Notes, Quotes and Observations from KPCC's Town Hall on Gentrification in Santa Ana

Photo by Don Benjamín

I knew that last night's KPCC-FM 89.3's town hall forum on gentrification in SanTana was the ticket in OC when a South County source of mine asked me for tickets. Two weeks ago. Damn, son: weren't you mocking SanTana just a couple of years ago?

How sought-after was a seat for the forum, held at the Discovery Cube as part of AirTalk's 30th anniversary? Host Larry Mantle announced just before the live-on-tape recording that over 400 requests were made for the 150 slots available, which shows how much the issue continues to roil the city. Maybe it should've been held at Eddie West Field?

Anyhoo, the forum was a smash, with six panelists (myself include) talking about a changing SanTana, what's good and bad about the changes, and so much more. Listen to the discussion today on the air at 11 a.m., or find it online (we'll include the link...somewhere here, because we want you to read the rest of the post, you know?). Following--with apologies to the former Orange County Register columnist Randy Youngman--are my notes, quotes, and observations from the event.

More »

Authorities I.D. Armando Antunez as Man Shot by Police in Townsend Neighborhood

Thumbnail image for SAPD_Townsend.jpg
CopWatch Santa Ana
Santa Ana police in Townsend last year
Update, Aug. 3, 4:00 P.M.: Santa Ana police released new details into an officer-involved shooting that occurred on Townsend street yesterday. "Officers saw several gang members loitering in the alley and attempted to contact them," the advisory update reads. "One of the suspects was armed with a handgun and a short foot pursuit ensued resulting in an officer involved shooting."

The man shot is identified as 24-year-old Armando Antunez, but Weekly readers already knew that. Police say the weapon they found on the scene was a loaded semi-automatic. Antunez was arrested for numerous weapons violations, gang enhancements and violating probation.

More »

This Might Be the Ballsiest, Most Artistic Gang Graffiti in Orange County EVER

Gracias, source!
The line work is reminiscent of Keith Haring

First, the obvious disclaimer: The OC Weekly does not endorse graffiti, cholos, gangs, and especially graffiti cholo gangs. We encourage all youth to stay off the streets and blah blah blah blah blah. The only gang we claim--and the only one that matters--is OCW, and we RIFA C/S!

But look at the above tag, left over the weekend on a wall near the corner of Hawley and Ninth streets in SanTana. That's the handiwork of F Troop, oOC's oldest veteran Mexican gang* and the one with the most fascinating name in OC (yes: the gang is named after the late-1960s sitcom) after the Nazi Lowriders and PEN1. Now, get over the shock of this infernal rag highlighting a gang tag, and refry the following:

More »

Kevin Jacobo Identified as Victim of Possibly "Random" Car-to-Car Killing in Santa Ana

Kevin Jacobo, R.I.P.
UPDATE, JULY 7, 8:59 P.M.:Kevin Jacobo has been identified as the driver who was shot to death in the car-to-car shooting on a Santa Ana residential street early Sunday.

The 20-year-old Santa Ana resident had no known ties to gangs "whatsoever," Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told City News Service. "So at this point we don't know if he was the intended target or just a victim of random violence."

Wild Fourth of July Includes a Slaying and Three Fires Across Orange County

More »

Wild Fourth of July Includes a Slaying and Three Fires Across Orange County

Photo by flickr user ercwttmn

It wasn't an entirely sparkling Fourth in OC.
The Fourth of July traditionally keeps first responders busy in Orange County and 2015 was no different. A fight during a large neighborhood Independence Day party in Santa Ana left a man dead, and there were four fires across the region blamed on illegal fireworks.

More »

Former OC Democratic Party Chair Accused Of Peddling Influence in Santa Ana Pot Lottery For Mayor Miguel Pulido

Luke McGarry
An Incident on Shakedown Street?
Two employees of a Santa Ana medical marijuana collective tell the Weekly that Frank Barbaro, the former chairman of the Democratic Party of Orange County and longtime lawyer for Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, offered to help the dispensary secure a winning slot in the city's Feb. 5 2015 lottery--if they "worked" through him.

The employees, both a manager and a budtender for the Aloha Community Collective Association, claim that Barbaro became a member of the collective sometime last year and frequently visited the dispensary to purchase marijuana and edibles. Furthermore, they claim that on repeated occasions, Barbaro, who identified himself as Mayor Pulido's personal attorney, told them that he was the "person we needed to work with" if they wanted to "secure a spot" in the city's upcoming lottery.

More »

Federal Lawsuit: Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido Aided Pot Clubs In Return For Cash

Chris Victorio
Mayor Pulido (on right) and SanTana City Council friends

According to a federal lawsuit filed today, Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido conspired to derail a grassroots marijuana initiative in the city while soliciting cash from existing pot clubs who the Mayor allegedly promised winning slots in a Feb. 5 city-sponsored marijuana dispensary lottery. The lawsuit claims the payments were used to pay for gathering public support for the city's favored pot initiative.

More »

Santa Ana Police Horses Keep Pooping in Downtown--And Police Don't Clean Up

Photo by The Mexican

Ever since the tragic death of Kim Pham last year, police on horseback have been a common site nearly every weekend in downtown SanTana. And ever since SanTana PD have mounted horses to patrol all the drunk hipsters stumbling around, another police presence has left its mark on the ever-gentrifying downtown: horse shit. Pies of it. Plops. Streaks. Watery.

And most of it, more often than not, left on the ground, to be cleaned up by anyone other than SanTana police.

More »

Hey, Santa Ana, Ready for a Needle Exchange Spot in the French Court Neighborhood?

Will Santa Ana soon get a needle exchange location? No, silly, an official needle exchange location, which is right now proposed for the French Court Neighborhood.

More »

Gustavo's Latest KCRW "OC Line": On the Proposed Santa Ana Wellness Corridor

OC Weekly archives
Conceptual gentrification from back in 2009, I believe...WHICH CAME TRUE

A decade ago, I wrote an article called "Embrace the Mexican," in which I argued that SanTana, instead of running scared from its Latino super-reality, should double down and make it a wab destination. No one listens to me, though, so the City Council and activists ignored my proposal as the downtown became gentrified as fuck.

Flash forward to this year and last, and a coalition of groups has figured out that the silver bullet for gentrificiation is...making downtown SanTana more Mexican under the guise of a Wellness District. I swear, cabrones, you can't make this stuff up! Anyhoo, the proposed Wellness District is what I talked about this past Monday on my weekly KCRW "Orange County Line" commentary.

More »