San Juan Capistrano eyes transferring its water utility to Santa Margarita Water District

San Juan Capistrano is entering into an exclusive negotiation agreement with the Santa Margarita Water District to acquire the city’s water and sewer system. The council members said they liked the district’s work in developing alternative sources of water for the region, which relies heavily on imports. The vote was unanimous at the Tuesday, Feb. 19 meeting. “In my gut, it feels right to try to conserve what we can locally and use what we can locally,” Councilman Troy Bourne said.

Lack of financial aid leaves students at Western State College of Law and Argosy University campuses scrambling

There are students at Western State College of Law in Irvine who have not received their federal financial aid for weeks, leaving them unable to pay their living expenses, several said. “With each day it passes, you lose hope,” Sydney McGregor, a third-year student, said on Monday, Feb. 18. Her tuition has been paid, she said, but she has yet to receive this semester’s $16,400 loan for her living expenses. The semester started Jan. 14.

Your guide to Garden Grove’s newly named ‘Orange County Koreatown’

Welcome to Garden Grove Boulevard: The birthplace of Orange County’s Korean American community, established in the 1970s. Here, the cool kids were grilling pork belly and briskets in the ’80s at what is believed to be Southern California’s first Korean barbecue restaurant. For decades, a bakery at Gilbert Street has been selling traditional Korean rice cakes, so chewy some stretch like mozzarella cheese. Korean celebrities held huge parking lot concerts here in the ’90s

Lake Forest council, with two new members, is looking ahead at busy 2019

Lake Forest City Council members say they hope to see 2019 run smoothly with cohesion among the elected officials and buy-in from residents. “We should be focused on policies, and nothing more,” Councilman Dwight Robinson said. “I understand that a campaign gets brutal. But it feels like, since 2015, we are perpetually in a campaign mode.” Multiple recall threats have punctuated the last four years – one last year was successful – and cost the city $330,000 with verifying signatures and runnin

A stretch of Garden Grove Boulevard may officially become ‘Orange County Koreatown’

The two-mile stretch of Garden Grove Boulevard between Brookhurst Street and Beach Boulevard has an official name: The Korean Business District. The problem? It’s not very catchy and doesn’t convey to people, especially younger Korean Americans and non-Korean Americans, its deep sense of community, its leaders say. Hoping to better market the area, the Korean businesses in the district are asking for a new name: Orange County Koreatown.

As Art Institutes and Argosy University enter receivership, what’s next?

Dream Center Education Holdings, which operates Orange County’s first law school as well as several Argosy University and Art Institute campuses in Southern California, has been placed in federal receivership as options are sought to get out of millions of dollars of debt. The move led an accreditation agency to put the college system on notice earlier this month, as students wonder whether they will need to find new campuses to transfer to.

Anaheim councilman arrested in civil disobedience with protesting hotel workers

About 20 people, including Councilman Jose Moreno, were arrested in Anaheim on Thursday, Jan. 24, as they blocked traffic during a protest for higher wages for the city’s hotel workers. Hundreds of the workers, represented by Unite Here Local 11, demonstrated throughout the day near the Anaheim Convention Center, a high-visibility spot where about 100,000 people were expected to attend the National Association of Music Merchants convention over the next several days.

Crowds bring bright signs, big goals as they gather for Women’s March 2019 in Santa Ana

Activists celebrated recent victories and pushed for more change as the Orange County Women’s March got underway in Santa Ana on Saturday morning. “Two years ago, we were still reeling. We were still traumatized,” said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, D-Laguna Beach, referring to the election of President Donald Trump, which sparked the first Women’s March in 2017. But, she added, “We turned our anger into action.”

With the election in its rear-view mirror, what’s next for San Juan Capistrano and its downtown?

A nearly 6-acre, agrarian-themed commercial project, the River Street Marketplace, enters the approval process in San Juan Capistrano just as a couple of fresh faces join the City Council. The new council members have made favorable public comments about the project some residents fear could harm, with its size, the feel of the city’s historic downtown Los Rios District.

A knife is drawn briefly during Orange City Council meeting, as discussions on filling a vacancy get contentious

A man flashed a knife during the Orange City Council meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11, as discussions on how to fill a vacant council seat became contentious. Peter Morales, 35 of Santa Ana, was arrested outside the council chamber on suspicion of brandishing a weapon, Orange Police spokesman Sgt. Phil McMullin said. He was released, but will be given a date to appear in court.

Holiday ride built at Ladera Ranch house is part of plan to make Mystic City theme park

Scott D’Avanzo is preparing for one last ride at his Ladera Ranch home. He has laid down the tracks, built an iceberg and painted a giant storybook in the home’s front yard as he waits for thousands to visit his home this weekend to ride Journey to Polar Point. To chase Santa Claus and get his magic dust, visitors will climb into electric ride cars to travel the minute-long journey snaking through an enclosure in his side yard, complete with special effects and animations.

One development project moves forward, another gets a reset, in San Juan Capistrano’s hotel race

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Developers behind the Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano project are ahead in the city’s contentious hotel race, at least for now. San Juan Capistrano has two proposals for hotels in its downtown historic district – Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano (formerly Plaza Banderas) and Hotel Capistrano by Kimpton. Both proposals are mired in lawsuits, but the developers for Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano are moving forward with their construction

Former Fullerton Police Chief David Hendricks charged with battery, obstructing an officer

Former Fullerton Police Chief David Hendricks was charged Friday, Dec. 7 with two counts of battery and a count of resisting and obstructing an officer. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is accusing Hendricks of pushing two emergency medical technicians who were trying to assess the condition of Hendricks’ wife, Mea, who needed medical attention while at a concert on Aug. 24, according to the office’s press release.

California cheerleaders fight CIF Sunday rule that stops them from competing in national championships

Cheerleading coaches at California high schools want to be allowed to compete one Sunday a year, each February, in what is regarded as the sport’s national championship. “It’s huge,” Whittier’s La Serna High cheer coach Elena Klock said of taking part in the National High School Cheerleading Championship. “You feel it.” But as it stands now, the California Interscholastic Federation bylaws don’t allow Sunday participation in any of the CIF sports.

Ahmad Zahra, likely the country’s first openly LGBTQ Muslim city councilman, set to take office in Fullerton

Ahmad Zahra is not here to make history. But he — a gay Muslim immigrant film producer from Syria — knows what his election to the Fullerton City Council means. “It’s a pleasant surprise,” he said. “We’re maturing as a county.” Election results still need to be finalized and certified, but if Zahra, 50, holds on to his substantial lead, it is believed he will be the country’s first ever openly LGBTQ Muslim city councilman, according to the political action committee LGBTQ Victory Fund. The gr

Trump tours Woolsey fire ruins, consoles families of Thousand Oaks mass shooting

MALIBU – President Donald Trump on Saturday toured fire-ravaged communities in California, where he also met with grieving families impacted by the Thousand Oaks mass shooting. “This has been a tough day when you look at all of the death from one place to the next,” Trump said. His visits to areas of Northern and Southern California in the aftermath of unprecedented wildfires that have killed at least 79 people gave him what he sought in flying coast to coast and back in a single day — a grasp

Toll road agency to spend $5 million on evaluation of potential south county projects; residents say they don’t want a 241 extension

Officials with Orange County’s toll road agencies committed $5 million on Thursday, Nov. 8, to further evaluate and pare down options for an extension to the 241 toll road or other projects to improve traffic in south county. The Transportation Corridor Agencies – which oversees the county’s toll roads – will learn which options are truly feasible, officials said, and get more public input, including from south county cities and the Orange County Transportation Authority.

Sale of old Killefer school, first in California to desegregate, falls through, latest proposed project is “no more”

Orange Unified School District is back to square one on its plan to sell the site of one of the first schools in California to desegregate. While the property’s sale sat in limbo, Western States Housing made several adjustments to its proposal for reusing the former Killefer Elementary School on North Lemon Street in its attempt to get the project approved. Which, the Orange City Council did in August, supporting a 24-unit project that would have preserved the historic building
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