Fullerton puts sales tax measure on the November ballot; allowing commercial cannabis also gains traction

If Fullerton voters agree in November, the city expects a $25 million infusion to the city’s coffers from the addition of a local sales tax, funding that could help it, among other needs, get a handle on its inventory of deteriorating streets and infrastructure. City officials are also looking at easing restrictions on cannabis businesses, from dispensaries to manufacturing facilities, to add future additional sources of revenue and help efforts to clamp down on the illicit market in town, offi

Higher, wider berm stops flooding in Newport Beach on Saturday night

An expanded berm prevented flooding in Newport Beach on Saturday night after Friday’s high-tide deluge, city officials said. The berm, quickly assembled on Saturday, had sand piled “significantly higher and wider” than the one the waves wrecked the night before, said Newport Beach spokesman John Pope. The towering waves turned streets in the Balboa Peninsula into lakes and muddy messes on Friday night. On Sunday morning, the waves continued to put on a show and drew dozens to the Wedge.

2020 Orange International Street Fair gets canceled

Organizers have officially canceled the 2020 Orange International Street Fair that was scheduled for Labor Day weekend, saying they’re unable to get the necessary permits due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, organizers are planning an online event to help raise $250,000 for 50 nonprofits that had registered for this year’s event, which has traditionally served as one of the biggest fundraising opportunities for those organizations.

Here’s why Mission Viejo will only elect two council members in 2020

Mission Viejo is delaying its plan to implement cumulative voting until 2022, citing continued opposition from the office of the California Secretary of State, which says state law doesn’t allow it in the city. Voters in November will cast a ballot for two seats, reelecting or replacing Mayor Brian Goodell and Councilwoman Trish Kelley who were elected in 2016. Terms for three council members – Wendy Bucknum, Greg Raths and Ed Sachs – will last until 2022.

Grand jury report says TCA should focus on paying off its debt

Orange County’s toll road agency should focus on paying off its bonds and ending its operations – perhaps possible even more than a decade before its planned date in 2053 – the county’s grand jury said in a report published on Monday, June 29. “The (Transportation Corridor Agencies) clearly has the mission to operate the toll roads and pay off the bonds, but beyond that, any additional planning and activities could be considered out of its legislatively authorized scope of activity since the to

Middle and high school students at Capistrano Unified not likely to fully return to campuses

Middle and high school students at Orange County’s largest school district will likely not return to campus full-time when classes resume in the fall. Instead, some 26,700 students of Capistrano Unified School District will likely have two options: learn remotely full-time or attend classes on campus two and a half days a week, with the rest of their instruction done online.

Concerns over possible KKK ties drive renaming of Fullerton’s Plummer Auditorium

Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton will get a new name after a unanimous vote from Fullerton Joint Union High School District board members, who said they didn’t want the building to be named after someone with possible ties to the Ku Klux Klan. The board’s vote at a meeting Tuesday, June 16, follows nationwide protests against racial inequality that sparked a petition demanding a change to the auditorium’s name.

Orange County residents embrace reopening of bars, gyms and pools

More than a dozen people sat on stools along the bar at Swallow’s Inn Friday afternoon, June 12, sipping beers and cocktails from plastic cups and chatting about everything from politics to horses. It was business as usual after three months of forced closure. To celebrate Rebecca Jaffe, a bartender who’s worked at the San Juan Capistrano bar for 18 years, served up the “COVID Cure,” a mix of agave tequila, tonic and a splash of pineapple and lime juice.

Orange city leaders juggle budget shortfall with plans for new fire headquarters

Orange City Council members are expected to decide Tuesday, June 9, whether to go ahead with financing $34 million to replace the city’s aging fire headquarters while the city also faces a $16 million shortfall for next fiscal year’s budget stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Paying off the bonds that would be issued to raise the money for the Fire Department project would cost the city $1.05 million in the next fiscal year – it starts July 1 – and then $1.8 million annually until 2051.

Hundreds protest death of George Floyd in Anaheim; 20-plus arrested

Hundreds gathered in Anaheim to protest the death of George Floyd, listening to local speakers at a neighborhood park, demonstrating at City Hall and walking through the streets of downtown on Monday evening, June 1. For a few hours in the late afternoon, a large crowd of more than 500 people, drawn from three different protests within the city, peacefully walked on some of the community’s main downtown roadways. As night fell, and as police announced an unlawful assembly after curfew, smaller

A year after helping talk a woman out of suicide, Mission Viejo woman beats the coronavirus

Chanel Dalirifar saved a life and had her own life saved – all in just the last 16 months. In 2019, Dalirifar was on the fifth floor of a parking structure at the Shops at Mission Viejo, talking a woman out of jumping to her death. Months later, she was in Mission Hospital across the street, spending 20 days in an intensive care unit fighting for her own life as she battled the coronavirus.

Huntington Beach police fire pepper balls at protesters who do not disperse

Huntington Beach police fired pepper balls at demonstrators who would not disperse on Sunday, though a crowd of hundreds of protesters had shrunk significantly after unlawful assembly was declared. The demonstration – one of many around Southern California and the nation protesting the death of George Floyd – began about 11:30 a.m. and proceeded largely peacefully for several hours, with some protesters and counterprotesters urging their groups to calm down and avoid confrontation.

Orange County awaits word from state on next phase of reopening

Update: Orange County receives approval Saturday morning to move deeper into Stage 2, meaning dine-in restaurants and more retails shops can reopen. Officials made their case to the state for why Orange County is ready to take the next leap in reopening businesses and were waiting for word Friday evening if restaurants and more stores had the blessing to bring customers inside this holiday weekend. When the state says yes, “we are not going to wait,” Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner said.

Orange County celebrates its teachers of the year with a surprise Zoom party

The coronavirus pandemic may have put a wrench in many end-of-the-school-year traditions, but it hasn’t stopped the Orange County Department of Education from celebrating the area’s stand-out educators. With help from officials across Orange County school districts, department professionals threw a Zoom party on Wednesday, May 20, for this year’s six teachers of the year. The winners were chosen from nearly 60 educators nominated for the annual award by the county’s school districts. The count

How Orange County measures up to Gov. Newsom’s new benchmarks for reopening more businesses

Orange County officials said they are still analyzing whether the county meets Gov. Gavin Newsom’s updated criteria for reopening more businesses, such as in-store retail, as leaders look to emerge the local economy from the shutdown spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. But county officials praised Newsom’s announcement on Monday, May 18, calling it something they can meet quickly, even if not at the moment.

Restored Fox Theatre and a food hall could become downtown Fullerton’s north anchor

A bar, a brewery and a food hall akin to the Anaheim Packing House could be on the way around the soon-to-be-restored Fox Theatre in downtown Fullerton. The City Council on Tuesday, May 19, will vote on entering into an exclusive negotiation agreement with Newport Beach-based Frontier Real Estate Investments for the development of a 3.3-acre lot known as the Fox Block on the corner of Harbor Boulevard and Chapman Avenue.
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