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Archive for March, 2008

By Rashi Kesarwani
OC Voice Staff Writer

The Huntington Beach City Council was greeted by dozens of residents at its Feb. 4 meeting, as it considered an appeal of the Planning Commissions previous approval of a $22 million senior center to be built on a 5-acre expanse of Central Park, across from the Huntington Beach Central Library.

Proponents claim that the new facility is needed to replace the aging Rodger’s Senior Center, located at 17th and Orange streets, and to meet the needs of a growing senior population.Senior center small

Opponents say they support a new senior center, but they are concerned about its location and environmental impact, as well as its “hidden costs” and how to prioritize use of badly needed but limited park funds.

Ultimately, the council voted to move forward with the project in a 5-2 vote. Councilmember Jill Hardy and Mayor Debbie Cook voted no.

Although Huntington Beach voters initially green lighted the project in an “advisory” ballot initiative known as Measure T in Nov. 2006, opponents of the plan argue voters were not aware of the environmental impact or costs of a state-of-the-art facility in Central Park. (more…)

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By Rashi Kesarwani
OC Voice Staff Writer


At a ribbon-cutting ceremony last month, the city of Huntington Beach honored the opening of the Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, a sleek new grocery store described as a cross between 7-11 and Trader Joe’s, on 16672 Beach Boulevard at Terry Drive.

Fresh & EasyFresh & Easy’s U.K. based parent company, Tesco, markets itself as a socially responsible, green and healthy, alternative to established grocery chains. Its smaller Fresh and Easy stores offer a variety of prepared foods that are billed as fresh and healthy.

And the local media has celebrated the chain’s Huntington Beach opening without challenging that image. One review in the Huntington Beach Independent gushed about the “successful overseas reputation that Tesco has established,” and that, “The meat, fish and produce were actually fun to look at.”

But other media reports from abroad indicate that Tesco’s track record has been anything but “fun to look at.”

After grocery workers from across Great Britain voiced their food safety concerns to the BBC television program Whistleblower, two reporters worked undercover at Tesco and another chain to investigate the allegations. Their secret video footage revealed systematic safety violations at Tesco’s fish and meat counters. (more…)

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The Orange Coast Voice starts a new blog today. In the meantime, we continue to work behind the scenes to upgrade our other web site at www.ocvoice.com. In the near future we will add video news reports to this blog and our regular web site as well. This blog allows us to post features that regularly appear in the Voice and other news stories as they occur. It also gives you, our readers, an opportunity to express your own views and analysis of the events and issues reported on this blog and in the print edition of the Voice.

Sincerely,
John Earl
Editor

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Is Dana Cooked?

Huntington Beach mayor Debbie Cook will challenge Dana Rohrabacher for the 46th congressional district

By John Earl
OC Voice Editor

Huntington Beach mayor Debbie Cook, a democrat, believes that she may be the first challenger in 20 years to unseat Dana Rohrabacher, the popular republican firebrand who represents the Challenger 46th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The district includes all of Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Seal Beach, Avalon, Rancho Pal os Verdes, Rolling Hills, Palos Verdes Estates and Rolling Hills Estates and parts of Long Beach, Westminster, Santa Ana and San Pedro.

Rohrabacher built his political career by bringing lucrative defense contracts to the district and zealously supporting unbridled U.S. military intervention abroad, voicing strong anti-“illegal immigrant” themes and by attacking local and global efforts to protect the env ironment.

He has consistently defeated his Democratic Party opponents and third party challengers by land slide margins. In 2001 the 46th was reshaped in a gerrymandering agreement between republicans and democrats in the state legislature and it is considered a “safe” republican district.

But Cook is not deterred. “There’s never been an elected official to oppose him,” she says, adding that Rohrabacher has failed to serve his district on important issues like groundwater replenishment (saving the local underground water supply from saltwater intrusion), preserving the Bolsa Chica Wetlands, dredging of Huntington Harbor or saving the bluffs on PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) from erosion.

“He’s been a Johnny Come Lately to those issues. When he sees the tide fully switch, then he jumps on, like he did with groundwater replenishment,” Cook claims. (more…)

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