Archive | May, 2010

Friendly Fire: The Illusion of Justice (Book Review)

Friendly Fire: The Illusion of Justice (Book Review)

Friendly Fire: The Illusion of Justice by Adam Bereki.  Costa Mesa: Spartan Associates, 2010.

Reviewed by Daniel C. Tsang
Special to the Surf City Voice

I made the mistake of initially dismissing as a flimsy account Adam Bereki’s slim (160-page) personal narrative about being drummed out of the Huntington Beach Police Department because of his sexual orientation .  But on re-reading his book, Friendly Fire: The Illusion of Justice, I came to realize that his book is a stunning indictment of what the author

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What is Organic Food and Is It Worth It?

What is Organic Food and Is It Worth It?

By Sarah (Steve) Mosko
Special to the Surf City Voice

Presented with two equal-priced apples or cheeses – one organic and the other produced with conventional methods – which would you choose?  Does upping the cost of the organic product by 10 percent change your mind?  How about 40 percent?

Such decisions have become routine for even mainstream shoppers who’ve never set foot in a specialty health food store, now that Wal-Mart and major supermarket chains are competing with their own organic product lines and corporate giants, such as General Mills and Kraft, have jumped into

Posted in Environment0 Comments

Sucking Up: AES must modernize, but what about Poseidon?

Sucking Up: AES must modernize, but what about Poseidon?

By John Earl
Surf City Voice

Surf City’s power generator, owned and operated by AES Southland, and located on the corner of Newland Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway, will be replaced with a brand new and fully modern plant, minus the industrial dinosaur look–including the ugly smoke stacks that leak large steam plumes into the sky—currently a visual blight for miles around juxtaposed with one of the most beautiful coastlines in the state.

That’s good news for the city’s residents and tourists, but even better news for the

Posted in Energy, Environment, Poseidon6 Comments

Surf City Community Garden Concept Progresses

By John Earl
Surf City Voice

Surf City’s first community garden—organic and pesticide free—may be opened for use before Labor Day, according to David Baronfeld, president for the Board of Directors for the Huntington Beach Community Garden.

Baronfeld made the announcement at a community meeting at City Hall on Wednesday, May 19.

Baronfeld and others have worked tirelessly for the past eight months to come up with the concept—modeled after the Long Beach Community Garden, which started 25-years-ago—and language for an agreement between the city and Southern

Posted in Environment6 Comments

‘Responsible’ Desalination Comes to Dana Point

‘Responsible’ Desalination Comes to Dana Point

By John Earl
Surf City Voice

The pilot desalination plant under construction in Dana Point, just off of Pacific Coast Highway and next to Doheny State Beach, will test environmental data to determine  the design of a larger facility in the future that will create 15 million gallons of drinking water per day from ocean water, meeting 25 percent of the supply needs for five partner cities or water districts that together will form the South Orange Coastal Ocean Desalination Project.

The desalination plant is being created by the Municipal Water District of Orange County

Posted in Energy, Poseidon, Video2 Comments

Loretta Sanchez: Poseidon not viable

Loretta Sanchez: Poseidon not viable

By John Earl
Surf City Voice

After speaking at the OC Water Summit on Friday, Congress person Loretta Sanchez of Anaheim was asked by the Surf City Voice for her views on the desalination plant proposed by Poseidon Resources to be built in Huntington Beach, in the southeast section of town, next to the AES power generating plant, on the corner of Newland Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway.

Photo insert by Arturo Tolenttino for the Surf City Voice

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Posted in Energy, Poseidon0 Comments

Carchio to Surf City Voice: ‘Shame on you!’

Huntington Beach Councilmember Joe Carchio lashed back at the Surf City Voice today for a commentary that criticized him, three other city council members and one HB planning commissioner for sitting at a table with Poseidon CEOs at a recent water summit that depicted environmentalists as villains and desalination as one solution to the water management crisis in the state of California.

The OC Water Summit, held May 14 at Disneyland’s Grand Californian hotel, which is currently in the middle of a major labor struggle with members of a hotel union, was organized by two Orange County water

Posted in Poseidon1 Comment

Commentary: Poseidon up for review and city council members mingle with their corporate god

Commentary: Poseidon up for review and city council members mingle with their corporate god

Personal Observations and Commentary
By John Earl

Editor, Surf City Voice

If there ever was a corporate right-wing conspiracy going on behind the Orange Curtain (Gasp! Who would have thunk it?) it happened last Friday inside the Grand Californian Hotel at–perhaps appropriately enough–the Disneyland Resort. It called itself the OC Water Summit, presented ostensibly by the Municipal Water District of Orange County and the Orange County Water District but, in fact, sponsored by a bunch of multi-national and other water related business sharks that smell green blood in the lucrative business of

Posted in Energy, Poseidon, Water8 Comments

SE Meeting: Poseidon, Ascon, AES top the list

SE Meeting: Poseidon, Ascon, AES top the list

May 18, 2010
4:30 PM

Huntington Beach
Civic Center
Lower Level, Meeting Room B-8

Mayor Pro Tem Jill Hardy, Chair; Council Member Joe Carchio, Council Member Devin Dwyer & City Staff

Contact: Economic Development Department @ 536-5542

  1. 1. Public Comments

The Southeast Area Committee welcomes public comments on all items on this agenda or of community interest.  We respectfully request that this public forum be utilized in a positive and/

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Union Reform Moves Forward in Orange County

Edgar Esquivel, a UPS worker in Orange County, Calif., reports on the progress of the new reform movement in his Teamster local.

May 10, 2010

Analysis and commentary
By Edgar Esquivel

Special to the OC Voice

FIVE MONTHS after it was born, the grassroots movement Reform Teamsters 952 has gained significant momentum through rank-and-file workers’ efforts to change the direction of their union.

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Teamsters Local 952 members on strike against the Orange Country Transportation Authority in 2007. Photo: Reform Teamsters 952

In recent weeks, the group, made up of pragmatic rank-and-file workers from Teamsters Local 952 in Orange County, Calif., has campaigned at numerous work sites, including UPS, CVS, Coca-Cola, Straub (the local Budweiser distributor), UPS Freight and Yellow Freight–and has been well-received by workers at each of these companies.

But perhaps the biggest shock to the Local 952 system came at the UPS hub in Laguna, Calif., where the reform movement was launched. In late April, UPSers from the Coast Center at the Laguna hub organized votes of “no confidence” against their two shop stewards, who were controlled by the union old guard. One old guard steward was defeated, and a reformer elected in his place.

Over the past few years, the center had developed a reputation for weakness due to their shop stewards’ lack of action. A majority of members in the center circulated a petition that forced their union business agent to hold a new election for shop steward for package car drivers.

This action by Coast Center workers was a blow to the officers of Local 952, who for years have failed to instruct and train shop stewards on how to properly carry out their tasks in defense of members.

And on April 28, in a stunning upset for Local 952 President Bob Hahn, Mike Deszcz–a reformer who for years had been blackballed by the president himself for his strong union advocacy–won the election. As a result, a Hahn clone has been replaced with a 30-year Teamster who wants UPS to acknowledge that UPSers are human beings, and not a number or a bottom line.

After the victory, Deszcz added: “I consider it a privilege to represent workers at a time when it’s greatly needed.” Showing that he was not running to be exempt from union dues, he said he will use his portion of his monthly dues to buy gift cards for the hard-working members of Coast Center.

Reform Teamsters 952 congratulated Deszcz and the Teamster brothers and sisters at Coast Center for taking a stand against the status quo and old guard policies of Local 952. Their triumph symbolizes reform, and Reform Teamsters 952 welcomes and embraces it. Continue Reading

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