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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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San Juan Coffee Chat to Host Informal Candidates Forum on October 3rd

For those of you who attend Coffee Chat on Fridays in San Juan Capistrano, there will be an informal candidates forum on October 3rd for the individuals running for City Council. All the candidates have been invited to participate. Each candidate will be permitted a short speech followed by Q&A from the audience. The candidates [...]

Nine Candidates Seeking Three Seats on the San Juan Capistrano City Council

On Friday, we discussed the candidates seeking a spot on the Ladera Ranch Civic Council. Today we will discuss the nine, count ‘em, nine candidates vying for three open seats (serving a four year term each) on the San Juan Capistrano City Council in the November 4, 2014 election. The nine candidates are:

Greg Acho [...]

And Now There Are Four: A Fourth SJC City Council Candidate Emerges

In the wake of the failed attempt to recall Mayor Sam Allevato, we are closely watching the upcoming City Council elections in San Juan Capistrano. Last we heard, there were three candidates declared for three open seats. Among those who have declared their candidacy are incumbents John Taylor and Larry Kramer. Also declaring was Jan [...]

Three Confirmed Candidates for Upcoming San Juan City Council Election

The Capistrano Dispatch has an update on who will be running for City Council in San Juan Capistrano this election. We’ve previously mentioned Jan Siegel’s candidacy. About Siegel, the Dispatch reports:

Jan Siegel, a 13-year member of the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission, also publicly announced she will be running for City Council during a Coffee [...]

Dispatch Article on Vacant Lehman Property Near Pacifica San Juan

Residents of the unfinished Pacifica San Juan neighborhood have long had to suffer the blight of a vacant parcel caught up in the SunCal/Lehman Brothers bankruptcies. The Capistrano Dispatch has the latest news on that property here. From the article:

The owner of an unfinished housing development was given 30 more months to prepare the [...]

Jan Siegel Announces Candidacy for San Juan Capistrano City Council

We here at the Rancho Ortega Blog are big fans of San Juan Capistrano historian Jan Siegel. We are avid readers of her Moments in Time historical column in the Capistrano Dispatch and we’ve linked to many of her works here on the blog, including this mother’s day tribute to Ysidora Forster, the wife of [...]

Recall Group Will Seek a Council Majority in November Election

We recently reported that the group attempting to recall San Juan Capistrano Mayor Sam Allevato abandoned their recall effort. That’s not to say that they are giving up on their efforts. In an article posted on the Community Common Sense web site, one of the recall group’s volunteers explained the reason why the recall effort [...]

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 [...]

Third Time a Charm or Three Strikes You’re Out? SJC City Council to Consider Third Development Proposal for The Oaks

According to its published meeting agenda, tonight the San Juan Capistrano City Council will consider another application to develop residential housing at “The Oaks” — the equestrian property that belongs to Joan Irvine Smith. This proposal — the third developer to submit a proposal for building homes on the property — contemplates 32 single family [...]