Canyons residents complaining of neglect might have been pleasantly overwhelmed lately with road resurfacing projects on Silverado Canyon Road and Santiago Canyon (SR 18). Strategic lane closures and long waits seem worth it now, with freshly repaired highway and byway. And between massive paving vehicles were So Cal Edison tree-trimming subcontractors in trucks and cherry pickers, doing proactive and/or post-Santa Ana winds limb cutting and brush removal. Parts of the canyons lost power in an unrelated, if also inconvenient, 11-hour blackout on Oct. 15. Turns out, setting up shop in a local café is a great way to meet neighbors and sample high-quality roasts. A SCE spokesperson confirmed increased activity by the utility, with residents receiving a jolly door-hanger “Notice of Vegetation Activities,” good through November.
Area management happens
Inter Canyons League President (and all-around canyons land use activist) Janet Wilson weighs in on the county’s adoption of Local Agency Management Plans (LAMP) standards on septic and water quality: “While we’re grateful they want to grandfather in existing property owners, should any canyon creeks be declared polluted down the road, they’re also proposing to exempt all future development from the minimum 2.5-acre lot size and other strict requirements. Since those new developments could overload the creeks, and the remedy would be to put all properties on expensive sewage, including longtime existing property owners, I and others strongly disagree with that part. Also, the county is supposed to pass an ordinance to accompany the regional water board LAMP, which would contain proposed fees and other key details. Every other city and county did that concurrently with their LAMP proposal, so affected residents could see the whole package. Despite repeated requests, county officials have not yet provided the draft ordinance. They’re also behind on everything. The surrounding counties got LAMPs and ordinances written, passed and implemented by last May, when the new state law took effect. In any case, a well-intentioned local policy to protect current creek-edge dwellers shouldn’t be used as a way for new subdividing developers to come in. Folks who own single lots they want to build on would properly be exempted, but they want to exempt all future subdivisions, too.”
The local firehouse siren goes off and, in minutes, there’s the welcome sound of cars, motorcycles, bikes and even footsteps. Whether they take the call or not, it’s trusted local volunteer (reserve) firefighting neighbors at OCFA Station 16 (Modjeska) and Station 14 (Silverado) who gear up, readying themselves for emergency response. Admire them? Want to be one? Mo Canyon Captain Bruce Newell and Silverado Senior Officer Steve Kerrigan want you!
“Our volunteer stations provide our community with a first response to any emergency by trained people with local knowledge and additional medical and firefighting equipment. Providing this needed service requires residents step up and serve. Helping in this vital way is an uncommon opportunity. The work is interesting, with few pursuits more rewarding. Call Silverado Station 14 at (714) 649-2211, Modjeska at (714) 649-2500, or better yet,” suggests Newell, “go to the station on a Wednesday evening and meet them.”
Silverado Country Fair organizer Jane Bove and her reliably community-spirited crew of 35 volunteers again staged the annual fair, helping fund both the Children’s Center and Fire Watch. Approximately 2,000 made it to the Community Center, despite rain on Saturday that discouraged attendance, to admire work by 55 crafts vendors, dine on carnival-style cuisine, and enjoy live entertainment, including a local Girl Scout troop’s folklorico dance ensemble and Grateful Dead tribute outfit Cubensis, a canyons favorite. Speaking (inevitably) of fire, an ad hoc group raised funds for Holy Jim “Holy Fire” residents with its “adopt-a-cabin” campaign, won the “best booth” award, and thus garnered an additional $75 from fair organizers. Local Get Out the Vote organizer Sarah Sarkissian’s table registered voters, signed up precinct walkers, and encouraged early voting and vote-by-mail casting of ballots.
Saving Modjeska’s treasures
Big shout-out to canyon resident and OC Parks Grants Manager Sue McIntire, whose grant proposal to fund restoration of the historic Joseph Pleasants Stone Building at the Modjeska House (a National Historic Landmark) won a small, if impressive, Save America’s Treasures award from the National Parks Service. Built circa 1870, rancher Pleasants’ original structure was used as a wine cellar and for food storage, and to keep Madame’s hubby’s tobacco cool. Legendary native plant enthusiast Theodore Payne, gardener on the property, lived there. Funds will assure the future of one of the last remaining pioneer-era structures in OC.
Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Parks District and Big Mike invite all to the Saturday, Nov. 24, 1-4:30 p.m. Community Thanksgiving Potluck. Turkey with all the trimmings and ham provided, with volunteer chefs encouraged to contact Kevin Topp now. Free.
All the Trimmings