Foothills Sentry - November 2023

NEWS INSIDE A Monthly Community Newspaper NOVEMBER 2023 Letters Page 4 Canyon Beat Page 8 Obituary Page 11 Service Directory Pages 11-13 Classifieds Page 13 Prof. Directory Page 13 Community Sports Page 14-15 The Best News In Town Since 1969 FOLLOW US at Foothills Sentry CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT High School queens, kings and courts commemorate campus spirit. See Fall Homecoming, page 10 GET YOUR HOLLY JOLLIES ON December calendar is filling up with annual holiday happenings hosted by community groups. See details, page 13 HOOK, LINE AND SINKER Elementary school-aged entrepreneur reels in celebrity investors and gets a deal on "Shark Tank." See Young, page 2 COUNTY COMES A CALLING Third District Supervisor Don Wagner brings news of note to ICL. See Canyon Beat, page 8 FOR OLD TIMES SAKE Annual Silverado country fair and folk festival attracts an eclectic array of costumed characters, canyon artisans and a medley of music makers. See Goin’, page 13 See "OUSD Board" continued on page 6 See "State of the City" continued on page 5 Fourth generation Orange resi- dent, community and civic leader Teresa “Tita” Smith was named the 2023 Citizen of the Year at the Orange State of the City event. Smith was an Old Towne Pres- ervation Association founder, a planning commissioner, city council member and three-term mayor. Cathy Seelig, president and CEO of the Friendly Center, was given the first-ever Legacy Award for a lifetime of service to the community. She recently an- nounced her retirement after 25 years with the charitable organi- zation. The Annual Firefighters Memorial event, honoring all Orange County firefighters who died during the previous year, was held Oct. 10 at Irvine Park. The ceremony was attended by representatives from all Orange County Fire Departments, many of whom brought engines. The tribute is sponsored by the OC Fire Chiefs Association and the Orange County Fire Services Association. Orange Fire Chief Sean de- Metropolis is president of that organization. Petitions to recall two OUSD trustees certified The Orange County Registrar of Voters (ROV) certified the number of signatures needed to recall OUSD trustees Rick Ledes- ma and Madison Miner, Oct. 20. The Registrar had originally certified the signatures on Oct. 13, but rescinded the certifica- tion on Oct. 16. The ROV de- termined that it did not sample enough signatures to comply with the California Elections Code. It had sampled 3% of the submitted signatures, which is the standard for initiative petitions. Recall pe- titions, however, must be certified using a 5% sample. The Registrar’s office complet- ed the five percent sample count a week later. To qualify for the bal- lot, the Recall Committee needed to submit 13,046 valid signatures for each trustee. The ROV certified that 15,016 and 14,736 valid signatures were submitted for Ledesma and Miner, respectively. Proponents of the recall had until November to sub- mit signatures but submitted peti- tions to the ROV on Sept. 27 in order to ensure the recall would be eligible for the March 5 pri- mary. The board will be officially no- tified at its Nov. 17 meeting and will then have 14 days to sched- ule an election. If the board fails to act, the Registrar determines the date of the election. Propo- nents of the recall are calling for the vote to be wrapped in with the March 5 primary, in order to save the additional $1 million cost of a special election. The OUSD Recall is a grass- roots committee of parents, com- munity members, and teachers spurred to action by the egregious mismanagement of the Orange Unified School District by the current board majority. The OUSD Recall is dedicat- ed to fighting fiscal waste, end- ing staff exodus, and prioritizing student safety. The Recall Com- mittee notes that it was able to accomplish something 85% of recalls do not: collecting enough signatures to apply for certifica- tion. OUSD board meeting saves district business for last on another late night By Tina Richards The Orange Unified School Board heard presentations on classroom facilities, the wide- spread repairs needed to bring ag- ing facilities up to date and pro- jected costs of a 50m pool at Villa Park High School at its Oct. 19 meeting. The portion of the meet- ing relating to district business, however, didn’t commence until almost 11 p.m. The first four hours were spent largely on public comments, board member disagreements and efforts by the board majority to clean up after itself. Rick Ledesma used the time al- lotted for the President’s Report to reframe the riotous September meeting and denounced trustees Kris Erikson, Andrea Yamasaki and Ana Page for leaving. He suggested their exit was not be- cause they felt threatened by the crowd, but for political theater. He repeatedly emphasized that they were supported by the com- munist party and declared, "tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are." Discouraging words Trustee Andrea Yamasaki was livid. “Since you took your time to grandstand,” she fired back. “I’m taking my time to respond to what you said. My family fled communist China. They came to this country because they wanted to live in America. How dare you say those things (equating her with communists). You need to take that back. I demand an apol- ogy.” Ledesma refused to apologize, reasserting that communists came to the last meeting to support the board minority. “They don’t sup- port us,” Ana Page countered. “They were attracted by the chaos. They showed up because they had three minutes at the mi- crophone.” Indeed, a small group of “Revolutionary Communists” have followed parent's rights groups to school board meetings throughout the region. “You said horrible things,” Er- ickson told Ledesma “You need to apologize." She later advised Ledesma that she was “disgusted by him rewrit- ing history.” She reminded him that he had invited those parent’s rights groups, and had packed the room with outside agitators. “Those people are bullies; they intimidate, and they are violent,” she said. “They targeted us. They did not target you, John Ortega, Angie Rumsey or Madison Min- er. A man waving a six-foot pole was screaming and yelling my name. He got within five feet of me, and you, Ledesma, did noth- ing. We had to leave.” Legal aid “The pole had a flag on it,” Ledesma clarified. “It was still a weapon,” Erickson retorted. Ledesma’s efforts to spit-shine Slater delivers Orange State of the City address The annual State of the City, sponsored by the Orange Cham- ber of Commerce, Oct. 6, Hon- ored Tita Smith and Cathy Seelig, as well as Best Large Business - Green Cheek Beer; Best Small Business - The Potting Shed; and Best Nonprofit - Mariposa Wom- en and Family Center. Held at Chapman University’s Musco Center, it was followed by a reception in front of the theater. The main event was Mayor Dan Slater’s review of the City of Or- ange, excerpted here. “Orange is a premier city in Orange County. We are home to the unique Old Towne Plaza -- if we can just get people to stop driving through it -- California’s largest National Register Historic District, Orange County’s larg- Cathy Seelig Tita Smith and Moira Singer Photo by Tony Richards Leading ladies lauded