Toll Road Construction Figures Rise

Categories: 241 Toll Road

By Alex Brant-Zawadzki

PhotobucketThe TCA's new number for the cost of construction for the 241 extension is $1.14 billion. However, they've tacked on additional costs not associated with the previous $875 million figure, hence the $1.3 billion figure cited in a recent LA Times article.

What follows are a list of direct quotes, in a format very suitable for bullet-pointing, from TCA spokesperson Jennifer Seaton, who was kind enough to take personal time after work to call and make sure I got the information I requested. Being the TCA's mouthpiece must be like being Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's cigarette holder. I'm not saying I trust the lady, I just appreciate the call-back is all.

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Last Night: Hibbleton Gallery Opening in Fullerton

Categories: Main

PhotobucketVeering through the local bar hoppers in Fullerton, I found the Hibbleton Gallery and it's first exhibition TO THE FIFTH DIMENSION! At first I didn’t know what it was, or where it was, but there it was right there next to the Back Alley Bar with a sidewalk of hipster art fanatics talking about the scene.

This being the opening night of the gallery, it was expected to be a bit crowded and claustrophobic, but that's what you get when you go to any small show in Orange County.

The inside also met my expectations—a small room filled with people drinking wine and hardly paying attention to the artwork. It could be that these hipsters had arrived early and had already made the rounds leaving time only for socializing, but if that's the case, it made it difficult to absorb the art on display. See, they wouldn’t move. However, through my discourteous actions of wedging myself between hipster and art, I got to see what was being offered.

Artist Jason Jones (Japanland!) who describes his art as “super-enjoyable, decoupage-ish, melancholy, and whimsical,” lived up to his words. I was stuck on his work for a majority of the time that I in attendance, and contemplated even purchasing a piece. It was something that I had fun looking at, and would love to have in my house… Unfortunately, I had to use the $200 to fill up my gas tank to get home. But I do love the creatures that he’s created.

Though most of the featured artists have been exhibited throughout Orange County and Long Beach, it was fun to see them all in one location in a part of Fullerton that could have used some culture. The gallery hopes to focus on works from the latest underground, pop surrealist, outsider, graffiti, lowbrow, street, and subculture artists. I hope they live up to it, as I plan to return to see more.

Check out the artists:
Chad Eaton (Timber!)

Sarah & Trevor Girard (Metasaurus)

Jason Jones (Japanland!)

View a photo slideshow of the opening here.

--Gabriel Ryan / OC Weekly

Historical Hackery at its Worst

400x331.jpgOrange County has a notorious tradition of historians who subscribe to the Cult of the Orange Crate, the idea that our region's yesteryears are as immaculate as the images depicted on the labels of the long-gone citrus industry. This paper has long challenged such orthodoxy by publishing stories dealing with the dustbin of OC's past: Francisco Torres, Modesta Avila, the 1936 Citrus War, San Juan's swallows. Because of this, we get accused of being revisionist commies--go figure.

The biggest believer of the Cult out there right now is Chris Jepsen, who works at the Orange County Archives and maintains a personal blog titled O.C. History Roundup, "information and photos for people interested in the history of Orange County, California." The bulk of his postings are historical pictures, calendar of events for historical societies, and links to current articles or specials by media outlets regarding Orange County history--except those of your favorite rag.

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District Attorney Seeks to Grab DNA Crime Lab from Sheriff

While county supervisors struggle to pick a replacement for indicted ex-sheriff Mike Carona, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas is seeking to rob the Orange County Sheriff's Department of its nationally-recognized forensic DNA crime lab.

According to a newly released county staff report for the upcoming June 3 supervisors meeting, Rackauckas wants the board to remove sheriff's control over the unit "in order to streamline processes, improve communication and maximize operational efficiencies."

If Rackauckas succeeds, he'll be California's first prosecutor to wrestle control of DNA issues from an existing sheriff's crime lab, several law enforcement sources say. The DA claims the change makes sense for numerous reasons, including that the sheriff's crime lab personnel haven't been adequately prioritizing their work to help prosecutors preparing for trial.

"The Orange County District Attorney's Office is the only organization capable of harnessing the vast potential of forensic DNA technology for our community," Rackauckas writes in the staff report.

Not surprisingly, some Sheriff's Department officials vehemently oppose the transfer. One high-ranking official there told me the proposal "is nothing more than a blatant power grab before we get a new sheriff."

Though Rackauckas writes that the proposal "is designed to increase accountability," the plan arrives with an ominous backdrop outlined by this publication in a March 13, 2008, column:

In the wake of a November 2005, OC Weekly article detailing how a 20-year-old Buena Park man faced prison for a robbery/carjacking he didn’t commit, prosecutors asked the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) crime lab to alter key exculpatory evidence.

That story can be read in full here.

Despite that ugly controversy, Rackauckas insists that his office is better suited than the OCSD "to ensure fairness in the criminal justice system, to exonerate those wrongly accused, to help protect our citizens and to enhance support for victims of crime."

But, oddly, Rackauckas didn't consult Acting Sheriff Jack Anderson in advance. "I haven't been asked for any input and I haven't yet seen the District Attorney's proposal," he tells me. "I don't know if its a good business model or not. He hasn't shown me anything. I've got a lot of questions."

—R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

Film Pick of the Weekend: The Women of Sex and the City: A (Semi-) Appreciation

Categories: Film and TV

So they finally coaxed me out of the ivory tower that is the Calendar Dept. and convinced me to blog. Okay, first thing's first. A moment of silence for Harvey Korman. Blazing Saddles is playing this Wednesday at the Regency South Coast Village. Go see it and be reminded of the man's brilliance.

My film pick of the weekend is definitely not Sex and the City. Haven't seen it, and, merciful God willing, I won't ever have to. Lest you assume my opinion is based on some kind of willful ignorance, I will tell you that having spent two years with a roommate for whom the show was a guilty pleasure, I have watched my fair share of episodes. I'll let the highly paid critics tell you why the movie is bad, but let me just point out how annoying it is that Carrie Bradshaw, ostensibly a "sex" columnist, is constantly having her mind blown by the most basic of kinks. "A foot fetish? Well, I mean, I've read about that in books, but I thought it was just a legend!" Compare this to the borderline unflappable Dan Savage, who I am reasonably sure is familiar with nearly every facet of human sexuality and has even added a few descriptive words to our sexual lexicon.

So, it was a silly show, and it's allegedly a silly movie (though if you want to hear some real hating, ask me about Entourage) but I won't deny that, at times, it had its charms—mainly thanks to the show's stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall and Kristin Davis. But wouldn't it be nice to be able to see these appealing stars in far more interesting vehicles? Well, thanks to the magic of DVD rental, you can!

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Tiger Woods: Corporate Stooge?

Categories: Sports

column-348.jpgOne of my favorite columns is "Edge of Sports," written by Dave Zirin. The man combines the best of sportswriting and progressive politics, disproving those asshole hipsters who say sports means nothing in this world. When Zirin's People's History of Sports arrives later this year, y'all crazy lefties better make some room between the Chomsky and Cornel West tomes in your bookshelf.

This week, Zirin focuses his razor pen on a surprising subject: our own Tiger Woods. 'Round here, Tiger is a god, giving millions of dollars away through his Tiger Woods Foundation. But Zirin has made the disturbing discovery that one of the non-profit's main funders is Chevron. Take it away, Dave!:

Chevron is in full partnership with the Burmese military regime on the Yadana gas pipeline project, the single greatest source of revenue for the military, estimated at nearly $1 billion in 2007, nearly half of all the country's revenue. These are the same people who are blocking international aid workers from assisting the victims of Cyclone Nargis.

And it only gets better from there. Going after sacred cows with brash, tight writing: Zirin should work for the Weekly. Read "Edge of Sports" every week, buy Zirin's books, and go Pistons!

Because You're Ugly: Another OBEY Sample Sale

Once again, the OBEY Giant warehouse in Santa Ana will be hosting its ultra popular sample sale.

The sale will run from today, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., until Saturday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. The flier promises diggs for days, tunes selected by OBEY Records, babes provided by you (!!!) and grubbabge by the Crosby.

Remember to keep in mind the usual sample sale protocol: cash, VISA/Mastercard accepted; all sales final; no returns/exchanges; no bags; no backpacks; and don't wear any OBEY items to the sale. Oh, and be sure to show up early, as lines will be wrapping around the block—you don't want to forego premium selection, do you?

Flier with location and further info after the jump.

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To Do This Weekend 5/30 - 6/1

Categories: To Do Tonight

The Original Booty Burglars, Friday 9 p.m.
Someone call the sheriff! There's junk in the trunk!
Surf City Saloon
18528 Beach Blvd. Huntington Beach, CA

Collections 2008: Graduate Designers Fashion Show, Friday 7 p.m.
Celebrate the release of Sex and The City: The Movie with a student fashion show
El Salvador Community Center
1825 W. Civic Center Dr. Santa Ana, CA 92703

Men Alive, Saturday 8 p.m.
The OC Gay Man's chorus reminds us that live men are more entertaining than dead ones
Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
615 Town Center Dr. Costa Mesa, CA 92626

OC Underground Burlesque Society, Saturday 8 p.m.
Risky business
Hunger Artists Theatre Co.
701 S. State College Blvd., Suite 699-A Fullerton, CA

Sunday Fundays, Sunday 8 p.m.
With a name like this, it has to be good
Ocean Avenue Brewery
237 Ocean Ave. Laguna Beach, CA 92651

241 Toll Road Update

Categories: 241 Toll Road

PhotobucketThe Department of Commerce has stated their interest in holding a public hearing on the Foothill-South toll road extension, disregarding the impotent raging of Transportation Corridor Agencies counsel Robert Thornton. The LA Times reported on the road's construction cost leaping from $875 million to $1.3 billion and that ridership is down on the Foothill-South by "nearly 4 percent." The Army Corps of Engineers has declared that there could still be potential alternatives to the favored route, one which would carve through the Donna O'Neill Land Conservancy and inland San Onofre State Beach, potentially exterminating the Pacific pocket mouse and annihilating any sense of tranquility at the Acjachemen sacred site of Panhe. One has to ask, what hasn't gone wrong for the TCA lately?

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Fullerton Chicano Murals Saved!

lemon-park1.jpgGot a MySpace message from Sancho the Latin Blogger regarding a community meeting this past Tuesday in Fullerton regarding the city's endangered Chicano murals on Lemon Street south of Valencia (I would've gone but made the mistake of trying to leave San Bernardino at 5pm--HELL). Not only are the murals not coming down, but Fullerton is receiving a $10,000 grant to restore the murals and the city will actively collaborate with the Maple Street barrio to get the treasures looking their best again. Congrats, Fullerton, for doing the right thing--and for Sancho for spearheading the effort to save the murals.

Also of note: councilmember Shawn Nelson, the idiot who first suggested painting them over, was a no-show. We call him an idiot anew because he also reneged on his promise to meet with Sancho and ask the Mexican a YouTube pregunta. Silly Shawn: where are you???