Permalink 01/26/15 11:50, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings

Whale watch aboard the largest vessel in Orange County, the Dana Pride. Valentine's Day chocolate treats and glasses of champagne are included. A full cash bar is also available.
$39/person | 4–6pm


Join us on a sparkling wine tasting harbor cruise on the luxurious catamaran OCean Adventures. Four organic sparkling wine tastes and a chocolate bar are included. A full cash bar is also available.
$49/person | 5:30–7pm

Be sure to make reservations at one of Dana Point Harbor's many romantic restaurants for after the cruise and you'll have an unforgettable evening



2-Hour Whale Watching Adventure Cruise

Trips depart daily!

Delight in the exciting sights and sounds of the magnificent ocean creatures off Dana Point. Known as a landmark for marine life sightings, Dana Wharf’s ocean adventure cruises offer rare glimpses into a huge variety of underwater wildlife and gorgeous scenic views you’ll never forget.

Join us as we search for whales, dolphin, sea lion and other exciting marine life! All of our cruises are narrated by our expert captains who will educate you on the abundant ocean life on our coast. Trips are all 2 hours long, plenty of time to discover the world that lies beneath! Remember that sightings of marine life are guaranteed!

Cost: Adults – $45; Kids – $25


NEW! Deluxe Catamaran Adventure

Come aboard our specially built, luxurious catamaran for an incredible 2 to 2.5-hour Whale and Dolphin Adventure. A totally different, intimate and unforgettable experience!
2.5 Hour Catamaran Tours start back up in January.



  • A limited number of passengers – this trip is NEVER CROWDED!
  • Amazing viewing platform- our passengers can view marine life and not get wet.
  • A faster and quieter journey – advanced technology engines assure you a smooth ride!
  • An up close and personal experience – get closer to marine life such as whales and dolphins and watch them as they swim beneath you.
  • An educational experience – get your questions answered by our on-board professional naturalist or marine biologist.
  • Bask in the sun on the sun bench in the back or ride the bow for an adventure!
  • Our enclosed cabin boasts a full view of the ocean and flat screen monitors so you can see the Captain’s navigation screen and more.

The 63 ft OCean Adventure is an eco-friendly, state-of-the-art catamaran, also available for charters. It is certified to carry up to 59 passengers and is fully equipped with an easy-access deli-style galley and full-service bar.

Half Price Tuesday!

Every Tuesday, all our trips are half price! Take advantage of this special pricing and bring your friends and family!




Have you ever wanted to go ocean fishing but thought it was only for the professional? Well, we have good news for you! Dana Wharf Sportfishing offers fishing trips all year long and anyone can go – young, old, experienced or those out for their first trip. Our landing caters to the novice as well as the seasoned angler. Our knowledgeable crew and expert skippers who are always eager to help educate and instruct, if needed. The types of fish available to catch vary depending on the season and water temperature. They include Halibut, Barracuda, Yellowtail, White Sea Bass, Sand Bass, Calico Bass, Bonito, and even Tuna. You never know what you might reel in, and that is part of the magic of fishing.

Our vessels are clean and our friendly, professional and experienced crew are there to help you! Our vessels offer a full galley with hot and cold food. Beer, soda, chips and candy are available for purchase (sorry, no coolers can be brought aboard the boat). If you do not have fishing gear, we have rods and reels to rent from $14 – $18, and a day license for anyone over 16 years of age is required. Come join us for an adventure you will never forget. It might just become an obsession.

3/4 Day Fishing

These 9-hour local, coastal trips are currently fishing for bass, rockfish, and yellowtail.
Adults – $64; Seniors – $59; Children – $46
For more information on our 3/4 Day Trips, please read FAQ’s!

1/2 Day Fishing

This 5-hour trip is perfect for families and fish locally off the coast. 
Adults – $46; Seniors – $41; Children – $29
For more information on our 1/2 Day Trips, please read FAQ’s!

Two Ways to Enter

1. Halibut Drift Days

These are special extended halibut drift trips that will specifically drift for halibut.
Fridays and / or Sundays 7:00am – 4:00pm – Limited load to 25 passengers.
$64 per person, $5 entry included in price.
Buy tickets online at Zerve here!

2. Enter on any open party ½ or ¾ day trip!

Cost is $5 and will be taken at time of check-in. Entry must be paid for before boat departs. An entry is only valid for the day it is purchased. To enter on a different day, an addition entry ticket must be purchased.

Buy tickets online at Zerve here!

6 Ways to Win

  1. At the end of the derby, the angler who catches the largest halibut (by weight) will receive 50% of the Halibut Derby Prize Money! (Prize money accumulated between November 1st, 2014 and April 30th, 2015)
  2. The remaining 50% of the Halibut Derby Jackpot will go to the winner of the Dana Wharf Halibut Derby Fish Off on Sunday, May 3rd, 2015. The Fish Off will be a free trip for the top 25 anglers who catch the top 25 halibut (by weight) during the Halibut Derby.
  3. Each month of the Derby, a $100 gift card to Dana Wharf, an Okuma rod/reel, a Hogan’s Tackle Gift Certificate/Grab Bag and a Jig Stop Gift Certificate will be awarded to the angler who catches the largest halibut (by weight) that month.
  4. Every angler entered in the Derby that catches a Halibut 15lbs or larger will win a $65 gift box filled with prizes from BD OUTDOORS. (Gift box will be mailed to the angler.)
  5. Each Drift Day every angler will be entered in a raffle to win a 3/4 day fishing trip with Dana Wharf. ($64 Value)
  6. Each Drift Day the JACKPOT winner will receive a free hat and shirt from Dana Wharf or one of our sponsors.

Buy tickets online at Zerve here!

Please read the full rules and eligibility requirements. Please note rules are subject to change.
*Please note that children must be accompanied by an adult on either the Halibut Drift Days or when buying a Halibut ticket on a 1/2 day or 3/4 day.

Kids Free Fishing Clinic and Free Fishing Trip

Sundays at Noon

Dana Wharf Sportfishing invites all children to come to their dock side fishing clinic and learn hands on techniques on fishing from the experts. After the clinic Dana Wharf will be running a fishing trip from 12:45 – 5:45, adults are $39 plus license and equipment, children 12 and under fish for FREE. Extra bonus is the chance of spotting whales, dolphins and other marine life! This trip includes equipment! More information and reservations call Dana Wharf at 949-496-5794.


Lobster Fishing Trips:

Try our special Captain Dave's twilight lobster safari fishing trip and enjoy a relaxing evening on the Helena with our special guest captain Dave!

  • Seasonal catches include Lobster
  • Learn from our knowledgeable, family friendly crew and skippers who will expertly guide you throughout this fun filled excursion.
  • Bask in the breathtaking views of Dana Point Harbor's serene beaches and scenic shorelines from the deck of one our fleet's top of the line boats!
  • soda, water, assorted snacks, and unlimited cheeseburgers are included.

From novice to expert, everyone will enjoy discovering their love of sportfishing, conservation, and the great outdoorson this 5 hour evening excursion.

What Is Not Included?

  • Fishing Equipment: Lobster hoops, measuring gauges, and bait are included
  • Fishing License Regulations: Anglers 16 years of age or older are required to have a fishing license in their possession before boarding the boat. One day licenses are available in our shop and can be purchased prior to departure and a lobster report card $10. All children under 16 years of age are required to have a lobster report card. Non-anglers are not required to have a license.
  • Food and Beverages: Unlimited cheeseburgers, soda, water and snacks are included in the ticket price. Beer will be available for purchase.
  • Gratuities: Tips for the crew members are optional but greatly appreciated! They work very hard to make your trip as good as can be. Typical tips range from $5-10 per adult ticket.



Private Charters


All of Dana Wharf’s vessels are available for private charter. We have 14 vessels that include fishing boats, our new 63′ catamaransix passenger fishing yachts, a scuba diving vessel and specialty sail boats are available for the following:

If you are interested in a private charter please call us at (949) 496-5794 x 11 or email us atcharters@danawharfsportfishing.com

Click here to download the Charter Information Flyer

Meet our Boat Captains! The best in the business!



Kelly Farlow

Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching


Event involves five local Churches and a Temple in the Laguna Hills area, all coming together in a wonderful choral program on Sunday Jan 25th

Permalink 01/24/15 12:24, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Religions, The Arts



A presentation of scripture

and music

featuring choirs and musicians from:

St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Church

Lutheran Church of the Cross

Geneva Presbyterian Church

St. George’s Episcopal Church

Laguna Country Methodist Church

Temple Judea

Sunday, January 25th, 2015


St. Nicholas Church

24252 El Toro Road

Laguna Woods, CA 92637

The event involves five local Churches and a Temple in the Laguna Hills area, all coming together in a wonderful choral program on Sunday Jan 25th. It marks the start of an anniversary year as ALL congregations involved are celebrating their 50th anniversaries!  (The only exception is St. George’s, which was founded in the late 1800’s.) The event will take place at St Nicholas Church on El Toro Rd. It promises to be an entertaining evening with a reception following.

Free admission – Reception follows in Msgr. Otto Sporrer Center


Andy Costello


Permalink 01/23/15 15:19, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Schools, The Arts

Aliso Niguel High School Solo and Ensemble Concert

The Aliso Niguel High School Orchestra Program presents

A Solo and Ensemble Concert

Friday, January 23, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.

This concert features the finest students of the program’s 200+ members in a solo or small ensemble performance. The evening will conclude with a special performance by the program’s top orchestras.

Ticket info inquiries can be made at school in the orchestra room, by contacting Albert Jeung atayjeung@capousd.org, or calling (949) 831-5590 ext. 720.

Tickets: $10.00/$5.00 Students and Seniors (62+)

The Buy Tickets Button - which needs a link!

Come early for Dinner! Soka Bistro is open for dinner M-F 5:30-7:00 pm, Sat/Sun 5:00-7:00 pm. Only $10.95 for an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Matt Anderson is 2014 Mission Viejo Deputy of the Year

Permalink 01/23/15 15:16, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings

Deputy Matt AndersonDeputy Matt Anderson, a nearly 13-year veteran of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, has been named 2014 Deputy of the Year. He will be recognized by the City Council with other top City and Orange County Fire Authority employees on February 2.

Deputy Anderson’s strong work ethic and commitment to the City has earned him the respect of peers, supervisors and community members.

Assigned to the City of Mission Viejo for the last 5-plus years, Deputy Anderson is a proven leader who is recognized for his knowledge and teaching ability as a Field Training Officer (FTO). In fact, over the time Deputy Anderson has been in Mission Viejo, he has been responsible for training 10 new patrol deputies.

The dedicated deputy is also recognized by peers as a great communicator and source of information. He stays cool under pressure, and residents have noted his compassion and concern. One man said Deputy Anderson is an “asset to the department and the most professional deputy he has ever seen.”

It’s that kind of praise that continues to pepper Deputy Anderson’s employee file. He’s the kind of guy who never shies away from work and is a team player and role model. Deputy Anderson has been applauded for his knowledge of marijuana laws thanks to a yearlong stint with the Marijuana Taskforce and for his dedication to the job.

“Deputy Matt Anderson is a true asset to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the City of Mission Viejo, and no one is more deserving of this award than he is,” said Chief of Police Services Lt. Brad NewMyer.


Kelly Tokarski

The City of Mission Viejo

Public Information Specialist

Mission Viejo YMCA hosting ‘Buddy Basketball’ program for kids with special needs

Permalink 01/23/15 15:14, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings, Schools, Charitable

YMCA logoThere’s a new youth basketball league at the Mission Viejo YMCA that’s geared toward special-needs athletes.

The league, dubbed Buddy Basketball, is run by local high school athletes. The program was started 18 months ago by several high school students at the Laguna Niguel YMCA. Mission Viejo resident and Capistrano Valley High School student Erica Stoll is working with the founders to expand the program into Mission Viejo.

Buddy Basketball helps special needs children learn the skills and the game in a controlled environment with 1-on-1 attention with a volunteer high school athlete.  The season lasts 10 weeks and meets for an hour on Sunday.  At the end of the season, parents get a progress report and each participant receives a trophy.

The program takes place at 11 a.m. Sunday from January 25 to April 19 at the Mission Viejo YMCA at 27341 Trabuco Circle.

There is a nominal fee to cover costs and a scholarship program for families in need.

For more information, contact Kevin or Erica Stoll at 949-338-7113 or mvbuddybasketball@gmail.com.


Kelly Tokarski

The City of Mission Viejo

Public Information Specialist

One of SoCal’s top comedy-magic acts to perform in Mission Viejo Feb. 7

Permalink 01/23/15 15:13, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings

ABBIT Funglasses hi-resAbbit the Average, one of the most sought-after comedy acts in Southern California, will delight folks of all ages when he performs two special shows in Mission Viejo on Saturday, Feb. 7.

Jeff Abbit, better known as Abbit the Average, presents a high-energy, something-for-everyone hysterical magic and juggling variety show. With a wit faster than his hands, he combines incredible magic and juggling with physical and prop comedy.  Plenty of audience participation and endless laughs make this the ultimate entertainment experience that is anything but average.

The show, geared toward kids 4 and older, takes place at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. in the Mission Viejo City Hall Saddleback Room at 200 Civic Center.

This free show is sponsored by the Friends of the Mission Viejo Library. For more information, call 949-830-7100, ext. 5107.


Kelly Tokarski

The City of Mission Viejo

Public Information Specialist

Fruits of students’ labor benefiting orphaned pets

Permalink 01/23/15 15:12, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings, Schools, Business

Students making dog bedsHomeless pets at the Mission Viejo Animal Services Center are more cozy thanks to the efforts of local elementary students.

As part of the Valencia Elementary Outreach Program, several students handmade dog beds by knotting and stuffing pet-themed fleece material. The kids also made toys for the orphaned cats.

Led by volunteer Teddi Sadler, the PTA-sponsored outreach program regularly brings together about 30 students in kindergarten through six grade to make a positive difference in the community by helping others.

Along with beds and toys, the kids designed and colored thank-you cards for shelter staff and volunteers and handed out gift bags and goodies.

“The animals and kids had fun getting to know each other during the students’ visit to the Mission Viejo Animals Services Center,” said Animal Services Supervisor Brynn Lavison.  “We are grateful for their efforts.”


Kelly Tokarski

The City of Mission Viejo

Public Information Specialist

Does Spirituality Produce More Meaningful Meditation? By Don Ingwerson

Permalink 01/23/15 15:09, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Religions, Commentary

Meditation, with its benefits and its shortcomings, has really been in the news for the past couple years or so. I've even written a number of blogs on meditation as it relates to prayer.

But now there is a different focus on meditation – combining meditation with the marketplace. What was once thought of as two completely incompatible pursuits are now being used together, incorporating meditation studios with conferences, and becoming a new hub for networking.


Some may wonder how this pairing came about. It turns out that what makes meditation palatable to entrepreneurs and executives these days is that it's perceived as a tool to help increase productivity.

This type of meditation still has a foundation built on quieting the mind, but now the intended end result of this quiet mind is to recognize and pursue business opportunities. And meditation centers are promoting themselves with a new business networking focus.

The actual setting may be different, but generally a break-out group will start with a short meditation period and then focus on business. It seems that the more exclusive the meditating groups are, the more productive they are in offering help and support in networking and providing contact with like-minded individuals.


In many ways this combination of meditation and the marketplace emulates the relationship between prayer and serving church through membership.


But is there an important component missing in this new meditation/marketplace relationship? I would say yes. Although cultivating a quiet mind and gaining business opportunities and individual contacts in a network may decrease workplace stress – a condition that may directly affect health – adding prayer as a foundation for quieting our thoughts and incorporating this prayerful meditation in every aspect of life is even more health giving.

Mary Baker Eddy, a deep researcher into the relationship between spirituality and wellbeing, found that looking beyond self through prayer was integral to health: “Prayer, watching, and working, combined with self-immolation, are God’s gracious means for accomplishing whatever has been successfully done for the Christianization and health of mankind.”


While meditation is being found to benefit many aspects of life, it's important to remember that there is a spiritual foundation inherent in this practice. Starting from a spiritual standpoint leads to a higher form of meditation, cultivating health in all aspects of life. Meditation by definition quiets thought, and once thought is quieted ideas flow more freely.


Beyond that, I’ve found mental outreach through prayer is more than just quieting thought. It includes listening to divine Mind (God) for direction and spiritual purpose, bringing harmony, peace, and joy – all spiritual qualities derived from prayer that have been found to be powerful building blocks in creating a healthy mind-body relationship.


Don Ingwerson

Article first published in Blogcritics.


Don lives in Laguna Beach with his wife and they are both Christian Science practitioners. He brings his years serving the public in education to his work as a liaison of Christian Science, where he maintains contacts with the media and legislative offices. Don blogs on health and spirituality and you can read more at www.csinsocal.com.


Tribeca Salon in Aliso Viejo is looking for hairstylists to volunteer at the Village of Hope homeless shelter in Tustin

Permalink 01/23/15 15:07, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings, Charitable


Tribeca had a 4 chair salon at the Village of Hope.

190 men women and children live there and they all need their hair cut and colored.

The salon at the Village of Hope is stocked with hair color and developers to use on guests.

Go to www.rescuemission.org to download volunteer forms and then call them to set up an appointment to tour property.

For more info. www.tribecahairsalon.com.

Tribeca Salon is also collecting non perishable food items for the Village of Hope.

Just drop them off at Tribeca and we will deliver them for you.

Tim Telles

The Wyland Dolphin and Whale Adventures, “Art Lessons in the Wild” program begins January 24, 2015, and continues Saturdays through April 25, 2015

Permalink 01/22/15 09:54, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings, Charitable, The Arts

Wyland’s Whale and Dolphin Adventure Art Lessons in the Wild







Passengers will learn how marine wildlife continues to inspire Wyland to create some of the most well-known art pieces of our time, while children will receive an art lesson from Wyland himself via a video feed.

“The first time I saw a whale in the wild, it changed my life,” Wyland said. “It inspired me to become an artist and an advocate for marine life conservation. This partnership with Dana Wharf is part of our effort to encourage people to see the marine life off the Orange County coast in entirely new ways and introduce the next generation to this beautiful ecosystem.”

The adventure includes pre-boarding at 9am and each child participating will be entered into a contest to win prizes. Children ages 3-12, who take the art lesson (with a $5 donation) will receive a free whale watching ticket at the end of the session.

The free trip must be used that day at 10 am and must be accompanied by an adult who has pre-purchased a whale-watching ticket.

The Wyland Foundation’s mission is to empower children to become more creative, positive, and solution-oriented stewards of our ocean and waterways through public art programs, classroom education, and community events.

All art submissions will be judged by Wyland himself (in three age categories, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12), with multiple winners and a grand prize winner. The grand prize is a 45″x 26.5″ framed, limited edition signed and numbered giclee on paper of Wyland’s “Celebrate the Sun,” valued at more than $3,500.

Nearby Laguna Beach is the location of the Wyland Art Gallery. Wyland has also partnered with the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel for “Whales, Wonders, and Wyland,” which includes a display of more than 25 original paintings and sculptures throughout the resort.

Dana Wharf and Wyland also have several other surprises for visitors during the season. Trips will sell out and advance reservations are required. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Wyland’s Foundation. Gray Whale season has begun and through the end of April. So far this season sightings are at 30-year high!

“We are so proud to offer this program to kids. By combining Wyland’s art lesson with a whale watching adventure, kids are able to connect the dots between are and nature, seeing the mammals they just drew out in their natural environment,” said Donna Kalez, general manager of Dana Wharf. “We are proud to be exclusively endorsed by Wyland and thrilled to continue our partnership and this program that’s growing every year.”


Dana Wharf and The Wyland Foundation have entered into a partnership to offer the most unique and creative experience on the water.

Saturday’s  January 24th – April 25th !!
Art Lesson & VIP Boarding 9am – 9:45am
Whale Watching 10am – 12pm
Pre-Purchase Art Lesson

$5 donation includes Art Lesson and 2-hour whale watching adventure package for children ages 3-12.
(*Children must be accompanied by a paying adult – with up to 2 children allowed per adult.)

$45 Adults; $25 Kids 12 and under (Without Art Lesson Participation)

Running every Saturday January – April, from 9am – noon, book here participants get an art lesson presented by Wyland, via video feed, then continue the adventure with a 2-hour whale watching trip – all on Dana Wharf’s flagship 95 ft. vessel, the Dana Pride. All children’s artwork will be entered into a contest to win prizes including the GRAND PRIZE of a framed limited edition signed and numbered giclee on paper of Wyland’s “Celebrate the Sun” valued at over $3,500!


Renowned artist signed & framed each winner’s artwork. 200 participants enjoyed the lesson and whale watching adventure.

Josie Burke, 8, is the Grand Prize Winner of the 2014 Wyland’s Whale and Dolphin Adventure Art Lessons in the Wild sponsored by Dana Wharf Whale Watching. Burke’s rendition of Wyland’s lesson won her the coveted framed limited edition, signed and numbered Giclee on Paper of Wyland’s “Tails of Great Whales” valued at over $1,000!

“Josie’s piece is beautifully done. She has great lines, proportion and depth and she captured the spirit of the magnificent mammal.” Said Wyland.



Founded by renowned environmental artist Wyland, the Wyland Foundation has helped children and families around the nation to rediscover the importance of healthy oceans and waterways through public art programs, classroom science education, and live events. The foundation gives children the tools they need to become more creative, positive, and solution-oriented. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and has worked directly with more than one million children since its inception in 1993.


Kelly Farlow

Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching


Dust off your best flapper dress and zoot suit and come enjoy the fun in celebration of Black History Month - Saddleback College Fine Arts

Permalink 01/21/15 16:18, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings, Schools, The Arts



A Night in Historic Harlem Celebrating Cultural History in Support of Student Scholarships

-On Saturday night, February 27th from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. in the Saddleback College Fine Arts Complex, the Angels for the Arts presents A Night in Historic Harlem.

This student-run fundraiser celebrates the rich culture of the Harlem Renaissance during Black History Month. Proceeds benefit scholarships for students in the arts.

Don’t miss this festive event featuring soul food bites, beer and wine, dancing in the Savoy Ballroom, and performances by Tony award nominee Jonelle Allen with Saddleback vocal music students. People will remember Allen starring in Saddleback’s successful run of Hello, Dolly! last summer.

Other entertainment includes Joey Sellers’ jazz ensemble, a Bojangles style tap dancer, Great Gatsby-themed danced numbers, and more exciting surprises.

There will even be a Prohibition era speakeasy where you’ll need a password to enter this illegal establishment. History buffs will also be able to learn more about the African American culture in New York during the 1920s with educational presentations from experts in the field.

Costumes are encouraged so dust off your best flapper dress and zoot suit and come enjoy the fun in celebration of Black History Month and our talented students in the arts.


Prices are $12 general (presale) and $6 students/seniors (presale) or $15 at the door. Tickets can be purchased by calling (949) 582-4656 (noon-4:00 p.m., Tues.-Fri) or online at www.saddleback.edu/arts.

The Angels for the Arts at Saddleback College is a fundraising and support organization for the Performing and Visual Arts at Saddleback College.  Angel members donate their time and talent t6o raise funds and assist with a variety of arts events on the campus.

The group is led by a volunteer advisory board of directors.  Angel members believe in the importance of offering a full spectrum of arts to the community, with the college as the focal point.

These events bring together Orange County residents from all walks of life for the purpose of enlightenment, entertainment and inspiration.

The Angels for the Arts provide support for scholarships for students in the visual and performing arts, Saddleback Civic Light Opera, MainStage Kids Children’s summer program, master classes with professional artists, hospitality for guest artist performers and crew, enhancement for arts patrons such as the tram and an annual fundraiser.

Located in Mission Viejo, Saddleback College provides quality higher education and training to the greater south Orange County community.  Having served more than 500,000 students since 1968, Saddleback College offers over 300 degree and certificate programs to help students reach their personal, career, and educational goals.  For more information, please visit
www.saddleback.edu and for Fine Arts information, please visit www.saddleback.edu/arts.



Nina Welch

Fine Arts Public Information Officer

Saddleback College

28000 Marguerite Parkway

Mission Viejo, CA 92692



Permalink 01/21/15 16:08, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Pacific Symphony


Concert features talented opera students from Chapman University,

colorful costumes and props, and a Musical Carnival


Rossini’s sparkling and humorous operatic retelling of the timeless rags-to-riches tale “Cinderella” is brought to life by Pacific Symphony as part of Family Musical Mornings, presented by Farmers and Merchants Bank. “Cinderella: Opera for Kids!” is an enchanting romantic comedy filled with toe-tapping tunes, colorful characters and splendid orchestration. As part of the Symphony’s opera-vocal initiative—which includes Bizet’s “Carmen” in February as part of the Classical series—this 45-minute adaptation of Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” is designed to introduce children to the world of opera and the beautiful and powerful instrument of the voice.

Led by Assistant Conductor Alejandro Gutiérrez, the orchestra and singers tell the tale of Cinderella, a kindhearted girl living in her stepmother’s castle who longs to escape the cruelty of her vain stepsisters. When the prince announces that he will choose his bride at a glamorous ball, Cinderella seizes the opportunity to take control of her destiny. Complete with all of the enchanting elements that are familiar to children and families, Cinderella, with the help of her mice friends, rides to the ball in a magical carriage and leaves her glass slipper for the prince to find.

“Cinderella: Opera for Kids!” takes place Saturday, Jan. 31 at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets are $20-45 and include a Musical Carnival before or after the show (more below). For more information or to purchase tickets call (714) 755-5799 or visit www.PacificSymphony.org.

Capo Talk - Renowned Marine Life Artist Robert Wyland to Paint Mural at Malcom Elementary School

Permalink 01/21/15 16:04, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Schools, Charitable, The Arts

Gift Celebrating School's 20th Anniversary




Renowned marine life artist Robert Wyland will be painting one of his iconic undersea murals at Malcom Elementary School on Wednesday, January 28, as an extraordinary gift celebrating the school's 20th anniversary. He will be joined by 20 student volunteers who will be contributing their own elements to the mural throughout the day.

The acclaimed artist, based in Laguna Beach, is known worldwide for promoting environmental conservation through his colorful and large outdoor paintings depicting whales and ocean life. Wyland is considered one of the most influential artists of the 21st Century, with artwork in museums, corporate collections, and private homes in more than 100 countries.


In December, Malcom students were treated to a two-day visit by Wyland's Clean Water Mobile Learning Experience, an interactive marine science learning center on wheels.


Capistrano Unified School District | 33122 Valle Road | San Juan Capistrano | CA | 92675

Registration available for business workshops in Mission Viejo

Permalink 01/20/15 12:05, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings, Business

Small business workshop 2015Business workshops are held each month in Mission Viejo through a partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE, Employment Development Department (EDD), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), OC Small Business Development Center (OC SBDC) and the California Board of Equalization.  The upcoming free or low-cost business workshops include:

  • The Art & Science of Creating a Successful Business Plan (OC SBDC) on Thursday, January 29 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. ($35 online registration or $45 at the door).  The workshop takes place in the Sycamore Room at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center, 24932 Veterans Way.  Register at http://www.score114.org or call 714-550-7369.
  • How to File & Pay Your Taxes Electronically (SCORE/IRS) on Wednesday, February 4 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. (FREE).  The workshop takes place in the Saddleback Room at Mission Viejo City Hall, 200 Civic Center.  Register at www.score114.org or call 714-550-7369.
  • What You Need to Know About Federal Taxes and Your Business (SCORE/IRS) on Wednesday, March 4 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. (FREE).  The workshop takes place in the Saddleback Room at Mission Viejo City Hall, 200 Civic Center.  Register atwww.score114.org or call 714-550-7369.

For more information about upcoming workshops and to register, visit www.missionviejomeansbusiness.com.


Kelly Tokarski

The City of Mission Viejo

Public Information Specialist

Broadway's CATHY RIGBY stars in 3D Theatricals' SEUSSICAL The Musical February 7 - March 8, 2015

Permalink 01/16/15 16:04, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings, The Arts

Seussical The Musical Logo.png



Broadway Tony Award nominee and former Olympic Gold medal gymnast Cathy Rigby stars as “Cat in the Hat” in Seussical the Musical which officially opens the LA Ovation Award winning 3D Theatricals’ (3DT) 2015 musical theatre season.  This delightful, whimsical show has been set for ten performances at Fullerton’s historic Plummer Auditorium February 7 – 22; and six performances February 28 – March 8 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center.


Based on selections from the enormously popular works of Dr. Seuss, Seussical is directed and choreographed by multi-LA Ovation Award winner David Engel with musical direction by Allen EvermanT.J. Dawson serves as 3DT’s Executive Producer and Artistic Director, along with Gretchen Dawson and Daniel Dawson as Producers.  Jeanette Dawson is Co-Producer.


“The only thing more fun than reading a Dr. Seuss book is seeing a magical musical extravaganza live, onstage with the characters of Dr. Seuss!,” says T.J. Dawson.   The Cat in the Hat is the host and Horton the Elephant is the guide on a journey from the Jungle of Nool... to the Circus McGurkus... to the World of the Whos, as a little boy with a big imagination proves that a person is a person no matter how small.  “And even though many of the good Doctor’s characters are fantastical,” adds Dawson, “it can easily be said that they have great heart and are inspirational to all of us... young and old alike.”



CATHY RIGBY* (Cat in the Hat) - The world first met the diminutive Cathy Rigby as a 15-year-old who became the first American woman to ever win a medal in the World Gymnastics competition. Performing at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City and the 1972 Games in Munich, she went on to capture the hearts of millions and popularized the sport of gymnastics in the United States.

Rigby has earned 12 international medals, eight of them gold; and was named one of America's Most Influential Women in Sports by ABC-TV's Wide World of Sports.  After the 1972 Olympic Games, she retired from gymnastics and embarked on a new career in entertainment. Studying acting and singing for nearly 10 years, she made her musical debut in 1981 as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Described as a "genuine theatrical talent" by Variety, she has since performed in the national tour of Annie Get Your Gun and productions of Meet Me in St. Louis, South Pacific, Paint Your Wagon, They're Playing Our Song and The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Rigby's dramatic television movie credits include The Perfect Body, Hard to Read, The Great Wallendas and Triathlon. In addition to her theatre and television performances, she has headlined in Las Vegas and was awarded the George M. Cohan Award for Best Specialty Act. In 1990, Rigby appeared as Peter Pan on Broadway and later took the production on tour. She received excellent reviews for her performance and was nominated for a Tony Award. She played the role again in 1998–1999 She and starred in the A&E television production in 2000... later followed by a 2004–2005 tour that was billed as her farewell tour; and in 2008 and 2009 appeared in special engagements of the show in Pittsburgh, PA, and Branson, MO.  More recently, the indefatigable Ms. Rigby decided to show audiences that she "won't grow up" despite being 60 years old at the time, and began another tour of Peter Pan in 2011 which continued through 2013. In April, 2013, Ms. Rigby confirmed that she would be leaving the role for good after the tour concluded. "We don't say goodbye,” said Rigby, “because saying goodbye means forgetting and I'm not forgetting. I'm just going to find another adventure." *Denotes Member of Actors Equity Association

Ms. Rigby is joined by Kat Borrelli (Cindy Loo Who), Gary Brintz* (Wickersham Brother/Dance Captain), Brandon Burks (Ensemble/Wickersham Brother), James Campbell* (The Mayor of Whoville), Michael Cavinder (Ensemble/The Grinch), Daniel Dawson* (Ensemble/Wickerham Brother), Matthew Downs (Horton the Elephant), Richie Ferris (Ensemble/Jedge Yertle the Turtle), Justin Goei (Ensemble/Vlad Vladikoff), Brittany Rose Hammond* (Bird Girl), April Jo Henry (Ensemble ), Natalie Iscovich (Ensemble), Bren Thor Johnson (Ensemble), Kirk Schuyler Lawson (Ensemble), Donna Louden (Bird Girl), Adrianna Rose Lyons* (Bird Girl), Bear Manescalchi (Ensemble), Victoria Matlock* (Mayzie LaBird), Melanie Mockobey (Gertrude McFuzz), Julie Morgentaler (Ensemble/Grandma), Tracy Rowe Mutz* (Mrs. Mayor), Gregory North* (General Genghis Khan Schmitz), Jonathan Sangster (Ensemble), Amber J. Snead (Sour Kangaroo), Momoko Sugai (Ensemble/Marshal of the Court), and Grant Westcott (JoJo).

*Denotes Member of Actors Equity Association


Co-conceived by Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty and Eric Idle, the book of Seussical was also written by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Aherns, as was the score (Stephen Flaherty/music; Lynn Ahrens/lyrics.)

Scenery design is by J. Branson with Costumes designed by George Bacon (both provided by Music Theatre Wichita.)

3D Theatricals Creative Team MembersT.J. Dawson is Executive Producer and Artistic Director. Producers are Gretchen Dawson and Daniel DawsonJeanette Dawson is Co-Producer.  David Engel* directs with musical direction by Allen Everman.  Sound Design/Engineer is Julie Ferrin.  Lighting Design is by Jean-Yves Tessler.  Tehcnical Director is Jene Roach.  Musical Contractor is David Lamoureux.  Additional costumes:  Designed and coordinated by Kaszandra A. Liput.  Aerial illusions are by Paul Rubin.  Production Stage Manager is Donna R. Parsons*.  Assistant Stage Manager is Terry Hanrahan*.  Company Manager is David Jordan Nestor.  Wigs are by Cliff Senior and Kat Senior.  Box Office Manager is Jennifer NelsonMartin Willis-Raymondo is Director of Development and Communications.  Michael Sterling serves as Director of Public Relations.


3D Theatricals (3DT) is the newest professional, Los Angeles Ovation Award-winning theatre company in Orange County and the South Bay. 3DT is an enthusiastic young company and are proud members of the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce, LA Stage Alliance, and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre.

3DT is a non-profit public benefit corporation. 3DT has already been recognized by critics and patrons alike for providing a caliber of shows in comparison to National Tours and Broadway! 3DT hopes to provide inspiration for youth to explore the arts further, and see what heights it can take them to. 3DT has been establishing quite a reputation for bringing new and edgy titles direct from Broadway, and giving a fresh approach to the classics, offering something for the seasoned theatre enthusiast and the next generation of audiences.


SHOW SUMMARY: Based on the renowned works of Dr. Seuss, this Tony-nominated musical delivers a message about the power of imagination and belief in yourself through a charmingly, colorful story enchnaced by an uplifting socre and performed by such characters as the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Mayzie LaBird, and JoJo... a young Who from Whovillle, the tiniest planet in the sky. Warning: This musical is contagious and may tickle your fancy.


201 E. Chapman Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92832.

Remote Box Office: 714 589-2770, Ext. 1. Hours: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday; 12:00 – 4:00 pm Saturday.  Theater Box Office Hours: Two hours prior to performances at the theater.

Ticket Prices: Presale tickets are on sale now for $20.00-$65.00. Ticket Handling Fee: $3 per ticket.  Online Ticketing: www.3dtshows.com. Group and Student discounts are available.

Performance Dates and Times: February 7 - 22, 2015


Saturday, February 7 – 8:00 pm (Opening)

Sunday, February 8 – 2:00 pm

Friday, February 13 – 8:00 pm

Saturday, February 14 – 8:00 pm

Sunday, February 15 – 2:00 pm

Thursday, February 19 – 8:00 pm

Friday, February 20 – 8:00 pm

Saturday, February 21 – 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm

Sunday, February 22 – 2:00 pm



1935 E. Manhattan Blvd., Redondo Beach, CA 90278

Remote Box Office: 714 589-2770, Ext. 1. Hours: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday; 12:00 – 4:00 pm Saturday.  Theater Box Office Hours: Two hours prior to performances at the theater.

Ticket Prices: Presale tickets are on sale now for $20.00 - $70.00 at The Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. Ticket Handling Fee: $3 per ticket.  Online Ticketing: www.3dtshows.com. Group and Student discounts are available.

Performance Dates and Times: February 28 – March 8, 2015


Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center - Performances:


Saturday, February 28 – 8:00 pm

Sunday, March 1 – 2:00 pm

Friday, March 6 – 8:00 pm

Saturday, March 7 – 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm

Sunday, March 8 – 2:00 pm.

Coming to 3D Theatricals:  Side Show (April 25 – May 10); Tarzan The Musical based on the Disney Film (July 11 – August 9); The Addams Family (October 10 – November 8).


Michael Sterling


Entertainment Publicity and Production

Proposals sought for Aliso Viejo Conference Center management

Permalink 01/15/15 13:49, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Business

The city of Aliso Viejo is seeking proposals from qualified companies for the management, operations and maintenance of the Aliso Viejo Conference Center.  Proposals are due on Feb. 12

The city facility, which opened in 2009, is flanked by the Aliso Viejo Country Club and Aliso Viejo Aquatic Center at 33 Santa Barbara Drive, just off golf drive and Glenwood.

The city is seeking a partner that embodies high-quality standards, emphasizes excellent customer service and has the ability to maintain consistently high standards while managing and operating the Conference Center.  The city facility hosts weddings, business conferences and an array of special events.

The Request for Proposals is available on the city's website at http://www.cityofalisoviejo.com.

"Proposals for Conference Center Management Services" are due by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12 to city of Aliso Viejo Community Services Director Karen Crocker at 12 Journey, Suite 100, Aliso Viejo, 92656.


For more information, email kcrocker@cityofalisoviejo.com.


Kelly Tokarski
KT Community Relations


Blackbeard is an adorable 4-year-old Labrador mix who likes being a lap dog. He is extremely social and happily greets everyone he meets

Permalink 01/15/15 13:44, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: News

Blackbeard will be your special ‘matey’

Blackbeard will be your special ‘matey’

Blackbeard is an energetic, playful scallywag who loves to run around the yard and play with toys. He also enjoys long naps and snuggle time. He would do well in most homes and appears to like other dogs. Drop by the Mission Viejo Animal Services Center and meet this fun-loving dog today!  For a sneak peek, check out his video here.


Blackbeard will go home neutered, vaccinated and micro-chipped.


The Mission Viejo Animal Services Center is at 28095 Hillcrest. For more information, visit http://cmvas.org or call 949-470-3045


Kelly Tokarski

The City of Mission Viejo

Public Information Specialist

Make plans for an evening with Steinway artists Kevin Kern and Louis Landon Jan. 17

Permalink 01/15/15 13:38, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Happenings, The Arts

K Kern and L LandonIf you want to enjoy an evening of enchanting solo piano, storytelling and some whimsical jazz improvisation by two engaging and talented performers, then make plans to attend the January 17 piano concert featuring Kevin Kern and Louis Landon.

The 7 p.m. concert takes place in the Mission Viejo City Hall Saddleback Room at 200 Civic Center.

For more than a decade, Steinway artist Kevin Kern has been synonymous with beautiful melodic music. A native of Detroit, Kern began playing the piano at the tender age of 18 months.

Though legally blind since birth, his exceptional talent soon became clear. The influences of lifelong friend and mentor jazz great George Shearing and Detroit Symphony Pianist Mischa Kottler helped Kern to develop an early love of improvisation and an appreciation for the beautiful sound a piano could produce.

Louis Landon is a Steinway artist who has dedicated his life to music. His career has taken him around the world playing an array of styles with some of the most recognized names in the entertainment industry – Mikhail Baryshnikov; “Pucho and his Latin Soul Brothers”; John Hall; and others. For the past 24 years, through his production company Landon Music, he has written and produced music for film, video and commercials including three years of “best plays” and “bloopers” commercials for the National Basketball Association.

Tickets for this special concert are $10 and are available at the door or by calling 949-470-8440.


Kelly Tokarski

The City of Mission Viejo

Public Information Specialist

Businesses encouraged to sign up for Business Watch

Permalink 01/15/15 13:31, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Welcome, Life in South O.C., Business, Charitable

Combined-Seals_OCSD_CMV_208In an effort to keep the business community safe, Mission Viejo Police Services is encouraging businesses to register with its newly updated Business Watch program. Business Watch is a free program that provides businesses with information, strategies and education targeted at reducing or eliminating commercial crime in Mission Viejo.

Modeled after the Neighborhood Watch Program, Business Watch encourages businesses to work together with law enforcement to prevent crime in the business community. These types of cooperative efforts ensure a successful crime-fighting team and offer mutual aid assistance during disasters. The program also provides merchants with annual training opportunities hosted at City facilities. The trainings focus on crime prevention topics to strengthen merchant awareness and security.

Besides training, Business Watch offers an array of benefits including prompt after-hours emergency notifications, crime prevention bulletins and notifications of recent crime trends in the business community.

To register today, access the Business Watch application at www.cityofmissionviejo.org/policeservices or clickhere. Once received, information from the application will be added to the department’s confidential database. This information is essential for allowing Police Services to contact business owners if a crime occurs at their business or in the event of an emergency.

To finalize registration, someone from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department will visit the business and adhere a Business Watch sticker with a member ID number to the storefront window.

For more information, contact 949-470-8433 or crimeprevention@cityofmissionviejo.org.

Kelly Tokarski

The City of Mission Viejo

Public Information Specialist

Evolution Swim Academy opens indoor pool in Mission Viejo

Permalink 01/15/15 13:30, by Susan Espenschied, Categories: Sports, Charitable, Health

Evolution-Swim-AcademyThe Evolution Swim Academy is now open in Mission Viejo after expanding from locations in Ladera Ranch, Nellie Gail, the Renaissance ClubSport and San Juan Hills High School.  The Mission Viejo Chamber of Commerce will celebrate the grand opening of Evolution Swim Academy with a ribbon cutting at 4 p.m. on Friday, January 30.

Evolution Swim Academy was founded by Felipe Delgado, a former member of the Mission Viejo Nadadores who competed in the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics.  His facility offers water-safety instruction and swim lessons in a 30-foot by 50-foot indoor pool within a 7,464-square-foot space at 23854 Via Fabricante.

Swim lessons, swim and summer sports camps and a competitive swim team are available for youth up to age 16.  For more information, visit http://www.evolutionswim.com or call 949-388-4545.



Kelly Tokarski

The City of Mission Viejo

Public Information Specialist

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