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ORANGE COUNTY NEWSWATCH

October 28, 1994|Jerry Hicks and Frank Messina and Jeff Bean

STARR GAZERS: Unprepared for the response to the first public tours of the 4,000 Starr Ranch Sanctuary, Audubon Society officials have had to close off reservations for Saturday's open house. . . . Says Audubon spokesman Ken Fortune: "We got response from every ZIP code in Orange County and as far away as Long Beach and Vista." The wilderness preserve has been closed to all but members and select researchers since it was donated to the society in 1973. A second tour may be added later.

YOUR HONOR? The Steve Woods murder trial is the subject of a piece in the latest issue of The Nation magazine, and its author, Mike Davis, isn't backward about which side he's on. He refers to Superior Court Judge Everett W. Dickey, who convicted two Latino youths in the murder of the San Clemente youth in a non-jury trial, as "Draconian" by reputation. . . . Davis calls the case "a legal lynching." Dickey's fellow judges hardly agree. The popular jurist a few years ago was elected a turn as presiding judge.

RESCUE RANGERS: If you aren't familiar with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, they are the TV hit among the post-Barney age group. That's why Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills snared them for Saturday's free annual school kids safety classes. . . . The hospital is averaging 500-plus youngsters each event. They learn first aid, some CPR, bicycle and water safety. Says spokesman David Johnson: "We've already seen kids responding to emergencies after learning safety awareness here."

CENTURY CITY: The city of San Juan Capistrano threw a party for its train depot Thursday, to celebrate its 100th birthday. But the red brick building wasn't the original. Before 1894, a Nordic-style wooden structure stood there, but residents wanted more of a mission-revival flavor. Parts of the original depot were used for a fence and downtown building. "Back then, they recycled everything," says Pamela Hallan-Gibson, local historian.

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