Our posts about Santa Ana’s Cafe Lu and Councilman Bustamante topped the charts in 2011
What a year it has been here in Santa Ana – and on this blog, the New Santa Ana. Since January 1, 2011, we have had 226,798 Visits and 407,051 Pageviews. Wow! That’s not bad for a blog that was started not too long ago, in September of 2009.
Now let’s take a look at our top stories this year:
- Cafe Lu – I had no idea when I first wrote about Santa Ana’s Cafe Lu that a post about a little coffee shop with bikini-clad servers and hostesses would blow up as it did – but in the end every single post we wrote about Cafe Lu got thousands of hits. In all, these posts got over 13,0000 visits! Click here to read the one that started it all.
- Carlos Bustamante – When Santa Ana Councilman Carlos Bustamante tried to use the Santa Ana Code of Ethics to punish his colleague, Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez (even though she was absolutely instrumental in his 2008 reelection) did he have any clue that a few months later he would be quitting his high-paying job at the County of Orange, while facing serious charges of sexual harassment? Bustamante made the headlines again this week when he was named to the list of 2011 Worst Bosses in the U.S.
- Kinde Durkee – This former Treasurer of the Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC) wiped out bank accounts of many of the top elected Democrats in California, including all of our locally elected legislators – State Senator Lou Correa, Assemblyman Jose Solorio and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. And the FBI seized the DPOC’s remaining funds. What a mess. It was an early Christmas for the Republicans. Click here to read our first post about her.
- George Collins, who ran for Mayor of Santa Ana last year, posted a video showing one if his fellow Republicans making anti-Muslim remarks. He pulled down the video eventually but the post we wrote about it blew up.
- Mexican Mafia. In July of this year, “Federal and state authorities charged 99 alleged Orange County gang members with crimes including murder, drug trafficking and extortion, at least half or whom were associated with the Mexican Mafia prison gang.” Sure enough, it was Alfredo Amezcua’s old pal Pete Ojeda causing trouble again – and getting busted for it in Operation Black Flag. We wrote about it here.
- Tom Daly. When one of O.C. Clerk-Recorder Tom Daly’s overpaid employees fell asleep at work, who knew that a coworker would capture the moment with her camera? Our post about it was a big hit this year.
- Claudia Alvarez. Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez was fighting for the Latino small business owners in Downtown Santa Ana when she made an analogy comparing landlord Irv Chase to Hitler. She apologized for it, which we posted about here. She is still our Mayor Pro Tem, and is still fighting for the rights of Latino small business owners, while Santa Ana Councilman Carlos Bustamante, who tried to use this scandal to bring her down, is now out of a high-paying job. That’s karma Carlos!
- Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana. The SAUSD hired a new Superintendent – Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana. It was big news and we wrote about it here. Oh, and we scooped everyone in town with that post.
- Dave Ream. Santa Ana City Manager Dave Ream finally retired. Several years too late if you ask me. We wrote about it here.
- Michele Martinez. Santa Ana Council Member Michele Martinez had a tough 2011. She lost her mom and her Great Grandmother. But she also announced her campaign for the 69th Assembly District. We hope she wins! We wrote about this here.
Were there other big stories? You bet. In fact every post we wrote about Bustamante blew up. And our posts at the end of the year about the Santiago Creek bike trail have developed a life of their own. In fact that story has actually pulled former Councilman Ted Moreno out of his self-imposed political exile. Read about that here.
What will be the big stories in 2012? Well, we don’t know yet but I suspect that the ongoing budget crisis, which is close to being resolved, will continue. And we will find out if the brazen Bustamante will run for the City Council again – and whether or not Alvarez will be allowed to. Stay tuned…and thanks for reading the New Santa Ana blog in 2011!