Archive for May, 2006

Steve Ambriz, Orange Councilman, R.I.P.

Steve Ambriz was buried today.

Steve, a Orange City Councilman since 2002, was driving on Santiago Canyon Road in Orange Park Acres last Thursday when he was struck head-on by a truck that had crossed onto his side of the street (see OC Register and LA Times stories). The driver of the truck has been arrested suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs.

I didn’t know Steve so I won’t attempt to eulogize — others have done a good job of that already (see the websites for the City of Orange and the County of Orange Health Care Agency as well as the OC Blog). Steve is survived by his wife Bridget and 3-year-old daughter Kaitlyn. Donations to the Kaitlyn Ambriz Scholarship Fund at 1940 N. Tustin Ave., Suite 103, Orange, 92865 — for more information, call (714) 744-6574, mailbox 2.

Voting in Orange County

It’s election time!

Unless you don’t have a television or mailbox, you’re painfully aware that the California primary election is next week. If you’ve been busy, like me, you might not know from all the shiny political ads alone who you should vote for. I’m here to help!

Cal Voter is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting and applying the responsible use of technology to improve the democratic process. They’ve got all sorts of great resources, including a voter guide for the election.

The OC Register has a fantastic voter guide of its own at, including archived news stories organized by race, candidate information, spending and fundraising data, and all sorts of useful stuff.

The government sources aren’t too bad either – the Secretary of State’s Official Voter Information Guide has info on the propositions, candidates, and lots of general voter info. The OC Registrar of Voters also has a lot of that information, plus can help you find your polling place if you’re lost. They’ve also got info on Early Voting in Orange County – a great idea if you’re going to be busy come election day.

Remember to get out there and vote!

Have you checked your Party Registration Today?

I hope I don’t have to remind our readers to go out and participate in our Democratic process and vote. But in the case that I have to, please make sure you are voting under the same party that you intended to vote for.

So for starters let’s see how your registration may have been switched:
Have you signed any petition forms?
When you signed them, were you asked to sign the box for “Verification?”
Was it for a good cause (Save the Whales, Save the Dolphins, Save the Brady Bunch – Hey, just a little fun with that)?
Were they a paid signature gatherer, and did they beg when you refused to sign the petition?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, might I suggest you read this before going to the polls: “Registrar Hands over suspicious voter forms.

With the Democratic Party of Orange County urging the Registrar to quickly resolve this indescretion by the Republican party and the Registrar’s office dragging their feet, I’m getting ready to say the voters in Orange County are going to be mighty disenfranchised when they go to cast their ballots (on the million dollar e-slate machines, another argument for another day).

Hat tip to Liberal OC

Follow The Money

For those of you who want to know how much has been spent so far by both the Democrats and the Republicans in the primary races, click here.

Maybe the voters can get some more free swag in the mail if any of the candidates have any money left over before the June 6th primary?

indingilizi yabangany

africaproject.jpgNext Tuesday, the 30th of May, The African Project is having an indingilizi yabangany (circle of friends) meeting at the Irvine City Hall at 7pm. The African Project is a local organization that was inspired by a BBC documentary by Brian Woods and Deborah Shipley called The Orphans of Nkandla. Their mission is to raise awareness of and help children that have been orphaned by AIDS in Africa.

If you would like to get involved, you can RSVP online for their meeting on Tuesday or find other ways to help on their website.

Solorio for Junk Distributer

Two weeks ago, I didn’t really know who Jose Solorio was – I recognized his name from the Santa Ana City Council, but didn’t know him (he didn’t represent me). Now he’s running for Assembly in the 69th Assembly District, and boy, has he let us know it.

Starting about a week ago, I’ve gotten something new from his campaign every day. The first few mailers just told of his “Teach English” campaign. Then came the endorsement by a firefighting group, which including a nice little refrigerator magnet. The next day the potholders arrived – one potholder for me and one for the girlfriend – stamped with “Solorio for Assembly – Teach English!” in big blue text. The next day was more mailers, and yesterday the books came – small, bound books (not just pamphlets) telling Solorio’s story and views, in his own words.


Not that I don’t appreciate the potholders (we’ve never thought to get some – we have those latex 600 degree glove things), but he’s sending me more crap than the realtors in my neighborhood. The mailing costs alone must be in the thousands for these non-standard things. But lately, I’ve been going home for lunch every day wondering what new, useless thing I’ll find in my mailbox, and who exactly is paying for it.

Next Victim

Now that the San Jose v. Edmonton series has been settled (the Sharks lost by the way), it’s Edmonton that will be the next team to challenge the Ducks in the NHL Playoffs.
So for the fans traveling to the Pond this Friday, a few words of advice:
1. Don’t boo the Canadian National Anthem. The fans in the Shark Tank didn’t heed this little gem of advice and look what happened.
2. Just because they are named the “Oilers” does not mean they play for oil. However, with gas prices the way they are these days I wouldn’t be surprised if their pay is going towards their gas.
3. If someone stops you in the concourse of the Pond and asks “Is this Los Angeles, eh?” quickly point out politely that they want to talk to the team on the other side of Katella that is in their own little geographical identity crisis.
4. They are called “Fowl Towels” for a reason (and I hope I don’t have to explain that one)
5. If the cup is in the house – DON’T TOUCH IT. Players and die-hard hockey fans have a superstition about posing with the cup during the playoffs (I have touched the cup but that was back in 2000)
6. Disney no longer owns the team, thus the reason for their success
7. Edmonton is a city of 1,016,000 people vs. Anaheim’s 328,000 (2000 Census) and Edmonton will no doubt be close to shut down on Friday night for the game
8. The Ducks and the Clippers are the only California teams left in any Major league playoff. Sucks to be the Kings and Lakers.
9. Icing and Offsides suck. Just a personal observation.
10. Anyone have any extra tickets (with parking and in a luxury box or glass seats) that they would love to give to us local bloggers? (No? I knew that was asking for too much)

Kids, Pay Attention!

In light of recent events, it’s time for a word to Orange County’s children from Uncle Miles:

If, while hanging out at the local fast food joint, park or library, you are approached by someone who claims to be a movie producer in search of new talent for his upcoming feature film, tells you that the new star must have perfect feet and asks you to show him your bare feet so that he can determine if you could be that new star, let me give you some advice: THIS MAN IS NO RON HOWARD! He is no producer and there is no movie! (If he is planning on making a film, it is not one you’ll want on your IMDb profile). Run and report the man to the nearest responsible old person.

Atheists – meet tonight!

A reminder to all of you atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, humanists, and the curious, check out this month’s meeting of the Orange County Atheists, which is tonight, May 17 at 7:30pm at the International House of Pancakes at 18542 MacArthur Blvd in Irvine, near John Wayne Airport.

Hope to see you there!

Glad We Got That Settled!

It’s official – Huntington Beach is Surf City USA. The long simmering feud between Santa Cruz and Huntington Beach has been settled and now we can turn our attention to other more important issues.

What bothers me is how this little tiff has been settled. There was no surf contest to settle the matter for once and all, no independent panel concluding that the surf conditions in HB is surpass those of our Northern California neighbor, no academic study concluding that HB’s contributions started earlier and contributed more to the sport than Santa Cruz. No, the matter has been settled by United States Patent and Trademark Office. And it’s not that they’ve declared that Huntington Beach is Surf City USA, but rather that the Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau has the right to use the term in “advertising and marketing; and promoting the economic development in the city of Huntington Beach” – and of course on goods and products, including

Clothing and sportswear, namely hats, t-shirts, shirts, jackets, sweaters, footwear, shorts, pants, and belts; tennis clothing, namely, shirts, skirts, shorts and pants … Handbags and sports bags

Yep, it is all about the money. Nothing to do with the joy of surfing and everything to do with exploiting the culture – or rather the image of the culture – that grew up around it.

Still, there’s no reason to be too cynical, I suppose. Santa Cruz’s business interests still have some hope left in the form of a resolution before the state Senate sponsored by Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) to name it Surf City USA.

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