Politics Devours Journalism In Dana Point, Courtesy Of Twitter

My own stupid phone picture of the meeting. Compare to Bishop's.
Here's a story. Your reporter attends Dana Point City Council workshop tonight about the proposed Town Center design. Your reporter leaves midway through, unsure of what to later write about the generally uneventful first half of the meeting. Your reporter returns home a few hours later, for some reason fires up Twitter, and sees a post from Dana Point City Councilmember Joel Bishop, age 51:

joelbishop:Town center plunlic meeting in Dana Point. Very well attended. http://twitpic.com/2nwjl

Yes. Text-message typos aside (he meant "public meeting," I think), the council member beat your reporter -- any reporter -- to the story of the meeting. I mean, it's not a story, but it is coverage. His TwitPic is a photo of the audience, taken from behind the makeshift dais set up at the Del Obispo rec center -- and, apparently, posted to Twitter from behind that dais.

And now I'm blogging about it.

Two ways to look at all this. Option one: Whoa, the source-journalist-reader continuum is being mucked up by technology even more to than it already has been since the dawn of the Internet. Option two: What the hell is Joel Bishop doing Twittering during his own city council meeting?

Geeks, Nerds and Maggots at UC Irvine

Categories: School Daze
Maggot-therapy.jpgWriter Paul Oginni catches readers up on former UC Irvine professor Ronald A. Sherman in the latest issue of New University, UCI's student newspaper. Sherman, the medical director at Monarch Labs and founder of the nonprofit BioTherapeutics, Education & Research Foundation, is now making new headlines with an old technique: maggot therapy.

Although the practice of maggot treatment dates back many centuries, recent scientific studies generated by Sherman have spawned a renewed interest in the procedure.

Maggots are selective eaters, so they will eat dead flesh while leaving the live tissue intact. This makes them excellent wound cleaners because they are able to remove dead and infected skin on open sores without slowing the growth of new skin.

Ummm, what's for dinner?

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Entrepreneur Magazine Editorial Staff "Decimated"

Categories: OC Media
If you believe it is the entrepreneurs who are going to save this shitty economy, close your eyes. Fishbowl LA has the scoop on Irvine-based Entrepreneur Magazine and Entrepreneur.com "decimating" their editorial staff this week. 

We hear from former employees that the layoffs include the executive editor, the managing editor, the online editor, an associate editor, the special projects editor, a staff writer and two editorial assistants. Who' left?

This apparently comes after layoffs the business media venture touted in August as a "reorganization of its editorial department as part of its strategy to combine the company's print and online content development teams." But to Fishbowl, it "sounds like more work, less money to us."

Tell us about it, brudder . . .

Here's a fun fact: the Weekly's founding editor and former publisher, Will Swaim, and first managing editor, Wyn Hilty, came to our-then start-up alternative newsweekly from Entrepreneur in 1995.

Carona's Attempt to Nullify Jury's Guilty Verdict Denied

Not a good day for Carona
U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford today firmly rejected legal efforts by Mike Carona to overturn a jury's guilty verdict, noting that there was "ample evidence" that the ex-Orange County sheriff attempted to sabotage a federal grand jury investigating bribery and corruption at the top of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

"Sufficient evidence exists to support a conviction if the district court concludes that a rational trier of fact 'could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt,'" wrote Judge Guilford in his ruling. 

Guilford, who is rational, went on to note that a secret August 13, 2007, FBI recording that captured Carona inside a Newport Beach restaurant where he repeatedly suggested ways for Don Haidl, a wealthy businessman who says he gave the sheriff $1,000-a-month in cash bribes, to lie under oath if questioned by federal authorities.

Carona had argued that the conviction should be overturned on a technicality, claiming that a federal law the jury said he violated only prohibited efforts to dissuade a grand jury witness from testifying at all. His situation was different, Carona argued through his Jones Day legal team. He didn't try to convince Haidl not to testify. He merely tried to get Haidl to lie while testifying, a distinction that impressed Carona but not Guilford. The judge called the defense claims nothing more than "finely parsing language."

Strike three** for Carona today was Guilford's decision that the ex-sheriff's attempts to smear the ethics of federal officials--Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Julian and IRS Special Agent Steven Berryman, two of the leaders of the Carona probe--were baseless and also unworthy of wiping out the guilty verdict.

What does all this mean? Our ex-top cop--who incredibly called himself "beyond vindicated" after the January verdicts--is now definitely heading to his April 27 sentencing date. A federal probation officer has recommended that he receive a sentence of 78 months in prison. If Guilford ultimately decides for a punishment in that range, all the bulk-producing protein shakes Carona religiously consumed in plastic water bottles during the trial won't have gone to waste.

**All was not lost for Carona this week. Judge Guilford did grant the convicted felon permission to spend portions of the next three weeks traveling to San Diego, Berkeley and San Francisco so that he can attend college open houses with his high school graduating son Matthew. You may recall from corruption trial evidence that Carona plotted to use his son for an alibi by claiming unexplained large sums of cash detected by the feds belonged to the youngster.

--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

But Who'll Save the Wee Hugh Hewitt?

While the FCC CSI tries to determine whether Gustavo actually heard right-wing radio pundit and morality cop Hugh Hewitt of Irvine say "tit" on the air, Washington Times columnist Andrew Breitbart is warning that "uninvited Democratic activists" have waged a "digital war" on ol' Hughcifer.

Hugh Hewitt's popular site shut off its comments section because of the success of these obnoxious invaders. Breitbart.com polices nonpartisan newswire stories for such obviously coordinated attacks. Other right-leaning sites such as Instapundit and National Review Online refuse to allow comments, knowing better than to flirt with the online activist left. 

Breitbart was the part-time editor of the conservative Drudge Report website and calls himself "Matt Drudge's bitch." He was also a developer for The Huffington Post and currently runs his own news portal, Breitbart.com. In the Times column, he writes that "Internet hooligans are spewing their talking points to thwart the dissent of the newly-out-of-power," and if that sounds to you like something you read on MoveOn.org as the Bushies took over for the Clintonistas, I believe you are correct.

Payback's a bitch, eh Andy?

OCBJ is Up on Henry Nicholas, Down on Angels, Cary Bren

Categories: OC Media, Sports
Henry-T-Nicholas.jpgOrange County Business Journal has some enlightening items in this week's issue, although you have to hunt for most of them. That, of course, is not the case with "OC Insider," the weekly column by executive editor Rick Reiff, a seasoned pro who knows to start off with his most newsworthy stuff: 

The ankle monitor is off, he's finalizing his divorce and his first trial isn't scheduled until February. You don't expect hyperactive Henry Nicholas to sit still, do you?

I'd link you to the rest if I could (I ain't paying dem capitalists for no web subscription, maaaan . . .). Reiff fills readers in on what Henry T. Nicholas III (pictured), the co-founder and former CEO of Irvine chipmaker Broadcom, is up to (business matters, including cashing in on "recession-created" opportunities), how he'll improve his shattered image (charity endeavors), why you should not feel bad for him in the divorce (he'll still be worth a billion or more than you after the settlement) and why you should not bet against him in his looming federal drug trial (his lawyer got charges dismissed against former Hewlett-Packard chairwoman Patricia Dunn and charges reduced against "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh).
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Tickets Now on Sale for Newport Beach Film Festival

Categories: Film and TV
Marquee high res.jpg
Tickets for the 10th annual Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF), which runs April 23-30, are now on sale here. Those will cost you $12 for general admission (or $8 if you are a student or senior buying before 5 p.m.); $30 for all Spotlight films and parties; $55 for the Opening Night film and party; and $125 for the Opening Night film and gala, which is like a party only you have to dress like you belong there.

The April 23 opener at Edwards Big Newport is a solid one this year: Derick Martini's Lymelife, which won a critic's award at the Toronto Film Festival and was well received by Sundance audiences. It was also well received by Martin Scorsese and Alec Baldwin, who respectively executive produced and produced/starred in the picture.

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Orange Video Producer Reaches Out to Uganda's Poor

Categories: Main

Post Factory, an Orange-based film and video production company, recently hooked up with the nonprofit A Way To Help to create a video aimed at raising funds to provide clean drinking water to the people of Northern Uganda.

It's the brain child of Jonathan Hicks and Patrick Martinez in Post Factory's motion-design department. The challenge was to quickly sum up the dire need for facilities to clean dirty water in a land that has withstood 22 years of warfare. To immediately drive that point home, the video begins by asking, "What if we woke up one morning and had no water?" and noting 1 billion people awoke today with no safe drinking water, 3 million died last year from diseases caused by contaminated water, and thousands of Ugandan children are the victims of this vicious cycle.

Long Beach Couple Shocked (Shocked!) At SJC 'Debauchery'

Stephen Glauser / Flickr / Creative Commons
The Capistrano Insider posted last week an entertaining, slightly depressing exchange between Capistrano Dispatch editor Jonathan Volzke and a Long Beach husband and wife who were considering moving to San Juan Capistrano. That is, they were considering moving there until they came down to Camino Capistrano on the night of the Swallows Day parade and saw some awful stuff. Just awful. They sent the Dispatch an email to carp:

As we made our way through downtown alll we found was filth, broken beer bottles, rowdy crowds and a sea of drunkards. What kind of city allows this? How can you advertise your city for tourism without disclosing the nightmare it becomes on Saturday nights?

Volzke came back with a pretty reasonable response: Guys, it was parade day. Cute little San Juan Capistrano doesn't go crazy every Saturday night.

The visitors didn't buy it, responding:

I've been all over the world in many different events and I haven't seen the debauchery I saw in SJC over the weekend.

Wait, seriously? This couple is making the case that San Juan Capistrano is one of the most debauched places in the world? I mean, yeah, there's that gang injunction thing, and recently one city council members went all Wild West and advocated the random shooting of birds, but still: This is a city more well known for hosting equestrian Show Jumping Hall of Fame conferences than for the boozy crowd that sometimes spills out of the Swallows Inn. San Juan should take this couple's astonishment as a compliment. South OC is finally edgy!

Bonus comment on the Insider post:

I guess you have to take the day for what it is, Swallow's Day. For those that don't remember the 70s when Tequila was in squirt guns because booze was banned from the parade route.

Tequila squirt guns! San Juan Capistrano... you were awesome all along.

Couple Sees Nixon Everywhere They Go in OC

Categories: Main

Yank Lisa and Brit Andy, who consider themselves the unlikliest people in Northern California to have became ranchers and farmers, headed south for the late winter--and seemingly encountered Dick everywhere they went. In "The Good, the Bad and Richard Nixon" on their Left Coast Cowboys site, they describe entering the Getty Museum in LA  and thinking they ran smack into a Nixon bust. Actually, it was a likeness of museum benefactor J. Paul Getty. "But I'm telling you, Nixon is everywhere down here," Lisa writes.

In San Juan Capistrano, the shopkeeps told them Nixon stories and pointed them to his supposed favorite eating spot in town. "Now, I knew that Richard Nixon was a man who put ketchup on his cottage cheese, so I wasn't expecting fine dining. But the Old Adobe Restaurant was a hoot. Part of it is the old town jail, which I thought must have given Nixon a frisson with his fajitas."

Actually, it's the El Adobe of Capistrano Restaurant, which, ironically, is owned by South County land developer and Orange County Democratic Party big-wig Richard O'Neill. Lisa writes, "They've even preserved his favorite table and chairs," which are shown here. Apparently the restaurant had not paid its light bill before the shot was snapped.

Anyway, as the legend goes, press gathered at Nixon's Western White House in San Clemente wanted to know where the president liked to eat nearby. He answered El Adobe, where he loved the Mexican food. Problem was, El Adobe served continental cuisine.

Now, the way I first heard it (probably from someone on Dick's infamous enemies list) was he'd either never eaten there or not done so enough to remember what was served, but he wanted to come off like he routinely dined among the common folk. The way I see it spun now is El Adobe's chef made Mexican food exclusively for Nixon, In either truth, a presidential stamp of taco approval being exposed to the masses brought about the restaurant's switch to Mexican for all. 

Nixon is now so associated with the place that bloggers James and Tim got a hankering for El Adobe amid all the Frost/Nixon hoopla.

Read all about a less surprising place the Left Coast Cowboys encountered the Stubbly One at TheNewNixon.org, which also muses on the ex-prez's ranking on Spike.com's list of  "The 7 Biggest Dicks of All Time."