OC DA to Retry Citizen Journalists For Unlawful Assembly After Hung Jury: Update

Gabriel San Roman / OC Weekly
AJ Redkey and PM Beers
UPDATE, MARCH 24, 11:40 A.M.:Two live-streamers narrowly escaped convictions yesterday for failing to disperse from a Kelly Thomas post-verdict protest last year. All but one juror favored finding the defendant AJ Redkey guilty of the misdemeanor offense. The jury similarly deadlocked 8-4 for PM Beers. The Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) office decided against dismissing the case and, in a gigantic waste of everybody's time, will press for a retrial next month.

"The case is about the right to protest and whether or not the police can use the negative actions of a very few people in the crowd as an excuse to shut down the entire protest," defense attorney John Raphling tells the Weekly. "Fullerton Police should have simply arrested the small handful of bad actors and respected the rights of the rest to speak out for justice."

Round 2 is scheduled to start on April 17 at Orange County Superior Court in Fullerton.

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Final Audit Report Shows Larry Agran's Great Park Plan Was A Debacle From Outset

Agran's "Great" Park had everything but the flying monkeys buzzing Munchkinland
Twelve years ago, Larry Agran, Irvine's career politician and mayor who'd never built anything, issued bold statements about his ability to build a "world-class" government park at the mothballed Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, and people, especially journalists, believed him.

"Move over, Manhattan," wrote an excited Christian Science Monitor reporter in April 2003. "Stand aside San Francisco. In Orange County, the final hurdle has been cleared for a 'county great park' that will exceed the size of Central Park and Golden Gate Park put together."

The reporter--who didn't know the mayor and his political scheming actually would be the final hurdles--went on to echo the mayor's oral machinations, declaring that "the area is considered America's leading laboratory of 'post suburbia' . . . "

Agran also provided the money quote, "We are finally moving forward with a plan that will transform the future of Orange County."

In pure Agranista form, the paper unquestioningly repeated his biggest lie in the title to a chapter in the article: "No cost to citizens."

Add you own exclamation point!

Those of us who for 12 years closely watched Agran and his Democratic political machine operate dictatorial control over the project didn't fall for the empty hype. Their operatives received lucrative, no-bid contracts for a public park that didn't yet exist. They wasted nearly $50 million on a park design plan that was laughably unattainable--a huge, man-made canyon and waterfalls!--the moment it landed on paper. Paranoid of being caught in various scandals, they treated park records with NSA-type secrecy. Agran conducted park spending business through his wife's private email account. Despite claiming otherwise, they planned to use a special tax scheme to boost park coffers until Gov. Jerry Brown killed such tactics. They ran fake Republican candidates to dilute their opponents' election strength. After years and years of spending several hundred million dollars without building a single, major promised feature, the Agran alliance finally lost power in 2012.

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Musicians Stage Protest Show Outside Santa Ana Jail for Immigrant Detainee Omara Gomez-Aviles

Gabriel San Roman / OC Weekly
Los Jornaleros del Norte chant down Santa Ana jail
Immigrant rights activists and musicians rallied in front of Santa Ana City Jail yesterday to lift the spirits of Omara Gomez-Aviles. The Salvadoran mother of three faces possible deportation tomorrow after la migra took her into custody outside the family's East Los Angeles home just last month. The 'Chant Down the Walls' concert protest demanded that Gomez-Aviles be released from Santa Ana city jail and reunited with her loved ones.

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Marvel at the Spider-Man Costume World Record Attempt in Anaheim THURSDAY

Categories: Events

Photo by flickr user Wayne MacPhail
Time to get pumped up.
Anaheim may be the site of a world record Thursday as the Honda Center tries to become the location where the most people are dressed head-to-toe in Spider-Man costumes at one time.

Making it into the Guinness Book of World Records is fine and all, but just make sure someone checks where those costumes came from lest we have a hazmat situation.

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Erin Gruwell Comes Back to UCI for Screening of Documentary on Her Freedom Writers

Freedom Writers Foundation
Erin Gruwell and her kids
In April 2012, Erin Gruwell came back to a town she used to reside in for a Newport Beach Film Festival screening of Stories From an Undeclared War, Dennis Rice's documentary about Gruwell's experiences teaching at Long Beach's Woodrow Wilson High School and beginning her Freedom Writers Foundation.

On Wednesday, Gruwell comes back to her alma mater--UC Irvine--to do that same thing, although the picture now goes by Freedom Writers: Stories From an Undeclared War.

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It's Not Only Tax Season, It's IRS/State Tax Agency/Police/Sheriff Telephone Scam Season

Categories: Crime-iny

Lorimar Productions
"Fine, arrest me, but can you pretend to be my son who never calls?"
Federal, state and local law enforcement officials have issued separate warnings about telephone scams the past couple weeks involving the Internal Revenue Service, the California tax agency, the Orange County Sheriff's Department and the Anaheim and Santa Ana police departments.

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James Anthony Rivas Faces Trial for Attempted Murder of Lady Jogger in Rossmoor

Categories: Court, Crime-iny

Courtesy of the Orange County District Attorney's office
James Anthony Rivas could get 11 years to life in prison with a conviction.
Remember James Anthony Rivas and his sad puppy eyes? They are scheduled to be facing the bench of Department W-9 in the West Justice Center of Westminster today, when the 20-year-old's trial for allegedly trying to murder a lady jogger by stabbing her multiple times is scheduled to begin.

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Colin Dowling of Gold Rush Tattoo on Going from Apprentice to Owner

Josh Chesler
A lifelong OC resident, Dowling is happy to keep his art so close to home.

Nine years ago, Colin Dowling decided to use everything he'd learned over the course of his tattooing career to open Gold Rush Tattoo in Costa Mesa. Dowling had never owned his own shop before, but he'd been getting tattooed since he was 18, and started working and apprenticing around shops less than a year later, so he was already closing in on almost a decade in the industry.

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This Ski and Snowboard Season is Not Over, But Special on 2015-16 Calif4nia Pass Starts TODAY

Categories: Wax On, Wax Off

Peter Morning/Mammoth Mountain Ski Area
If you've got it, spend it.
We're weeks away from the official end of the 2014-15 ski and snowboard season, but you can already start making plans for the 2015-16 season as the Cali4nia Pass goes on sale today. What is the Cali4nia Pass, you ask?

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Clyde Beasley of Westminster Charged with Fourth of July Gang Murder in Long Beach

Kayon Dafney, R.I.P.
A 48-year-old from Westminster is among three men arrested for murder and six held in connection with the Fourth of July 2014 shooting death of a Long Beach man, according to authorities.

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