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2_medEditorials like the one this morning opposing the Anaheim Convention Center expansion cause me to wonder if the editorial page staff at the OC Register has any understanding or institutional knowledge of Orange County government and politics.

The editorial opines:

But the taxpayer shouldn’t be on the hook if that 2 percent tax doesn’t meet its projections, especially with municipal governments creeping more and more into territories outside the fundamental scope of government and into places they simply don’t belong. The convention center industry is certainly one of those places.

A better solution: cities should stay out of the convention center business or any of the other landlording niches that local governments, in Anaheim and elsewhere, have carved out for themselves. In these cases, it is preferable to let the private sector take the lead.

News flash for the OCR: the City of Anaheim is already in the convention center business, and has been for 47 years. The editorial’s opinion that the city shouldn’t get into the convention center business would have been far more timely in the 1966 – but it’s a little late for that in 2014.

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Blind-Rabbit_watermarkedThe Saturday Night Foodies blog posted a positive and comprehensive review of the atmosphere, service and drink offerings at The Blind Rabbit, the cool speakeasy on the bottom floor of the new Anaheim Packing District. My wife and I have hit The Blind Rabbit ourselves more than once, and each time are impressed by the drinks, the food and the friendly, engaging staff.

From the review:

We came across The Blind Rabbit located at the recently opened Anaheim Packing District, a revitalized historical hot spot that has more than 20 food and beverage shops.

We approached a propped opened door that had red vinyl tufting on the inside and was camouflaged with Japanese sake barrels on the outside, that when closed, lined up perfectly with the rest of the barrels on the wall. We walked into a small dimly room, with a three-sided bar, about 10 bar stools, a few winged back chairs and an upright piano.

Whenever we try a new speakeasy, we typically start with an order from the menu. This time was no different. I started with the namesake drink, The Blind Rabbit sour: Four Roses yellow label bourbon, sweet vermouth, amaro, lemon juice, cane syrup, and egg white. Jason ordered the bacon-infused old fashioned.

By now we’ve become acquainted with Phillip, the friendly bar tender, and the conversation we’ve had about spirits gives us the comfort to place the creativity of the next round in his hands.

You can read the rest of the review here, and visit The Blind Rabbit every day of the week.

I just employed the “question mark headline”, which is a tactic that is especially common in online media (especially blogs) to level an allegation (often at the behest of a pressure group) without having to actually prove the allegation. It’s a variant on that epitome of the loaded question, “When did you stop beating your wife?”

It was on display this week in the headline of the latest Voice of OC story on the Honda Center:

“Is Honda Center Defying Law on Retaining Employees?”

What the VOC has done here is take an accusation made by UNITE-HERE Local 11 second-in-command Ada Briceno and turn it into the headline — therefore giving readers the idea that this may well be true and placing on the Honda Center the burden of guilt to prove they are not violating the law (leaving aside the arbitrary, tyrannical nature of the law).

The VOC did the same thing on May 16, again in response to allegations from UNITE-HERE Local 11 (and the OC Labor Federation), publishing a story headlined:

“Honda Center Layoffs Could Mean Tax Credits For Company” [emphasis added]

Notice the escape hatch phrase “could mean” – which achieves the same effect as writing it “Will Honda Center Layoffs Mean Tax Credits for Company?”

As it turns out, that charge from UNITE-HERE and the OCLF was totally false. One would think that would engender a certain skepticism by the Voice of OC regarding incendiary claims from UNITE-HERE. But as this week’s article makes clear, one would be wrong.

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ocGreekFestLogo_opa2Let us put disagreement aside for a moment and unite around something all can agree on: The annual OC Greek Fest at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Anaheim is a great time!

OC Greek Fest 2013 is a great Anaheim tradition and coming the weekend after next:

May 17:  3-10 p.m.

May 18: Noon-10 p.m.

May 19: Noon-10 p.m.

The address of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church is 405 N. Dale Street.

“The OC Greek Food Festival celebrates the best of Greek food, music, dancing and culture. Experience authentic Greek foods and homemade Greek pastries; traditional Greek dancing and Greek music; an outdoor marketplace and expansive “Kidz Zone” with carnival rides & games and other children’s activities, and much more.”

Click here for more information.

Jay Burress

Jay Burress

The OC Register published a profile today on Jay Burress, the new president/CEO of the Anaheim/OC Visitor & Convention Bureau. Burress has been on the job for a month, now:

The top of his list is getting the word out about all of Orange County’s attractions that people may not be aware of, he said. International travelers, who make up 10 percent of the visitors to Anaheim and Orange County, are a prime target. Burress is particularly interested in Chinese tourists, who are increasingly traveling to the United States after eased visa restrictions.

“We have a major opportunity to capitalize on that and we want to be a leader,” said Burress, who started wooing Chinese visitors to Texas 15 years ago when he was in sales with the Dallas Visitor & Convention Bureau.

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La Palma Chicken Pie Shop medium

Yo quiero neon signs.

I would direct your attention to this Eric Carpenter article on the La Palma Chicken Pie Shop that was posted on OCRegister.com yeserday:

For the record, it’s officially called the La Palma Chicken Pie Shop, at 928 N. Euclid St. And, based on conversations over the years, it’s safe to say that people are attracted by the pie shop as much by the retro dining experience as they are by the food. It’s been said that it’s a lot like stepping back in time to have dinner at your grandfolks’ place.

The place is also known – as the name would suggest – for the flaky, crusted pies, filled with steaming chunks of fresh chicken, carrots, onions and celery.

I dropped in unannounced on a recent afternoon and was greeted at the door by co-owner Antje Hasselbarth. She and her husband, Otto, have owned and operated the place since 1972.

You can read the rest of the article here.

I love the La Palma Chicken Pie Shop, inside and out.  I’m a fan of retro and post-war neon and Googie architecture (although I’m not sure if the Chicken Pie shop sign is, strictly speaking, Googie). I went to high school a few blocks from there at Servite in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It’s amazing how much the intersection of Euclid and La Palma still looks the way it did back then, and the iconic Chicken Pie Shop is like an architectural anchor to a different era. I haven’t been by in the evening for a while, so I don’t know if that wonderfully kitschy neon sign has been restored to its former glowing glory. Even so, Eric Carpenter’s article reminds me it’s time for a lunch visit.

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