Monthly Archives: July 2013

Sorry ducks, you’re out of luck

Duck feeders: I know you mean well.

I know it’s difficult to resist feeding those harmless, plump, cute-as-can-be creatures as they cruise the waters at Civic Center Park in Garden Grove.

But here’s a hard truth: you’re doing more harm than good. Feeding bread – especially the stale kind – to ducks poses potential dangers for the animals and pollution problems for the city.

Straight from city parks representatives: Bread has no nutritional value for these animals and an overabundance of it leads to many health problems, including excessive weight gain. The excess weight makes it more difficult to fly, which hinders the ducks escape from predators. Having a readily available source of food reduces the need for the ducks to migrate, which results in overcrowded grounds. In addition, the leftover food poses a pest problem, as rats, mice, and insects flock to the park to consume the uneaten bread.

Sorry, ducks. On this score, you’re out of luck.

–Brady Rhoades

Gadfly or watchdog?

Garden Grove resident Tony Flores isn’t afraid to speak his mind.

Especially when it comes to his City Council.

Is he a gadfly (a nuisance, in other words) or just the kind of government watchdog we need?

I’ll let you decide.

And look for his letter to the editor in this week’s edition of the Orange County News. If nothing else, it’s provocative.

Here’s an excerpt:

Meanwhile in Garden Grove, every current City Council member has preached about “diversity” but not one of them actually means it when it comes time to proving it. We all have heard about the ethnic diversity that makes up Garden Grove with the numbers of Hispanics or Latinos, Caucasians and Asians while our council has had at least four different opportunities to appoint a Mexican, Hispanic, Latino or whatever name makes them comfortable to the Garden Grove council, but the council failed time and again to walk the walk after excessively talking the talk.

–Brady Rhoades

Deterring drunk drivers

The Garden Grove Police Department Traffic Unit will be conducting a DUI/driver’s license checkpoint on Friday, July 19 from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Department officials didn’t disclose where the checkpoint will be held.

I’ve always wondered why police departments publicize these checkpoints. It seems like they WOULDN’T want to publicize them. That way, they’d catch more drunk drivers.

But it’s all about deterrence.

Read on.

Research shows that crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough, according to the Garden Grove Police Department.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies.

“DUI checkpoints have been an essential part of the phenomenal reduction in DUI deaths that we witnessed since 2006 in California,” said Christopher J. Murphy, director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “But since the tragedy of DUI accounts for nearly one third of traffic fatalities, Garden Grove needs the high visibility enforcement and public awareness that checkpoints provide.”

Makes sense to me.

–Brady Rhoades

“Comet” Carlson, others earn honors

It’s no secret that Pacifica High School in Garden Grove is a NATIONAL powerhouse in girls’ softball. The 2013 campaign was another stellar showing, with the team going to the semifinals of CIF playoffs, winning 25 outings on the season and finishing as one of the top-ranked teams in the state.

Now, the post-season honors are rolling in.

It was recently announced that Mariners ace Kaylee “Comet” Carlson accepted the Empire League’s Pitcher of the Year award while eight of her teammates earned All-Empire League status.

To give you an idea of how dominant the “Comet” was, consider these numbers: a record of 19-1-1 and an ERA of .062. My goodness, Dodgers superstar Clayton Kershaw would be proud of such numbers.

–Brady Rhoades

Seven years for severing his…

This is a family newspaper, so I’m going to keep it clean.

As clean as possible, under the circumstances.

Catherine Kieu, a Garden Grove resident, was recently sentenced to seven years to life in prison for chopping off her husband’s you-know-what, then grinding it up in a garbage disposal. The official conviction: felony torture and aggravated mayhem.

I must say, I had to read it twice. Seven years?

The victim’s statement during the sentencing phase of the trial said it better than I can: “I now struggle with what is before me. She has torn off my identity as a man. She has caused doubt in my belief in good. She has betrayed my trust in people,” said the victim, who lived with Kieu in Garden Grove.

Here’s how it went down: Kieu, upset at her husband for wanting to split up with her, laced his dinner with the sleep-drug Ambien and when he was knocked out she tied him to the bed, took a 10-inch knife to his you-know-what and reportedly told him “You deserve this!”

She then did the deed and mutilated the member in the garbage disposal.

Seven years to life. Not 20? Note 40? It makes you shake your head.

–Brady Rhoades



Mayor’s party is NOT public

Mea culpa. A couple weeks ago, I received an invitation to Stanton Mayor David Shawver’s July 4 shin-dig.

I assumed he sent it to me to promote in the paper. In other words, I assumed Shawver was hosting a community party for Stanton. He sends me stuff all the time. When it’s more personal or off the record, he usually calls.

Well, you know what they say about assuming?

Turns out, Dave was inviting me and maybe 100 others. Not — I repeat NOT — everyone in Stanton. So … unless you have been personally invited by the Shawvers, please do him the courtesy of not showing up to his house on Independence Day. The guy’s got a lot on his plate. He doesn’t need 5,000 people on his property when he can only accommodate 100 or so.

And … while his plate is full, yours will be empty if you DO show up uninvited, because the guy is a politician, not a restaurateur.

Thanks in advance for doing what’s right, not to mention saving Dave a migraine headache and yours truly a couple weeks’ worth of embarrassment.

–Brady Rhoades


NEWS FLASH: Former police chief dead

Look for more on this as it develops, but it’s been confirmed that former Westminster Police Department Chief James Mitchell Waller has died after a recent bicycle accident.

Waller, 32, was struck from behind by a car while biking on Laguna Canyon Road with a friend, according to authorities. The friend was also struck and hospitalized in serious condition.

We’re working on getting information about the woman who struck him and if any criminal behavior is suspected.

Waller worked for the Westminster Police Department since 1984. He was promoted to chief in 2009 and retired a short while later.

More to come…

–Brady Rhoades