Archive for September, 2008

Surfrider Foundation Assistant Enviromental Director, Mark Rauscher, is confident that after the California Costal Commission Hearing last Monday in Del Mar, California, meets again in January, the decision will be no Toll Road at Trestles Surf Beach.

DETERMINATION:Surfrider Foundation Assistant Enviromental Director, Mark Rauscher, is confident that after the California Costal Commission Hearing last Monday in Del Mar, California, meets again in January, the decision will be no Toll Road at Trestles Surf Beach.




This last week I got an assignment that no one else wanted.  I had written something on the Toll Road issue a couple of weeks ago; I finished the blog entry with a silent quest to find out more about the Toll Road Extension issue. 


I had mentioned before that I was 60/40 opposed to the Toll Road extension and now I will reveal that the percentage was due in large part on my wife’s strong opposition to the Toll Road(Disclosure:we both have TCA transponders in our cars).


My wife has a sharp political eye and I always listen to what she says because she is so much in tune with what is ultimately right and wrong and whether it’s a popular opinion or not.  I don’t always agree with her on everything and as we have not had a tv in our house in 20 years, we “discuss” and “go-over” things….a lot.

From a editorial photographer’s point of view, writing an article, is signifigantly more work than just taking the photos.  Don’t get me wrong, my eyes “sweat” to get just the right shot but the mind “sweat” I had over this article got my attention.  It was actually not that difficult to write, just putting down the words in a certain order really.

The harder work was effectively wading through the information to make it all acurate and balanced.  Usually the lense and camera body record exactly what I see but interviews and digging for that kernel of interrestingness is another matter.  I really enjoyed it and my point of view is a little selfish.  I am finding out how I see the Toll Road issue at the same time I am reporting on it.  I enjoy most the “detente” of staying impartial and delivering sentences that portray the situation as it is.

I wrote my article and turned it in a little over the deadline.  I had made some calls to the elected types and was a little down that, by the deadline, I hadn’t heard from them.  It would have made the article that much more interesting and informative.


I am hoping the story has legs and I can do a follow up.  Already, there are a few sidebars that I can write and most likely will.  Meanwhile I’ll continue to investigate and see where the facts clash and who is left standing at the end.  The good news for me is that, now, the Toll Road issue is in a holding pattern until January 7th, awaiting a decision from the Secretary of Commerce to make a decision; it seems like this will be a house by house street fight in the old school tradition.


Everyone is going to loose a little blood in this I think.



The Lariat News Story:




My other article on Trestle’s Surf Beach:





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Saddleback celebrates 40 years.

Saddleback celebrates 40 years.

Saddleback College turned 40 years old this week and the campus looks as young as it ever has.  The College had a short but colorful celbration on Tuesday afternoon that included free burgers, hotdogs, chips, drinks and cookies. 
A 1960’s themed gameshow portrayed what it was like back in the day with trivia questions from the time and prizes for the right answers.
Everyone loves a free lunch and so there was no shortage of folks eager to take a bit back from the cost of their college expenses.  The sunn burned off the marine layer that kept the morning cool but brought a bueatiful sun out across the quad next to the where the old cafeteria used to be.
It seems if anything has kept Saddleback College young, spright and progressive, it’s the students and there is no shortage of kids taking advantage of a good education where you get your dollars worth.  The facilities were great when I was there back in the mid 80’s and even when my brother was there with Abe Lincoln, I imagine it was just as good.  You can’t hold back the future and so with technology as it is, it isn’t much to imagine what there is to offer; it might be shorter to list what there isn’t.
Long Live Saddleback College!

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A Saddleback Gaucho player warms up on the field before the game against the San Jacinto Eagles.

WARM UP: A Saddleback Gaucho player warms up on the field before the game against the San Jacinto Eagles.







The Saddleback Gauchos began their season last week with a loss but all that changed last night ain play against the San Jacinto Eagles(Hemet).  The Eagles never a lead on the board and Saddleback played agressively through out the game to win 41-15.  The Eagles had a little push in the last quarter but could not bring the score up, even against a score of Saddlebacks substitutions.

I shot it for the Lariat News, Sadlleback’s school newspaper (lariatnews.com) and you can see the game photos there.  I shot High School football all last year and there is quite a difference in speed and hitting.  Saddleback has a large squad and everyone from boosters, players and coaches had a good time and a good attitude.  Both teams played well and although the Eagles pushed hard, my impression was they do not have the size of player that Saddleback has, nor a wide range of talent. 

Read aboutthe game and see the photos:








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Looking north to Lost Winds from Riviera.

SUNDAY SESSION:Looking north to Lost Winds from Riviera.

Somehow like a swtitch it happens and Fall begins.  Its colder at night and the sun sets a little sooner each day.  There is that dampness that lingers,  climbs over everything and doesn’t let go until late in the morning.  The full suits go on and sweaters are packed in the top of the bag for a trip to the beach. 

I like the light in fall; its soft, sleepy and slow.  Its not really a haze in the air but that everything seems heavier.  Summer tans start to fade and if you are anywhere near the beach, the smell of the ocean is closer.  The sharpness of summer is gone and I’m always kinda glad.



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flags and concrete

flags and concrete

There doesn’t seem to be anything else to say that hasn’t already been said.



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Last year I shot more than a few football games for the Sun Post News and the OC Register.  I covered mostly Triton football, my alma mater, and a few Dolphin football games and maybe some others like Trabuco Hills, Tesoro, Mission Viejo or Capo Valley.


Back in the day, I was not interested in Football and found the more solitary sports as more interesting.  Maybe I didn’t get it then but I get it now.


At first, not having shot football, there is a learning curve; what shots does the newspaper want and what shots can I get.  The haze of wonder and effort  or getting the shot fades and the game is revealed between the frames I shoot.


I see a team, moving forward together with one purpose; the human pushing forward to attain the goal.  Weeks of practice show in the faces of the players and their quievery arms and legs.  The coaches effort and hope show in their craning necks and taught lips as they hold back what they have shouted for the last few weeks; tension overcomes them and without thought they growl out their favorite orders and admonishments.

“…Hold’em back, guys…Run the ball…Is that all you’ve got?…”

“…What was that?…What happened?…Good Job….way to go…Hey Now…”


Listen up.


Inticial contact with the opposite team brings the real strategy.  Its all in the air until now and now its game time.  Offence, Defense, Attack and hold the line, whatever the case, the coaches pull the sergeants, soldiers and captains to the side for a conference on the board.  Not unlike generals, older and wiser and too brittle to fight, they corral and codger their resources in order to out manouver the other team.  Someone will win and someone will loose; its theirs for the taking and in not so many minutes they feel the pang of loss as a game slips away or the firm smile of victory they desperately try to hold back.


The generals and his advisers.


The general and his advisers stand tall, firm and white over their numbered soldiers.  Like some wise indian watching his enemy pass below him through the valley, the general looks over his arrows and chooses the perfect one for the job.  He calls his name, intoning some sort of brutal affection and calls him up; not wasting time, he gives him a final instruction and a swat as he sends him onto the field.  He expects that he should not come back until he has done what he has been asked. 


It is here, we see, the apex of effort built form so many weeks of drill, repeat and drill again.  Is it enough, what our team has done to conquer the other?  We wait and see and watch together, running each ball, blocking each tackle and reaching out to catch that long thrown pass; we can feel it at our own fingertips, that spinnning, warm and leathery ball.  If it falls from our players hand, we stand in the bleachers a galaxy away and when it lays tight in his hands and he falls to the ground upright and running, we are in his heart;  his shout is in our throats as he crosses the goal line. 


A game won or lost.


A game, won or lost, we will enjoy.  I saw for the first time this last year, a game I could not imagine I would enjoy.  Maybe it was always being so far away in the stands all this time, that I could not see the real emotion that four quarters of football can bring.


A game, won or lost, I enjoyed them all.



Five Blocks.

Stay tuned next week as this Saturday I will be covering Saddleback College Football for the Lariat News, Saddleback College’s School Newspaper.





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Summer blend of sun, sea and sky.

Summer blend of sun, sea and sky.


Summer is not endless but, then it doesn’t exactly go away either.  In San Clemente it  just blends into the background and hibernates until next year.  Ocassionaly, we get little reminders that it is waiting for this world to tilt and spin in just the right way; a nice warm breeze, a fresh scent of sea and sand.  Its nothing strong or anything that lasts very long but its there whispering in our ear that the wait til next year won’t be so bad.


We live on the route to Concordia elementary and woke to the sound of moms, dads and kids on bikes.  I wondered how many little voices I heard outside were going to school for the very first time.  I looked outside from the living room window through the garden that surrounds our house.  There is a stop sign just outside and I could see the chlildren sitting in the front seat, their heads barely passing over the window, looking and wondering where the summer has gone. 

Backpacks for books and lunches replace pails, shovels and slurpees for the beach.  They have their jackets on as its a little cold in the morning now.  Teachers give permission to go the the restroom with a hall pass now where only last weekend it was just a glance at mom to plead for one more time in the water.


The freedom of weekends will ease away the longing for summer and remind us that its only waiting to return from the upside down world where it goes to have its own summertime away from us.  See you next summer.

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