UC Irvine Lists Steps Taken to Support Blacks So How About Enlightening Non-Blacks?

Photo by Eric Hood/OC Weekly
Kala Lacy leads a Black Student Union protest at UC Irvine in 2013.
Move over, undergrad Jews and Muslims, it's been blacks and whites that have hogged all the UC Irvine student schism-ing in recent years. But fear not, Anteaters, because your campus administrators claim helpful healing is well under way.

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Black Students at UC Irvine Lock Arms In Solidarity With University of Missouri Protests

Photo by Eric Hood
All power to the people

More than twenty UC Irvine Black Student Union members silently locked arms yesterday on Ring Road near the school's flag pole plaza, stretching the width of the main thoroughfare on campus to show solidarity with their black counterparts at the University of Missouri. Protests erupted at Mizzou after a series of racist incidents boiled over in frustration. Black football players led calls for boycotting future games if student demands hadn't been met, a move helping sack University of Missouri system President Tim Wolfe, who resigned.

UCI students joined in a nationwide day of actions across campuses forming a line of their own. "As a Black Student Union and political organization, it's our job to intervene," Sandra Johnson, BSU co-chair at UCI, told the Weekly. "Even though it's not us personally, it can be one of us any day."

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Kevin O'Grady Out as Head of The Center OC, County's Largest LGBT Org

Photo by John Gilhooley
O'Grady: Keep fighting

Late last week, the Center OC pushed out its executive director, Kevin O'Grady, in a surprising move no one saw coming. O'Grady--formerly regional director for the Anti-Defamation League's Southern California chapter--had boldly pushed the Center to the Orange County mainstream since getting the job in 2012, taking on haters of the stupid (Westboro Baptist Church) and political (Newport Beach councilmember Scott Peotter, the idiot who says gays appropriated rainbows from God) kind, rallying for inclusion at the Tet Parade, opening a satellite branch in downtown SanTana, increasing the Center's budget and donor rolls, and forcing notoriously cisgendered OC to pay attention.

And despite all of this, O'Grady was axed.

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10 Things That are Bad When Mexicans Do Them--But Cool When Hipsters Do the Same

Photo by Josue Rivas
Tell-tale sign of a hipster appropriating Mexican customs: That damn poncho!

The recent release of the latest pro-gentrification SanTana video got me thinking about society's double standards when it comes to hipsters and Mexicans. When Mexicans practice their customs and traditions, we get reviled, dismissed, and ridiculed--but the moment hipsters start doing the same, they become mainstreamed and accepted by gabacho culture.

I actually addressed this issue in my ¡Ask a Mexican! column back in 2013, when I wrote, "The hipsters who are already in [SanTana], meanwhile, adore their new barrio because of the low rents, older housing stock, 'authentic' experience and quaint neighbors, whom they'll call code enforcement on the minute the music is too loud on a Sunday morning or the corn in the front yard grows too high." But fear not, rest of the U.S.: the following trends also apply to your batch of hipsters. Happy Columbusing!

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Orange County's Scariest People of 2015

Greg Houston/OC Weekly
By Gustavo Arellano, Josh Chesler, Matt Coker, Courtney Hamilton, Kristine Hoang, Charles Lam, R. Scott Moxley, Gabriel San Román and Nick Schou

For all of 2015, your favorite infernal rag has been for sale, which made 2015 among the scariest years we Weeklings have ever faced (the thought of Susan Kang Schroeder getting her GOP pals to buy us? Shudder). Thankfully, no one put in a big-enough bid, meaning business as usual reigns again! Enjoy the year's batch of Scariest People, and don't forget to go online to learn who was inducted into the Bob Dornan Scary Hall of Fame!

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Snopes.com Looks Under Rock of "Breaking" Obama Treason Claim and Finds Orly Taitz

Photo by Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly
Furballed Queen of the Birfers Orly Taitz
Snopes.com, the leading debunker of urban legends, Internet rumors and assorted tall tales of questionable origin, just took on the fantasy that President Barack Obama has been charged in federal court with treason--and discovered that Rancho Santa Margarita's own lawyer/dentist/real estate saleslady/Ivanka lite Orly Taitz is at the center of it.

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An Oral History of OC Weekly on the Occasion of Its 20th Anniversary: An Introduction


A friend who recently moved back to Portland after a few years in OC explained before she left, "You know those shoppers at the Korean department store that collapsed, where the water pipes had been cracking, the floor was buckling, and they just ignored it and kept shopping till they were crushed? That's the way it feels to me here."

The county's broke. Everyone with money or reason has hauled ass out of here for saner climes. Our sports teams abandon us. Our military bases close. Our social services attrit. We catch fire. We get flooded. Carl's burgers splatter on our shoes! So, okay, we're in hell, which at least goes a long way toward explaining why Bob Dornan represents us.
--Jim Washburn, in his first Lost In OC column, Sept. 15, 1995

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An Oral History of OC Weekly, Part 2: September 2000-September 2005

The Weekly began its second five years in September 2000 with a new ownership group. In two months, a new president is elected--kind of. In one year, two buildings fall in New York, and the build-up to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would follow, and then the bombs rain. But through the national and international turmoil, the Weekly keeps chugging, reflecting on big issues while still focusing on local ones.

Michael Sigman: Leonard [Stern] was a business genius. He sold the paper at the absolute top of the market, right before the dot-com crash, for a tremendous amount of money. And the people who bought it were heavily leveraged, and it was making a lot of money, but they bought it based on it making more money. LA Weekly and OC Weekly still made a tremendous amount of money for the next two years, but it wasn't enough. So they made a lot of changes throughout the company. Pretty much got rid of everyone. [Sigman left the company in 2002.]

Shelle Murach, PR/special events coordinator, 1998-2003: Under Stern, we were owned by that family, and they were fantastic and very supportive. The paper was growing, there was a lot of support in Orange County, and we really expanded into a lot of things we wanted to do. Then we were sold to Village Voice Media, and it was just different. Things were becoming more corporate, and there were a lot of impacts because of what the economy was going through. After 9/11, we saw a huge decline in advertising, so there were a lot of changes as far as the whole industry.

In April 2000, a writer who would later make an impact on the county appeared.

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An Oral History of OC Weekly, Part 1: Sept. 15, 1995-Sept. 2000

Stern Publishing--owned by Leonard Stern, a pet-food magnate whose Hartz Mountain corporation controlled 70 percent of the pet-supply market--bought the Village Voice, the nation's oldest alternative weekly, in 1983. In 1994, Stern purchased the LA Weekly, which then set its sights on Orange County. . . .

Michael Sigman, LA Weekly/OC Weekly publisher, 1983-2002: The crass but simple answer [why OC Weekly was created] is that big advertisers in LA Weekly like Tower Records said they'd advertise in an Orange County edition. Before Leonard bought us, there were several years of exploratory machinations and research, but we never had the funding or authorization. And even though other people had explored it and had decided it wasn't such a good idea, it seemed obvious to us that it had potential. There was never any question in my mind that we could do a successful paper. After we were bought, the mandate was "Let's get OC Weekly started as soon as possible." I remember having serious conversations with [the late New York Times media critic] David Carr about the position [of editor], and there were probably one or two others, but I can't remember anyone else being a serious candidate. And then there was Will.

Nathan Callahan, OC Weekly contributor, 1995-2004: Will and I had worked on a little zine back in the early '90s, The County, and we tried to cover OC as much as we could. It came out sporadically and slammed everyone from Irvine City Councilman Dave Baker to Jerry Brown. And when [Will] heard about the editor job, it went from there.

Will Swaim, OC Weekly founding editor, 1995-2007: I was working at Entrepreneur, a business magazine, and a friend of mine said she had heard of LA Weekly starting something in Orange County. At the time, the landscape was littered with a whole bunch of attempts to start alt-weeklies here, and they had all been grotesquely underfunded or weren't very good.

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An Oral History of OC Weekly, Part 3: September 2005-October 2010

OC Weekly's 10th-anniversary edition, a 154-page tome, hit the streets Sept. 9, 2005, as one of America's most beloved cities was drowning. Rebecca Schoenkopf wrote the introductory column, subheaded "It's hard to celebrate 10 years of the Weekly when you're busy hating the president." Little did the Weeklings know the paper would soon descend into its own murky waters.

Matt Coker: One thing they always told us is "We'll never sell you guys to the New Times." We had heard all these horror stories about the New Times. A big part of it was Lowery and Wielenga had worked for New Times Los Angeles and had horrible experiences. And the two chains seemed to hate each other. They seemed bitter rivals. [David] Schneiderman always said, "Don't worry. We'll never sell you to the New Times." So what happened? They sold us to the New Times.

Technically, it was a merger. On Oct. 24, 2005, Village Voice Media, which owned OC Weekly and five other papers, announced it had reached an agreement to be acquired by New Times Media, which began in 1971 with a paper in Phoenix and had grown to 11 across the country. Once sworn adversaries, the two chains had apparently grown closer since 2002, when a deal they'd reached to shut down papers in Los Angeles and Cleveland was blocked by the Justice Department, which charged them with collusion. The new company retained the name Village Voice Media.

Coker: I don't know. Maybe once their lawyers started talking, they started liking each other more?

Michael Sigman: I wasn't remotely surprised. They had been salivating for LA Weekly for many years and had started a paper in Los Angeles to compete with it, which was not successful. It was their dream to build a national network of papers, but without Los Angeles and New York, they could never have accomplished that. They were serious bidders when Leonard [Stern] sold the papers [in 2000], but they weren't the winner. But they kept trying, and to me, it was inevitable that it would happen.

Rebecca Schoenkopf: First they fucked up The Village Voice, then they moved onto LA Weekly. We thought we were safe. We were very profitable. We had a very lean operation, but even so, we weren't doing it in their very formulaic, jigsaw-puzzle sort of way, so that was not acceptable.

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