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Thomas the Tank Engine at the Discovery Cube

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The politicians were all over the “non-political” Fiestas Patrias fiesta and parade

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Loretta Sanchez at the Fiestas Patrias Parade

U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez playing politics at the 2014 Fiestas Patrias Parade

As we reported in earlier posts, the City of Santa Ana forbade the Measure CC medical marijuana initiative campaign from reaching out to the voters at this weekend’s Fiestas Patrias fiesta and parade in Downtown Santa Ana.  But lo and behold there were politicians all over DTSA this weekend!  Thanks to our friends from OC Norml for the pictures.

Most of the politicians pictured below are going to be on the November General Election ballot.  But because they are incumbents the City of Santa Ana gives them more free speech rights than their opponents, who are outright banned from participating with booths at the fiesta or riding in the parade.  I expect that the ACLU will be filing a lawsuit against the City of Santa Ana soon as this is a blatantly unconstitutional abridgment of free speech by our city leaders. Read more…

 
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Police Chief Rojas blames his own cops instead of dealing with the SAPD’s problems

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SAPD Chief Carlos Rojas and new recruits

Apparently our article about the low morale at the Santa Ana Police Department struck a nerve.  SAPD Police Chief Carlos Rojas was reportedly so angry about it that he threatened to fire his police officers.   I was told that he went to the daily briefings and told all of the officers and their supervisors that they have to stop talking to the press.  He said that he had read what they were saying about him and demanded that they stop talking about him or the department or he would personally fire them – and no one could protect them because the police union was on his side.

Rojas reiterated that all media requests had to be directed to his hand-picked public information officer and that he had better not find out who was telling the press about internal issues. He also told them that low morale was their own fault. He said it was not his problem or the department’s problem…it was their own problem that they each needed to take care of themselves. Read more…

 
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The Santa Ana Fiestas Patrias Parade starts at 4 pm and will be on TV on Channel 31

September 14, 2014
4:00 pmto5:30 pm
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Fiestas Patrias Parade

The Santa Ana Fiestas Patrias Parade is set for today, Sunday, Sep. 14, 2014, at 4 pm.  It is being televised by the Santa Ana Unified School District’s TV channel 31, which is available on Time Warner Cable and AT&T U-verse.

Why would the parade be televised?  Simple.  Elected officials are allowed to ride in this parade.  Their political opponents are not.  The SAUSD is televising the parade in order to promote SAUSD Trustee John Palacio, who is running for reelection.  I will be surprised if his fellow SAUSD candidate and ally, Valery Amezcua, is not in the car with him. Read more…

 
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Outrageous free speech hypocrisy on display at the DTSA Fiestas Patrias event

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Congresswoman Sanchez' booth at the Fiestas Patrias

The City of Santa Ana says U.S. Rep. Sanchez “isn’t political”

Santa Ana Parks and Recreation Agency Director Gerardo Mouet called me today to assure me that all is on the up and up over at the Fiestas Patrias event that is taking place this weekend in Downtown Santa Ana.

Mouet explained that it is okay to let local elected officials participate in the Fiestas Patrias because, well, they’re elected.  But it is not okay for other candidates and campaigns to have booths at the Fiestas Patrias or participate in the parade on Sunday because, well, they’re not elected.

Huh?  Did I miss something? Does becoming an elected official automatically bestow extra Constitutional powers to our incumbent politicians?  Because that is what Mouet is saying.  Free speech is apparently available in Santa Ana but only if you were fortunate enough to win an election.  Free speech is not extended to anyone else!  Is this what we expected from our all-Democrat Santa Ana City Council?  Does this mean the “Santa Ana Spring” is dead? Read more…

 
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Psych professor convicted for kidnapping and murder of man she says raped her

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Norma Patricia Esparza

Orange County District Attorney Press Release

For Immediate Release: September 12, 2014

Case# 13ZF0162, 12CF3070

WOMAN CONVICTED OF MANSLAUGHTER FOR ROLE IN 1995 COLD CASE KIDNAPPING AND STABBING OF MAN
*One co-defendant has been convicted and two others are awaiting trial in this case

SANTA ANA – A woman was convicted today for her role in the 1995 cold case kidnapping and stabbing-murder of a man, whom she met in a bar. Norma Patricia Esparza, 40, formerly of France, pleaded guilty to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter. She is expected to be sentenced to six years in state prison at a date to be determined. She will also testify in the jury trial against her co-defendants.

Esparza’s negotiated plea and sentence reflects her acknowledgment and acceptance of her role in the victim’s murder. Read more…

 
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OC Vector Control District Trustee Aguinaga’s response regarding mosquito spraying

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Cecilia Aguinaga

By: Cecilia Aguinaga, Trustee, OC Vector Control District

I believe the recent events involving efforts to eradicate the West Nile Virus require some clarification in the media. I received several disturbing emails from Santa Ana residents that caused me to take action on their behalf. Over the weekend I made phone calls and talked to Mike Hearst, the District Manager of the Orange County Vector Control District.

Although I do not have the authority to make decisions regarding how the OCVCD conducts its spraying, I was able to discuss the issue and
express the concerns that were voiced by residents. With this information at their disposal, the OCVC agreed to delay their schedule to spray in order that additional notification could be given to the people and agencies of Santa Ana. Read more…

 
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Man sentenced for murdering CSUF student who grew up in Santa Ana

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Kwang Chol Joy and Maribel Ramos

Orange County District Attorney Press Release

For Immediate Release: September 12, 2014

Case # 13CF1632

MAN SENTENCED 15 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR MURDERING ARMY VETERAN ROOMMATE AND DISPOSING OF HER BODY IN CANYON

SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to 15 years to life in state prison for murdering his roommate and disposing of her body in a canyon. Kwang Chol Joy, 55, Orange, was found guilty by a jury July 29, 2014, of one felony count of second degree murder.

At the time of the crime, Joy lived in a home in Orange with 36-year-old roommate Maribel Ramos. The victim was an Army veteran who had served two combat tours in Iraq and was also a student at California State University, Fullerton. Read more…

 
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High temperatures and wildfire smoke pose potential health risk

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OC Health Care Agency Press Release

For Immediate Release: September 12, 2014

Contact: Deanne Thompson, dthompson@ochca.com, 714-834-2178

High Temperatures and Wildfire Smoke Pose Potential Health Risk

(Santa Ana) – Higher than normal temperatures are expected throughout the weekend in many inland Orange County cities, increasing the risk of heat related illnesses. In addition, smoke from the wildland brush fire burning in Silverado Canyon may pose a health danger to some Orange County residents, especially those in certain high-risk groups. The South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued a Smoke Advisory for portions of Orange County, including the Saddleback Valley and Capistrano Valley areas.

“Everyone should take precautions to stay cool and drink plenty of water to reduce health risks related to the heat and wildfire smoke,” said Dr. Eric Handler, County Health Officer. “Additional precautions are especially needed for older adults, those with preexisting medical conditions like heart or lung disease, those with disabilities, children, and those who may be working outdoors.” Dr. Handler also reminds residents to check on their family members, friends and neighbors this weekend. Read more…

 
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The City of Santa Ana shuts down free speech at the Fiestas Patrias event

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SAPD talk to protesters at the Fiestas Patrias

The Measure CC campaign (Santa Ana Medical Marijuana Initiative) were all set to run a booth at this weekend’s Fiestas Patrias event in Downtown Santa Ana when they got a call from Santa Ana Parks and Recreation Director Gerardo Mouet.

Mouet cancelled their booth.  He said that it was not his policy to allow any political booths.  The Measure CC campaign director had previously been told by another City of Santa Ana employee that he got an internal email that stated that the Measure CC booth would be a “public safety risk.”

The Measure CC campaign was previously told that it would be okay for them to participate in the Fiestas Patrias event as their goal was to register and educate voters. Read more…

 
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Santa Ana parents should demand the return of the fired school crossing guards

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Santa Ana pedestrian accidents

Santa Ana parents are demanding that city officials reverse their decision to remove school crossing guards without warning, saying the move is putting children’s lives in danger, according to the Voice of OC.

About 25 crossing guards were removed near Santa Ana schools as of the start of the school year last Tuesday, according to police officials.

But parents from at least one campus protested, and the city has since reinstated a crossing guard, at least temporarily, near Santiago Elementary School, according to the O.C. Register. Read more…

 
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Com Link to be honored at the next City Council meeting on 9/16

September 25, 2014
5:45 pmto8:00 pm
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2010-2011 Com-Link Board

City of Santa Ana

Advisory: MAYOR TO HONOR COMMUNICATION LINKAGE FORUM & CITY COUNCIL TO HONOR MANY MORE AT TUESDAY’S CITY COUNCIL MEETING

SANTA ANA, CA (September 16, 2014) – The public is invited to attend the City Council Meeting on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 as the Mayor and City Council will recognize Communication Linkage Forum (also known as Com-Link) in honor of their 25th Anniversary.

Com-Link was founded in 1989 when a small group of residents met together with the idea that somehow there should be a way of strengthening communication and engagement among neighborhoods, residents, businesses and city departments. Read more…

 
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City seeks public input to make walking and biking safer and easier in DTSA

September 25, 2014
6:00 pmto8:00 pm
September 26, 2014
1:00 pmto7:00 pm
September 27, 2014
9:00 amto12:00 pm
October 6, 2014
6:00 pmto8:00 pm
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Santa Ana DTSA and Transit Zone Complete Streets Plan

City of Santa Ana

Community Alert: City of Santa Ana Seeks Public Input with Plans to Make Walking and Bicycling Safer and Easier in Downtown Santa Ana

Public invited to attend 3-day design workshop on September 25-27

SANTA ANA, CA – Imagine downtown Santa Ana as a bicycle and pedestrian-friendly environment that encourages visitors and residents to park their cars and enjoy the city up close! That is the goal for Santa Ana city planners and a team of consultants who are embarking on development of the Downtown/Transit Zone Complete Streets Plan.

Complete Streets provide opportunities for increased physical activity by incorporating features that promote regular walking, bicycling and transit use into just about every street. A benefit that results from this approach would include improvements that make it easier and safer to travel between the Transportation Center and Downtown Santa Ana on foot, by bicycle or public transit. Read more…

 
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It is time to take down the Orange County Vector Control District

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OC Vector Control District Hacks

Just some of the hacks who serve on the Orange County Vector Control District’s Board of Trustees

From the OC Politics Blog

Is it time to fold the Orange County Vector Control District (OCVCD) into the Orange County Health Care Agency?  The OCVCD got caught this week trying to spray insecticides in several inner city neighborhoods of Santa Ana, after sending out a last minute press release last Friday about spraying that was at the time to take place on Monday.

I wrote a series of posts over at my New Santa Ana blog that exploded on Facebook, generating over 60,000 views and thousands of calls and emails to the many local politicians whose contact information appeared in my posts.  By Monday the OCVCD was waving the white flag.  They “suspended” the spraying due to the weather but the reality is that the backlash I generated, which I ended up calling “Mosquito Gate” made the spraying a total no-go.

Residents said they were unaware of the spraying and reacted online, with some calling the procedure a “toxic spray down.” Some residents questioned why only specific neighborhoods were targeted. Others who work in the early hours expressed concern of health effects associated with the scheduled early-morning spraying, according to the OC Register. Read more…

 
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OCCTAC to hold a charity fundraiser silent auction tonight to support their new food bank

September 11, 2014
5:00 pmto8:00 pm
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OCCTA Silent Auction

The Orange County Children’s Therapeutic ARTS Center will hold a fundraising event in support of their new Community Food Bank on Thursday, Sept. 11 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

This event includes live art demonstrations, entertainment, raffles, refreshments, and a wide variety of auction items. Many important members of the local community are also expected to attend.

The ARTS center helps young people, especially those of limited financial means or in foster situations, by offering a program that combines academics, the arts, and creative therapies. The objective is to inspire and empower youths to realize their full potential despite their current situation. Read more…

 
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Chevron’s Fuel Your School Program returns to Orange County

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Chevron’s Fuel Your School Program Returns to Orange County

Innovative Collaboration with DonorsChoose.org will help generate up to $1 million for local public school teachers and students

ORANGE COUNTY, CA, Sept. 9, 2014 Chevron U.S.A. Inc. (NYSE: CVX) today announced the third annual launch of its Fuel Your School program in Orange County. This year, the program will expand to 22 U.S. communities to give educators necessary tools for students to learn, explore, and get excited about school. Chevron encourages STEM-related projects, to help prepare students for jobs of the future.

“Chevron is again looking forward to supporting local classrooms with our Fuel Your School program,” said Hector Infante, Policy, Government and Public Affairs Manager for Chevron in Orange County. “We know how key a quality education is to success in the modern economy. With Fuel Your School, Chevron can help equip public schools with engaging classroom resources needed.”  Read more…

 
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