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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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Rancho Santa Margarita State of the City Address

The RSM Patch has great, in-depth coverage of Mayor Tony Beall’s “State of the City” address for Rancho Santa Margarita, including video highlights and a summary of the major talking points.

Beall talked budget, economics, business and awards during his State of the City address. He talked development, public safety and landscaping. Over the course [...]

Cox Civic Connection: Rancho Santa Margarita

Cox has a public access program called Cox Civic Connection, and Rancho Santa Margarita City Council Member Brad McGirr was Lacy Kelly’s guest on this episode. In the clip below, McGirr talks about fostering a pro-business climate in the city while remaining true to Richard Reese’s vision for RSM. He also discusses the Chiquita Ridge [...]

Rancho Santa Margarita City Council Meeting Agenda for September 25, 2013

The next Council meeting for the City Council of Rancho Santa Margarita is scheduled for this Wednesday, September 25 at 7 PM at the Council Chambers in Rancho Santa Margarita City Hall located at 22112 El Paseo in RSM. The proposed agenda is available online here.

Pondering the Future of Unincorporated South Orange County

According to the San Juan Capistrano Patch, San Juan Capistrano city officials got their seat at the table when LAFCO begins discussing local governance options for unincorporated South Orange County. No word yet on whether the Ladera Ranch Civic Council received the same courtesy. You know how we feel about that. Recall, in an earlier [...]

Cityhood or Annexation: A South County Tug of War Begins

In a way, we blame the Ladera Ranch Civic Council for starting this. They started talking about Rancho Mission Viejo/Ladera Ranch cityhood before the first resident had moved into Sendero. The Ladera Civic Council had a roadmap for cityhood and began pursuing it. Don’t get us wrong — cityhood is an important issue. We’ve been [...]

Update on AOL/Patch Closures

The Editor of the Rancho Santa Margarita Patch just issued this statement about this week’s closure of 400 Patch news sites nationwide:

For those of you who have perhaps heard about the shuttering of about 400 Patch sites around the nation, I’m pleased to tell you that RSM will continue to operate. Although many have [...]

Save the Date: Rancho Santa Margarita Patriot Day Celebration on September 15, 2013

Save the Date! Rancho Santa Margarita will celebrate Patriot Day on Sunday, September 15, 2013 from 2-8 PM at the Civic Plaza and Central Park. More information is available on the flyer below, or at

Courtesy of City of Rancho Santa Margarita


Which Local Patch Sites Will be Lost?

If you’ve read our blog for a while, you know that we frequently link to and quote some of the local Patch sites. Patch is an experiment in hyper-local online journalism, and it has had some remarkable successes. We have some great local editors reporting on local news here in San Juan Capistrano, Rancho Santa [...]

Article About SAMLARC Board Meeting, Next Steps on Water Safety

Martin Henderson continues to do an excellent, yet sensitive, job covering the 4th of July tragedy in Rancho Santa Margarita. His latest article is available from the RSM Patch here.

We tend to avoid the more sensational news stories here, leaving that to the newspapers. This issue, however, is relevant to all of us who [...]

Update on SAMLARC Board Meeting

SAMLARC held its Board Meeting last night. Martin Henderson at the RSM Patch reports that “SAMLARC will move forward with an ad hoc committee to consider policy revisions [related to water safety]. Most attendees came away feeling change is imminent as it relates to safety at the Beach Club Lagoon.” Update here.