Foothills Sentry May 2023

NEWS INSIDE A Monthly Community Newspaper MAY 2023 Letters Page 4 Real Estate Page 5 Canyon Beat Page 6 Service Directory Pages 11-13 Prof. Directory Page 13 Classifieds Page 13 Community Sports Page 14-15 The Best News In Town Since 1969 FOLLOW US at Foothills Sentry TALK OF THE TOWN Chapman expansion, illegal rentals and homelessness remain at the top of Old Towne residents’ list of concerns. See OPTA, page 5 AN UNBEATEN PATH A former motorsports park is now home to a new wilderness trail system, open for limited public access. See OC Parks, page 9 SPRING FLING A community celebration of the Persian New Year took center stage in the Villa Park Towne Center. See Nowruz, page 9 See "OUSD" continued on page 2 After fast-tracking the selection of a search firm for a superinten- dent, the Orange Unified Board of Education voted, April 13, to hold off until the timing was better. A special meeting was held April 3 to interview five search firms that had responded to the district’s request for proposals, issued in early March. Board President Rick Ledesma, had, at the March 2 meeting, insisted that the process move quickly, that staff should skip the paper re- view and go straight to in-person interviews the week of April 3. He wanted to select a firm at the April 13 meeting. Ledesma had been willing to schedule that special meeting on a Saturday or any other night of the week to ensure that interviews happened quickly. Not quite the A-Team The district reached out to 34 search firms, received confirma- tions from seven, and ended up with five. It was noted during the April 13 meeting that neither of the two top firms in California that specialize in superintendent searches had responded to OUSD. Of the five firms that expressed interest, two were, at around $130,000, too expensive and had no experience with school super- intendent searches. One was in North Carolina, with no experi- ence in California. The board se- lected two finalists, McPherson & Jacobson and Hazard Young Attea. McPherson & Jacobson had been hired by OUSD in 2017 to seek a replacement for retired su- perintendent Mike Christensen. That firm was subsequently fired because none of the candidates it advocated were qualified. That board, of which Ledesma, John Ortega and Andrea Yama- saki were members, instead hired OUSD’s Deputy Superintendent of Education Gunn Marie Hansen who had been serving as the In- terim Superintendent. McPherson & Jacobson also listed short-lived OUSD Interim Superintendent Edward Velasquez as a consul- tant. During the interview process, every candidate firm was asked to disclose any relationships it had with any board member. All said there were no conflicts of interest. Hurry up and wait When it came time to select ei- ther of the two finalists, the board hesitated. Angie Rumsey pointed out that, during the interview, Hazard had said this might not be the best time to search for a superintendent, and that she was inclined to agree. The current OUSD delays hiring search firm for superintendent A proposed truck terminal, to be built on 9.94 acres at 534 Struck Avenue, will introduce 176 big rig trips to the City of Or- ange every day. The project site is located near where Mary’s Kitchen once stood, north of Collins Avenue, east of Batavia, south of Struck and west of an unused rail line owned by the Orange County Transportation Authority. Plans for the 57,900-sq.-ft. truck termi- nal include 52,900 sq. ft. of ware- house space and 5,000-sq.-ft. of office space; there will be a sepa- rate 5,400-sq.-ft. maintenance building. The structure will be 45 ft. tall and include 84 delivery dock doors; the grounds would host 188 parking stalls for truck trailers and 62 additional parking places for automobiles. Trucking outfit wants to set up shop in Orange Keep on truckin’ Truck traffic would traverse Katella, Batavia and Struck to and from the 57 Freeway 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A 40,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility on the site, former home of a company that made plastic planters, will be demolished. Ap- proximately 315 feet of parking along Struck will be lost. The project is the brainchild of Prologis, L.P., a global com- pany that buys or builds large distribution centers and trucking facilities, which it then leases to other enterprises. Leasees include Amazon, Walmart and Home Depot. Prologis owns some 500 warehouses in California, includ- ing nearby Anaheim, Buena Park and Fullerton. Prologis, with city concur- rence, originally prepared a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) for the project, in lieu of a full-fledged Environmental Im- pact Report. MNDs are generally accepted when a project’s envi- ronmental impacts are deemed insignificant. In this case, citi- zen and agency reviewers of the MND identified several areas of concern and requested more tech- nical analysis of air quality, noise and traffic. A Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) was prepared to provide a more comprehensive review and released March 31. The public comment period for the DEIR ends May 15. See "Truck" continued on page 2 The Orange County Board of Supervisors, led byChairmanDon Wagner and Vicente Sarmiento, has allocated $225,000 toward the repair and restoration of the Old Towne Orange fountain, damaged by a car, March 13. The City of Orange is repre- sented by Wagner (District 3) and Sarmiento (District 2). The funding announcement was made March 30 at a gathering in the Plaza. In addition to the fountain repair, the funding will include safety improvements in the Plaza. Ironically, Orange had begun safety enhancement work in the Plaza in February. The car broke through the temporary bollards designed to slow traffic at Glas- sell and the Plaza roundabout the same day they were due to be hardened. The safety improvements in- clude installation of crash-rated Supervisors allocate funding for Orange Plaza fountain repair bollards along pedestrian walk- ways facing spoke streets; retro- fitting existing Plaza Park perim- eter bollards that face the street sections with concrete and steel Supervisor Vicente Sarmiento, Orange Mayor Pro Tem Arianna Bar- rios and Supervisor Don Wagner stand before the shattered Plaza fountain. rebar; installation of electrical service and up-lighting to illumi- nate crash-rated bollards within walkways; and cross-lighting of trees for more motorist visibility. JC Cortez, sponsored by Elks lodge 1475, was crowned the first-ever Duke of Orange, April 15, by competi- tion sponsor Shelly Kim of The Duchess on Cambridge. Cortez’s victory earned $1,500 for the nonprofit Flags over Orange. Steve Almond and Rick Olsen look on. See photos, page 10. Photo by Tony Richards TO SLEEP NO MORE OUSD board meetings plod into the wee hours, making them inconvenient for constituents, commenters and trustees with day jobs. See Marathon, page 2 HOW NOW BROWN VOW Prearranged meeting outcome by several OUSD trustees did not violate the Brown Act -- by a nose. See D.A., page 3