What We Learned

The Year on Navel Gazing and Beyond!

What We Learned

Ladies and germaphobes: With apologies to Jerry Springer, here's what happened in 2011 on our news blog and what we learned from it all. Enjoy!

With contributions from R. Scott Moxley, Nick Schou, Michelle Woo, Brandon Ferguson, Chasen Marshall, Marisa Gerber and Gustavo Arellano.

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Orange County isn't Detroit when it comes to murders, but we get off to a swift start in the early-morning hours of Jan. 1, 2011, when Robert Sickles, 27, of Mission Viejo, is stabbed to death outside a New Year's Eve party in a Costa Mesa hotel. Adam Baker, 23, of Dana Point, is arrested for murder.
What we learned: Also unlike Detroit, some murder suspects here can make $1 million bail, as Baker does.

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A federal appeals court on Jan. 6 upholds the public-corruption conviction of Mike Carona. Later in the month, Orange County's sheriff-turned-felon starts his five-and-a-half-year sentence in a federal prison in Colorado.
What we learned:
A Little Sheriff can't outrun the long arm of the law, and we sure love mixing euphemisms, metaphors and appendages.

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Orange County is the only major metropolitan area in the United States with an African-American community that's less than 5 percent of the entire population; we clock in at an embarrassing 3 percent. Yay, diversity! We are reminded of what happens when gabachos don't grow up among blacks on Jan. 17, when a Laguna Beach surf shop offers a special Martin Luther King Jr. sale: all black items half-off. HAR HAR! Our marking of the civil-rights martyr gets even more hilarious a week later, when a UC Irvine cafeteria sells fried chicken and waffles in his honor.
What we learned: Why black people don't live here.

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Former Angels second baseman Adam Kennedy is arrested Jan. 26 for driving drunk on the 73 toll road through Newport Coast. He is later charged, convicted and sentenced to the "California minimum": two days in jail, three years' probation, $390 in fines, and enrollment in a three-month, first-offender alcohol program.
What we learned: Second baseman Howie Kendrick batted .285 for the Halos in 2011. Kennedy, who hit .234, is now a Dodger. The right LA has him.

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It's reported Jan. 31 that Huntington Beach ranked first among California cities in its size category in 2009 for alcohol-involved collisions per capita, according to the state traffic-safety office. Surf City has been in the top 10 in this category for the past decade.
What we learned:
Bus routes.

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Embarrassed by that last item, Huntington Beach police on Feb. 2 reveal the bars producing the most drunken driving arrests are all within stumbling distance of one another on Main Street: Baja Sharkeez, Hurricanes Bar & Grill, and Killarney Pub & Grill.
What we learned: "Taxi!"

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Chapman University undergrad John Taylor Skilling is found dead in his Orange apartment Feb. 3 near bottles of medication. He was the son of former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling, who is denied permission to leave his federal prison cell to attend the funeral.
What we learned: There is something worse than prison.

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Second-time drunk driver Jeffrey David Kirby, 53, of Costa Mesa, is sentenced Feb. 4 to nine years in state prison for causing the crash that killed Charles "Mask" David Lewis Jr., the co-founder of the Huntington Beach-based mixed-martial-arts clothing company TapouT.
What we learned: Just go ahead and Krazy Glue our butt to the bar stool at Sharkeez.

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Finding out in February who resides in that isolated house, lit up night after night, in the rolling hills above Brea isn't a startling revelation, but it was fun to wonder what it would be like to live in those hills, separated from humanity, surrounded by rusty old oil derricks in the shadow of a crumbling nuclear missile base. We can hear the lonely yip of coyotes and the whirring of nodding donkeys as the 57 freeway rumbles in the distance just thinking about it.
What we learned: The structure, which really looks like a house, is a Cooper and Brain Oil Co. facility.

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Villa Park City Councilwoman and Orange County GOP vice chairwoman Deborah Pauly tells a crowd outside a Yorba Linda Muslim charity event Feb. 13 that "sheer, unadulterated evil" is happening inside. As families with small children somberly file in, Pauly mentions that her son and others in the U.S. Marines would be willing to "help those terrorists to an early meeting in Paradise."
What we learned: Pauly puts the "cunt" in conservative.

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Facing a severe budget crisis spurred in part by wild overspending on unnecessary police services—spending that made several lazy cops millionaires—Costa Mesa's all-Republican City Council decides Feb. 15 to kill a wasteful and morally corrupt police-helicopter program called ABLE. 
What we learned: Dirty birds eventually crash and die.

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Anaheim Union High School District decides to track habitual school-skippers Big Brother-style by giving them handheld GPS devices, we report Feb. 18. As part of the pilot program aimed at keeping kids off the streets, students enter a code five times a day so officials can identify their location.
What we learned: An alternate, less exciting ending to Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

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Cal State Long Beach student-published newspaper Union Weekly is under fire for publishing an article March 14 titled "Pow Wow Wow Yippee Yo Yippy Yay" that slams a Native American campus festival with ignorance and crassness ("Indian tacos? What the fuck are Indian tacos?"). After the American Indian Student Council demands university administrators condemn the piece, the paper issues an apology.
What we learned: Kemo Sabe write with forked tongue. 

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6 comments
Stacey
Stacey

@edward .........my roomate's mother makes $70/hour on the computer. She has been fired from work for 5 months but last month her pay was $7232 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site http://nutshellurl.com/22i5

949girl
949girl

Good rundown...thanks for pointing out about Urdiales. I thought I was the only one who thought it's ridiculous that he's being extradited here to face trial when he's already serving life in Illinois. "What we learned: Despite the economic recession, as long as there's a chance to lethally inject you, Orange County has no problem picking up your one-way travel bill."

Also, thanks for pointing out about the Chamberlain beating..."What we learned: If you're going to participate in the mass slaying of an OC jail inmate, make sure the color of your uniform is green, not orange."

Edward R. Burro
Edward R. Burro

We learned that the Weakly will run pictures of Kelly Thomas' ground meat face at every opportunity. Why not make it your masthead in 2012?

We also learned that if it weren't for 420 and rub n tug ads, your paper would be 4 pages long and Gustavo would be mopping the floors as well as scrubbing the toilets.

Andale pues con el periodismo amarillo

Matthew T. Coker
Matthew T. Coker

Nick Schou contributed both of those, so yay to our new M.E.

949girl
949girl

Actually, he didn't have much of a face left..so why not show what the cops are doing?

 
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