Santa Ana Adds Checkpoint to Similar Irvine Op and South County Saturation Patrols TONIGHT

Photo by flickr user Bart
If the road looks like this in Irvine (or Santa Ana) tonight, pull over. Actually, don't even get in the car!
UPDATE, NOV. 21, 4:21 P.M.: The Santa Ana Police Department just announced that it, too, will conduct a checkpoint tonight, from 9 p.m. through 3 a.m. Saturday in the area of 1400 South Bristol Street.

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SEC Suspends Trading in Wholehealth Products of Anaheim Due to Dubious Ebola Test Claims

Illustration by Mikael Haggstrom/public domain
Remember the board game Operation?
An Anaheim company that claimed to have developed a product that can detect the Ebola virus in hours instead of days was ordered to stop trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday.

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Iraq War Hero Abused As Deputy At Orange County Sheriff's Department Wins More Cash

Jack Gould/OC Weekly
Scott Montoya
A federal judge this week awarded a fired Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) deputy $98,629 in new compensation after a 2013 jury found the agency repeatedly discriminated against the officer based on his receipt of the Navy Cross for U.S. Marine combat heroics that earned him a White House ceremony with President George W. Bush.

U.S. District Court Judge Jesus G. Bernal determined the additional sum for future lost wages was a fair supplement to the $496,006 the jury previously handed Scott Montoya, who is one of the first military officers to take advantage of the Uniform Servicemembers Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, a law that prohibits employers from creating hostile work environments for returning soldiers.

During the 2003 Battle of Baghdad, Montoya--who'd taken a leave of absence from OCSD to serve the nation as a Marine Scout Sniper in the wake of the 9-11 terrorist attacks--repeatedly risked his life running through enemy fire to rescue fellow wounded marines and an innocent Iraqi civilian.

But when he returned to his job as a deputy his colleagues mocked him, threatened violence, put a giant dildo and lube bottle in his locker, called him a moron, wrote false reports designed to sabotage his career, encouraged civilians to file complaints about him, gossiped endless about him like third graders, placed hidden surveillance cameras around his house and GPS on his personal vehicle, questioned his girlfriend about his sexual stamina in bed, circulated a department bulletin alleging he might be a mental case and disgracefully asserted they would not provide him backup during high-risk encounters in dangerous sections of the county.

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Federal Judge Kills Excessive Force Lawsuit Against Garden Grove Police

An Orange County man--who claimed Garden Grove Police Department (GGPD) cops committed excessive force against him and stole $500,000 in diamonds during an illegal, 2010 raid--received bad news this month when a federal judge formally killed his case before trial and ordered him to pay GGPD's litigation expenses.

Aleksandar Mackovski and his ex-wife Andrijana Mackovska sued GGPD and officer Ray Bex for allegedly violating their constitutional rights during the execution of a search warrant in Tustin, where the duo said cops unnecessarily destroyed property and stole the diamonds.

Aleksandar also claimed that cops ambushed him while he was holding a bag of groceries and a cell phone, tackled him to the ground, knocked him out and caused face, arm and chest injuries that needed medical attention.

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UCI Law's Erwin Chemerinsky and Michele Goodwin Tell Obama to Act on Organ Shortages

Photo by flickr user vintagecat
There just aren't enough parts to go around.

UC Irvine School of Law founding dean and nationally known constitutional law scholar Erwin Chemerinsky, UCI Chancellor's Professor of law Michele Goodwin and 300 health and transplant professionals, religious leaders, legal scholars and ethicists are calling on President Barack Obama to take action on "easing a critical and worsening shortage of transplantable organs that results in thousands of American deaths every year."

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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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More Evidence Of State Cheating Must Block Death Penalty In Seal Beach Salon Case: Lawyer

OC Weekly photo
Judge Goethals gets another stack of fascinating, true-crime reading
Claiming there's ample new evidence that Orange County's law-enforcement community can't be trusted to behave honestly, a defense lawyer for the killer in the 2011 Seal Beach salon massacre is urging a judge to reconsider an August ruling that conceded government cheating, but still left prosecutors' death-penalty demand an option.

Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders told Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Goethals in a Nov. 7 motion that he has uncovered additional efforts by the Orange County district attorney's office (OCDA) and sheriff's deputies to sabotage the defense of Scott Dekraai by hiding evidence and offering dishonest testimony.

Prosecutors insist errors were innocent mistakes and promise retraining, but Sanders says there has been "a systematic and ongoing process of concealing evidence favorable to the defense," practices that have caused him to divert focus on the "litigation at hand" to chase seemingly endless examples of unethical law-enforcement conduct tied to the case.

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Irvine Political Boss Larry Agran Gets Crushed At Polls and Rev. Lou Sheldon's Spawn Is Angry

In Larry Agran's case, it wasn't a bucket full of water but rather disinfecting sunshine that caused a meltdown
A weighty omen of Larry Agran's long overdue demise occurred 72 hours before the Nov. 4 Irvine city council election when the dictatorial boss of a political machine once considered invincible was spotted frantically running out of his house carrying boxes stuffed with campaign fliers.

Having launched his career as a lifelong politician in 1978 when President Jimmy Carter still had two years left in his administration and a movie ticket cost $2, Agran theoretically shouldn't have been in a panic.

After all, the 69-year-old Harvard Law School graduate spent a quarter of a century on the city council (including multiple stints as mayor) and has dropped millions and millions and millions of dollars in self-serving, hagiographic campaign literature on local residents.

But all the desperate, last-minute campaigning to win another re-election and take back control of Irvine and the Great Park from his critics couldn't save Agran from his well-earned fate.

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Orange County Boasts Best Roads in California

Wikipedia Commons
Sorry, gotta bounce.

The roads around the former Weekly world headquarters not withstanding, Orange County has the best roads in California. That's not fair: I have not been back to that area of Santa Ana in a couple months, when I had a hankering for a taco off the truck that parks on Sycamore Street. But then and the whole five years or whatever it was our offices were near there, the crack-, crevice- and pothole-filled surface streets jarred many a front-end alignment. Lowriders didn't need hydraulics to bounce!

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Is Jose Zarate Alvarez the Subject of "Meanness" by Cops and "Miscarriage of Justice" by OCDA?

Mugshots courtesy of CMPD
Were cops mean to Jose Zarate Alvarez?
Jose Zarate Alvarez received good news and bad news recently.

How do you want it, Orange County?


Glad you're the glass half full type. The good news is the 36-year-old had charges dismissed alleging he conspired to rip off $32,000 from a Costa Mesa convenience store.

The bad news is he is facing deportation ... which, actually, some of our most loyal trolls would flop to be a bad news-good news scenario.

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