Sunday, February 28, 2016

As Feburary 2016 Draws to A Close: On @LagunaNiguelCity & Other Thoughts............

It has been a challenging month at our Home Base here in Southern California as Hollywood is abuzz with Oscar Fever.      However, our Community continues onward with its vibrancy not withstanding the glamour and the hype that will be the scene later on tonight and as all are making their way on the red carpet.    Our team will not be watching the awards--One troubling statistic we saw was that the so-called "Swag" given to attendees is about 230,000.     Our view is that there are a lot more to celebrate than the Oscars.

This past Friday saw the advent of the Multinational Day at Aliso Niguel High School.  Clubs gathered up to showcase the World and the top five received a $ 25 Gift certificate to their club accounts.   It was quite a wonderful event which is a tribute to the vibrancy of the Aliso Niguel High School PTSA Volunteers and the wonderful Faculty and staff at Aliso Niguel High School who make it all possible.  Our team also was at the Incredible Edible Farm up in the Great Park in Irvine.     The assignment was to harvest lettuce--some 1100 pounds of it was done during the shift that yielded some 933 meals.    We look forward to sharing such stories and showcase the immense work being done on a constant and consistent basis.  

Over the course of the month, our team has also been quite amazed and proud to have been witness to a very vibrant community spirit effort this month.    For instance, earlier this month, our hometown of Laguna Niguel honored two Eagle Scouts for their achievement after members of the Trailmasters of Troop 772 led the Council and all attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance:

The City of Laguna Niguel has also continued its' signature initiative to conduct a series of Jr. Civics Workshops for all the Middle-Schoolers in the Community.   A number of workshops will continue through May 2016.    Pre-registrations are available by visiting the Laguna Niguel Youth Committee website at LNTeens.Org or by checking things out using the hashtag #LNJrCivis on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

There are also some concerns.   One of the concerns has been a  rise in crime that made the headlines in February.    Although South County has been relatively immune, it is part of a larger trend which is of profound concern.  The most troubling spike has been in Santa Ana.     According to the Sunday February 28, 2015 edition of the Orange County Register, there are some 90 known gangs and apparently 4500 gang members and wannabes.     It is starting to present a challenge due to a spike in weapons incidents.     This is as Orange County is proposing a massive overhaul of the Civic Center Complex over the course of the next 5 years.

Despite the challenges, our community remains ever so vibrant and engaging.    We look forward to our role in insuring that we stay engaged and involved and to showcase our Community to the World.

Onward to March 2016 with all its' possibilities.....

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Friday Musical Interlude: Kings of Convienence w/ Cayman Island

It has been admittedly a challenging week here in #Outsiders.   However as we are "back in operation", we wanted to begin by featuring this selection from our artist of the week, Kings of Convenience as we wish all a fabulous Friday and a fabulous Week-End (and if you have not gotten a flu shot yet, we urge you all to do so!!!)

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Around Town in South County (weekend edition): Community Spirit in Actoin....

It was quite a weekend around town in Orange County.   One of the highlights was an event at Laguna NigueL City Hall on Friday February 20, 2016  as Cub Scouts from Cub Scout Pack 774 were honored for their momentous achievement as they continued onward with their on-going development as young men:

Such achievement is not possible without an active and vibrant involvement from the wonderful parents.   Parent Volunteers were honored by the Executive Officer for Pack 774 and the Unit Commissioner for Pack 774.

What is also amazing is how humanity in Orange County is evident.    On Saturday February 21, 2016, St. Mark's Presbyterian Church was the site of a fundraiser for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon.    At a Pizza Dinner (with a suggested donation of $ 10), some $ 6,000 was raised to send heating oil to Syrian Refugees.    Our founder made a contribution since by the time he got around to it, the dinner tickets were all sold out!!!  

Saturday, February 20, 2016

View of the Week: On Lost in Las Vegas & Other Thoughts......

As we celebrate the achievements of our hometown and the surrounding communities, we can't help but reflect upon the challenges other communities face around the World--which is part of our mission to think about and work to transform the conversation about our World one Notation at a time.    As we were working on our weekend curation, we received this from the Real News Network that our team has periodically supported which we wanted to feature especially as Nevada has been in the news in light of the caucuses and the win by Mrs Clinton:


Dear viewers,
On the day of the Nevada primaries, The Real News offers a special presentation of Lost in Las Vegas, a feature length documentary by Paul Jay.
Lost in Las Vegas reveals Las Vegas as a model of neoliberalism, a tale of the shape of things to come. It's all told through the eyes of a Canadian Blues Brothers act deciding whether they want to move their families to Vegas. It's two performers portraying two actors playing two fictitious characters in a town where everything is a replica of something else.

Watch the film on The Real News today:

The Real News Team

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Friday Musical Interlude: @twentyonepilots w/Fairly Local

Welcome to Friday here in #Outsiders as we feature a selection from our artist of the week: @twentyonepilots

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Around Town in South County: An #Outsider newsflash onn the Latest in Our Hometown of Laguna Niguel

It was a very interesting and enlightening week in our hometown as San Diego Gas and Electric, the Local Utility for the Northern Part of Laguna Niguel, made a very exciting presentation to the City Council on an upcoming program to increase electric vehicle use in the City.  It is a program that has been approved by the California Public Utilities Commission.    We will be assessing this over the ensuing days and weeks.  

It was also of note how the vision and the follow-through by the City's Planning Commission resulted in the adoption and approval of a grant application of 50,000 to the Orange County Transportation system to develop a local trolley service for the City.     This is as the City is faced with a realignment of local bus service.  

We look forward to assessing these developments over the ensuing weeks and months.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

On This Valentine's Day 2016....

Our team received this on the State of Small Business.   One of the many reasons communites are vibrant as they are is because of Small Business as we hope to see and periodically showcase such successes in our ever growing vibrant community.

Happy Valentine's Day to all....

SBA logo

Valentines BIZ
Small businesses are the heart of America’s economy. This Valentine’s Day, the SBA is sending small business owners a valentine with 14 reasons why we love small business.


On Friday, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet delivered the 2016 State of Entrepreneurship Address and rang the closing bell at Nasdaq.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

On This Valentine's Day Week-End 2016....

It is Valentine's Day Week-End here in the United States.    In honor of this day, we wanted to feature thoughts curated by +Jonathan Huie  & Rumi...

Happy Valentine's Day To All!!!!


The bond of our common humanity is stronger
than the divisiveness of our fears and prejudices.
God gives us the capacity for choice.
We can choose to alleviate suffering.
We can choose to work together for peace.
We can make these changes - and we must.
- Jimmy Carter

For me, an area of moral clarity is:
you're in front of someone who's suffering
and you have the tools at your disposal
to alleviate that suffering or even eradicate it,
and you act.
- Paul Farmer

Helping someone is what life is all about.
- Willie Stargell   

If you are healthy, support those who are sick.
If you have a job, support those who have lost theirs.
If you are strong, support those who are feeble of body or mind.

- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

View of the Week (WeekEnd Edition): On Local Community Colleges

Welcome to the Week-End in #Outsiders.

One of the implicit goals we have had for this channel is to celebrate the great and the good.   This is as we also need to keep an eye on what is going on in Communities throughout the Nation.    This snapshot we received at our Virtual Studios earlier this week is a telling story of the challenges (and opportunities) that local communities have to contend with:

Route Fifty TodayFebruary 11, 2016
'For All Practical Purposes, Louisiana Is in Its Own Recession'

'For All Practical Purposes, Louisiana Is in Its Own Recession'

BILL LUCIA  |   As the state's budget situation worsens, revenue estimates are revised downward.

The Benefits of Smart Cities Are Apparent, But Is Local Government Ready for Them?

DAVE NYCZEPIR  |   And a bigger question: Is the widespread adoption of the smart cities model really just six to 10 years away?

Why the Collaboration of Government and High-Tech Is Smart

ERIN LATHAM  |   SPECIAL TO ROUTE FIFTY  |   Public-private partnerships help local IT departments afford meaningful solutions that handle vast amounts of high-value data.

State and Local Health Spending Flat in First Year of Medicaid Expansion

MATT MCKILLOP  |   THE PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS  |   Nevertheless, health care spending remains a potential source of long-term fiscal pressure for states and localities.

As California's Transportation Funding Package Stalls, Road-Shaming Continues

DAVE NYCZEPIR  |   Trinity County's unplowed roads cost emergency personnel precious hours.

A Bold Transportation Plan for Urban America—Dead on Arrival

ERIC JAFFE  |   CITYLAB  |   The USDOT's $98 billion 2017 budget has a lot to recommend it, and virtually no chance of approval.

Challenges are multiplying especially as we are faced with a slowing World Economy and the headwinds of political change due to the election season that is before us.   As our on-going assessment of our Community continues, we will work to expand the deliberations to assess how best to be aware and be more engaged ever more.

Happy Valentine's Week-End to all!!

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Friday Musical Interlude: Featuring Selections From Hozier....

On this Musical Interlude Friday here in #Outsiders, we hope all are enjoying selections from our Artist of the Week, Hozier:

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Around Town In South County: An #Outsider Newsflash from our Home Town of @LagunaNiguelCty

Boy Scouts & Cub Scouts Serving @ Niguel Botanical Preserve 2015
Earlier this month, the City of Laguna Niguel held a mid-year Budget review.   Due to improving economic conditions, there will a net estimated gain of $ 1.9 Million Dollars to the City's General Fund after some projected expenses (including the Phase 3 of the Crown Valley Parkway Widening Project) is accounted for.  

It is also an exciting time in the City as the OSO Creek Trail is slated to open March 2.    The City will also once again commemorate Earth Day on April 23 where the Community will once again come together to work away at the Niguel Botanical Preserve.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Notations From the Grid: On Being Prepared For Emergencies

One of the areas we've worked to focus on here in the Community Channel is the necessity to be prepared.  We wanted to share this snapshot we received at our Virtual Studios as we hope all will consider visiting and signing up for it.    It is not a matter of if, but when before the next big one occurs as we regularly report on our Twitter Channel major Earthquakes around the World: 

We are excited to introduce some new features on the America’s PrepareAthon! website.
Navigational Tabs: You’ll find two new tabs located in the dark blue navigation toolbar at the top of your screen. 1) The Resources tab allows you to quickly access various America’s PrepareAthon! documents, including creative materials and toolkits to enhance your preparedness activities. 2) The Forums tab was developed as a fun way to communicate with other America’s PrepareAthon! participants. Here, you’ll find several discussion topics including pet preparedness, alerts and warnings, and questions and answers. Earn Points: You can now earn points and badges for participating in discussion forums, questions and answers, and completing activities listed in the 10 Ways to Participate in America’s PrepareAthon! Check the new leader board to see how your activities compare with others. We hope you enjoy the new website updates! Please login to your America’s PrepareAthon! account, and reset your profile password. You may receive a warning or error when you attempt to login to your account. Your information is secure, we are just experiencing some growing pains. The issue will be resolved shortly. For help and/or questions please email
The America’s PrepareAthon! Campaign

Twitter: @PrepareAthon


Monday, February 8, 2016

Around Town in South County (Special Edition) : A Special "View of the Week" to Share.....

Our Founder was good enough to share this with us during our Daily Network Review which we wanted to report on an interesting and engaging weekend in South County.   Such events are why our Community in South Orange County continues to be ever so vibrant and engaging as we hope all enjoy this beautiful Sunset Image of Orange County we captured recently: 

Witness to the generosity of human spirit in action during the City of Laguna Niguel Event yesterday practicing...
Posted by Mike Pouraryan on Sunday, February 7, 2016

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Around Town in South County (Week-End Edition): An #Outsider Newsflash From Laguna Niguel

Here in our hometown, Laguna Niguel, our  City Hall was the scene for the Document Shredding Event earlier today whereby members of the Community under the watchful eyes of Police Services, Sheriff Explorers and PACT Team volunteers drove through to safely shred their documents.   As of 9:00 AM today, over 400 vehicles had visited City Hall from throughout South Orange County.   

This was also to continue the on-going preparation for a major incident to practice the Incident Command System (ICS) developed and enhanced in the aftermath of 9/11  in the event that it occurs as underscored by the City's Emergency Services Manager during discussions with the team.   The need to be prepared is ever so vital especially as the Earthquake Early Warning System continues to be stalled and the Nooner' Scott Lay noted this in his Daily Nooner DeBrief that we just received here @ #outsiders as we went to press:

ADVANCE WARNING: California should help pay for quake early warnings, state lawmakers say [Rosanna Xia and Rong-Gon Lin II]:
Hours after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake destroyed buildings and took lives in Taiwan, four state lawmakers said they want California to help fund an earthquake early warning system that has been stalled by a lack of money."
"The total cost of building the system across the West Coast has been etsimated at $38 million, plus $16 million a year to operate it. For California alone, the cost is $23 million to construct the network, and $12 million annually thereafter."

It's the state's policy not to use state General Fund money to pay for it, a precedent during the era of large deficits. But, $23 million one-time and $12 milllion anually ongoing is budget dust in a $122 billlion General Fund. The cost of a large earthquake to state and local governments would be enormous (for rescue operations--can't really alert buildings to take cover). With SMS technology, Japan's system gives an alert for earhquakes that the computer system predicts of a magniture or greatere. The alert arrives a few seconds before the quake to over a minute to take cover take other precautions.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Friday Musical Interlude (Special Edition): : Remembering Maurice White, the Founder of Earth, Wind & Fire

February is African American History Month.    As we welcome you all to Friday here in #outsiders, we wanted to use the interlude this week to remember and honor the legacy of Maurice White, the Founder of Earth, Wind & Fire.   He passed away this week from complications from Parkinsons.

Please enjoy the selections we have chosen throughout our Network: 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Around Town in South County (Special Edition) : Witness to Community Spirit in Action in Aliso Viejo

At Aliso Viejo City Hall earlier this evening, the youth of the Aliso Niguel High School Second Harvest Food Bank Club were recognized for their valiant efforts.  They are the first High School in Orange County to help eradicate the cancer of hunger in Orange County by having raised some 3,000 lbs of Food with the food drives they have done over the ensuing months:

Contributions can be made by either dropping them off at the Aliso Niguel High School Office or by visiting the Second Harvest Food Bank directly at   We here @ #Outsiders look forward to supporting their work and periodically reporting on their valiant efforts.

Monday, February 1, 2016

A Salute To Mother Earth on This First Day in Feburary 2016....

As we were working away today, our team saw this beauty from the Commander of the International Space Station that we've periodically featured on our Social Media Roundup. We felt a salute to Our Mother Earth was warranted to celebrate the launch of the new month as we go "dark" on the network to assess a number of key initiatives including Iran (In Development), On the US Election Scene & the Aftermath of Iowa); On Europe & Brexit, On the latest on the Environment & other key focus areas for us here in #Outsiders. 

As Commander Kelly noted, when we think of beautiful things, let's remember Mother Earth:

Around Town In South County: Community Spirit @ Work

We here @ #Outsiders are always gratified to report on Community Spirit in Action.   Sunday January 31, 2016 was a rather challenging day weather-wise--all in Laguna Niguel and throughout South County can attest to that.    Yet, the Youth of Aliso Niguel High School did some thing particular as they braved the elements!!

Earlier this earlier, the Aliso Niguel High School Kids launched a Club to support the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County.   Their efforts have yielded an impressive amount--and it was a pleasure by our team to stop by yesterday at Ralphs in Laguna Niguel as our founder was also pleased to feature it in his periodic Virtual Good Turn efforts.

The City of Aliso Viejo will be recognizing their efforts this coming Wednesday:

The City Council on Wednesday will recognize the Aliso Niguel High School Second Harvest Food Bank Club for its...
Posted by City of Aliso Viejo - Local Government on Monday, February 1, 2016
We look forward to featuring such stories in our community throughout the year