Increasing number of Huntington Beach citizens mysteriously banned from Facebook for criticizing OVSD and in particular, the board president.


Anne Boyer.

James Rodriguez.

Chuck Johnson.

Jeff Hanlon.

Jim Knapp.

Shawn Hubler.

Bridget Johnson.

Denise Kavanaugh.

John Redmen.

The list just keeps growing. Huntington Beach and local-area citizens are being suspended from using their Facebook accounts, “banned” as it were, for simply criticizing the Ocean View School District and in particular, board president Gina Clayton Tarvin. I’ve seen many of the offending comments and they are not profane, threatening, libelous or anything even approaching dangerous. Yet thanks to seemingly dedicated brigade of speech police that would appear to understand how to efficiently make Facebook abuse reports, voices are being silenced.

For presenting an opposing point of view.

Nobody’s quite sure precisely how it is being executed, but how could they be? Everything regarding Facebook reporting is anonymous.  More likely than not, this is an example of “mobbing,” whereby a group of people dedicated to a single agenda start “swarm reporting” to Facebook at the same moment to create the illusion that something is seriously wrong. It’s not as a Facebook have someone sitting there in every case reading the comments. Rather, according to reports, they use an algorithm which simply measures level of complaints.

HB resident Shawn Hubler told me she received her Facebook jail sentence after asking Tarvin in a public Facebook forum why she would run a report on a friend of Hubler’s and post her personal and private information. I wrote about that incident here.

In the last few days, John Redmen sent me this, as he received a Facebook banning:

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According to Jim Knapp, who has been highly critical of Tarvin, he is currently serving a 30-day sentence for merely typing the words “Crooked Gina” in a Facebook post.

I myself also received a 30-day banning for, ironically, calling out the fact that the trustee president has apparently been making efforts to shut down opposing voices. In the midst of a discussion whereby I was accused of “smearing” the trustee president, I responded and received this:


On October 9, 2016, I sent this query to Tarvin:

Ms. Tarvin: I’m writing a piece for my blog., regarding a growing number of HB residents actually being banned from using Facebook after posting critical comments of you. I have approximately 8 people involved thus far, with several more being researched. 

I have two questions for you:

1. Are you involved at all in the campaigns against these people, either by directly reporting them or encouraging surrogates to do so?

2. Would you care to make a statement as to your opinion of these actions and what is happening to these residents?I reach out to Tarvin to ask if she was aware or involved in any of this behavior.  

To date I have received no response.


The board president blocks people on Facebook (including myself) and also prevents me even viewing her Twitter account:

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While that is certainly her prerogative, in my opinion it does not reflect well upon elected officials that stress the importance of openness and transparency. But as far as this recent spate of Facebook bans that all involve mentioning either she or the district, as an elected official and someone who’s currently running for office, I think it would be good to know her opinion of this practice. And if she has nothing to do with it,  I think it would be appropriate for her issue a statement saying as much.






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A Taste of the Upcoming Breitling Huntington Beach Airshow


This past week I had the incredible opportunity of being taken into the skies by renowned stunt pilot Elias Corey. He’s one of the many personalities that will be appearing at the much anticipated Breitling Huntington Beach Airshow coming up October 21-23. This will be a unique chance to witness the spectacular stunts of the United States Air Force Thunderbirds, the Breitling Jet Team plus lots more. Airshow. This family-friendly, free community event is scheduled for October 22 – 23 with a practice day on the 21st.  The Breitling Huntington Beach Airshow is the only beachfront airshow scheduled on the West Coast. It is also the first airshow to take place in Huntington Beach since the 1990s.

I hope you enjoy this video from my adventure with Elias. I’ve never been in a plane like this and the sensation is intense. It’s truly like riding a Ferrari in the sky. Again, the air show is free to the public, but there are some terrific VIP viewing opportunities you can check out at

Huntington Beach may never by the same. After this flight with Elias, I know I’ll never be.




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Complaint against OVSD trustee president Tarvin alleges violation of campaign finance laws


According to information provided by the citizen that filed the complaint, the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC)  is investigating an allegation that Ocean View School District Trustee Gina Clayton-Tarvin accepted campaign contributions and reimbursements from the Ocean View Teachers Association.  The complaint alleges a violation in campaign finance laws including failure to report expenditures and contributions.

The citizen, who requested anonymity, explained to, “For months, I’ve watched Gina Clayton Tarvin make countless posts on Facebook, pushing a school bond that will ultimately cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Her hard sell approach has always made me suspicious as has what I consider to be her lack of transparency. Her supporters seem to try and cover for her all the time, and attack anyone that asks questions, so I simply decided to start looking over her filings to see how she handled money. Was she careful? Was she accurate? For the amount of money she is asking for, I think this matters. If we can’t trust her to even file properly, how can we trust her with hundreds of millions of tax dollars? Her relationship with the union concerns me too and these alleged violations involve union money. What will their role be with the bond money if Measure R passes? I started with her 2012 filing and found a few things that just didn’t seem to add up. It appears she failed to report thousands of union dollars contributed to her. I’m glad the FPCC thought there was enough there to look into this. Next I will be reviewing her more recent filings.”

As to the request for anonymity the citizen added, “I’m sure my name will come out soon but until it does I want to protect myself from the sorts of attacks I’ve seen people come under for simply speaking out at all about Gina Clayton Tarvin. Personal attacks, professional attacks, public attacks at board meetings, web sites created to shame people; it’s horrible. And she’s never addressed any of it publicly or distanced herself from it like I think any responsible elected official would.” reached out to Tarvin for comment about the FPPC investigation, but did not receive a response.

Attached is a portion of the filed complaint, along with the letter the citizen received from the FPCC (which appears to show that Tarvin was made aware of this investigation via email the same day the letter was sent, on August 26th of this year).

Updates as they occur.

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Bloggers Vern Nelson and Greg Diamond Attack, Malign, Misrepresent HB Citizens Apparently on School Board President’s Behalf

gina-and-vern.jpg(Vern Nelson, right, with OVSD trustee pres. Gina Clayton Tarvin)

September 24th, 2016, left wing blogger (and staunch school board president Gina Clayton Tarvin advocate) Vern Nelson posted an article on his “orange juice blog” recounting a recent incident at Huntington Beach Central Library. At a concert being given by Nelson, he had invited a myriad of local candidates to come speak briefly about their campaigns. These included both city council and school board candidates.

A citizen, Jim Knapp, who has been critical of the Ocean View School District board and in particular of Board President Gina Clayton Tarvin, purchased a ticket and took Nelson up on his publicly posted offer to come ask the candidates questions.


Knapp was bothered by what he perceived as an inconsistency in terms of Tarvin’s public claims that newly remodeled schools in the district were now completely free of asbestos. During intermission, Knapp approached Tarvin to pose this question. What resulted remains open to interpretation based on a variety of witness accounts. But these facts are clear: Knapp was removed from the event by security and waited outside to try and get his question answered. Cat-calling her from approximately 50 feet away as she exited the venue with an escort, a 911 call was then made and a pair of Huntington Beach police department officers explained to Knapp that he was being accused of three things: trespassing, assault and remarkably, false imprisonment. Viewing several of the videos, while it’s clear that Knapp is aggressively pursuing an answer from the elected official, he does not seem to cross any legal lines. Rather, it appears that friends and supporters of Tarvin deliberately attempt to shut down his ability to even follow up his question by putting their hands in front of his camera and forming a sort of protective security circle around her.

The problem with Nelson’s reporting on the incident begins with the original headline:

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For starters, I had nothing to do with Mr. Knapp’s appearance at the library. Zero. I interviewed him after the fact, but to suggest I “sent” anyone to anything is absolutely untrue- Nelson never even reached out to myself or Knapp to vet that accusation. As for offensively tagging Mr. Knapp as a “suicide bomber,” while that is certainly consistent with Nelson’s penchant for hyperbolic fabrication, in this case, even by his own reckless standards, he appears to have crossed the line. Has Nelson ever seen what true suicide bombers due to innocent people?

And that was just the beginning. In addition to maligning Knapp, there was a false claim made about another Huntington Beach resident, Chuck Johnson, suggesting he had been present at a recent school re-opening (while even stooping so low to mock Mr. Johnson’s weight by referring to him as a “morbidly rotund hate vessel”). I contacted Mr. Johnson who said he had written the blog’s “managing editor,” Orange County lawyer Greg Diamond.

diamond-on-phone.jpg(Greg Diamond)

Johnson told me: “Mr. Diamond displays no journalistic integrity whatsoever. But then that can be expected from somebody that is almost universally loathed for his comments and viewpoints even by people that share his political party affiliation.  His piece restated the lie that I was present at the reopening of Lake View school and that I was terrorizing unsuspecting children. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have no interest in Gina Tarvin’s political grandstanding. She does it daily on the backs of poor kids in the Oak View neighborhood. Mr. Diamond’s response to my request to remove the lies was to simply leave it up and use a strikethrough font to “correct” the situation.  In addition, Diamond and his coeditor Vern Pat Nelson, selectively edit comments to control the narrative in an intellectually dishonest fashion. Lastly, they resorted to body shaming and poking fun at my weight when they were unable to successfully spar with me on an intellectual level. That didn’t bother me. I quite comfortable with who I am.”

Here is how they “Edited” their error – rather than delete the false claim:

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For the record, I also contacted Diamond to express my dismay about lied about in such a manner. The response? Diamond re-wrote his headline to this:

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Note that they are still accusing me of orchestrating an event with someone I do not even know, while allowing the original headline to exist. Diamond also wrote this to me: “As to whether you sent (or slid) this gentleman into Vern’s concert, that is an argument that I would happily engage in almost any fair venue.”

I hereby accept Diamond’s challenge to debate the absurd lies he now appears to be defending and will update here if/when the event is arranged.

And for more background on Diamond, you may read here, where the LiberalOC writes in part, “Disgraced former DPOC North County Vice Chair Greg Diamond has been twice described by this blog as a cancer in the Democratic Party in Orange County. His commentary leading up to and post June 7 primary season only reinforces it. It’s Stage 3 in the cancer that plagues the DPOC…”

Back to the dishonest mess that is the Orange Juice Blog, never missing an opportunity to accuse someone of racism, Nelson also included this in his hit piece: “I skipped the fact that Stephanie Erickson, a Mexican-hating harpy allied with Epting, had been calling the library for a few days to complain that I shouldn’t be allowed to play there, and Gina shouldn’t be allowed to speak there, because “The Mexicans in Slater Slums get EVERYTHING for free.”

“Mexican hating harpie?” I contacted Erickson. She herself is of Hispanic descent.  And she is no way “allied” with me. Another lie. And petty, baseless, deliberate insult. And does Nelson source the quote he assigns to Ericsson? Of course not.

It goes on and on, lie after lie, false accusation after false accusation. All apparently in defense of school board trustee president Gina Clayton Tarvin, who is now now up for re-election (and has been feverishly using social media to try and drum up support for her massive, $169 million taxpayer funded school bond known as Measure R).

As to why this elected official would not distance herself from these kind of smear merchants, that is anyone’s guess. But she seems to handpicked Nelson and OJB as her own little media mouthpiece the last several months, and the outlet has responded by liberally going after anyone that dare criticize her. She went to exclusively Nelson to break the news of Rainbow/Republic being fired by the district, as well as her scheme to unite all local districts against the company, among other items.

Through it all, Nelson and Diamond appear to remain unapologetic, if not defiant, when it comes to these dishonest attacks they are waging upon private citizens. Their sloppiness, and apparent personal agendas and lack of fact checking speak volumes in my opinion.

Diamond’s LinkedIn bio states that he is currently a “county coordinator and regional ambassador” for Kamala Harris’s current US senate campaign (and that he also supervises other ambassadors). Readers wishing to express their opinion to the Harris campaign about this fact and may do so by writing:

And in the meantime, if you find yourself maligned or misrepresented but anyone writing at the orange juice blog, please feel free to contact me so that you can be given a true platform to expose the dishonesty, maliciousness and perhaps even defamation.

*EDITOR’S NOTE: I reached out to Diamond for a quote to use in this piece: “Greg – I’m writing a piece for surfcitychronicles chronicles on you and Vern and your blog – as managing editor – would you please explain what your policy is regarding first person sourcing and fact checking? Also, do make an attempt to verify accuracy with the subjects you are writing about/accusing?”

There was no response.




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UPDATE: PETERSON ENDORSEMENT DISAPPEARS FROM TARVIN WEB SITE Endorsement Mystery: Did Councilman Peterson Lend His Name To Gina Clayton Tarvin’s Campaign? Sources Say NO.


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Recently, the name of Councilman Eric Peterson has been listed on Gina Clayton Tarvin’s official campaign page (Tarvin is running for School Board Trustee).

This raised more than a few eyebrows within some conservative groups in Huntington Beach, who were taken aback that a staunch right-wing advocate like Peterson would throw in with someone that, in many conservative eyes, is a left-leaning community organizer.

Phone calls and emails began buzzing around Huntington Beach looking for answers from Republican leaders and advocates.

At Monday night’s 9/19 City Council meeting, a resident named Chuck Johnson spoke at public comments about the issue and queried Peterson for an answer (which  by rule he is not allowed to give during public comments from the dais).

I myself have reached out to Peterson for clarification via email but have not received a response. However, in the last 72 hours a number of sources have contacted me citing first-hand that Peterson told them personally that no, he has absolutely not given the endorsement to Tarvin.

I have also reached out to Tarvin for clarification but have yet to receive a response.

As of this writing, the endorsement remains on her official page,

UPDATE: Another new source has confirmed that Peterson has NOT endorsed Tarvin.


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Citizen Accused of “Trespassing,” “Assault” and “False Imprisonment”- for Attempting to Question a Huntington Beach Elected Official

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(Caption: Video still of a Gina Clayton Tarvin supporter attempting to prevent the recording of her on Saturday, September 1o, at an event where candidates gathered to speak and take questions from the public)

“Did i give you permission to turn your phone on and videotape me, sir?”

That was the question asked by Ocean View School District Trustee President Gina Clayton Tarvin when a citizen, Jim Knapp, approached her during a candidate meet and greet Saturday, September 10, at which many other people were videotaping. (Tarvin has been actively campaigning to defend her seat on the board, while also feverishly promoting the $169 Million-Dollar  Huntington Beach tax increase known as “Measure R.”)

Certainly there was no expectation of privacy, yet still, she was demanding permission. As it turns out, that’s probably because she had no desire to answer the citizen’s questions, as illustrated by what happened next. In the following audio interview, Mr. Knapp takes me through the event, which incredibly, saw him being forcibly removed from the public library where the event was held (after her surrogates attempted to stop any recording). Moments later, the Huntington Beach Police Department was summoned and Knapp was answering accusations of trespassing, assault and false imprisonment.

All for simply asking a question of an elected official. Here is our discussion:


Additionally, here are links to videos posted by Mr. Knapp that he shot on the night in question:

OVSD Board President Gina Clayton Tarvin Denying Asbestos at Lake View School


OVSD Board President Gina Clayton Tarvin won’t answer questions about asbestos


OVSD Board President Gina Clayton Tarvin walks away from asbestos questions by community member

Some more images from videos at the event: Comunidad representative taping Jim Knapp:

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Above, a President Tarvin supporter attempts to block Knapp’s video camera.


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RIP, Huntington Beach’s Presidential Pilot, Lt. Col. Gene Boyer


RIP the legendary local airman, Lt. Col. Gene Boyer, who passed away last week. I feel very honored to have become friends with him. Here is a story I wrote about this American hero:

If I’ve learned anything in the 11 years my family and I have lived in Huntington Beach, it’s that you never know who you’ll run into in Huntington Beach.

Take, for example, the man I sat with recently. He sat on a couch thumbing through a photo album.

“Here’s Dwight Eisenhower,” he said. “And LBJ, Gerald Ford, Leonid Brezhnev and Walter Cronkite.”

Renowned Army One helicopter pilot and Retired Master Army Aviator Lt. Col. Gene Boyer glanced over the images that defined his life. He stopped and recalled what it was like to get to know the writer John Steinbeck during the Vietnam War.

“He was amazing,” Boyer told me. “The great Steinbeck. And just look what he wrote about us helicopter pilots.”

Clearly, Steinbeck was impressed.

“I wish I could tell you about these pilots,” he wrote. “They make me sick with envy. They ride their vehicles the way a man controls a fine, well-trained quarter horse. They weave along stream beds, rise like swallows to clear trees, they turn and twist and dip like swifts in the evening.”

Boyer, a decorated war hero who started flying MASH missions during the Korean War and was shot down in Vietnam, is also a master storyteller. Lucky for us, he’s woven his rich, cinematic life into a wonderful new book, “Inside the President’s Helicopter: Reflections of a White House Senior Pilot.”

Boyer’s life, in one sense, can be measured in numbers. He had 6,900 hours of helicopter flight time, 368 combat hours, 580 “code one” presidential missions, 451 Richard M. Nixon flights, and 55 flights with at least one foreign head of state on board. Two forced landings. No crashes. He flew in 49 states and 17 countries.

But on another level, his story is more accurately framed by the people and places he encountered. His story starts in Akron, Ohio, where he grew from a Depression-era child into a football star at Ohio University. In the book, we travel with him through the Korean DMZ to the jungles of Venezuela, to the mountains of Peru, from St. Peter’s Square to the pyramids of Egypt, and everywhere in between.

Boyer flew five U.S. presidents, Gen. William Westmoreland, Henry Kissinger, Anwar Sadat, Hosni Mubarak, King Hussein, Charles de Gaulle, Robert Kennedy, Nguyen Van Thieu, Brezhnev, Steinbeck, Bob Hope and John Wayne.

He was also the first pilot to fly a sitting president and first lady into a combat zone and recruited the first three African American pilots to fly for the White House, one of which was his co-pilot the day Nixon resigned.

That memorable day when Nixon said goodbye, Aug. 9, 1974, it was Boyer who shuttled Nixon away from the White House.

Today, that very helicopter, Army One, is on display at the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda. It was found and restored by Boyer, who remembers that last day all too well.

“It was a sad one all around,” he told me. “And an extra-heavy flight given all the family luggage aboard. I think more people watched us take off that day than any other. I liked Nixon a great deal. He was very fair with us, and we stayed in contact. I flew him as a civilian later on.”

At 81, Boyer still recalls things in razor-sharp detail. A thoughtful, careful speaker, he’s also modest and unassuming in documenting his many dramatic missions that, more than once, could have easily resulted in the loss of his or his passengers’ lives.

Then again, when you realize that he was arguably history’s best, it’s no wonder he’s still here to talk about his life.

Recalling a death-defying goodwill trip to the mountains of Peru with Pat Nixon after a catastrophic earthquake, Boyer chuckles at the absurdity of the circumstances.

“Helicopters are not supposed to fly as high as we did that day,” he recalled. “But we made it in and out, and it’s still one of the most rewarding missions I ever undertook. In all that devastation, to see what the first lady accomplished was really something. She made a difference up there. She was a remarkably graceful person.”

The book, for all of its touch-and-go moments of peril and somber historic reality, is also punctuated with funny stories revealing how chaotic things can become within the chief executive’s inner circle. Boyer takes the reader inside the most exclusive of bubbles with an honest, no-holds-barred voice of reason that often makes readers feel as if they are co-piloting alongside this vaunted flyer.

And he remains a soldier at heart. On a table in his living room sits a small jar full of sand.

“I collected that in 1960 when I visited Normandy Beach,” he said. “Of all the interesting places I went, that’s the one that still stands out.

“When you consider what took place there, when you think about how courageous those soldiers were in that battle, well, I just had to bring some home with me. Just to remember.”

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Senate Approves Resolution Urging Justice for Dozens of 1976 Women Olympic Swimmers


SR 88 Requests that IOC Give Justice to Deserving Olympic Women Swimmers for Competing Clean

Big news for my friend and co-author, Shirley Babashoff:

(Sacramento) – Today, Senator Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) presented Senate Resolution 88, which requests that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) correct a mistake from 40 years ago and rightfully award dozens of women swimmers the recognition and medals that they deserved, had they not been cheated by the East German team, who used performance-enhancing substances. Senate Resolution 88 passed with a 39-0 vote.
The 1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada, should have been a monumental and celebratory occasion for Shirley Babashoff and the dozens of other female swimmers who competed. Instead, the games have lived under a dark cloud of controversy for the past forty years.
“The Olympic Games has had a long tradition of competition, honor and integrity that magnifies the ultimate in human ideals and physical achievement,” saidSenator Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa). “Forty years ago, the United States female swim team competed fairly and were denied their medals. Now, armed with truth, these courageous competitors deserve justice.”
The allegations that the East German womens swim team was competing under the influence of performance-enhancing substances were dismissed in 1976, but was later proven true. When the Berlin Wall fell, records were recovered that proved the East German team was involved in a state-sponsored performance-enhancing substances scheme. Due to this scandal, competitors who played by the rules were denied their true earned victories, and their countries denied their moment to celebrate with them.

“I urge the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to address this issue and recognize the competitors who played by the rules in the 1976 Olympic Games with their rightful medals and places in the record books,” 
Moorlach added. “The IOC has the power to honor these individuals. Let’s show today’s youth the importance and value of competing with honor.”
Senator Resolution 88 has gained widespread support from many groups and individuals including Michelle Simpson, former swimmer and teammate of Shirley Babashoff, Benjamin W. Lau, US-China Counsel, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, Stephanie Rosenthal-Hamilton, Member of the U.S. National Team- Swimming 1987-1988, USA Swimming Foundation, Mike Bottom, Former member of the U.S. National Swim Team, USA Swimming, Jeffrey Goldman, Publisher at Santa Monica Press and TJ Liston, ASCA Member.

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Rare Huntington Beach film revealed


Several years ago, I wrote about Leroy Jauman after we visited the home on Eighth Street where he was born, the abode with those two tall, slender palm trees in front of it. His dad, Andy, planted those trees in honor of his son Leroy’s birth back in 1924, and that they still sway in the ocean breeze is a marvelous thing: a symbol of everlasting parental love.

But the day we met there, Leroy tantalizingly shared some information about another piece of local history that goes back to his youth: a movie that was made by a teacher at what today is Dwyer Middle School (and back then was known as Central Elementary School).

Mrs. Elinor Greer was the teacher, and in 1937, when Leroy was 13, she decided to shoot a film as part of a master’s degree she was in the process of working toward. It ran 40 minutes and was titled “The Air Mail Saves the Day.” She cast Leroy, whom she considered her teacher’s pet, to star as “Leroy Brown,” a bit of a hellraiser who must find a way to help his family find money to pay the mortgage, lest they lose their house

It’s a storyline that could have easily been ripped from today’s stale-economy headlines, and in the film, Leroy decides to enter an essay contest that promises a big payout.

As Jauman described to me, the film was shot all over Huntington Beach and captured rare footage of the oil wells, Pacific Electric Red Cars, Main Street and more. But when he said he had a copy of the vintage film and was willing to share, it almost seemed too good to be true.

However, when I met him and his former classmates from Huntington Beach High School, class of ’42, recently for lunch, there was the VHS tape, brought by his friend and classmate Rosemary Robinson. When I arrived back home and popped it in the player, I was genuinely taken aback by what I saw, and thoroughly impressed with the efforts of Mrs. Greer.

The film is silent, and title cards are interwoven throughout, helping to advance the narrative as we see a teenaged Jauman and his classmates chewing the scenery for almost 40 minutes — an epic for the time. The title cards appears to be typewritten pieces of paper simply filmed by the camera operator, as there were obviously no optic effects available for the class.

The scene is set with this opening card: “In the windy city of Pacific Beach is the home of the Brown family.” Then we see some establishing shots of oil wells, the ocean, and a house that bears a striking resemblance to the house Jauman was born in — and there is a small palm tree right in front. Did they shoot there? Jauman could not quite pinpoint all of the locales around the city, but he thinks that may be his house of birth.

Another card: “The mortgage is due in 15 days. Father cannot get work. Everything looks hopeless.” So the young Jauman gets to work when he hears about an essay contest in New York.

The film reminded me of something producer Hal Roach might have created in his Our Gang days, a bunch of ragtag kids running around town, trying to stave off the evil “villain” who can’t wait to evict the family.

Throughout the film, the viewer is treated to some remarkable footage of Huntington Beach. We see Jauman march up to a mailbox on Main Street near Pacific Coast Highway and mail his entry. We the post office on Main Street, the same one that is there today, as the letter gets sorted. Then we see the mailman place the mail sack on a Pacific Electric Red Car bound for Los Angeles, where it will be put on a plane to New York. The footage of the train car pulling away from the Main Street station, oil derricks as far as the eye can see, is a “money shot” if there ever was one.

Mrs. Greer even includes footage of a plane taking off that, presumably, was shot at one of several locals airstrips that existed before Meadowlark Airport.

Long story short, the essay wins, but Leroy also learns an important lesson on paying attention in class about how to send a letter. See, he forgot to include his return address, as he hears on the radio, which jeopardizes his winning entry. Nevertheless, things are sorted out, the money is sent, good triumphs over evil and the family home is saved.

My friend Maria Hall-Brown, with whom I co-hosted the “Forgotten OC” series on the PBSSoCal program “Real Orange,” was kind enough to digitize the movie footage and edit a condensed, nine-minute version of “The Air Mail Saves the Day.”

To experience this cinematic trip back in time to Huntington Beach, 1937, simply look alongside this article on the Independent’s website.

And make sure you watch the end to see the elaborate credits, to get a real sense of how sophisticated this production was and how many students Mrs. Greer involved in the making of it. Jauman told me as much and it seems obvious, but she must have been just a marvelous teacher to go to these lengths. I only wish she could have known how many more people will now get to enjoy her work.

And in honor of Leroy, who has since passed away – thank you for sharing this treasure.

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“Central Park is Dying”

My friend Shari Engel wrote me what I considered to be a very powerful not several days ago. It is included in its entirety here, along with some images she has taken. You may know that Shari, along with her husband Steve and a tireless, dedicated group of volunteers work hard to enhance, protect and preserve many facets of the park.

But it’s clearly not enough. There has been some great help offered by various people, elected and otherwise (as she details) but as a city I think it’s time to come together and start offering some concrete solutions, lest we wake up one day to a dead Central Park.

Thank you, Shari, for writing this…


Central Park is Dying. Yes, I USED TO BE lured by the GREEN in my peripheral vision as I walked on the asphalt paths.

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But, when I became a ‘3 day a week’ volunteer in the park and got up close to the trees and vegetation I saw dying trees and plants.

For two years I have been part of a team, restoring the garden behind the Central Park Library (The Secret Garden).

It was known as the Xeriscape Garden, when it was planted 30 years ago. That was a widely used term, back then, meaning drought tolerant.


The Xeriscape (Secret) Garden paths were uneven/unsafe and the plants were growing so close to the trail you had to duck and dive to get through. Most of the garden was so thick with weeds you couldn’t see in.


Two encampments were removed. Much like Shipley Nature Center, it had become overgrown with invasives and the investment and design were nearly lost.

These two areas of Central Park represent how creating a park may be important and exciting, but maintaining it is imperative. Delayed maintenance is not a cost saving plan. If a park can not be maintained properly then we need to delay building them.unspecified copy.jpegThe concept of our 350 acre Central Park by a group of city visionaries began in the late 60’s. The park was opened in 1974. That is an amazing accomplishment!


Just as we were cutting the ribbon for our Central Park, New York’s 843 acre Central Park was degrading due to minimal maintenance and misuse. New York’s budget crisis further hastened the park’s demise.

Central Park still has enough green to lull people into believing it is healthy and thriving.

Unfortunately, I only see the:

  1. Failing asphalt paths with large cracks. Recent, expensive Community Services Master Plan Survey said the most used city Facility, is Central Park.  And the number one activity is walking. Why didn’t we just spend that money on repairing the asphalt paths in CP instead?
  2. OLD rusted metal trash cans whose OLD metal supports are falling over.  40% of Central Park has no trash cans at all.
  3. Trees that have never been pruned or routinely maintained, ever. One worker, with the city parks maint. dept. for 30 years, attests to that and so do the dead trees.
  4. Irrigation system that is old and ineffective for maintaining healthy trees (bore beetle invades stressed/unhealthy trees). The park is watered with potable water. When the city had to cut back water, they cut back even more on watering the park lawn, thus the trees. If it had been non-potable water the trees might have been watered more.
  5. Recently planted young trees, that are dead, but remain propped up (barely) by supports, as if there is hope for them, to come back to life.
  6. Over 140 mulch mounds, where there once stood a tree. There are now huge areas, barren of trees.
  7. Shipley temporary parking lot (which was on the master plan long before the Senior Center build) is a fugitive dust bowl (carcinogenic). 14,000 teachers and students breathe that dust yearly (10 years and counting). Plants on its perimeter are dead from the choking dust! Park Commission paints efforts to install the permanent lot (on 1990 master plan) now, as an attack on open space.
  8. Traffic hazard (on Goldenwest) quadrupled while Shipley parking lot driveway remains open, just a few yards north of new right turn into Senior Center. It was supposed to be closed and access was to be off of the new Talbert entrance….Accident waiting to happen?
  9. Huge grass areas destroyed by the ground squirrel infestation. Presently they are digging into root systems of mature trees and soon will topple them. They dug, till they exposed the irrigation pvc pipes and created holes that could cause a broken ankle. They have entered into the Secret Garden continuing their efforts to enlarge their intricate tunneling. The poor positioning (10 feet off the ground) of signage, educating the public about why they should NOT feed them, is NOT working. The most widely used areas for feeding have no signage.
  10. Two of the most poisonous plants grow unchecked in the park. Castor bean (the most poisonous plant on planet) grows alongside Poison Hemlock (the most poisonous plant in California).
  11. Invasive species like passion vine and bamboo are tolerated in the park. Passion vine curtains that envelop the now dead bushes and trees, create a false notion of a green/healthy park. The low level park maintenance contract (mow and blow) will invite more of our investment to be lost to invasives.
  12. Homeless encampments numbers are growing. The overgrown/unmaintained areas of the park are inviting the wrong use. Two cooking fires have occurred in the last year (latest in July). The relocation of the Interfaith Trailer has produced a worsening of the Central Park Library/Park homeless problem. Why did the city think it would be different at Central Park/Library?
  13. Fullerton had to close a library due to the homeless issue and San Bernardino had to close a park. How many more people will the library have to hire to keep order or will we have to close it?
  14. No ongoing presence of authority in the park. Easter Sunday has thousands of people in the park. There was no policing, no extra restrooms, no extra trash cans, no one to deter the public driving on the trails. No citations of drinking in the park. Drinking and Driving Easter Extravaganza. The trash is still present from the yearly ‘un-event’ Free-For-All. But it isn’t free to taxpayers; our park is abused and someone has to clean it up and pay for litigation when someone gets hurt.
  15. The bathrooms are deteriorating and the overnighters misuse from them being open year round, 24/7 has taken it’s toll. If you ever see Lucina, cleaning them, please THANK her. She is a very nice, hardworking, petite lady (with a big smile) that probably isn’t noticed by many.
  16. Ongoing male prostitution and drug use in the park. Won’t say what I have picked up in the park from these activities. Disgusting!
  17. Our only Central Park sign fell down almost two years ago (wood rot, termites). It was just replaced after a very long wait.  The area surrounding the sign has NOT been improved, the years old planting is not maintained and looks sad.


I look at the pictures of Central Park New York in the 70’s and wonder where were the park protectors when it was not maintained and sad?

It got soooo bad before someone grabbed a shovel and started to take back what had been lost.

If you can’t grab a shovel, at least write your council and ask for a plan for Central Park.

It takes years for a tree to provide a shade canopy. We are now the visionaries for the future of our park.


We can not afford to wait any longer for a plan. WE NEED A PLAN NOW!!

Thank you Michael Gates, Barbara Delgleize and Eric Peterson for helping to improve our beautiful Central Park!

Thank you to the Parks Maintenance Dept. for producing the needed changes requested on Surf City Pipeline, in a professional and timely manner.

Thank you to the Police Department for trying to stem the tide of the negative activities in CP. We know you can’t be the answer

to every problem. The answer is good laws, ordinances and a Park Ranger.

Thank you Jean Nagy, President of the HB Tree Society for continuing the effort to beautify HB and plant trees.

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