Louis Casiano

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Gun-control, gun-rights advocates stage opposing protests in Brea and Fullerton

Gun control advocates are protesting and marching to the Fullerton headquarters of a gun-rights group on Saturday, Aug. 4 to demand that politicians stop accepting money from the gun lobby and pass gun reform.

Organizers with March for Our Lives and Students Demand Action Orange County are expecting up to 1,000 people to attend the March on the NRA Southern California at Arovista Park in Brea.

The pro-gun group March 4 Our Rights is staging a counter protest.

The day was to begin with a rally featuring around 10 speakers, including Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton and Donna Brown, whose son Clifton Hibbert Jr., 22, and a friend were killed in 2008 by a gunman weeks before his graduation from California State University, Northridge, and others impacted by gun violence.

 

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“We’re demanding an end to the NRA’s corrupting influence in politics that has helped prevent politicians from passing common-sense gun reform that would save countless lives,” said Davis Han, a spokesman for March for Our Lives Los Angeles.

The march is one of several being held around the nation.

Tina Mathieu, a singer and alum of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 people were killed in a February mass shooting, performed at the Brea event.

The rally was to be followed by a 1-mile march to protest near the California Rifle & Pistol Association. The protest will also double as a voter registration drive.

For gun control advocates, reform should come in the form of keeping weapons away from those who shouldn’t be allowed access to them and restricting civilian access to assault weapons, Han said.

Regardless of the type of weapon, the responsibility falls on the individual when using it, said Michaele DeGroote, communications director for the pro-gun group March 4 Our Rights, which is staging a counter protest at the CRPA parking lot on Saturday.

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The group expects up to 200 people and will be recruiting new NRA members, DeGroote said.

“We’re just educating people about the second amendment and also defending the NRA as the longest civil rights organization,” DeGroote said. “I think they need to realize that places with the most gun control are the places are where the most deaths by guns happen.”

The NRA brought the protest to the attention of March 4 Our Rights but is not sponsoring the counter protest, DeGroote said.

The rally began at 10 a.m. at Arovista Park, 500 W. Imperial Hwy in Brea, to be followed by the march at 11:15 a.m.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/04/gun-control-advocates-stage-protest-in-brea-and-fullerton/

OC Fair 2018: In an era of distractions, these teens keep their focus on raising farm animals

During the school year, Katerina Gomez wakes well before dawn to make it to the farm at Fullerton Union High School to feed and walk her lamb Mama before class.

As a member of the school’s Future Farmers of America chapter, FFA, Gomez, 16, has spent even more time caring for her seven-month-old lamb at this year’s OC Fair, arriving at the fairgrounds in the early morning hours and leaving in the evening.

  • Masen Karsten, 13, with Trabuco Trailblazers 4H, carries her Grand Champion market broilers, Drumstick and Nugget, to the auction ring at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • “Key” naps in his pen while awaiting auction at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 21, 2018. He is owned by Nick Valencia, 19, a graduate of Mission Viejo High School and a member of FFA. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Aden Cota, 15, bathes “Jax,” owned by Amanda Buettner, 17, before he goes to auction at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 21, 2018. They are both students from La Habra High School and members of FFA.(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cameron Cates, 7, carries a sign into the auction ring hyping his cousin Sarah Mills’ Grand Champion market lamb, “Gomer” at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 21, 2018. Mills, a Sunny Hills High School student is with the Clover Leaf 4H. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cameron Cates, 7, carries a sign into the auction ring hyping his cousin’s Grand Champion market lamb, “Gomer” at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Masen Karsten, 13, with Trabuco Trailblazers 4H, is cheered on by her leader, Shelmarie Main, as she carries her Grand Champion market broilers, Drumstick and Nugget, to the auction ring at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Sonora High School student Vanessa Canchola of La Habra holds her bushel-full of prized bunnies, Dingo, Alpha and Omega at the OC Fair livestock auction in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Dominique Montes, 15, with La Habra Hilltoppers 4H, shows off “Ruger” during auction at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Hank, the 2018 Grand Champion Market Hog owned by Alexandra Emch from Sonora High School, appears shy as he is auctioned off at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Dylan Mongan, 18, shows off his turkey, “Andre the Great,” during the livestock auction at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • “Andre the Great,” a 2018 Grand Champion market turkey, struts his stuff at the OC Fair auction in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Dylan Mongan, 18, shows off his turkey, “Andre the Great,” during the livestock auction at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Children with the 4H club watch the livestock auction at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Livestock bidders take part in the OC Fair auction in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Scot Worrell, an auction spotter calls out the bids during the livestock auction at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Bidders pack the livestock auction house at the OC fair in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Auctioneer Todd Ventura gets the livestock bids going at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Shelmarie Main, left, and Masen Karsten, 13, with Trabuco Trailblazers 4H, congratulate Dylan Mongan, 18, after his turkey “Andre the Great” was auctioned off at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Amanda Gomez, 15, of Buena Park, reacts as her sheep “Chevy” gets auctioned off at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Masen Karsten, 13, with Trabuco Trailblazers 4H, carries one of her two Grand Champion market broilers, Drumstick and Nugget, after selling them in auction at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa on Saturday, July 21, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Brianna Leday, of Fullerton High School FFA, tries to lead her steer, Trouble, to water on the opening day of the OC Fair in Costa Mesa on Friday, July 13, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Amy Sorgdrager, of Sunny Hills High School FFA, washes her goat, Champ on the opening day of the OC Fair in Costa Mesa on Friday, July 13, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A goat gets a bath on the opening day of the OC Fair in Costa Mesa on Friday, July 13, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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In an era when the lives of so many teenagers revolve around social media and their friends, working with farm animals in sometimes hot conditions doesn’t have the appeal of say, a day at the beach.

“It takes up your whole schedule,” said Gomez, adding that her friends outside FFA don’t understand her work ethic. “They don’t understand that it’s hard work but it’s worth it. You get go to all these events and I think everybody should just try it out. At least one year.”

The number of FFA clubs — which promote the importance of agricultural sciences — in Orange County has declined in recent years, but the chapters still around are stronger than ever, each comprising at least several dozen students.

The nine FFA clubs participating in the OC Fair this year include chapters in several high schools, including Buena Park, Orange, Fullerton Union, Sunny Hills, Westminster, Mission Viejo, Sonora, La Habra and Covina.

Over several days at the fair, FFA members lifted stacks of hay, cleaned up excrement from pigs, lambs and other livestock and competed in competitions in between.

Working 10- to 12-hours days hasn’t deterred members, who say the sometimes-tedious work is worth it. Gomez credited her FFA chapter for helping to improve her social skills and offering a rewarding experience.

On Friday, July 20, Sonora High School junior Alex Urias, 17, was taking a break as temperatures climbed into the 80s. With his t-shirt soaked in sweat, he praised the work ethic FFA has taught him over the past three years.

“What we do in the program is learn to work hard and learn to live your life in that way,” Urias said.

Earlier in the week, Urias and his lamb Travis participated in a show competition at the fairgrounds, to no avail. They weren’t awarded a prize, he said, with a look of disappointment.

Sonora High School has up to 65 FFA members working the fair, said school FFA adviser Jeremy Johnson. The attraction of agricultural science classes and FFA to some students stems from the unique way of learning those programs offer, he said.

“There’s definitely that hands-on approach that’s enticing to them,” Johnson said. “The second part of that is partly due to the instructors. We see them for hours and hours every day.  By the time it’s all said and done we’re all family.”

In an effort to promote agriculture, Mission Viejo High School has built an academy program, said Cherie Shook, an agriculture and biology teacher at the school.

“They way we’ve survived over the decades is these kids get science credit for the courses that they take in the agriculture program,” Shook said. “Some, they love animals and they came in loving animals.”

Recent graduate Brianna Shannon, 18, spent her years at Mission Viejo High School in FFA, raising heifers and poultry.

She said she’s heard the criticism from family and friends who don’t understand her level of commitment or can’t reconcile raising animals that will eventually make their way into the food chain.

“I love what I do and I know that raising these animals gives them a better life,” Shannon said.

Gomez, the Fullerton Union student, likened her role to raising a child. “It’s just a really good experience overall,” she said.

Fullerton Union junior Moises Aragon, 16, is finishing up his rookie year in FFA.

He said plans to correct his mistakes moving forward.

“I was way too polite to my pig,” he said. “I treated him sentimentally and I wasn’t supposed too. Now he doesn’t really listen to me.”

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/07/23/oc-fair-2018-in-an-era-of-distractions-these-teens-keep-their-focus-on-raising-farm-animals/

Another 48 acres of sports fields open at the Orange County Great Park

A slew of playing fields and basketball courts constructed at the Orange County Great Park recently opened to the public, as Irvine continues its development of one of the largest multi-sport complexes in the country.

The recent addition of synthetic soccer and lacrosse fields, four basketball courts, natural turf that can accommodate four more soccer fields and parking lots across 48 acres is the second phase in the creation of the 194-acre sports park.

  • Andrew Irianto, 14, watches as his sister Jasmine 10, shoots on the newly opened basketball courts at the Orange County Great ParkÕs Sports Complex in Irvine on Thursday, July 5, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Players compete during a friendly game of volleyball on one of several sand courts at the Orange County Great ParkÕs Sports Complex in Irvine on Thursday, July 5, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Baseball fields are watered at the Orange County Great ParkÕs Sports Complex in Irvine on Thursday, July 5, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A new soccer stadium at the Orange County Great ParkÕs Sports Complex in Irvine on Thursday, July 5, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Chloe Bristow, 13, in red, handles a serve during a Volley OC volleyball camp on the sand courts at the Orange County Great ParkÕs Sports Complex in Irvine on Thursday, July 5, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Baseball fields are watered at the Orange County Great ParkÕs Sports Complex in Irvine on Thursday, July 5, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Players practice their game on the sand volleyball courts at the Orange County Great ParkÕs Sports Complex in Irvine on Thursday, July 5, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Coach Cory Dilbeck watches as his U-17 South Slammers Football Club practices on one of the new artificial turf fields at the Orange County Great ParkÕs Sports Complex in Irvine on Thursday, July 5, 2018. “We were the first ones on it,” said Dilbeck. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Gavin Zaengle, 13, serves the ball during a Volley OC volleyball camp on the sand courts at the Orange County Great ParkÕs Sports Complex in Irvine on Thursday, July 5, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The U-17 South Slammers Football Club practices on one of the new artificial turf fields at the Orange County Great ParkÕs Sports Complex in Irvine on Thursday, July 5, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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The city-owned Great Park now boasts 24 soccer/lacrosse fields and will eventually feature a mile-long trail from Irvine Boulevard to the championship soccer stadium, 12 baseball and softball fields – slated to open later this year – a second children’s play area, a 2.5-mile wildlife corridor and agricultural fields by the end of 2019.

An 18-hole golf course is expected to be completed by 2020.

“What is emerging throughout the Great Park is what will be the fourth largest multi-sport complex in the country,” Craig Reem, the city’s director of public affairs and communications, said.

Developer FivePoint is will spend around $250 million to build 688 acres of the Great Park, including the sports park, in return for concessions from the city to build 4,600 homes nearby. The facilities are being turned over to the city as they are completed.

In a separate project, Great Park Ice, a $100 million, 27,000-square-foot ice skating rink will open nearby in the park later this year. The facility will be paid for, maintained and operated by an Anaheim Ducks affiliate.

One recent evening, the South Slammers FC girls soccer team ran drills and played a practice game on one of the new synthetic fields.

The team christened the fields several days before, coach Cory Dilbeck said. The team also practices on the natural-turf fields in another part of the park, he said, adding that he prefers the synthetic fields during cooler temperatures.

“You never have to worry about the surface on this,” he said. “It’s always going to be perfect. Those other fields take a beating.”

The new fields won the approval of Ella Kehlenbeck, 15, a Mission Viejo resident who plays center back for the Slammers.

“Now that’s it’s turf, it just holds everything better,” she said.

In August 2017, the first phase of the complex opened: 25 tennis courts, seven natural turf fields, a 5,000-seat soccer stadium, five sand volleyball courts and a children’s play area on 53 acres.

Last month, the park added beach volleyball lessons for all levels to its list of amenities. Instructor Megan Armstrong with VolleyOC worked with four players one recent Thursday evening on passing and body control.

“We’re just teaching the bare basics just to get the technical stuff and then we can start getting involved in actual play,” she said.

Several hundred yards away in the new basketball courts, Ayush Nayak, 10, was clad in Golden State Warriors gear from head to toe as he practiced layups and his jump shot from as far as 20 feet out.

Nayak’s family recently moved to Chino Hills from Pleasanton and only found the park during an internet search, his father, Debajyoti said.

“He loves basketball, so this is wonderful,” the older Nayak said before suggesting the addition of a food court. “If some food court were there, I’m happy to stay morning to evening.”

For a list of amenities or to register for classes at he Great Park, go to cityofirvine.org.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/07/06/another-48-acres-of-sports-fields-open-at-the-orange-county-great-park/

Thousands of revelers flock to Huntington Beach for annual Fourth of July parade

  • Rosie the Riveter flexes her muscles during the the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Boy Scouts carry Huntington Beach’s historic Freedom Flag, flown over Valley Forge, Independence Hall, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Gettysburg and the U.S. Capitol, during the 114th Fourth of July parade in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Children scramble to get candy during the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Devon Holt springs into action on his jumping stilts during the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade in downtown Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Curtis Husted rolls along the parade route in his “German Wheel” during the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • El Bekal Shriners zoom around in Tin Lizzies during the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A passenger pup takes in the sights during the bike parade which kicked off the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July event in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Kitty sits pretty on a customized skate board built by owner Dennis Bennett. They were cruising in the bike parade, which kicked off the Fourth of July parade in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Ruffle, a 20-year-old Macaw, watches the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade with owner Carlos Zamrron, who says the bird is a very loving companion. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Children chase bubbles during the 114th Fourth of July parade themed, “A Star Spangled Salute.” The event included celebrities, bands and community organizations in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Tonita Langdon feels the patriotism during the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. The long-time resident says she attends every year.(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Historic military aircraft pass over the Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • California State Military Recruiters greet the crowd during the Fourth of July parade in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Charlee Pelle walks the Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade route with miniature horse, Lexi, on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The crowd watches performers during the Fourth of July parade in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • One-year-old Charlotte Hinz and her dad Matt watch the Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • It’s a dog at a pony show as this pooch watches the horses gallop past at the Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • El Bekal Shriners zoom around in Tin Lizzies during the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A couple comes face-to-face on a unique bicycle built for two during the bike parade in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. The Fourth of July parade followed. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Huntington Beach motorcycle officer Frank Gallant, wears patriotic shades as he leads off the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A boy in the back of a burley stroller takes in the sights during the Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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Mark and Peggy-Ann Kavanaugh enjoyed the sea of red, white and blue, parade floats, decorative bicycles, marching bands and military service members passing by as the couple sat with their dog, Buddy, on a grassy area across the street from Huntington Beach High School.

The Huntington Beach couple said they have attended the annual Fourth of July parade in the city for 10 years, viewing it as a way to connect with neighbors.

“It’s a sense of community,” Mark Kavanaugh, 56,  said Wednesday. “Everyone just seems to relax, and stop and think about the country and what’s happened in the past and where we are today and why we got here.”

And estimated more than half a million revelers cheered as parade floats and school bands marched the 2.3-mile route up Main Street from Pacific Coast Highway to Yorktown Avenue. Billed as the oldest Fourth of July parade west of the Mississippi, the procession turned 114-years-old Wednesday.

This year’s theme was “A Star-Spangled Salute.”

“It just encompasses all patriotic feelings,” said parade director Pat Stier. “When you look at the world, you have your own feelings on it. It’s just a good all-around theme that we try to make general for everybody.”

The grand marshal this year was Burt Ward, the actor best known for playing Robin in the 1960s “Batman” TV series.

Sporadic chants of “USA, USA” could be heard throughout the parade route, high school bands played “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and World War II veterans waved from slow-moving cars while current military service members walked and greeted the crowd.

Up above, police helicopters and Navy planes flew overhead.

On-lookers donned their flashiest red, white and blue attire on the sunny day in observance of the holiday and thousands riding beach cruiser bicycles crowded Main Street before the procession got under way.

On Pacific Coast Highway and 8th Street, Huntington Beach resident Amy Kremnitzer stood near her bicycle decked out in American flag regalia. Kremnitzer wore a tutu and hair pins in the colors of the flag.

The 36-year-old said she has been a fixture at the celebration for 12 years and started decorating her bicycle five years ago.

“It’s fun,” Kremnitzer said. “We know how to celebrate here.”

The parade is one of many gatherings across Orange County celebrating Independence Day.

The beachside parade began in 1904 and is one of three events being held in the Surf City on Wednesday – the others being a 5K run and a fireworks show.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/07/04/thousands-of-revelers-flock-to-huntington-beach-for-annual-fourth-of-july-parade/

Thousands of revelers flock to Huntington Beach for annual Fourth of July parade

  • Rosie the Riveter flexes her muscles during the the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Boy Scouts carry Huntington Beach’s historic Freedom Flag, flown over Valley Forge, Independence Hall, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Gettysburg and the U.S. Capitol, during the 114th Fourth of July parade in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Children scramble to get candy during the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Devon Holt springs into action on his jumping stilts during the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade in downtown Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Curtis Husted rolls along the parade route in his “German Wheel” during the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • El Bekal Shriners zoom around in Tin Lizzies during the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A passenger pup takes in the sights during the bike parade which kicked off the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July event in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Kitty sits pretty on a customized skate board built by owner Dennis Bennett. They were cruising in the bike parade, which kicked off the Fourth of July parade in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Ruffle, a 20-year-old Macaw, watches the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade with owner Carlos Zamrron, who says the bird is a very loving companion. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Children chase bubbles during the 114th Fourth of July parade themed, “A Star Spangled Salute.” The event included celebrities, bands and community organizations in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Tonita Langdon feels the patriotism during the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. The long-time resident says she attends every year.(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Historic military aircraft pass over the Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • California State Military Recruiters greet the crowd during the Fourth of July parade in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Charlee Pelle walks the Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade route with miniature horse, Lexi, on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The crowd watches performers during the Fourth of July parade in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • One-year-old Charlotte Hinz and her dad Matt watch the Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • It’s a dog at a pony show as this pooch watches the horses gallop past at the Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • El Bekal Shriners zoom around in Tin Lizzies during the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A couple comes face-to-face on a unique bicycle built for two during the bike parade in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. The Fourth of July parade followed. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Huntington Beach motorcycle officer Frank Gallant, wears patriotic shades as he leads off the 114th Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A boy in the back of a burley stroller takes in the sights during the Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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Mark and Peggy-Ann Kavanaugh enjoyed the sea of red, white and blue, parade floats, decorative bicycles, marching bands and military service members passing by as the couple sat with their dog, Buddy, on a grassy area across the street from Huntington Beach High School.

The Huntington Beach couple said they have attended the annual Fourth of July parade in the city for 10 years, viewing it as a way to connect with neighbors.

“It’s a sense of community,” Mark Kavanaugh, 56,  said Wednesday. “Everyone just seems to relax, and stop and think about the country and what’s happened in the past and where we are today and why we got here.”

And estimated more than half a million revelers cheered as parade floats and school bands marched the 2.3-mile route up Main Street from Pacific Coast Highway to Yorktown Avenue. Billed as the oldest Fourth of July parade west of the Mississippi, the procession turned 114-years-old Wednesday.

This year’s theme was “A Star-Spangled Salute.”

“It just encompasses all patriotic feelings,” said parade director Pat Stier. “When you look at the world, you have your own feelings on it. It’s just a good all-around theme that we try to make general for everybody.”

The grand marshal this year was Burt Ward, the actor best known for playing Robin in the 1960s “Batman” TV series.

Sporadic chants of “USA, USA” could be heard throughout the parade route, high school bands played “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and World War II veterans waved from slow-moving cars while current military service members walked and greeted the crowd.

Up above, police helicopters and Navy planes flew overhead.

On-lookers donned their flashiest red, white and blue attire on the sunny day in observance of the holiday and thousands riding beach cruiser bicycles crowded Main Street before the procession got under way.

On Pacific Coast Highway and 8th Street, Huntington Beach resident Amy Kremnitzer stood near her bicycle decked out in American flag regalia. Kremnitzer wore a tutu and hair pins in the colors of the flag.

The 36-year-old said she has been a fixture at the celebration for 12 years and started decorating her bicycle five years ago.

“It’s fun,” Kremnitzer said. “We know how to celebrate here.”

The parade is one of many gatherings across Orange County celebrating Independence Day.

The beachside parade began in 1904 and is one of three events being held in the Surf City on Wednesday – the others being a 5K run and a fireworks show.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/07/04/thousands-of-revelers-flock-to-huntington-beach-for-annual-fourth-of-july-parade-2/

Launch delayed, again, for mini satellite built by Irvine high school students

The launching of a pint-sized satellite built and designed by Irvine high school students over several years was scrubbed over the weekend, adding to frustrations of those involved in the delayed-plagued project.

Many with the project had gathered Friday, June 22, for a launch party at Portola High only to have the mission cancelled after a couple hours of waiting

There were issues with a tracking station, said Brent Freeze, the co-founder of Irvine CubeSat, the STEM program that comprises students from six high schools from the Tustin and Irvine unified school districts that built the CubeSat, dubbed IRVINE01.

“It’s frustrating,” Freeze said. “There was issue that it was going to give reliable telemetry. Any launch is extremely hard to plan.”

The launch was delayed again over the weekend by the tracking station repairs and weather. IRVINE01 is on a rocket being launched from New Zealand by Rocket Lab, which has offices in Huntington Beach.

The nanosatellite project previously experienced launch delays in Russia and India.

“It’s been delayed for a long time,” said Woodbridge High School senior, Hannah Hui. “A lot of seniors graduated already.”

Hui and classmate Shek Kam, also 17, have been involved in the CubeSat project since their freshman year.

When it enters space, the CubeSat will deploy from a rocket and snap photos of Venus, the moon and stars for a year, with the capacity to operate for four years, Freeze said.

If successful, Irvine CubeSat will be the first high school program on the West Coast to launch an operational satellite into orbit. The project caught the eye of NASA, and an Irvine02 and IRVINE03 will be built and will participate in upcoming missions sponsored by the space agency.

There is a two-week launch window this time for launching the satellite, Breeze said.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/06/24/launch-delayed-again-for-mini-satellite-built-by-irvine-high-school-students/

Smokin’ Grooves revived with The Roots, Erykah Badu at sold-out festival in Long Beach

As Long Beach works to preserve and revitalize the Queen Mary, it’s appropriate that the Smokin’ Grooves festival attracted thousands to the ship’s waterfront grounds Saturday, June 16 — the event itself the one-day revival of a revolutionary hip-hop tour.

With a sold-out crowd, the 38-act lineup was a cross between well-known rap and R&B artists and up-and-coming performers across three stages, topped by Erykah Badu and featuring performances by the Roots featuring Busta Rhymes and San Pedro local Miguel.

  • The Smokin’ Grooves Festival took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

    The Smokin’ Grooves Festival took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • Ravyn Lenae entertains the crowd at the Smokin’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

    Ravyn Lenae entertains the crowd at the Smokin’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

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  • Ravyn Lenae entertains the crowd at the Smokin’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

    Ravyn Lenae entertains the crowd at the Smokin’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Smokin’ Grooves Festival took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

    The Smokin’ Grooves Festival took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • Lion Babe entertains the crowd at the Smokin’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

    Lion Babe entertains the crowd at the Smokin’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • Lion Babe entertains the crowd during The Smokin’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

    Lion Babe entertains the crowd during The Smokin’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Smokin’’ Grooves Festival took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

    The Smokin’’ Grooves Festival took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Smokin’ Grooves Festival took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

    The Smokin’ Grooves Festival took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Smokin’ Grooves Festival took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

    The Smokin’ Grooves Festival took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • Quin entertains the crowd at the Smokin’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach. on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

    Quin entertains the crowd at the Smokin’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach. on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • Quin gets up close and personal with the crowd at the Smokin’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

    Quin gets up close and personal with the crowd at the Smokin’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • Quin entertains the crowd at the Smokin’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

    Quin entertains the crowd at the Smokin’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • Guests take a selfie in front of the Long Beach skyline during the Smokin’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

    Guests take a selfie in front of the Long Beach skyline during the Smokin’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Smokin’’ Grooves Festival took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

    The Smokin’’ Grooves Festival took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • Masego entertains the crowd at the Smokin’’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

    Masego entertains the crowd at the Smokin’’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • Fans dance to the music at the Smokin’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

    Fans dance to the music at the Smokin’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Smokin’ Grooves Festival took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

    The Smokin’ Grooves Festival took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Smokin’ Grooves Festival took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

    The Smokin’ Grooves Festival took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • Guests dance their way to the stage at the Smokin’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

    Guests dance their way to the stage at the Smokin’ Grooves Festival that took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Smokin’ Grooves Festival took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

    The Smokin’ Grooves Festival took over the grounds surrounding the Queen Mary in Long Beach on June 16, 2018. (Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

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The original Smokin’ Grooves tour launched in 1996 as a way to bring hip-hop to audiences in cities lacking a scene as well as an outlet to artists and groups that were having trouble getting bookings because of the violent perceptions of the genre.

Rhymes performed on the inaugural tour in 1996 with Badu and the Roots both on the bill the following year. Smokin’ Grooves ended in 1998, but returned in 2002 for a 15-date tour that featured Lauryn Hill and Cee-Lo Green.

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Like the original Smokin’ Grooves, the lineup featured a mix of established performers and rising artists.

Badu’s hour-long set started around 10 p.m. with an immediate throwback to the early days of Smokin’ Grooves as she opened with her 1997 hit, “Tyrone,” much to the delight of the crowd.

Earlier in the evening, the Roots’ lead vocalist Black Thought took the crowd on a minutes-long solo before going into “You Got Me,” a 1998 collaboration with Badu and fellow Philadelphia rapper Eve, although Badu didn’t appear on stage until her headlining set.

R&B singer Miguel performed the penultimate set that included the early hit “Adorn” as well as his most recent chart-climbers “Come Through and Chill” and “Sky Walker.”

At one point he switched between singing in English and Spanish, and acknowledged his Mexican and local roots.

“I grew up in San Pedro and Inglewood,” he told the crowd. “My father is from Zamora, Michoacan, Mexico. My mother is a beautiful black woman from Inglewood and that’s where they met.”

Other artists who performed on Saturday included NxWorries (Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge), Thundercat, Les Nubians, Majid Jordan and Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def.

The mostly stylish crowd was young and seemed to be responsive to not only the big names on the bill, but also the acts looking to cross over into the mainstream.

Several concert-goers gave Canadian R&B duo Dvsn good reviews as they were leaving the show.

“There was a lot of dope acts, said Yorba Linda resident Gil Salvador. “Dvsn killed it. You talk about a singer. Oh man!”

Jennifer Servellon, 24, came with a friend from the Inland Empire and enjoyed Miguel, but were surprised by H.E.R., an R&B singer who performed earlier that afternoon.

“We didn’t know who she was,” Servellon. “She was really good.”

Smokin’ Grooves is the latest music festival at the grounds of the ocean liner put together by Goldenvoice, which also produces the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Stagecoach Country Music Festival.

Goldenvoice partnered with Urban Commons, the Queen Mary’s leaseholder, last year to bring more large-scale music events to the ship. In April, fans flocked to the Smokers Club Festival to celebrate hip-hop and marijuana culture.

The next large-scale music festival at the site is Summertime in the LBC on July 7, with Long Beach native Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, The Isley Brothers and more.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/06/17/smokin-grooves-revived-with-the-roots-erykah-badu-at-sold-out-festival-in-long-beach/

Red Hat Society members have a ‘hoot’ in Fullerton

  • Members of the Red Hat Society pose for a group photo during their “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Members of the Red Hat Society pose for a group photo during their “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Red Hatters cheer during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Red Hatters cheer during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

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  • Sherry Lee Norwood, of San Clemente, wears hat with a brassiere on top of it during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Sherry Lee Norwood, of San Clemente, wears hat with a brassiere on top of it during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Founder and Exalted Queen Mother Sue Ellen Cooper, right, hugs Kathy Bee during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Founder and Exalted Queen Mother Sue Ellen Cooper, right, hugs Kathy Bee during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Katherine Henson, Kathy Partaine, and Lana Thompson, all of San Diego, walk down the platform after arriving on the train during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Katherine Henson, Kathy Partaine, and Lana Thompson, all of San Diego, walk down the platform after arriving on the train during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Judy Ausmus, of Santa Ana, smiles for a portrait while wearing a lanyard full of pins during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Judy Ausmus, of Santa Ana, smiles for a portrait while wearing a lanyard full of pins during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Tory Armstrong, left, and Catherine Stallings, right, both of Bakersfield, talk during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Tory Armstrong, left, and Catherine Stallings, right, both of Bakersfield, talk during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Members of the Red Hat Society prepare to eat lunch during their “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Members of the Red Hat Society prepare to eat lunch during their “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Members of the Red Hat Society check in during their “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Members of the Red Hat Society check in during their “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Sally Brady, of Placentia, waves to new arrivals during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Sally Brady, of Placentia, waves to new arrivals during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Sherry Lee Norwood, of San Clemente, right, laughs with  Deepa Vachani, of Irvine, during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Sherry Lee Norwood, of San Clemente, right, laughs with Deepa Vachani, of Irvine, during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Kathy Bee leads the singing of a Red Hat-themed song during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Kathy Bee leads the singing of a Red Hat-themed song during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cathy Homer, of Lompoc, is seen wearing a “queen” hat during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Cathy Homer, of Lompoc, is seen wearing a “queen” hat during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Red Hatters wave at a passing train during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Red Hatters wave at a passing train during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Sherry Lee Norwood, of San Clemente, left, laughs with  Deepa Vachani, of Irvine, during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Sherry Lee Norwood, of San Clemente, left, laughs with Deepa Vachani, of Irvine, during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Trisha Lewis, of Hemet, takes a selfie with Founder and
Exalted Queen Mother Sue Ellen Cooper during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Trisha Lewis, of Hemet, takes a selfie with Founder and Exalted Queen Mother Sue Ellen Cooper during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Trisha Lewis, of Hemet, wears a red hat during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Trisha Lewis, of Hemet, wears a red hat during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Patricia Phaneuf, of La Crescenta, has a quiet moment to herself during during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Patricia Phaneuf, of La Crescenta, has a quiet moment to herself during during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • An onlooker watches the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    An onlooker watches the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Twins, Marilyn Flareau, of Thousand Palms, left, and
Carolyn Redman, of Yorba Linda, pose for a photo in matching outfits during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Twins, Marilyn Flareau, of Thousand Palms, left, and Carolyn Redman, of Yorba Linda, pose for a photo in matching outfits during the Red Hat Society’s “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Members of the Red Hat Society converse during their “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Members of the Red Hat Society converse during their “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

  • Members of the Red Hat Society converse during their “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

    Members of the Red Hat Society converse during their “Hoot” at Fullerton Train Station on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in Fullerton, Calif. (Photo by Josh Barber, Contributing Photographer)

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More than 200 fashionably dressed women painted downtown Fullerton red, purple and pink Saturday.

They had arrived from all over Southern California decked out in purple outfits and red and pink hats for a gathering of the Red Hat Society, a network of women – most over 50 – founded in Fullerton with chapters in all 50 states, nine Canadian provinces and several countries, including Dubai.

The get together was part of the organization’s worldwide “Hoot,” a day where chapters meet for group outings with no scheduled agenda. Other “Hoots” were happening in other parts of the world on Saturday.

“The women do whatever they qualify as fun,” said Emily Yost, a member of the Fullerton chapter and a “pink-hatter,” the name for members under 50.  “So many women do so many things for other people in their lives and they don’t know how to take a moment to play.”

Saturdays’ event held significance because it fell on the 20th anniversary of the Red Hat Society’s founding. Some members wore simple red or pink visor hats with purple t-shirts and others donned bright red hats and dresses emblazoned with trinkets.

Before setting out to restaurants and shopping –  which Red Hat Society founder Sue Ellen Cooper considers a sport – members congregated and essentially took over the Fullerton Transportation Center, singing songs and waving to trains arriving with fellow red-hatters.

Diane Mullins, 70, took an Amtrak train from San Diego with two members of her local chapter, the “Top Cat Hatters.” It was her third “Hoot” and she planned to have lunch and enjoy the company of other members, she said.

“It’s time to live your life,” Mullins said of the “Hoot” events.

The outing was as much about women’s empowerment as it as about having fun, Cooper said, referring to the notion that older women are sometimes forgotten once through raising a family.

“It’s empowerment with a sense of humor,” Cooper, 75, said. “We are so not dead and so not done. We refuse to be overlooked, so how do you overlook a bunch of women in purple and red.”

On Saturday, members came from as far as Santa Barbara and nearby states.

Bakersfield resident Catherine Stallings, 89, described the gathering of women as “lovely.”

Chino Hills resident Jeri Blanchard, 79, drove to Fullerton with her local chapter, the “Ladies of Glimmer.” She expected the crowd to draw the attention of passersby.

“No matter where we go, people will take pictures of us,” Blanchard said. “It’s a sea of red and purple.”

New Red Hat Society member and Irvine resident Deepa Vachani, 69, danced and mingled outside the Santa Fe Café at the train station.

She had scouted the organization for several years but had assumed the women were snobby because of their red hats, she said.

In joining the group, Vachani, sporting a bright red hat herself, said she’s found other vibrant women with similar interest.

“I found my niche,” she said. Saying she’s young at heart, Vachani added, “I found the right place.”

 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/06/09/red-hat-society-members-have-a-hoot-in-fullerton/

Lake Forest officials expect Veterans Park with renovated pond to be ready this fall after delays

Veterans Park upgrades are coming along, officials say they expect the Lake Forest park to reopen in the fall.

Crews have rebuilt the drained pond at the park, formerly known as Village Pond Park, and are completing the installation of new features. And, the city will soon solicit for a contractor to build a memorial planned nearby to honor the military.

The city has budgeted $100,000 for the installation; the final product will be five small pillars overlooking the pond, each honoring a branch of the armed forces.

  • Items ranging from a wheelchair and skateboards to a Buddha statue were found at the bottom of the pond at Veterans Park in Lake Forest. (Courtesy of Lake Forest)

    Items ranging from a wheelchair and skateboards to a Buddha statue were found at the bottom of the pond at Veterans Park in Lake Forest. (Courtesy of Lake Forest)

  • Construction crews drained the pond at Veterans Park in Lake Forest as part of $2.2 million renovation. (Courtesy of the city of Lake Forest)

    Construction crews drained the pond at Veterans Park in Lake Forest as part of $2.2 million renovation. (Courtesy of the city of Lake Forest)

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  • Items ranging from a wheelchair and skateboards to a Buddha statue were found at the bottom of the pond at Veterans Park in Lake Forest. (Courtesy of Lake Forest)

    Items ranging from a wheelchair and skateboards to a Buddha statue were found at the bottom of the pond at Veterans Park in Lake Forest. (Courtesy of Lake Forest)

  • Construction crews drained the pond at Veterans Park in Lake Forest as part of $2.2 million renovation. (Courtesy of the city of Lake Forest)

    Construction crews drained the pond at Veterans Park in Lake Forest as part of $2.2 million renovation. (Courtesy of the city of Lake Forest)

  • Items ranging from a wheelchair and skateboards to a Buddha statue were found at the bottom of the pond at Veterans Park in Lake Forest. (Courtesy of Lake Forest)

    Items ranging from a wheelchair and skateboards to a Buddha statue were found at the bottom of the pond at Veterans Park in Lake Forest. (Courtesy of Lake Forest)

  • Items ranging from a wheelchair and skateboards to a Buddha statue were found at the bottom of the pond at Veterans Park in Lake Forest. (Courtesy of Lake Forest)

    Items ranging from a wheelchair and skateboards to a Buddha statue were found at the bottom of the pond at Veterans Park in Lake Forest. (Courtesy of Lake Forest)

  • A line of geese walk by as a steam cleaning crew tries to wash the goose droppings off the sidewalk around Village Pond Park in Lake Forest in 2011. The city is now renovating the pond and adding features to discourage the bird from returning. (Register file photo)

    A line of geese walk by as a steam cleaning crew tries to wash the goose droppings off the sidewalk around Village Pond Park in Lake Forest in 2011. The city is now renovating the pond and adding features to discourage the bird from returning. (Register file photo)

  • Ducks at Village Pond Park in Lake Forest pick through the grass to look for bits of food on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. Residents living adjacent to Village Pond Park in Lake Forest have complained about the large population of ducks and geese that have made the park a mess. The renovated pond will feature deterants to the birds returning. (Register file photo)

    Ducks at Village Pond Park in Lake Forest pick through the grass to look for bits of food on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. Residents living adjacent to Village Pond Park in Lake Forest have complained about the large population of ducks and geese that have made the park a mess. The renovated pond will feature deterants to the birds returning. (Register file photo)

  • A rendering of the veterans monument design – the pillar at the back – will not be included when the project is finished this fall. (Courtesy of City of Lake Forest)

    A rendering of the veterans monument design – the pillar at the back – will not be included when the project is finished this fall. (Courtesy of City of Lake Forest)

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The renovation of the 4.7-acre park is costing $2.2 million; it was undertaken following complaints of bird feces throughout the area.

“It’s going to look like a new facility,” said Scott Wasserman, director of community services.

A garden with benches and trees and plants for attracting butterflies was added near Ridge Route Drive and an irrigation system has been installed.

After encountering structural issues with deteriorating retaining walls on the sidewalk near the pond, renovations were delayed several months, pushing the reopening date to the fall.

The money budgeted for the renovation could change slightly, said Jonathan Volzke, a senior communications and marketing analyst for the city, but no specific amount was offered.

Approval for additional spending is expected to be brought before the City Council at a later date.

Before construction began last year, fish and turtles in the pond were relocated. Waterfowl were taken to animal sanctuaries.

Once the pond was drained, crews found several cellphones and skateboards, a wheelchair and a small Buddha statue.

Residents had also called the city to report a firearm used in crime would be found at the bottom of the lake and a motorcycle used in a drive-by shooting almost three decades ago, Wasserman said.

But, neither was found, he said.

The city doesn’t plan to stock the pond with fish and turtles again and it’s new design is intended to discourage any new waterfowl that may migrate to the area for nesting.

An 18-inch drop at the side of the pond should prevent animals from getting in and out, Wasserman said, and boulders and shrubs are being added to reflect predator’s environment to dissuade birds from nesting.

Two new water fountains to be installed will also disrupt flight patterns of birds. That should cut down on the amount of bird feces left in the park, officials said.

“If you saw the old park, it was not nice because there was bird feces everywhere,” Wasserman said, adding the park had also become overrun with animals. “This is going to be a clean and nice-looking park that you’re going to want to spend time in.”

The city is still figuring out how to enforce rules prohibiting the feeding of ducks, Volzke said.

 

By the numbers:

1.5 million: Gallons of water drained from the pond over several weeks.

35: Number of waterfowl, including ducks and Canadian geese, relocated from the park.

4,000: Fish, mostly largemouth bass, sunfish and bluegill, removed from the pond and relocated elsewhere.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/06/01/lake-forest-officials-expect-veterans-park-with-renovated-pond-to-be-ready-this-fall-after-delays/

Delta, LAX announce $1.9 billion in terminal upgrades

Delta Air Lines will begin work later this year to redevelop and connect three terminals at Los Angeles International Airport as part of an ambitious $1.9 billion effort that began last year with the relocation of its operations within LAX.

Beginning in October, work will commence on the Delta Sky Way at LAX, a walkway that will connect Terminals 2, 3 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

“When it’s complete, it will reflect the modern, efficient and innovative facility that Angelenos deserve and that our customers demand,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said at a Thursday press conference to announce the plan. “This is the dawn of a new era for Delta here in Los Angeles.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti praised the plan, saying it will bring jobs and connect global communities.

“We know these terminals are going to do much more than get us from point A to point B, he said. “They’re going to be about connecting communities. They’re going to be about countries that understand each other and adding momentum to all that we are doing here in Los Angeles.”

Crews will tear down the current building that connects Terminals 2 and 3 to construct a more modern structure with more amenities. The building is expected to open in 2021.

In it will be one security area with up to 14 lines will service the terminals, thereby reducing crowds so passengers can quickly get to their gate, said Ranjan Goswami, Delta vice president for Los Angeles and sales-west.

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“By the time you step off the curb and get to your gate, it’s only going to take you a few minutes,” Goswami said “I think today we are probably more stressed at LAX and this design is meant to be more relaxing and convenient as possible.”

The 27-gate complex will feature a centralized lobby, baggage claim, retail and dining options, more gate-area seating and greater access to electric power stations for mobile devices.

The terminals will be connected to the recently-approved people mover train that is expected to open in 2023.

LAX operates more than 170 Delta flights daily and connects more passengers to other airlines, Bastian said.

Construction will not impact flights, Goswami said. said.

Phase one of the project occurred last year when Delta moved it operations from Terminals 5 and 6 to Terminals 2 and 3, swapping facilities with several airlines in the biggest terminal relocation in airport history.

The effort is part of Delta’s $12 billion plan to upgrade its airport facilities across the country. The company’s largest project of $3.6 billion is ongoing at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

Delta’s plan is the region’s second-largest infrastructure project after the Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, which will host the Chargers and Rams.

LAX has suffered received poor marks from passenger satisfaction in recent years. Last year, the facility came in third-to-last among 18 large airports, according to a J.D. Power satisfaction survey.

However, the airport was recently named one of the ten best U.S. airports for customer service, said Deborah Flint, CEO for the Los Angeles World Airports, the agency that oversees operations at LAX.

The goal is to deliver quality facilities and experiences, she said.

“Our vision is a gold-standard airport,” she said. “I am confident that with the team at Delta and the partnership that we have… that together we will achieve that gold standard vision.”

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/31/delta-lax-announce-1-9-billion-in-terminal-upgrades/

Nixon Library exhibit tells stories of Vietnamese experiences after the fighting

Hung Viet Nguyen tried several times to flee Vietnam before finally squeezing onto a boat six years after the fall of Saigon.

In 1981, he joined 25 strangers for a seven-day voyage to the Philippines to escape what he describes as an oppressive Communist regime.

The then 24-year-old Nguyen guided the packed vessel using nothing but a compass as he attempted to flag passing ships for help. A Taiwanese fishing boat finally stopped, giving Nguyen and the other passengers water and guiding them the rest of the way.

  • Personal pictures are among the items on display at “VIET STORIES: Recollections & Regenerations” exhibit at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Personal pictures are among the items on display at “VIET STORIES: Recollections & Regenerations” exhibit at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Personal pictures are among the items on display at “VIET STORIES: Recollections & Regenerations” exhibit at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Personal pictures are among the items on display at “VIET STORIES: Recollections & Regenerations” exhibit at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Detail on an immigration letter on display at “VIET STORIES: Recollections & Regenerations” exhibit at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Detail on an immigration letter on display at “VIET STORIES: Recollections & Regenerations” exhibit at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • VIET STORIES: Recollections & Regenerations exhibit at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    VIET STORIES: Recollections & Regenerations exhibit at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Personal pictures are among the items on display at “VIET STORIES: Recollections & Regenerations” exhibit at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Personal pictures are among the items on display at “VIET STORIES: Recollections & Regenerations” exhibit at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Sculpture titles, “Survivor #2” on display at “VIET STORIES: Recollections & Regenerations” exhibit at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018. The sculpture, by artist Long Nguyen, was inspired by. “the suffering and the will to endure of all refugees” (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Sculpture titles, “Survivor #2” on display at “VIET STORIES: Recollections & Regenerations” exhibit at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018. The sculpture, by artist Long Nguyen, was inspired by. “the suffering and the will to endure of all refugees” (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Refugee documents on display at “VIET STORIES: Recollections & Regenerations” exhibit at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Refugee documents on display at “VIET STORIES: Recollections & Regenerations” exhibit at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda on Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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Nguyen, 62, of Torrance, documented the trip through sketches to preserve the memory of his journey.

“I really don’t express my feelings by talking,” Nguyen said. “It was just to remember one of the very important stages of my life, because that changed my life.”

The drawings, along with a refugee camp ID card and receipts for a paid trip to America, are on display as part of “VIET STORIES: Recollection & Regenerations,” an exhibition at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum that focuses on America’s Vietnamese population following the end of Nixon’s presidency.

At the Yorba Linda museum, the past and present of Vietnamese refugees and immigrants are told though personal artifacts, oral history interviews, artwork and photographs.

Some of the displayed items include travel documents, clothes and the pieces of luggage many refugees arrived with.

In America, stories about Vietnam usually center on the Vietnam War, often omitting the experiences of those who lived the conflict before and after U.S. intervention, said Linda Vo, an Asian-American studies professor at UC Irvine and co-curator of the exhibit.

“It’s about Vietnamese-Americans, who they were in Vietnam and what happened to them during the war and what’s happened to them since,” Vo said. “People have some perception of Vietnam and the Vietnamese people, but often times it’s a very negative perception or it’s just associated with war.”

From an immigrant perspective, the Vietnamese experience is often overlooked in favor of other immigrant groups, said Olivia Anastasiadis, the supervisory museum curator for the Nixon Library.

“There’s other exhibits about immigrants, but I hadn’t seen any about the Vietnamese and the struggle that they went through,” she said. “The Nixon Library tells the story of the Vietnam War, we go through the entire struggle that Richard Nixon went through in bringing peace to the nation, but we never talk about what happened after.”

Taryn Rose was 7-years-old when she and her family packed what they could and fled South Vietnam in 1975, days before North Vietnamese military forces captured Saigon.

“I remember the night before we left, writing messages on the walls of our house so that if relatives came looking for us they would know that we had left,” Rose said.

After making their way to Arkansas, the family moved around before settling in Anaheim Hills. A graduate of UC Irvine, Rose, 51, now a resident of Beverly Hills, practiced medicine as an orthopedic surgeon before diving into the fashion industry and creating a shoe line.

Several shoes designed by Rose are displayed next to family photographs donated for the exhibit.

Photos of Minh Ho, 72, of Garden Grove, show him working for a telecommunication company in Anaheim. Ho raised his children and nephew as a single father while attending Fullerton College after his arrival in Orange County.

“I took any job when I arrived here,” Ho said.

A family portrait of his wife and four children and a nephew sit in an enclosed glass case.

His wife and two children stayed in Vietnam. His wife died several years later, but Ho was reunited with his remaining children in 1991.

Mentioned in the exhibit are Vietnamese-Americans working in industries such as film, art, politics and business.

“I think these stories give a human face to the war,” Rose said.

The exhibit also touches on the resistance some of the immigrants faced in their new communities.

In a June 1981 press release displayed in the exhibit, Westminster Mayor Kathy Buchoz stated her support for Vietnamese residents and businesses after the City Council received a petition with 100 signatures asking that business licenses be denied to any “Indochinese refugee” wishing to operate in a certain part of town.

“My personal opinion is that the petition was unconstitutional and discriminatory,” the release stated. “The circumstances that led to their seeking a new life in America were not unlike yours.”

More than 9,000 Vietnamese businesses have been counted in the Garden Grove and Westminster – part of Orange County’s Little Saigon – and residents of Vietnamese origin number more than 188,000 in Orange County.

Prominent Orange County business leader Frank Jao and his Bridgecreek Group have invested $400 million into local shopping centers, including the two-story Asian Garden Mall in Little Saigon.

Jao escaped Saigon on the second-to-last American transport plane, as those fleeing were being fired upon by Communists machine gunners.

The Nixon Library exhibit is as much for the public at-large as it is for second and third generations of Vietnamese-Americans who may not know or understand the struggles of their parents and grandparents, Jao said.

“This is giving some guidance of where the first generation came from and what they had to go through,” he said.

Viet Stories will be on display through May 28.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/04/nixon-library-exhibit-tells-stories-of-vietnamese-experiences-after-the-fighting/

Digital map of Anaheim High School would give law enforcement a quick guide to the campus in case of an active shooter or emergency

In the midst of the debate over access to firearms following a mass shooting at a Florida high school, Anaheim High School is the first school in the nation, officials said, to be mapped digitally to help first responders cut response times in an emergency and, hopefully, save lives.

In the event of an active shooter or barricaded suspect on school grounds, law enforcement can access the software for a panoramic virtual tour of every corner of the campus, said David Sobel, founder of The Sobel Group, the San Diego-based firm that developed the system.

Officers are now working with site plans and maps – sometimes outdated – that show where buildings are located, but not what it looks like inside, he said. And, it can take officers up to a half-hour to get that information.

“That knowledge is key,” Sobel said at a Tuesday, May 1, press conference at Anaheim High to unveil the system. “They’re able to retrieve this in a matter of seconds.”

Anaheim High School is the largest and oldest high school in the Anaheim Union High School District with an enrollment of 3,100, making it the perfect testing ground for the new technology, Superintendent Michael Matsuda said.

Sobel’s firm took nearly 16,000 photographs of every nook and cranny of the school campus – including closets – which was then uploaded into the mapping software.

New images would be taken of any changes to the exterior and interior, such as new or removed doors, rooms or added structures.

Accompanying the images will be floorplans, ariel maps and site plans, which officers can view on mobile devices and computers.

From a screen, first responders will be able to check for hazardous materials in science classrooms, where to cut off utilities and what kind of hinges and locks are on doors should they need to be broken down.

Matsuda said the Columbine High School shooting in 1999 could have ended differently had police had access to that type of intelligence.

“SWAT teams searched for the library where the majority of the students were killed, but they were searching on the wrong end of the school building, unaware that a new name had recently been added,” he said. “The sophistication of active shooters have only gotten better. But now, with this new technology, we can take back some of that advantage.”

The mapping system will be stored in a server at the Anaheim Police Department.

Anaheim Deputy Police Chief Mark Cyprien said the system is akin to “taking the blindfold off” of police responders.

“Knowing what they’re walking into and knowing the layout of the plan and knowing images is exponentially a game changer,” he said.

The response from law enforcement has changed since Columbine and the 2007 Virginia Tech mass shootings from staging nearby and waiting until sufficient resources arrive to putting first responders in harms way to immediately stop the attack, Sobel said.

“SWAT teams need intelligence,” he said. “Yes, they are paid to go into the unknown, but I want them to have more knowledge about what they are walking into, as that knowledge can ultimately save their lives and the lives of innocent people.”

The mapping software for Anaheim High is costing the district $25,000, Matsuda said. There aren’t plans for other school sites at this time, he said. And, for Anaheim Union schools in cities outside Anaheim, a joint decision with their respective police agencies would have to be made, he said.

In addition to Anaheim High, Sobel is digitally mapping the North Orange Continuing Education campus in Anaheim, which contains classroom space for more than 10,000 students and all the administrative offices of the North Orange County Community College District.

Sobel, a retired police officer from San Diego County, said he is also working with several San Diego County school districts interested in the software, adding that digital mapping could also be used for public and private businesses.

Though there has never been a major incident on campus, Anaheim High School conducts evacuation and other drills at least once a semester and school resource officers are assigned to schools in the district, Principal Robert Saldivar said.

In March, the school was placed on lockdown as authorities investigated gunshots reported near the school.

The spate of school shootings in recent years has put added pressure for educational leaders to prioritize safety.

“There’s definitely a pressure, but not in a bad way,” Saldivar said.” We want to make sure that we’re doing all we can.”

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/05/01/digital-map-of-anaheim-high-school-would-give-law-enforcement-a-quick-guide-to-the-campus-in-case-of-an-active-shooter-or-emergency/

Anaheim appoints award-winning local poet as its first poet laureate

Anaheim is known, among other things, for its sports and entertainment, but now city officials want to add the spoken word to that list.

The city recently appointed its first poet laureate to coincide with National Poetry Month.

West Anaheim resident and award-winning poet and writer Grant Hier will be tasked with raising the consciousness of reading and writing poetry through at least two free public workshops, two public readings and two community events.

Hier regularly attends poetry readings in the city – most recently at an Anaheim library event this month that drew 60 guests of all ages who read and recited poems, he said.

“This is stuff that I’ve already been doing, and this is, to me, a platform to do it on a broader scale,” Hier said of the two-year, unpaid honorary position. “Reading and writing poetry gives you other perspectives and helps us understand and see our connectedness.”

A poet laureate is the official poet appointed by a government or institution and is typically expected to write poems for special events throughout their term. Other cities such as Los Angeles and Laguna Beach have their own.

Robert Frost was once appointed as the U.S. poet laureate.

Carol Latham, the community outreach coordinator for the Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center, pitched the idea of a poet laureate after organizing a poetry event at the museum.

“It’s a way of bringing the community together,” Latham said. “A city this size should have one.”

As an accomplished writer, Hier is the recipient of the 2014 Prize Americana award for “Untended Garden (Histories and Reinhabitation in Suburbia),” a book-length poem that explores the history and culture of Southern California. The book took him two decades to complete.

His poetry has been included in “Orange County: A Literary Field Guide” and the fiction piece “LA Fiction Anthology: Southland Stories.” More of his work has been widely published.

“Being a lover of literature, and lover of reading, and constantly writing, is something I always did,” Hier said. “It helped me see the world and understand the world.”

As a child, Hier’s father and grandfather routinely recited poetry, he said. His favorite poem is “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman.

In 2017, Hier said he challenged himself to write an original poem each day for a year. Each Saturday, Louie Perez, a close friend and member of the rock band Los Lobos, and Hier text each other an original poem, Hier said.

Hier said he envisions exposing residents to poetry who otherwise might “not have the opportunity that people in other places have.”

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait said he wasn’t sure if Anaheim is home to a significant number of poets, but feels the city’s diverse population makes it “ripe to have a scene.”

“It’s about giving access to this great artform that sometimes gets overlooked,” Tait said. “I think it’s an area alot of people are rediscovering.”

Hier and other poets will appear at a free poetry event at 6 p.m. tonight, April 26, at the Anaheim Central Library, 500 W. Broadway.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/04/25/anaheim-appoints-award-winning-local-poet-as-its-first-poet-laureate/

‘Quality of lifeu2019 deputy of to address homelessness in Mission Viejo

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department recently created a position tasked with addressing everyday issues related to homelessness, recovery and people’s needs in Mission Viejo, a move that comes as the county grapples with how to provide shelter for hundreds of people recently displaced from the Santa Ana River Trail.

In her new role as Quality of Life deputy for the city, Dana Chaney will tackle everything from illegally erected tents to nuisance complaints on sober-living facilities.

The city is not a hotbed for homelessness, Chaney said, but the sheriff’s department does receive calls from residents complaining of homeless people on benches or near creeks.

Just over a month into the job and still learning the ropes, Chaney said her goal is to connect the homeless people living in the city with much-needed services.

The problem of whether someone chooses to receive social services sometimes boils down to geography, she said.

“If we separate North County and South County, what we find in dealing with homelessness issues is accessibility,” Chaney said. “It’s not having resources that are close by.”

She’s already recommended a nonprofit to one man she recently met on the street, she said.

In addition, Chaney plans to patrol the city – in a police car and on bicycle for parks and trails – to engage with the homeless.

“It’s going to take time to establish a relationship,” she said.

The position differs from homeless liaison officers found in other cities, in that Chaney will also focus on other issues such as day laborer’s searching for work and homes with a history of city code violations.

The city will benefit through having a deputy trained to engage with the homeless, said Mayor Ed Sachs, adding that other cities must do their part in addressing the problem.

“Beyond the county dealing with it, cities need to take more responsibility in understanding how to help and how to manage these sorts of things,” he said.

In February, the county evicted hundreds living along the riverbed in Anaheim and Orange. Many were moved into motels with vouchers that have begun to expire.

Sachs said he doesn’t expect to see a large influx of homeless make their way toward his city because there tends to be a preference to gather in large numbers – harder to do in south county given its lack of urban centers and more limited access to public transportation.

For several years, Chaney worked in the Collaborative Courts program – also known as problem solving courts – dealing with adult and juvenile drug use, homelessness outreach, mental health, truancy and veterans issues.

Now she joins the ranks of city officials addressing those issues on the streets. Santa Ana recently created a quality of life team with up to eight city employees to respond to code violations and offer services to its large homeless population. Costa Mesa partners with nonprofits and local church groups to help those living on its streets.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/04/11/quality-of-life-deputy-of-to-address-homelessness-in-mission-viejo/

Vietnam War vets celebrated in homecoming ceremony decades after their return

It came many years late, but dozens of Vietnam veterans gathered in Anaheim on March 29 to receive the homecoming they felt they had been denied when they returned home from war decades ago.

In the Savanna High School auditorium, American veterans stood alongside their South Vietnamese counterparts to receive commemorative pins acknowledging their service.

  • American and South Vietnamese vets gather for homecoming decades after war. Students and community members lined the walkway into the ceremony to cheer them and give thanks. (Courtesy of Janet Brown)

    American and South Vietnamese vets gather for homecoming decades after war. Students and community members lined the walkway into the ceremony to cheer them and give thanks. (Courtesy of Janet Brown)

  • Vietnam War veterans get a homecoming reception at Savanna High as part of a Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Project ceremony. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

    Vietnam War veterans get a homecoming reception at Savanna High as part of a Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Project ceremony. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

  • Daniel Little, in front, and other American and South Vietnamese veterans of the Vietnam War get a homecoming reception from students and community members at Savanna High. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

    Daniel Little, in front, and other American and South Vietnamese veterans of the Vietnam War get a homecoming reception from students and community members at Savanna High. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

  • Dozens of Vietnam War veterans enter Savanna High’s auditorium for a homecoming ceremony to recognize their service. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

    Dozens of Vietnam War veterans enter Savanna High’s auditorium for a homecoming ceremony to recognize their service. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

  • South Vietnamese veterans were among those honored for their service in the Vietnam War. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

    South Vietnamese veterans were among those honored for their service in the Vietnam War. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

  • Girl Scouts help give Vietnam War veterans the homecoming reception they didn’t always receive when they first returned home from fighting. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

    Girl Scouts help give Vietnam War veterans the homecoming reception they didn’t always receive when they first returned home from fighting. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

  • Savanna High students join in the applause for Vietnam War veterans at a ceremony March 29 on the campus. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

    Savanna High students join in the applause for Vietnam War veterans at a ceremony March 29 on the campus. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

  • Girl Scouts help give Vietnam War veterans the homecoming reception they didn’t always receive when they first returned home from fighting. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

    Girl Scouts help give Vietnam War veterans the homecoming reception they didn’t always receive when they first returned home from fighting. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

  • A pinning ceremony is held by Congressman Lou Correa for American and South Vietnamese veterans in honor of their war-time service. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

    A pinning ceremony is held by Congressman Lou Correa for American and South Vietnamese veterans in honor of their war-time service. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

  • A pinning ceremony is held by Congressman Lou Correa for American and South Vietnamese veterans in honor of their war-time service. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

    A pinning ceremony is held by Congressman Lou Correa for American and South Vietnamese veterans in honor of their war-time service. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

  • Vietnam War veteran Chick Adams, who served with the Army, receives a thank you note and cookies from local Girl Scouts. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

    Vietnam War veteran Chick Adams, who served with the Army, receives a thank you note and cookies from local Girl Scouts. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

  • Alexander Balderrama, who was a sergeant in the Army, shows a special recognition received from Congressman Lou Correa honoring their “selfless service to our nation”€ while serving during the Vietnam War. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

    Alexander Balderrama, who was a sergeant in the Army, shows a special recognition received from Congressman Lou Correa honoring their “selfless service to our nation”€ while serving during the Vietnam War. (Courtesy of Congressman Lou Correa’s office)

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The gathering was organized by Rep. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana, as part of the Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Project. The Department of Defense program aims to celebrate those who served in the Vietnam War – Americas and their allies – through ceremonies highlighting their service.

“We should have never, ever, gave you anything but the best reception we could give heroes of war,” Correa told the crowd.

The vets began the event with a short walk from a school building to the auditorium. This time there was no being spat upon, no dirty looks and no scornful comments many said they received upon returning home from the unpopular war.

Instead, they were greeted by students, Girl Scouts, a grateful public waving flags and holding hand-made signs. The Savanna marching band played.

Vietnam veteran and pastor Frank Orzio, a two-time Purple Heart recipient who was shot 13 times, gave the invocation.

Among the honored was Savanna alum Gunther Schreiner, 68, deployed to Vietnam in 1970 with the 101st Airborne Division and was stationed in Danang, which saw more than its share of bloodshed.

While on a airplane for his return to the U.S., the Anaheim resident said he had a chance encounter with the musicians Ike and Tina Turner.

“They were the only people on the plane who congratulated me on my service,” Schreiner said. “That was really frustrating.”

Nowadays, Schreiner said he receives more recognition when he wears his “Vietnam Veterans” T-shirt than he ever did in the years following the war’s end.

Several South Vietnamese veterans – many wearing combat uniforms and the flag pin of their former homeland – were also honored for their service in fighting alongside U.S. troops.

Although the public now recognizes American veterans of the war, South Vietnamese veterans have yet to receive the same accolades, said Khue Nguyen.

“It’s taken a long time to be recognized and appreciated, especially by Congress,” Nguyen said through a translator. “It’s very touching to see everybody sitting down together to celebrate this.”

Nyugen, of El Monte, said he served as a captain in a Ranger regiment and fought alongside American troops. Once Vietnam was unified, he was imprisoned in a Communist concentration camp for 10 years before he made his way to the U.S., he said.

For years after serving in the Navy, Flavio Traslavina, 71, said he never admitted to serving in Vietnam because of the negative treatment he received.

“We didn’t get closure,” he said.

Only after a long period of indifference and reflection, has the public come to appreciate its Vietnam veterans.

In addition to respect, returning veterans should have received a parade and been given access to proper health care, education and jobs, Correa said.

“As country… we made a mistake,” he said. “We sinned a great sin with what we did to our Vietnam War vets.”

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/04/02/vietnam-war-vets-celebrated-in-homecoming-ceremony-decades-after-their-return/

Worshippers gather before dawn atop a hill to celebrate Easter in Anaheim

Worshippers hiked up a hill near the Kindred Community Church in Anaheim Hills amid darkness and cold temperatures on Sunday, April 1 for the congregation’s Easter sunrise service.

As a giant, lit cross stood against the rising sun, around 1,200 people wearing coats and blankets to stay warm sang songs praising Jesus Christ, with sporadic shouts of “Alleluia.”

  • Worshippers at Kindred Community Church gather at a hilltop cross after Easter Sunday services in Anaheim Hills on Sunday, April 1, 2018.(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Worshippers at Kindred Community Church gather at a hilltop cross after Easter Sunday services in Anaheim Hills on Sunday, April 1, 2018.(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A shaft of light illuminates worshippers during Kindred Community Church’s sunrise services in Anaheim Hills on April 1, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A shaft of light illuminates worshippers during Kindred Community Church’s sunrise services in Anaheim Hills on April 1, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Thomas Purtell takes part at Kindred Community Church’s Easter Sunday sunrise service in Anaheim Hills on April 1, 2018. “I love the natural parallel of the sun rising and Jesus the son rising,” he said. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Thomas Purtell takes part at Kindred Community Church’s Easter Sunday sunrise service in Anaheim Hills on April 1, 2018. “I love the natural parallel of the sun rising and Jesus the son rising,” he said. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Worshippers look up at the cross as they make their way up a hill for Easter Sunday sunrise services. They were at Kindred Community Church in Anaheim Hills on April 1, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Worshippers look up at the cross as they make their way up a hill for Easter Sunday sunrise services. They were at Kindred Community Church in Anaheim Hills on April 1, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Matt Greenwood embraces his sons Shane, 3, left, and Drake, 6, during Easter Sunday sunrise services at Kindred Community Church in Anaheim Hills on April 1, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Matt Greenwood embraces his sons Shane, 3, left, and Drake, 6, during Easter Sunday sunrise services at Kindred Community Church in Anaheim Hills on April 1, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Elijah Ramirez, 15, is famed in a burned out tree as he arrives for Easter Sunday services at Kindred Community Church in Anaheim Hills on April 1, 2018. The church recently survived the Canyon Fire 2 last October. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Elijah Ramirez, 15, is famed in a burned out tree as he arrives for Easter Sunday services at Kindred Community Church in Anaheim Hills on April 1, 2018. The church recently survived the Canyon Fire 2 last October. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Kindred Community Church in Anaheim Hills holds its annual Easter Sunrise service on April 1, 2018.(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Kindred Community Church in Anaheim Hills holds its annual Easter Sunrise service on April 1, 2018.(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Several hundred worshippers take part in Kindred Community Church’s annual Easter Sunrise services in Anaheim Hills on April 1, 2018.(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Several hundred worshippers take part in Kindred Community Church’s annual Easter Sunrise services in Anaheim Hills on April 1, 2018.(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Several hundred worshippers take part in Kindred Community Church’s annual Easter Sunrise services in Anaheim Hills on April 1, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Several hundred worshippers take part in Kindred Community Church’s annual Easter Sunrise services in Anaheim Hills on April 1, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Several hundred worshippers, including bundled children, take part in Kindred Community Church’s annual Easter Sunrise services in Anaheim Hills on April 1, 2018.(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Several hundred worshippers, including bundled children, take part in Kindred Community Church’s annual Easter Sunrise services in Anaheim Hills on April 1, 2018.(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Philip De Courcy, senior pastor of Kindred Community Church in Anaheim Hills, leads the Easter Sunday sunrise service on April 1, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Philip De Courcy, senior pastor of Kindred Community Church in Anaheim Hills, leads the Easter Sunday sunrise service on April 1, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Phil Seifert, a deacon at Kindred Community Church, keeps a cell phone picture, shot by a fire fighter, showing how dangerously close the Canyon Fire 2 got to the Anaheim Hills Church last October. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Phil Seifert, a deacon at Kindred Community Church, keeps a cell phone picture, shot by a fire fighter, showing how dangerously close the Canyon Fire 2 got to the Anaheim Hills Church last October. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • At the end of Kindred Community Church’s Easter Sunrise service, worshippers hike up a hill to take pictures in Anaheim Hills on April 1, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    At the end of Kindred Community Church’s Easter Sunrise service, worshippers hike up a hill to take pictures in Anaheim Hills on April 1, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Birds drop in on Kindred Community Church’s Easter Sunrise services in Anaheim Hills on Sunday, Apr 1, 2018.(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Birds drop in on Kindred Community Church’s Easter Sunrise services in Anaheim Hills on Sunday, Apr 1, 2018.(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Worshippers at Kindred Community Church gather at a hilltop cross after Easter Sunday services in Anaheim Hills on Sunday, April 1, 2018.(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Worshippers at Kindred Community Church gather at a hilltop cross after Easter Sunday services in Anaheim Hills on Sunday, April 1, 2018.(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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On one of the few instances when Easter and April Fools’ Day coincide, Senior Pastor Philip De Courcy spent much of his sermon dispelling theories that he had not died and risen, decrying such stories as fake news.

 

“You know what’s not funny?” De Courcy said after recalling several well-known April Fools’ Day pranks. “When people attempt to fool people about the reality of the Easter story. When they tell people that it’s a hoax and made-up.”

The New Testament says Jesus was resurrected from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His followers returned to his tomb at sunrise to find that he had risen, which is why sunrise services have become popular on Easter morning.

This year’s hour-long service exceeded the 800 guests who attended last year, De Courcy said.

Parishioner Sandra Atkinson, 65, of Orange, said it was her first sunrise service.

“It’s wonderful to be out here to experience it with other Christian believers and praise God and sing worship songs,” she said.

Corona resident Matt Greenwood, 42, brought his sons Drake, 6, and Shane, 3, to the gathering. Sunday was his third sunrise service, he said.

“We know the story, but it’s always nice to get a refresher,” he said.

Siblings Simeon and Seraiah Riley, 20 and 18, awoke at 4 a.m. to make the drive from San Dimas for their first Kindred Spirit sunrise service.

The sermon resonated with the pair, Seraiah Riley said.

“It opened our eyes,” she said. “You can get so caught up in the lies… just go to the Bible and listen to it yourself.”

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/04/01/worshippers-gather-before-dawn-atop-a-hill-to-celebrate-easter-in-anaheim/

Saddleback College breaks ground on $55 million stadium

For Saddleback College head football coach Mark McElroy, plans to construct a new football stadium at the school’s Mission Viejo campus were a long time coming.

“I played here as a student-athlete in 1979 when we were promised a new stadium,” McElroy said.

Just shy of four decades later, that promise is now being fulfilled, with a new $55 million facility expected to open in the spring of next year. The college broke ground on the project Monday, March 12.

Saddleback College officials are banking on the stadium benefiting South Orange County, one of the fastest growing areas in the region.

The new facility, which will host Gauchos football, as well as the Saddleback track and soccer teams, could also serve as a home venue for local high schools.

Aside from athletics, school President Gregory Anderson envisions the facility being used for concerts, high school graduations and ceremonies and community events.

“We really foresee this as being the premier hub for entertainment and sports throughout South Orange County,” he said. “Once you go south of UCI, you’ve got to go down all the way to San Diego before you find something of this caliber.”

The original structure – built in 1976 and unable to keep up with modern-day demands – seats 3,800, with bathrooms and visiting bleachers located outside the facility. Aging wooden steps lead to an outdated seating area and an announcer’s booth.

The limited seat capacity sometimes forced fans at some high school football games to sit elsewhere to view the contest, said Dan Clauss, Saddleback’s athletic director.

“We ended up having several of our spectators sitting up on a hill,” he said.

The new stadium will come with a slew of amenities.

It will accommodate up to 8,000 spectators, feature a nine-lane running track, four artificial turf fields – two for football practices and one each for football games and soccer matches – a concession stand, storage units for football, soccer and track and field equipment, a press box, team meeting rooms, a scoreboard and a platform for views of all the fields.

Other bells and whistles include Wi-Fi access and a “throws” area for hammer, shot put and discus.

The closest venues of comparable seating capacity are at Orange Coast College, Cal State Fullerton and the Santa Ana Bowl, all at least 20 miles away.

The track will meet NCAA and USA track and field standards, with the hope that it will bring national and state track meets to the area, officials said.

“Our big goal is the 2028 Olympics,” Clauss said. “We’d love to be a practice facility for track and field.”

During the football postseason, the stadium could host CIF-Southern Section semifinal games, as the increase in seat capacity meets the governing body’s seat requirements for those games. CIF soccer and lacrosse competitions could also materialize at the new facility, Clauss said.

Since the current facility’s closure in January, the track team has been holding its practices at JSerra Catholic High School and will host track meets at other colleges. Discussions with Mission Viejo High School are ongoing to host Saddleback football games in the interim. The new stadium is expected to open in spring 2019.

Besides its aesthetic appeal, the new stadium will serve as a recruitment tool, McElroy said, adding that in the past, some student-athletes have instead chosen to attend schools with superior athletic facilities, such as Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa.

“That’s certainly been a point of contention for incoming recruits,” he said. “It won’t be anymore.”

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/03/13/saddleback-college-breaks-ground-on-55-million-stadium/

Acting Santa Ana police chief made city’s official top cop

SANTA ANA —The Police Department’s interim police chief is now the city’s official top cop.

City Manager Raul Godinez announced Tuesday, Feb. 21, the City Council had affirmed his appointment of David Valentin to head the department for Orange County’s second-largest city. The city has had numerous changes in its leadership in the last year.

“Frankly, in the short time that I’ve been here, I’ve been witness to his leadership skills and I’m very very comfortable with this appointment,” Godinez said. He was appointed in October.

Valentin was one of three deputy chiefs in the department and was charged with overseeing field operations before he was tapped in June as acting chief. Another of the deputy chiefs originally filled the role after Police Chief Carlos Rojas resigned in April.

On Tuesday, Councilman Jose Solorio said Valentin had done a “fabulous” job as acting chief in expanding the department’s gang unit and reducing the number of guns on the street.

He also cited Vanletin’s Santa Ana roots and his management as police chief for the Santa Ana Unified School District.

“I think the department has now a good stable leader that can continue to improve the department, grow the department and make our community safer than it already is,” Solorio said.

Specifics on Valentin’s salary were not immediately available Wednesday. Valentin did not immediately return a request for comment through a police spokesperson.

Gerry Serrano, president of the Santa Ana Police Officers Association, which represents rank-and-file officers, could not be reached for comment, but when Valentin was appointed acting chief, Serrano had said he “has a genuine concern for our diverse community and is what our community and city need.”

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/21/acting-santa-ana-police-chief-made-citys-official-top-cop/

Costa Mesa considering mobile restrooms for the homeless, council has concerns wants addressed

COSTA MESA — City Council members had several concerns about a proposal to provide mobile restrooms to the city’s homeless, deciding the plan needs more discussion.

The proposed six-month pilot program with the Costa Mesa Sanitary District would station restrooms on trailers in areas frequented by homeless people to give them an alternative to relieving themselves in public.

Council members were concerned over the proposed locations, hours of operation and whether the mobile restrooms would be an invitation to homeless people living outside the city.

On a 3-2 vote Tuesday, Feb. 1, the council held off spending $21,500 to fund the city’s half of the pilot program and instead directed staff members to work with the Sanitary District, the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce and businesses on 19th Street near Meyer Place – one of the proposed locations – to refine the plan.

“It’s just a simple, flexible, modest way to address an issue that has presented itself and to get more information to see if we should do something more permanent,” said Councilman John Stephens, who brought the restroom idea to the council.

Council members Jim Righeimer and Allan Mansoor said they preferred the city not participate at all.

The proposal calls for mobile restrooms to be placed near 19th Street and Meyer Place, Anaheim Avenue and West 18th Street and 17th Street and Pomona Avenue on alternating days from 6 a.m. to noon.

Sanitary District General Manager Scott Carroll said the hours and locations could be changed.

Trellis, a group of local Christian churches that advocates for the homeless, would provide paid attendants to oversee the facilities.

The Sanitary District board unanimously approved funding its half of the joint venture in December.

A handful of residents decried the idea of providing restrooms, citing safety issues and the lack of a public notice about the matter.

“This is a completely incomplete plan,” said Brett Eckles, who is running for a council seat in November’s elections.

Councilwoman Katrina Foley said there needs to be action, citing complaints from residents and business owners along 19th Street about human waste in front of their establishments and homes.

“This concept of doing nothing means people are going to go away, that’s not realistic,” she said. “This is at least a creative way to address what is an immediate concern.”

Righeimer expects the alternate to happen, that providing the restrooms would encourage an influx of homeless into the city.  “Anybody who thinks that if you’re going to give more services to people, you’re going to get less of them, you’re not thinking right.”

Costa Mesa has grappled with its homeless population and illicit activity in public restrooms in recent years. In 2015, the city closed restrooms at Lions Park and Wilson Park over health and public safety concerns.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/21/costa-mesa-considering-mobile-restrooms-for-the-homeless-council-has-concerns-wants-addressed/

Uber’s new Express Pool makes passengers walk for pick-ups and drop-offs, but the upside may be shorter, cheaper rides

Uber is enhancing its Pool system in an effort to shorten routes and lower fares for passengers who are willing to walk a little to a pick-up spot and to their final destination

The ride-sharing behemoth launched its Express Pool feature in three cities — Los Angeles, San Diego and Denver — Wednesday, Feb. 21 with the promise of straighter routes. On Thursday, the feature will go live in Miami, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Uber unveiled Express Pool in Boston and at its home base of San Francisco late last year.

UberPool is a shared door-to-door service that transports multiple passengers going the same way in one vehicle. The Express Pool variation matches riders going in similar directions and has them walk to a nearby pick-up area based on where the driver is traveling, said Uber product lead Ethan Stock on a conference call with reporters.

Passengers opting for shared rides receive a discount.

The problem with the UberPool system has been that extra stops are added to the trip as other riders are picked up and dropped off, sometimes resulting in detours and longer commute times.

With Express Pool, passengers are dropped off within a few blocks of their final destination.

“We want minimal stops and minimal diversions,” Stock said of Uber’s intent.

The new feature does not yet support pick-ups in Orange County or at airports, but will in the future, an Uber spokesperson said. In the meantime, requests made through Express Pool by passengers headed to those locations will be accepted.

There are no definitive plans, yet, to launch pick-ups in Riverside and the Inland Empire, according to Uber.

Passengers requesting either UberPool or Express Pool will share the same vehicle if it provides the best possible route. Express Pool fares will be as low as 50 percent off of UberPool and 75 percent off of UberX rides, Stock said.

“In general, what you should expect is that Express Pool will be the cheapest Uber product in every case,” he said. “We want this fundamentally to be truly affordable.”

Compensation for drivers will remain the same, Stock said.

Currently, drivers are paid a fee in addition to the base fare for picking up additional passengers during UberPool trips. Drivers in Los Angeles earn 95 cents per additional pick-up.

Since Express Pool launched in Boston and San Francisco, response has been positive, Stock said. Passenger feedback, he said, has indicated the trips were shorter and more direct compared to UberPool.

Harry Campbell, an Uber and Lyft driver in Los Angeles and author of The Rideshare Guy blog, said Express Pool seems to be an attempt to simplify the pick-up and drop-off experience.

“When you’re a rider and you have to pick up a second passenger it’s not nearly as far out of the way,” Campbell said. “I think it’s a much better iteration than UberPool.”

Campbell said UberPool has become a source of frustration for drivers and passengers, who can’t control who they share a ride with and sometimes take it out on the drivers through low satisfaction ratings.

For some drivers, UberPool trips are more work than they’re worth, Campbell said, in that the fares are the same, sometimes less, for more work.

UberPool launched in 2014 and accounts for 20 percent of Uber trips in the 36 cities where it’s available around the world, Stock said. The company is nearing 1 billion Pool rides recorded, he said.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/21/ubers-new-express-pool-makes-passengers-walk-for-pick-ups-and-drop-offs-but-the-upside-may-be-shorter-cheaper-rides/