You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2014.

Many of us have been waiting with eager anticipation bordering on impatience for the Anaheim Packing District to open its doors, and a date has finally been set: Saturday, May 31:

anaheim packing house grand opening


It looks like it will house some very cool venues, such as The Blind Rabbit Speakeasy. According to this Facebook post, “The Blind Rabbit Speakeasy will serve up some swell specialty cocktails behind this wall inside the Anaheim Packing House“:

Blind Rabbit Speakeasy


According to the Orange County Register:

An eclectic mix of eateries and artisans, the Packing House has leased 23 of the 24 spots inside the converted historic building near Anaheim Boulevard and Broadway, said Chris Bennett, director of development for LAB Holdings, last week. Some venues could hold “soft openings” as early as next month.

The opening comes about seven months after it was initially expected.

Some delays were related to food venues getting their health permits, a process that took longer than anticipated.

Well, better late than never. I, for one, am looking forward to a great addition to north-central OC’s night life and wish this venture every success.


Supervisor Janet Nguyen

Supervisor Janet Nguyen

Supervisor Janet Nguyen (Republican) is running for the open 34th Senate District against Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Jose Solorio, a Democrat; SD34 includes a large chunk of west Anaheim. She published this in the OC Register on Monday, and it bears re-publishing here:

SCA5 Is A Warning for State

By: Janet Nguyen

Senate Constitutional Amendment 5, a divisive piece of legislation that sought to repeal portions of Proposition 209, has been tabled. For the time being, California voters will not be forced to decide whether they want to grant preferential treatment in public education to individuals on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin. However, the battle over SCA5 is not over.

In the past, SCA5’s author Sen. Ed Hernandez made similar attempts to reintroduce preferential treatment into public education, first in 2010, with Assembly Bill 2047, and in 2011, with Senate Bill 185. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed both bills. Consequently, while SCA5 is temporarily dormant, there is no guarantee that it will not return.

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Anaheim Insider here. The real one.

Tom Tait had a campaign fundraiser last week. It was mildly attended from what this insider’s sources have said: about 40 people, give or take. Many were family members or staff, along with those you’d expect: Amin David, Jose Moreno, Cynthia Ward; the mayor’s personal clique of supporters more than neighborhood representation. No surprising given how the mayor has progressively alienated his supporters.

Tait touched on the topic of his opponents. He took partial credit for Councilwoman Lucille Kring’s election in 2012 and called her a flip-flopper, and mentioned Lorri Galloway as his friend and colleague who decided to run against him.

Tait kept up his pitching for the Democrats’ pet party-building project in central OC: by-district council election in Anaheim. he pointed out that by-district elections would be on the November ballot and thanked Jose Moreno, the liberal ethnic politician whose lawsuit against Anaheim cost the taxpayers almost $3 million. Tait said by-districts elections would give everyone a voice; someone might let him know that the same number of people can vote in both at-large and by-district elections.

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wondercon_logo_event_mainWonderCon Anaheim is nearly here. The annual annual comic book, science fiction, and motion picture convention is coming to the Anaheim Convention Center on April 18 through April 20. WonderCon started in San Francisco in 1987 and came to Anaheim in 2012.

The program schedule has been announced, and here it is:

Friday April, 18 2014

12:30pm – 1:30pm 501st and Rebel Legions: Costuming for the Good of the Galaxy! Room 203
Have what it takes to create an amazing Star Wars costume? Want to know more about joining the 501st Legion and/or Rebel Legion? “Trust in the Force”…and a little assistance from members from the 501st Legion (The Bad Guys) and the Rebel Legion (The Good Guys) who are here to help. Learn about basic costuming standards, what’s involved, how to join, and more

1:00pm – 2:00pm The Art of the Pitch: The Writer. The Director. The Story Room 207
The Disney/ABC Talent Development programs have launched the careers of many writers and directors, many of whom have worked on some of your favorite shows, such as ABC’s Castle, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Once Upon a Time. What makes these individuals perfect for the program and right for the room or the production set? Disney/ABC’s Creative Talent Development team and current program participants and alumni offer an engaging conversation about standing out, fitting in, and putting your best pitch forward. Moderated by Ken Choy (Hyphen magazine).

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rubin $264KThe lawsuit filed by Jose Moreno et al and the ACLU against the City of Anaheim demanding the imposition of single-member council districts by judicial fiat, claimed the city was in violation of the California Voting Rights Act. One of the attorney’s sharing in the $1.22 million the city is paying as part of the lawsuit settlement is Robert Rubin.

Rubin, along with another left-wing lawyer, Joaquin Avila, authored the CVRA. Since the laws enactment in in 2002, Rubin has traveled the state filing, threatening to file or participating in CVRA lawsuits against cities and school districts. Conveniently, when defendants lose or settle CVRA lawsuits, they have to reimburse the plaintiffs for legal fees and expenses incurred.

According to Wikipedia, Rubin and Avila and their fellow litigators) have collected $4.3 million in fees from three cases. Who know one could rich fighting for the poor and disenfranchised?

Rubin was also part of the team suing Anaheim, and according to city documents he was demanding to be reimbursed at the kingly rate of $825 per hour! He billed 341.4 hours to “supervise all aspects of the case including legal/ litigation strategy and filings, argue/ attend hearings and city council meetings, correspond with opposing counsel” – which would have brought his haul to $281,655! Yowza.

As it is, Rubin settled for a mere $775 per hour, meaning he will pocket $264,585.

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Part of the settlement reached in January between the City of Anaheim and the ACLU (representing ACSD Trustee Jose Moreno and two other plaintiffs), the city agreed to pay ACLU’s legal fees in an amount negotiated between the two parties.

Tuesday night, the Anaheim City Council approved paying the negotiated amount $1.22 million. You can read the staff report here; a summary of the plaintiffs’ attorney’s rates here and of the city’s attorneys’ rates here.

Over at, “Editorial Staff” tries to paint this as a futile waster of money:

The amount is on top of the $1.25 million in legal fees the city had incurred fighting the inevitable. The only thing gained by the council majority’s opposition to the lawsuit was to delay the implementation of a new district election process, and it’s presentation to voters for approval in November.

Why so much effort, and waste of taxpayer funds, to stop what was clearly inevitable? Simple really; to protect the status quo so that members Murray and Eastman would get one more shot at four-year terms on the council before the implementation of districts. The entire battle, all of the posturing and positioning, all the legal fees, was so that the current power base in Anaheim would have four more years to raid the public piggy-bank to reward the rich and powerful interests in Orange County’s largest city.

I suppose that is one way to look at it, even if it is the wrong way – on several levels.

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diamond me tooReaders know Greg Diamond as the Brea resident who has taken up residence at Anaheim City Council meetings, invariably taking to the podium during public comments to hold forth about this and that. He’s also a busy litigious bee, buzzing around the City of Anaheim as the “general counsel” of Cynthia Ward’s non-profit political organization CATER.

Readers may not know that he’s also Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County (don’t ask me how that happened). Given Diamond’s predilection for opposing projects that create construction jobs, an important political constituency has had enough of him in that post and wants him ousted.

The reports that the building trades is giving the DPOC a choice: lose Diamond or lose the support of the Los Angeles/Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council:

TheLiberalOC has obtained a letter from the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council to Henry Vandermeir of the Democratic Party of Orange County that unless Greg Diamond, a lawyer and candidate for District Attorney, isn’t removed from Diamond’s Vice Chair of the DPOC North leadership post, the union will immediately withdraw all support of the DPOC. Diamond also blogs for the Orange Juice blog. The letter can be read here.
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“Outrage Over Police Shooting Dominates Council Meeting”

So reads the headline of the March 26 Voice of OC article on public speakers who voiced their outrage at last week’s  city council meeting.

To recap the shooting:

  • Two probation officers checking up on a parolee, approached three men in broad daylight near the intersection of La Palma and Citron. Two of the three men ran away. One of those was Robert L. Moreno, Jr., a documented gang member and felon with a violent criminal history.
  • While fleeing, Moreno brandished his weapon at a mother and her young children who were getting out of their car, threatening to kill them if they talked to the police.
  • Moreno was hiding behind a trashcan when K9 Bruno (on a 20-foot leash) found him. Moreno opened fire, hitting the dog.

So, the parade of angry speakers at last week’s council meeting were outraged at Moreno’s callous disregard for life, at his threatening an innocent family with death, at firing his weapon at law enforcement officers – right?


They were outraged…at the police.

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The unifying power of beer will be in evidence tomorrow at the Anaheim Brewery.

From the Anaheim Brewery Blog:

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to tap Unite Pale Ale, the result of International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day!

You can feel good about each pint of Unite Pale Ale, since a portion of the proceeds will go to support the Pink Boots Society, a professional organization for women in the beer business, and to the Orange County Family Justice Center. The Family Justice Center does amazing work for our community. Read more on their website:

International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day was the brainstorm of Sophie de Ronde of Brentwood Brewing Company, Essex, UK. She came up with the basic recipe for the beer, and encouraged breweries to donate the proceeds to both Pink Boots and to a local charity.

You can read the post of the post here.


Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray is having a re-election fundraiser tomorrow evening at the Sheraton Park Hotel in Anaheim (1855 S. Harbor Blvd.) from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.:

Murray April 2 fundraiser



Dear Friends,

There is a great deal happening in the City of Anaheim – and a great deal to accomplish in the next few years. During my tenure on the Council, I have focused on neighborhood improvements, public safety, and growing Anaheim’s economy – all while balancing the budget, restoring cash reserves, and investing in core city services across all neighborhoods.

I am running for re-election because I am committed to keeping our communities safe from gangs, drugs, graffiti, prostitution, and crime. I will also continue to invest in parks, libraries, community centers, as well as road and infrastructure improvements by looking for innovative ways to grow city revenues and protect taxpayers.

The financial support from friends and community leaders like you will allow me to continue working on these efforts while serving as a member of the City Council for four more years.

Please join me on April 2nd for a reception in support of my re-election campaign focused on “Promises Made, Promises Kept – Building Strong Communities in Anaheim!”

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