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Odds & Ends


Looking For a New Look

We thought it was time to do a little updating and housekeeping on the site. Although we have always liked the simplicity of the current design, there are features that we don’t use because we want to keep the blog easy to read and comment on.

That doesn’t mean we aren’t always looking to improve. Lately, you may have seen a few minor changes to the look and feel of our site. We have been experimenting with a “Featured Article” item that appears at the top of the page under the masthead. This feature keeps a hot topic, like the recent articles on Fred Smoller, at the top of the page.

We’ve also updated the sidebar to remove dead links to blogroll and links around town participants. If you have clicked on a link and found it not working properly, just drop us a line at and we’ll get it fixed. Likewise, if you think we should include a link, just let us know what it is and we’ll check it out.

All the News Around Town

A few of you have asked how to get a local event advertised on the blog. It’s simple, just ask. If it is political in nature or is a non-profit event or one that is of interest to the community, we will be happy to publish it.

As we try out new features on the blog, we would appreciate your feedback. Just drop us a line.

Where’s the Video?missing tapes-parker

It seems over the past year, the city has not been keeping the video diary of the city council meetings posted in a timely manner. Video posts of the meeting are not mandated by law but, we think it is a great idea that allows residents to view official meetings at their leisure. We usually can’t make the meetings ourselves and rely on the video to let us know what happened.

But, it seems, like Elizabeth’s Old Town Tustin resolutions, the video has taken a back seat to more pressing issues. And, while we are hesitant to point a finger, it seems to happen mostly on matters of questionable action by the city council or planning commission members.

A New Tune for SONGS

SanOnofreUnlike the Tustin City Council, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has set the first public meeting on the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). The meeting will be held in Carlsbad on September 26 at 6 pm. The meeting will be held at the Omni LaCosta Hotel, 210 Costa Del Mar, Carlsbad. According to the KPPC Website, doors will open at 5 pm to accommodate security screening. Yes, that probably means metal detectors and leave your knapsacks at home.

According to the NRC website timetable, the shutdown is well on its way. Supposedly, the fuel has been removed from Unit 2 (nothing mentioned about Unit 3). I would suspect the fuel is still on-site as there has been no movement on permanent storage facilities since the Yucca Mountain Debacle. Spokesmen for Edison, the operators of the plant, have said it will take years to decommission the plant and remove the nuclear waste. A new library of documents concerning the plant has been opened on-line and is available to the public.

This power plant its demise is of concern to every Southern California community, including Tustin. We are a scant 25 miles from the plant and, as it shuts down, it is important to understand the dangers involved in the disposition of the waste. I am sure at least some of our city fathers will be at the meeting.

Community Events

Fall brings us many community events you will not want to miss. For our neighbors to the North, the Foothills Community Association is holding their 3rd Annual Picnic and Barbeque at the Irvine Regional Park. Parking is free this year and the cost has been lowered. The fun starts at 11 am on September 22nd. We may stop by just to say hi to OC Supervisor, Todd Spitzer, who can never miss a chance to make an appearance before the voters. Oh yeah, and because he lives in that area.

2013 seapowerpicTonight, our good friend Ivan Bishop of American Legion Post 227, will discuss Ruling the High Seas at the Tustin Library. the discussion begins at 6 pm. Ivan has conducted extensive research on sea power and its role in world conflicts. The evening is sure to be entertaining and informative. For those not inclined to attend the city council meeting, this should prove an interesting and entertaining alternative.

The Tustin Art Walk is coming October 19th in Old Town Tustin. Besides the great art from local artists, there will be plenty of activities for the family including live music, wine and beer tasting, and bus tours of Old Town Tustin.

Of course, before the Art Walk, the city will be celebrating its historic agricultural roots. The Tustin Tiller Days and Parade are just around the corner. Although the fair opens on Friday, October 4th, things don’t really start hopping until Saturday morning when hundreds of parade entrants line up on the back streets of Old Town Tustin to participate in one of the largest and best known parades in Orange County. In years past, the parade has seen such celebrities as Mickey Mouse and bands from as far away as Hawaii.

The parade starts at 10 am Saturday morning and travels along Main Street from Pacific to Prospect and then up to Columbus Tustin Park where the fair activities will kick off. The fair happens on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with discount writstbands for carnival rides available at the City of Tustin Recreation Department.

We’ll be away for much of October as we travel to Santa Barbara and take our annual trip around Area 51. Rest assured, we’ll stay in the loop locally and pass on the good stuff to our readers.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The first signs of fall are upon us here in our sleepy little hamlet. Not satisfied with the changing color of our trees, we take it a step further. The signs are there. Yes, the first sign that tells of things to come is the big orange public works sign located on Eastbound Irvine Boulevard announcing detours and traffic delays along the main streets of Tustin. Next come the obligatory, if temporary, signs along my street marking it as a “No Parking” zone for the entire following Saturday. If the wind is right, you may even get a whiff of something fried in the air.

Of course, I am talking about the 54th Annual Tustin Tiller Days, held each year about this time. This is the epitome of country fairs, complete with a parade down Main Street, community booths, food and great carnival rides. My family and I have gone each year since moving here. It is the highlight of the year and by far the best event anywhere in Orange County.

Although Tiller Days officially begins on Friday night, everyone on Main Street knows the fair is not really in session until the parade starts Saturday morning.  And that is where my family has the edge. Not only does the parade go right by our house but, bright and early Saturday morning, we will hear the horn toots, drum beats and sounds of bands getting ready for their moment in the spotlight as buses full of musicians park in front of our house, spilling out fife and drummer. The excitement builds and we will have already been up for awhile, as we get ready to enjoy a great morning eating breakfast and enjoying the passing parade. And, we are famous. One year, the Girl Scouts marched up the street, stopped in front of our house and yelled “Hi, Porch People!” Could this be the origins of the flash mob cult?

No matter what you plan to do this weekend, make it a point to join the expected crowd of 70,000 fellow fair goers at Columbus Tustin Park. Better yet, get a good seat along Main Street at 10 am on Saturday and enjoy the parade with us. Elysse James from the Orange County Register has all the particulars in a great article that can be found here.