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

Thumbnail image for SAPD_Townsend.jpg
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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Santa Ana Pot Crackdown Begins Anew

Eric Hood/OC Weekly
Dabz a make her dance

According to a Santa Ana Police Department investigator who spoke with the Weekly, 17 medical marijuana dispensaries were visited by police in the past week. 42 tickets were issued to dispensaries operating in violation of the city's 2007 ban on pot clubs, three of which--Wax City, Emerald, and Wax-R-Us--have now closed. The operation came in the wake of a July 15 city council meeting in which councilmembers voted to appropriate $500,000 for ongoing anti-pot enforcement actions.

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Artist Tony Pedraza Arrested for Painting Utility Box in Downtown Santa Ana

Courtesy Tony Pedraza
Tony Pedroza's utility box art in progress

A local artist involved in helping build downtown SanTana's public art scene was arrested July 2nd for painting a utility box on Sycamore and Civic Center.

Tony Pedraza, a young muralist and painter from SanTana, painted the gunmetal gray caja after noticing other utility boxes in the city's downtown were being decorated through a city-commissioned art beautification program. Three days into his own project, a police officer approached Pedraza and asked if he had a permit; Pedraza answered no.

The police officer then asked Pedraza why he was painting the box. "I just told him I saw other boxes around that had been painted on and I was frustrated with the way they looked, like there wasn't a lot of effort put into them. So I decided to do my own box for the city, for free," Pedraza says.

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Santa Ana Officials Say They Got Associated Press to Correct "Erroneous" Water Use Story

Photo by flickr user tubblesnap
You can lead a horse to water, but ...
The Associated Press, citing state data, reported on July 16 that water consumption increased 65 percent from May 2013 through May 2014 in the City of Santa Ana.

That was apparently news to the City of Santa Ana's leaders and water officials.

Incorrect news.

"The fact is that the city's water consumption increased by only 7 percent during that time frame," according to Santa Ana's Public Works Agency.

Nabil Saba, the city's water resources manager, spoke with the Associated Press reporter who crafted the original piece, which was later corrected, according to a notice Santa Ana residents received recently.

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