Activists to Mobilize Today Against Townsend Gang Injunction in Santa Ana

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Townsend activists want to know: gang injunction, what's your function?
Another round of OC Superior Court hearings are due today in the fight over a new gang injunction in SanTana. In August, Judge Franz E. Miller granted a preliminary injunction against the Townsend street gang that claims the neighborhood around Jerome Park.

The early morning hearing will deal with defendants named as gang members by the Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) office. Later on in the day, a ruling is expected on whether Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas will get sanctioned for brushing off summons and depositions.

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OC Supes to Vote on Purchase of "Possible" Homeless Shelter in Santa Ana, Whatever That Means

Photo by Gabriel San Blogman
Homeless in La Palma Park in Anaheim

On Tuesday, the county's Board of Supervisors is set to vote on whether to complete the purchase of a Santa Ana warehouse for use as the county's first-ever public, year-round homeless shelter.

At least, a homeless shelter was the use envisioned for the property in July, when the Board voted to enter a $3.6 million purchase agreement for it. That was before an angry backlash from residents of neighborhoods near the proposed shelter (see "Santa Ana Residents Unite Against Proposed Homeless Shelter," Aug. 27, 2014) prompted the Santa Ana City Council to start waffling like a ... well, like a waffle, even though the Council had already zoned the location for a homeless shelter.

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Irvine and Santa Ana Make Competing Lists of Best Places in America for Military Veterans

Photo by flickr user Dragon Online
Happy Veterans Day!
Three is a charm for Irvine and Santa Ana, as Irvine has been named the third best city in the country for military veterans and Santa Ana has been deemed the third best U.S. city for mid-career veterans, according to separate surveys.

Just in time for Veterans Day, the financial site crunched data on such metrics as the percentage of military skill-related jobs, the availability of VA health facilities and the percentage of veterans living below the poverty line in the 100 most populated American cities.

In the end, Lincoln, Neb., at No. 1 and runner up Gilbert, Ariz., edged out Irvine, which also finished second in the country (to No. 1 Washington, D.C.) in highest veteran wage growth.

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Andrea Gonzalez and Lexi and Lexandra Perez Services TONIGHT and SATURDAY: Update

Courtesy of the Huerta family
Lexi and Lexandra Perez Huerta and their friend Andrea Gonzalez were taken much too soon.
UPDATE, NOV. 7, 3:01 P.M.: A rosary for Andrea Gonzalez and a wake for Lexi and Lexandra Perez will be held this evening in Orange and Santa Ana respectively, while services for each begin Saturday morning.

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ACLU Blasts Santa Ana City Council for Violating Free Speech Over "F the Police" Hat

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CopWatch Santa Ana
Bijan's council-stopping cap

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California sent SanTana city council members a letter reminding them the basics of free speech just ahead of this evening's meeting. It takes offense to the now infamous October 7 meltdown that occurred when Mayor-for-Life Miguel Pulido demanded a man named "Bijan" take off his "Fuck the Police" hat. When he refused, an hour-long standoff ensued between community members and cops, leading to the Don Papi canceling the city council meeting before it ever started.

"We write to express our strong concern with Santa Ana's policy and practice of restricting speech at open and public meetings of the Santa Ana City Council," the ACLU letter reads.

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UC Irvine Puts Experts and Professors in the Field in Santa Ana to Abate Family Violence
Ellen Olshansky, a professor of nursing science at UCI, is one of three leaders of the Interdisciplinary Center on Family Violence.

A new center dedicated to family violence that unites community partners with faculty from 20 UC Irvine departments launches this afternoon at the Delhi Center in Santa Ana.

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Santa Ana Mayor Honored Cop Sued For Fatal Shooting of Unarmed Man

"If only flat brim hats were illegal..."

In a prelude to city council chaos in Santa Ana over a 'Fuck the Police' hat last week, Mayor Miguel Pulido praised policemen amid jeers during a previous meeting. Santa Ana Police officer John G. Rodriguez received a service award as one of the honorees on September 2 for being on the force 25 years--almost as long as the reign of the Pulidiato itself!

"He's received two Santa Ana police department service medals of valor for actions during encounters with armed suspects," the Don Papi said, mentioning the cop's many credentials. Left out, of course, is the fact that lawsuits filed this year allege officer Rodriguez used excessive and lethal force in shooting Travis Mock, an unarmed man, in the back last year in an incident that also left another man, Jason Hallstrom, dead.

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Gustavo's (Last Week) KCRW "OC Line": On the Santa Ana City Council Versus Mayor Miguel Pulido!

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OC Weekly archives
Okay, not Pulido, but amusing nevertheless...

Last week, on my regular KCRW-FM "Orange County Line" commentary, I talked with host Steve Chiotakis about the epic game of chicken being played between the SanTana City Council and the Orange County District Attorney's Office over mayor Don Papi Pulido. It's all over an investigation into whether the Don Papi violated campaign finance law when he sold a house that his family had acquired in a property swap from a businessman who just so happened to have business with SanTana. The city attorney completed its investigation months ago; the DA hasn't. The city council said they wanted to release their investigation if DA Tony Rackauckas didn't; the DA didn't want them to.

Well, someone released the report yesterday--and it says the city thinks Don Papi Pulido might be charged with a felony.

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Santa Ana City Council Meeting Canceled Over "F the Police" Hat

Bijan with the anti-cop cap / courtesy of CopWatch Santa Ana
A scheduled SanTana City Council meeting tonight got canceled almost as soon as it started--all over a hat that proclaimed "Fuck the Police."

A man who only identified himself as "Bijan" sat down inside the council chambers wearing the Starter-style snapback cap, embroidered with the slogan in the same font on NWA Raiders hats that they used for publicity shots. "We noticed Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas, the Mayor and City Manager looking at us," says Angel Juarez, a member of CopWatch Santa Ana. "They asked Bijan to remove his hat under threat of stopping or delaying the meeting." He didn't.

Why? "Because it's what I believe," Bijan tells the Weekly.

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Edgar Vargas, Man Beat By Santa Ana PD on Camera, Freed From ICE by DOJ/Mostly Cleared by DA

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Officer Brian Booker with the ground and pound

The deportation of Edgar Vargas Azarte came to a screeching halt thanks to an assist from the Department of Justice (DOJ). The Santa Ana immigrant sin papeles is at home with monitor bracelets around his ankle instead of being detained by immigration authorities at Theo Lacy.

The DOJ turned the tables in his case by telling a federal judge on October 1 that they needed him for an investigation. The probe probably surrounds the beating he suffered at the hands of Santa Ana's finest.

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