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East Orange v Orange Park Acres v Villa Park v Anaheim Hills v Cowan Heights Crawford Canyon v Silverado/Modjeska Canyon Areas v North Tustin

A Monthly Community Newspaper Est. 1969

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 Proposed

commuter bike link draws ire

By Tina Richards Conceptual drawings depict-

ing the future of Peters Canyon Park presented at the county’s trail committee meeting, May 18, were met with shock and dis- belief by members of the public because both preliminary plans included a paved commuter bike bath dissecting the wilderness en- vironment. Trail committee members and

Elks Veterans Chair Brian Fitzpatrick and his wife, Exalted Ruler Stephanie Fitzpatrick, present a wreath on behalf of Orange Elks Lodge 1475 at the Memorial Day Tri-City Ceremony at Fairhaven Cemetery.

OUSD board approves ill-prepared charter school

By Tina Richards The Orange Unified School

Board majority voted to condi- tionally approve an application for a charter school despite seri- ous deficiencies in the petition, operational details and financial projections. Unity Middle College High

School currently operates one campus in Oakland, California, but is looking to expand to Or- ange County.

Its educational

concept combines high school curriculum with college courses. Targeting “at risk” students, mid- dle college schools can be found nationwide, working in conjunc- tion with local colleges to provide graduating students with course units that can be transferred to a four-year university. A similar high school is currently operating in the Santa Ana School District on the campus of Santa Ana Col- lege. While everyone on the OUSD

board applauded the concept of Unity Middle College High School, not all agreed that being a “good idea” was enough to war-

rant approval. District staff had analyzed the charter school’s ap- plication, ran it through a legal review, came up with a long list of deficiencies and recommended the board deny it because ap- proval “would not be consistent with sound educational practice.” Staff cited a number of Education Code and Charter Schools Act standards that Unity’s petition failed to meet. Any one of them was reason enough to deny the application.

Rose colored campus For one, Unity was offering a

middle college program but failed to indicate that it had any affili- ation or memorandum of under- standing with any local college or university. It made references to Santiago Canyon College, but did not provide any documenta- tion that a relationship existed. The charter petition stated that students will have access to high school/college blend courses, but did not name them or offer specifics. A key element of the middle college concept is that the high school be colocated with or

nearby a college campus. Unity offered two suggested site loca- tions, both of them six miles from Santiago Canyon College. The Charter School Act speci-

fies that petitions must demon- strate a substantial parent/student/ teacher interest in the proposed school. Petitions must be signed by parents who have a “meaning- ful interest” in sending their chil- dren there and by teachers who have a “meaningful interest” is teaching there. Unity provided no signatures from local parents. When the Unity application was submitted during a public hearing in April, not a single resident or parent of a student within the dis- trict spoke in favor of it. Most of the teachers who

signed the petition are currently employed at the Oakland campus. Staff noted that it is unlikely that those teachers have a “meaning- ful interest” in resigning their positions and moving to Orange County.

See "OUSD" continued on page 6

Students from Villa Park Elementary School heaved and pulled, drag- ging Serrano students across the midline, to win the traditional tug-o-war against their cross-town school rivals. The travel- ing trophy will remain in the VPE principal’s office for one more year. The game is only one of the fun favorites at the annual family picnic, held each year at Irvine Lake, and sponsored by the Villa Park Community Services Foundation.

public speakers expressed strong concerns that adding an additional user group (road bikers) to an al- ready congested park was ill-con- ceived. Hikers and equestrians noted that the paved path would parallel a well-used dirt trail, and that adding higher speed traffic to the mix of horses and hoofers would not be safe. Others noted that Peters' existing park rangers were already overextended, and monitoring the impacts and be- haviors of street bikers on top of all other users would be perilous. OC Parks’ assurances that the paved trail would be posted with 10 m.p.h. speed limit signs was met with hearty guffaws. The proposed paved bikeway

apparently drew the same reac- tion when it was unveiled at a pre- vious public meeting last month. OC Parks is currently preparing a long-term management and op- erations plan for Peters Canyon, and has asked the public to par- ticipate. During earlier planning sessions, park users had noted that the park was overused and that the natural landscape was being degraded. While some ses- sion participants recommended additional parking, restrooms, shade and picnic tables, others sought just the opposite, suggest- ing that more amenities would attract even more users to the al- ready teeming park.

Paving the way No one mentioned a paved

commuter bikeway. And OC Parks staff did not indicate that one was on the drawing board. The bikeway, OC Parks’ Scott Thomas told trail committee meeting attendees, came from the county’s master plan of com- muter bike paths developed back in 1981. That plan was approved by the board of supervisors, and has since been incrementally completed as budgets permit. The Peters Canyon leg would connect East Orange to Irvine. “In developing an operations

plan for Peters Park” he said, “we have to look at related documents. And the county’s master plan for bike trails has been around a long time.” “This is a ridiculous idea,” said

See "Commuter bike" continued on page 4

NEWS INSIDE Road to ruin

Perceived Serrano Av- enue problems take VP council down a per- ilous path of impracti- cal solutions. See Hot topics, page 2

Talk of the town

Neighbors weary of sophomoric students rein in the welcome wagon for university’s growth plans. See Chapman U, page 3

In troubled waters

Suppliers of the dwindling resource announce mandated cutbacks in usage. See Tapped out, page 8,9

On the bright side

Philanthropic groups hand out scholarships to deserving seniors. See stories, page 10, 20, 21

You get what you give

Community-focused volunteers are saluted at OPA’s annual din- ner/dance. See Denim & Diamonds, page 12

INSIDE Canyon Beat

Letters To The Editor Prof. Directory Classifieds

Services Directory Real Estate Obituaries Sports

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Page 15 Page 17 Page 17

Page 17-19 Page 20 Page 20

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