Orange County Register Fri, 17 Mar 2023 15:31:18 +0000 en-US hourly 30 Orange County Register 32 32 126836891 Partnership trains future teachers to use arts to enhance classroom subjects Fri, 17 Mar 2023 15:30:44 +0000 A longtime partnership between the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and Cal State Fullerton’s College of Education has been providing future teachers with the strategies to incorporate art into all their subjects in the classroom.

“The Arts: Avenues to Learning” program is a one-day workshop connecting preservice, multiple-subject and special education teachers – those students working toward receiving teaching credentials – with professional teaching artists from Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

Through the guidance of Segerstrom’s teaching artists, the future teachers engage in interactive, hands-on art sessions in which they get to embrace their creativity through puppetry, dance and theater arts.

  • Gina Quintana leads a class on movement and dance at...

    Gina Quintana leads a class on movement and dance at the Fullerton Marriott on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cynthia McGarity leads a class on integrating arts into the...

    Cynthia McGarity leads a class on integrating arts into the classroom at the Fullerton Marriott on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • A class led by Cynthia McGarity and Christine Abraham on...

    A class led by Cynthia McGarity and Christine Abraham on integrating arts into the classroom at the Fullerton Marriott on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Jill Ruhland attends a class on movement and dance led...

    Jill Ruhland attends a class on movement and dance led by Gina Quintana at the Fullerton Marriott on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Ellen Schulze leads a class on engineering and problem-solving at...

    Ellen Schulze leads a class on engineering and problem-solving at the Fullerton Marriott on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • A class on engineering and problem-solving led by Ellen Schulze...

    A class on engineering and problem-solving led by Ellen Schulze at the Fullerton Marriott on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • A class on movement and dance led by Gina Quintana...

    A class on movement and dance led by Gina Quintana at the Fullerton Marriott on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cynthia McGarity leads a class on integrating arts into the...

    Cynthia McGarity leads a class on integrating arts into the classroom at the Fullerton Marriott on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Ellen Schulze leads a class on engineering and problem-solving at...

    Ellen Schulze leads a class on engineering and problem-solving at the Fullerton Marriott on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)



About 60 preservice teachers, most on the path to becoming teachers for grades K-8 students, participated in a workshop held March 7 at the Fullerton Marriott.

Preservice teachers working toward a special education credential also participated for the first time.

Teaching artists from Segerstrom demonstrated to the future teachers the ways art transcends all subjects as groups of students rotated from workshop to workshop throughout the day, practicing in each of the four genres.

The goal is not merely for the preservice teachers to practice art, but to learn strategies for implementing art instruction into every subject, said Kristine Quinn, lecturer from CSUF Department of Elementary and Bilingual Education, within the College of Education.

“One of our largest objectives is to not only teach best practices but to really help to build those positive dispositions towards the arts,” Quinn said. “To help them to build agency, meaning we want our teacher candidates to get out there and fight for the arts.”

The program started 12 years ago when Talena Mara, vice president of education at Segerstrom, was looking for ways to strengthen Segerstrom’s Art Teachers program by having teaching artists work with college students, who were in the process of earning teaching credentials.

“All of our teaching artists are professional artists,” said Alexis Johnson, manager of education partnerships at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Johnson oversees the Art Teach program. “They really need to have a passion for the arts, expertise in working with youth and flexibility to work with classroom teachers. This is process-based. This is exploring arts forms.”

When Mara reached out to Quinn, the professor discovered they both shared the same passion for the implementation of art in all subjects.

There is sometimes a disconnect between what preservice teachers are taught and what they actually implement in the classroom, Quinn said, mostly because mentor teachers are often too busy to incorporate the arts into their teaching.

“We’ve got to help bridge this disconnect,” Quinn said. “We have this great opportunity to partner with the Arts Teach program, which is comprised of teaching artists who are professional artists who also go into the schools and are also teachers.”

The arts methods class is worth one credit and is offered in the second of the three-semester credential program.

By the end of the workshop, students should walk away with plenty of strategies and inclusive practices for integrating art into all subjects, said Rohanna Ylagan-Nicanor, lecturer in the Department of Elementary and Bilingual Education.

“We are hoping that they continue having that positive disposition for integrating arts into their classroom,” Ylagan-Nicanor said. “Not to walk away with an experience of just today, but really use what they learn today and implement into their classrooms. We are also hoping that they learn inclusive practices, how to support all students of all backgrounds.”

Student Kristina Macias participated in the Arts: Avenues to Learning workshop in a previous semester and called the experience empowering.

“It’s going to influence your teaching but it’s also possibly going to influence your humanistic way of being and outlook on life,” Macias said. “This is very important for us to consider because if we feel so powerful and connected, imagine how important and how powerful this is going to be if you include it into your classroom.”

Former workshop participant Erica Paik also discovered the importance of art as a teaching tool and in her personal life.

“It was such a fun and amazing experience because we really got to immerse in dance, music, movement, theater and even puppet art,” Paik said. “So, this hands-on experience that we were able to do at Segerstrom was definitely something that I’m going to hold with me when I become a teacher.”

9326975 2023-03-17T08:30:44+00:00 2023-03-17T08:31:04+00:00
UCLA’s Cori Close, Sacramento State’s Mark Campbell share a mutual respect Fri, 17 Mar 2023 15:30:25 +0000 UCLA women’s basketball coach Cori Close and Sacramento State coach Mark Campbell have a bond that’s been built through years of basketball and familial ties. So when Campbell called in the middle of a game plan meeting on Wednesday, Close knew exactly what to say:

“Sorry, we’re trying to figure out how to beat Sac State.”

Saturday’s 8:30 p.m. NCAA tournament first-round game will be the sixth meeting between the two programs, but the history between the head coaches runs deep.

Close recruited Campbell’s wife, Ashley, when she played at Oregon City High School and had a working relationship with his father-in-law, Brad Smith, when he coached at the same school.

Campbell became familiar with Close when he started dating Ashley, and they crossed paths even more frequently during his seven seasons coaching at Oregon. Campbell’s daughters even grew up with an affection for the Bruins’ mascots, Joe and Josephine.

“Ever since I’ve been in the women’s game, Cori has been a mentor and a great friend and just an awesome person,” Campbell said.

There’s mutual respect between the coaches, but game time might not be so rosy. No. 13 seed Sacramento State (25-7) is looking to make the most of its first appearance in the NCAA tournament and fourth-seeded UCLA (25-9) is eager to be dancing again.

UCLA senior guard Cam Brown said this feels like the first true NCAA tournament for many players on the team. The Bruins played in the WNIT last season and COVID-19 drastically affected the 2021 NCAA tournament.

The Bruins also have a healthy starting lineup and bench this season, which is perhaps the biggest difference from last season.

“Being able to look on the bench and actually know you have subs coming is an amazing feeling,” Brown said. “We’ve been able to play this whole season rotating a good majority of our entire team. So we’re used to all playing with each other. We’re used to different lineups.”

Redshirt sophomore Emily Bessoir missed last season due to a torn ACL and has come back to be a valuable starter and key cog. She is the third-leading scorer at 9.4 ppg and averages a team-best 5.8 rebounds per game.

“I’m just so grateful to be out there,” she said. “I didn’t know I would feel this way two years ago about basketball. But now that I’m able to play, I’m just glad for every opportunity that we get.”

Senior Charisma Osborne leads the team in scoring (15.5 ppg) and has played the most minutes of any Pac-12 player with 1,089. Freshman Kiki Rice is second on the team in both scoring (11.7 ppg) and assists (106).

Sacramento State is on a nine-game winning streak heading into Saturday’s game and is led by Kahlaijah Dean and Isnelle Natabou.

Dean is the Big Sky Conference Player of the Year and averaged 21.1 points in the conference tournament. Natabou is averaging 15.8 ppg on 64.2% shooting. As a team, the Hornets are the fourth-best 3-point shooting team in the nation at 38.64%.

“We’re here to win,” Campbell said. “That’s been the goal. We’re 32 games into the season. It’s a business trip and we’re preparing and going to do everything we can to try to find a way to scrap out a win.”

The winner of Saturday night’s game will face the winner of the game between fifth-seeded Oklahoma or No. 12 seed Portland on Monday at Pauley Pavilion. Although there’s love and respect between Close and Campbell off the court, each desperately wants to get to that second-round game.

“Make no mistake about it, it doesn’t make me want to beat him any less,” Close said. “I don’t care if I’m playing ping pong. I’m gonna want to win. That’s my job.”

UCLA (25-9) vs. Sacramento State (25-7)

NCAA tournament, first round

When: Saturday, 8:30 p.m.

Where: Pauley Pavilion


9326989 2023-03-17T08:30:25+00:00 2023-03-17T08:31:18+00:00
HOA Homefront: Can one person destroy our meetings? Fri, 17 Mar 2023 15:21:58 +0000 Q: Is there a way to limit comments and attendance at monthly board meetings? We have a member who is constantly making harassing comments at board meetings. — B.P., Encinitas

Q: We have an abusive owner with anger management issues who has been demanding in-person meetings for over two years. We did one meeting in person and the owner was screaming, out of his chair lunging at the manager, which was enough for us. We are not willing to put our board members or management in harm’s way, especially after what happened in Canada and Atlanta. We did obtain a temporary restraining order on the owner, but it was not extended due to a judge change.

Besides hiring an armed, off-duty law enforcement officer to be present at our meetings, we are out of ideas. Is there any type of legislation or suggestions that are available to avoid doing in-person meetings because of this particular owner? — D.C., San Diego

A: An immature, rude or even unhealthy homeowner should never be permitted to destroy the orderly meetings of your community. Having security in attendance at meetings reflects a failure of the community to rein in bad behavior and should not be necessary.

Here are some techniques that may help your HOA bring this under control.

Strictly observe open forum

The law allows members to attend and observe meetings, but nothing says that they may participate in the meeting. The Open Meeting Act at Civil Code Section 4925(a) allows members to attend the open portion of the board meeting, and subpart (b) requires the board to allow a member to speak to the board, subject to a “reasonable time limit,” which is often called “open forum.”

During open forum, the directors should not respond or answer those comments -that time is the audience’s time to speak for a limited time. Outside of open forums, members should be barred from interjecting or otherwise disrupting board deliberations. Those interruptions also harm the ability of the audience to hear what the board is saying.

If someone disrupts the meeting, the chair should ask the disruptor to stop. If that doesn’t work, ask for a censure motion from the board, asking the disruptor to stop obstructing the meeting. If that still doesn’t work, a motion to expel the member may be necessary.

Adopt meeting rules

Association meeting rules can help explain how board meetings are run and set reasonable standards of behavior and consequences for violating those standards, which should be applied to everyone attending – including the directors. Include in the rules a fine for disrupting meetings, so that the board can call that owner to a hearing and potentially impose a fine. Such rules can also explain closed sessions and provide disciplinary hearing guidelines.

In extreme cases, clients have obtained restraining orders barring a homeowner from attending board meetings to protect the attendees’ safety. This is a last resort, and hopefully, HOAs will not need to pursue this measure to restore order to your board meetings.

Don’t allow bullies or self-absorbed owners to hijack HOA board meetings. Elevating the standard of behavior requires collaboration by directors and attendees. More productive meetings will be the outcome, benefitting all owners.

Attorney Kelly G. Richardson is a Fellow of the College of Community Association Lawyers and Partner of Richardson Ober LLP, a California law firm known for community association expertise. Submit column questions to

9326971 2023-03-17T08:21:58+00:00 2023-03-17T08:23:19+00:00
Inspired by Iranian demonstrations, Irvine resident launches Senate campaign Fri, 17 Mar 2023 15:05:12 +0000 Irvine native Alex Mohajer aims to be the first openly gay legislator elected from Orange County — and potentially the only Iranian in the California Legislature.

Mohajer, president of the LA-based political advocacy organization Stonewall Democrats, is running for a Senate seat that includes Costa Mesa, Irvine, Laguna Niguel and Villa Park. If elected, Mohajer, the son of a single mom from Iran, said he wants to advocate for working-class families and address mental health resources if elected.

“I understand the struggle and sacrifice of families like mine and the value of a good public education which is why I’m going to fight for the economic dignity of working-class families, small business owners and teachers right here at home,” Mohajer said. “We also need to address mental health in the state and make sure we expand access to resources.”

It is the ongoing demonstrations in Iran led by women — as well as the lack of Iranians in the California Legislature — that inspired him to run, he said.

“To the Iranian diaspora, there’s not as much attention on this as we’d like,” Mohajer said. “My mom taught me at a young age to be civically minded, and she taught me the value of engagement and how important it is, particularly for immigrant families, to vote, to show up.”

His activism for “Iranian people’s fight for basic human rights” extends to the rights of women, LGBTQ people and marginalized communities at home, Mohajer said.

“These issues are intersectional and relevant to each other,” he said. “And so that’s a lot of what I want to be centering as I get into my campaign.”

Climate, too, is important to Mohajer, who said the U.S. “cannot rely on a gridlocked federal government to move us on climate change.”

“I’ve taken a pledge to accept no fossil fuel money in my campaign to be free to advocate for bold, swift climate change action,” Mohajer said. “And I want to bring clean energy economy right here to Orange County.”

The 37th Senate district — now represented by Sen. Dave Min, D-Irvine, who earlier this year launched a bid for California’s 47th congressional district — encompasses a wide swath of Orange County, including Huntington Beach and Laguna Niguel on the coast and taking in several inland cities, including Costa Mesa, Irvine and Orange.

Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, who was drawn into SD-37 during the redistricting process, is also vying for the seat.

Mohajer, who recently turned 38, is considerably younger than the average of California legislators. And he believes his age and unique background as a gay Iranian American born and bred in Orange County gives him a competitive edge in a country that has “lived through so much.”

“We lived through (Donald) Trump, George Floyd, Black Lives Matter, COVID-19 and an insurrection. The world is a different place with different needs,” he said. “Hate crimes and gun violence are on the rise. And so we can’t be approaching these issues with the same old tactics. I think it’s time for a new generation of diverse, intersectional perspectives to come into elected office.”

He said he plans to bring a broad coalition of people to support him and advocate for conversations across the aisle, which he said has been lost over the past decade.

“I’m a Democrat, but I grew up with Republicans in this district who are like family to me. I break bread with them, and I love them. And I know that we may see eye-to-eye on everything, but I love and respect them all the same,” he said. “And I’m going to advocate for the policies and the issues that I think are the best way forward.”

9326966 2023-03-17T08:05:12+00:00 2023-03-17T08:06:01+00:00
Life imitates art as Disneyland turns prop candy into real lollipops, chocolates and sour chews Fri, 17 Mar 2023 15:00:45 +0000 Disneyland is turning the fictional sweets and treats that make reference to Disney cartoon shorts, TV shows and movies in the Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway queue into real lollipops, chocolate and sour candies that visitors can buy and eat.

Life imitates art when Disneyland begins selling Golly Pops, Scrooge McDuck’s chocolate coins and Power Limes sour candy chews on Sunday, March 19 at the new EngineEar Souvenirs gift shop during the grand reopening of Mickey’s Toontown at the Anaheim theme park.

Sign up for our Park Life newsletter and find out what’s new and interesting every week at Southern California’s theme parks. Subscribe here.

SEE ALSO: 5 things I can’t wait to eat in Disneyland’s new Toontown — and 4 I’ll definitely skip

Disneyland’s merchandising team turned the Runaway Railway prop candy into real treats sold in Toontown with plans to expand the line of El Capitoon concessions.

Walt Disney Imagineering created the prop candy for a concession stand that Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway riders pass by while queuing through El Capitoon Theatre — a cartoon world homage to Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre.

The line inside the El CapiTOON Theater features a special exhibit created by the Toontown Hysterical Society called “Mickey Through the Ears,” which celebrates all things Mickey with costumes and props from classics like “Steamboat Willie” to modern favorites like “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.” (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

The backstory behind the Runaway Railway attraction queue at Disneyland finds Minnie Mouse teaming up with the Toontown Hysterical Society to create the “Mickey Through the Ears” exhibit.

The theater lobby exhibit features props from the Toon world — including a magical dresser mirror from the “Lonesome Ghosts,” the ship’s helm from “Steamboat Willie” and a theater concession stand selling hot dogs, popcorn and candy.

The pun-filled display offers “free candy on the sixth Tuesday of every month.” Even the “propcorn” kernels are shaped like Mickey Mouse with ears and a nose.

The queue of the new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, on Wednesday, January 25, 2023. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Disneyland merchandising director Lori Nakashima said the real candy created for EngineEar Souvenirs was directly inspired by the prop candy created by Imagineering for the Runaway Railway queue.

“Everybody stops in their tracks when they see the Power Limes,” Nakashima said during a media preview of the refreshed Toontown. “That’s going to be a super fun item.”

The queue of the new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway has a cash register with the price $19.28 – the year Mickey Mouse was born – in Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, on Wednesday, January 25, 2023. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Imagineering has filled the fine print on the El Capitoon candy wrappers with inside jokes and personal tributes to colleagues with logos for mock candymakers like Bowling Allie Candy Co., Wowza Bouza Candy, Ben & Hudson’s Candy Kitchen, E+A Schwartz Schweetz, Luna Belle Treats and Flower Street Treats.

SEE ALSO: I wore Disneyland’s new mix-and-match Toontown costumes with 1,000 combinations

The Disneyland merchandising team already has plans to expand the line of El Capitoon concessions later this year with a Chip ‘n’ Dale acorn container with mini graham crackers.

“We really wanted to rush to get what we could to just start,” Nakashima said. “There’s a lot of opportunity for us to continue to add to that.”

The El Capitoon concession stand in the Runaway Railway queue is filled with plenty of possibilities — including fictional treats like Mallard Cups, Chocolate Cows, Gummiberry Gummi Bears, Laugh-O-Grahams, Polka Dots and WitchHazel Nut Candy.

9326961 2023-03-17T08:00:45+00:00 2023-03-17T08:07:10+00:00
$90 million aquatics facility in Irvine will be USA Water Polo’s new home Fri, 17 Mar 2023 14:30:58 +0000 Water polo takes up much of Irvine resident Jae Park’s time.

Park is a father of two boys, ages 7 and 13, who both play water polo. They practice five days a week and play in tournaments two weekends a month.

Park said his family is “ecstatic” that Irvine’s council opted to include a state-of-the-art aquatics facility in the first phase of the Great Park‘s development.

Related: Irvine’s Great Park priority projects include concert venue, botanical gardens and aquatic facility

The aquatics center, in partnership with USA Water Polo, was initially not included in the phase one development plan. However, during a recent council meeting, community members overwhelmingly spoke in favor of prioritizing the $90 million, three-pool facility ahead of the 2028 Summer Olympics that will take place in Los Angeles.

Since water polo is a “winning sport for the United States in the Olympics,” Councilmember Mike Carroll said it was a “no-brainer” to include the facility in this next phase of Great Park development.

Groundbreaking for projects in this first phase could start within the next 30 to 45 days, Great Park Executive Director Pete Carmichael said. Groundwork and utilities installation is expected to begin in the spring of 2024.

All the projects included in the first phase, such as the aquatics facility, should be up and running by 2029, according to city documents.

Under the partnership agreement, USA Water Polo will pay $12 million toward the construction of the venue and get exclusive use of 10,000 square feet of it for its offices, classrooms and locker rooms and scheduling priorities for events. Its use of the facility would be capped at about 25% to 30% of its total operating hours.

Members of Orange County’s water polo community welcomed the move.

“Irvine is fast becoming the center of the water polo universe in the United States,” Park said. “I have no doubt that the Great Park aquatics facility will be a source of pride and inspiration for our community.”

Most of the main water polo tournaments, which take place one to two times a month, happen in Orange County, particularly in Irvine, Park said. Given the number of clubs competing across different age groups, there are a lot of games, he said.

“We are really short on pool space,” Park said.

Tournaments like the USA Water Polo Junior Olympics, he said, attract tens of thousands of families. And the new aquatics center, Park said, will be a boon for the local economy, especially since water polo is a year-round sport and players need to practice continuously to stay in shape. 

“We’ve been forced to go all the way into Riverside County because of a lack of pool space,” Park said. “A lot of the pool space that’s available is old and out of date.”

In the last two years, the 10 and under team of the Patriot Aquatics club, which his sons play for, won national championships, a “point of pride for a lot of local water polo enthusiasts who live here in Irvine,” Park said.

  • Finnegan Park, 7, during the Patriot Aquatics water polo practice...

    Finnegan Park, 7, during the Patriot Aquatics water polo practice at Beckman High School in Irvine on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Dylan Park, 13, swims laps during the Patriot Aquatics water...

    Dylan Park, 13, swims laps during the Patriot Aquatics water polo practice at Beckman High School in Irvine on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Linda and Jae Park watch their Dylan, 13, during the...

    Linda and Jae Park watch their Dylan, 13, during the Patriot Aquatics water polo practice at Beckman High School in Irvine on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Linda and Jae Park watch their sons Finnegan, 7, and...

    Linda and Jae Park watch their sons Finnegan, 7, and Dylan, 13, during the Patriot Aquatics water polo practice at Beckman High School in Irvine on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)



Orange County has the “greatest concentration of water polo players,” said Christopher Ramsey, an Irvine resident and CEO of USA Water Polo, and it has the “greatest concentration of water polo competitions” in the U.S.

Yet, USA Water Polo does not have a dedicated aquatics facility to train at despite competing at the highest levels. The women’s national team shares training space at Long Beach City College while the men’s team maintains fitness and training by playing in professional leagues in Europe, Ramsey said.

He attributes some of the water polo success to the longstanding water polo tradition at UC Irvine.

“A lot of UCI alums have come through the system and contributed to us winning medals,” Ramsey said, specifically pointing to Olympians Ryan Bailey, Tim Hutten and Jeff Powers.

The sport, Ramsey said, is one of the fastest-growing competitions in the country with membership doubling in the last 10 years.

“We are thrilled that the council voted to address the need for a world-class pool complex in Irvine and that our Olympic athletes will have a place to train for the LA28 Games,” Ramsey said.

Local Olympians weigh in

Olympic-medal-winning water polo player, Julie Ertel, is excited at the prospect of “top-level play” coming to her backyard. The aquatics center, she said, is long overdue.

When Ertel moved to Irvine in 2000, she said she was excited at the “mecca of opportunity” in the Great Park. Her children have ridden the balloon and played in the rock structures, but as they get older, Ertel worries “there really is nothing my kids will get to experience at the Great Park.”

“A city of our size should really have multiple pools that are available to all residents,” Ertel said.

When Ertel was training for the Olympics, she said, the team was based in Los Alamitos where it had a dedicated facility for part of the year. It shared the pools with the city swim team, and the city would run water safety programs there.

The facility is now dilapidated, Ramsay said.

“Our team would not have won a medal in 2000, I am certain of it, if we did not have a home base pool because you really need that,” Ertel said. “We are traveling all over the world to compete, and you want a home base. You want to have that security of knowing that your practice time is going to be at a similar time.”

The new aquatics center can also help kids become water safe, said Courtney Mathewson, a resident of Anaheim Hills and Olympian.

Mathewson, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in water polo who now works as a swim teacher, has noticed a growing interest in the sport.

“I am 36, and I started playing when I was 8 years old. This sport has grown tremendously since that time,” Mathewson said. “They developed splash ball and water polo lite as programs that will help feed into the water polo pipeline.”

“There are just way more water polo players than there’s pool space in the city,” Ertel said.

As the next steps, city staffers will return with a reimagined plan at the next Great Park Board meeting on April 11 to identify what elements could be pushed to future phases to make way for the aquatics facility.

9326946 2023-03-17T07:30:58+00:00 2023-03-17T07:40:30+00:00
Rare Disney character older than Mickey Mouse makes first appearance at Disneyland Fri, 17 Mar 2023 14:30:46 +0000 A Disney character created before Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Rabbit will make his first meet-and-greet appearance at any Disney theme park in the world when the villain-turned-pal debuts at Disneyland.

Pete will make photo op appearances along with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto when Mickey’s Toontown reopens on Sunday, March 19 after a yearlong renovation of the kid-centric land at the Anaheim theme park.

Sign up for our Park Life newsletter and find out what’s new and interesting every week at Southern California’s theme parks. Subscribe here.

SEE ALSO: 5 things I can’t wait to eat in Disneyland’s new Toontown — and 4 I’ll definitely skip

The gruff, cat-like anthropomorphic cartoon character was created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks in 1925 — three years before Mickey Mouse appeared on the scene in 1928 and two years before Oswald the Rabbit in 1927.

The former arch-nemesis to Mickey and later Donald, Pete has seen his demeanor softened and appearance changed over the decades by Disney artists.

Pete will pose for photos in Mickey's Toontown. (Disney)
Pete will pose for photos in Mickey’s Toontown. (Disney)

Known through the years as Peg Leg Pete, Black Pete and Bad Pete, the rival-turned-pal now tries his best to be thankful, warm and welcoming alongside his newfound friends on the “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” TV show available on the Disney+ streaming service.

But that wasn’t always the case. Pete was often pulling off elaborate schemes and using underhanded tactics to win people over while portrayed in positions of power.

SEE ALSO: I wore Disneyland’s new mix-and-match Toontown costumes with 1,000 combinations

The clever, cunning and competitive Pete will make meet-and-greet appearances in Toontown when he’s not causing mischief around the cartoon neighborhood. Pete will often be paired with Goofy — since the duo share a rich cinematic history and many common interests like sports, fishing and cars.

Pete made his first appearance in the “Alice Comedies” created by the Disney studios in 1925 before showing up in “Steamboat Willie” alongside Mickey Mouse in 1928. Pete had a peg leg in some early cartoons, but Disney animators dispensed with it in later appearances because it was too hard to handle from a storytelling standpoint, according to the official Disney D23 fan club.

Disney animators returned to depicting Peg Leg Pete as a no-good, one-legged rival in the most recent Mickey Mouse shorts that were used as inspiration for the new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway ride. In 2018’s “A Pete Scorned,” Pete falls into a deep depression when he fears Mickey dislikes another rival more than him.

SEE ALSO: How Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway fits into the pantheon of Disneyland dark rides

Disneyland visitors can take photos with Clarabelle Cow in the reimagined Mickey's Toontown. (Sean Teegarden/Disneyland Resort)
Disneyland visitors can take photos with Clarabelle Cow in the reimagined Mickey’s Toontown. (Sean Teegarden/Disneyland Resort)

Another classic Disney character will also join the Toontown meet-and-greet line-up: Clarabelle Cow, who made her Mickey Mouse cartoon debut in 1929. The Clarabelle Cow character has made previous Disneyland appearances through the years, often alongside longtime boyfriend Horace Horsecollar.

9326942 2023-03-17T07:30:46+00:00 2023-03-17T07:40:30+00:00
FBI offers $20K reward in case of missing American woman kidnapped in Mexico Fri, 17 Mar 2023 14:20:42 +0000 By Taylor Romine and Karol Suarez | CNN

More than a month after a 63-year-old US citizen was kidnapped from her home in Mexico, the FBI has announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts.

Maria del Carmen Lopez was kidnapped February 9 in Pueblo Nuevo, a municipality in the southwestern Mexican state of Colima, the FBI’s Los Angeles field office said in a release Thursday.

Lopez is also a Mexican citizen, according to a statement from the Colima Attorney General’s office, which said it is working with the FBI on the investigation.

Though the FBI did not share details on the case, it described Lopez as having blonde hair, brown eyes and tattooed eyeliner.

The FBI’s announcement comes nearly two weeks after the violent kidnapping of four Americans in the Mexican border city of Matamoros, two of whom were killed, and three weeks after the disappearance of three women who crossed into Mexico to sell clothes at a flea market.

The investigation into Lopez’s disappearance was opened by the Colima Attorney General’s Office on the day of the suspected kidnapping and the Mexican Attorney General’s Specialized Prosecutor for Organized Crime has since requested to take the case, the statement from Colima authorities said.

The Colima prosecutor’s office said it has shared information with Mexican federal authorities and has also collaborated with US agencies “seeking to clarify the facts and safeguard the integrity of the victim.”

The FBI encouraged anyone with information about where Lopez may be located to contact their local FBI office, submit a tip online or reach out to the nearest American embassy or consulate.

CNN has reached out to the FBI for additional information.

In all, more than 100,00 Mexicans and migrants are missing across the country, leaving their families no explanation and little solace. The Mexican government’s quick response to recent disappearances of Americans has raised eyebrows among some who criticize officials for lacking such prompt reactions in a slew of domestic cases.

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With all the rain, expect plants to grow and pests to proliferate Fri, 17 Mar 2023 14:02:23 +0000 1. With all the rain we have had in recent weeks, expect an explosion of vegetative growth and the pests likely to appear along with it. There is a tried and true non-toxic contact bug spray that you can make by mixing a tablespoon of Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap (available at into a gallon of water. Not only will this mixture effectively zap aphids and mites, but it will control ants, who do not damage plants themselves, but facilitate damage by carrying sucking insects or their eggs from one plant to the next. It is advisable to spray in late afternoon so that the solution stays on the leaves and stems instead of quickly drying out if you were to spray earlier in the day.

2. Where mildew on roses is concerned, Tom Carruth, a famed rosarian, has controlled spider mites by adjusting sprinklers so that they spray the undersides of rose leaves, where the mites spin their webs, since “they drown easily.” He also employs sprinklers early in the morning to deter the growth of powdery mildew on roses. Even though the spores of this fungus will germinate in morning dew, they will not develop when foliage is completely wet. By giving his rose bushes plenty of space between each other, he maximizes air circulation that facilitates the drying out of leaf surfaces later in the day, further keeping fungus problems at bay. In the end, however, Carruth admits that, when it comes to pest control, “everything’s not going to be perfect.” (Note: a broader discussion of the above two tips is included together with many other astute gardening practices in “52 Weeks in the California Garden” by Robert Smaus.)

3. Let’s talk about the fertilization of woody plants. If you do not mulch your garden for one reason or another – since a constant, deep layer of mulch will eliminate the need for fertilizer where most shrubs and trees are concerned – you will want to consider fertilization once or twice a year, with one pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet with each application. The preferred times for doing this are late winter (now) and, if a second application is in order, mid-spring. Where cool season lawn grasses such as tall fescue are concerned, fertilize 1,000 square feet with one pound of actual nitrogen four times per year: in March, May, October, and November. Make sure one of the fall applications is a complete fertilizer, meaning it contains nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.

4. Plant herbaceous perennials – from bulbs, corms, tubers, and rhizomes – that bloom in late spring and summer. These include lily-of-the-Nile (Agapanthus), calla lilies (Zantedeschia), Caladiums, Canna lilies, Dahlias, Gladiolus, daylilies (Hemerocallis), African corn lilies (Ixia), montbretias (Crocosmia), tiger flowers (Tigridia), and bugle lilies (Watsonia). 

5. Regarding vegetables – in addition to those root crops such radishes, beets, and carrots that grow year around – plant artichokes, corn, green beans, summer and winter squash, and tomatoes. In the case of a tomato plant, remove lower leaves and bury the entire stem up to the topmost leaves. Roots will form all along the stem that is buried underground, making for a robust plant that will produce a bountiful crop and be more resistant to pests and diseases. Additionally, you can still plant vegetables recommended for cool season planting, such as lettuce, kohlrabi, broccoli, cabbage, and potatoes. The only vegetables you might want to delay planting until April would include the true summer growers, namely melons, peppers, okra, pumpkins, eggplants, and lima beans.

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Alzheimer’s report hints at a future health crisis bigger than COVID-19 Fri, 17 Mar 2023 14:00:53 +0000 The costs of Alzheimer’s disease – human and financial – are rising sharply in California and nationally, and census projections for America’s rapidly aging population suggest the scope of the disease soon might rival what America saw during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, new data from the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2023 Facts and Figures report, released Wednesday, March 15, points to several ways that the disease is already reshaping American life:

• Last year, about 200,000 Americans over the age of 65 were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, bringing the number of dementia patients in that age group to about 6.7 million. By 2050, the Alzheimer’s Association projects that number will nearly double, to about 13 million. (In California, the number of people with Alzheimer’s has been growing at a slightly faster clip, and by 2025 is expected to hit 840,000, up 21.7% in a five-year window.)

• Annual spending on care for people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia grew by about $24 billion last year, to about $345 billion. By 2050, such spending is expected to approach $1 trillion.

• The value of unpaid caregiving is already nearly equal to paid caregiving. Last year, about 11 million Americans served as caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s, offering an estimated 18 billion hours of unpaid labor worth $339.5 billion. Those numbers, too, could double as the population ages up. Overall, the U.S. Census Bureau projects the number of Americans age 65 and older – the key age group hit by Alzheimer’s – to jump from about 63 million today to about 88 million by 2050.

Other data from the Alzheimer’s Association highlight different aspects of the disease and its social effects, from possible treatments to the physical and emotional toll on caregivers.

Here are some takeaways from this year’s report:

Quiet breakthroughs

It took about 13 months, give or take, for pharmaceutical companies and the government to come up with vaccines and treatments for COVID-19.

Alzheimer’s, to date, has been more stubborn.

Decades of research have produced no cure for Alzheimer’s and, absent other factors, the progressive neurological disease still kills most patients, usually four to eight years after the initial diagnosis. Last year, federal data shows Alzheimer’s was the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States and, prior to the emergence of COVID-19, it typically ranked No. 6.

Still, experts offered cautious optimism about the recent direction of Alzheimer’s treatments.

The Alzheimer’s Association report lists seven Alzheimer’s drugs that currently are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, most of which are aimed at temporarily staving off symptoms of the disease.

Cover of the annual report
Click to read the full report. (Courtesy of the Alzheimer’s Association)

But the report notes that two drugs, aducanumab and lecanemab, are aimed at “changing the underlying biology of the disease.” And this week, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) said it would cover the use of lecanemab, which is sold under the name Leqembi at a cost of about $26,500 per year. Federal officials have said the Food and Drug Administration will decide by early July if it will let Medicare make a similar move, meaning coverage could be expanded to include Medicare patients not enrolled in clinical trials.

Research has shown both drugs slow cognitive loss by 20% to 30% when compared with a placebo.

Experts say even if the current drugs aren’t, on their own, game-changers, they are important because their biological focus represents a new arena in the battle against the disease.

“This is a foundation,” said Nicole Purcell, a neurologist and senior director of clinical practice at the Alzheimer’s Association. “It’s just one type of medication, but it’s a reason to be hopeful for the future.”

But Purcell, like other health experts, noted that the drugs still are aimed at people who have Alzheimer’s but have not yet developed severe symptoms of dementia. That’s why she and others urge people to talk about cognitive issues with a physician as soon as they feel any cognitive decline.

But those conversations still aren’t happening as often as they should.

Still silent

For years, Alzheimer’s advocates have pushed older people to talk with health experts – not just their spouses or friends – as soon as they perceive any cognitive decline. And, for years, millions of older Americans have ignored that advice.

That reluctance is so widespread, and persistent, that in advance of this year’s report the Alzheimer’s Association conducted a series of focus groups to find out why.

The reasons, according to those focus groups, range from ignorance about the disease to the belief that the risks of learning about the disease outweigh the benefits of treatment, to simple fear.

What’s more, the report found that a significant number (up to 40%) of primary care physicians say they are reluctant to tell a patient they have Alzheimer’s, and instead refer them to specialists.

Purcell said that such discussions need to be “routine.”

“There’s so much more that can be done at that stage of the disease than later.”

But even if people are willing to talk about symptoms that might (or might not) be signs of Alzheimer’s, the report found some reluctance from healthcare providers. Not only are primary care physicians loathe to diagnose anyone with Alzheimer’s, the world of people expert in making such diagnoses – gerontologists and others – is too small to handle the present demand, much less the coming wave of Alzheimer’s patients.

Even in the non-professional side of Alzheimer’s care – the so-called “direct health” workers who have the people skills, patience and creativity to work well with people suffering from dementia – is undersized. The report projects the nation will need at least 1 million new “direct health care workers” by 2030.

Non-volunteer army

If there’s a shortage of workers to help with dementia patients, now and in the future, it’ll be bridged by people like Richard Wade.

Wade, a retired psychotherapist in Santa Clarita, and his sister-in-law provide care for his wife, who has seen her Alzheimer’s symptoms progress in the past year. Last year, about 11 million people nationally did something similar; by 2035 that number is likely to jump to 20 million or more.

“I’m lucky, financially. But if I weren’t retired, I’d have to hire someone to care for her, and that’s not something most people can do,” Wade said.

Wade said caring for a spouse with dementia can be daunting “on every level.” But he also said, in his case, “it can be rewarding, too.”

“I’m from the age group where ‘in sickness and in health’ still means something,” he said. “And I love my wife, so this is not always a burden.”

The report found that for many Alzheimer’s caregivers – typically spouses, usually of a similar age, or adult children, who often have their own children to raise – the non-financial costs of caregiving can be high.

Dementia caregivers, according to the report, suffer a higher incidence of stroke and heart disease, diabetes and cancer than other people of the same age. Caregivers, the report found, also suffer from higher rates of depression and anxiety, and are as much as 10 times more likely than others to contemplate suicide.

Wade, who attends a support group for caregivers, suggested the role is “bigger, in some ways,” than any other job he’s had.

“It affects, literally, everything in my life.”

Genetic future

Late last year, actor Chris Hemsworth took a hiatus from public life after finding out he carries a genetic marker (double ApoE4) that suggests the highest possible risk for developing Alzheimer’s later in life. About 2.5% of the population carries the double E4 gene, and their chances of eventually developing Alzheimer’s are 8 to 12 times higher than average.

Hemsworth learned about his genes through an expensive, rarely administered test. Some experts believe that if it were less expensive, and less rare, such testing might be a long-term game changer for Alzheimer’s care, if not a cure.

Still, for now, the Alzheimer’s Association isn’t pushing widespread genetic testing. Experts note that such testing only suggests – but can’t predict – an individual’s possible future with the disease. The organization’s official stance includes this line: “(Genetic) testing can never predict whether a person will or will not get Alzheimer’s disease.”

But what if it could?

The Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Project, which includes 345 scientists in 62 countries, started working in this area in 2002, but some of the biggest breakthroughs have come fairly recently.

For example, science conducted under the umbrella of the Sequencing Project, has found that Alzheimer’s isn’t a singular disease but is, instead, part of a broad genetic spectrum. Researchers also have found that while genetics isn’t the only factor (everything from lifestyle to environment also plays a role), genes can account for up to 80% of what is described as “disease susceptibility.”

And in its report issued this week, the Alzheimer’s Association noted that in just the past year researchers have identified 31 new genetic markers that “appear to affect biological processes known to be in play in Alzheimer’s disease.”

For her part, Alzheimer’s Association neuroscientist Purcell suggests a path that’s less about genetics and other branches of science, and more about basic, non-invasive, health.

Sleeping well and eating well, she said, can help stave off Alzheimer’s. And studies show that exercise, particularly exercise that boosts heart rate, even if started later in life, can be a particularly strong defense against developing Alzheimer’s. A combined look at 12 different studies, in the United Kingdom, found that exercise reduced the incidence of Alzheimer’s by 45%.

Purcell said the Alzheimer’s Association is leading U.S. Pointer, a two-year study of about 2,000 people, ages 60 to 79, that will explore how everything from diet and exercise to social connections can, or can’t, stave off cognitive decline.

When it comes to genetics vs. environment or behavior, Purcell said, “We can’t say ‘either or’ right now. We want to understand both. That’s why we’re engaged in the Pointer project. We want to see if we can come up with a lifestyle recipe to reduce the risk of cognitive decline as we age.

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