How a Chapman University Law-School Student Saved a Korean Immigrant From Deportation

Dan Doperalski
Shin at his office

Jonathan Shin was up by 7:30 the morning of Sept. 11 this year--never mind he had only slept about four hours. The Chapman University law student skipped breakfast, his appetite zapped by nerves. He was due to appear at 1 p.m. at 606 S. Olive St. in Los Angeles. The Brutalist-style office building houses Los Angeles Immigration Court and the judges who decide whether people in the greater LA area can stay in this country or get deported.

Shin rode shotgun as his father drove from Irvine to downtown LA, the air conditioning on full blast. As if a mantra, Shin repeatedly drew in his mind the picture he'd paint of his client, a 59-year-old Korean immigrant the U.S. government wanted to deport. He also mapped out the various rebuttals he expected the judge would throw back.

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Senior-Citizen Mobile-Home Parks Across OC Fight for Their Survival Against Developers

Categories: Cover Story

John Gilhooley
Ginger Roberts sits on a loveseat against the window at the clubhouse of Costa Mesa's Rolling Homes Mobile Park. The 81-year-old's neighbors are poolside, sipping beers and cocktails while playing a particularly testy card game. "Where's your cocktail?" one player cracks as someone joins in. "You should always have a cocktail in hand."

Though it's near the end of the 55 freeway and faces busy Newport Boulevard, the scene is calm, relaxing, an ideal place for seniors to live out their golden years. Roberts looks on from inside the clubhouse, the harsh sunlight nearly obscuring her small frame. She's recalling for a reporter the day Rolling Homes residents learned their way of life here had no future.

"One Sunday morning [in 2013], I was getting ready for church," Roberts says, her shock of short, red hair and thick, black eyeliner complementing her feisty tone. "A friend called me and informed me that our park was for sale in the Daily Pilot and that they were going to put a high-rise in place of our homes."

The 55-and-older mobile-home park was the planned site of a four-story luxury apartment complex--and Rolling Homes residents could do nothing about it. They were subject to California laws that allow owners of mobile-home parks with no homeowners' associations (HOAs) to keep a property sale secret until the very end--eviction notices. Rolling Homes didn't have an HOA because residents thought they'd never need one.

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Re-living the Great Disneyland Cast Member Strike of September 1984

This week's feature story, "David Koenig Has Exposed the Disneyland Secrets Mickey Doesn't Want You to Know About," mentions how much the September 1984 strike by cast members was a gut punch to employee morale, resulting in many of the stories that turn up in the author's books.

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David Koenig Has Exposed the Disneyland Secrets Mickey Doesn't Want You to Know About

Luke McGarry
How's this for random? Credit goes to Danny Kaye and a labor strike for the public knowing the stories, incidents and dirt about Disneyland that the Anaheim amusement park would rather we not know.

David Koenig was studying journalism at Cal State Fullerton in the 1980s; several of his classmates were scoring book deals before they even graduated. One sold a biography on Steve Martin, another was published writing about the Three Stooges, and a third had Dustin Hoffman as a subject.

"These were all just college kids," recalled Koenig, who was born in Chicago but moved with his family at age 3 to Orange County. "Now, everyone and their brother writes books, but back then, to publish a book meant you had the stamp of genius on you."

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OCW20: "Dear Congressman" Revisited

The look back at OC Weekly's first 20 years resurrected the cover image from Nov. 1, 1996, when my fat, oral-fixated face went up to mark "The 20 Best Lines From Matt Coker's Much-Missed A Clockwork Orange Column." But what about the story that accompanied that cover originally?

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The 20 Best Lines From Matt Coker's Much-Missed A Clockwork Orange Column

The following appeared in Matt Coker's column A Clockwork Orange, which ran from 1996 to 2003. His hilarity still appears daily on Navel Gazing.

Nov. 21, 1996: "There's got to be a morning after," a wooden Carol Lynley lip-synchs in The Poseidon Adventure. Since the sappy tune comes from a disaster flick, it's the perfect post-election theme song for some of A Clockwork Orange's favorite politicians, like Curt Pringle. Hah! Anal rashes have lasted longer than the Garden Grove Republican's Assembly speakership.

Nov. 29, 1996: Fox News at Ten unleashed a bombshell: "Thousands of Southland teens have found a new place to party," anchorwoman Susan Hirasuna said with a startled gleam in her eye. "They call it TJ--for Tijuana." Whoa, teens in Tijuana? And they use this sort of hipster code word, TJ? Now that's news.

Feb. 21, 1997: In Newport Beach, you can pull your luxury car out of your gated temple of self-indulgence in the morning; pop over to Newport Center to have your nails done, the bikini wax applied and the fat sucked out of your thighs; and still keep that noon lunch date with the bitch screwing your husband.

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Rose Apodaca Remembers Her Onetime Weekly Column, "La Vie En Rose"

Rose Apodaca wrote La Vie en Rose from 1995 to 1998 before moving on to the big time in LA. Her columns are missing from the Weekly's online archives--sorry, Rose!

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OC Weekly Alumni Doing Good in the World of Journalism, From The Atlantic to Reddit!

John Gilhooley/OC Weekly
Alison Rosen
Weeklings have come and gone . . . usually to places far larger than the Weekly. Good for them! The following is just a partial list of former staffers doing great things in the journalism world.

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An Oral History of OC Weekly on the Occasion of Its 20th Anniversary: An Introduction


A friend who recently moved back to Portland after a few years in OC explained before she left, "You know those shoppers at the Korean department store that collapsed, where the water pipes had been cracking, the floor was buckling, and they just ignored it and kept shopping till they were crushed? That's the way it feels to me here."

The county's broke. Everyone with money or reason has hauled ass out of here for saner climes. Our sports teams abandon us. Our military bases close. Our social services attrit. We catch fire. We get flooded. Carl's burgers splatter on our shoes! So, okay, we're in hell, which at least goes a long way toward explaining why Bob Dornan represents us.
--Jim Washburn, in his first Lost In OC column, Sept. 15, 1995

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An Oral History of OC Weekly, Part 2: September 2000-September 2005

The Weekly began its second five years in September 2000 with a new ownership group. In two months, a new president is elected--kind of. In one year, two buildings fall in New York, and the build-up to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would follow, and then the bombs rain. But through the national and international turmoil, the Weekly keeps chugging, reflecting on big issues while still focusing on local ones.

Michael Sigman: Leonard [Stern] was a business genius. He sold the paper at the absolute top of the market, right before the dot-com crash, for a tremendous amount of money. And the people who bought it were heavily leveraged, and it was making a lot of money, but they bought it based on it making more money. LA Weekly and OC Weekly still made a tremendous amount of money for the next two years, but it wasn't enough. So they made a lot of changes throughout the company. Pretty much got rid of everyone. [Sigman left the company in 2002.]

Shelle Murach, PR/special events coordinator, 1998-2003: Under Stern, we were owned by that family, and they were fantastic and very supportive. The paper was growing, there was a lot of support in Orange County, and we really expanded into a lot of things we wanted to do. Then we were sold to Village Voice Media, and it was just different. Things were becoming more corporate, and there were a lot of impacts because of what the economy was going through. After 9/11, we saw a huge decline in advertising, so there were a lot of changes as far as the whole industry.

In April 2000, a writer who would later make an impact on the county appeared.

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