Thursday, December 20, 2007

Phoenix House & Toys for Tots Event

If you've been looking to spread some holiday cheer this year, the Phoenix House could use your help.

Located just down the street from the Santiago Street Lofts, The Phoenix House is a residential substance abuse treatment program for adolescents and adults where residents take an active part in their recovery, and accept the support and insight of their peers under the guidance of dedicated, trained professionals.

This Saturday, The Phoenix House in conjunction with Toys for Tots, is hosting an event where children and families of those in recovery will be given Christmas gifts by Santa Claus himself, played by California State Senator Lou Correa.

So how can you help?
Well, as with any event of this size, volunteers will be needed to help the event run smoothly. In addition, Old Saint Nick could use a few more elves to help with the gift giving.

Also, there is currently a huge shortage of toys for kids (mostly for boys) ages 12 and up. If you drop off a gift by this Friday or before, The Phoenix House will take care of the gift wrapping. If you bring a gift with you to the event this Saturday, please wrap and label your gift so the elves and Santa will know what’s being given.

All gifts given are tax-deductible.

The Phoenix House/Toys for Tots event takes place:

Saturday, December 22, 2007
9:00am to 12:00 noon
1207 East Fruit Street
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For more information on how you can help out, or to sign up as a volunteer, please contact:

Geoff Henderson, M.S.
Senior Program Director
Phoenix Houses of Orange County
(714) 953-9373, ext. 4811 (or his assistant Cathleen at ext. 4812)
ghenderson@phoenixhouse.org

Visit the Phoenix House website.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

2007 Santa Ana Shootings

Red Marker: Homicide | Yellow Marker: Shooting | Blue Marker: Shots Fired

Click Here to View Larger Map with Incident Details

This time of year, people like to write Christmas cards and make plans for New Year's Eve. I like to make interactive maps of tragic events that take place in this gang-infested town.

I'm still missing data from January through April, as well as the month of June, but I wanted to give you all an early Christmas present.

Creating this map was a very interesting learning experience. Here are a few things that I concluded about gang activity in Santa Ana while working on this project:

  1. Even if you claim "nothing", you'll probably still get shot.

  2. Bangers use all means of transportation to get their job done (Cars, bicycles, own two feet, although, I'd be really surprised to hear about a banger on roller skates).

  3. Black SUV's tailgating you usually means bad news.

  4. No one ever knows exactly how many gunshots were fired when asked by police.

  5. Descriptions of suspects are always too vague.

  6. You are more likely to be shot between the hours of 3PM-2AM in Santa Ana.

So yeah, Santa Ana is in dire need of a renaissance, but hope needs to begin with the people. And for these folks, hope maybe what they need to stop shooting at each other.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holiday Lights Festival at the Santa Ana Zoo

“Holiday Lights” is a family festival for everyone to enjoy the Zoo all lit up at night with beautiful decorations, displays, and thousands of lights.

This annual festival includes music, storytelling, animal encounters, and other festive holiday entertainment!

Enjoy delicious treats, $3 rides on the Zoofari Holiday Express train, and more!

Fri, Dec. 21: City of Santa Ana Night (Residents and Employees get in free)
Sat, Dec. 22: Member Appreciation Night (Members get in free)
Fri, Dec. 28: Grandparents Night (Grandparents get in free)
Sat, Dec 29: Member Appreciation Night (Members get in free)

Holiday Lights runs from 5:30PM to 8 PM, Rain or Shine.

General Admission: $6
Member Price: $3 (ages 3 & up)

For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit the Santa Ana Zoo's website.

The Santa Ana Zoo at Prentice Park is located at:
1801 E. Chestnut Ave, Santa Ana, 92701

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Jason's Downtown Restaurant

I recently had the opportunity to visit Jason’s Downtown Restaurant & Wine Cellar, located directly across from the Ronald Regan Federal Building in downtown Santa Ana.

This area of downtown Santa Ana is one of my more favorites with traditional brick stone buildings lining the somber streets. In any other city, this block would be "off the hook" after hours, being a hip restaurant row full of live music and great eats. But this is Santa Ana, who am I kidding?

For my late lunch, I started out with the Southwest Seasoned Quesadilla with Grilled Jerk Chicken; which was fantastic in jump-starting my tired taste buds after a week of eating leftover pizza. The mango salsa that accompanied the dish was a light and zesty addition.

Next up was the Turkey Club Panini with Applewood Smoked Bacon and mozzarella cheese. The rich flavor of the panini resulted in a "scarfing down" that would even impress the likes of Takeru Kobayashi.

When the holiday luncheon wrapped up, I got a chance to chitchat with restaurant owner Jason Kordas. He regaled me with stories of his earlier years growing up in the Upper East Side of Manhattan and his late-night trips where he “borrowed” his parent’s car to drive downtown, finding his way to swanky Jazz clubs located within The Village.

Jason’s love for the hip vibe found within those Jazz clubs is reflected in the “sophisticated-casual” atmosphere within his own restaurant. Out front is a large, string-light lit patio, with heat lamps to balance out cool, crisp nights.

Jason’s gregarious East Coast personality shines through as he engages in one-on-one conversations with customers new and returning, making the dining experience all the more intimate.

Jason's Downtown Restaurant and Wine Cellar is located in the heart of Downtown Santa Ana at 416 W. Fourth Street.

Hours of operation vary, check the restaurant's website for more information.

Click on and print the coupon below and receive 20% off your entire meal, or 50% off drinks and appetizers during happy hour.


Should you need more convincing, read the delicious OC Weekly review of Jason's.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Little Too Close to Home


View Larger Map

One of today's top headlines in the Santa Ana section of the OC Register is this article about how local Police and immigrant agents shut down an alleged heroin ring operating out of Rollin Auto Collision, which is just a few minutes walking distance away from our community.

I've seen some people near our community with the obvious track marks of a heroin user, but never suspected a drug ring operation to be in our backyard.

This town definitely needs an enema.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Desire Named Street Car

While the idea of having a system of streetcars in downtown Santa Ana has generated a lot of criticism, I personally welcome it. One of the many lures that attracted me to moving to Santa Ana was the CenterLine light rail project.

But like many projects that start here in Santa Ana, the light rail project grows further from our grasp. From what I've been told by the folks at OCTA, this project will most likely not come to fruition any time soon. I've heard rumors that the city of Irvine is partly to blame, mainly because they don't want certain elements from within our city to make their way over to their taupe and beige town.

“Go away! There ain’t no monorail and there never was!”

With recent talks of a streetcar coming to this town, my hopes for a fun and successful mass-transit system are slowly being rekindled. Two serious issues that I see as an immediate problem are:

1. The streetcars are without any worthwhile destinations.
Santa Ana seems backwards at times, building new homes and lofts, attracting people like myself to this city, but then doesn't do much by way of supporting our leisurely needs. One can only go to Bowers Museum and the Discovery Center so many times.

Santa Ana seems backwards at times, building new homes and lofts, attracting people like myself to this city, but then doesn't do much by way of supporting our leisurely needs. One can only go to Bowers Museum and the Discovery Center so many times.

2. Streetcars will most likely end up the target of taggers.
Though definitely not the only other problem, the glass on the cars will undoubtedly be etched on a continual basis, and the exteriors will become the canvases for Santa Ana's very untalented spray can jockeys.

My biggest concern about continuing to live in Santa Ana, is that the city will not develop at a pace fast enough to retain the young professionals that have moved into new loft developments all over the city. We all took a big gamble moving to this city, let's just hope it pays off sooner than later.

Here is good pro-streetcar article coming from my favorite city.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

In Case of Boredom, Break Glass

Saturday night (12/08) between the hours of 6PM and 8:45PM, another community-owned fire extinguisher was stolen near 702 N. Santiago Street.

A short while back, the fire extinguisher next to 904 Poinsettia Street was being stolen on a weekly basis. Eventually, the extinguisher was relocated to a spot where potential thieves could easily be targeted, then beaten.

Hopefully once the lot across the street is redeveloped, the folks on N. Santiago Street will have someone watching their backs (er, fronts).

A police report was filed, given a case number of #0747174.

Thanks goes out to El Diablo Blanco for the heads up on this one.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Come and Get It!

Last Monday (12/03), I sent an email to Keystone Pacific notifying them that all of the exterior lights on building 9 (facing Santa Ana Boulevard) have not been turning on when the sun goes down. Here is the response I received that same day:

"Thank you for the update on the lights. I’m sorry this is still outstanding. My Associate is on the phone with Sundown Lighting right now."

Thankfully, none of the windows have been etched while that building sits in the dark as a prime target, but we still have to make it through Sunday night, a popular night for graffiti in Santa Ana.

In my opinion, should something happen to this building before these lights are fixed, the homeowners shouldn’t be the ones responsible for the costs. I will be placing a call into Keystone tomorrow morning to once again address this issue.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Proof That There's Still Hope

Thursday night’s meeting had an awesome show of support from not only Santiago Street Loft residents, but from Santa Ana Police Department, Santa Ana's Community Development Agency, and many prominent leaders and friends from around the city.

The success of our development is key for the brighter future that awaits the city of Santa Ana. Proof of that was reflective in the support we received from the likes of community leaders from all over Santa Ana including: Councilwoman Michele Martinez, Thomas Anthony Gordon from The Orange Juice Blog, Carl Overmyer, President of the NRA Members Council of Orange representing WECOP, Julie Stroud of the Parks and Recreation Commission, Scott Kutner and Rafael Navejas from Santa Ana Community Development Agency, and Doug Irving from the Orange County Register.

Like Detective Eric Rivas said, our loft community is much like the early pioneers of the Old West in these rough lands. Every now and then, we will need to circle the bandwagons to watch each other’s back. Last night was a great example of such.

And while this was the first meeting between our loft community and the Santa Ana Police Department, the strength and survival of our community relies on it not being the last.

Special thanks to SAPD including: Corporal Matt Brown of Northeast Directed Patrol, Corporal Tino Gallo of Civic Center Patrol, Graffiti Detective Eric Rivas, Officer Mona Ruiz from the Graffiti Task Force and Police Service Officer Gabriela Alday for bringing this meeting together.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Police Meeting Tonight @ 6:30

Tonight, December 6th starting at 6:30PM, the Santa Ana Police Department will be hosting a community meeting specifically for residents of the Santiago Street Lofts, and any surrounding neighborhood communities.

The meeting will be taking place on the 5th floor in the Santa Ana Train Depot tower. Elevator access is available to the floor if needed.

Michele Martinez and Thomas Gordon have notified me that they will also be in attendance.

Original post available here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

What the Hell Smells?

Taking a short break from working tonight, I stepped outside to take in the cool winter-night air, only to inhale what smells like a combination of melting plastic and sharpie markers. This isn't the first time I've smelled this odd stench either. It’s a strong one too–taking off my shoes does little to mask the odor.

Maybe it's the collective scent of all of the aerosol spray cans being used right now in Santa Ana.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Little Bird Told Me...

A reliable source told me today that Lennar will resume construction of the Santiago Street Lofts in January of 2008.

With most construction projects on hold these days, this is a great sign for not only our small community, but the real estate market in general.

Let's just hope they don't give them away again, screwing everyone on their sales comps.

The Cost of Living (on the street)

I contacted Kim Dean over at Keystone Pacific, our property management company, about what steps we as homeowners need to take in order to get the glass on the roll-up doors covered by the association. Here is her response:

"We would need to get legal counsel involved in order to make the glass an HOA responsibility. This probably would not happen until the community is built out and off the DRE Budget. The Association currently does not have the funds to cover this expense."

Unfortunately, the extra $60,000 spent to have a unit facing the street has yet to pay off, with the exception of a great view of people who constantly pick through the trashcans and the sidewalk's never-ending stroller traffic.

Monkey Business at Circus Hall

So my friend Thomas Gordon had no chance with the ringleaders of the circus we call city hall. The immediate 6-1 vote in favor of Thomas’ removal was a slap in the face to not only the outspoken citizens who stood up for Mr. Gordon and spoke out on his behalf, but to the rest of the citizens who care about Santa Ana, myself included.

I was amused and amazed as to how fast the council brought this issue to vote, where just minutes before, it seemed as if the unfunny mayor was joking and stalling when presenting awards to the honorable employees who have patiently served the city for more than twenty years. Yeah I said it–he’s not funny, AT ALL.

When the vote was passed, it happened so quickly that I had to turn to the lady behind me to ask "Was that it?" I wanted to stand up and yell that this city is f’ing joke and it’s being run into the ground by monkeys, but that would be offensive to my friends swinging from trees and throwing feces at each other. Those of you who know me personally know that this course of action isn’t completely out of my nature.

With my face red from my blood boiling over, and my palms so sweaty, they rippled the night’s agenda I held in my hand, I jolted up. Eyes angrily closed, teeth clenched, palms now in a fist, I took a deep breath, and said nothing. It was at that instant that I realized that having Thomas Gordon removed was the best thing that this council could do for this distressed city and Mr. Gordon.

Here we have an honorable man, whom many have stated cares more about the city of Santa Ana than our current mayor. Thomas’ removal from the EPIC commission by the 6 of the 7 council members can only be due to personal reasons, and possibly serving a deeper political agenda.

Imagine having a subordinate, who does more, makes more sense, and is liked more than you. Soon enough, people are going to start looking at you and questioning your ability to lead. So what did the city do in this case? They fired him in hopes to shut him down.

But this type of monkey business is totally within the realm of Santa Ana political fashion (there I go again insulting real monkeys). What better way to handle a serious issue than to look the other way, rather than tackling it head on? Over twenty years have Mayor Pulido and City Manager Dave Ream been in office, and the state of the city just keeps getting worse. Okay, so there are less transvestite hookers, I’ll give you that, but at least they weren’t shooting each other and vandalizing the city at all hours of the day.

Why just the other night, I walked outside to see why a homeless guy was throwing trash all over the sidewalk only to be threatened by Santa Ana locals demanding money from me. I guess those guys read this Blog being that they knew my screen name and kept saying it as they threatened me. Not until they got a glance of my jesus stick did they decide that I wasn’t worth the trouble.

By removing Thomas Gordon from his position, the council has now brought even more attention to their poor management and decision-making, which hopefully will result in a drastic and much needed change in the next mayoral election next year. Pandora’s box has now been opened and the city has made a martyr of Mr. Thomas Gordon. By slaying him from his position, they have made his voice all the more louder and clearer.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Support Thomas Anthony Gordon Tonight

Sometime ago, I was in a serious rut due to the hazards of living in Santa Ana for the last year and a half. From having our windows etched by taggers, homeless people throwing their garbage on our porch, to the serious lack of the “play” element that Lennar sold us on before moving here, I felt myself slipping down a dark and hateful path.

What started off as a simple personal chronicle for living in this city, blogging only made me even more frustrated with how poorly the city of Santa Ana is progressing in management, development and the addressing of serious concerns that have infested the city for years.

One day, my wife noticed that a Thomas Anthony Gordon of the Orange Juice Blog had picked up one of my articles and reposted it on their high-traffic Blog. I was shocked and surprised to see that someone not only took the time to read and hear my concerns, but also offered to help find a solution.

Soon after, phone calls to the city were getting returned, emails answered and hope returned to this humble soul. This Thomas guy gave me the soapbox I needed to make this city a better place, and I wanted to thank him.

I did my research on Mr. Gordon and found out that not only was he a strong and level-headed voice writing for the Orange Juice Blog, but also an appointed member of (EPIC), the Early Prevention and Intervention Commission working to reduce crime, gang activity and graffiti in Santa Ana.

After a city council meeting, I asked Michele Martinez, our ward representative/council member to help make the introduction. She pointed in the direction of the man who stood as tall as a Viking, but was as friendly and personable as someone I've known for years.

Staring me straight in the eyes with a firm handshake, I knew from the start that this guy meant business. I asked for advise on how he has been able to not let the city drain him emotionally as it has been doing to me. The more I tried to make the city of Santa Ana a better place, the more I felt my soul being sucked away, I told Thomas.

Thomas was quick to commend the blog and encouraged us as a community to not give up hope. He spoke of the many great things in Santa Ana that I have yet to experience, opening my eyes to future adventures. As a fellow food-lover, Thomas was quick to suggest restaurants for me to visit and review, thus helping local establishments attract new customers. Finally, Mr. Gordon enlightened me to several steps I could take to strengthen our community and to help build relationships with the neighborhoods adjacent to us.

After a two-hour conversation with Thomas Gordon, I felt rejuvenated and recharged. The excitement about living in this city returned to my heart. I was once again glad to have made the move here.

This morning, I was shocked to read that on the city council’s agenda tonight is an effort to remove Mr. Gordon from his position. This is just another example of the back door shenanigans that our dysfunctional council tries to pull for what seems to be only political reasons, and nothing else. I invite all that read this Blog to come support Thomas Gordon who has been championing our voice here at the Santiago Street Lofts for quite some time.

The city council meeting takes place tonight, December 3, 2007, starting at 6:00 P.M. and will he held in the City Council Chambers located within 22 Civic Center Plaza.

You can read more about the story at the OC Register and also at the Orange Juice Blog.

Thomas Gordon was there for me when I was about to give up my efforts to make this city a better place. Tonight I will be Tivo’ing Heroes to help stand up for a real one.

Friday, November 30, 2007

How Easy is it to Steal Spray Paint?

Section 594.1 of the California Penal Code makes it illegal to sell or furnish aerosol paint containers to anyone under the age of 18; and, requires proof of identity and age through drivers license or other government issued identification prior to sale.

Violation of these Sections is a crime which can result in prosecution and which is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of $1,000.00.

So I'm guessing that when Kragen Auto Parts on Grand Ave and Seventeenth leaves their spray paint display case unlocked and wide open making it easy for people of all ages easy to steal, then that's okay.

This photo was sent to me last night courtesy of el diablo blanco, one of our awesome readers.

French Park Home Tour Ticket Winner!

Congratulations to Eric Woods who won two free tickets ($50 value) after submitting the correct answers to the following questions about French Park.

  1. Name three styles of homes that set the standards for French Park.
    Victorian, Craftsman Bungalow, and Neoclassical.

  2. How many square blocks is the French Park Historic District (residential district)?
    Twenty square blocks.

  3. Before being renamed French Park, what was the original name of the park?
    Flatiron District.

Thanks to all of those who entered the contest.
Don't forget the French Park Holiday Home Tour runs from December 8-9, starting at 10AM-4PM, rain or shine.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Santiago Street Loft's First Police Meeting

Next Thursday, December 6th at 6:30PM, the Santa Ana Police Department will be hosting a community meeting specifically for residents of the Santiago Street Lofts, and any surrounding neighborhood communities.

The meeting will cover topics such as what type of suspicious activities to look out for, whom to call in different emergencies, crime statistics within our vicinity, and a special presentation from the Santa Ana Graffiti Task Force. At the conclusion of their presentation, the officers will be available for a question and answer session.

The meeting will be taking place on the 5th floor in the Santa Ana Train Depot tower. Elevator access is available to the floor if needed.

This is not only a great chance to learn about the problems concerning our neighborhood, but a terrific opportunity to meet and greet with your neighbors as well as local law enforcement.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

French Park Home Tour

Santa Ana is a city rich with historical enclaves that were partially consumed to make way for high-density apartment complexes, parking lots, and other breeding grounds for some of the problems that continue to plague this unique city. The French Park neighborhood is a prime example.

This small community with tree-lined streets is located just west of the Santiago Street Lofts. In it, you will find a rich mixture of antique homes built in the 1890’s into the 1920’s.

In the late 1970’s, an effort was put forth to preserve and restore Santa Ana's oldest historic neighborhood. In 1979, the Historic French Park Association was formed to solve community problems and to enhance and restore the historical features of the remaining original buildings. The French Park Historic District was formally established by the City Council in 1984.

Every couple of years, a small group of the homeowners living in French Park open up their doors to the public for the French Park Holiday Home Tour.

I had the opportunity to get a sneak peak of the house featured in the photo at the top. Let me tell you, as a big fan of the ambiance of the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland, I loved it!

The French Park Holiday Home Tour runs from December 8-9, starting at 10AM-4PM, rain or shine.

Tickets are $20 if you pre-order by December 1st, and $25 thereafter.

You can also purchase tickets through their website or by mailing in this form.

Courtesy of the HFPA Board of Directors, I have been given two free tickets to be given to the first person that can email me the correct answers to these questions.

  1. Name three styles of homes that set the standards for French Park.

  2. How many square blocks is the French Park Historic District (residential district)?

  3. Before being renamed French Park, what was the original name of the park?

All of these answers can be easily found at the French Park website. Good Luck!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Santa Ana Housing Policy Meeting

The announcement on the city's website here.

The Orange Juice Blog also has this meeting posted as well.

All Are Welcome!
You are invited to be part of the comprehensive update to the Housing Element a key chapter of the City’s General Plan. Help in creating the housing policy and program goals for your community by attending one of the upcoming Community Workshops. The new 2008 Housing Element will create the vision for:
  • Preserving neighborhood character

  • Expanding housing opportunities for all lifestyles

  • Addressing the present and future housing needs of the Santa Ana community
Workshop One
Wednesday November 28, 2007
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Santa Ana Senior Center
424 W. 3rd. St

Free parking will be available at the public parking garage at the corner of 3rd & Birch St.

Workshop Two
Saturday December 8, 2007
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Southwest Senior Center
2201 W. McFadden Ave

Activities for children will be provided at the Saturday Workshop


Thanks Eric for the early heads up on this meeting!

Join The Online Google Group


Years ago when the wife and I first signed up on Lennar's Santiago Street Loft interest list, we anticipated by the time 60% of the entire build was completed, we would have a local coffee shop where all of our neighbors would run into each other and gossip.

Unfortunately, the "play" component of the "live, work, play" sales pitch has yet to be seen in our neck of the woods.

As a community, we have no meeting place where we can all come together and share ideas, until now…

Check out the Santiago Street Lofts Google Group!

Please come and join our members-only online discussion group where we can share ideas, concerns as well as upcoming events. There is even a section where users can upload files to share with other members.

You will first need to apply for membership before joining the group. This might be a small inconvenience, but it will help control the unwanted spam.

Currently, the discussion group is only open to those who live at the Santiago Street Lofts. When sending a membership application, please include your home address. This step is only for authentication and your information will not be given to anyone.

Please leave any suggestions or feedback on this post, or feel free to send me an email.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

City Place's Success is Our Success

The OC Register tells of how the City Place development is starting to come to life with retail shops and restaurants.

"You could walk out your front door and inside of 180 seconds have a cup of coffee and buy your dinner," developer Bob Bisno said.

McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant is already open. So is The Coffee Bean & Tea leaf cafe, and a Corner Bakery. A Mother's Market is coming soon, and so is a nail salon. Bisno is now working to attract a top-notch pizzeria.
Their success stories keep my hope alive for a one-day vibrant Logan/Rail District.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Who Enforces B&P Code 22435?

Like many of the residents here at the Santiago Street Lofts, I spend countless hours working downstairs in my home office. As my desk faces the sidewalk, I am privy to many interesting things that happen outside on a daily basis that makes for great stories among friends and family.

Several times a day, I hear the klickity-klank of shopping carts as they are pushed along on the sidewalk out front. Sometimes they are filled with groceries or kids, and other times I'll see someone who's pushing their entire existence contained in that cart as they rummage through the trash for recyclables.

As I watch these individuals through the looking glass, I recall my last Targhetto trip where as I was loading up the car, I saw a family pushing a shopping cart towards the yellow sensor at the end of the parking lot. Just before arriving at the yellow line that automatically triggers the front wheels to lock, the teenager pushing the cart put his foot on the lower portion of the carriage, causing the cart to "pop a wheelie" as he and his family continued down Grand Avenue. It was evident that he and his family had perfected this craft.

I asked myself how did this problem get out of hand in the first place? Cities like Milpitas uphold a strong ordinance that is strictly enforced. The first offense will cost you $100, the second violation in the same year, $200; any additional offenses that year will run you $500. This might sound a little harsh, but the fact is that the removal of a shopping cart without permission from the store is a crime (misdemeanor), it even says so right on it!


If you think the fine for individuals who remove shopping carts from the premises is harsh, read how the ordinance applies to store/business owners:

The local businesses have also been informed of this ordinance. They are required to comply by taking measures to prevent shopping cart removal and provide a cart retrieval plan that meets City approval/ or enter into a contract with a City designated cart retrieval service. Noncompliance from the business owners/managers is subject to a civil fine of $1,000.00 and an additional fine of $50.00 for each additional day of noncompliance.

While I don't expect Santa Ana's finest to cuff those who break this law, something needs to be done as shopping carts are deposited all over the city, including the Logan neighborhood in which we all live. Besides, it's stealing! Shopping carts cost stores anywhere from $125-$250 per cart to replace–and we all know that the stores always pass these costs back on to the consumers.

Although California Business and Professions Code 22435 states that the removal of a shopping cart from the property is a misdemeanor, nowhere does it state how the city can enforce this code, nor does it establish a specified fine amount to the offenders. In other words, cities can pick and choose whether they wish to enforce this code or not.

Yesterday, as I did my daily walk around the neighborhood, I made sure to first grab my trusty camera before walking the streets adjacent to the lofts. All of these photos were taken within minutes of each other. It seems that the largest and most expensive units (plan 4) are not only magnets for graffiti, but shopping carts as well.

The above cart was left on the corner of Santa Ana Boulevard and Poinsettia Street.

This cart was left next to the seldom-occupied Urban West unit located on the corner of Santa Ana Boulevard and Santiago Street.

One block north on Santiago Street and Civic Center Drive is where this cart filled with junk was deposited.

These two carts were parked on Civic Center Drive sitting right across the street from the previous cart.

The city has available a shopping cart pick-up service that is quite effective when used, but a phone call first needs to be placed as I've seen carts in certain parts of the city not move for weeks on end.

In a past town hall meeting hosted by our Council Member Michele Martinez, many residents including myself, brought up concerns about the continually growing problem of shopping carts that are loose on our streets.

I mentioned that the carts are not only an eyesore, but can be a road hazard as well. I cited a night when a friend came to visit me and as he exited the 5 south freeway to the Santa Ana Boulevard off ramp, he had to quickly swerve to avoid five shopping carts that were deliberately placed across the road.

It was concluded from that meeting that the responsibility of the carts was ultimately that of the stores. Every store that provides shopping carts was responsible for ensuring the city that they would not run away. That town hall meeting was almost a year ago, and like the rest of Santa Ana's problems, not much seems to have happened by way of change.

And while we wait for the stores to implement their safeguards, shopping carts are making their way off parking lots on a daily basis, only to end up as another problem for the city of Santa Ana.

To have unsightly shopping carts removed from anywhere in the city, a pick-up service is available at (888) 233-2278. As of this posting, the five carts pictured have been reported.

Read more about the city of Milpitas and their ordinance here.

Here's a success story reported in the Sacramento Bee about how high-tech carts have helped curb their city's problem.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Train Depot Webcam

If you are really bored and happen to be sitting at the computer, this website hosts a webcam that overlooks the railroad tracks that cross Santa Ana Boulevard. The images update every 10 seconds and the quality is pretty bad, so don't say I didn't warn you.

This post probably doesn't help distance me from my seemingly "Big Brother" stance.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Hope you are all having a fantastic holiday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Missed the Meeting? Bullet Points to the Rescue!

Last night's meeting progressed a little smoother than the OCCCO sponsored meeting that took place in late October at St. Joseph’s, but that’s not saying much. Here’s a brief recap.

The Good

  • The Mayor lightly touched on a good point saying that while pedestrian and vehicle traffic is key, the future of Santa Ana is being a “Multi-Mobile” city (street cars, lightrail, etc.).

  • The Renaissance Plan allows for residential zoning in downtown. Currently, only mixed-use residential is permitted.

  • Having shops that stay open at night in the downtown area to resuscitate the nightlife. Downtown Santa Ana has a lot of potential to be a great 24-hour environment.

  • The recognition of the need to attract stores into downtown Santa Ana that appeal to a broader spectrum of residents to spend our dollars in this city as opposed to others like Irvine and Tustin.

  • Stefanos Polyzoides, an architect that the city hired as a consultant seems to really know what he’s talking about. Unfortunately, it looks as if he is going to have to handhold our council through every step of the way.
The Bad
  • Most of the night was spent discussing parking issues such as converting surface parking into parking structures, opening private parking garages after hours, and the construction of new ones.

  • Claudia Alvarez seemed overly concerned about the residents who currently live in low-income housing and expressed an interest in adding even more. While I can appreciate a champion for the “financially challenged”, Santa Ana needs to understand that one of the reasons why it’s in its current state is due to the abundance of low-income/high-density housing. Again, this could all be political rhetoric on her part being that she is up for re-election next year.

  • Sadly, many of the residents who live here now will not enjoy the fruits of the Renaissance Project being that by the time of its completion, many will have moved on.

  • Overall, to me, it really feels like Santa Ana is a city where the majority (lower-income) has the ears of the city council. Not once did I feel as if anyone sitting at that table was representing my needs or concerns.
The Ugly
  • While I don’t fully understand the political mind, at times I was concerned with our mayor and his behavior during the meeting about this serious topic. When not cracking jokes to his fellow council members as the presenter spoke, or checking his cell phone several times like a 16-year-old “txting” fiend, the mayor just didn’t seem all there in my opinion.

  • The brave souls who pioneered the downtown Artist Lofts as well as our community have no representation. The city seems to forget that we generate a lot of tax revenue and more developments like ours can only be beneficial for the city as a whole. No one ever said, “Hey, what are we doing to keep the residents who’ve already moved here in the past few years safe and stable? You know, when this project takes off, people are going to look to the current loft residents to gauge the success of future developments.”

  • The mayor stated that the council would need to take their workbooks home and “do their homework” and digest what was heard tonight. Everything that was said tonight is a regurgitation of what has been said many times before in previous discussions. City discussion of the Renaissance Project will reconvene early next year, and most assuredly be drawn out to be part of the mayor’s re-election campaign.

  • While I may not have all of the answers and sometimes might seem hypercritical, it is apparent now that we are the minority in Santa Ana and we need to speak louder to have our voices heard.
Doug Irving from the OC Register was also in attendance.
Read his article about the meeting here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Less Talk, More Development Please

Sorry about the late notice folks, turns out that there's a Renaissance meeting tonight down at City Hall. If you recall, the last Renaissance meeting held at St. Joseph's Hall was an unorganized mess, and still to this day, I feel really bad for dragging people down and having them hear that many of the locals just want more low to super-low income housing. Maybe they should consider moving to Irvine?

So if you are interested and have the time, the meeting starts at 6PM in the first-floor conference room at City Hall, 20 Civic Center Plaza. The meeting is open to the public but will not be televised. Too bad, because all of the good television shows are now in reruns, thanks to corporate greed.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Like Flies to a Rotting Carcass

The local taggers now smell blood after the events of this last Sunday. Open season has now begun on the Santiago Street Lofts.


Last night at 10:50PM, two hoodlums made their mark on the Urban West loft, the unit on the Southwest corner of Santiago Street and Santa Ana Boulevard.

While one stood as a lookout on the North side of the street, the other, with a can of white spray paint in hand, tagged the usual garbage tag that can be seen all over town.

A call was placed into SAPD at 10:51PM, but by the time officers arrived on the scene at 11PM, the vandals were long gone. Being that no one actually lives in the nicest unit in our complex (which also helps make that unit an easy mark too), no police report could be filed because there was no victim to come forward.

Some may ask why I make such a big deal about graffiti. Other than being a firm believer in the broken window theory (or etched window theory in our case), graffiti is the gateway for more serious crimes. Next comes petty theft like something goes missing from your garage or I don't know, like a plasma television being stolen. Oh wait.
After that will come the burglary of an actual residence and not a model home, then armed assault and robbery are shortly to follow.

Think I'm crazy or a little paranoid, perhaps. But in Santa Ana, you can never let your guard down.

A call was placed into Keystone Pacific's emergency hot line as of this morning informing them of what happened last night. Hopefully this recent vandalism incident will be cleaned up by the end of the day as requested to the operator.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Should Santa Ana Impose a (Harsh) Curfew?


Many feel that the idea of a curfew violates constitutional rights and that the government has no right to dictate how parents raise their children. Several youth-rights discussion groups feel that curfews drive the wedge between teens and authority figures even deeper.

When I was a teenager, the thought of a curfew angered my peers and myself. Not because we thought it was unconstitutional or questioned the possible social ramifications a curfew could cause, we just didn't like anyone telling us what we could and couldn't do.

I personally think that Santa Ana needs to impose and enforce a curfew to help alleviate some of the issues plaguing the city. Not to say that all teens are out causing trouble when the sun goes down, but honestly, are adults the ones lurking around the city and vandalizing at night?

And no, I don't think that parents should be told how to raise their kids, but at the same time, what kind of parent lets their kid run loose in the neighborhood when the street lights have been on for hours? There isn't much for adults to do in the city of Santa Ana after hours, so why are there so many kids out late on school nights?

Many parents aren't home at night being that they work two jobs to support their families. By no means do I imply that this makes for bad parenting, but it does afford their kids the opportunity to wreak havoc in the city.

Santa Ana is fighting a lot of uphill battles and doesn't seem to be winning them anytime soon. Tougher measures are needed to help the city get a grasp on its many problems.

Take the poll and post your comments!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Montebello's Spray Can Cams

The LA Times reports that the city of Montebello plans to install 120 cameras city-wide that begin recording when triggered by the sound emitted from aerosol spray cans. The high-tech cameras then notify the police department as they record the activity.

Interesting, but I'm sure that etching will most likely have a sharp increase as a result of this.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Model Home Break-In

Last Thursday, November 8, Santa Ana CSI answered a burglary call in one of the model homes. Turns out that the thief/thieves were able to enter the garage door by breaking a glass pane at the top of the door, unlock the security latch, and headed straight for the plasma television on the second floor. Pretty clever if you ask me.

If you don't do so already, I would highly suggest locking the door that leads from your first floor to your garage. Those crooks sure went through a lot of work for a tv that wasn't even 1080p!

Scratchitti: It Sounds as Stupid as the Act

Sunday nights seem to be the night best night to go tagging. I can’t think of a better way to ruin someone’s week than to start his or her Monday off with some good old-fashioned vandalism.


Sometime last night after 9PM, the glass panes on the roll-up doors on multiple units facing Santa Ana Boulevard were etched. This morning, an Officer came out and after having to be asked to, took down a report (Case Number:07-43666).

Unfortunately people, we are alone in this battle. The City and Police are too busy with the many other problems that plague our City. When it comes to vandalism on our roll-up doors, the Association leaves that problem to the homeowner to fix. When any graffiti isn’t removed quickly enough, the neighborhood soon becomes subject to the Broken Window Theory. Santa Ana proves this theory as fact in my eyes.

So what can we do to try to prevent future vandalism?

  • Keeping a light on doesn’t hurt. Giving the illusion of human presence could deter potential vandals.

  • Look out the window every now and then. If you see something suspicious, call the Police.

  • Go outside and walk around. 9PM on Sunday nights and our community looks like a ghost town.

  • If you see graffiti, clean it up. Don’t expect someone else to do it.

  • When taggers see graffiti stick around for a few days, they know it will be worth their time to come visit your area.

  • Consider investing in products like Vandal Shield that acts as a sacrificial layer in the event of an etching.

  • Enlist in the Ben Dayhoe Neighborhood Patrol Academy. If you can swing a sack of doorknobs, you’re in. You get a free sack, but you gotta supply your own knobs.
Perhaps at our next Association meeting, we should look into having the glass panes included in what the Association insures. I know for sure I, as well as many other residents would sleep better at night if that were the case.

On a side note, myself and a few other residents recently noticed three or four Hispanic teenagers hanging around the community as of late. They like to ride their bikes throughout the complex as well as after-hours in the Waterline parking lot, the building adjacent to the models (you know, the models that were also recently broken into). Coincidence? Perhaps. But it's never a bad idea to be aware of your surroundings.

Note: Please be respectful when posting your thoughts. I only mention race in this topic to help those who keep their eyes and ears open informed, not to start a race discussion. If the kids seen riding their bikes around the complex were Black, White or Asian, I would still use their race to fit their description. Everyone today is ultra-sensitive when it comes to race and there's always someone ready to pull the race card. Let's not forget that race is always a question asked by the Police when used to describe suspicious individual(s).

Thank you.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Neighbors on NPR

Susan Valot of Southern California Public Radio recently visited our community to speak with some of the residents about daily life here and asks if our close proximity to the train depot has changed our commuting habits.

Check out her article here.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

How The Lacy Neighborhood Fell From Grace

I recently had the opportunity to meet with Ray Lirette, Senior Residential Construction Specialist for the City of Santa Ana. Twice a week, Ray walks our nearby neighborhoods and inspects parcels the city purchased in recent years to ensure that the lots stay litter/graffiti/crack head-free as these former homes await their fate.

Curious and concerned about the status of these vacant lots, I phoned Ray in hopes of getting some answers, or even better, the remaining units demolished. Mr. Lirette caught me off guard when he picked up the phone with his polite demeanor and his genuine courtesy–it was unlike anything I had experienced at the city level before. I expressed my interest in the neighborhood and asked if I could accompany him on his next walk. Without hesitation, Ray welcomed me along.

As we walked the back streets of Santa Ana, Ray explained that contrary to popular belief, the city not once forced out any of the former residents. Instead, homeowners who expressed interest in selling their homes were made fair offers by the city of Santa Ana, in hopes of rejuvenating the depressed neighborhood with the now debunked Centerline Light Rail project.

I asked Ray how this neighborhood became a blight. “People just stopped caring,” he replied. Ray went on to tell me that once the homeowners began to rent out their properties, the neighborhood began to steadily decline. In addition, the overdose of high-density apartment complexes didn't do much to help the neighborhood either (at this point in the conversation, we were stepping over a soiled mattress left to rot on the sidewalk).

Ray noted that all of the homes the city acquires are first offered to the Historical Society where they would be updated, preserved and possibly relocated. Unfortunately, the Historical Society doesn’t have the deepest pockets so they are usually counting on the city to foot the bill in these endeavors.

An interesting incentive to restore this neighborhood were rehab loans that the City offered to homeowners over the past couple of years where they could borrow up to $75,000 with 0% deferred interest for 30 years. Sad to say, there were very few takers on this more than generous offer.

We continued our walk and Ray pointed out that some of the more dilapidated homes were not yet city owned, but that of owners who have long since moved away. Other lots were more complicated cases where the property was trusted to family members who are either deceased or unable to be reached, making acquisition attempts on the city's end all the more difficult.

One of the last lots we visited was 801 E Santa Ana Boulevard, located just west of the Tobin Steel. This lot was unique, but also a sign of things to come as the adjacent lot is currently being leased to Lennar as they continue the Santiago Street Loft development. With steel beams scattered carelessly on the lot, as well as a loveseat tossed over a seven-foot chain link fence, Ray noted that this lot in particular is the responsibility of Lennar and its current state was unacceptable.

An hour and a half after first shaking hands with Ray, the walk had come full circle. I felt a little better about the neighborhood and my hope for a better Santa Ana was strengthened having spoken with Ray.

Before heading back home, I backtracked to the corner where Brown Street turns into 6th Street for a few last shots. As I stood on the corner gazing upon the dilapidated neighborhood, a wave of sadness came over me as I imagined how proud and prestigious this neighborhood once was.

Unfortunately, the pseudo-nostalgic journey was quickly interrupted as a "low low" with an ultra-loud exhaust blaring Mariachi flew right by me–but not before giving me the all-to-frequent “check out this Pendejo” stare-down from the young driver and passengers.

Below is a map of the boarded homes we toured that are scheduled to be relocated or demolished.


View Larger Map

Monday, November 5, 2007

Feeling Abandoned


For the last three weeks, this eyesore has been sitting on Poinsettia Street while at night attracting taggers that use it as a canvas.

Last night I walked over to write down the license plate of this truck to report it to Santa Ana Parking Enforcement, where hopefully they could have it removed.

Turns out that what I thought would be the easiest part of having this truck removed was a frustrating experience that made me question why no one bothered calling to have it removed.

To place a complaint about a vehicle, you first need to dial (714) 245-8200, listen to an answering machine while weaving through prompts with multiple options (including pressing #1 for English which irritates many). My first try resulted in me getting hung up on where I thought I was going to be leaving a message.

I immediately called back (having written down the sequence to bypass the prompts made this call go a little faster) and instead of being hung up on, I was transferred to a general operator. There, that person listened to the minimal amount of words before transferring me to another department.

Here, another operator took my call and information, but not without telling me that I should be calling another number, which turned out to be the original number that I dialed in this call! The operator then said that she would be transferring my call to that department. She did so, and I was once again listening to a dial tone.

Normally I don't call Santa Ana Police Dispatch for non-emergencies, but this was getting ridiculous. I explained my reason for the call only to again be told I wasn't calling the right department. I asked the operator if he could just transfer me into the mailbox so I can leave my message and get on with my day. He did so, but no one ever picked up after three minutes of ringing.

I took a deep breath and once again, dialed the number for Parking Enforcement. #1 for English, #2 to report an abandoned car on public property, #0 to leave a message–I've got it down now. Surprisingly, instead of leaving a message on an answering machine (that may or may not be listened to), a very polite Officer picked up the phone and took my call.

After four attempts and thirty minutes, my good deed for the day was done. Too bad the truck will most likely be staying there for another 72 hours. Santa Ana Police must first try all avenues in contacting the mothertrucker before they can have it towed. Ugh.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween is over...

..but my bowl of chocolate delights is still full. This Halloween, our second here at the lofts, was yet another disappointing milestone with only one trick-or-treater (same number as last year).

I say milestone because to me, Halloween marks the beginning of the end of the year. Only when Halloween has come and gone, after seeing all the kiddies in their great costumes, will I finally accept the fact that Christmas is just around the corner (even though some stores have had Christmas merchandise ready as early as September).

With the void left from this lackluster All Hallows Eve, I know that I can always count on la dia de los muertos festivities happening this weekend to fill my appetite for the spooky and supernatural.

Here are some events going on this weekend if you too feel that Halloween 2007 was a bust.

Fiesta Market Place

Bowers Museum

and of course, down at the Santora, even though their site makes no mention of it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Amtrak Discount Codes

One of cooler things about our location is the close proximity of the train depot (unless you are a light sleeper). If you are booking online an Amtrak trip any time soon, check out this site first. Some of the discounts I have seen run from 10% off total ticket price to buy one, get one free!

After you have selected your destination and travel date, just plug in one of the promotion codes available on the website. Note: The "BOGO" deal usually requires a minimum three-day reservation.

In addition, Retail Me Not is a great site for numerous other online store promotions and discount codes.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"Santa Ana Police, This Better Be Good."

I love my dog for many reasons. One of them is because she is so well house trained. When it's time for her to go outside to use the restroom, she tells me–even if it is 1:20 in the morning.

As usual, I brought my cell phone with me just in case I needed to phone the police (speed dial #9), and tonight was one of those nights. Being that Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, most of the parties are taking place right now, beginning some 4-5 hours ago.

Walking the pooch, I noticed several cars fly by me at speeds close to 50mph in 25mph areas, while others were taking off from stop signs so fast, their tires screeched loudly for a few seconds until they were able to grab asphalt and bolt down the back streets. Then, there were the two dudes in a truck that were obviously drunk, speeding down Civic Center Drive.

I quickly grabbed my phone and placed a call to Santa Ana Police where I was greeted with the frequent "Unless you have been stabbed or shot, then I really don't give a f*ck" attitude from the operator. I gave her the location and direction of the offenders and asked if there were any units available, could they possibly check things out.

"No. We are really busy tonight so that's not possible." I then kindly asked her to see if any units would be returning from calls in nearby areas if they could just drive through to give a Police presence. "That's probably not going to happen, okay? Have a good night". Click.

Frustrated, I headed back to my house, disturbed with the thought that our property taxes due in the next week or so keeps quality employees like this on payroll.

I suppose the only half-way decent hourly employees at this time of night (morning) are the ones working at the 7-11's-and they seem to be the ones always getting robbed. Hopefully, when that time comes, their call to Santa Ana Police is met with a little more professionalism.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Renaissance Meeting Tonight

Tonight starting at 6PM located at the St. Joseph School Parish Hall.

Original post here.

I hope this meeting doesn't turn out to be a 2008 election ploy.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Talkin' Trash About Santa Ana

Though the term Santa Ana Winds has nothing to do with our City, when they come into town, they sure do wreak havoc in Santa Ana. Aside from blowing down trees, piling leaves and pine needles onto your driveway or curb, the winds bring to attention another issue that plagues Santa Ana: Trash.

Walking around our neighborhood, one can easily see that our tall buildings and semi-lush planters have been converted into repositories for trash. If you continue down to Brown Street, you can see that less traveled streets in this City quickly turn into drop-offs for old couches and larger items that, in a perfect world, should be taken to the dump.








This truly is a sad sight to see being that this complex has been up for just over a year, and yet, the refuse of the City increasingly invades our neighborhood.

So why is our City so trashy?


  1. People just don't care.

  2. Maintenance people don't care.

  3. No one knows whom to call.

Time and time again, I've glanced out my window only to see people of all likes carelessly throw their trash on the ground, out of their cars, or into the bushes–even though a trash receptacle was just a few steps out of their way. As for society as whole, the people that don't care outnumber the people that do care.

When I stated that Maintenance people don't care, what I really should have stated was that "Maintenance people aren't paid to care" (mainly this guy on the right).

Never once have I seen a lawn blower guy blow leaves or trash into nice, neat piles, where he or another crew member can easily sweep it up into a bag or bin. Instead, this dude blows all of the crap off of Property A, only to become Property B-Z's problem, not to mention the rest of the City's.

So who at the City do we call to address trash issues in Santa Ana?
Blog reader Eric recommended in an earlier post that we should be calling Richard Lay [(714) 647-3380] who works for the City's Public Works Agency. I phoned Richard myself and he advised me to put in a call to dispatch should a couch or something large and obnoxious end up on the streets or sidewalks. As for the smaller pieces of trash scattered throughout the City, he advised that the City does not have any services other than the street sweeper to combat this endless problem.

On a final note, I'd like to discuss the homeless people and those who dig through trash for recyclables. Believe it or not, these folks are some of the few people I've seen who actually pick up trash (off of the streets) in Santa Ana– mainly because the trash they pick-up puts money in their pockets. It's frustrating to see that the people with the least amount invested into the community can be the ones doing the most about this problem.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"You have a nice neighborhood, FOR ME TO POOP ON!"

This last weekend, our local celebrity, The Poo Lady, twice again visited our complex. It seems to me, after being cussed and screamed at by her (twice), that there is no reasoning with this lady; she is determined to use our neighborhood as her personal baño.

One of our neighbors put a call into the Police after her first visit. Although she had high-tailed it by the time the officer arrived, he was able to give a little background on this individual. Turns out that officer had arrested her before (just after tasering her), after violently refusing to disband after he instructed her to do so.

As much as it bothers me to see a heaping turd and napkin-toilet paper on our property, Poo Lady brings something to our City that you just don't find in others like Irvine.

Click the image below if you liked peeking at your presents when you were a kid.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Foxy Update

One of our readers posted a comment about "Foxy" saying they did not see her on the adoption site anymore.

I just got off of the phone with The OC Animal Care Services and they did confirm that she did get adopted.

Thank you Dr. Nguyen for helping an animal find a new home and more importantly, a new chance at life.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The 23rd Annual Food Wine & Micro-Brew Festival

So the Renaissance meeting for this week has been canceled–That doesn't mean you should cancel that Tivo recording for Earl, 30 Rock and The Office just yet!

This Thursday, October 11th, The Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County is throwing their Annual Event in the Crystal Court wing of South Coast Plaza from 5:30-8:30PM.

$55 at the door ($50 if you pre-register) gets you into an unlimited, three-hour orgy of mouth-watering goodies from some of the finest local restaurants, wineries, and microbreweries Southern California has to offer.

The admission price is a shock at first glance, but the proceeds go to a great cause of feeding the hungry in Orange County. Besides, where else can you sample multiple high-end restaurants in one sitting at a fraction of the cost of having dinner at just one of them?

Come get drunk with me at South Coast Plaza and later we'll terrorize the employees at the Apple Store!

Monday, October 8, 2007

October 11 Renaissance Meeting CANCELED

I received a call from Julie Carlos at the City (neighborhood meeting coordinator for Santa Ana) informing me that the Renaissance meeting scheduled for this Thursday has been canceled due to its short-notice.

Julie did confirm with me that the meeting planned for the 25th of October was still on target and scheduled to begin at 6:30PM (the calendar posted here says 6:00PM) at the St. Joseph School Parish Hall.

What's another two weeks when looking at the twenty-year plan for the Renaissance.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Support the Rebirth of Santa Ana


Over the next couple of weeks, the City will be holding community meetings discussing the much delayed Renaissance Project.

The first of these meetings will be taking place next Thursday, October 11 at 6PM located within the St. Joseph Hospital Church.

The next meeting will be held on Thursday, October 25 at 6PM located at the St. Joseph School Parish Hall.

I think it is safe to assume that every one of us moved to this sketchy neighborhood because we all share the belief that there is great potential for this City. Unfortunately, this dream can easily fall apart given Santa Ana's track record and lackluster City management.

Please make time in your schedule to attend these meetings and show your support for a greater Santa Ana (not to mention higher property values).

Below are some links to the City's website if you want more information about the upcoming meetings.

City neighborhood development meeting page
Renaissance Specific Meeting Dates (PDF)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Who Let The Dogs Out? Santa Ana, That's Who.

To the dog owner/lover, Santa Ana can be a pretty depressing town. The lack of clean parks, recent Parvo issues, and having to drive to Tustin for a decent Veterinarian keeps Fido and me on the down.

But on top of all of these issues, the high rate of neglected, stray, or lost dogs roaming our neighborhood is what breaks my heart the most. One can argue that these are just animals that eat up our tax dollars when we should focus our attention on the homeless people in Santa Ana.

While I agree that there is a homeless problem in every major city including ours (Irvine exempted), the fact is that most of the people living on streets are there by choice. Dogs and animals are frequently tossed out onto the streets or get loose due to their owners giving up on them, being irresponsible in their safety, or just plain stupid.

Last night, an adorable Pomeranian-Mix wandered into our complex, seeking shelter from the noisy and frightening Boulevard. A neighbor was kind enough to befriend the little girl and bring her in for a much needed bath.

Once we earned the little one's trust, she immediately jumped onto my lap as she was so excited to finally be safe indoors with a hearty plate of food and a clean water dish to drink from.

This morning, I contacted The Orange County Animal Care Services about possibly locating the owner. I was advised to bring the dog into the Shelter being that would be the first place a concerned owner would check. I expressed my concern to the operator about the sweetheart being euthanized should she not be claimed. She assured me that should the owner not come forward, she would surely be adopted being as sweet as I described her to be.

So if you or anyone is interested in a loving dog that needs a little house training, please give the Shelter a call at (714) 935-6848.


For tracking purposes, the Shelter assigned the loving little doggie an identification number of A0851833, but to me, I will always remember her as "Foxy".

*Update* If you are interested in a loving lap dog, she is available here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Thank You John and Betsy!

The fire safety was both informative and fun (Not to mention delicious)!
Thank you very much for opening up your home to your neighbors.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Fire and Safety Training Tonight

Tonight starting at 6:30 PM.
906 E. Santa Ana Blvd.

Original posting here.

Friday, September 28, 2007

:|

It's time to move.

Chepa Park

Just a few minutes away from the Santiago Street Lofts lies the small neighborhood park known as Logan Park. This weekend beginning at noon, the park will host its fourth annual celebration and honor the community activist "Chepa" Andrade for whom the park will later be renamed after.

More information available here.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Water Tower

If you haven't noticed, the Santa Ana water tower is back, better than ever and just in time to celebrate its eightieth birthday next year.

Built in 1928, the water tower served as the primary source of water and pressure for the city of Santa Ana.

Standing tall at 153 feet, the tower can hold about a million gallons of water, but is only filled to about 80% due to recent regulations that came into effect with the retrofitting in 2000. This was also the time when the Tower became a historical landmark, but the exact date is still uncertain (to me that is).

The Santa Ana Water Tower is property of the School District, but the City holds a multi-year lease on the Tower that runs until 2016.

As you know, the tower recently received a face-lift with a price tag of just over a million dollars. The majority of the cost went towards tenting of the tower to prevent over-spray from falling down to the kiddies in the school right below it.

Monday, September 24, 2007

2005 Was A Violently Better Year

A Monday can't go by without an article in the OC Register about some kid getting shot over the weekend in Santa Ana. With very little to do in this town, it's no wonder that many kids get involved with gangs and Santa Ana becomes one of the most dangerous places to live in Orange County.

This article from the Register  highlights the FBI's 2006 report of Crime in Orange County. Sad to say, our town isn't making anyone proud. Police Chief Paul Walters is quoted saying that “We are on track to have an eight to ten percent decrease in violent crimes for 2007”; even though violent crimes were up about eight percent in 2006 from 2005.

So in other words, he is proud to maintain the status quo.
"The status quo? Ay karumba!"

GIC Makes His Debut

Sunday around noon, another one of Santa Ana's aspiring "artists" decided to make his way down Santa Ana Boulevard leaving his "artwork" for all to see. Luckily, this type of graffiti is the best type that can happen to our community for it is easily cleaned.


Immediate cleaning of graffiti is imperative being that taggers are like male dogs–Once they find another male dog's area, another is soon to cover it with their own markings.

As in every urban community, graffiti is ubiquitous. Unfortunately, the majority of graffiti in Santa Ana is garbage and broadcasts no messages other than screw you.

Other cities are lucky to host talented graffiti artists like Mear One, Banksy and of course Shepard Fairey. We get GIC's and Panik's.