Archive for September, 2008

John Earl

Native Americans and supporters march along the "Wall of Death" (named for the glass wall in background that has caused the death of wild birds) to protest the destruction of sacred burial grounds and one of the most important archaeological sites in North America the first Saturday of each month at the Brightwater housing development (start 10 a.m. at Bolsa Chica and Warner). Photo: John Earl

By Flossie Horgan
OC Voice guest columnist

Native American Discoveries at Brightwater, upper Bolsa Chica Mesa

Issues concerning the archaeological excavations at Brightwater continue to grow. In a letter dated April 8, 2008, to the California Coastal Commission, the Native American Heritage Commission Larry Myers states “The NAHC remains concerned about the Brightwater- Bolsa Chica Project. The NAHC has not received a report clearly showing the dates, locations and details of burial discoveries. At this point based on information available and the large number of burials recovered and associated items, it appears that the whole area may be a burial ground.”

We have learned:

  • The reburials of the human remains were far more than “bone fragments” as conveyed by the coroner reports. Burials of “the ORA 85 people” are not a few bone fragments.
  • The archaeologist for the developer has confirmed that “the 22 cogged stones found at the ‘house pit’ of an apparent Shaman or tribal leader are clearly associated grave goods.”
  • Over 100,000 artifacts
  • 4,217 artifacts found during the grading monitoring on ORA 83
  • 83 prehistoric features uncovered with the burials
  • 1,622 artifacts found during the grading monitoring on ORA 85
  • 87 human “bone concentrations” need to be reburied (more…)

Read Full Post »

By Doug Korthof
OC Voice Columnist

Seldom has a solar proposal drawn such uniform enmity as Proposition 7 that appears on the November

Solar powered mansion in Huntington Beach with near $0.00 in electrical costs.

Solar powered 2,500 sq. foot home in Huntington Beach with near $0.00 in electrical costs.

election ballot. Big utilities, both major political parties, labor unions, solar installers, environmental, business and taxpayer groups all deplore it.

Those responsible for the electric grid must plan for the periods of peak power, which are weekday afternoons, especially in summer. Even one minute of shortage is a brownout, although during off-peak hours demand falls and there’s a surplus of electric. Providing economical power within the daily rise and fall of the electricity usage curve is their problem.

There are two types of electrical power generators: those that run best at constant output (nuclear, natural gas, coal), but require a long time to stop and start, and those that can be easily started when demand rises (hydro). Peak power is so valuable that water is pumped up to reservoirs such as Lake Castaic every night; the next day, the pumps turn into generators to meet daytime peak. (more…)

Read Full Post »

By Lisa Wells
OC Voice Staff Writer

Huntington Beach has one of the longest piers along the west coast of the United States, but it may not be big enough for both surfers and fishermen.

Lisa Wells

H.B. surfer Stephen Stemmen has been hooked. Photo: Lisa Wells

As one of the few places in California to fish for free without a license, the H.B. pier attracts fishing enthusiasts from all over the Southland. And the world class waves rolling to shore along its sides attract thousands of surfers, swimmers and body boarders as well.

But fishing lines sometimes hook and entangle surfers, forcing them to face the potential danger of injury, even death. The presence of surfers near the pier, on the other hand, conflicts with one of the pier’s main purposes, fishing.

The conflict is nothing new for the city, but it appeared once again at the Aug. 4 H.B. City Council meeting when local resident Stephen Stemmen, a 22-year-old surfer who works in construction, told council members that he was recently tangled up in fishing lines twice in one evening while surfing near the pier. He requested that fishing be restricted near the break waters and moved to the second “T,” just past the lifeguard tower located on the pier.

Stemmen says he’s been fish-hooked on other occasions as well, but being caught twice in one day motivated him to act. There were two other surfers who had close encounters with fish hooks earlier that same evening, he told the Voice. (more…)

Read Full Post »

By Christine Neilson
Special to the OC Voice

Are Californians desperate enough for oil to overcome their deep-seated aversion to offshore drilling?

Will a new Democratic or Republican president and Congress lift the national moratorium on offshore drilling for oil instituted by former president George R. Bush, Sr., as requested by his son and current president, George W. Bush?


OIL SPILL VICTIM: Even during an economic slump Californians care about the environment, according to a survey. Photo: wikipedia.org

California’s offshore oil industry stretches back more than a century. The world’s first offshore well was drilled in 1897 at the end of a wharf in Summerland, just east of Santa Barbara.

The waters between Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands still hold most of California’s operating oil platforms.

The U.S. Minerals Management Service controls oil leases in federal waters, which start 3 miles off the California coast. Most of the state’s known oil fields lie not far from shore, in an arc stretching from Santa Maria to Long Beach.

A 1969 blowout at a rig near Santa Barbara spewed crude oil into the sea, coating or contaminating 30 miles of shoreline. The spill helped forge the modern environmental movement and led to state and federal moratoriums on new offshore drilling.

On Feb. 7, 1990, the steam tanker American Trader spilled an estimated 416,598 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean off of Huntington Beach. (more…)

Read Full Post »

By Lisa Wells
OC Voice Staff Writer

Over 24,000 patients are helped each year by the H.B. Community Care Health Center

Over 24,000 patients are helped each year by the H.B. Community Care Health Center

Over 40 million Americans are uninsured and the nation’s 1,300 public hospitals cannot handle the resulting burden.

So many patients are flooding hospital emergency rooms that one in five E.R. doctors knows of a patient who died due to waiting too long for care, according to a survey conducted last year by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

The privatization of public health care by the Orange County Board of Supervisors in the 1980s means that Orange County is now one of three counties in California without a public hospital. And because 500,000 O.C. residents lack health insurance, emergency rooms often serve as their only option.

One small but vital exception to the county’s lack of affordable healthcare is the non-profit Huntington Beach Community Care Health Center. (more…)

Read Full Post »