Ah Baloney? No, It's True: Charity Run for OC's Green Abalone Sea Snails SATURDAY

Categories: Environment

Peter J. Bryant/UCI Department of Developmental and Cell Biology
Green abalone in Crystal Cove State Beach waters in January 2013.
Don't go to this weekend's "Abalone Run" in Huntington Beach expecting to find your friendly neighborhood sushi chef with a net. This event is a first-ever 5k run to raise money and awareness for the nonprofit Green Abalone Restoration Project.

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Anaheim Anti-Homeless Blog Slammed Kraemer Shelter Using Photo of Murdered Homeless Man

Categories: Anacrime

Screenshot from bettersolutions4anaheim.com
Before the Weekly asked Matty for comment...

Orange County downplayed its reputation as a conservative asshole-land this week by securing a future spot for its first ever year-round homeless shelter. County supervisors voted Tuesday to purchase property at 1000 N. Kraemer Place in Anaheim that will be converted into a 200-bed space service center offering programs helping the homeless to get back on their feet. Sure, it's no solution to the issue and the number of beds are inadequate, but it's a step in the right direction, no? Not so for BetterSolutions4Anaheim, notorious NIMBYs who bitterly opposed the shelter with asshole lawn signs, blog posts, and the help of Matt Cunningham, a sex abuse victim outer!

Their most clueless move in the lead up to the shelter vote? A blog post that insisted that police calls for service would increase in the neighborhood around the shelter. Their proof? A photo of a homeless man talking to a police officer. Only problem? The homeless man was John Berry, stabbed to death in 2012 by serial killer Itzcoatl Ocampo. Stay classy, pendejos!

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Ex Reportedly Whipped Out Semiautomatic in Fullerton Love Triangle Shootings: Update

Categories: OC News

Brian Feinzimer/Feinzimer Photography for OC Weekly
The shootings happened in and around this car.
UPDATE, NOV. 19, 8:43 A.M.: More details on Wednesday's 1:30 p.m. shooting on East Ash Avenue, at Harbor Boulevard.

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Prosecution Team Cheating Costs DA Tony Rackauckas Another Murder Conviction

R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
DA Rackauckas with aides Susan Kang Schroeder and Scott Simmons
On the same day that national legal scholars urged a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into Orange County's law enforcement corruption and a tone-deaf district attorney's office spokeswoman reacted contemptuously, a superior court judge yesterday erased a murder conviction after determining sheriff's deputies conspired to violate the defendant's constitutional rights.

Judge Richard King's ruling in People v. Eric Ortiz is the latest proof that, despite District Attorney Tony Rackauckas' insistence otherwise, the county's corruption crisis isn't imaginary, but rather one with obvious embarrassing consequences.

It's the 13th example in less than a year of blatantly unethical prosecution team moves wrecking a felony case while not a single involved person with a badge has been held accountable.

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Candlelight Vigil Held for Christina Lopez, Transgender Anaheim Women Detained By ICE

Photo by Roberto Carlos Herrera
Candle flames flicker outside Santa Ana Jail
More than a dozen activists held a community vigil outside the Santa Ana Jail last night to draw attention to Christina Lopez, a transgender undocumented immigrant held nearly two years awaiting possible deportation. With protests sign in one hand and lit candles in the other, they called for Lopez to be released and reunited with her family in Anaheim.

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Webster James Guillory Guilty of Misdemeanors in County Assessor Nomination Papers Case

County of Orange
Webster James Guillory: guilty but not as originally charged
Given the mounting merde piling up at the Orange County District Attorney's office, it's funny what preoccupies prosecutors. They threw the book at former county Assessor Webster James Guillory--who faced up to four years and four months behind bars, based on the felony charges originally filed against him by the OCDA for filing false election paperwork. On Wednesday, the legal equivalent of a thin pamphlet was thrown back at prosecutors.

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Bodies of Arizonans Fernando Meza and Antonio Medina Were Inside Burning SUV

Categories: 2015 Homicides

Facebook/Searching for Fernando Meza and Antonio Medina
The pair was reported missing in Arizona on Nov. 9, the same day as the incident in Orange.
UPDATE, NOV. 19, 5 A.M.: The bodies of two young men from Arizona were in the black SUV that rolled up fully engulfed in flames to a yellow house in a quiet residential neighborhood in Orange earlier this month.

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FBI Hid $500,000 Deal With Informant In Wild OC Home Invasion Robbery Case

Bob Aul/OC Weekly
During 23 months of the ongoing Orange County snitch scandal that today won a national call for a U.S. Department of Justice probe, we've learned how certain courthouse prosecution teams cheat, how law-enforcement officials concoct clever explanations about how they accidentally rigged cases against dozens of defendants, and how judges--the people obligated to ensure honestly won convictions--are tolerating, if not outright encouraging, a pro-government warping of the criminal-justice system.

Our reporting has focused on a myriad of state court abuses that have captured national attention. But there's also cause for concern inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana. One sensational, pending appellate case underscores how defendants can be robbed of key evidence while FBI agents, assistant United States attorneys and judges shrug their shoulders.

Vo Duong Tran of Louisiana and Yu Sung Park of Illinois are serving 30-year sentences for 2009 convictions stemming from a bizarre home-invasion robbery plot in Orange County. Bizarre not just because the conspiracy involved a machine gun, silencers, bulletproof vests, the threat of wiping out any early arriving cops, and the expected plundering of cash and cocaine from inside a Fountain Valley residence near Mile Square Park--but also because Tran and Park are former lawmen.

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Enough's Enough: It's Time to Save Orange County's Chicano Murals

Eric Hood
Detail from Emigdio Vasquez mural
Sometime in October, workers whitewashed a Mexican-themed mural in Santa Ana that had adorned the two-story offices of Spanish-language weekly Excelsior for more than a decade. It was a simple--even trite--thing, really, purporting to depict a day in the life of this most Mexican of cities: a mom with a baby stroller, fruit vendors and a student reaching for the sky, with everyone walking in front of yet another mural showing baile folklorico, a soccer player and a mariachi.

Hundreds of thousands of people saw this untitled mise-en-scène as they drove on Grand Street over the years. It became part of their daily landscape, so taken for granted that no one really noticed anything amiss until the Weekly broke the story in early November. Public shock, sadness and outrage followed, all hurled at the building's current owner, mega-developer Mike Harrah . . . and then, nothing.

Such is the sad state of Chicano murals in OC. They've been up since the 1970s and '80s, painted with much fanfare at a time when Republicans hadn't yet demonized public-funded art, when city officials blessed them as community projects that beautified barren walls in working-class neighborhoods. From Anaheim to Placentia, Irvine Valley College to Capistrano Beach, dozens of pieces dotted la naranja--some adorning garages, others spanning hundreds of feet.

And they're now slowly, collectively disappearing.

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National Call For U.S. Attorney General Probe Of Orange County's Snitch Scandal

OC District Attorney Tony Rackauckas
Citing "grave concern" for the pending "crisis," more than three dozen prominent legal community members today asked Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch to launch a formal investigation into "compelling evidence of pervasive police and prosecutorial misconduct" in Orange County.

"We write to urge the Department of Justice to initiate an investigation into the actions of the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) and the District Attorney's Office (OCDA) in connection with the use of jailhouse informants and the concealment of informant-related evidence," wrote signatories Erwin Chemerinksy, dean of the UC Irvine School of Law; and former California Attorney General and Los Angeles District Attorney John Van de Kamp.

Others joining in the sentiment of the communication include Harvard legal theorist Charles Ogletree, criminal justice professor Angela Davis, former Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti, former Chief Assistant United States Attorney Richard Drooyan and Alex Whiting, a Harvard professor and former prosecutor of international crimes at the Hague as well as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Constitution Project.

The 16-page letter uses court records, judicial rulings and news reporting--including exclusive articles published by OC Weekly--to argue that a previously chosen reform group handed picked by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas can't be trusted given the DA's continual controversial insistence that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing by law enforcement officials.

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