Foothills Sentry March 2022

NEWS INSIDE East Orange • Old Towne Orange • Orange Park Acres • Villa Park • Silverado/Modjeska Canyons • North Tustin A Monthly Community Newspaper March 2022 *********ECRWSSEDDM**** Residential Customer Letters To The Editor Pages 5 Canyon Beat Page 8 Obituaries Page 10 Real Estate Page 11 Service Directory Pages 11-13 Prof. Directory Page 13 Classifieds Page 13 Sports Pages 14-15 The Best News In Town Since 1969 NOT SO GREAT DIVIDE Voting district map selected by Orange council draws detailed critique from law firm engaged by citizens See Letter, page 4 FOLLOW US at Foothills Sentry ELBOW ROOM Residents oppose yet another development that threatens dwindling open space in Orange. See Santiago, page 7 CIRCLE THE WAGONS Villa Park joins other cities in drafting ordinances to mitigate the impacts of state housing legislation. See Villa Park, page 2 SURFACE TO AIR Historic Hudson Terraplane will be featured at Orange Classic Car Show. See Amelia Earhart, page 9 A BRIDGE TOO FAR A Modjeska Canyon bridge is slated to be replaced with a wider, less rural version that will need easements and acquisitions. See Canyon Beat, page 8 See "Orange council" continued on page 6 Ramirez family accepts proclamations The family of Lorenzo Ramirez displays the proclamations honoring him at the Orange City Council meet- ing, Feb. 8. From left, Councilwoman Ana Gutierrez, representing the El Modena area; Teresa, Lorenzo Jr., Michael Ramirez; Maryhelen R. Torres; Antonio, Henry and Monica Ramirez; and Phyllis R. Zepeda. The descendents of Lorenzo Ramirez received a series of for- mal proclamations at the Feb. 8 Orange City Council meeting, recognizing him on the 75th an- niversary of the lawsuit that de- segregated schools in California. Ramirez was one of five plaintiffs in the 1947 Mendes v. Westminster School District , which ruled that separating Mexican and Mexican-American students was unconstitutional. Ramirez joined the lawsuit after he tried to enroll his children in Roosevelt School, and was told they had to go Lincoln, the “Mexican” school next door. “We live in a country where ev- eryone is equal,” he said in court testimony.” The landmark fed- eral court case was later used as the legal precedent for the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Su- preme Court decision. The proclamation given by the City of Orange to Ramirez family members was joined by similar proclamations from State Senator Dave Min, State Assemblyman Steven Choi, U.S. Representative Katie Porter and OC Supervisor Katrina Foley The City Proclamation was presented by Councilwoman Ana Gutierrez, who represents District 5. She suggested the city honor the legacy of Lorenzo Ramirez by installing a permanent display at the El Modena Library and creating a memorial where the Roosevelt and Lincoln Schools once stood. Gutierrez grew up in El Modena and has an aunt who attended Lincoln with one of the Ramirez children. “I am Lorenzo Ramirez’s legacy," she declared, "and I’m proud to say it.” Neighborhood Voices exhale Our Neighborhood Voices an- nounced it will pause action and re-file its measure to qualify for the 2024 ballot. The campaign to restore a community voice in local planning will continue or- ganizing a grassroots movement of several hundred thousand Cali- fornians to make that qualifica- tion a certainty. The leaders of the Our Neighborhood Voices initiative said the combination of COVID, a spike in the cost of paid signature gathering and the need for more time to organize volunteers required the change in schedule. Local efforts to collect signa- tures were moving forward at a good clip, overseen by volunteers in Orange, Orange Park Acres, North Tustin and Villa Park. The initiative is intended to counter SB9, and protect the ability of local communities to shape local growth, preserve the character of neighborhoods, and require developers to actually produce more affordable housing. Orange council selects voting district map that overrides wishes of residents By Tina Richards A boundary map redefining the voting districts in Orange, based on the 2020 census, was selected from a field of 12 by the Orange City Council, Feb. 8. To comply with federal and state laws, district maps must ad- here to a number of criteria that are often at odds with one an- other. Primarily, districts must be equal in voter population, within 10%; be geographically con- tiguous; focus on neighborhoods and communities of interest; fol- low natural, or easily-identified boundaries, and be compact. While dividing the city based on population is a numbers game, defining communities of interest is more subjective. And, accord- ing to Justin Levitt, the National Demographics Corp. consultant hired by the city, best left to the communities themselves. Public participates Beginning last August, Levitt held a series of public meetings to learn how residents defined com- munities of interest, and to iden- tify natural boundaries. Residents were encouraged to use an inter- active website to draw their own maps and comment on those un- der consideration. Levitt reports that resident participation in the districting process was consider- ably higher in Orange than the industry standard. Levitt used the information gathered from public meetings to draft several maps that, along with versions submitted by citi- zens, were presented to the city council in December. The coun- cil dismissed all of Levitt’s maps without comment, and selected three to consider further. All three maps combined the entirety of East Orange into a single mega district. Councilmember Arianna Barrios offered a fourth map, number 119, which respected the current division of that area into Districts 4 and 6. Map 119 also enhanced the balance of voting age Latinos in District 2 (43%) and District 5 (40%). In 2019, Orange had switched from at-large to by-district elec- tions to settle a lawsuit that claimed the city’s at-large elec- tions disenfranchised minority voters. The 2019 map created two districts, with a healthy sampling of Latino voters: District 2, with 41%; District 5, with 36%. Communities are interested Maintaining those Latino percentages is a city priority, but is only one concern among other Orange communities of interest. Neighborhoods surrounding the Village At Orange (now District 3) want to remain in the same district as the mall. Because of the impending major redevelopment of the mall and Tustin Street, residents believe that neighborhoods east and west of the Village create a community of interest. East Orange residents largely oppose a single mega district that lumps half of District 4 into District 6. Specifically, Mabury Ranch in District 4 does not see The new STEM complex at El Modena High School was officially opened at a ribbon cutting ceremony, Feb. 22. The 42,500 sq. ft. building is the last of the four high school science centers funded by Measure S to be completed. Students will move in next month. Photo by Tony Richards