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Friday, October 26, 2007
posted by jason | 1:28 AM | permalink


Non-race related, but I was reading through some emails tonight from my family email list. A lot of my siblings, immediate family and extended family live in the Southern California area. The fires seem to be affecting everybody. My sister is a dispatcher for the Orange County Fire Authority and is working 16 hour days, straight. Her husband of 4 months is a firefighter assigned to some of the fires near Lake Arrowhead. Some family members have been volunteering 12 hour days at the Sheriffs office .

I was talking to my mom this morning about the fires near Santiago Canyon. Santiago Canyon is due west about 20 miles or so from Laguna Beach. I grew up in Mission Viejo, and for a kid in the suburbs, Santiago Canyon was kind of like the one bit of country living in the middle of all the urban sprawl.

My dad had a whole collection of books on Santiago's history by a guy named Jim Creeper. He was a local historian and had some of the most amazing stories about South Orange County. You would think the OC was always the home of elite beautiful people, but it once used to be the home of indians, prospectors and wild grizzlies. Those were the stories I remember my dad telling me when when I was a kid. It was amazing to hear about the wars and battles fought between the Mexicans and the US troops on what later became my elementary school grounds.

Today Orange County is no longer the hiding place for outlaws and indians it once was. As a matter of fact it's barely recognizable. When I was born in 1976 Mission Viejo was much of nothing. As people moved in and stores were built the early Mexican was a part of life. The subdivisions had Hispanic names such as "the Madrids" and the "Castillas." My city (improper spanish- should be Mission Vieja) employed an old lady spanish lady who was in charge of naming all the streets. All the cities had Spanish themed names like El Toro, Laguna Beach, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, San Clemente, etc.

Around 1995 the city of El Toro decided that the name "El Toro" was a little too "bullish" and wanted something more exclusive, so they changed the name to Lake Forest. Soon the tides changed. You no longer have new cities named in honor of the original spaniards who settled the land. Now it's things like "Tuttle Ranch" and "Foothill Ranch." The new shopping centers are no longer built with the spanish themes they used to be, but rather stone and earth colors, something more likely to be found in Breckenridge. And frankly, I don't think I have met anyone in years who knows that Orange County got it's name because the guy who picked "Orange" won the poker game over the guys who picked Alvacado and Apple.

So, it's kind of sad to see something like Santiago go up in flames. It's still a piece of unchanged Orange County for the most part and from what I hear, the colony of inbreeders still live there.

Let's remember the people of California in our prayers. Especially those who lost their homes or family members. And the firefighters.
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3 Comments:


Giuliani Feels The Heat In California

Rudy Giuliani’s support has dropped sharply in the California Field Poll released Thursday. The former New York City mayor claimed 25 percent of the GOP voters, a whopping 10 percent drop from the same poll in August. In a virtual tie for second, Mitt Romney got 13 percent while Fred Thompson and John McCain both got 12 percent. Fourteen percent of the vote was spread among Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter.

We have seen it in Michigan, South Carolina and Florida, and now in California. As more voters compare the Republican field, at first there is an increase in those undecided. Then we see a slow and steady increase in support for Mitt Romney. Since August the percentage of California’s undecided Republican voters has risen from 15 percent to 22 percent.

It seems that the more conservative arm of the GOP is the engine behind this trend.
Among California’s moderate conservatives, Giuliani holds a 16-percentage point lead over Thompson. But among staunch conservatives, Giuliani’s lead over Romney is only 4 percentage points! Yes, things are getting hot in California, and not just from the wild fires.



Hi Jason,

Greetings to you and your family from a fellow Mission Viejo resident (since 1972), and thanks for reminiscing about the good old days. The name Mission Viejo comes from "El Rancho Mission Viejo." Since 'Viejo' modifies 'El Rancho,' it actually is correct. This week Orange County is literally orange from the fires. We'll miss those majestic old oak trees that have been lost.

Take care, Jason, and thanks for the great job you're doing for Mitt, who is my daughter-in-law's (Brian's wife's) uncle.



Living right in the middle of three of the fires, just east of the Orange County fire, just north of the San Diego fire, and just south of the San Bernardino fire (for you geographers out there, you all now know where I live), it has been a bit of a crazy week as witnesses, opposing attorneys, and police officers who we need in cases are taken away from daily activities to try and take care of their families after evacuation orders and other disruptions.

I was extremely happy to see that things really have gone orderly. My line of work can leave you feeling at times that the entirety of civil society is only a breath away from absolute chaos. What we find here instead is that by and large, people have reached out to help one another and have shown great capacity to continue to be respectful to one another under difficult circustances.

Unfortunately, there is one or more arsonists likely still free at the moment. Hopefully, they will be identified, brought to trial, and appropriately punished as soon as possible.




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