2014: The Orange Juice’s Biggest Stories.

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Oh, look. Another year gone by. Another year of afflicted-comforting and comfortable-afflicting for the Orange Juice Blog. What were our top (most-read) stories this year, and did they have any effect on the grinding injustice that typifies this county? Well, let’s see!

1. HIGH DENSITY DEVELOPMENT in Huntington Beach – who did it, and who’ll stop it?  Vern finally got down to writing about his own town after years of fruitless meddling in Anaheim, Costa Mesa and Fullerton – driven mainly by some not-generally-honest rightwing propagandists dominating certain HB Facebook forums.  Vern noticed that one of the main issues enraging HB voters – the grotesque high-density development up and down Beach Blvd – actually featured villains from both parties and heroes from both parties.  UNFORTUNATELY, even though nearly 6000 people read the story, the exact three council candidates Vern asked everyone not to vote for came in the top three – we now call them the Chamber Three – the ones with ALL the big money behind them – Poseidon, Chamber, developers, unions, and Mobile Home Park crooks.  Challenging times ahead for HB’ers who care about their town!

[upside:  former HB councilman / infill developer Keith Bohr
is now officially known as “The Curt Pringle of Huntington Beach.”]

2. The Orange Juice’s June 2014 Primary Voters’ Guide.  Greg worked HARD on this, and made it so long and detailed that Vern stuck a short version up on top.  Did it have any impact?  Well, some of the 5300 readers sure appreciated it!  As Alison LF wrote, “Thanks very much. This has been the most helpful guide I found anywhere and helped me with all the county offices I was tempted to leave blank. You did a real service to voters.” And Karen, a woman of class and discernment, chimed in in agreement:  “I agree … I have been all over the web to learn about Orange County races and had almost given up and leave them blank. I will share what I have learned with my family and now feel comfortable with my choices next Tuesday.”  My favorite though is the comments section where Ryan and David shamed Vern and Greg into supporting a tea-partying judicial candidate, Helen Hayden, over Derek “shredded vagina” Johnson.  Helen did not prevail, but she is now our friend.

3. The DEA’s Leadership is Obsolete, by Diane Goldstein.  Our favorite retired cop reacted with FURY when Drug Enforcement Admin head Michelle Leonhart responded to President Obama’s enlightened medical marijuana comments with some old ignorant Reefer Madness nonsense.  Good stuff, and lotsa people across the nation read it:

4. The OJ Blog’s Guide to Your Whole Freaking Ballot.  That was our guide to November’s election – the one where so many of you-all forgot to vote – and again this was Greg getting very carried away and helpful, and Vern putting a short version up on top.  3200 voters consulted the mutha.

Electoral Collage 2014

5.  Republican Attorney General Candidate David King is Serious But Stupid.  This story of Greg’s got us a lot of hits – and me probably nearly a dozen dollars in ad revenue – because it’s apparently the only piece ever written about this flaky-ass candidate!

6. The OC Bar Association’s Revealing Judicial Candidate Ratings – and I Make Up My Mind.  GREG  – after keeping us all in unbearable suspense – lets us know that he has chosen to support Helen Hayden (see above) over Derek “Shredded” Johnson in the judicial race.   One more reason for the jerkoffs on the DPOC to hate Greg as a Party Traitor.  But as usual he was right.  And on the losing side.

7. A “Peace Officer” Considers the Kelly Thomas Verdict.  It was surprising to me, and depressing, this morning, to realize that the Kelly Thomas “not guilty” verdict happened this year – early this year, January.  The lesson heard loudly by so many of our local victims of police violence was “You will NEVER get justice in Orange County.”  Two of our top ten stories of the year are reactions to that verdict  – this one from Officer Goldstein.

8. Garden Grove Mayor in Hot Seat Over Nepotism Charges, Re-election Chances Charred.  Hey – Greg was right on top of that one, wasn’t he?  Call us Pollyannas if you like, but don’t call us ALWAYS wrong!

9. Not Guilty?  And this was from Ryan Cantor – one of our favorite writers – HIS eloquent reaction to the Kelly Thomas verdict.  It broke so many of our hearts…

10.  Huntington Beach’s Mobile Home Uprising – Which Side Are YOU on?  Wrapping things up – another Huntington Beach Vern piece that made it into our top ten.  And this one is WAY due for an update.  But don’t get too excited – it’s all bad.  Especially after this last election, after which the number of folks on the HB council who are eager to help the poor put-upon homeowners has diminished from three to one.


SO.  That’s it.  The top ten.  And as always I look back sadly at the stories *I* think should have been on our top ten.  And having control of this keyboard, I mention them – I think my series on the Triumph of Paul Lucas (still to be finished this year) was one three of this year’s best.  And my Rackauckas Retrospective And the one about Dick Ackerman and Irvine Cares.  And my “Exoneration of Chris Norby!”  And Anaheim Insider’s “Silence of the LoGal” which I understand really messed with Lorri Galloway’s mind when she was trying to beat Tom Tait by keeping silent about any contentious local issues. 

Or how about Greg’s masterly exegesis of the criminality of Anaheim’s ruling clique?  Or Cynthia’s stunning takedown of Artic?  But, the numbers are the numbers.  And those are our top ten for 2014.  Happy new year!  2015 is gonna be better better better….

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.