Pat Leborio: The Clown Prince of Addicts

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John Gilhooley/OC Weekly

By Lisa Whittmore

This church of ours is open to all. . . . There will be no outcasts," reads a banner looming over comedian Pat Leborio as he struts onto the stage. He's in the church hall of St. Clement's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in San Clemente, ready to start a set for an audience that seem to be the last people on earth ready to listen to an hour of insults thrown their way: addicts.

Bald head gleaming, faded Dickies shorts reaching down to his calves and wearing a tent-like T-shirt that comfortably covers his 300-plus-pound frame, Leborio nods and smirks. It's time. His ferret-like eyes, bags underneath bruised so violet it looks as though he hasn't slept in a week, dart across the audience, looking for someone, anyone to trash. They land on a heavily tattooed man, seated in the second row.

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Our Babes of Burlesque: Celebrating OC's Cabaret Girls with a Bunch of Photos

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Photography: Riley Kern Photography Assistant: Genevieve Davis Model: Madeline Sinclaire Hair: Danielle June

Two decades have passed since Heather Sweet, a young woman from Irvine, first turned heads and raised eyebrows at Captain Cream in Lake Forest with her then-novel, vintage-inspired striptease sets. Known simply as "Dita," she titillated the county's--later, the world's--interest in the sex appeal of old Hollywood glamour. Though she went on to become Dita Von Teese, burlesque superstar and pinup extraordinaire, and has all but abandoned Orange County--and the legendary club that acted as her springboard (and which closed in 2011)---the local neo-burlesque movement has only grown.

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An Inconvenient Thirst: Rain Can't Save Us From This Drought

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Riley Kern/OC Weekly
Jay Famiglietti

Looking out the large windows from Jay Famiglietti's corner office at UC Irvine on a sun-drenched late-spring day, you take in an inviting deep greenbelt and, just beyond that, the green, green grass of Aldrich Park.

Contrast that with the view from the UCI hydrologist's new office at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, where Famiglietti is a senior water scientist. It's also serene and lovely here, but the hills cradling the sprawling facility are brown and tinder-dry heading into the always-gusty fall season.

"When I go back to Orange County, it is like Disneyland--everything is super-wonderful," Famiglietti says from behind a small table at a JPL bustling because of a newly launched Mars mission. He has moved into a rental home in Sierra Madre while still holding onto his apartment above UCI.

"It's like the county is in a bubble," he says of OC. "I leave Los Angeles County, and everything is brown. Then I get back to Irvine, and everything is green and lush. There is a little disconnect."

See Also: 6 Videos on UCI/JPL's Alarming Groundwater Research

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An Army Captain From Orange Died in a Vietnam POW Camp; His Remains Are Still Not Home

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Adam Doyle
Capt. Eisenbraun, R.I.P.

By H.G. Reza

Some men are absorbed by combat and experience a mystic rush from pushing the envelope as far as they can on the battlefield. William Forbes "Ike" Eisenbraun was one of them. He fought as a 20-year-old enlisted man in the Korean War, during which he was wounded and later earned a commission. He made the Army a career, volunteering for the nascent Army Special Forces and earning the coveted Green Beret.

Eisenbraun did a four-year combat tour in Vietnam, among the first waves of Americans drawn into that war. He was just 35 when he died in 1967; a plain bronze marker memorializing him sits next to his parents' gravesites at Fairhaven Memorial Park in Santa Ana. The raised letters on the plaque, oxidized over the years by the elements, gives the basics of his life: a cross signifying he was Christian; his military rank; the word Vietnam; initials indicating he earned a Purple Heart. At the bottom is his birthdate and the date of his death, Sept. 8, 1967.

But Eisenbraun is not buried there.

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OC's Scariest People 2014! Scary People to Avoid in the Dark!

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Illustration: D. W. Frydendall, Design: Dustin Ames

By Gustavo Arellano, Matt Coker, LP Hastings, Charles Lam, R. Scott Moxley, Gabriel San Román and Nick Schou

Ever heard of the children's books Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark? Neither had we, but the tales so spooked Weekly art director Dustin Ames as a kid that he asked if we could illustrate some of this year's scariest people in the same sparse, spooky style immortalized by the series. Why not? Cheaper than therapy!

Anyhoo, behold this year's roster of OC's worst people. Note that many inanimate objects made the list this year, then ponder that anomaly. And don't forget to visit our Navel Gazing blog, on which we'll reveal the latest inductee into the Bob Dornan Scary OC Hall of Fame!

1. ANTI-VAXXERS
A bunch of South County housewives feel they don't have to vaccinate their children because some mommy blog told them not to, so California saw its worst outbreak of measles in decades this past year. Unlike stolen purses or shoes, this isn't something they can blame on Mexicans, as they're one of the highest vaccinated groups in the county. So, conservatives? You're more likely to get a deadly infectious disease driving down Oso Parkway than you are hanging out with Liberians--try to blame THAT on Obama.
Mitigating Factor: Anti-vaxxers tend to be cute, so . . .

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Gary Webb: Pariah No More

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Photo: Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images, Design: Dustin Ames

A few months after Gary Webb killed himself with his dad's old pistol, I stood shirtless in my back yard, staring at the full moon. The sky was black and cloudless, the moon blurry. Earlier that night, I'd poured myself several splashes of single-malt scotch. I shook my fist in the air and screamed.

I'd been a mess ever since Dec. 12, 2004, when the Sunday-morning edition of the Los Angeles Times hit my porch. As usual, I had opened the paper to the last page of the news section, where the Times tended to bury its most important stories. "Gary Webb, 49, wrote series linking CIA and drugs," read the headline, and suddenly I realized I was reading an obituary. Webb, the article stated, who "wrote a widely criticized series linking the CIA to the explosion of crack-cocaine in Los Angeles, was found dead in his Sacramento-area home Friday. He apparently killed himself."

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The Best in Orange County Sports and Athletics, 2014

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Rickett & Sones

In honor of the recent release of our 2014 Best Of issue, we've compiled a list of the greatest sports and athletic activities Orange County has to offer. The winners range from professional to amateur with awards for the Best Gym, Best Angels Player and even pole dancing gets an award this year. Enjoy!

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Disneyland: The Gayest Place On Earth

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Photo: Austen Risolvato | Rendering: Dustin Ames

Two young men are walking down Disneyland's Main Street on a chilly September evening, holding hands. The older one is wearing a flamboyant blue kimono with a dragon emblazoned on the back. He shows no signs of nervousness as he tries to comfort his companion, who's dressed simply in a pair of pants and a shirt. Escorted by half a dozen security guards, they make their way toward the park's entrance.

The guards are unhappy, their faces stern. They direct the two men to the office, located next to the entrance gate, just inside the park. It's dark out, and most of the crowd--younger couples out on a Saturday-night date--are still deep inside Disneyland. But the night is over for this pair.

The date is Sept. 13, 1980, and 19-year-old Andrew Exler and 17-year-old Shawn Elliott are about to be thrown out of the park because they wanted to dance.

With each other.

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Down and Out With Deportees in Tijuana

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Andrew Galvin
Exterior of Casa del Migrante, Tijuana

Armando is my third interviewee of the night, the one I want to write about. Unlike some of the other deportees, he doesn't seem beaten down by his fate. He smiles a lot and exudes confidence. His black hair is pulled into a tight ponytail. He brings a lightness to our conversations that the others can't. He seems as though he'd be a fun companion for a road trip back to his home in Mexico--with me driving him there.

We're sitting in an office at Tijuana's Casa del Migrante, a shelter for working men who just got booted from the United States and are either waiting to cross the border again or wondering how to go back home to their pueblos. I'm behind a desk. Armando is in a chair, facing me.

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Meet OC & LA Law Enforcement's Favorite Rats!

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Illustration by Luke McGarry

Anthony Calabrese suffered no vision problems and wasn't a moron in September 2012, but the 23-year-old college student couldn't have known he had just seen a mirage inside the Orange County Jail (OCJ). Only a madman would think law enforcement officers had staged an elaborate, multi-hour, multi-pronged con game aimed at prompting him--one of 6,000 local detainees--to inadvertently forfeit his constitutional right to not self-incriminate. But Anaheim police detectives and sheriff's deputies anxious to solve a March 2007, drive-by murder indeed targeted Calabrese, whom they suspected of Barrio Small Town gang membership, for trickery.

The notorious Mexican Mafia ruthlessly reigns over all major Latino gangs in Southern California and, according to law enforcement officials, maintains a no-drive-by shootings policy; any affiliate who violates it without their permission suffers severe repercussions. Because deputies believed Calabrese might have violated the no-drive-by policy when he allegedly killed rival Citron Street gangster Armando Hernandez, and because a recovered "green light list"--a gang document detailing the identities of individuals to be attacked on sight--included Calabrese's name, they placed him in protective custody. Calabrese's housing location away from the general inmate population also--not accidentally--gave officers an easier forum to employ their secret weapon: a pair of ratas.

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