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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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Dates for Laguna Niguel’s 2014 Haunted Trails

Are you ready for this year’s crop of local haunted houses? The Laguna Niguel Haunted Trails program is always a great show. Below are this year’s dates:

Rancho Santa Margarita is the Second Safest City in California

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has issued a press release, highlighting the fact that eight OCSD contract cities have made the SafeWise “50 Safest Cities in California” list. According to the release, “SafeWise [is] a safety and home security company has completed extensive research while comparing their data to the FBI’s Crime in the US [...]

Visit Haunted Trails in Laguna Niguel This Weekend

Can’t wait until Halloween to scare that special someone in your life? Take them this weekend to Haunted Trails, the 13th annual haunted walk put on by the City of Laguna Niguel’s Parks and Recreation Department. Small groups will be led through mazes, tents and a graveyard where they will be scared by spooky versions [...]

Annual Mooning of Amtrak Video

The Patch did the dirty work so we didn’t have to. They filmed the annual Mooning of Amtrak, embedded below. Article here.

Experience One of South Orange County’s Most Unusual Traditions This Saturday

If you are the adventurous sort, this Saturday offers the opportunity to witness, or dare I say participate in, one of South Orange County’s most unusual traditions. Legend has it that some 34 years ago, a patron at Laguna Niguel’s Mugs Away Saloon offered to buy a beer for anyone in the bar who would [...]

South Orange County’s 4th of July Fireworks Displays

Looking for a fireworks show near you? The Los Alamitos Patch has the roundup of some of this weekend’s big shows. In addition, below is a list of some of the South County fireworks displays:

San Juan Capistrano

Festivities begin at 3:00 p.m. with mechanical rides, bounce houses, activities for the kids, food, exhibits, and [...]

Candidates Line Up to Battle for Harkey’s 73rd District Assembly Seat

Congressman John Campbell’s retirement is not the only vacant seat up for grabs in 2014. Orange County Assemblywoman Diane Harkey is being termed out of her 73rd District seat next year, and the battle to replace her is shaping up to be another battle royale with no clear favorites. Five Orange County Republicans have already [...]

Congratulations, Martin Henderson!

Congratulations to the Editor of the Rancho Santa Margarita and Lake Forest Patch online newspapers. Henderson won “Online Journalist of the Year” at the 55th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards and Centennial Celebration, presented by the Los Angeles Press Club. That’s quite an accomplishment. Article here.

With the arrival of the great orange paywall, local [...]

Map of Orange County’s Fifth District

From time to time, we make reference to Orange County’s Fifth District. Patricia Bates is currently the Fifth District’s representative on Orange County’s Board of Supervisors. What are the boundaries of the Fifth District? What cities constitute the Fifth District? The map below shows the boundaries and the cities of Orange County’s Fifth Supervisorial District:


Open Enrollment for CUSD’s Mandarin Immersion Program

Capistrano Unified offers an innovative foreign language program at Laguna Niguel’s Bergeson Elementary School — a Mandarin dual immersion program believed to be the only one of its kind in Orange County. According to a recent press release:

This magnet program offers a unique educational experience with the goal of developing biliteracy, bilingualism, and biculturalism [...]