NEWS INSIDE East Orange • Old Towne Orange • Orange Park Acres • Villa Park • Silverado/Modjeska Canyons • North Tustin A Monthly Community Newspaper January 2022 *********ECRWSSEDDM**** Residential Customer Letters To The Editor Page 5 Canyon Beat Page 6 Real Estate Page 13 Obituaries Page 14 Service Directory Pages 11-13 Prof. Directory Page 13 Classifieds Page 13 Sports Page 15 The Best News In Town Since 1969 TAKEN BY STORM Canyon Christmas season suspended when mudslides force evacuations, rescues and road closures. See Canyon Beat, page 6 FOLLOW US at Foothills Sentry MERRY MEMORIES Parades on boats and hoofs, candles lit and houses glitzed, Santa sightings, too. See Holiday pics, pages 6, 7, 8 WIGGLE ROOM Orange reacts to overreaching state legislation with modest municipal code revisions. See Orange passes, page 2 LIFE IN THE SLOW LANE Local author/historian takes readers on a “City Walk” through Tustin back when it was barely a town. See New book, page 10 REDEFINED BORDER LINES Results of the 2020 census forced jurisdictions to redraw voter districts. Orange is on it, OC is done. See Orange, page 8, County, page 11 See "Paseo" continued on page 4 See "Cemetery" continued on page 4 Residents oppose cemetery plan By Tina Richards Homeowners in the quiet Or- ange neighborhood off of Yorba, just south of the dog park, were stunned to learn that the former YMCA property adjacent to their residences is planned to become a green burial cemetery. Still in the planning stages, the cemetery project had not yet been publicly noticed and was still well below the community’s ra- dar. But one resident heard about it and immediately alerted her neighbors. Aside from the specter of cem- etery traffic using residential streets for access, overflow cars parked on neighborhood streets and the unwelcome prospect of living next to a cemetery, neigh- bors were alarmed because the site is an old landfill. The land- fill seeps methane and is con- taminated with unknown material that, according to CalRecycle, shouldn’t be disturbed. Fact finding The first neighborhood meet- ing about the proposed cemetery was held in September; 75 people came. “We didn’t know what we could do about it,” Bernie Galasso says. “We didn’t know anything about green burials, landfills, city approvals, airborne contaminants or the impact a cemetery would have on property values. So we formed a leadership team and handed out assignments.” Eric Gilbert was named project manager; Bernie and Sharon Ga- lasso volunteered to assist him. Silvia San Nicolas looked into the environmental and legal issues; Greg Baker and Alan Kincaid focused on landfill contaminates; Ann Chavez took on sight lines and traffic concerns; Ron Miller took charge of neighborhood re- cruiting; Pristine Lee handled IT; Bill Vaughter kept notes; and Caren Lee delved in to the history of the property. “We wanted to pull all the facts together and know what we were talking about before we went to the city with our concerns,” Sha- ron Galasso says. They contacted the Local En- forcement Agency, an arm of CalRecycle that oversees landfills and their impacts on the environ- ment, the county health depart- ment, the Air Quality Manage- ment District, the Green Burial Council. They found a website, GeoTracker, that provided exten- sive inspection, complaint, and toxic monitoring reports about landfills and disposal sites. Do not disturb From GeoTracker they discov- ered the land had been inspected by the water resources board last January, as a follow up to an il- legal digging complaint. A report from the Department of Toxic Orange Council mulls over Paseo, parklets and the public good By Tina Richards The Orange City Council agreed to stick with the plan to close the Paseo and reopen Glas- sell Street to vehicular traffic at the end of 2021. A decision to reopen it seasonally or replace it with streetside “parklets” for out- door dining will be decided in the future. The original closure was to take place on Dec. 31, but Coun- cilwoman Arianna Barrios rec- ommended allowing the Paseo to remain for New Year's Eve. Her colleagues concurred. The Jan. 2 closure will be followed by a 14-day transition period to allow restaurants to remove their out- door furnishings and give public works time to make repairs and any needed adjustments before Glassell reopens. The council will revisit the Paseo after an ongoing environ- mental study is complete and de- sign standards developed, which is expected to be in April. As an alternative to closing Glassell for a Paseo, the city is consider- ing parklets, which would move dining into outdoor enclosures set up in parking spaces. That would allow Glassell to remain open to through traffic. Old Towne opposition Ahead of the meeting, the council received eight written communications supporting the Paseo and 130 (form letters) from Old Towne residents opposing it. During the meeting, one person spoke in favor; six were against it, and one favored parklets. A restaurateur whose establishment is benefitting from the street clo- sure reported that “everybody loves the Paseo.” An Old Towne resident described it as a “rag tag free fire zone.” Another said that traffic patterns have grown from flowing creeks to rushing rivers, that 100-year-old streets are not designed for 18-wheelers, and that the uncomplementary condi- tion of the Paseo is not fulfilling the Old Towne mission statement. “We need to care for this treasure [Old Towne],” he said. Old Towne Preservation Asso- ciation President Tony Trabuco raised quality of life issues that the Paseo passed on to residents, and urged the council to collect more public input before making a final decision. Councilman Chip Monaco ap- plauded his colleagues and restat- ed the benefits derived from the council’s decision in July 2020 to create the Paseo and boost busi- ness. He asked city staff how much money was spent in those two blocks. Revenue from that two block Villa Park names 2022 mayor By Andie Mills Residents of Villa Park care about their city and its elected of- ficials, as evidenced by the full house of spectators at the VP City Council meeting, Dec. 14. Supporters of Mayor Pro Tem Chad Zimmerman packed the room to assure that he would, as is tradition, advance to the may- oral position. Rumors had swirled that he might be edged out in favor of Vince Rossini, who has previously served as mayor, due to his lack of support for the city's housing element sent to the state. Before the election of mayor and mayor pro tem, Zimmerman clarified his stance regarding the housing element. He had, he said, voted against the Smith Basin as the most viable option for hous- ing because it would impact 23 homeowners. He apologized for not supporting it after it was vot- ed on by the council, and pledged to 100% support the city coun- cil’s plan. Public comments followed, with letters and supporters laud- ing Chad’s volunteerism and commitment to numerous com- munity organizations and activi- ties, including Boy Scouts, Indian Princesses, Marine Thanksgiving, Rotary Club, Women’s League and public school sports and activities. Former councilman and 2021 Parade Grand Marshal Jim Reichert spoke to the long- standing tradition of elevating the mayor pro tem to mayor. Indeed, as soon as City Man- ager Steve Franks had declared nominations to be open, Robert Collacott proclaimed, “Rossini,” while Councilman Robbie Pitts raised his hand to speak. Franks, despite Collacott’s protests, al- lowed Pitts to voice his nomina- tion first: Chad Zimmerman. The vote was 3-2, with the crowd erupting in applause. Ros- sini and Collacott were the nay- sayers, voting against the tradi- tion that they had so strongly supported in 2018, when Rossini was mayor pro tem, and petitions were brought forth in favor of Pitts for mayor. Mayor Zimmerman nominated Pitts as pro tem. Collacott nomi- nated Rossini, extolling his work with the Orange County Fire Authority, adding that he “could have brought a whole room of people, too,” which brought “boos” from the normally polite audience. Pitts lost the vote, 3-2, with Miles, Collacott and Rossini against. The vote for Rossini was 4-1, with Pitts the only dissenter. Mayor Zimmerman hopes to rekindle the sense of community, and bring back popular events, such as the city picnic. He has taken on the role of captain for Villa Park, garnering signatures to rescind SB9 and SB10 and re- gain local control of zoning. Mayor Chad Zimmerman Residents of a Yorba Street neighborhood organized and educated themselves with facts and figures to fight a proposed cemetery placed on a landfill near their homes.