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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

The writings of Don Juan Ortega on the Rancho Ortega Blog are the personal views of the author. This blog is not authored by nor does it have any affiliation whatsoever with any other person, place or entity using the name "Rancho Ortega" (or any similar name).

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Santa Margarita Catholic HS Students Report Threat Against School

A big congratulations to the students of Santa Margarita Catholic High School for doing the right thing and confidentially reporting an apparent threat against the school. Story from NBC News here. It’s a relief to know that the threat was not credible, but it is nevertheless disturbing that threatening gun violence is becoming a common [...]

New Ladera Alerts Service Gives Ladera Ranch Residents Access to Instant Communications in Emergencies

All Ladera Ranch residents who have not yet signed up for the Ladera Alerts text message program ought to do so. Created by Ladera Ranch residents, Ladera Alerts provides a means of fast communication among Ladera Ranch residents in the event of an emergency. According to the website, “[t]his free service was created in an [...]

Another Accident At Narrow Canyon Highlights the Danger: Residents Insist “It’s Only a Matter of Time…”

We have heard that there has been another accident at the Narrow Canyon and Aura Lane intersection, near the Goddard School. This weekend a driver lost control and struck a light pole dangerously close to the pedestrian crossing that is frequently used by neighborhood children and the Goddard students. This is the same location where [...]

San Onofre Decommissioning Panel Tonight

Below is an update on tonight’s SONGS Community Engagement Panel meeting:

Southern California Edison will hold a public discussion about the future of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) through a community engagement panel composed of local public officials and community stakeholders. The panel is scheduled to discuss emergency planning related to the decommissioning [...]

SMWD Likely to Amend Swimming Pool Restrictions on October 17

Although no official action has been taken or announced yet, we have been told that the Santa Margarita Water District was sufficiently persuaded by the feedback it received that it will likely amend its Stage 2 drought mandatory water conservation measures to modify the swimming pool filling restrictions when the SMWD Board of Directors next [...]

More Grim Water News: WY2014 Ends as One of California’s Driest Years on Record

As the California Department of Water Resources closes its books on Water Year 2014, California finishes one of the driest years in history and the forecast does not get any better. Courtesy of Fox 40 News in Sacramento:

Each Water Year lasts from October 1 to September 30. According to the state Department of Water [...]

Ladera Ranch Civic Council Takes Leadership Role on Narrow Canyon Traffic Safety

We know that we sometimes give the Ladera Ranch Civic Council a hard time. We also try to give them credit when they do something beneficial for the community. We applaud the Ladera Ranch Civic Council for getting involved in the traffic situation at the intersection of Narrow Canyon and Aura Lane. The letter highlighted [...]

Governor Signs New Laws Aimed at HOAs and Water Conservation

There are big chunks of South County that are governed by homeowners associations, and some have complained that homeowners associations are among the biggest water wasters in the current drought environment, including overwatering common areas and enforcing landscaping rules that penalize residents for taking steps to conserve water. The appropriately named Governor Brown has recently [...]

Update on Silverado Canyon Fire

Courtesy of the OCFA:

Silverado Fire update: As of the morning of 9/17, the fire is 95% contained and there are still 375 fire personnel committed to the fire. This is the sixth day the firefighters are battling extreme heat and very steep & rugged terrain. Great team effort from the boots on the ground, [...]

New Law Takes Effect Today: Give Cyclists Three Foot Safety Buffer

A new cyclist safety law takes effect today. The regulation requires drivers to give cyclists a three foot buffer zone when passing in traffic. From KABC News Channel 7:

A regulation requiring California drivers to give bicyclists a buffer zone of at least 3 feet while passing in traffic went into effect Tuesday. Drivers who [...]