Posts Tagged With: huntington beach

Opinion: Huntington Beach City Council needs to hold Wintersburg Task Force Chairperson Mary Urashima accountable for ethics violations

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In Huntington Beach, all city or elected officials, employees and members of boards, commissions, committees and task forces are required to take the following pledge:

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The red arrows I have added indicate the parts of the pledge that I believe Wintersburg Task Force Chair Mary Urashima violated by apparently targeting work relationships of mine via an attack she made on Twitter.

Some background: For a number of years, I (along with many others in the community) have grown suspicious of Urashima’s actions as task force chair. She stopped calling meetings more than one and a half years ago, she blocks and bans many community members from even engaging with the Wintersburg Facebook page and she will occasionally attack members of the community for daring to question or criticize her over her tactics in attempting to “acquire” a privately owned piece of property (the former Furuta family farm located at Warner and Nichols, purchased from the family by Republic Services). Many people, myself included, have questioned why the city ever created a task force to help negotiate/navigate a private land matter, and we have stated as such.

In the last week or so, the city appears to have re-evaluated its relationship with Urashima and the project because the task force has all but disappeared from the official city web site, and a source within city hall has confirmed to me that the task force has in fact been dissolved.

But that does not absolve Urashima of the egregious attack made upon myself and my livelihood in early March of this year, while she was still very much the Chair of the Wintersburg Task Force. Writing under her Twitter account “Surf City Writer” (which I am blocked from even seeing), Urashima posted the following, tagging the REELZ TV channel which air a TV show I co-host and executive produce, “It Happened Here” –

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For  the record, I have NEVER “incited disruption” at one of Urashima’s (or anyone’s) events in my life. That is an absolute lie. I have also not “targeted a Japanese American historic preservation project for five years with online harassment.” That is absurd. I have simply called out the behavior of Urashima, who in this very tweet of hers validates essentially what I and many others have accused her of: lying, attacking and worst of all, using race as a leverage to support her false claims.  What’s most telling is the “evidence” that Urashima includes in her attack to support her wild claims. It is a statement of mine simply commenting on the fact that she has not had a task force meeting in more than one and a half years. What does it say about a person that uses something so innocuous to support her lies, all while targeting a company I do business with? Despite my numerous disagreements with Urashima, I would never even think of contacting established business relationships of hers to drag them into this mess. I don’t even know what she does for a living, nor is it any of my business. Yet for some reason she felt comfortable doing this. And she didn’t stop there.

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I reached out to Urashima privately to ask her to explain why she did this, and was ignored.

The First Amendment is, without doubt, one of our most cherished institutions. But even the First Amendment has limits, and Urashima’s false statements about me cross the line. This is especially true with respect to the statements intended to interfere with my business relationships with Reelz, and others. Merely because she disagrees with me on political matters, she has set a course intended to completely disrupt my livelihood by preventing me from making a living. The First Amendment does not protect this conduct.

By willfully and deliberately posting false information about me, and directly contacting a company that I am involved with, I think her intent was clear. I believe that the Respondeat Superior legal doctrine can be invoked in this situation. This doctrine holds an employer or principal is legally responsible for the wrongful acts of an employee or agent, if such acts occur within the scope of the employment or agency. And I think that holds up here. All that said, these are legal matters that will be left to the experts to sort out and make decisions against.

For now however, I think it is crystal clear that Urashima violated all of the points highlighted above and even if the task force is now disbanded, I still think the city has an obligation to admonish Urashima for her willful and destructive actions. And example needs to be set so that all future representatives understand how serious the code of conduct pledge is. She was a city representative when these actions occurred, and I am calling on city council to take a stand against this behavior.

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Huntington Beach Local Scott Weiland Dies – My Christmas Interview With Him

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(photo by Charles Epting)

Sad news with the death of singer Scott Weiland, just 48 years old. Weiland attended Edison High School here in Huntington Beach, and his band Stone Temple Pilots regularly played Night Moves on Warner and Springdale during their early years. I interviewed Scott a couple of years ago when he released an album of Christmas standards. He was ridiculed by many for the release, but in speaking to him, you could tell it meant the world to him. Right after this, I saw him perform these songs at the Galaxy in Santa Ana and while the crowd gave him flack for ignoring his well known hits, he ignored them and stuck to what he wanted to do.

Here is my interview:

Two-time Grammy® winner Scott Weiland loves the holidays, so much so that he has just released ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ from Rhino. Featuring many popular Christmas classics, the album also includes the singer’s own original holiday song, ‘Happy Christmas And Many More.’ The seeds for the album were planted two years ago when Weiland first performed ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ on ‘The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.’ Inspired by Frank Sinatra’s legendary 1957 recording of the song, Weiland took things to the next logical step, which was a full album. In addition to traditional renditions holiday favorites, Weiland also includes a reggae version of ‘O Holy Night’ along with several other surprises.

Accompanying the album, Weiland wrote this heartfelt note: ‘I hope this music, a labor of love from all of ‘us,’ finds you and touches your heart and soul. For that was the purpose of it. Not just these fabulous musicians but moreover, it was the absolute intent of the original writers, players, and legendary icons from days long gone. I have to pause and wonder…whether it be Frank, Bing, or Nat King Cole himself. Are these times really so different? A lot of these tunes were written during times of strife within our country and, in fact, around the world. Whether it be the depression or wartime, when these Christmas messages were sent out to men & women of our armed services in a fox hole or hospital, just as today those brave souls who dare to give it all.’

Weiland got into the holiday spirit in a recent discussion with Chris Epting about the album.

This album will be a surprise to many ears.

(Laughing) I know! To my kids, included. But what can I say? There are things as an artist that just become so inspiring, that you have to answer the call. For years I’ve wanted to do this, in this way, and I’m totally proud of the results. I hope people are surprised, but that they understand how important this was to me.

Have your kids heard it yet?

Just little pieces of it. It’s hard being divorced, especially during the holidays, but my ex and I find a way to make it work and keep the holidays special for our two kids. But they’ll be hearing the whole thing soon when I see them.

Is there one holiday song that stands above the rest for you?

I’d have to say ‘The Christmas Song,’ by Mel Torme. He co-wrote the song, so I think he had a special feel for it. But there is something about his voice that resonates with me in a way no other does. His nickname was ‘The Velvet Fog.’ When you hear his tone and texture, you realize what a perfect nickname that was.

You add some new touches to some of the songs, like the reggae approach to ‘O Holy Night.’

I wanted to at least try a few new things because people are so familiar with many of these songs already. As an artist I feel you have to do that. But I didn’t want to do to too much. I mean, these songs are pretty well built already.

Any idea where an album like this might lead you in the future? Towards some other standards perhaps?

You never know. I keep an open artistic mind. But I will tell you; this was an amazing experience for me. This era of songwriting is something I loved when I was growing up, and I would love to explore some more of these in the future. They just pull you in. they are so emotional and real.

What about holiday TV classics? Do you have a favorite?

Definitely, ‘Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.’

What is it about that one?

Well, great story and characters. But it’s the Winter Warlock that still gets me. When they give him the toy choo-choo train, and his heart melts, it’s so beautiful and makes such a statement about the human condition. How he changes his ways. That made a huge impression on me.

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RIP Scott Weiland.

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Audio: Interview With Huntington Beach Mom Whose Son Brought Home Muslim Parody of “Fight Song”

12274591_10208213096912105_2439262037767929882_nHuntington Beach mom Nichole Negron, whose son attends Spring View Middle School in the Ocean View School District, shared parts of a school journal project her son had been assigned – a project not intended to be brought home until the end of the semester. Concerned given the content, she posted the work in a local Facebook Forum and almost immediately, the issue became a heated, widely shared story that resulted in three news trucks parked outside the school board meeting last night.

I spoke with Nichole this morning to gain a deeper perspective on what happened exactly and what her thought were just 24 hours after she brought this explosive topic to the public’s attention.

 

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“We ran as if to meet the moon…” Robert Frost

The “blood” moon/total lunar eclipse is captivating everyone tonight, it seems. How nice to see the skies get so much attention; remember, there’s a show each night, clouds permitting, and though the wisps over Huntington Beach tonight have obstructed some of this celestial magic, they made you appreciate every second of clarity, and there were some dazzling moments.

Tough to capture photographically, yet the essence is there….

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