Two People Died in the Ocean Off Orange County Last Weekend, More Drowned Inland

Photo by flickr user Bob AuBuchon
We need more of these.
It was a weekend of drownings in Orange County this past weekend as the bodies of two men were plucked out of the ocean and there were other water-related tragedies inland.

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Hurricane-vergence: Katrina's 10th Birthday, New Tropical Storm, UCI-NASA Link Fires

Tropical Storm Danny could become the first hurricane of the season.
As if on cue, the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is coming as weather forecasters reveal a tropical storm may become the first hurricane of the 2015 North Atlantic season while UC Irvine and NASA unveil research showing a strong link between high wildfire risk in the Amazon basin and the devastating hurricanes that ravage North Atlantic shorelines.

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Garden Grove Police Union: Mayor Bao Nguyen a Drunk, OC Weekly Liars

Photo by John Gilhooley
Santos family brutalized by Garden Grove PD

On Thursday afternoon, the Garden Grove Police Association (GGPA), the union that truly represents the finest of Garbage Grove, sent out a press release regarding our coverage of union head Mike Viscomi recording a conversation between him and Mayor Bao Nguyen. Moxley wrote why what Viscomi did was a no-no and noted the obvious: that a random recording involving Nguyen talking trash on his council rival, Phat Bui, somehow magically seeing the light of day for opponents to request and make public was no coincidence.

Not so, said the GGPA press release, which insisted Viscomi was just doing his job and accused Mox of being "biased and factually inaccurate." "Contrary to Moxley's inferences throughout his article," the press release stated, "Sergeant Viscomi did not surreptitiously record Mayor Nguyen in the hopes of advancing a political agenda to 'politically assassinate' Mayor Nguyen."

But in that very press release, the GGPA did what they claimed they didn't do: try to politically assassinate Nguyen.

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Transparent California Claims to See Through Anaheim School District's High Teacher Salaries

Anaheim Secondary Teachers Association
Anaheim Union High School District teachers participate in a teacher association-based training session that is presumably NOT on what to do with all the money they make.
Despite its teachers earning more on average than their colleagues at every California school district but one, Anaheim Union High School District falls short on student performance, according to new data released by a Tustin-based think tank.

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Is That Bear Mace in Your Carry-on or Are You Happy to Spray Me?

Courtesy of the TSA
No round was chambered in the loaded .38 caliber gun plucked from the security check at JWA.
The handgun and ammo above were pulled out of a bag being carried onto a plane at John Wayne Airport on Thursday, one of 62 firearms (54 loaded, 25 with rounds chambered) intercepted at the nation's airports last week, according to the Transportation Security Administration. But that was not our favorite TSA find.

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Sheriff Clicks Her Heels But OC Snitch Scandal Won't Go Away

Bob Aul/OC Weekly
Anyone who had spent a year traveling overseas before walking into the July 24 Board of Supervisors' meeting on civilian oversight woes at the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) might have thought they were witnessing the coronation of Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. The top cop's arrival in the Hall of Administration, with her entourage, prompted smiles, handshakes and backslaps. One attendee said the sheriff was doing an "excellent" job. Another praised her willingness to attend; a third declared "the highest degree of respect for her." Even board chairman Todd Spitzer praised Hutchens' purported desire "to do the right thing."

If OCSD is a paradigm of virtuous public service, why call a semi-emergency hearing? The sheriff wondered the gist of this question out loud, though she said, in disingenuous politeness, "I'm pleased to be here." Worried police-corruption revelations once again have won national attention, Spitzer assembled the powwow to discuss strengthening the Office of Independent Review (OIR) or scrapping it for more effective oversight. "We have a problem as a county," he said.

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Costa Mesa Cop Ryan Patrick Natividad Accused of Filing Fraudulent Claim About His Fist

Photo by flickr user Dirk Gently
In some cultures, such claims are known as "fisting."
A Costa Mesa cop has been charged with committing insurance fraud through a work-injury claim involving his fist, according to prosecutors.

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U.S. Seeks Funds from Sale of Disneyland-Area Motel by Philippine Disaster Relief Scammer

Philippines Police
Would you buy a used Disneyland area motel from this lady?
The U.S. Department of Justice is reportedly trying to recover about $12.5 million in assets that include proceeds from the sales of Irvine property and a Disneyland-area motel by a Philippine businesswoman who allegedly stole millions of dollars in funds entrusted to her for development assistance and disaster relief for her people.

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Advocates Try to Keep Brothers Together as One Fights Deportation, The Other for His Life

Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
ICE target Touch Hak (far right) with (from left): his brother Puthy's wife Tammie Pheak; cousin Saron Pos; Puthy Hak (center); and sister Nalin Chhim.
A Cambodian refugee who was spared deportation last year so that he could donate his kidney to his brother recently learned he is not a blood match with his older sibling and that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is coming after him again.

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OCDA's Office Thinks Review Committee Will Save It From Snitch Scandal

Illustration by Luke McGarry
Tony Rack: As sneaky as ever...

The folks running the Orange County district attorney's office (OCDA) are now claiming outsiders will help to reform a jailhouse-informant program that won tainted convictions in at least three dozen cases, including death-penalty trials. "Anything we can do to get better as an office, we're going to do," OCDA chief of staff Susan Kang Schroeder said in a July 12 interview. "We're making reforms." But the sentiment voiced weeks after a CBS 60 Minutes crew arrived on the scene is inconsistent with prosecutors' antics during the 18-month-old scandal.

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