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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).

We have installed some new anti-spam software, and we are going to try again with open registration. Registration and sign-in information are available at the bottom of the far right column. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, you may email us at info@ranchoortega.com.

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Happy Birthday, Mission Viejo!

On this day in 1987, the City of Mission Viejo votes to incorporate as a City.

Top Ten Most Haunted Locations in Orange County

Two years ago, we counted down our nominees for the top ten most haunted locations in Orange County.  It was by far our most popular article — especially the article about #2: Black Star Canyon.  Not long thereafter, one of those ghost hunter reality shows did an episode on the ghosts of the Mission San Juan Capistrano, which we identified as the most haunted location in Orange County.  For two years now, those two articles have been the most-read articles we’ve ever written.  Who knows, maybe the South Orange County local politics and land use stuff isn’t our true calling.  Maybe we should rebrand this web site a ghost hunter’s blog.  In any event, to celebrate Halloween 2014, here are the links to all ten ghost articles: the Top Ten Most Haunted Locations in Orange County!

10. Katie Wheeler Library and the “Lady in Blue.”

9. John Wayne and the Wild Goose Yacht

8. Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm

7. Fox Theater

6. El Adobe de Capistrano Restaurant

5. Yorba Cemetery and the Pink Lady

4. Plummer Auditorium and the Tunnel Ghosts

3. Los Rios Street

2. Black Star Canyon

1.  Mission San Juan Capistrano

Be careful out there tonight, and have a safe and happy Halloween!

Ortega Highway Between I-5 and Del Obispo to Close for Three Weeks

As part of the Ortega/I-5 interchange project, starting on Monday, November 3rd, crews will close Ortega Highway between the I-5 interchange and Del Obispo Street in San Juan Capistrano for approximately three weeks to work on reconfiguring the road alignment.  As you may remember, the intersection of Ortega and Del Obispo will be reconfigured allowing traffic to flow freely from Ortega onto Del Obispo, diverting commuter traffic away from the downtown core and eliminating a long wait for the left turn signal onto Del Obispo.  Please prepare for this extended closure and plan detour routes accordingly.

Visit These Ladera Ranch Haunted Houses

Looking for local haunted houses this weekend? Here are two in Ladera Ranch:

First, the return of the Shepherd’s Court charity haunted house, running Thursday through Saturday nights:

And second, a new entry sponsored by Tom Bertog Real Estate Group, on Halloween Night only:

San Clemente City Council Candidates Forum

With election day coming up next week, we are sharing the televised candidate forums for local city council races.

Courtesy of Cox Communications and the South Orange County Economic Coalition, below is a televised forum among the candidates for City Council of San Clemente.

According to Cox, “Cox Communications, in partnership with the South Orange County Economic Coalition, is proud to present the Decision 2014 Candidate Forum Series. The Series is provided as a non-partisan public service. The Candidate Forums are not meant to support or oppose any candidates, and were produced independently of any views of the sponsors. All candidates in each race were invited to participate and given an equal opportunity to present their positions on the issues.”

Mission Viejo City Council Candidates Forum

With election day coming up next week, we are sharing the televised candidate forums for local city council races.

Courtesy of Cox Communications and the South Orange County Economic Coalition, below is a televised forum among the candidates for City Council of Mission Viejo.

According to Cox, “Cox Communications, in partnership with the South Orange County Economic Coalition, is proud to present the Decision 2014 Candidate Forum Series. The Series is provided as a non-partisan public service. The Candidate Forums are not meant to support or oppose any candidates, and were produced independently of any views of the sponsors. All candidates in each race were invited to participate and given an equal opportunity to present their positions on the issues.”

Dana Point City Council Candidates Forum

With election day coming up next week, we are sharing the televised candidate forums for local city council races.

Courtesy of Cox Communications and the South Orange County Economic Coalition, below is a televised forum among the candidates for City Council of Dana Point.

According to Cox, “Cox Communications, in partnership with the South Orange County Economic Coalition, is proud to present the Decision 2014 Candidate Forum Series. The Series is provided as a non-partisan public service. The Candidate Forums are not meant to support or oppose any candidates, and were produced independently of any views of the sponsors. All candidates in each race were invited to participate and given an equal opportunity to present their positions on the issues.”

Lake Forest City Council Candidates Forum

With election day coming up next week, we are sharing the televised candidate forums for local city council races.

Courtesy of Cox Communications and the South Orange County Economic Coalition, below is a televised forum among the candidates for City Council of Lake Forest.

According to Cox, “Cox Communications, in partnership with the South Orange County Economic Coalition, is proud to present the Decision 2014 Candidate Forum Series. The Series is provided as a non-partisan public service. The Candidate Forums are not meant to support or oppose any candidates, and were produced independently of any views of the sponsors. All candidates in each race were invited to participate and given an equal opportunity to present their positions on the issues.”

San Juan Capistrano City Council Candidates Forum

Courtesy of Cox Communications and the South Orange County Economic Coalition, below is a televised forum among the candidates for City Council of San Juan Capistrano.

According to Cox, “Cox Communications, in partnership with the South Orange County Economic Coalition, is proud to present the Decision 2014 Candidate Forum Series. The Series is provided as a non-partisan public service. The Candidate Forums are not meant to support or oppose any candidates, and were produced independently of any views of the sponsors. All candidates in each race were invited to participate and given an equal opportunity to present their positions on the issues.”

Dana Point IlluminOcean: A New Holiday Tradition in South Orange County

This is a new event for South County and it looks like the start of a fantastic holiday tradition:

40 NIGHTS OF HOLIDAY LIGHTS

The warmth of the Southern California winter season. The wonders of the deep blue sea. The dazzling spectacle of sights, sound and motion that’s electrifying our ocean views like never before. Be there when the holidays brilliantly come to light in an amazing wonderland by the sand — it’s the event premiere of Dana Point IlluminOcean.

Like Rockefeller Center in New York or Millennium Park in Chicago, Dana Point is creating waves of excitement in Southern California this holiday season by showcasing 40 nights of holiday lights. The OC Dana Point Harbor will transform into the festive village to mingle and jingle, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of lights creatively sculpted into true wonders to sea — grand creations like a towering 50-foot GlowMotion tree and Lightwave tunnels that stretch longer than a football field!

The event will run from  November 26th until January 4th.  More information is available here:  http://mydanapoint.com/dana-point-illuminocean

Mark your calendars!