Tag Archives: Garden Grove

Tonight’s Wild and Wonderful Open Thread

OK, so we had a busy day today chatting about some very important issues! We tackled immigration and whether children born in the US to undocumented immigrants should receive US citizenship. We talked about health care, and how private insurance really sucks. We talked about high-speed rail, and when we can actually expect a network that covers the entire state. Oh yes, and we also chatted about the big news of LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa endorsing Hillary Clinton for President. Overall, I’d say that we talked about a whole lot of important issues today! : )

So what do you want to talk about now? What’s on your mind tonight? I’m still thinking about what happened at the Strawberry Festival. Oh yes, and I’m noticing the wild speculation about a possibly EXPENSIVE Republican Primary in AD 73. Oh, and I also still have Orange County property values on my mind. So what’s going on in your corner of California tonight? What do YOU want to talk about?

Go ahead. Make my day. Fire away! : )

A BERRY Special Sunday Open Thread

OK, I’m on my way back to Garden Grove for the Strawberry Festival. I can hardly get enough of that delectable strawberry shortcake! Oh yes, and I will also on duty tonight at the OC Democratic Party booth!

Last night, we registered SEVEN NEW DEMOCRATS! And yes, four of them switched from Republican. I’m sure that even more people have registered at our booth today. I think the lovely Loretta Sanchez sign and the beautifully colored “Proud to be a Democrat” donkey pictures (for the little ones to color) make our booth so inviting!

So what are you planning to do tonight? How do you plan to honor our brave soldiers tomorrow? Would you like some strawberry shortcake? What’s your Democratic club up to in your neighborhood? Oh yes, and would you like a strawberry milkshake to go with your shortcake?

Go ahead. Make my day. Fire away! : )

A BERRY Wonderful Weekend Open Thread

I’m at the Strawberry Festival today, and boy am I having a BERRY good time! I just finished my strawberry SUPREME sundae, so I think I’ll have enough of a sugar rush tonight to survive the night shift at the OC Democratic Party booth. This is one of the largest street fairs in the Western US, and we Orange County Democrats are here to show some blue pride in the County of Orange!

So what’s on your mind tonight? Do you want some of my sundae? Do you have plans for Memorial Day? Do you like street fairs? Do you think the Democratic Party is doing a good job in connecting with the community? Oh yeah, and do you want a bite of my sundae?

Go ahead. Make my day. Fire away! : )

Come to the Strawberry Festival This Weekend!

Hey, now! Guess what’s happening this weekend? Yes, it’s that time again. It’s the Strawberry Festival! Starting today, and continuing through Memorial Day Monday, Downtown Garden Grove will be berry, berry fun!

And guess what? It gets better! The Democratic Party will be at the festival, too! Look for the pretty booth with the big Democratic banner. Oh yes, and if you’re free this weekend and you want to help, the schedule’s still open!

Follow me after the flip for all the details…

Here’s the email I got from the Democratic Party of Orange County:

The Democratic Party of Orange County needs your help! We need volunteers to help staff our Voter Registration and Information booth at the 49th Annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival.

Admission is free. This festival is the second largest city festival in the Western United States. It’s held at the Village Green between Main Street and Euclid Avenue in downtown Garden Grove. Festival opens Friday evening, May 25th with the ceremonial cutting of the world’s largest strawberry shortcake which is served free to over 2,000 people attending.

To volunteer to staff the booth for the Democratic Party, please contact the event volunteer coordinator, Marko Markovich at (714) 964-5514 or [email protected]

Come on, now! You know you want to come to the Strawberry Festival. Where else can you have such a berry good time? ; )

Stop the Wal-Martian Invasion This Weekend!

I just got this in my email inbox from Frank Barbaro, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Orange County:

Wal-Mart’s destructive impact on communities is well- documented. Local competition is driven out, noise and traffic increases, and local governments and taxpayers get a raw deal.

Wal-Mart is planning to open a 170,000-sq. ft. supercenter at Chapman Avenue and Brookhurst Street in Garden Grove and the only thing standing in their way is the City Council.

Come help to keep a Wal-Mart Supercenter out of Garden Grove. We will be walking door to door to educate residents and build support for the Main Street Coalition. We hope to see you there!

So how can YOU support what’s best for local small businesses and healthy communities in Southern California? Well, follow me after the flip for all the details…

OK, so we know that Wal-Mart isn’t good for workers. We know that Wal-Mart doesn’t provide its workers adequate health care… So they just dump the workers into taxpayer-funded Medicaid programs. We know that Wal-Mart’s “low prices” don’t do anything to alleviate poverty. And yes, we know that Wal-Mart loves to bleed taxpayers dry with all those subsidiesBut they don’t even have the decency to pay their taxes!

So why the heck would Garden Grove want all this trouble in their city? We need to educate people in the community about why Wal-Mart doesn’t really save us money. We need to let folks know just how much money Wal-mart costs us every year! We need to get out and talk to our friends and neighbors in Garden Grove, and the OC Democrats are ready to team up with the Main Street Coalition to do just that!

Date: Saturday, May 12
Time: 10:00am-2:00pm
13252 Garden Grove Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92843
Meet in the Courtyard

Residents will be able to sign support cards, join the coalition, and receive more information about the campaign.

As we build in numbers in the community, the stronger our voice becomes to before the council. It is imperative the community become aware and involved in this campaign so that we can keep Wal-Mart out!

Yes, let’s keep Wal-Mart out! And let’s keep good jobs and good living in Garden Grove! Wal-Mart may be big and powerful, but we won’t let them take away what we like about our community. : )

The Son of “Mr. Moral Values” Ain’t That Moral (or Legal)

Oh, my! Check out what Nick Schou has for us in this week’s OC Weekly:

Steve Sheldon isn’t nearly as famous as his gay-bashing evangelical-minister dad. Most people know him simply as the son of Lou Sheldon, whose Traditional Values Coalition raises money to fight the vast gay conspiracy to undermine America but has less of a problem with sins that don’t involve lube. In 2000, Sheldon the elder helped lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his Las Vegas casino clients kill federal gambling legislation. Crucial to that effort was his son Steve, a Newport Beach-based public relations consultant who in the previous decade had already taken more than $100,000 from Sin City to fight Indian gaming in California.

But along Garden Grove’s Main Street-one of the last relics of small-town America in the suburban sprawl that has engulfed Orange County-Sheldon the younger is rapidly becoming a celebrity. Just not in a good way. Last October, the longtime consultant to the City of Garden Grove convinced city council to give him the exclusive right to develop a $40 million condominium project adjacent to Main Street. In approving the deal, the city sold him the land-currently a city-owned parking lot serving Main Street businesses-for just $1.5 million.

In January, the Garden Grove Downtown Business Association filed a lawsuit to stop the 100-unit condo project, alleging it violates city and state law by declaring the parking lot “blighted” and handing it to Sheldon without competitive bidding.

Hmmm, so why is America’s holiest family involved in some not-so-Godly behavior? Just what is Steve Sheldon up to in Garden Grove? Follow me after the flip for more…

So what exactly is Steve Sheldon up to? And what’s going on in Garden Grove? Art Pedroza sheds some light on all of this at Orange Juice:

The Republicans in Garden Grove are up to their old tricks – and their usual ally, Democrat Council Member Mark Rosen, is helping them. The O.C. Register reported today that developer and GOP moneybags Steve Sheldon allegedly purchased a parking lot that serves the Main Street area with the intention of turning it into a 100 unit condominium complex.

Sheldon is of course the son of right-wing nut the Rev. Lou Sheldon (pictured). And he is allied with most of the members of the OC GOP Central Committee.

The president of the Garden Grove Downtown Business Owners Association, Scott Weimer, says that the complex will doom area businesses by getting rid of valuable parking spaces that are owned currently by the City of Garden Grove.

OK, so this sweetheart deal between the son of Lou Sheldon and the city of Garden Grove doesn’t look all that ethical… But is it illegal? Business owners in Downtown Garden Grove seem to think so. (From OC Register)

Main Street would be in deep trouble if the city sells the property to a Newport Beach developer with plans for a 100-unit condominium complex overlooking the lot, said Scott Weimer, president of the Garden Grove Downtown Business Owners Association. The group has a court hearing in May on its claims that city officials violated state and municipal court when they approved the project.

“Parking is the lifeblood of any commercial area,” Weimer said. “How are we supposed to survive if our parking lots are taken away from us?” […]

The association filed the petition in Orange County Superior Court in January, asking the court to halt the condo project, which includes 12 live-work apartments, proposed by Sheldon Development on a 1.7-acre site near the intersection of Garden Grove Boulevard and Acacia Parkway.

Association members allege that the city violated state and municipal code by proceeding without a recommendation from the Parking and Main Street Commission. Weimer said city officials did not act as good custodians of the parking lots. Deeds for the lots were transferred from the county to the city in 1975.

Wow. So what is it with these holy rollers, that they can easily tell other people how to live their lives, even as they can’t even stay out of trouble themselves? It never ceases to amaze me how these folks have no problem comparing me and my queer friends to Hitler and the Gestapo (WHAAA???!!), but they do have a problem with being upstanding legal citizens. And oh yes, why do they seem to have no problem whatsoever putting so many small businesses in Garden Grove in such jeopardy by taking away all their parking spaces, just so that son Steve can profit off a new condo development?

Don’t any of these people know what Jesus has to say about practices like this? Don’t they ask any more, “What would Jesus do?” I don’t think he’d do any of this.

Help Us Keep Wal-Mart Out Of Orange County

(cross-posted from Courage Campaign)

Wal-Mart is just itching to get their dirty paws on Orange County and they see their opportunity with a proposed 170,000 sq. ft. Supercenter in Garden Grove. The proposal has to be approved by the Garden Grove City Council first, however, and yesterday, the man who will likely end up being the swing vote, was appointed to the council. By a vote of 3-1, the Garden Grove City Council appointed Planning Commissioner Steve Jones to fill the seat vacated by Janet Nguyen.

Where does Jones stand on the prospect of Wal-Mart’s first Orange County Supercenter? From The OC Register:

Jones said after the meeting that he has not yet made up his mind on Wal-Mart.

It’s too early to decide,” Jones said. “I dare not express any opinions until after I see the environmental impact report on that project.”

So, in association with OC Democrats, CLUE and the Main Street Coalition, Courage Campaign has launched a petition drive to help make up Steve Jones’s mind.

Please sign our petition urging the council’s newest member to keep Wal-Mart out of Garden Grove. Text of the petition below the fold…

Dear Councilman Steve Jones:

Congratulations on being appointed to the Garden Grove City Council.

I stand with the Main Street Coalition, an alliance of faith communities, small business, labor, neighborhood organizations and community members. I am concerned about maintaining responsible and healthy development in Orange County and therefore ask that you vote to keep Wal-Mart from expanding into Garden Grove.

Wal-Mart has a destructive impact on communities and will endanger the growth and sustainability of the existing diverse local and family owned businesses in Garden Grove. Moreover, Wal-Mart will replace these businesses with poverty level jobs, further harming working families.

Wal-Mart’s low standards cost us all. A 2004 study by the UC Berkely Labor Center found that Wal-Mart costs the state $86 million annually in public assistance to its workers, and concluded that if other retailers in California followed Wal-Mart’s example when it comes to wage and benefits, it would cost California taxpayers an additional $410 million annually to provide public assistance.

Wal-Mart’s poor labor standards and unethical corporate practices lead the race to the bottom and endanger the very fabric of our communities.

I therefore urge you to support responsible development by saying “No” to Wal-Mart’ in Garden Grove.

State Supreme Court Upholds California Voting Rights Act

Hmmm… I didn’t notice this in yesterday’s OC Register:

A state law allowing voters to challenge at-large elections systems on the basis that they dilute the strength of minority voters will stand, after the California Supreme Court declined to review the case Wednesday.

The high court’s refusal to hear the case leaves intact an appeals court ruling that upheld the 2001 California Voting Rights Act.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights sued the city of Modesto in 2004 on behalf of Hispanic voters there, charging that electing city council members to at-large seats instead of from districts diminished the strength of their votes. Though the city is one-quarter Hispanic, just one Hispanic has been elected to Modesto’s five-member city council since 1911.

So what does this mean for municipal elections in California? Follow me after the flip for more…

So what does this mean for local elections? Chris Prevatt weighs in with an Orange County perspective at The Liberal OC:

This could have impact in OC. In Garden Grove for example there is no Latino representation on the City Council, but an over representation of Vietnamese elected officials. Part of the problem is the amount of money required to successfully run for Council in a city wide election. District level elections would enhance direct representation for all areas of a city, not just those where the most affluent people live.

The similar dynamic occurs in cities where candidates are chosen to represent wards but elected city-wide. This appears to be the case in Santa Ana where we have an entirely Latino City Council in a very demographically diverse city. This is partly due to the reality that in a city with a clear majority of one ethnicity, money isn’t the only thing that has an impact.

Well, Garden Grove may very well have a problem if this law remains upheld. Although the population is nearly evenly split among Latinos, whites, and Asian-Americans, there are no Latinos on the city council. So if the 2001 California Voting Rights Act remains upheld, what does this mean for Garden Grove? Let’s look at what the law says:

[I]f it is shown that racially polarized voting occurs in elections for members of the governing body of the political subdivision or in elections incorporating other electoral choices by the voters of the political subdivision…
[T]he court shall implement appropriate remedies, including the imposition of district-based elections, that are tailored to remedy the violation.

So perhaps, we will see more lawsuits like this one against Modesto. But will this be a true remedy for “diluting of strength of minority voters” and “racially polarized voting”? What do you think about this?

The Surreal Politics of Orange County: Freaky Friday!

Here are some wild and wonderful stories from behind the Orange Curtain, and across the Land of the OC, that will make you laugh, cry, and scratch your head in total disbelief:

Flip-flop Romney! So you still don’t believe me when I tell you that Mitt Romney is not a “true believing” conservative? Then go over to The Liberal OC, and see what Dan has to say about our favorite GOP Presidential contender!

Janet, Janet… Oh wait, no more Janet! Now that Janet Nguyen will likely be moving onto the OC Board of Supervisors, what happens to her Garden Grove City Council seat? Mike Lawson has all the scoop on who may replace her on the GG council at The Liberal OC.

Do the other four OC Supes want to “cut and run” from Santa Ana? Art Pedroza is now worried that a couple OC Supervisors are seriously considering moving the county seat from Santa Ana to Irvine. And what would happen to the Santa Ana Civic Center, where the county operates presently? Go see Orange Juice for more.

Overheated and Absurd? Unfortunately, my friend Jubal/Matt Cunningham at OC Blog would rather dismiss all of us as hotheads than to discuss the real problems of the 241 Extension to Trestles. So am I being “overheated and absurd” by presenting some disturbing facts about how the 241 Extension to Trestles wouldn’t ease South County traffic even as it destroys one of the last pristine beaches in SoCal?

And finally…

OC drops charges over airport profanity… Now why the hell was this person arrested in the first place?

Now ain’t that SURREAL, or what?!