The HRB Met on July 1, 2014.  Present were Steve Cauffman, Brad Conley, Michele Walot, Jan Fisher, Barbara Taborek, Ron Reid and Andrew Herndon.

Recent Events

Recycling Day was hosted in the Community Center parking lot on June 21st: Residents filled the entire truck for recycling electronics;  the Dumpster was filled early on;  the shredding operation was well subscribed, but it was noted that it might be more efficient to have two bins in rotation; some residents reported that the Salvation Army truck turned some donations away despite still having room (and it not yet being the end of their allotted time on site).  The free garden mulch was not depleted until several days after the event.

The Footnotes concert, held at 3:00 pm on June 27th, at the Community Center, was attended by about 30 people.

The Frozen movie night, also on the 27th, was very well attended.  (Reported estimates were in the range of approximately 300 +/- 100 attendees.)   Tammy Smecker-Hane  and her Girl Scout troop dispensed individual portions of popcorn from  7 big bags (4 kettle corn, and 3 salted); it was gone by 7:50pm.  

Upcoming Events

Upcoming events include the Lego Movie on July 25th, and Brave, on August 22nd, which will be followed by the yearly Campout. Andrew will get permits for a fire ring where marshmallows can be roasted. Last year, there were 30-40 tents; Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops may be invited to assist with campfire activities as well.  A coffee truck is scheduled for the following morning.

The Fall Fiesta is tentatively scheduled for October 12th. This event has often been held in September, but it seems like a good idea to try it in October, when UCI is back in session, and the Vista Verde break is nearly over. The theme usually determines what kind of contractor booths are represented; while we don’t have a theme yet, this year is the 30th Anniversary of Uhills. Suggestions and volunteers from the community are invited. Although it’s too early to know, the new Pocket Park in Phase 10 may be ready for touring, if not actually open for use by then.

The Halloween Party for kids will be a bit different this year. Halloween falls on a Friday, so rather than have a party a full week in advance, the HRB has scheduled it for Saturday, November 1st. This would be a good time to examine the traditions of All Hallows Eve, and the Day of the Dead –Kids and parents might bring candy to “spend” for currency at a carnival – like event.  Again, suggestions and volunteers from the community are needed.   If you are interested in helping to plan and organize, let us know.

Construction Update

The construction fence for phase 10-2 and 10-4 will be put up the second week of July, and will extend down to the sidewalk on Gabrielino. The small oak trees will have to be removed along California Ave as the slope will need to be reconstructed to support the new homes. New trees will replace them.  The trees were evaluated but not good specimens for relocation. Starting in mid-July, grading stakes will appear, and soil will be moving by the end of July, or early August. All efforts will be in place to minimize dust and related impacts to the existing community.   Still, given the prevailing wind direction, some phase 8 residents may wish to postpone window-washing for a few months, until major earth-moving operations are completed.

New Equipment

Small soccer goals have been ordered for Vista Bonita Park. They will be 5’ x 9’ and anchored into the ground for safety.  We hope this provides an alternative site for younger players to play when the larger field at Gabrielino is in use by older groups.

The resurfacing is complete in the wading pool and spa, at the Los Trancos pool, and the spa at the Gabrielino pool. After summer, the Gabrielino pool will be resurfaced.

The trellis posts at the Vista Bonita Park sun structure are rotten, and will be replaced. Bids are being secured for this work.

The barbeque gas leak at the Los Trancos BBQ area was located and fixed.

Audio has been wired into the large room in Community Center. Any phone will work. Video cables were also added. However, the decision to purchase a roll-out TV or drop-down screen is still under study.

Bocce Balls continue to disappear. It is a very popular game, and groups are disappointed when pieces are missing.


Landscapers found a purse stashed in the shrubbery by the Los Trancos pool, containing a large amount of what appeared to be crystal meth. It was taken to the Irvine Police station.  Please call UCI PD (824-5223) to claim.

A fire was started in the Vista Bonita Pocket Park last week, behind the entry trellis. Patrolling officers exhausted their fire extinguishers, but a resident came to the rescue with two of his own.

There is also evidence of other small fires being lit in the preserve. Although the vegetation was recently cut back, there is ample fuel to threaten homes should embers catch. Residents are asked to speak to their teenagers about the fire danger and to report suspicious activity to the UCI PD.

Someone sawed through vertical bars in the metal fencing around one of the pools, perhaps thinking this easier than keeping track of a pool key or climbing the fence.  Residents are asked to speak to their teenagers about the appropriate and inappropriate uses of metal-cutting tools. 

Teenagers have recently been observed in the public areas socializing in groups.  This is common, particularly during the summer, and need not be cause for alarm.  Such behavior is both developmentally normative and legal.  Maintain a safe distance, try not to startle them, and remember that they are probably just as scared of you as you are of them.  But please call UCI PD if they are carrying hacksaws or combustibles.