain

Thursday, May 28, 2015

On the Prowl in South County: Briefly On California Budget & The Impact on Schools

It has been with great interest as we here @ #Outsiders have assessed the May revised budget Governor Brown released earlier this month.    One of the key windfalls that Capistrano Unified School District wil benefit is a $ 600/Per Child one time stipend (which will amount to some  28 Million Dollars.    The State has asked that this windfall be focused on Technology enhancements and professional development as the new Standards are continuing to be rolled out over the ensuing years.  With the continued stability as a result of Proposition 30, Schools have also seen a gradual resotration of staffing and resouces as elements of the Local Control Accountability Plan are being put into place.

Despite the current windfall, challenges abound as noted by California Forward recently. 
Reporting: Boom, Bust, Repeat Archives | California Forward

We will continue to assess this as Capistrano Unified School District will be adopting the LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan) and the Budget for the upcoming school  year.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

An #Outsider Newsflash: On the Mobile Food Pantry @ St. Timothy's Parish

St. Timothy's Catholic Parish will be hosting a Spring Mobile Food Pantry sponsored by the Rotary Club of Monarch Beach on June 6 Starting at 1:00 PM.     The #Outsider team will join in order to support this noble cause.

We leave you with a recent "V-Blast From the Past":  An Image From Earth Day 2015 in Laguna Niguel at the Niguel Botannical Preserve:


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

On the Prowl in South County: Memorial Day 2015 in Laguna Niguel

Laguna Niguel remembered Memorial Day 2015 at the Sea County Senior & Community Center.    The solemn afternoon began with the Trailmasters of Laguna Niguel leading the audience in the pledge of allegiance and sharing a brief history of Memorial Day which was originally deemed decoration day. 

With Laguna Niguel Mayor McCloskey, California State Senator Bates and U.S. Congressman Rohrbacher in attendance, three members of the Freedom Committee of Orange County reflected upon their experiences.    Two of them were World War II Veterans and one an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran who dedicated his thoughts to his classmate and fellow Marine who fell during the first Iraq War when his plane was shot down over Baghdad in 1991.  He was 27 Years old.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, members of American Legion Post 281 led the audience as  Mayor McCloskey laid a wreath at the plaque honoring all who have served.     

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Notations For the Week-End: On California Today

For this edition of "Notations from the Grid", we wanted to report on this by California Forward.   It is some interesting insights in lieu of the fact that Governor Brown's revised budget provides for additional monies--including additional monies for schools.     Based on an assessment from the Capistrano Unified School District, the additional liablities imposed upon Capistrano will cause profound difficulties which we will hope to have comments on soon.

As we went to press with this edition of "Notations", we saw commentary from Governor Brown to think through how Traffic fines are dealt with in California.   The insights can be accessed by visiting California Forward at as we leave all with this image of Orange County the Sun sets:

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Notations For the Week-End: On an intereting Week In Orange County

May 2015 was an interesting and engaging week in Orange County.   Our team had a chance to visit the California Democratic Convention to get a sense of how things were going as the Convention got under way.     This year, the South got the nod!!

There were some notable visits--including Massachuthes Senator Elizabeth Warren and Former Congressman Barney Frank.    The two declared Democratic Candidates to replace Barbara Boxer were also there:  Loretta Sanchez and Kamala Harris.

Beyond the "political happenings", there was also once again the Community coming together.   +Home Aid Orange County spreaheaded its' Annual HomeAid Essentials 2015 campaign.   Builders and Building Suppliers contributed over 1 Million Diapers so that 9 Designated Agencies supporting the less fortunate are taken care of:  

All the volunteers and contributos truly worked to live up to these admonitions that was published by +Jonathan Huie 

I expect to pass through this world but once.

Any good therefore that I can do,
or any kindness that I can show to my fellow-creature,
let me do it now.
Let me not defer or neglect it,
for I shall not pass this way again.
- William Penn

It is not what we get.
But who we become, what we contribute...
that gives meaning to our lives.
- Tony Robbins

Friday, May 22, 2015

On the Prowl In South County: Honoring the Fallen on Memorial Day

Monday is Memorial Day in the United States to honor all who have fallen.    This Friday, Scouts from the Orange County Council visited El Toro Memorial Ceremony to honor the fallen by decorating the graveside of all the fallen with American Flags.   Scouts also laid out crosses that signified the National Cemeteries where all who have served are interned.   

The remembrance contineus at El Toro Memorial Park with a solemn Ceremony on Memorial Day which be led by the Girl Scouts.     Ceremonies will also be held at cities throughout Orange County as well.  

Monday, May 18, 2015

On the "Prowl" w/a "Musical Interlude (II): "feelin it"

For a "Musical Interlude II" as a new week dawns here in the #thedailyoutsider, please enjoy this beautiful rendition from David Benoit:

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Thought For the Week-End: On #Success

We had a chance to confer with our founder to assess what were the latest initiatives he was directly involved with.   It was of special interest of us as he shared thoughts on the HomeAid Essentials Campaign spearheaded by +HomeAid Orange County  which we will release a column on soon.   This campaign reminded us of this admonition that +Jonathan Huie noted in his daily outreach which we found so timely for this edition of "Thought 4 the Week-End" for this #Outsider Channel

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Thought 4 the Week

We wanted to share this "thought 4 the week" courtesy of one of our favorite thinkers, +Jonathan Huie which we hope all enjoy:

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation.
- John Wooden

Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared
believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance.
- Bruce Barton

Monday, May 11, 2015

Thought For the Week: Remembering an Orange County Icon


Dr. Robert Schuller, the founder of the Crystal Catherdal, passed away recently.  He was buried on the ground of the Church he built--which is now the Christ Catheral that is the headquarters of the Catholic Archdiocese of Orange.    Dr. Schuller  was an optimist the World over despite all the challenges he had to deal with in later life that all Orange County was witness to.

In honor of him, we decided to share this for this editon of "Thought 4 the Week" as a new week dawns here in #outsiders:

If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been. 


Saturday, May 9, 2015

On This Mothers' Day Week-End in the United States....

As we go "dark" here in #Outsiders, we wanted to wish all the Mothers a wonderful Mothers' Day Week_End and not forget how blessed we all are.  This simple yet profound image from #bing says it all:


As we hope all enjoy this courtesy of Guide Posts, from all of @ #Outsiders,
Happy Mother's Day!!!

Friday, May 8, 2015

View of the Week: On the Teachers of Capistrano Unified School District

One of the hidden gems of South Orange County is the Capistrano Unified School District.    Despite the budget ravages of the past number of years, the teachers of Capistrano Unified School District have been able to work miracles for the 52,000 Children that they serve.   It is also quite remarkable how the Community comes together to support the Schools which we have periodically reported on here and look forward to continuing to report on.

In a tribute to the teachers of Capistrano Unified, we wanted to share this simple yet profound statement about the miracle they do in creating a future for all the children:

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Around Town in South County: On the Laguna Niguel "Agoura"

The Lagune Niguel Women's Club hosted a Community Forum at the Laguna Niguel City Hall on Monday May 4.  We had commented on it and our founder joined the forum to get a sense of the plans for the proposed re-development of the Old Superior Court Area.

The Community Interest was ever so evident as both City Council Chambers and the Community Room was filled almost to Capacity as the deliberations began.   Mayor McCloskey began by noting an brief overview and underscoring that this Community Forum was the beginning of a process.   The Developer of the Project, Shaheen Sadeghi of the LAB, thereafter began to provide an overview of the proposed project.   The project itself includes restaurtants, an Arts Complex, theaters and a residential villa community of up to 200 Units.

The comments from the community was striking as to some of the challenges being faced.    Some of the initial comments prompted the Chief Real Estate Officer for Orange County to provide a overview of the proposals and thereafter the dilligence undertaken before the Lab was selected to continue onward with the development.   There are certain actions required by the City of Laguna Niguel during the process which will begin on May 19 as the City Council takes up changes to the General Plan to it and the necessary rezoning required.

We will continue to monitor and report on it periodically throughout the ensuing months.  

Saturday, May 2, 2015

View of the Week: Reflections On South County & A "Virtual Token" of Thanks.....

As a new month dawns in the #Outsider network, we want to do something a bit different for this Channel.  This is a Channel dedicated to on-going developments in South Orange County California--one of the most vibrant and exciting areas in the World to be in      It is also one of those conservative communities that is strong on Faith, individualism and a strong sense for the family.   It is also driven by a sense for all to give back as exemplifed by what over 40 Volunteers did in serving over 160 Scouts from 56 Units throughout the greater Southern California area.   It was truly a Joyful Day:

As we continue onward with the development of this Channel within #Outsiders, we wanted to share this as a "Virtual Token" of Thanks:

The funniest TED Talks

Great TED Talks illuminate an idea. Sometimes, they do it while making you laugh. Watch »

10 TED Talks • Total run time 2:31:40

Friday, May 1, 2015

As A New Month Dawns...A "Musical Interlude" To Share.....

In celeberation of a new Month here in #Outsiders, we wanted to share this "Musical Interlude" Featuring Keiko Matsui in a tribute to the South Orange County Community: