Fact or Fiction?

Sometimes an event’s report doesn’t match what one personally experiences. Especially when one reads multiple reports on the same event that leave a different impression of what actually occurred. Even more bizarre is when the different reports have the same reporter on the byline.

On Tuesday, June 3, 2008 I attended the Lake Forest City Council meeting to hear the council discuss approval of the Zone Change for the Opportunities Study. More information on the study can be found here: http://www.city-lakeforest.com/opportunitiesstudy/.

The next day, the OC Register Online Edition reported on this in an article titled “Lake Forest land use plan takes ‘historic’ step” (PDF can be found here: 080604-plan-community-sports-205926) as written by Erika I. Ritchie. In my opinion, a fair and balanced report.

As is common for the OC Register, local reporting is repeated in the weekly edition of the Saddleback Valley News. So that Friday, June 6, 2008 I read an article on page 4 titled “Lake Forest land plan aims for unity” (PDF can be found here: 080605-sbvn-p4) also written by Erika I. Ritchie.

I was surprised to find it an edited version of the original. Unfortunately it also appear to me to be slanted in favor of a great vision of uniting the city. Gone were the 6 direct quotes from attendees. What remained was “City officials say this zone change and general plan amendment will provide the missing link and unite the 78,310 resident community.” Paragraph 4 and the last half sentence of paragraph 10 were removed along with Paragraphs 12 through 24.

So, I contacted the reporter about it and Ms. Ritchie, in an email, replied:

“Unfortunately, the printed version was edited down because of space  constraints. I, too, would have liked to see it appear in its original way. SVN will also run the shorter version because of limited space. The original will remain on-line and I would hope people would refer to it for a more in-depth look.

Thank you for your interest”

So, we have a nameless editor shortening an article and giving it a different “spin” based on the remaining text.

I guess fact is what you create when you don’t know it is fiction.


OC Register Outsourcing Editing and Page Design to India

According to an AP article today, http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D91GQIK80.htm, the OC Register is outsourcing to India. Mr. John Fabris, a deputy editor at the Register, is quoted as saying:


“In a time of rapid change at newspapers, we are exploring many ways to work efficiently while maintaining quality and improving local coverage.”


Theresa Cisneros, Editor of the SVN, Canyon Life, Ladera Post and RSM News has not responded to a question regarding which community newspaper has been outsourced.

Lake Forest Saddleback Valley News Merged with Mission Viejo

Last week on Wednesday, June 18 2008, the newly formatted Saddleback Valley News premiered its Twice-Weekly edition that covers the cities of Lake Forest, Laguna Hills and Mission Viejo.

Unfortunately, the link at the right is temporarily out-dated as it takes to the last edition of the old format (June 13, 2008). Theresa Cisneros (Editor of the SVN, Canyon Life, Ladera Post and RSM News) is working to have the links updated.

Naming the Site

LakeForestHills……..Topological features of the landscape or a more appropriate name for the community this blog will focus on?

Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Forest,_California) advises that:

“Folklore states that El Toro received its name over 100 years ago. Back when El Toro was farm country, there was allegedly a water well that many farmers used. A bull fell into the well and a sign was posted above the well stating, in Spanish, “The bull has fallen into the well.” Over time, part of the sign fell off, leaving only “The bull.” The railroads, whose tracks ran through the area, mistakenly thought the sign was the name of the town, and thus the area of El Toro was given its name. This information was produced from “The Old El Toro Reader” by George Osterman.”

“The city was created in 1991. Residents voted to name the city Lake Forest, after two expensive master planned residential communities, denying the longer claim to the territory by the community of El Toro.”

I recall that this was a big issue during the events leading up to the formation of the City. As many “El Toro” residents wanted to name the city “El Toro” in recognition of the area’s past.  In 2000, the city annexed the foothill communities of Portola Hills and Foothill Ranch.

To this day, I feel that residents still describe their respective communities as Lake Forest, Portola Hills or Foothill Ranch. Thus despite annexation, Lake Forest still commonly means the area South of the 241 Tollroad.

So, onto the naming of this site: The two master planned residential communities, from which the City gets its name, feature man-made lakes (the LAKE), and were partially built in mature stands of Eucalyptus Trees (the FOREST). In carrying the topography meme forward, one could add the two foothill communities that the City annexed in 2000: Portola Hills and Foothill Ranch (the HILLS) and get “Lake Forest Hills.”

Why Blog Now?

Starting this site……was with some trepidation (My wife thinks I’m nuts.) I’ve toyed with the idea for quite awhile. Finally, the misinformation on various community issues has frustrated me to the point of taking action. So I’m now a part of the world of blogging, instead of just being an observer. My goal is to present on-going community issues as I see through the ever-changing prism of multiple sources of information……Besides, I needed a hobby.