Archive for January, 2006

The “Orange Curtain” Lives!

How many here do not know there is a difference between LA and The OC?

Show of hands, really?

Arte, are you the only one with your hand in the air?

Arte finally realized that there is a cultural and political difference between Los Angeles and Orange County. See what happens when you get a Billboard salesman from Arizona wanting to run a baseball team in Southern California. While the technical term: “Orange Curtain” was not used, the attorneys described it as an emotional “curtain” between LA and The OC. Being on the inside of the Orange Curtain the difference is like night and day. All one has to do is look at the history of SoCal to realize why the southern part of Los Angeles County split off to form Orange County. “The OC” became a separate political entity in 1889 so its citizens could better regulate its resources.

During his testimony Arte revealed that he didn’t discuss the new team name with Disney nor did he talk to Dodger’s owner Frank McCourt. In addition, he simply did not read the lease. Ignorance of the law is not a defense (at least in a criminal case). One major difference that was noted was Arte also changed his demeanor towards the city attorney. Instead of the jokes and wisecracks that he used on Friday, Arte responded with simple yes or no answers.

One more issue that arose during the trial was an observation made by one of the Sports reporters at the Los Angeles Times. Apparently he noticed someone carrying a bag that said “Freedom Communications” in the Jury Box. Freedom owns the Orange County Register. Even those two papers are feuding neighbors, but I don’t see the Register being called the “Los Angeles Register of Orange County.” (If you spell out the initials it almost spells “LAROChe,” isn’t that a scary thought!)

Welcome Home

Spotted at the Frog House surf shop in Newport Beach.

Ducks change name, Anaheim still in it!

The Anaheim Mighty Ducks announced yesterday that they will no longer be know as the “Mighty Ducks” starting next season. The Ducks will be know as the “Anaheim Ducks” and the team will introduce a new logo and jerseys.

This is the one great thing about having LOCAL owners, they respect the community and the city that they play in and refuse to drop the name Anaheim, thus thanking their local fans. I really wish Moreno would talk to the Samueli’s on how to properly deal with team naming.

P.S. Just on a legal side note, the team had to change it’s name, Disney still owns the rights to the “Mighty Ducks” (including the logo and the original jerseys).

Rubber Boot Race Recap


When Michael brought the Rubber Boot Race to our attention earlier, I was intrigued. I imagined a cross between a toga party and Pamplona’s running of the bulls with a few rubber duckies thrown in for good measure. With that in mind, I threw my camera and my daughter into the van and off we went.

My enthusiasm was heightened when, upon parking, I spotted a couple of participants in black rubber boots with pink polka dots. This is what I came to see – silliness. The Santa Ana Zoo showed up in a caterpillar costume and the queen and her court – complete with plastic swords and shields – had the right idea.

OC Speeding ticket frenzy

I hereby call bullshit on this e-mail forward I’ve been receiving. (I’ve gotten like three of them so far.) And like any good accountant, I did some math. Assuming that each ticket is around $200, CHP would have to ticket over 3,600 people a day. Now excluding the ten hours a day where these freeways too crowded to speed, this works out to 262 tickets every hour in addition to whatever amount they were already pulling over.

Tellya what, for the next thirty days, I’m going to get in my car during the wee hours of the night, drive extra fast, and maybe do some drinking beforehand. If I get pulled over, you can say “I told you so”, and I’ll buy you a pint. But if I don’t, I get to punch everyone who forwarded me this damn email in the mouth… and you owe me a pint. Read the full e-mail after the jump.

Not quite the “Slow” life in Cota de Caza

It seems that the folks in the gated community of Cota de Caza have had a problem with local residents speeding, but they have no one to enforce their 50mph speed limit.

The residents of Cota de Caza tried to enforce it themselves, but most people ignored the tickets as they were not issued by a law enforcement agency, they tried contracting out the CHP to maintain the traffic laws but as Bob Varo put it the $100,000 bill charged by the CHP was “extortion.” Speed bumps were installed to slow down the traffic, but they were removed when the Orange County Fire Authority complained that the speed bumps limited their response times.

What really is at issue here is the debate over public and private communities and the level of police enforcement that is afforded to the residents of a private community. In most private communities the residents have to pay a fee for private security, which will then summon the local authorities when needed, in Cota’s case the entire area of the neighborhood (comprising of 15,000 people) is one large gated private community. While Cota used the CHP for traffic enforcement in the past and the Orange County Sheriffs Department will not enforce traffic laws in unincorporated areas, maybe the residents should consider contracting out the enforcement of traffic laws to a local police department. The agreement could be similar to Brea police patrolling Yorba Linda.

The conclusion of the article brings up a possible solution from the California Attorney General’s Office on the problem of enforcement, but I doubt it is something that the residents of Cota de Caza are willing to accept: Take down the gates and make the roads public.

Delightfully Tacky

Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands were part of my travel territory when I worked in MIT’s admissions office. I know, it’s tough duty, but somebody had to do it.

I went to the Hooter’s Restaurant in San Juan on one of my visits. Actually, I was with some other admissions officers and I remember the steamed Alaskan crab legs. I swear, that stayed on my mind about the restaurant more than anything else.

A new Hooter’s Restaurant recently opened up in Costa Mesa. It’s right on the 405 and it drew my attention. So I stopped there for lunch today on the way back from Los Angeles.

They’ve made this one a “sports bar” by putting televisions everywhere. When I got there the AFC Championship game between Pittsburgh and Denver was just starting. The place was beginning to fill up with an array of sports hungry fans.

I gotta tell you – Hooter’s is even tackier than I remember. And I don’t understand how they continue to get away with only hiring cetain types for the wait staff.

The “style” of this Hooter’s is a bit over the top. The wait staff – all women – yada yada yada – periodically stop by and sit down for brief little chats. Each waitress carries a Sharpie pen and “autograph” a napkin that the first waitress laid out and folded at the table. It’s sort of like giving you their collective autographs as a souvenir to accompany the experience. I guess this is a friendly tactic to drive up the tips. I found it annoying because I really did want to enjoy my steamed crab legs.

The first waitress to come my way introduced herself at “Christina” but her nametag read “Kim.” Although I’m a teacher I didn’t feel that it was my duty to point out to her that “K – I – M” didn’t spell “Christina.”

Besides the tackiness, I have to tell you that the crab legs are quite tasty.

Fame is just a dull reflection in the Sheriff’s Sunglasses

The LA Times is running a story in this morning’s paper on Michael Carona and how his popularity has been dimmed by the scandals which have plagued his department.

Just reading the opening of the article you would think that the number of investigations that are underway were for a crime boss. The problem here is that there not, there for the Sheriff. Carona is currently under a federal investigation looking into his financial and administrative records and state investigators are looking into his conduct with women.

Carona was aiming to run for a statewide office on the Republican ticket after the way he handled the Samatha Runnion case back in 2002. To the OC Sheriff Department’s credit they did do an excellent job in solving the case and bringing the perp to justice. The article even mentions that Carona had a meeting with Karl Rove to plot his election strategy (well, I’m going to steer clear of mentioning Abramhoff).

In another interesting note on this article, I was surprised to see that Carona did not defend himself in the article. Instead a spokesperson for the California Republican Party said that Carona believes the LA Times has “fabricated” stories about him in the past. Of course when the evidence exist in real life and reputable organizations, such as the OC Weekly, has published much of the same evidence in past articles, the claim that the Times “fabricated” these claims don’t seem to hold much water.

But then again, if I were to get a post card with a picture of a Russian female wearing the OC Sheriff’s jacket in the mail during the election it just might be case closed against the Sheriff in conservative Orange County.

Carona and Baca Debate Concealed Weapons

I stumbled across this link to a video with interviews of our own Sheriff Carona and L.A. County’s Sheriff Baca discussing very different views on concealed weapon permits. In the video, Carona seems to argue that carrying concealed weapons can reduce the crime rate. Evidently the video was made prior to the arrest of Raymond Yi, an Orange County off-duty reserve deputy who, if memory serves me correctly, was Carona’s martial arts instructor. I wonder how the interview would’ve been different after that incident. (Interestingly, in the video Carona criticized the issuance of concealed weapon permits to cronies of the sheriff. Like Yi. Hmmmm.)

Are you talking to me?

Orange County’s own Science Fiction writer, Phillip K. Dick, was the focus of a recent BBC radio 4 interveiw (as cited by BoingBoing). Apparently he was troubled in the last years of his life and was trying to figure out if he was talking to god or if god was talking to him.

I guess when you consider this is the guy who brought us “A Scanner Darkly,” a story set in a futuristic Orange County where everyone spies on each other, this might be filed under the “crazy file.” While I have not read any of his works, I did like the film versions of Blade Runner (based on “Do androids dream of electric sheep“) and Minority Report.

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