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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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Local Golf Club at Center of New Water Rights Litigation

Water is a critical issue in Southern California, particularly during this historic drought. We’ve talked a lot about water on this blog, including recent articles about the Santa Margarita Water District’s mandatory water conservation policies and the Capistrano Taxpayers Association water rate litigation. We’ve received word that there is yet another legal battle over water [...]

California Water Blog Article on the Historic California Drought and its Public Policy Implications

If you’ve been paying attention, you have heard about the statewide drought affecting California. And if you live in San Juan Capistrano, that conversation is also related to the fight over whether San Juan Capistrano officials were prudent or foolish when they invested millions of city dollars in a Groundwater Recovery Plant. The Orange County [...]

San Juan Councilman Publishes Blog Focused on City Affairs

San Juan Capistrano residents and other interested in SJC city politics may be interested in knowing that City Councilman Larry Kramer has started writing a blog. It is located at and seems primarily focused on reporting City Council actions.

In this blog post, Kramer posts his thoughts on the City Council and Utilities Commission’s [...]

One the Eve of the Signature Deadline, SJC Recall Calls it Quits

The campaign to recall San Juan Capistrano Mayor Sam Allevato faced an important deadline today. As you might remember from this article, today was the day the signatures were due:

The recall organizers, Residents for Honest Government, now have 120 day to gather signatures from 20 percent of San Juan Capistrano’s 17,511 registered voters, or [...]

Water, Water, Everywhere, Nor Any Drop to Drink…

Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink.

In the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the Mariner used this famous turn of phrase to describe the torment of his crew’s thirst surrounded by undrinkable sea water. It might be equally apt when applied to modern day Southern California suffering through a drought of [...]

San Juan Schedules Three Water Rate Meetings

In December, the city of San Juan Capistrano hosted a water forum with the goal of educating the community on issues related to water generation, distribution and billing. Anecdotally, some attendees wondered if the forum was merely an attempt to sway public opinion over the controversial Groundwater Recovery Plant and tiered water rates that are [...]

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 [...]

SJC Water Lawyer Writes Water Rate Litigation Article

We’ve been discussing the growing number of constituencies watching the San Juan Capistrano water rate litigation as it unfolds, and we’ve been trying to provide a range of facts and opinions on the case and its implications. Recently, we offered our own primer on the water rate litigation, and last week we linked to a [...]

San Juan Cares Group Formed to “Correct the Record”

We saw this “advertisement” in the most recent issue of the Capistrano Dispatch, and we like the content of Ferguson’s open letter to the residents of San Juan. We are going to follow San Juan Cares and see what they have to say:

Screen grab from November 8, 2013 issue of Capistrano Dispatch (p. [...]