Category Archives: Blog

Fluidmaster Expands Into Northern Europe

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. and ARNHEM, Netherlands, April 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Fluidmaster, Inc., the world's largest manufacturer of toilet tank components and trim, announced today it has acquired WISA BV, a leading sanitary equipment business based in the Netherlands. With a company history spanning more than 150 years, WISA is an innovative manufacturer and marketer of a wide range of concealed and exposed cisterns, controls, and other sanitaryware products such as toilet seats, flush pipes and couplings across Europe, as well as wellness products including spa baths in the company's home market.

"The WISA operations, people and products are a great addition to our company as we continue to grow globally," said Robert Anderson Schoepe, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fluidmaster. "This acquisition also builds upon our expanding Fluidmaster global family of brands which includes Schwab, LIV, Torbeck, the Fluidmaster PRO Series line and Fluidmaster itself."

"It is a privilege to welcome WISA's Mark Grosfeld and his experienced management team into the Fluidmaster organization," stated Todd Talbot, Fluidmaster President. "Through this acquisition, we anticipate significant synergies with our other European businesses, with even greater service and value delivered to our customers in Europe and around the world."

"WISA shares the core Fluidmaster values centered on customer satisfaction and delivering innovative, value-rich products to our partners," said Grosfeld. "We believe the depth and breadth of the Fluidmaster brands will be of significant interest to our current and prospective customers." 

About Fluidmaster
Established in 1957 and reaching across the world, Fluidmaster remains a family owned and operated company known for its superior engineering of efficient and reliable toilet components. The company has become an icon in the plumbing industry, with operations in North America, Europe, the United Kingdom, China and Turkey as well as a worldwide distribution network across more than 80 countries selling more toilet tank replacement valves than any other manufacturer in the world. In addition to the original fill valve developed by founder Adolf Schoepe and enhanced through the years, Fluidmaster's complete line of toilet care parts include exposed and in-wall cisterns, standard and dual flush valves, flappers, activation systems, bowl wax and wax-free products, toilet repair kits, and supply line connectors.

The company's global headquarters is located in San Juan Capistrano, California. For more information,

Grow Your Own! Spring Festival at The Ecology Center

San Juan Capistrano, CA – Tucked away in San Juan Capistrano is one of the county's best kept secrets. Get to know The Ecology Center a little better Saturday at this free event. Purchase organic seedlings, pick strawberries next door at South Coast Farms and learn how to pickle foods. Demonstrations and kids activities will also be available. We're looking forward to live tunes while we visit the chickens. Bonus: attendees will receive a discount on future Ecology Center events.

San Juan Capistrano and Orange County Negotiate about Revenue Shares and Landfill Routes

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – The city is negotiating with the county’s waste-management agency, looking to get a bigger share of county revenues and fewer impacts from trash-truck traffic.

City Council members said they want the county to open up other routes to Prima Deshecha Landfill to reduce the number of trash trucks plying through San Juan on their way to and from the county landfill off Ortega Highway.

“We are being asked to bear the brunt,” Mayor Pam Patterson said at the council’s April 5 meeting.

The City Council expects to hear at its next meeting April 19 what the county will offer in a new memorandum of understanding with San Juan Capistrano, which is one of three landfill host cities in Orange County. The other two are Irvine and Brea.

On a 3-1 vote, San Juan council members deferred a scheduled April 5 vote on whether to join other Orange County cities in ratifying a new waste-disposal agreement with the county. It includes a continued importation of trash from outside Orange County, which otherwise is scheduled to expire June 30.

The county depends on revenue from imported trash to help stabilize rates for homes and businesses, city staff said in a memo. In recent years, recycling and waste-diversion programs have reduced the tonnage of locally generated trash going into the landfills, reducing the income to the county from the landfills. Slow recovery from the recession has contributed to this, the report said.

Most cities in the county, including San Juan, signed onto the new waste-disposal agreement last September. But one city didn’t meet the deadline and the effective date needed to be revised, officials said, so all cities are being asked again to ratify the agreement. Dylan Wright, director of OC Waste and Recycling, said the agency needs yeses from all cities by April 20.

He said failure to ratify the agreement could risk losing the imported trash, as cities outside Orange County will explore other destinations for trucking their trash.

San Juan’s city staff asked the City Council to ratify the agreement while staff continues to negotiate a separate MOU with the county. Patterson said she wanted to see what the county offers first, in the forthcoming MOU.

As a landfill host city, San Juan presently receives $1.16 per ton of imported trash, the staff memo said, and for 2014, that amounted to $22,429. The proposed agreement extending the importation of trash through 2025 includes a $5.4 million fund to share with Orange County’s cities. San Juan’s ratification payment would be 1.23 percent of the total, or $66,420, the memo said.

Councilman Sam Allevato asked why that is so low when San Juan is an impacted host city. He called it “blatantly unfair.”

Wright said host cities get additional compensation based on volume of trash. “San Juan Capistrano takes about 4 percent of the total imported waste to the county,” he said, “Brea about 66 percent and Irvine about 30 percent.”

He said the MOU is where the county and the city can further address concerns about impacts.

Councilman John Perry, when told that imported trash only accounts for 10 trash trucks daily in San Juan, said Ortega Highway is heavily impacted by trash trucks especially at peak hours. “In the morning it’s absolutely slammed,” he said. “In the afternoon it’s absolutely slammed.”

He asked the county to reduce Prima Deshecha truck traffic on Ortega at peak times, to “sweeten the pot on revenue” to San Juan and to reroute the trucks whenever possible. “If there’s only 10, why not take Crown Valley if you’re coming from Los Angeles?” he said. “It doesn’t take any more time.”

Contact the writer: or 949-492-5127

The 1920s film, “The Mark of Zorro,” was filmed in San Juan Capistrano – 

When “Rosewood” co-executive producer Vahan Moosekian was scouting a location to stand in as Miami, he and his crew drove south to Orange County and found what they were looking for.

Miami’s famous beaches would be played by Huntington and Laguna Beach, while Anaheim would take the stage as some of Miami’s diverse neighborhoods.

“We were scouting locations for a bar and house and we looked all over and we found them in Anaheim,” Moosekian said. “The house (on Lemon Street) looked like it belonged in Florida and then we found the (Off-Limits) bar just a few miles away.”

Huntington and Laguna Beach are well known filming locales, but Anaheim – outside of Disneyland – less so. A new push by the city to encourage more filming of movies, television shows and commercials is changing that.

“Rosewood,” a Fox television crime drama starring Morris Chestnut and Jaina Lee Ortiz, is among the more than 100 film, television and commercial productions that have filmed in the city since last year. “Rosewood” crews spent 41 days in Anaheim.

Other shows using Anaheim as a backdrop include the second season of HBO’s crime series “True Detective,” which filmed at the city’s transportation hub ARTIC; Showtime’s drama “Roadies” used the Convention Center; and another Fox series, “Bones,” has feature Anaheim Ice.

“We’ve become the best place in Orange County to shoot movies and TV shows,” Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait said. “With a low-cost fee, a single-point of contact and a variety of architecture and settings, Anaheim allows production companies to easily match locations to their scripts. This is a great way to promote our city.”

The Film Anaheim initiative began in January 2015, a few months after Gov. Jerry Brown tripled incentives from $100 million to $330 million in the state’s Film & Television Tax Credit Program. Under the program, producers chosen by the California Film Commission can receive tax credits for filming outside of a 30-mile zone that is centered in Los Angeles at Beverly Boulevard and La Cienega; hiring a certain number of people and reserving expenditures for visual effects and other job-producing elements. They can get up to a 25 percent credit off the total cost of the production.

Since the start of Film Anaheim, the city has generated more than $22,000 from permits and business licensing. On top of that, the city has raised money by renting out the use of facilities.

“The state passed this because we were losing so much in terms of jobs, promotion and ancillary business that grow from the film and television industry to other states and countries,“ Orange County Film Commissioner Janice Arrington said. “Now, L.A. is booming again and that’s good news for Orange County. When more locations are needed, they come out here.”

The county has a long history of films being made in its cities, dating as far back as the dawn of the silent movies era in the early 1900s.

The 1920s film, “The Mark of Zorro,” was filmed in San Juan Capistrano. Fans of the 1960s TV comedy “Gilligan’s Island” will tell you the seven stranded castaways are somewhere in Newport Beach. Most recently, the Seal Beach Pier served as the San Diego backdrop for a scene in “American Sniper.”

Arrington said there’s been an uptick in productions in Orange County since Brown expanded the tax credit program. The Orange County Film Commission facilitates filming and helps market locations and resources to the entertainment industry.

In 2012, “American Horror Story” filmed in Santa Ana, and the new “CHiP” movie also visited the city. Arrington said the pilot for “MacGyver” began shooting this week in Cypress.

Moosekian said having the production in Anaheim and other parts of Orange County has been convenient.

“It’s easier to produce a show in and around Los Angeles,” he said. “This is where the business originated. Some of the most talented people are here: visual effects, make up artists, prop artist, and the warehouses are here. We don’t have to bring all that stuff to Albuquerque or Atlanta. … As a producer, anything I need I can get it, and find it, here. And I happen to like to go home and sleep on my own bed.”

Harpist Julio Montero in concert in San Juan Capistrano THIS FRiDAY – An internationally acclaimed harpist and composer will perform Friday evening in San Juan Capistrano as part of the Friends of the Library’s Multicultural Arts Series. Julio Montero will perform April 15 at THE Bookstore, 31495-A El Camino Real, with a reception at 6:30 p.m. and the concert at 7 p.m. Entry is $15, and attendees are asked to RSVP to (949) 493-2688 because of limited space. Julio began his career in Spain in the early 1990s, and he’s performed throughout Europe, Japan and the Americas. He has organized and taught workshops at international harp festivals, and he’s a four-year veteran of “Fiesta Argentina.” Montego also has performed at the Ford Amphitheater in Hollywood, has appeared on several television shows and composed with other musicians music for Smithsonian Folkway Recordings, the nonprofit record label of the National Museum of the United States. His performance is part of an ongoing effort by the Friends of the Library to celebrate cultures through music and art. The Multicultural Arts Series includes the Bears Exhibit: nine life-sized mosaic bears featured along the walkway to THE Bookstore at the San Juan Capistrano Library. Concert goers can enjoy the exhibit and a night of music, too. For more information or to RSVP, call THE Bookstore at 949-493-2688. Entry is $15.

Dreamologist wins Las Cienegas Stakes at Santa Anita

San Juan Capistrano, CA – Dreamologist won the $100,000 Las Cienegas Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths after the race was moved from turf to the dirt track because of the recent rain.

Ridden by Flavien Prat, Dreamologist ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.56 and paid $3.40, $2.60 and $2.20 as the 3-5 favorite in the field of seven fillies and mares.

Off the Road returned $7.60 and $4.40, while Fanticola was another nose back in third and paid $3 to show.

The victory, worth $60,000, increased Dreamologist’s career earnings to $203,710, with four wins in eight starts. It was the 4-year-old filly’s first stakes victory. The race was originally listed as a Grade 3, but its status is under review after change in surface.

“She looked comfortable, looked good,” trainer Richard Mandella said. “We entered for dirt only. She’s done so well on the dirt, we wanted to take a shot at it. This is a nice way to finish the meet.”

Rafael Bejarano won his 13th career riding title and fourth in a row at Santa Anita with 74 victories. Prat finished second with 51 winners. Bejarano also led in purse earnings with $3,527,071, and tied Gary Stevens with eight stakes victories.

Phil D’Amato overtook Doug O’Neill to win the trainers’ title, the 40-year-old’s first ever. D’Amato saddled 41 winners, seven more than second-place O’Neill during the 63-day meet. D’Amato had a leading eight stakes victories, and his horses earned a leading $2,133,810.

The track’s spring meet begins May 5.

Read more here:

Crash flings motorcyclist at least 300 feet, but he’s only got some road rash

A motorcyclist speeding through Laguna Beach Tuesday night survived a violent crash that flung him at least 300 feet through the air, according to police.

The rider, a 26-year-old from San Juan Capistrano, was headed south on Coast Highway about 8 p.m. when he lost control around Nyes Place, according to Laguna Beach police Sgt. George Ramos.

"He was going fast, splitting traffic, and side-swiped a car and lost it," Ramos said.

Security camera video of the crash shows the motorcycle flying into the air and flipping end-over-end.

Police said the motorcycle went at least 200 feet, and the rider was catapulted at least 100 feet farther.

Paramedics took the man to Mission Hospital to treat his injuries, but police said he managed to escape with only some road rash.

"He got really lucky," Ramos said.