Santa Ana Police Arrest Longtime Checkpoint 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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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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