FULLERTON — Residents here should soon be allowed to establish hives of bees to raise in their back yards.
In a 4-1 vote, with Councilman Greg Sebourn opposed, the Fullerton City Council moved Tuesday, Feb. 20, to allow residential beekeeping, following nearly two years of discussion – that’s six generations in bee time, if you’d prefer.
The council will have to vote a second time for the ordinance to go into effect.
Prospective beekeepers would need to acquire a permit and notify their direct neighbors, but beyond that, the planned limitations are fairly light.
Councilman Bruce Whitaker said piling on too many limitations could be costly for the city, while a gentler touch could allow the city to reap the environmental benefit from the bees, keep costs down and perhaps even replace the city’s more aggressive bees with ones bred to be more passive.
Some community speakers at Tuesday night’s meeting expressed concerns over their children being stung and wondered how the city’s beekeeping rules would be enforced.
Officials said a resident wouldn’t be allowed to keep hives if a neighbor on an adjoining property showed the city proof someone in the household had a medically certified allergy to bee stings.
Liz Savage, who has been raising bees un-permitted in her Fullerton back yard for three years, said the city’s approach is good news for bees, their handlers and the local environment.
“If you go driving around anywhere and you see all these beautiful blooming flowers, orange trees, avocados or fruit trees, there are bees in the area,” Savage said.
With their hive as an anchor, bees travel up to five miles out to gather nectar and pollen before returning home – pollinating plants and crops along the way, she said.
Savage said she hopes other cities will take note of Fullerton’s limited regulations and how smoothly things can work without overly strict requirements.
“It’s all about the education – what you know about the life of a bee, what they do and their behavior,” Savage said. “That’s the problem with most cities – they don’t. You don’t need two acres to raise a bee. You don’t even need a yard.”
A list of best beekeeping practices developed by the city and Cal Poly Pomona will be distributed to beekeepers when they receive their permits.
If the council gives final approval, beekeeping permits should all be ready in time for “bee season” in the spring, city officials said.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/21/residential-beekeeping-in-fullerton-gets-support-from-city-council/
Through the new Youth Food Literacy Program, Orange high school students are getting to sink their teeth into a world of food production, of which many of them were completely unaware.
Thirteen juniors and seniors from El Modena and Orange high schools are participating in the program – a collaboration between Orange Home Grown, the city of Orange and the Orange Unified School District, with funding from the Picerne Family Foundation.
“What we’re trying to do is give them an experience of the awareness, the sustainability, the business, the pleasure, the value of food and all these different aspects,” said Glory Johnson, one of the OHG board members managing the program. “The value of what we’re teaching them will be a healthier way of eating and appreciating the food we have.”
Since the start of the school year, students have learned about seeds at the Orange Public Library, picked vegetables at the Orange Home Grown education farm, met with farmers at Orange Home Grown’s Saturday morning farmer’s market, visited with bakers and business owners at OC Baking Company and Haven Gastropub and donned their own chef hats to make pasta at the CulinaryLab Cooking School.
The lesson follow the food chain, Johnson said, to give students a first-hand understanding of where their food is coming from – not just the view from the dinner table.
“We wanted them to be enlightened with all these aspects of the food chain. I think sometimes in our society, we only see one part of it – that might just be the grocery store and the kitchen, then it goes into our dinner and that’s it,” Johnson said. “But we don’t realize what’s behind that, what brings that food to the table. That’s really what we’re looking at – making a full circle.”
Johnson said these lessons make students well-rounded as people, and they can also spark ideas for careers they may not have considered. Scholarships are on the table to help graduating students pursue newfound goals, Johnson said. And plans are already being made for the program to continue next year.
Amberly Rodela, a senior at El Modena and self-described “foodie,” said the program has given her a newfound appreciation for the people, professions and passion at work behind every dish.
Rodela said she loves to cook, but never knew about all the local work being done with food. Now that she’s seen how rich the world of food can be, she said she’s certain she wants to be a part of it.
During a chat with Executive Chef Greg Daniels of Haven Gastropub, Rodela said she had found new resolve to chase her dream of opening a restaurant.
“I always kind of wanted to open a business like a restaurant,” Rodela said. “He talked to us about opening a business and how hard it can be. It was a little bit scary, because I’m sure it’s very hard, but I think maybe in the future I could eventually open up a business having to do with food and source things locally just like they do.”
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/19/orange-students-are-learning-the-farm-to-table-chain-behind-their-meals/
A housing development at the historic Killefer Elementary School site has again been pushed back, as the $5.1 million sale of the property languishes in escrow and the city’s Design Review Committee seeks further revisions to the proposal – but the developer expects that to change by next month.
This week, the Orange Unified School District extended escrow with Western State Housing for four months. But, architect Leason Pomeroy of Western State Housing said he is confident he can get support from the city’s Design Review Committee in that time.
Two months ago, the city’s Design Review Committee took a third look at the project.
The developer has made several changes to its proposal in search of approval from the committee’s members – the latest revision reduced the number of beds from 340 to 127 in a building next to the school and scrapped a plan for subterranean parking. The development is still being targeted at students of Chapman University, Pomeroy said.
In their latest review of the proposal, committee members praised the scaled-down structure, but still had reservations. Namely, privacy concerns for nearby residents.
Committee members also said the design appears too commercial and not residential enough, and the proposed housing needs to better compliment the 1931 school building on the property.
The committee encouraged Western State Housing to find a use for the school building in its plans, to save it from further deterioration.
Killefer, the first school in the state to voluntarily desegregate, was declared by the school district as surplus property in 2008. The first developer stepped away from the project in 2014, just before a National Register of Historic Places designation in 2015 forbid destroying the original school building and made development of the land significantly more complicated.
The Design Review Committee will meet on March 7 and 21 – it is likely that Killefer will be on one of those agendas, Pomeroy said. Should the project receive an approval, it would go next to the Planning Commission.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/16/ousd-extends-escrow-on-killefer-school-sale-while-developer-continues-to-revise-housing-plan/
The City Council wants to keep the lush look of Old Towne Orange and limit how many of its older trees are taken down.
Council members denied on Tuesday, Feb. 12, another request to remove a 60-year-old Canary Island Pine and stressed they feel Old Towne’s trees contribute to the historic character of the city and should be protected.
William Warne, who owns the law office on Chapman Avenue at South Center Street, said he has safety concerns with the older pine tree and wants to re-landscape his property. His request to remove the tree has been denied several times since October as he’s moved up the chain of City Hall; the council denied his request 4-1 this week.
The rules on tree preservation in the city are too restrictive for residents and business owners in Old Towne, Warne argued, saying he might go to court over the denial.
“I’m kind of a conservative guy, I’ll be upfront with that – but it’s kind of like the elites telling us what we have to think, what we have to feel and the way our yard should look,” he said. “I give most people enough credit that they can figure that stuff out for themselves. They don’t need someone to think for them.”
City officials said Community Services Department staff found the tree to be fully matured, healthy and firmly rooted. Both the department and the council said the tree is an item of public interest and removing it would detract from the beauty of the area.
Council members said the tree fell short of the criteria for issuing a removal permit – specifically, the tree is healthy and does not appear to be causing any harm to its surroundings.
After giving their last word on Warne’s tree, the council immediately updated the city’s rules to clarify the council’s interpretation and intent toward preserving Old Towne’s trees.
The Canary Island Pines of Old Towne, largely planted in the 1960s, have been the subject of controversy several times in Orange. In June, a property owner near Warne’s office was denied her request to remove three of the trees after public outcry. Some residents also remember “The Tree Wars” of 1998, when the community was split over a plan to replace all the plaza’s pines with palm trees.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/15/orange-city-council-puts-down-roots-on-protection-of-old-towne-trees/
The covering tarp came down, a flock of cell phones came up, and the latest addition to the Muckenthaler Cultural Center was revealed last week – a brilliant stained-glass window portraying the baptism of Jesus.
Originally built for St. Boniface Catholic Church in Anaheim, the window was funded in the 1920s by Lawrence Muckenthaler, brother to Walter Muckenthaler, who founded the Muckenthaler House that would later become the cultural center.
The church was built in 1902, but without a stained glass window or baptismal fount. Lawrence Muckenthaler donated the funds for both, which oversaw thousands of baptisms until the original church building was razed in 1963. But first, the window was removed.
After the old building was cleared to make way for the modern parish, the window was kept by a private collector. Lawrence Muckenthaler’s son, Ronald, later purchased it.
Ronald Muckenthaler kept the window safe for a generation, but never saw his wish of returning the window to his aunt and uncle’s home fulfilled. St. Boniface holds a special significance for the Muckenthaler family: Walter Muckenthaler first met and later married his wife, Adella, at the church.
Time and years of neglect had taken a toll on the window, and the Muck stepped in to attempt a restoration.
Now, the window will be preserved at the center. The unveiling doubled as a celebration of the window’s rebirth and long awaited return home, with guests from the extended Muckenthaler family crowding around the restored glass to pose for photos.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/14/restored-1920s-stained-glass-window-unveiled-at-the-muckenthaler-cultural-center-in-fullerton/
Officer Mick Osborn of the Orange Police Department is training a new partner to join the force.
The rookie is a real people-person, he said, and is always open to trying new things – but he’s got a habit of chewing up anything left in the back yard.
OPD’s newest recruit is Wyatt, a 16-month-old German shepherd who started training with Osborn three weeks ago. Purchased with financial support from the Community Foundation of Orange, Wyatt will become a full-fledged member of the OPD’s K-9 unit once he finishes his six-week training program.
Every day, Osborn and Wyatt drive from their home in the Tustin area to a training school in Jurupa Valley in Riverside. The drive can take up to an hour each way, but you won’t hear Osborn complain.
A big “dog person,” he said this job is a dream come true.
“Since I became a police officer, I always wanted to be a K-9 handler,” Osborn said. “I love police work, I love working in the field and I love dogs – it was kind of a perfect fit.”
Osborn spent two years as an “agitator” – the person clad in a bite-proof suit who helps with training – before taking the test to become a handler himself. He lives with his wife, two children and three rescue dogs, plus Wyatt, the newest member of their family.
So far, Osborn and Wyatt’s training has covered basic obedience and some scenario work for criminal apprehension. In the coming weeks, Wyatt will also learn how to track suspects, search buildings and detect narcotics.
Orange’s K-9 unit is exclusively staffed by German shepherds – the breed is particularly suited to apprehending suspects and finding evidence, Osborn said.
A typical scenario where Orange’s canine cops come in to play is at the end of a pursuit, Osborn said. These chases can often end in a standoff with the suspect. If it’s too dangerous for officers to approach, the dogs can quickly move in and – with a carefully aimed bite – disarm the suspect.
When he’s off the clock, Osborn said Wyatt acts just like a typical puppy. Whenever he sees one of his favorite toys brought out, his ears perk up and his tail starts wagging all over the place.
And, if you leave anything even remotely chewable around, Wyatt will have it riddled with tooth marks in no time flat. In his short time living with Osborn, Wyatt has already chewed up the bin where his dog food is kept, the top of his dog house and a plank of wood left on the ground.
The graduation ceremony for Wyatt and Osborn’s class is in March. If all goes well, the pair will immediately hit the field together.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/12/young-german-shepherd-training-to-be-orange-pds-newest-k-9-member/
Conditions ripe for wildfires over the weekend in Southern California will give way to cooler temperatures and chances of showers next week, the National Weather Service said on Friday.
This weekend brings a red-flag warning for parts of Riverside and Los Angeles counties, mainly in the mountains, meaning conditions, such as dry weather and winds, could breed wildfires.
But by Monday, the stage will be set for showers.
Highs on Sunday across the region, including the cities of Los Angeles, Riverside and Santa Ana, will be in the mid- to upper-70s. On Monday, highs in these areas will drop to the low- to mid-60s.
Brett Albright, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the exact timing and amounts of next week’s rains are difficult to predict right now, because the area will be receiving a “closed low” – a low pressure area separated from the main westerly current.
The potential showers have little direction, much like a stick tossed into a calm body of water, Albright said.
If everything falls into place, Albright said, the region could receive about an inch of rain. It won’t be enough to cause major flooding worries, he said, and it would mostly be beneficial, given how little water the region has received lately.
Showers could start as early as Monday, with chances increasing each day and peaking on Thursday. Albright said expectations for these showers could greatly change by next week; possibilities range from sporadic showers to bursts of heavier rain.
For the swaths recently ravaged by fires, Albright said, a light rain would help the land recover – but too much rain, of course, could create muddy debris and potentially lead to blocked roads.
“What you really want to see after a fire is periods of light rain,” Albright said. “You can get larger amounts, but it has to be over extended periods. As long as the rain rate – how fast it comes down – is low, then it’s actually beneficial.
“You get more water into the soil, and you can help get new vegetation after a year or two years.”
The weekend’s red-flag warning has been issued to the mountains and below the passes in Los Angeles County, and to the Santa Ana, San Bernardino and Riverside mountains in the Inland Empire.
The mixture of the Santa Ana winds with the availability of dried-out fuel for potential fires means the region should be wary, but there aren’t any other signs that this will be a problem, Albright said.
“The one upside is that if, unfortunately, there are fires, we’ll hopefully have some rain in the next few days to help any firefighting efforts,” Albright said. “It doesn’t look like a major fire event, this is a lower-end (threat). But the fuels are super dry, so it wouldn’t take much.”
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/09/a-weekend-of-warmth-for-southern-california-followed-by-the-chance-of-rain/
Sign-ups have started for spring classes in Orange – with subjects including yoga, sports, dance, games and more. Prices for the classes vary; registration and information is available online at cityoforange.org.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/09/sign-ups-open-for-spring-classes-in-orange/
Villa Park High School and Republic Services will hold a free compost giveaway from 8 to 10:30 a.m. on March 3 at the school. Compost is limited to 60 gallons per household; proof of residency is required. Information: villapark.org or 714-998-1500.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/09/villa-park-high-school-to-host-free-compost-giveaway/
The intersection of State College Boulevard and Kimberly Avenue will be closed to traffic today, Feb. 10, and Saturday while the railroad tracks are being replaced. Detour signs will be posted. Information: cityoffullerton.com or 714-738-6300.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/09/intersection-of-state-college-boulevard-and-kimberly-avenue-will-be-closed-feb-10-and-11/
A wave of the arms, a pull of the hook, a spin of the blades and Lucky the horse mannequin took to the sky, soaring over Santiago Canyon at 40 knots, secured in a specialized harness hooked to a helicopter.
Lucky took several similar trips over the canyon Thursday during an Orange County Fire Authority large animal rescue training session, an annual effort to equip its rescue crews with the know-how they need to evacuate horses in trouble. About 40 trained is this session; an earlier session was held Tuesday and a third is planned Saturday.
“People don’t really realize, there’s a lot of horse property in Orange County,” Capt.Jack Perisho said.
Fire Authority officials realized they needed to have crews trained to extract the large animals when in 2005 a horse found at the bottom of a ravine could not be saved.
Training started within two years, and now the OCFA typically rescues seven or eight horses annually.
Saving an injured horse isn’t as easy as slapping on a harness and pulling the animal out of danger – there is a lot of communication that needs to happen on the ground, in the air and in-between, Perisho said.
“This is a huge choreograph, this is a big dance we’re doing,” Perisho said.
Ken Buchanan, an OCFA engineer, said crews also need to learn to read and approach horses.
If the ears prick up, it likely means the animal is about to spook. If it raises a leg, it’s getting ready to run – and noting which leg it raises will clue you in on the direction in which it’s about to bolt.
Crew members are taught that horses are left-side dominant, so they should approach from that side, if possible – and to keep in mind the placement of their eyes limits their field of vision.
Once the horse is equipped with the harness, which fixes to a wench lowered by the helicopter, there’s still more coordination required in lifting the 1,300 pound to 1,500 pound animals. And, the physical pressure of being in a harness means horses can only be in the air for about 10 minutes before the stress becomes dangerous.
A lot goes in to each rescue, but Buchanan – who owns horses himself – said the look he sees from owners who’ve just had their horses saved makes it all worth it.
“It’s a whole different ball game when you have horses,” Buchanan said. “I’ve got to be honest with you, they’re family.”
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/08/rescue-crews-train-how-to-evacuate-horses-in-tricky-situations/
The Law Enforcement Advisory Committee will discuss ideas for crime prevention and receive updates from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department during its meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 12, at Villa Park City Hall. Information: villapark.org or 714-998-1500.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/07/villa-park-law-enforcement-advisory-committee-meets-monday-feb-12/
The Fullerton Elks Lodge will celebrate the organization’s 150th anniversary on Feb. 15 at the lodge. Dinner starts at 6 p.m. and requires a $15 reservation. The meeting, which is open to the community, starts at 8 p.m. Information: fullertonelks.org or 714-870-1993
Jonathan Winslow, 714-796-7978
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/07/fullerton-elks-lodge-to-celebrate-its-150th-anniversary/
A public parking structure, three mixed-use, residential or office building developments and several other improvements are now officially on the table for the “Fox Block,” the properties surrounding the historic Fox Theatre in Fullerton.
After a year of uncertainty and several plans put forth, Fullerton leaders decided late last year to pursue the plan with developer Pelican Communities that uses three city-owned parking lots for development: the surface parking lot east of Angelo’s and Vinci’s Ristorante that fronts Ellis Place and two other nearby parking lots.
The city will sell two of the city-owned parking lots for development. Proposal for the lots include either a multi-story office building or a two-story mixed-use retail and office building adjacent to Chapman Avenue, in addition to a two-story, courtyard-style residential development along Pomona Avenue and a two- to three-story mixed-use development in another nearby parking lot.
The city would retain ownership of the third lot along Ellis Place where an estimated $10 million parking structure would be built. While the minimum for the structure will be 200 spaces, the city is trying to get closer to 300 to address the area’s parking needs. It would replace a surface lot that has 115 spaces – the two other lots to be sold have 32 and 61 spaces.
About $6.2 million available from former redevelopment funds will help pay for much of the parking structure, but Fullerton Planning Manager Matt Foulkes said city officials are unsure where the rest of the money will come from.
“It’s not hard math to find that we’re short $2, $3 or $4 million depending on the total construction costs,” Foulkes said. “That’s really what we’re working on right now, is trying to brainstorm and look for ways to make up that funding gap. We don’t have any solid answers right now.”
Foulkes said the sale of the two city parking lots could make up some of the gap, but it would not be the full amount. The properties have not been appraised.
With the plan receiving the council’s blessing 3-2 – councilmen Greg Sebourn and Bruce Whitaker opposed – city staffers are now in the early stages of preparing contracts for the project with Pelican Communities. This step will be completed in the spring or the early summer; the full project is expected to three to five years to complete.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/06/fullerton-chooses-a-plan-for-developing-blocks-around-the-historic-fox-theatre/
Excavation for the upcoming Metrolink parking structure at the Orange Transportation Center was recently completed. The 5-level, three-story, 611-space structure is expected to open later this year. Information: cityoforange.org or 714-744-2225.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/05/metrolink-parking-structure-finishes-excavation/
Villa Park City School Advisory Committee to discuss concerns, updates and improvements at the city’s schools
The Villa Park City School Advisory Committee will discuss concerns, updates and improvements at several local schools during its meeting starting at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, at City Hall. Information: villapark.org or 714-998-1500.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/05/villa-park-city-school-advisory-committee-to-discuss-concerns-updates-and-improvements-at-the-citys-schools/
The City Council will discuss enhancements to security and safety systems at the Fullerton Public Library during its meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, at City Hall. Information: cityoffullerton.com or 714-738-6300.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/05/fullerton-city-council-to-discuss-security-and-safety-updates-at-library/
The City Council recently agreed to bump a private security contract for patrolling the city’s parks up by $30,000, to a total of $100,000 annually.
Additionally, the city was already paying Lyons Security Services $35,000 a year to patrol the city’s libraries after hours.
The contract with Lyons Security Services is a supplement to the city’s own police efforts, city officials said, offering after-hours patrols seven nights a week at the city’s parks and libraries, which have seen an increase in vandalism and illegal activity when they are closed.
In September, a report to the City Council on homelessness in the city called the private security patrols a success in stopping trespassing. Patrols could be increased in response to the county’s recent actions to move out people living along the Santa Ana River, staff said.
The schedules are staggered and the locations rotated, but patrols include visits to Hart, Pitcher, Grijalva, Eisenhower and El Camino Parks.
The city has also added security cameras in the last year to a number of Orange’s parks, with more on the way. Cameras will debut at Yorba and Shaffer parks when they reopen after renovations are finished later this year.
A number of other Orange County cities have also used cameras to boost security in their parks, including Costa Mesa, Santa Ana and, most recently, Anaheim.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/05/orange-adding-to-its-security-patrols-in-parks/
Orange County’s parks have started healing from Canyon Fire 2, but the road to recovery is still a long one
Months after the Canyon Fire 2 raged through 9,000 acres in Orange, Anaheim Hills and Tustin, residents are once again able to enjoy large sections of nature parks that were burned, though it will be some time before the blackened land can fully be restored.
Residents joined a hike through the Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve in Irvine Regional Park on Saturday to have a look at the extent of the damage. Much of the damage caused by the fire took place on OC Parks’ land – about 7,000 of the 9,000 acres, officials said.
The Canyon Fire 2 scorched about half of Irvine Regional Park’s 475 acres, about 30 percent of Santiago Oaks Regional Park’s 1,269 acres, half of Peters Canyon Regional Park’s 340 acres and about a quarter of the 20,000 acres making up the Irvine Ranch Open Space.
Marisa O’Neil, spokeswoman for OC Parks, said it was a priority to get as much of the parks secured and opened to the public after the fire – some areas, such as the interior of Irvine Regional Park, were opened within a week.
“We’ve worked really hard to get areas open; we know these parks are near and dear to people’s hearts,” O’Neil said. “Not being able to go to them, and seeing them so damaged, is a hard thing. We have to balance the public access with helping the land recover and with safety hazards.”
In addition to Irvine Regional Park, parts of Peters Canyon and a large portion of Santiago Oaks are once again open to the public.
For the rest, the community can pitch in, but a lot of the restoration will have to be left to nature, O’Neil said.
“We’d like to get some rain. That’s going to be key to opening some additional areas,” O’Neil said. “It takes time and patience, and letting the land recover.”
More extensively damaged areas still have an element of risk, and remain closed to the public – including the east side of the lake in Peters Canyon and the creek area near the nature center at Santiago Oaks. The exterior trails north of the creek at Irvine Regional Park are also closed, but OC Parks crews hope to have them open in the coming weeks, O’Neil said.
Todd Spitzer, Orange County Supervisor for the 3rd District, where the fire largely took place, said the parks are important to the district’s residents, and that a recovery is going to be a joint effort between the county and nature running its course.
“I think everybody was shocked and devastated originally, but I think everyone sees that after the clean-up, both the county’s efforts as well as nature’s efforts will lead to a recovery,” Spitzer said. “The flora has obviously been significantly impacted, but I think people know it’s going to come back in time. I think we’re all optimistic about that.”
Get updates on what is open for hiking and recreation at ocparks.com/parks/canyon_fire_2.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/05/orange-countys-parks-have-started-healing-from-canyon-fire-2-but-the-road-to-recovery-is-still-a-long-one/
Cal State Fullerton has received 75,560 applications from undergraduates seeking admission for fall of 2018, a record for the school. More than 51,000 are from prospective freshman, another all-time high for the school, and a 12 percent increase over last year. Information: fullerton.edu or 657-278-2011.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/02/csuf-breaks-application-record-with-75560-seeking-admission-in-fall-2018/