Monthly Archives: June 2013

Remembering his roots…

As a leader in Garden Grove and the United States, Garden Grove City Councilman Chris Phan has fought tirelessly for immigrants and refugees from his ancestral land: Vietnam.

He knows first-hand how hard their plight is. Let’s just say that Vietnam, for all its beauty and cultural wonders, is no marquee country when it comes to human rights.

Recently, Phan was honored in Baltimore, Md., to accept the Walk of Courage Award, presented by Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, a Washington, D.C., non-profit group.

The award honors former refugees for courage, determination and commitment to giving back to others.

–Brady Rhoades

Happy trails, Alan

I received an email from Alan Trudell, public information officer for the Garden Grove Unified School District, last week and, well, I was happy for him and unhappy for myself.

Happy for him because after 32 years as a consummate professional in his position, he’s retiring effective June 30. He deserves it.

Unhappy for myself because there’s not a PIO out there who makes my job easier.

I get school news from Alan all the time – mostly in the form of press releases. Almost without fail, they’re timely, newsworthy and written soundly and in AP Style. Editing Alan’s press releases is a breeze.

Moreover, he’s always been a class act. The district has big shoes to fill.

Following is an excerpt from the email Alan sent:

“It has been a pleasure to serve the GGUSD community and work with so many outstanding media professionals over the years … The district … is in the process of reviewing candidate applications. I expect a new PIO will be on board sometime this summer …  As you might know, the new superintendent effective July 1 is Gabriela Mafi, Ed.D., currently assistant superintendent of secondary education.”

–Brady Rhoades

Grads: say cheese!

The Garden Grove Unified School District is one of the biggest in the county. This week, its high schools are holding graduation ceremonies.

We can’t cover all of them.

That’s where you, our readers, come in.

We’d love to run as many graduation pictures as possible in the coming weeks’ papers, and online. And we know we’re living in a society where EVERYONE, it seems, has a camera handy.

So … send as many photos as you’d like (high resolution, in JPEG form) to Editor Brady Rhoades at Please identify the school where the graduation was held and, if possible, the people in the photos.

And here’s a guarantee: we at OCN will splash the pictures all over the newspaper, our website and our Facebook page.

Bring ‘em on!

–Brady Rhoades

Bad guys beware: grandma’s got a gun

I’m working on a story about an intruder trying to break into a 72-year-old Stanton woman’s home.

First, kudos to this grandmother’s Rottweiler, who would not stop snarling and barking as the intruder tried to enter through the front door and then a sliding glass door.

The dog’s barking caught her attention, so she grabbed her Smith & Wesson .357 magnum and, when she saw the intruder on her property, called 911.

Here’s a direct excerpt from that 911 call that taped what grandma told the hoodlum: “Back up, you son of a (expletive). Back up. Get out of here.  Get your butt out. Now!”

Then she fired. The bullet tore through the window and came within inches of striking the man. By then, police had arrived. They set up a perimeter and eventually arrested the suspect, who was charged with attempted burglary.

Full story still to come…

–Brady Rhoades

A glorious time for grads…

Garden Grove high schools are planning their graduations, which start June 18.

Yep, it’s milestone time on the high school scene: proms, grad nights, graduations and on to … who knows? College, trade school, work, what have you.

The graduation schedule is as follows: June 18 – La Quinta High School, 6 p.m. at Bolsa Grande stadium; June 19 – Bolsa Grande High School (1:30 p.m. at the school stadium), Garden Grove High School (1:30 p.m. at the school stadium),  Hare Continuation High School (6 p.m. on campus), Lincoln Continuation High School (noon on campus), Los Amigos High School (7:30 p.m. at Garden Grove stadium), Pacifica High School (7:30 p.m. at Bolsa Grande stadium), Rancho Alamitos High School (4:30 p.m. at Bolsa Grande stadium) and Santiago High School (4:30 p.m. at Garden Grove stadium).

Look for coverage of these events in the Orange County News. We can’t get to all the ceremonies, but we’ll give it our all.

And to the grads: congratulations and onward!

–Brady Rhoades