By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
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Apparently distraught about looming layoffs by a city that has pink-slipped a large chunk of its workforce, maintenance worker Huy Pham leaps to his death from the fifth floor of Costa Mesa City Hall March 17. While others gather at the civic center to support mortified city workers, Mayor Gary Monahan is at his Skosh Monahan's bar, dressed like a leprechaun.
What we learned: Frosted Lucky Monahan, he's magically outrageous!
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The Weekly on April 15 posts a copy of an email cast wide by Marilyn Davenport, a little old Fullerton lady who belongs to the Tea Party and Orange County GOP Central Committee, that depicts Barack Obama as the baby in a family portrait of chimps above the caption "Now you know why no birth certificate." Davenport swears the image is not racist, a media shitstorm ensues, and county Republican chairman Scott Baugh calls for her resignation to no avail.
What we learned: Moxley can crush a softball.
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A Laguna Beach winery owner paints over an 82-foot-long mural on the sidewall of his business, claiming he didn't know it was a public work of art. The now-invisible masterpiece was created in 2003 by students of Laguna College of Art & Design, and the teacher ain't happy, as we report April 18.
What we learned: Sniffing paint really does kill brain cells.
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City Church, which holds services at all-ages venue Chain Reaction in Anaheim, launches a billboard campaign with the web address godscrewedmeover.org to be unveiled April 25, but billboard owner CBS Outdoor declines to run the ad—or comment. Kyle Steven Bonenberger, Christ Church's 27-year-old pastor who'd wanted to promote a sermon series on Christian doubts about faith, is irked because CBS ran ads from atheist group and porn stars.
What we learned: "He loves justice and fairness . . ." (Psalms 33:1-5)
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On May 14, we report the unthinkable: The Catholic Diocese of Orange is pondering whether to buy the Crystal Cathedral (which was going on the bankruptcy shopping block due to the nepotism of the Reverend Robert H. Schuller and his spawn) and turn it into a Catholic cathedral. Everyone laughs, since Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown has long-planned to build a $100 million cathedral up the street from South Coast Plaza—until a month-and-a-half later, when the Orange diocese admits it is interested. In the fall, Brown would purchase the Crystal Cathedral for more than $50 million, therefore saving him from the public embarrassment that had become his long-planned cathedral.
What we learned: God will always smile on the dimwitted. Heckuva job, Brownie!
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Syrian freedom activists on June 2 protest outside the Newport Beach medical office of radiologist Dr. Hazem Chehabi, who is also Syria's honorary consul general in Newport Beach and president of the UC Irvine Foundation. The activists, on behalf of those dying in the streets of their homeland, have also protested Chehabi's ties to the brutal Bashar Asaad regime at UCI and the Syrian consul office in Newport Beach.
What we learned: Wait . . . there's a Syrian consul office in Newport Beach?
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It's reported June 22 that bloated ex-Bell city administrator Robert Rizzo, who put the "pig" in "pig at the trough," is listing his Huntington Beach home for sale. The pad that's been T.P.-ed and shaving-creamed by good-government gremlins eventually sells for just less than $1 million—which is less than Rizzo's annual salary and benies from tiny Bell.
What we learned: You can beat city hall (from within city hall).
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Homeless man Kelly Thomas is beaten senseless by Fullerton Police officers on July 5 and taken off life support five days later. A vigil held in Kelly's honor—across the street from the Fullerton Police station—draws a diverse crowd of local transients, conservative homeowners, elderly folks, teenagers from as far away as Santa Clarita and the Thomas family, all holding candles and seeking the same thing: justice.
What we learned: With two cops later charged in Thomas' death, some justice may happen.
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Pedro Pimentel Rios, who'd been living in Orange County, is deported back to Guatemala July 12 to stand trial for murder. In 1982, Rios was an officer in the Guatemalan army's elite Kaibiles, the unit of special forces responsible for some of the worst massacres during that country's horrific civil war, including the systematic wiping out of the entire village of Dos Erres, where more than 200 people were killed, women were raped and babies' brains were smashed in with sledgehammers before everyone was thrown into a well. Rios was rewarded for his efforts with a job training cadets at the U.S. Army School of the Americas, also known as the "School of Assassins," before he slipped into obscurity (otherwise known as a gang-infested Santa Ana neighborhood).
What we learned: Every once in a while, even a bleeding-heart liberal can stand tall and salute the fine efforts of la migra—nice work, ICE!
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Eric Naposki played linebacker for the New England Patriots before he murdered a wealthy Newport Beach businessman in 1995. It took years for the police to solve the case, but when they finally nabbed Naposki (and before a jury convicts him July 14), he offers up an alibi so absurd it defies Albert Einstein's space-time continuum.
What we learned: Stupid people will say the funniest things.