Category Archives: Blog

United States at the International Youth Diving Meet in Dresden, Germany April 21-24.

Mission Viejo, CA – Mission Viejo Nadadores diver Camryn (Cami) Hidalgo is one of eight divers from around the country who will represent the United States at the International Youth Diving Meet in Dresden, Germany April 21-24.

As part of Team USA, Cami, a junior at Capistrano Valley High School, will compete in the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform as an individual and on teams. Divers were selected by USA Diving based on combined results from the 3-meter and platform junior events at the 2015 AT&T USA Diving National Championships where Cami earned silver medal honors in both events for her division.

Cami plans to stick to her recipe for success that has served her well during years of training as a member of one of the world’s greatest swimming and diving organizations.

“I hope to do well in Germany, but my goal is just to do my best for each event and stay focused no matter what happens,” she said.

Coach Ivan Bondarenko said Cami embodies what the Nadadores organization is all about.

“She is courageous, bright and, most importantly, a person of integrity,” he said. “We are so proud that she received this selection by Team USA, which is a very significant demonstration that Mission Viejo Nadadores divers are making an impact at the highest levels of the sport.”

The community can support Cami, her teammates and Olympic Trial qualifiers this month at the Greg Louganis Invitational Meet April 15-17 at the Mission Viejo Aquatics Complex, 27474 Casta Del Sol. This will be the final meet held on the historic 10-meter platform before the complex’s renovation begins.

Admission is free. For more information, visit

The Mission Viejo Library will showcase the amazing talents of origami artist Giancarlo Paniagua.

Mission Viejo, CA – Giancarlo’s innate curiosity and love for art began at an early age. To express an idea, he used colors and paints and later learned about Egyptian art, Hieroglyphs and cave painting. Being home-schooled gave him the chance to explore more in-depth subjects so he studied Van Gogh, Monet and impressionist and Chinese calligraphy artists. He later embraced the works of Picasso, Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo and Okefee.

Eventually, Giancarlo took a formal painting class and found origami after seeing an inflatable box he wanted to create. The young artist learned the elaborate folding process of origami from reading library books and watching videos. He memorized some of his favorite shapes like the fox and grasshopper and perfected his craft.

At only 8 years old, Giancarlo has accomplished more than artists four times his age. His fascinating work will be on display at the Mission Viejo Library from April 11 to May 20. The facility is located at 100 Civic Center.

Tourism Matters: A Tale of Two OC Cities

Spring is here and summer is around the corner, so we will soon see the familiar signs of tourisms.

To emphasize and illustrate the significance of tourism, let’s compare two similar sized cities: Newport Beach and Mission Viejo.

Newport Beach’s population is 85,186 per the latest census, Mission Viejo. is 93,305.

The question about the importance of tourism in Mission Viejo was posed to Karen Hamman, MMC, director of community relations and city clerk.

“Tourism is not significant in Mission Viejo Viejo as we are primarily a ‘bedroom community.’ We do have some tourism in town due to many and various sporting events and tournaments that bring visitors from all over Southern California,” she said. “We host several youth soccer and softball camps, and of course, Mission Viejo is home to the well-known Nadadores swim and dive teams.”

Being a land-locked city limits attractions to any water activities, but when comparing one city to the next, water becomes a primary draw.

From San Clemente and Dana Point in the south, to Huntington and Sney. Sunset Beaches in the north, any oceanfront city has an immediate advantage.

Yes, there are water sports, arts and cultural activities, great eateries, and outdoor activities. But the biggest advantage that coastal cities have is that they draw money, as in tourist spending.

Looking closely at Mission Viejo, they offer just two hotels and one major shopping draw, The Shops at Mission Viejo. Do they offer name brand restaurants and attractions? Not really.

At one recent chef event, Indy editor and food writer Christopher Trela, commented that of the 30 chefs that were cooking that day, “almost half were from Newport Beach.”

We spoke with Edwin D. Fuller, president and CEO of Orange County Visitors Association, and asked his opinion about the effect of tourists on the “average resident.”

“If we look at the county as a whole, we get a remarkable 46 million visitors annually in the county, and they spend $7.75 billion and help support 160,000 local tourism industry jobs,” Fuller offered. That takes many forms, from the abundant transportation network that accommodates out of town visitors, to the support services that keep the hotels humming.

All these activities also bring in millions of dollars of tax money, one reason that Newport Beach is so fiscally strong with a generous tax reserve.

“Looking at Newport Beach we obviously have a large selection of hotels,” he continued, “but we also have the harbor, along with tour boats and fishing boats and they are both big draws for tourists as well as residents. We take them for granted, but many travel far to enjoy our amenities.”

We also have many tourists that want to visit typical tourist attractions, but do not wish to stay in tourist cities. That affords incentives to those that might otherwise stay in Anaheim the chance to instead stay at the beach.

The day Fuller was interviewed, he had met with three Chinese tourism representatives who marveled at the beautiful sunset. When he asked them “Isn’t that gorgeous?” they nodded in agreement, as they did not take it for granted.

The next time you crawl along Coast Highway or the Peninsula or grumble at the crowds at Fashion Island or along the Balboa Island walkway, count your blessings that we have access to these uniquely Newport amenities.

Mission Viejo’s Mark Sanchez Could Start for Super Bowl Champion Broncos

Mission Viejo, CA – As Denver Broncos receivers, tight ends and two quarterbacks attend the final day of passing camp at Mark Sanchez's alma mater Mission Viejo High School, the stars are aligning for him to open the season as the starting quarterback for the defending Super Bowl champions.

Sanchez, who Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said would have a chance to challenge for the starting job that was shared last year by the now-retired Peyton Manning and the new-Houston Texan Brock Osweiler, is apparently impressing Denver brass with his leadership skills.Yes, team president John Elway is said to still trying to lure Colin Kaepernick away from the San Francisco 49ers., and Kaepernick has said he will take a huge pay cut to join the Broncos—although perhaps not one as large as Denver wants him to take

There also seems to be a notion swirling in Denver's cannabis-fortified air that former USC star Sanchez can find the success that eluded him as a New York Jet starter and Philadelphia Eagle backup because of the Broncos' better offensive system and surrounding cast.


Or, it could just be negotiation chatter aimed at nudging Kaepernick in the direction of the Rockies.

Even if “Kap” comes to Denver, Sanchez is said to still be assured that opportunity to vie for the starting slot, as will the second-year QB he brought out to Mission Viejo this week to work out with him, Trevor Siemian.

The Broncos have nothing to do with the off-season camp that Sanchez also held while he was with the Jets and Eagles, but Siemian has said he appreciates being able to get some passes in before the official Denver training camp, when he expects to be joined by at least three other quarterbacks.

Receiver Bernie Fowler said from Mission Viejo earlier this week that he would not be surprised to see Sanchez in the huddle when the season begins.

“He’s taken the Jets to two AFC Championship Games, he’s been in the league for a long time,” Fowler told Denver 9News. “He’s a good player. This will be a good situation.”