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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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OC Weekly Article on Talega Mello Roos Refund Dispute

The OC Weekly published an article — one admittedly written with a distinct viewpoint — about whether Capistrano Unified School District ought to refund a portion of Talega’s Mello Roos tax assessments. We wrote extensively about Mello Roos in this article, wherein we cited the Franchise Tax Board on Mello Roos as follows:

In 1982, [...]

Final Names Selected for Rancho Mission Viejo School; Don Juan Ortega Casts His Vote

According to this article in the Capistrano Dispatch, the Capistrano Unified School District has narrowed down the list of names for the new K-8 school that will be built in Planning Area 2, the Village of Esencia, in Rancho Mission Viejo. Among the finalists are:

Barbara L. Banda, a local woman who helped bring Native [...]

San Juan Hills Senior Named Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley’s 2013 Youth of the Year

Congratulations to Michelle Alexander who has been named the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley’s 2013 Youth of the Year! According to the announcement:

Michelle has been attending the club for 11 years and is currently a senior at San Juan Hills High School. Upon graduation Michelle plans to move to the [...]

City Council Will Consider Apartment Rezoning Proposal Tonight

We previously linked to a Capistrano Unified Trustee’s op-ed in the SJC Patch arguing against the request for rezoning submitted by the developer of a proposed 100-unit Rancho San Juan apartment complex near San Juan Hills High School. That link is here. We described that op-ed as arguing that “the proposed zoning change should be [...]

CUSD Trustees Urge SJC City Council to Reject Re-Zoning Application Near San Juan Hills HS

Capistrano Unified School District Trustee Jim Reardon has written an op-ed in the San Juan Capistrano Patch articulating why he and his fellow CUSD Trustees unanimously passed a resolution urging the San Juan Capistrano City Council to reject the zoning change application submitted by the developer of a proposed apartment project near San Juan Hills [...]

San Juan Hills Principal Named SJC “Educator of the Year”

The caption on the San Juan Hills High School newspaper article read “This is no joke,” but the picture of Tom Ressler is all smiles. Ressler, principal of San Juan Hills High School, was named “Educator of the Year” in San Juan Capistrano.

“Tom Ressler is an individual who has left his mark on the [...]

CUSD Planning for New K-8 School in Planning Area 2

The SJC Patch is reporting that Capistrano Unified is discussing initial plans to build the first school on Rancho Mission Viejo property, and that the school will likely be a K-8 facility able to hold up to 1200 students (and an additional 400 using portable classrooms). The article is here. We noticed that the Patch [...]

Proposed Whispering Hills Apartment Complex Rejected by Planning Commission, City Council Review Next

A while back, we talked about the proposed “Whispering Hills” apartment complex near San Juan Hills High School. That article is here. The proposal contemplates an apartment complex with 100 units, of which 26 units are reserved for low and moderate income tenants. This week, the San Juan Capistrano Planning Commission rejected plans for the [...]

US News Rankings for Capistrano Unified High Schools

U.S News and World Report has published its annual rankings of the top public high schools in the country. We don’t attach a lot of significance to these rankings because there is so much more to a school than a couple of general statistics, but they are useful data points nonetheless. Below are the state [...]

Congratulations to Capistrano Unified’s Top Teachers

According to a Capistrano Unified press release, fifty-six teachers out of more than two thousand have been selected by their colleagues as the top educator at their schools. District winners will be announced in March and recognized at the annual Teacher of the Year celebration, and three winners – one each at the elementary, middle [...]