Friday's Headlines & Surprises: Who the Hell Does Benito Acosta Think He Is?

  • Heil, err, Mansoor! Let’s see . . . Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor let people with the Minutemen Project stand during a 2006 city council meeting to show their support for his police-immigration plan. Later, at the same public meeting, other people lead by Benito Acosta attempted to stand in the audience to show their opposition. Though he didn’t rule the first demonstration out of order, Mansoor declared, “I will not allow it,” regarding the second. That seems pretty fair. And so what that Mansoor turned off the public microphone when Acosta spoke. It pisses me off that Acosta thinks he’s entitled to address the council for the same three minutes allotted to everyone else. Brianna Bailey at the Daily Pilot reports this morning that Mansoor took the witness stand on Thursday as our government attempts to teach Acosta a lesson about who is boss. He’s on trial for two counts of disrupting a public meeting. Mansoor, a sheriff’s deputy when he’s not playing mayor, claimed Acosta was physically removed from the council chambers by a gang of police officers because he feared the tiny fellow’s words might incite an “assault” on City Hall. “I was looking at the volatility of the situation and trying to keep order in the council chambers,” Mansoor told jurors. Hold on for a second. Let me grab my copy of the Constitution. Oh, yes. Here it is. The 28th Amendment: "Citizens expressing opinions against the government should expect their public-speaking right to be abridged in the name of order." If convicted by a Newport Beach jury, Acosta faces as much as six months in jail.
  • Times OC neglect: Yesterday, we prayed it wasn’t an accident that the Times put Orange County-related articles in its online Orange County news section. Today, we learned our prayers went unanswered. Three of the top four stories on the OC page involve Los Angeles jail overcrowding, the Phil Spector murder case and Compton Creek in LA County. There was another online OC story (by reporter Tony Barboza), but the Times wizards oddly didn’t put it in the OC news section.
  • Perfect Timing: Now that the summer beach crowds are gone, the Daily Pilot has launched a “four-part series on Newport Beach lifeguards and the unique challenges they face in the name of public safety.” Reporter Kelly Strodl found veteran lifesaver Josh Van Egmond, who says he’s witnessed some nasty water injuries when people walking along the beach were nabbed by powerful waves and dragged over rocks out to sea. People—especially those from the Inland Empire—just don't appreciate the strength of the Pacific. Anyhow, Van Egmond offered up this advice to body surfers: “Always keep your hands in front of you,” otherwise you’ll end up like a “human scorpion” spinning upside-down in the water. Oh, the memories . . .
  • The Face of Crouch in HD! Broadcasting and Cable magazine reports that Orange County-based Trinity Broadcasting Network has converted about 90 percent of its 34 stations to digital. Trinity’s Paul Crouch Jr. compares the five-year project to eating an elephant. “How do you eat an elephant?" he asked. "One bite at a time. We're almost done." I’m quite excited about this because I want to see high-definition images of Jan Crouch. No, really. According to the story, God’s TV network plans to begin HD broadcasting early next year.
  • We're From the Government, and We're Here to Help: It's taken FIVE public meetings, but the Orange County Board of Supervisors is poised to change the name of one of its departments. Depending on a majority of the supes, Harbors, Beaches and Parks (HBP) will become simply OC Parks on Tueday. The change is part of "a strategic plan" for the county officials who actually hired outside consultants Moore Iacofano Goltsman Inc. for the deal. Bureaucrats claim the new name "will support more efficient and effective operation of the county's regional park system." Staff boldly claim the name move hasn't and won't cost taxpayers a penny. Of course, at a minimum, the change will require thousands of boxes of new letterhead and signs. What's that noise? Must be cheers from local print shops.

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