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Archive for August, 2008

Residents fear proposed recycle center will attract homeless people

By John Earl
OC Voice Editor

Recycling center located at Garfield and Goldenwest

Recycling center located at Garfield and Goldenwest

A recycling center vendor’s appeal of a denial by the city of Huntington Beach for a conditional use permit to operate a portable recycling center was voted down by the planning commission 6-0 at its Aug. 12 meeting.

The center’s proposed location is behind the Ralphs grocery store at the northeast corner of Adams and Brookhurst. The vendor can appeal again to the city council.

The city denied the permit on the basis that the pre-fabricated 498 square foot unit, which is modeled after a similar facility operated by the same company, SloanVazquez LLC, in the front of the Ralphs shopping center at Garfield and Goldenwest Avenues, is inconsistent with the city’s general plan, which calls for commercial projects abutting residential neighborhoods to protect residents from excessive noise, light, traffic, visual blight and operational hazards.

The recycling center would be open from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. with one attendant present under current plans. Self-serve vending machines would operate out of the front of the unit from 7 a.m. – 11 p.m., but there would be no compactors or power-driven equipment on sight for crushing recyclables, which could consist only of glass, plastic and aluminum containers, according to staff report. (more…)

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Local Business Profile

By Lisa Wells
OC Voice Staff Writer

Jan Smith is part owner of Wild Birds Unlimited in H.B., a good place for birdwatchers

Jan Smith is part owner of Wild Birds Unlimited in H.B., a good place for birdwatchers

Perched at the corner of Adams Avenue and Beach Boulevard in Huntington Beach near Mother’s Market is a shop that’s for the birds and anyone else who wants to add some nature to their backyard environment.

A step into this quaint store almost feels like a step into the outdoors. The sound of tricking water flows from the solar-powered water fountains and the walls are lined with an unbelievable variety of bird feeders.

Visiting the Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop also seems more like an educational field trip than a shopping binge. For four years the shop’s knowledgeable staff has been teaching folks how to bring wild birds into their backyards. Clients learn ways to bring specific types of birds to stay and can even find out how to discourage birds they’d rather not have as yard guests. (more…)

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In Odd We Trust

Created by Dean Koontz, written by Queenie Chan and Dean Koontz, illustrations by Queenie Chan (Del Rey)

By Lyn Jensen
Special to the OC Voice

Orange County writer Dean Koontz jumps on the Manga bandwagon

Orange County writer Dean Koontz jumps on the Manga bandwagon

Manga in America has reached such a level of trendiness that even best-selling novelists such as Dean Koontz are joining in. The Orange County writer with a reputation for edgy punk-flavored mysteries has turned to manga for the latest offering in his Odd Thomas series. Someone, most likely the publisher Del Rey, matched him up with Queenie Chan, a Chinese-Australian comic artist. She recently created “The Dreaming” series for Los Angeles manga publisher TokyoPop.

Together Koontz and Chan are now serving up “In Odd We Trust, a graphic novel with Asian-inspired art, about the paranormal adventures of Odd Thomas (that’s the name on his birth certificate). He’s a 21-year-old who works in a diner in the small fictitious California desert town of Pico Mundo. But he also has psychic powers and believes himself to be haunted by the ghost of Elvis Presley, so the local police chief calls him in whenever an unsolved case calls for a psychic.

Koontz has written four Odd Thomas novels, but perhaps because this story is fairly simple and short is why he went the manga route. Odd’s girlfriend Stormy and her best friend Sherry fear a stalker who appears to be targeting both Sherry and the children she cares for. When one child turns up dead, Thomas, gun-happy Stormy, and the police join forces to stop the killer before he kills again. (more…)

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By Sarah Mosko

Special to the OC Voice

Buying local” has become a mantra of many committed to shrinking their personal climate footprint by limiting the miles their food travels from producer to plate. The increasing globalization of food supplies has served to fan this trend.

Huntington Beach Farmers Market

Huntington Beach Farmers Market

However, a new study finds that what you eat has a far greater impact on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than where that food was produced. What’s more, saying no to red meat and dairy products even one day a week matters more than buying local all week long.

Number crunchers Christopher Weber and Scott Matthews at Carnegie Mellon University drew on U.S. government statistics from 1997 to expose the entire life-cycle GHG emissions associated with the diet of the average American household.

Emissions fell into one of four categories, starting with upstream supply chain transportation wherein equipment and supplies are supplied to food producers. Then comes the food production phase, followed by final delivery transportation from point of production to retailer. The latter is synonymous with so-called food-miles that are the focus of advocates of buying local. The fourth source of emissions occurs during wholesaling and retailing and includes store heating and air-conditioning and food refrigeration. (more…)

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By John Earl and Lisa Wells
OC Voice

“The last thing George said to me, ‘Rock,’ he said, ‘Sometime when the team is up against it and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to go out there with all they’ve got and win just one for the Gipper.'” Ronald Reagan speaking in the 1940 movie “Knute Rockne, All American.”

Ronald Reagan as the Gipper

Ronald Reagan as the Gipper

In 1971, California Gov. Ronald Reagan dedicated 3,000-acres of land belonging to the U.S. Marines at Camp Pendleton as a nature preserve known now as San Onofre State Park. Speaking like a Native American, Reagan referred to the intrinsic value of the land. “One of the greatest legacies we can leave to future generations is the heritage of our land,” he said, “But unless we can preserve and protect the unspoiled areas which God has given us, we will have nothing to leave them.”

What Reagan left us is now the 5th most visited park within the the state’s 278-park system. Besides boasting the cleanest watershed in the region, it also houses endangered species like the Pacific pocket mouse, the arroyo toad, the southern steelhead trout, the California gnatcatcher, the tidewater goby and the least Bell’s vireo as well as the archaeological site, Panhe, a 4,000-year-old JuaneƱo Indian village. Popular campgrounds and world-renowned surfing spots such as Trestles are also part of San Onofre’s appeal.

But like the “Crying Indian” in the 1971 television commercial asking the public to stop pollution, Reagan might also shed a tear if he knew what was happening at his cherished park. (more…)

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By Chris Bunyan
Guest Columnist

Courtesy of savebanningranch.org

Courtesy of savebanningranch.org

Voices of opposition against the proposed development of Banning Ranch were heard at the Costa Mesa Neighborhood Recreation Center on July 21st. The event was sponsored by the Save Banning Ranch Task Force and served as the first public forum for those against the development of the Newport-Mesa’s last parcel of open space. Banning Ranch, a 412 acre piece of land, is currently under county jurisdiction but will soon be annexed into Newport Beach. Banning Ranch is home to many species of rare wildlife and flora and has precious wetlands as well. The goal of the Banning Ranch Task Force is the have the entire plot of land turned into a state park.

The developers have hired a public relations firm to lobby area residents. Slick brochures were mailed out that neglected to detail the severe traffic impacts that the proposed development would have on both Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. Banning Ranch Task Force member, Chris Bunyan, the forum’s underwriter, spoke to the full to capacity audience about the catastrophic effects on local roads if the project were to occur. “The developers want to open 15th-17th Streets in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. Thus increasing the average daily trips to the currently quiet streets of the Westside; this cannot be allowed to happen, “said Bunyan. (more…)

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The Tipping Point

By Vern Nelson
OC Voice Columnist

Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi

A strung-out nation Jonesing for justice felt a jolt of hope July 15 when Congress voted 238-180 to send Dennis Kucinich’s Article of Impeachment HR 1345 to the Judiciary Committee for a hearing July 25. This is not his comprehensive 35 Articles of Impeachment from last June, which had been rejected by the leadership, and not his three previous articles against Cheney, but a new one dealing only with Bush lying to the Congress about his reasons for invading Iraq.

It was nice to see nine Republicans finally breaking ranks with their lockstep Party to support this hearing. Three familiar names were among those nine: North Carolina’s Walter Jones, who turned against the war years ago and is embarrassed that he’ll be forever remembered for his renaming the Capitol cafeteria’s French fries as “Freedom Fries;” Maryland’s lame-duck Cong. Wayne Gilchrest, who was against the war from the start and was sadly beaten in the recent primary by a rightwing extremist, continuing the pattern of moderate Republicans as being more endangered than the panda; and of course, Texas’ ineffable Dr. Ron Paul. (more…)

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