Author Archives: christianepting

Hidden History of Huntington Beach – the Red Car tracks


I used to host a PBS-TV series called “Forgotten OC” where I’d track down little known historic places in the county. This spring I have a new show starting on the Reelz network called “It Happened Here” which traces places all over the country, but for fun I thought I’d document some hidden history of Huntington Beach – here’s the first place – more to follow soon.

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We interrupt this blog for an important message


Yesterday an essay was shared privately with me. It was written by a Huntington Beach woman, Yvonne Mauro, whom I know. She had written the piece as a kind of cathartic exercise with no set plan to publish it. I found the piece interesting enough that I reached out to Ms. Mauro to ask if i could publish the piece here. She agreed. I’m not going to frame it too much except to say that I think it is honest, direct and relevant, and I’m thankful she is allowing me to share it with you. I hope you will, in turn, share it with others.

Take it away, Yvonne


As resident of Huntington Beach and an administrator of the Huntington Beach Community Forum (HBCF), I’d like to reach out to everyone without the restrictions of Facebook.

Something is wrong

 I had an experience this weekend with a Huntington Beach public official I found profoundly disturbing.   Our national political climate may be out of control but I had hoped our local government would still be made up of people who respect their positions and the people of this city.  In most cases I have found this to be true, however, my interaction with a particular public official this weekend certainly was an eye opener.  

In order to eliminate any perception that this is just a hit piece the name of the official has been omitted.   It’s not about the official as much as the attempted abuse of power I experienced.

Some background

 I’ve been an administrator on HBCF for almost 4 years. I and the other admins are used to people disagreeing with decisions we make on the forum. I am used to being called names, seeing my interactions with disgruntled members relived on other forums (completely inaccurately most of the time), etc.  I’m used to being accused of all kinds of bias….it comes with the territory.  I signed up for it and I deal with it.  Enforcing rules is not a popular position but one I try very hard to execute fairly, no matter who you are.  However, being threatened by a public official to stifle citizens remarks about them is concerning to me. For those not familiar with HBCF …we are a Huntington Beach civic topic forum, which of course, includes a great deal of local politics.   Since 2014 just about every HB elected official current /past/man/woman has faced scrutiny and the wrath of residents of HB.  Accusations ranging from money laundering/ use of their positions for personal gain/collusion with unions/ inappropriate relationships with fellow City Council members all played out on HBCF.  Only one of those people ever contacted me or any other admin and demanded any comment be removed. 
An elected official demanding special rules

This particular official has periodically complained to the admins at HBCF for three years about various comments and/or posts questioning the actions/ethics and or behavior of this public official.  The demands are never limited to the acceptance of our decision but always turn into a tirade. I considered these communications little more than trivial childish behavior, up until last Saturday night at which time I was threated with legal action.  The next threat was to “take action” which was in the form of a post on the forum listing a series of complaints about anyone who questioned this officials ethical behavior. The post was aimed at creating chaos and mayhem towards the forum and it’s admins.  We were warned.

False claims and legal threats

The claim was I had been approached in a “polite and quiet” manner requesting that a comment of libel and defamation be removed.  And that I had ignored the request. This is the original message to me… :  “I’m bringing this to your attention. I’m being libeled and defamed on HBCF, I’m informing you of this so if legal action is taken, I have record that I informed you”. Now I don’t know about anyone else, but that is not a “polite and quiet” approach, it’s a threat.   Not to mention the comment in question reflected on accusation made by a grandfather at a “public meeting” unrelated to HBCF. It involved her personally but she IS a public official so questioning those activities is perfectly acceptable . Rather than subject myself to yet another two-hour combat with this public official, I chose to address the issue directly with the poster of the comment., informing him he could not make a blanket statement and needed to qualify it with terms indicating the information was alleged. Which he complied with.

Suddenly, a complaint about a single comment had the elected official ranting about racism/sexual harassment/accusations of complicity and fostering of libelous comments. All this without any grounds whatsoever, barring my refusal to be threatened into submission that is. The public official’s post, in fact, was in regard to an entirely different subject than the purported libelous comment.  Which is where this really got interesting and very concerning for me.

Your rights as a citizen

I watched as this official maligned a citizen for making CPRA (California Public Record Act) requests – which is EVERY citizen’s right to request. The official intentionally misinformed the public as to their rights. The average person who doesn’t work for the government or has never had a need to request this information can easily be lead to believe its an invasion of privacy. It absolutely is not.

Anyone has a right to ASK for any record they want of a government employee.  It is not harassment and it is not invasion of privacy – it is YOUR right.   As far as I am aware there is no limit to the amount of requests that can be made, however, to hear this official rant about the amount of CPRA requests you would think there was.  When you go to work for the Government you are informed of the CPRA and you have a choice. if you don’t want people getting information about you don’t take a job with the government.  Or maybe don’t do anything you want to hide? 

We need to be able to trust our elected officials. And we deserve honesty and transparency.

Citizens should be able to trust their public officials especially at a city level, after all, these are neighbors we elect.  These officials should be helping citizens navigate through a system that at times can be overwhelming for the average person, not telling them they have no right.  I am appalled that a public official would prey on the good people of our city in order to discredit another person for exercising their constitutional rights….no matter how inconvenient it may be… or does it go deeper than convenience? What information could those records hold that would cause such outrage by this official for a perfectly legal request? 

In our case we are fortunate to be the home of an author who takes no prisoners when he gets his sights set on potential acts of corrupt or unethical behavior by a city official.   Chris Epting, who has written 30 books, countless articles for outlets ranging from the Los Angeles times to the Huffington Post, is an expert on artists, musicians, history and… political misdeeds. You get the point. The guy is accomplished with research and writing. Currently it seems he is following up some leads on potentially damaging information about this public official.   He is relentless and that seems to offend some of the very people he is trying to protect, and this public official is hot to demonize anyone who is willing to hear him out.  Why?  

I did absolutely nothing except refuse to succumb to this official’s threats. From that point on, I watched as a city official blatantly lied about me, and essentially issued a call to arms for citizens of the city to rise up against me and the forum itself.   This can’t be allowed. I simply want people to know, you have rights and before you believe the self- serving rants of any public official telling you that you don’t, check the Constitution.




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Gina Clayton-Tarvin’s social media meltdowns continue…

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Embattled Ocean View School Board trustee Gina Clayton-Tarvin’s reckless and emotional social media rants reached a new low this evening when she accused me of – in her own words – “sexual harassment.” Why? Because I posted a comment critical of her using public school property to help organize a political debate (including a candidate she has publicly endorsed). To me it seems rife with conflicts of interest – so I said so:

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In response, Tarvin has gone on yet another emotional, dishonest and quite disturbing social media rant:

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“Sexual harassment and worse.” Clearly she either lying or in need perhaps of some medical help. This is just too far beyond the pale. She is also apparently making legal threats behind the scenes against those that criticize her: 

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On her thread, other citizens are taking Tarvin to task – clearly not what she anticipated:

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And then – GULP – this – she “violated parental rights?” The MAYOR got involved? \

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Tarvin’s meltdowns are becoming both more frequent and more dishonest. Why many in Huntington Beach believe that for the sake of the district, herself and her family – SHE NEEDS TO STEP DOWN NOW.



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Citizen files formal cease and desist complaint against Clayton-Tarvin’s “harassment activities, intimidation, defamation” of her character

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Surf City Chronicles today became aware of a registered letter sent by  Annette R. Chilvers of Huntington Beach to the Ocean View School District. Apparently it is yet another salvo in reaction to district trustee Gina Clayton Tarvin’s misleading and at times flat-out untrue statements made on social media about Ms. Chilvers (the trustee has made numerous other similar dishonest statements about myself and others in recent weeks – I myself also filed a formal complaint against Clayton-Tarvin for the same reason).

Chilvers’ letter stems from these statements mad win mid-December by Clayton-Tarvin:






And here is the letter she sent:


Dear OVSD School Board C/F Dr. Carol Hansen,

This letter is in regards to your following activities:

Dr. Hansen and all the OVSD Board members, per my conversation with Dr. Carol Hansen December 18, 2017 I am informing any and all OVSD School Board members, in particular Ms. Gina Clayton Tarvin to cease and desist harassment activities, intimidation, defamation of my character.  Specifically uploading and posting a video to a third party via the Internet which she informs twenty thousand people of false statements.  Ms. Tarvin, acting OVSD school board president took it upon herself to speak on my behalf with false statements. Ms. Tarvin’s statement my sole intention of attending the College View Forum was to stir up trouble and specifically to announce my intent to have Ms. Tarvin recalled due to construction of a fence; lastly, coercion with another OVSD Board member on a recall notice.  Ms. Tarvin’s statements are knowingly false; I was listed as a volunteer by the OVSD Board to distribute fliers for the November College View Forum meeting.  November 10th I received a voicemail from College View principal Ms. Katherine Smith stating she was instructed by OVSD to request my assistance with distribution of fliers for this meeting.  That evening  (5:00p.m.) a stack of fliers attached with Ms. Smith’s OVSD business card was left on my doorstep.  Ms. Tarvin was negligent in her actions and disregarded the duty of care to not make knowingly false statements about myself, Annette Chilvers, a private citizen to damage my character.  Ms. Tarvin has impugned my professional reputation and standing in the community.  My civil rights have been violated, an invasion of my personal privacy and family with a minor child who resides in the OVSD have been placed in peril due to Ms. Tarvin, an elected official defamatory actions.  In addition, I am demanding a retraction of the defamatory comments made by Ms. Gina Tarvin to a third party via the internet titled: Ocean View School District Public Forum.

Your actions (Gina Clayton Tarvin) have become unbearable and these activities are in violation of my right to be free of such harassment.  This letter/email serves as your legal notice to CEASE AND DESIST THESE ACTIVITIES IMMEDIATELY as well any other actions, which may constitute harassment or violate my legal rights.  If you fail to comply with this notice, legal action will promptly be brought against you, including having law enforcement pursue criminal charges and recovering any damages I have suffered in civil court for physical and mental distress or otherwise.  I am not waiving any present or future rights to pursue legal actions against you (Gina Clayton Tarvin).  This matter is not open to any further negotiation or discussion.


Annette Roy Chilvers



I am reaching out to the district for their comment on this; will update as new information becomes available.

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Superintendent Hansen contradicts Tarvin’s wild claims about $2000 CPRA requests (while Tarvin quietly backpedals on Facebook). Westwell: “She is no longer credible – she is creating and spreading misinformation.”

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December 13, 2017, OVSD Trustee Gina Clayton Tarvin stated unequivocally (her usual typos notwithstanding) on Facebook that “Each CPRA (public information request from citizens) costs the district almost $2000 in attorney fees…”

With zero back-up for her strange and seemingly false claim, the information was embraced by several of her supporters and several citizens were verbally attack for “wasting” tens of thousands of dollars.

One week later, Tarvin, according to the edit history on Facebook, went in and altered the language to read “can” cost the district… Was this backpedalling in reaction to the firestorm of criticism she received for her heavy-handed attempt to shut down public questions? Did her pricey, tax-payer funded lawyers insist she do it? We may never know – but here is the proof:

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Concerned, Trustee Norm Westwell wrote this several days after Tarvin’s outlandish claims:

“I have requested information from the district as to the average cost for the district to process a single CPRA request for the years 2016 and 2017 and am currently awaiting a responsive reply.  I have received  (see below) an approximate break down of the costs from Superintendent Hansen.  I hope this helps answer your question as to the high CPRA costs.”

Here is Superintendent Hansen’s reply:

“First, please keep in mind that the complexity of each CPRA request varies greatly.  We don’t keep metrics on the exact cost of each CPRA request.  Furthermore, most CPRAs require staff time from me, Executive Assistant Cindi Lee, and often times IT Director Rick Larson.  Due to the recent increase in requests (many times include multiple requests from one individual at or around the same time), we have had to pay additional employees overtime to research records and organize and compile required materials.   In addition, many CPRA requests require the intervention of an attorney.  For example, a CPRA request may require 6-7 hours of attorney hours (@$250 per hour) and staff overtime (3 hours at $60 per hour), plus the regular daily rate of the employee who is working on the request.  Just using this simple calculation, $2,000 is a realistic estimate for some of the more complex records requests.”

Obviously, Hansen’s version of the CPRA pricing system does not jive with Tarvin’s claims – at least the first, incendiary version that Tarvin posted. But this is simply her way of spreading destructive propaganda on line, as she did recently when she accused Westwell of “organizing” a “wasteful” recall against her (why is it “wasteful” if citizens want rid of her?)


I reached out to Trustee Westwell and received this reply:

If those are indeed Trustee Tarvins’s words, then  she is again creating and spreading “mis-information” as she likes to say.  In my experienced opinion they are called lies. And, in my opinion, all well calculated to try to save her increasingly toxic political persona from further corrosion.  When things to wrong, it is her MO to play victim.  She has over used this ploy rendering it as useless as the boy who cried wolf.  She is not longer credible. For the record;  How can I be more clear?…. I did not say what she has written below.  Period.  In my opinion, she has repeatedly demonstrated she does not have any problem just making things up to suit her needs and she has done so yet AGAIN in this case.

More as this develops.

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Trustee Westwell: “She’s lying.” Gina Clayton-Tarvin’s frenzied Facebook campaign continues to crash and burn under a barrage of lies and misrepresentations

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Even by her own grim standards, OVSD trustee Gina Clayton-Tarvin’s social media smear campaigns this week have reached all new lows. It’s hard to process. Never before has this city witnessed such a thin-skinned, paranoid, dishonest politician take to Facebook to launch so many baseless attacks and accusations.

She recently went after her fellow Trustee, Norm Westwell, accusing him of “organizing” a recall effort against her. The citizens that actually did organize it told me Westwell had absolutely nothing to do with it. But that doesn’t stop Tarvin from smearing, and in the process inciting her small-but-rabid band of supporters (more on that in a moment):

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I reached out to Westwell, who flat-out denied Tarvin’s smear:

Westwell: “She’s lying. That conversation never happened. We did discuss social media, she made some outlandish accusations but I then simply wished her a Merry Christmas and moved on. I think it’s unfortunate she is spending so much time on social media saying so many untrue things about so many people. Citizens in Huntington Beach deserve better. She is not elected to attack and lie about people on social media. If the district would simply answer questions and meet with the citizens that are requesting some time, none of this mess would exist. The district has brought it on itself and in fact it’s their behavior that is costing taxpayers a lot of money.”

Tarvin continues to insist she is being “harassed,” “attacked” and worse, driving her supporters to believe to buy into to her fantasy, and then begin their own attacks.

Here is Tarvin conversing with one of her confidants, Bob Barnett, who casually informs her that he was “trolling” me the day before:

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Here is an example of Barnett’s “trolling.” THIS is who the school board trustee associates with? Then again, after watching her over the years with Pat Mahoney, Vern Nelson, Victor Valladares, Gustavo Arellano and other unsavory characters, maybe it’s just par for the course:

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Gina must be very proud. But then again, I’m sort of used to this from her close stable of “supporters.” Here was a message from Pat Mahoney to me:

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Welcome to the low-rent world of Gina Clayton-Tarvin. These are her friends. These are the people she directs. And she is STILL denying that she blocks local citizens on Facebook, giving a typical legalese excuse to cover the fact that the account she uses to attack myself and others is OFF LIMITS to those she attacks:

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This is not about having access to a campaign page, and Clayton-Tarvin knows it. She KNOWS it’s about being denied access to the account that she uses to attack, as I illustrated this morning:


And here is how it looks on Twitter:

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Westwell is correct in my opinion. She is a liar. And a sleazy one at that. An elected official that blocks citizens not from just engaging with her on policy – but on simply defending themselves against incomprehensibly false and manipulative  attacks. She is dangerous, in my opinion. She will say what she has to publicly to incite her followers, but then privately she states the truth. Several examples:





See how it works? If she is going to make accusations about being “libeled” then she needs to be specific – and not just have an emotional meltdown whenever someone says something that exposes her dishonest. Another example:

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Gina Clayton-Tarvin’s problem, is Gina Clayton-Tarvin. There are new, formal complaints I have become aware of that will too be filed against her. As well, I will have another LARGE expose coming up to illustrate how she lied about my interview with her, actually using her child as a political prop to craft a new lie. What kind of mother does that? In my opinion, one that put politics one everything – even her family.

Stay tuned.


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$2000 per public records request? Embattled Ocean View School District needs to account for that spending – NOW

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Ocean View School District trustee Gina Clayton-Tarvin has been on a Facebook-posting frenzy in the wake of her stepping down as trustee president. Through a series of rambling, inherently dishonest posts that, as usual, attacks private citizens for daring to challenge her, Clayton-Tarvin has also begun citing a $2000 per public request fee that has many in Huntington Beach demanding a dollar for dollar accounting of that almost comically astronomical fee.

The California Public Records Act allows the public to request ANY public communications involving government officials. There is no limit to what the public may request – although requests may be denied due to information not covered by the act. What Clayton-Tarvin’s newest strategy appears to be is to demonize people that make requests she does not approve of, perhaps to send a message to other citizens – DON’T YOU DARE.

Also, suspiciously, supporters of Clayton-Tarvin are now newly armed with information regarding citizen requests – but did they request that info themselves or is Tarvin simply circumventing the process and feeding it to them? We will have answers to this as ASAP I can assure you.

Meantime–how to account for this?



Where is “Paula Jean” getting her information to try and smear people with? Did she request it herself? And most importantly, again, when will the district justify and account for every dollar spent? $2000 per request? I have reached out to the superintendent Carol Hansen and new President, Jack Souders, for answers and will post as they become available.

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BREAKING: Group of College View citizens launch recall petition against OVSD president Gina Tarvin

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November 16 – At a community town hall meeting tonight at College View school to discuss upcoming construction issues, a woman representing a group of neighborhood citizens announced during public comments their intention to launch a recall  petition against Ocean View School District Trustee President Gina Tarvin.

The news was met with a swift admonition by district superintendent Dr. Carol Hansen; citing the fact that the audience was gathered to hear solely about College View issues. The woman representative (who stated that her comments WERE relevant due to the fact the she thinks the district’s mishandling of certain College View issues helped predicate the recall) attempted to speak further but was shouted down, hooted and booed by what appeared to be a stacked teacher’s union crowd.

I spoke with two other gentleman involved in crafting the recall document, a part of the draft which is included above, and they both stated that Tarvin’s continued arrogance when it comes to College View and other school issues first made them suspicious about Tarvin’s tactics and motives. The recall petition cites other issues as well as an open FPPC investigation against her and her continued controversial personal behavior.

All of the parties involved in the recall are being given anonymity in this piece until the recall petition is presented formally at the next OVSD board meeting on December 11th, at 6pm.

NOTE: Just yesterday I wrote an editorial for Tarvin to step down.

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Opinion: Gina Tarvin needs to resign as Ocean View School District Trustee President


How much more evidence do people need? Some of the lowest test scores in the county. Dropping enrollment. And a trustee president that seems hellbent not on improving the district, but rather furthering her political career and going after private citizens that dare challenge her deeply political agendas.

There have been multiple lawsuits filed against the city and other entities, and it looks like another may be brewing:


Time and time again, Tarvin has lied and misled residents. She helped create the radical activist group, Oak View Comunidad. She has created more false drama, tension, aggravation and pain in this city than any other politician in recent memory.


A group of citizens is now preparing a recall effort against her. And her social media activism has sputtered into a litany of exaggerated, self-congratulatory nonsense that ever her most ardent supports seem to have tired of.

This morning I learned she is coming after me, requesting a bloated over-grab of information so disingenuous and over-the-top, it’s bordering offensive:

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In my opinion, for the good of the district and the city both, she needs to step down. Her destructive, seemingly diabolical thirst for power appears to have nothing to do with students – but everything to do with her.

Gina, we know, based on your extreme behavior in the past, that this simple call for you to resign may cause you to call for a restraining order, order another taxpayer funded armed body guard, call the chief of police – or worse. That is what you have done to mere critics in the past. But it’s over. Cut your losses and ours both. For once, do something for the good of something besides yourself and remove yourself from office.


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Is OVSD Trustee President Tarvin continually violating board bylaw 9121? Trustee Westwell: The board could care less

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Ocean View School District board bylaw 9121 (6) clearly states that the president will be “Representing the District as governance spokesperson in conjunction with the Superintendent.”

Which calls into question – all of these recent political endorsements and fundraisers that President Gina Tarvin has recently been making – ALL THE TIME WEARING HER TAXPAYER PURCHASED NAMEPLATE identifying her elected title – have they been voted on by the board or even discussed?

I reached out to trustee Norm Westwell who told me, “None of these events have ever been discussed. I have brought it to the board’s attention time and time again but there appears to be zero interest in the subject.”

Here are just a few of Tarvin’s recent Facebook posts – made on a page that appears to be her official OVSD page (again, not the presence of her official “shield”):

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Where are the answers from the district on this? This is a trustee president out of control

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