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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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Dana Point Defers Decision on Doheny Hotel Project

We’ve previously written about the proposed Doheny Hotel being proposed for a high visibility corner in Dana Point. This week, the Dana Point Planning Commission deferred a decision until at least April while the applicant revises its proposal. OC Register article here ($). The Dana Point Times published an article leading up to last night’s [...]

How Would South Orange County Fare in a Flood?

With all this talk about drought and water shortages, we thought it might be fun to imagine the opposite scenario. What would South Orange County look like following unprecedented rainfall? FEMA uses the concepts of a 100 year flood and a 500 year flood to determine high risk flood zones and establish high water marks. [...]

San Clemente, Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano Mayors Talk about the Future of South Orange County

The newly appointed mayors of San Clemente, Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano (Tim Brown, Lisa Bartlett and Sam Allevato) sat down with the publishers of the Capistrano Dispatch and its sister publications to talk about the future of South Orange County. You should read the entire article here, but we wanted to highlight some [...]

Dana Point Considers Doheny Hotel Proposal

The City of Dana Point spent a lot of money on its entry monument and pedestrian bridge over Pacific Coast Highway. Unfortunately, motorists entering the city from the South (which includes most of the traffic coming from either direction on the 5 freeway), pass through the monument and are greeted by a vacant lot, an [...]

San Juan Capistrano dedicates 2C Ranch Staging Area

Press release from the City of San Juan Capistrano:

The City of San Juan Capistrano on Saturday held a ceremony to dedicate 2C Ranch, an open space trail rest stop/staging area that was part of the 2C Ranch-Trabuco Creek Habitat Restoration Project.

Formerly leased by equestrian and cattle operator Cap Crowl, 2C Ranch is part [...]

Missing: Six Elephant Statues From Dana Point

From the Dana Point Patch:

Six life-sized painted baby elephant statues on public display in Dana Point went missing overnight…Elephant Parade organizers announced Tuesday morning.

Seriously? How does one steal six elephant statues from the streets of Dana Point? And why? We demand answers!

Great White Shark Spotted Outside Dana Point Harbor

Great white shark about three miles outside Dana Point Harbor, spotted less than an hour ago. Sighting and photo credit go to Dana Wharf Whale Watching:

image credit: Dana Wharf Whale Watching


Meanwhile, Don Juan Ortega is rethinking his plans to go stand-up paddle boarding this afternoon.


The World War II Role of the Dana Point Headlands

The Dana Point Times has published a nice historical article describing the role of the Dana Point headlands in our country’s World War II defenses. On this day of remembrance and patriotism, we thought it was appropriate to share this well-written article by Carlos Olvera, a Dana Point city councilman and Vice-Chairman of the Orange [...]

Tall Ships Return to Dana Point Harbor September 6-9, 2013

Lots of fun things to do around South Orange County during this time of the year. One of our favorites is the Tall Ships Festival in Dana Point:

The Toshiba Tall Ships Festival will be sailing into Dana Point Harbor next weekend from September 6 – 9. The Ocean Institute is celebrating its 29th year [...]

Elephant Parade Coming to Dana Point

Residents and visitors to Dana Point are used to seeing large mammals around town. Whale watching tours are big business here. But for a limited time, Dana Point will play host to a herd of large land mammals. An Elephant Parade has come to town. The Elephant Parade is a fundraiser to help save the [...]