SanTana City Council Backpedals on Pot

Kent Kanouse/Flickr
A typical pot shop display case

Once more, SanTana's City Council brought up the recent whirlwind of medical marijuana clinics at the September 16th city council meeting. For the first time since the July 15th meeting, they even decided to have a discussion about it. Prior attempts to do so have been delayed due to absent council members.

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SanTana Pot Raid Arraignment Clogs Court

Ronnie Cote/OC Weekly
No Medicating happening at Civic Center...

Remember the itty-bitty pot raid that Santa Ana PD carried out on July 31st? September 2nd was the arraignment for some 123 total marijuana misdemeanor violations. And so far it seems only one out of this smorgasbord of arrestees plead guilty and swallowed the $500 fine. That's right folks. A large number of them waived their right to a speedy trial and are opting to fight the charges.

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Immigration Authorities Obstructed Justice For Man Clobbered By SAPD: DOJ Complaint

Thumbnail image for sapd_burglarybeat.jpg
Officer Booker punching away...
Edgar Vargas Arzate was on his way to his August 18 court date for a previous run-in with police when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents stopped their car and nabbed the undocumented immigrant at gun point. Now, Arzate's public defender, Frank Bittar, has formally requested an investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) into the ICE arrest alleging it was an obstruction of justice.

But the complaint doesn't stop there. As readers recall, Vargas appeared to be surrendering when cornered by Santa Ana police on the night of June 20. Cops pounded him with fists, batons and Tasers as he laid face-down on the driveway. Home surveillance cameras caught the incident in a viral video. Police arrested Vargas on suspicion of attempted burglary. He had every intention of fighting the charges until ICE detained him right before his preliminary hearing.

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Mexicans vs. Mexicans in Downtown Santa Ana Gentrification Shout-Off--Then Someone Yelled "Wetback"

Courtesy of Igmar Rodas/SAPD (Stop Abusing People's Derechos, that is!)
Things getting hairy outside American Barbershop!

What began as an anti-police brutality march on Friday night turned into the latest chapter in downtown SanTana's gentrification wars--this time pitting Mexicans against Mexicans.

There was no problem when about 50 protesters initially assembled at a plaza on the intersection of Fourth and French streets around dusk. But when they returned from a rally at Sasscer Park (after a march that took them across the downtown area, with some activists chanting "Gentrification sucks!" and yelling "sell-outs" at patrons at the Playground, according to participants and onlookers), a near-melee happened at American Barbershop. That's where, protesters maintain, people flicked cigarette butts at them and yelled "Wetbacks!"

But who said the w-word and flung ciggies is leading to yet another battle, this time on the Internet.

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Townsend Gang Injunction in Santa Ana is Subject of a Court Hearing Wednesday

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CopWatch Santa Ana
Santa Ana Gang Unit officers check out Townsend Street apartment units.

A hearing is scheduled Wednesday morning on a preliminary injunction against Santa Ana's Townsend Gang, the 13th Orange County street gang to face such sanctions.

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Santa Ana Ranked Ninth Most Vigilant U.S. City

Photo by Riley Kern/OC Weekly
Nothing to see here, folks; just a couple safely walking through downtown Santa Ana.

Is Santa Ana on a roll this year or what? So far, it has been named among the nation's selfiest, coolest and, for you herbal indulgers, highest cities.

(In the interest of full disclosure, SanTana also wound up on a list of the most boring cities in America this year.)

Now, all you gun lovers, cop groupies and home security shopkeepers in town will be happy to learn Santa Ana has also been named among the most vigilant cities in the U.S.

See also:
Anaheim-Santa Ana Ranked One of the "Selfiest" Places on Earth by Time Magazine
Santa Ana Goes From One of Forbes' Most Boring Cities in the U.S. to One of the Coolest
Santa Ana & Irvine Among Nation's "Highest" Cities?

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Santa Ana Goes From One of Forbes' Most Boring Cities in the U.S. to One of the Coolest

OC Weekly archives
It's definitely cool when they spray you with tower water.
Either Santa Ana has improved mucho over the past five years or the cultural bean counters at Forbes magazine are under some bipolar spell.

That's because the city that Forbes dubbed one of the top 10 most boring cities in America in 2009 has just been named the 20th Coolest City in the land.

How did Orange County's seat achieve the lofty position?

It's all about the numbers, Count Chocula.

Let's go to the scoreboard:

No. 20: Santa Ana, Calif.
Metro: Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA
Arts & Culture Index: 87%
Recreation Index: 98%
Diversity Index: 75.46%
Local Eats: 74%
Population age 20-34: 28.8%
2010 - 2013 Net Migration: 1.5%

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Will NIMBYs Nix Santa Ana's Next Homeless Shelter?

Andrew Galvin
Santa Ana's Next Homeless Shelter?
Residents of neighborhoods near a proposed homeless shelter in central Santa Ana are coming together to fight the county's plan, but they face a tougher row to hoe than Fullerton residents who successfully killed a similar proposal last year.

The county's Board of Supervisors on July 15 approved a $3.6 million purchase of a warehouse at 1217 E. Normandy Place, near McFadden and Grand avenues. While the warehouse is on an industrial street, it's not far enough from schools and homes to satisfy an emerging band of opponents. Last year, Fullerton residents successfully pressured their City Council to reject a county proposal to put a homeless shelter on State College Boulevard. However, the proposed Normandy Place site doesn't need approval from Santa Ana's City Council as the area is already zoned "by right" for a 200-bed homeless shelter.

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Santa Ana PD Detains Dozens of Dispensary Employees and Patrons

Laurie Avocado / Flickr
An eerily empty dispensary...

They didn't take money or marijuana--they took people. On the afternoon of July 31, and well into the evening, Santa Ana Police Department raided ("attacked," according to some) dispensaries, detaining and processing approximately 80 dispensary owners, employees, and medical marijuana patients. They were taken via paddy wagon to the county jail.

See Also: Santa Ana Pot Crackdown Begins Anew

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VIDEO: Santa Ana Police Clobber Burglary Suspect With Batons and Fists

Surveillance video still shot

On the night of June 20, Edgar Vargas Arzate reportedly ran away from SanTana police officers before giving himself up. That's where surveillance cameras perched above the front yard of a home captured a good-ol' fashioned clobbering.

The 27-year-old clearly puts his hands in the air and then lays on the ground appearing to be compliant. The first officer to approach Vargas pummels him with six straight punches. Another swings his baton at the burglary suspect's legs soon after.

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