Logan Crow Is the Frida Cinema's Screener

Photo by John Gilhooley
Roll it!

Logan Crow's world revolves around cinema. "Film and music were my first sexuality," the Frida Cinema director says. "I noticed those things way before I noticed my first boy or girl."

Crow wears many hats to run the daily operations of his beloved Santa Ana indie theater: programmer, projectionist, custodian, box-office clerk, promoter, poster designer, social-media correspondent, among others. You could say he'd do anything to provide like-minded movie aficionados a communal screening space. "I love the idea of inviting people over and showing them a film," he says. "I've been doing it all my life at home."

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The Incredible Story of Suavecito Pomade's SeƱores J-Bird and Pete and Tony Adame

Photos by John Gilhooley
Get it, hombres!

"No, no, no, no, man!" yells Tony Adame of Suavecito Pomade, barely containing his laughter. "Don't use that shot--ha, ha!"

Adame, his brother Pete, and their business partner J-Bird stand along with about six of their friends in an abandoned parking lot near the 5 freeway in Santa Ana, the city's iconic water tower looming in the distance. Everyone is howling as the photo shoot dissolves into camp. Not that the three are ever fancy paisas: For the past three hours, the Adame brothers and J-Bird have faithfully re-created the infamous Tijuana tourist trap you see above, complete with sombreros, ponchos, a custom-built stand they slapped together in minutes, and a pair of miniature donkeys named Jorge and Angelina Jolie they rented from a ranch in Malibu just for the shoot.

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Santa Ana's Checkpoint Chingonas: Theresa Dang and Maria Zacarias

Photo by John Gilhooley
Dang (left) and Zacarias: Their food is BOMB...

As good friends, Theresa Dang and Maria Zacarias share many things: biking, cooking, a love of activism, loud laughs, and a night in jail that just might get them a chance to battle the Santa Ana Police Department's controversial checkpoint program in court.

On Dec. 5, 2014, the pair helped CopWatch Santa Ana monitor a DUI checkpoint and offered rides to unlicensed immigrants to avoid car impoundment. Santa Ana's finest paid the two in kind with cuffs, hauling off Zacarias for obstruction and Dang for public drunkenness--never mind that Dang wasn't given a sobriety test in the field nor in jail, or that the mild-mannered Zacarias did nothing to provoke the blue.

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Carolyn Torres is Helping Chicanos Unidos Fight Gang Injunctions in Santa Ana

Photo by John Gilhooley
Torres: Back where she belongs

Whether in the classroom or the courtroom, Carolyn Torres sees her younger self in the causes she fights for. She teaches 10th and 11th graders in Watts during the day, but OC knows her best as an activist with Chicanos Unidos, a grassroots group waging a prominent battle against the Orange County district attorney's office (OCDA) over the Townsend Street gang injunction in Santa Ana.

The city has a special place in her heart. Poverty forced Torres to constantly move around OC and the Inland Empire, but Santa Ana is the only place that feels like home. "My deepest roots are here," she says. "My grandmother came to Santa Ana in the late 1920s from San Juan Capistrano when she was 4."

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Welcome to Santa Ana, the Animal Hoarder Capital of Orange County

Photo by flickr user hehaden
It's like they're coming out of the walls.
With nearly two dozen cats--many infested with fleas and all living in deplorable conditions--being seized at a Santa Ana home Tuesday, the question must be asked: How did the city that is the county seat also become Orange County's capitol of animal hoarding?

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Long Beach and Santa Ana Among Worst-Run Cities in Bang-for-Your-Buck Rankings

Photo by Riley Kern/OC Weekly
A weekend stroll through ol' No. 57.
Rankings of America's 65 most-populated cities by how well they are run show Long Beach and Santa Ana near the bottom, at 64th and 57th respectively.

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Santa Ana Police Arrest Longtime Checkpoint Activists...at Checkpoint

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Santa Ana police arrested two activists late Friday night near a DUI/license checkpoint on West First Street for reasons that were spurious at best, illegal at worst. Theresa Dang and Maria Zacarias, both members of the OC May Day Coalition that helped changed Santa Ana police checkpoint policy in 2011, spent the night in jail--Zacarias for obstructing traffic, Dang for supposedly arriving to the checkpoint borracha herself.

The two were present during last night's Santa Ana Public Safety and Neighborhood Improvement meeting. Neither spoke out as they are lawyering up and have been advised to keep quiet (No fun!), but supporters demanded no charges be filed against them.

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Santa Ana NIMBYs Win Again--Now What?

Andrew Galvin
Feeding the homeless at Santa Ana's Civic Center
Looking back at the demise of Orange County's plan to put a homeless shelter on Santa Ana's Normandy Place, it's easy to see it as another example of spineless politicians wilting before an angry onslaught of residents who, like not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) protesters everywhere, agree on the need for a shelter but say it doesn't belong in their neighborhood.

But interviews with some of the principal players in the months-long battle yield another analysis, one that questions the wisdom of trying to tip-toe around NIMBYs, as the county, still smarting from last year's NIMBY revolt in Fullerton, arguably did. The tip-toeing inflamed Santa Ana residents, who saw it as an attempt to cut them out of the process. Later, when elected officials at both the county and city declined to utilize an anti-NIMBY provision in state law, the strategy -- if it can be called that -- failed.

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Santa Ana Police Sergeant: She'd Run Over Ferguson Protesters, Too!

Josue Rivas / OC Weekly
Protesters march for Michael Brown in downtown SanTana
A Ferguson solidarity march last week in Minneapolis turned ugly when a man drove through activists and pinned a teenage girl under his car, sending her to the hospital. The incident made news rounds (with media capturing footage) and went viral online--and that's where we meet Santa Ana Police Sergeant Michelle Miller.

On her Facebook page, the sarge shared a wacky right-wing article titled "Driver Plows Through Ferguson Protestors In Minnesota."

"I would have done the same," she wrote. "I'm surprised this didn't happen more." A friend added, "what are these savages thinking?"

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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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