Allevato, Kramer & Taylor Reject Review of RMV Purchase Contract

In a 3-2 vote, Councilmen Sam Allevato, Larry Kramer and John Taylor voted to reject the review of questionable conditions in the Rancho Mission Viejo (“the Ranch”) Riding Park/Open Space purchase contract. Residents claim some purchase contract provisions benefit the Ranch, not San Juan residents.

Speakers at the April 2 council meeting urged the council to review the purchase contract conditions with the Ranch at CEO Tony Moiso’s invitation, in an effort to re-negotiate some of the more “injurious” conditions to San Juan residents.

Responding to criticism that San Juan residents can’t set foot on the property they are paying for and that we paid to preserve property that was already protected, Allevato admitted, “Yes, it is currently leased, and you can’t have a picnic there…but we purchased it to preserve it as Open Space.” Allevato then admitted that, “…there was already open space that was preserved [on the property]…” 

Several speakers cried foul on the secrecy of the property negotiation and purchase, pointing out that it was negotiated entirely behind closed doors by friends of seller Tony Moiso. Brad Gates, who led the behind-closed-doors negotiations with Dick Paulsen and Tom Lunnen, is a longtime friend and former business partner of Moiso. 

San Juan’s Own ‘Reality Show’

Imagine your elderly parents are moving cross-country to buy their dream house… 

You’ve never meddled in their affairs because, well, they’re your parents. You celebrate the news of their purchase with them. It sounds amazing; a huge lot with a working orchard, and their friend “Brad” negotiated a “sweetheart” deal for them from the seller, his friend “Tony”. Sounds like they did well!

When you finally visit them, you find that the place doesn’t match their description at all. Instead of a spacious lot with a fruit orchard, it’s a small, cramped apartment backing to a freeway on-ramp under construction for several years. Confused, you ask if this is the place they purchased.

“No, Dear. This is just where we live.”

You can’t be hearing this correctly, so you start asking questions. They are proud of their purchase and believe it will be a legacy for the family, so it’s hard to get clear answers. Exasperated, you corner them.

“Why aren’t you living there right now?”

“Because! This is the week of The Summer Carnival Spectacular! People come from all over the nation to participate, eat, and shop. It’s a huge event and it’s held at our place!” they proclaim, honored to own this special place.

Your concern grows as they describe the strange conditions of the sale. Tony gets to hold The Spectacular at their place free, for the next 50 years! And your parents won’t see a dime of the resulting profits (although their friend Brad’s foundation gets a sizable cut). Worse yet, they have to pay all the fees related to the event! Stranger still, they’re forbidden for 50 years from ever hosting their own similar event or from changing the name of the property, “Tony’s Place”.

How is this possible? You must be missing something! So you goad your folks into giving you the purchase agreement and begin reading.

Each paragraph sets off new waves of nausea:

The Ark of San Juan - featured pet "Tinkerbelle"

"The Last Hope for Lost and Abandoned Animals in San Juan"
This month’s featured pet is Tinkerbelle. Ark volunteers have been unable to find her the right home. “She is just beautiful,” reports Ark President Jean Janicki. 

"Darling Tinkerbelle lost the only home she ever knew when her owner became ill and could no longer care for her. This beautiful Ragdoll / Siamese mix is about 5 years old and is de-clawed in the front. She is slow to trust but understandably so. She will be very affectionate with a patient and knowledgeable cat owner. Determined to give this beauty a second chance, we welcomed her aboard The Ark. She is ready for her forever family to find her and keep her safe," said Kathy Hammersly, Board member of the Ark.

The Ark is the only non-profit animal rescue group saving the lives of San Juan animals. Since 2008, this all-volunteer group has rescued nearly 450 animals.

    As a purely volunteer group, the Ark welcomes donations from the community, and is also in need of 
    volunteers to serve as foster “parents” and to walk the many dogs in foster care and in boarding facilities 
    while waiting for their forever homes. Please visit their website at: to make a 
    contribution or donate your time.

NEW Water Strategy Needed

By John Perry 

Capistrano Taxpayers Association 

After 9 years of operation, the Ground Water Recovery Plant (GWRP) is still unable to produce water reliably and at reasonable cost. The taxpayers ask the question, is it now time to develop a new strategy?

The idea of a ground water facility came from a report developed for the San Juan Basin Authority (SJBA) by NBS/Lowry Engineers and Planners in 1994. The report was the first exhaustive study of how the San Juan Basin (aquifer) works and how water from the underground source might be developed into a regional facility that could deliver water to the region in times of emergency. If a disaster like an earthquake or extended drought caused a disruption of the Metropolitan Water District supply, the SJBA could access a “lifeline” water supply from the regional facility for a short period of time during the emergency.

The idea was that the SJBA would share in the capital and operational costs of the GWRP project in return for a guarantee of emergency lifeline water.

The Lowry report proposed a two phased approach to the project. Phase I would construct a facility located in San Juan Capistrano capable of producing 1,800 acre feet of water annually. Phase II would occur several years later by expanding the plant to 7,000 acre-feet per year.

The report recognized that the San Juan Basin could not sustain heavy pumping for over three years during an emergency period without having “recharge” capability because of the danger of infusion of sea water. Because we are just 104 feet above sea level, as water is pumped out of the aquifer the level lowers to the point that sea water can contaminate the aquifer.

Letter to the Editor: Foster Homes Needed for Rescued Pets

If you are concerned about the welfare of our community’s lost and homeless pets, will you please join me in supporting our town’s last remaining rescue group; The Ark of San Juan?

As of July 2011, when Capistrano Animal Rescue Effort (CARE) announced they would no longer be rescuing and adopting animals, and instead would transition to a fundraising foundation donating to other animal-aid groups, The Ark has had to pick up the slack and attempt to rescue all of our town’s homeless pets.

Without an animal shelter of any sort in San Juan, and to date with no financial assistance offered from CARE’s foundation, temporary foster homes are desperately needed. Without enough foster homes, The Ark is limited in their ability to save all of our town’s adoptable cats and dogs.

As a volunteer foster myself, I watch in amazement as The Ark continues to trudge up to the County animal shelter to retrieve our town’s pets that are scheduled to be euthanized. These are lost or relinquished pets that would have no hope of a second chance if it were not for The Ark.

Fostering is fulfilling and easy; The Ark pays for food, supplies and any needed healthcare. Foster homes usually keep their animals for a couple of weeks to a couple of months until they are adopted.

If you have a place in your heart and home for a pet that is waiting to be adopted, please contact The Ark today and say “Yes, I want to help give homeless pets their second chance. I will provide a foster home!”

Please email Visit: or call (949) 388-0034

Thank you.

Shirley Stewart

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