OC Weekly's Year In Review 2013

Tacos and terrorists, chopped-off dicks in the desert, and drinking with Marines in Coachella cap off our year that was

OC Weekly's Year In Review 2013
Photo: Riley Kern | Design: Dustin Ames
Model: Megan Renee | Wardrobe: Lucky 13 | H/MUA; Christine Barnum | Photo Assistant: Genevieve Davis | H/MUA Assistant: Catrina Cimarusti

In this year when listicles have all but supplanted thoughtful reporting as America's primary news source, we present the Weekly news team's reflections on 2013, as reported on our blogs and beyond. Dotted throughout the blurbs are web editor Taylor Hamby's favorite photos of the year from our roster of Riises. And don't forget: In addition to putting out a dead-tree version, which you should pick up weekly, we're updating Navel Gazing, Heard Mentality and Stick a Fork In It all the time over at Enjoy, and may your 2014 be filled with churros and MILFS!

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Riley Kern
God-given talent at KROQ’s Double D-cember pageant
Josue Rivas
God-given talent at KROQ’s Double D-cember pageant

1. Costa Mesa Politics. Between Mayor Jim Righeimer suing his own city's police department for allegedly spying on him and Riggy continuing to try to destroy public-employee unions, as well as the ongoing battle over the Orange County Fairgrounds, Costa Mesa is a Pulitzer waiting to happen. So why didn't we cover the town that Weekly World Headquarters calls home? Two words: Santa Ana and Anaheim. (Okay, so that's actually three words.) May 2014 be the year we finally point our howitzers homeward. . . .

2. The Great Park. Time was when we covered the Great Park obsessively. Then came other scandals. But this open wound of a project is only going to get oozier now that a private developer has effectively hijacked Larry Agran's dream (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). Time to send Charles Lam off to earn his cub-reporter chops. . . .

3. Action Sports. Our county just happens to be the action-sports capital of the world, between the magazines and the clothing labels, the stars and their hot groupies. Yet year after year, we neglect to offer comprehensive coverage. We improved last year, with two surfing-themed covers and a profile on Colin Oyama, former trainer to Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Tito Ortiz. May next year bring FOUR covers, haha!

4. Anything South of Irvine. Yes, South County: We ignore you if you're not a restaurant, bar or MILF. We know there are dirty politicos down there. May 2014 be the year we turn our gaze toward ustedes—and may it be the year we finally figure out where Wagon Wheel is.

5. Curt Pringle. The Dark Lord of OC—enough said.

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1. Bill to Label E-Cigs a Tobacco Product Postponed. The man hasn't quite figured out what to do with e-cigarettes. The technology is so new it's difficult for consumers to keep up with it—so you can imagine what the fuddy-duddies up in Sacramento think. In February, California state Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett (D-East Bay) drafted Senate Bill 648, which would label e-cigs as a "tobacco product." Even though vape store owners and e-liquid makers agree some level of regulation is necessary, labeling vape pens a tobacco product would negate the whole point. Vape pens use no tobacco and create no secondhand "smoke"; for a smoker who wants to quit, this cessation method is without peer. Luckily, Corbett and her peers see a lack of evidence for tightening their grip on e-cigs and, for now, put SB 648 on hold.

2. The "Make It Mexican" Series With Roland Rubalcava. Chefs have a reputation that precedes them. We don't know what it is about working in a kitchen that makes some people think they're gods, but Roland Rubalcava, former chef/owner of the beloved Rubalcava's in Placentia, is instead the coolest, most down-to-earth dude. Which is why we chose him for the "Make It Mexican" series on our Stick a Fork In It blog—not simply because we're in the business of promoting Mexican food and culture, but also because the expert on it just happens to be Rubalcava. Once a month, he taught us how to make Mexican dishes the way his mami and abuelita taught him. From tamales to pozole to real horchata, after making these delights at home, we promise you'll never want to eat shitty Mexican food again. And the pretty pictures help, too. Catch him now at the awesome Taco Maria in Costa Mesa, por favor!

3. Wendy Leece's Horror Over the Word Motherfucker Appearing On Our Cover. It shouldn't surprise you at all to know we seriously piss off some readers. Yet it's not often a City Hall calls in with a complaint. In April, Costa Mesa councilwoman Wendy Leece contacted us about a concern that mothers in her city were having. Turned out some poor, unsuspecting teenager picked up a January issue that contained Joel Beers' review of the South Coast Repertory production of The Motherfucker With the Hat. Great play, but Leece and her constituents were angry that Beers used the word motherfucker 17 times. We met with them, and although Leece appeared to have the most balanced view of the group, the consensus was that the Weekly should be responsible for what kids could possibly read in our paper—never mind the schoolyard or, you know, the Internet. Our meeting went well, sans a few heated moments from one stay-at-home mom, but we had hoped someone from South Coast Rep would be there to comment on why the "crude" play was allowed to run in the first place. Turns out no one returned Leece's call.

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