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ORANGE COUNTY NEWSWATCH

November 12, 1994|Steve Kresal and Jeff Bean

HALLOW VICTORY? Add Orange Unified Schools Supt. Robert L. French to those unhappy about Disneyland giving free entrance on Halloween--a smashing success for the Anaheim amusement park, with more than 40,000 visitors. French wrote Disneyland of his displeasure. Elementary school absences in his district that day more than doubled, and the district lost $6,000 in state revenue, which is based on attendance. . . . Said French: "As an educator, I am offended by this action." Note: Halloween 1995 is on a Tuesday.

CHECK MATES: When chess organizer Eric Hicks recently got permission to start a chess club at Las Palmas Elementary in San Clemente, he predicted to students they'd love it more than milk caps. . . . "Now, they're starting to believe me," he said. The club is so successful that the game is spreading to other campuses of the Capistrano Unified School District. District trustees this week established a formal chess program, in cooperation with the U.S. Chess Federation.

BOTH SIDES NOW: Not only is the Fullerton-Rancho Santiago community college rivalry the oldest in the state, it's also the closest. . . . The teams have met 70 times and the series stands at 33-33-4. They meet tonight at 7 at the Cal State Fullerton campus with first place on the line in the Mission Conference Central Division. Each is 4-0 in the division. Rancho Santiago Coach Dave Ogas played for Fullerton when it won the 1965 national championship. . . . Said Ogas: "I'm telling our players, 'I was once the enemy.' You can't lie to the kids."

RUN WITH HART: Wyatt Hart, top vote-getter in the San Juan Capistrano City Council election, raised the most money, but it also didn't hurt that his name was already well known in South County. For five years, Hart served as media spokesman for Sheriff Brad Gates. . . . The retired sheriff's captain figured his name appeared in newspapers "a few thousand times" long before he entered the race, and added: "I'm sure it did help."

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