By Andrew Tonkovich 

That’s the Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Parks District slogan.  Serving on its board of directors was likely something less than fun for outgoing officers, but their contributions are impressive.  Director Debbie Johnson and Secretary Phil McWilliams retired, while incumbent VP Kevin Topp has elected, pun intended, to continue. He and two new candidates run unopposed for three open seats.  McWilliams maintains his heraldic title as Site Captain of the annual Sept. 15 Inner Coastal Cleanup Day.  Call him: (949) 954-2089.  In congressional race news, one over-polled voter reports a paid caller asking if she believed “Mimi Walters would be a strong defender of the sanity [sic] of life.”  In bipartisan cluelessness, the surveyor referenced Walters’ challenger as Kathie [sic] Porter. The final show in SMRPD’s Summer Concert Series features zeitgeist-affirming outfit Conspiracy Radio with a DEVO tribute band.  

Acronyms happens  
In Inter-Canyon League news, the county invited ICL officers to assess, consider and respond to a proposed Local Agency Management Program (LAMP) for Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS) in Unincorporated Orange County, which is a lot of initials for septic tanks and leach fields.  A June 20 draft report is being considered by committee member and Canyon Watch Director Marion Schuller.  Our region’s concerns include grandfathering in existing systems, while simultaneously protecting Santiago Creek and its watershed.

 Rumors & rodents
Special thanks to Joanne Hubble, whose authoritative Holy Fire email updates helpfully contradicted hyperbolic social media from well-meaning, if panicked, posters.  Hubble shared the county telephone hotline, encouraging her network subscribers to fact-check. Connie Nelson applauds ICL Canyon Watch Large Animal Team, which evacuated from Trabuco Elementary a 400-pound hog (“Hammy”), two miniature horses, one mini-donkey, four goats, five sheep and 20 chickens. Pam Ragland foster-cared the chickens. Livestock went to the recently established facility adjacent to Library of the Canyons.  

To record-setting heat and resulting dead plants, stricken trees (borer attack) and wildfire, add another biblical plague-like challenge: rats.  Reliable reports suggest an especially aggressive infestation with residents discovering, via expensive automotive repairs, the wire-eating and fluid-drinking damage to vehicles parked out of doors.  Moving the four-wheel food source seems effective, in addition to spraying repellent on tires and undercarriage, and placing traps, whether electronic zappers, baited glue or classic spring models.  Poisoned rat carcasses kill birds, squirrels, bobcats and mountain lions.   

John of Gaunt of Modjeska 
“Methinks I am a prophet new inspired/And thus expiring do foretell of him: His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last/For violent fires soon burn out themselves.” 

Post-Holy Fire, Shakespeare performed live in Madame Mo’s historic (and theatrical) grounds struck a special chord via the soliloquy from Richard II, as offered by one of OC Shakespeare’s veteran thespians.  Fierce blaze smoldering, the bespoke Modjeska Players assembled by Chapman Professor Emeritus Thomas Bradac offered short scenes and monologues in alternately hilarious and moving “best of” moments of their survey of the Bard.  The nine-person troupe played to 100 locals and visitors in shaded seating, courtesy of OC Parks Ranger Kelley Brugmann.  Bruce Newell of the Helena Modjeska Foundation celebrated organizer Dion Sorrell with a certificate of appreciation.  The foundation hosts its volunteer appreciation event on Sept. 29, with the Anaheim Heritage Center presenting on the friendship of Modjeska and hubby Count Bozenta with her physician, Dr. James Hovey Bullard. Interested volunteer docents, garden-clubbers and members should foretell at (949) 923-2230. 

Live Oak Canyon Road improvement?
Intrepid Canyon Beat scribe Scott Breedon and Saddleback Canyons Conservancy’s Rich Gomez report a disappointing “open house” hosted by OC Public Works on proposed changes in response to the dangerous road’s presumed above-average collision rate. Bowing to concerns from canyon preservationists, yet committed to using federal grant funds, the county plans modest safety upgrades (new barriers and resurfacing) with limited widening or other changes to the charmingly treacherous road, all --- laments Gomez --- with little input from residents.

Even More Fun for Everyone
Library of the Canyons celebrates library card sign-up month, Banned Books Week and “Talk like a Pirate Day,” all in September.

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CANYON BEAT

Something Fun for Everyone

September 2018