Rancho Santiago College Foundation Accused of Brown Act Violations in Saudi Arabia Deal

A clash between Rancho Sanitago Community College faculty and brass could rock the casbah.
The Faculty Association of the Rancho Santiago Community College District claims the state's open-meeting law was violated in deliberations that led to RSCCD's controversial $105 million consulting contract with two technical schools in Saudi Arabia.

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Girl on the Edge at Newport Beach Film Festival Features One of Elizabeth Peña's Last Roles

Jay Silverman Productions
Veteran actress Elizabeth Peña appears as a counselor for troubled youth in Girl on the Edge.
If you go to the late Elizabeth Peña's imdb page, you'll discover her final film role was in an untitled project by director Ari Gold that also stars Rory Culkin and is currently in post production. Girl on the Edge, which plays Monday as part of the Newport Beach Film Festival, is the last completed picture the New Jersey-born, Cuban-American actress appears in.

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San Juan Capistrano Explores Options After Tiered Water Rates Ruled Unconstitutional; Hear Gustavo Talk About It!

Categories: H2no

Photo by flickr user tubblesnap
Ah, horse ... water
UPDATE, APRIL 21, 12:47 P.M.: San Juan Capistrano city officials are analyzing the appellate ruling and the City Council will consider its options shortly, according to Tom Bokosky, the city's human resources manager. Options could include another appeal or a request to have the three-member appeals panel opinion "unpublished,'' meaning it would no longer be considered precedent. Meanwhile, Mike Hensley, an attorney who represented Capistrano Taxpayers Association members who sued the city over its tiered water rate structure, disagrees with Gov. Brown that the ruling puts "a straitjacket" on local governments. "There's a lot of studies that show tiered systems do not promote conservation," Hensley told City News Service.

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Tainted Irvine Democrats Hope Sacramento Pals Will Rescue Them In Great Park Scandal

Luke McGarry / OC Weekly
Ever want to see politicians simultaneously argue two sides of one stance--and pretend they are consistent? Go to Irvine and see Beth Krom and Larry Agran in action. More than a year ago, Krom and Agran devised a two-pronged communications strategy to undermine the independent audit of how their political machine spent in excess of $200 million without building a single, major, promised feature at the Orange County Great Park.

The first prong involved trying to rile up the public by describing the audit as a waste of taxpayer funds, which was never a concern when their machine ran the proposed park and handed out $165,000 a month in no bid, no benchmark contracts to their own political consultants. Booted from power by 2012 voters, the pair suddenly discovered the notion of frugality.

Once one of California's largest and most anticipated public works projects, the Great Park idea under the leadership of Krom and Agran devolved into a cesspool of incompetence, mismanagement and cronyism you'd expect from two local politicians, one a housewife and the other a lawyer who has never held a private sector job, pretending they possessed the expertise to create a $1.6 billion, "world class" park.

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Armenian Genocide Controversy Snares Russell Crowe's The Water Diviner That Opens NBFF

Categories: Film and TV

Warner Bros.
Russell Crowe directed and stars in the Australian production The Water Diviner.
This is something you don't want to see on opening night of your 16th annual film festival: controversy surrounding your opening night picture. But that's the situation the Newport Beach Film Festival finds itself in with The Water Diviner, which opens the 2015 cinematic extravaganza at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco Drives Like a Hybrid But It Actually Gets the Unleaded Out

Categories: Ride Me

One in an occasional series reviewing consumer vehicles that are powered by water, natural gas, electricity, hybrid motors, high-efficiency gasoline engines or some other alternative source.

Photos by Matt Coker/OC Weekly
Yes, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco will get you to Baghdad by the Bay no problem at all.
Whenever I tell a friend I am writing about an electric or plug-in hybrid car, the first question I am invariably asked is, "Will it get you to San Francisco?" Why yes. Eventually. The people asking don't drive to the Bay Area as much as I do; I have family up there. But the question points to a car-buying mindset that minimizes every-day driving because, I guess, people figure if a vehicle can take you 414 miles in one trip (with a stop or two to fill up), it will automatically take care of their shorter commuting needs.

Might I point you folks to the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco?

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Loaded .38 Found in Carry-on at Airport Named After Gunslinger Portrayer John Wayne

Courtesy of the TSA
This was in a SNA carry-on.
A loaded .38 caliber handgun was plucked out of the security line at John Wayne Airport last week but don't worry, there was no round in the chamber, according to the TSA.

That made it one of nine loaded firearms found in TSA lines at the nation's airports last week. There were also 31 unloaded guns, multiple stun guns and ninja stars, 10 inert/replica/novelty grenades and knives of all shapes and sizes seized at U.S. airports last week, the TSA reports.

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Peter Mathews Shares His Book and Thoughts About "Dollar Democracy" in OC This Week

Peter Mathews talks money.
You may know Peter Mathews as a longtime political science professor at Cypress College, an adjunct professor at Cal State Long Beach or a guest lecturer at Cal State Fullerton.

Or, you may know Mathews as a political analyst on Southern California radio and television news programs.

Or, you may know Mathews from North County ballots, as he has run for several elected offices over the years. Now you'll get to know Mathews the author. He's got a new book out titled Money in Politics: the Destruction of the American Dream, and How to Restore It.

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Peter Heinrich Conrad Reinert Tied to Scams Involving Hybrid Cars, Anti-Counterfeiting

Keep reading before you buy in.
An Irvine businessman has been hauled into federal court and remains in custody for allegedly duping about 50 investors out of at least $3.6 million in scams involving technological "inventions" to thwart counterfeiters of state documents and increase gas mileage of any car to 150 mpg.

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Real Estate Workers and Home Loan Modifiers Keep Orange County Courtrooms Humming

Photo by flickr user Kevin McShane
The missing "e" is for "embezzlement."
I went to my newspaper's crime page and a real estate section broke out! That's how it feels given the recent spate of Orange County cases involving those in the home sales/mortgage loan modification industry. Consider ...

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