Assemblyman Tom Daly, State Bar and Labor Groups Hold Fraud Prevention Meet TODAY

Tom Daly hosts a fraud prevention workshop in Spanish and English.

Assemblyman Tom Daly (D-Santa Ana), the State Bar Association of California, the Orange County Labor Federation and Laborers Local 652 host a "Fraud Prevention Workshop" from 5:30-7:30 this evening at the Laborer's Hall, 1532 E. Chestnut, Santa Ana.

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Neel Kashkari Lets His Rainbow Flag Fly

Photo by Derrick Roach
Neel Kashkari waves to the crowd at the 40th San Diego LGBT Pride Parade in Hillcrest July 19.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pete Wilson and perhaps even George Deukmejian didn't really care if same-sex couples won the right to marry, not that they'd let their Republican base in on that before their first elections as California governors. So give Irvine's Neel Kashkari, the GOP nominee squaring off against Jerry Brown in November, credit for freely flying his rainbow flag.

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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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Great Park Insider: Larry Agran's Corruption, Incompetence Worse Than Previously Known

Meranda Carter/OC Weekly
In January 2008, Larry Agran--the leader of a three-council-member, Democratic alliance that then controlled the city of Irvine for more than half a decade--desperately needed to enlist outside professional help to manage what had spiraled out of control: plans to build the Orange County Great Park, then one of California's largest public-works projects.

But there was a problem.

Agran, a career politician who had no clue how to build a massive public park despite his promises otherwise, didn't just crave a competent CEO for the $1.6 billion project. The county's living liberal icon with frightening Nixonian tendencies hoped the park would be an unbreakable monument to his legacy, so he needed someone who would obey his wishes, no matter how ridiculous or shady.

Excluding the four other elected representatives on the council, as well as the other eight members of the Great Park's Board of Directors, Agran--a losing Democratic Party presidential-primary candidate in 1992--met Mike Ellzey at an Irvine Denny's off I-5 on Sand Canyon Avenue.

Ellzey's background with private corporations, at a university and as CEO of the Golden Gate Park Concourse Authority made him a suitable candidate for the Great Park job. Demonstrating his dictatorial sensibilities that allowed him to dismiss notions of government transparency and the participation of his colleagues, Agran unilaterally offered Ellzey a taxpayer-funded job worth more than $175,000 annually.

Of course, there was a catch.

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Orange County Federal Judge Aided Rapist/Killer's Death Penalty Appeal

As my colleague Matt Coker reported earlier, a Santa Ana-based federal judge this week ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in the case of convicted rapist/murderer Ernest Dewayne Jones.

Though other federal judges in more liberal settings have made similar rulings in the past, the decision by U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney won national headlines perhaps because of the conservative nature of Orange County and the Republican judge's lifetime appointment by execution-happy President George W. Bush.

What hasn't won attention is the fascinating backdrop to Carney's ruling.

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Sunshine Cavalluzzi, El Dorado High Teacher: Being Honored by First Lady "Awesometastic"

See Update No. 2 at the end of this post where Sunshine Cavalluzzi describes her "awesometastic" day. Update No. 1 has what Michelle Obama said about her.

El Dorado High School
Sunshine Cavalluzzi, teacher to "rock stars"
ORIGINAL POST, JULY 16, 7:01 A.M.: During the second day of a two-day swing through Los Angeles, first lady Michelle Obama will attend a luncheon where an Orange County teacher will be honored.

Obama is scheduled to speak at the Grammy Museum's inaugural Jane Ortner Education Award Luncheon, which was established by the family of the late public school teacher who recognized the critical importance of music in the education of students at all levels.

This year's award for the teacher from a public or private school, from kindergarten through high school, who successfully incorporates music into their classroom lessons is Sunshine Cavalluzzi of El Dorado High in Placentia.

The social sciences teacher is being recognized for what the museum calls her "innovative economics lesson plans."

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Shawn Steel Thinks Tribal Politics Will Solve California Republican Party Woes

A Steel
Not just a few Republicans dismissively view the sight of Democrats' enthusiastic celebration of their party's internal groups: women, Hispanic, African-American, gay and lesbian, union members, seniors, Americans with disabilities, native Americans, Jews and Asians.

Identity politics just hasn't been popular with Republicans, whose national conventions earned the reputation for being a gathering of crotchety, old white people anxious to return to the country club or golf course.

But upbeat, old white dude Shawn Steel, an Orange County member of the Republican National Committee, argued in a Washington Times article this week that the GOP faces a dire choice given demographic shifts underscoring the rise of minority voting power: "adapt or die."

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County Board Approves Acquiring Santa Ana Warehouse for Year-Round Homeless Shelter

OC Weekly archives
Better homeless housing than this is finally coming to Santa Ana.

Just steps from where homeless people camp in Santa Ana every night, the Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a plan Tuesday to spend $3.6 million for a Santa Ana warehouse that will be converted into a year-round shelter.

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Earthquake Warning System for Southern California Gets $5 Million Federal Boost

Categories: Politics

Photo by Johnny Walter Novelo
This is either the result of an earthquake or the photographer and his my mommy.

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee voted to include $5 million in the Interior and Environment Appropriations bill Tuesday for an early warning system in earthquake-prone areas, including Southern California.

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Loretta Sanchez Painted as a Net Neutrality Foe

Categories: OC Media, Politics

OC Weekly archives
If Loretta Sanchez has AT&T for Internet, she's already been punished.
Rep. Loretta Sanchez is catching heat for essentially saying she opposes net neutrality "to protect Latinos."

The Garden Grove Democrat has joined fellow Latino Members of Congress Albio Sires (D-New Jersey) and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) in signing a letter penned by Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) to support the corporate dismemberment of the free and open Internet, according to, which calls Green "one of AT&T's best friends in Congress."

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