Reporting on social justice and public affairs sets my soul aflame. I've written about the benefits and controversy of needle exchanges, the opioid epidemic, the journalism crisis, the Non-Toxic movement, the rights of the disabled, nuclear waste protests, and scribed the stories of those who gave up everything to protest at Standing Rock. 

[UPDATE]: The Orange County Needle Exchange Is Fighting To Provide Services To Santa Ana, Orange, Costa Mesa and Anaheim

[UPDATE: 06/06/18 at 12:18 p.m.] Andrew Do, the chairman of the Orange County Board Of Supervisors, released a statement on behalf of the Board stating that the OC “needle giveaway” was a “proven failure” after allegedly removing 14,000 needles from the Santa Ana Riverbed. In a meeting on Tuesday, June 5, the Board Of Supervisors unanimously adopted a resolution to oppose the pending application with the California Department of Public Health for a mobile needle giveaway program in Orange County

Orange County’s Original Coffee Man, Martin Diedrich, Moves His Family’s Java Legacy Forward [OC People 2018]

Tucked in a nook on the western side of Costa Mesa is Martin Diedrich’s wholesale coffee roastery, the place where all Kéan Coffee’s beans are roasted prior to being sold in grocery stores and other retailers. If you close your eyes and inhale through your nose, it smells as if you’re swimming in a cup of Joe. Lifetime-achievement awards, articles and photos of Diedrich’s family are mounted on the olive-green walls near the entrance. In the lounge area, a magnificent vintage coffee roaster sits

Santa Ana Shuts Down The Only Needle Exchange Program In Orange County

America’s opioid crisis can be seen right in our backyards. Over the last decade, Orange County has developed a massive drug problem—specifically with heroin and prescription opiates—which has taken the lives of thousands of people. In February 2016, Orange County opened its first needle exchange—a progressive and essential move for an opioid addicted, conservative town with a population size larger than some states. Every Saturday from noon to 3pm, people fled the Civic Center in Santa Ana to g

Activists Protest Plans to Bury Nuclear Waste at San Onofre State Beach

Nearly 80 people gathered in Laguna Beach on Saturday to protest Southern California Edison’s (SCE) plan to bury 3.6 million pounds of nuclear waste at San Onofre State Beach in San Clemente. According to Public Watchdogs, SCE has supposedly obtained a permit from the California Coastal Commission that not only authorizes them to bury the deadly waste, but also permits them to store it in thin-walled canisters 108-feet from the high tide mark. SCE is expected to dump the waste in mid-December.

OC Residents Still at Standing Rock say the Fight has Just Begun

Eric Massimino of Huntington Beach hopped on a bus that took him and 40 other water protectors to an area of desolate highway in North Dakota where Energy Transfer Partners had begun lying pipe. They surrounded the machinery and prayed while they watched construction decimate an area of sacred land. Within 30 minutes, nearly 50 riot police bulldozed through the protectors, spraying mace from massive extinguishers. Massimino hustled back to the bus, when an older native was tackled and maced dire

#BoycottLAWeekly Protests Planned; Upcoming LA Weekly Event 'Sips and Sweets' Canceled?

At what used to be called press time, LA Weekly was still scheduled to host a "Sips and Sweets 2017" event at the Petersen Automotive Museum this Saturday, where dozens of advertisers, potential advertisers and vendors were scheduled to gather to help the paper raise funds while providing good times to the public. But according to longtime LA Weekly columnist and renowned word weaver Jeff Weiss—who's now organizing the #BoycottLAWeekly campaign—the event has been canceled. "I fully expect them

LA Weekly Interim Editor Hillel Aron Suspended Over "Extremely Offensive" Tweets

It seems the new LA Weekly owners are doing everything they can to make up for their missteps since they laid off the majority of the editorial staff on Nov. 29. As a way to hopefully make peace with the #BoycottLAWeekly-iers, Brian Calle and David Welch moved staff writer Hillel Aron—the only editorial staffer Semanal Media didn't lay off— to interim editor-in-chief of the paper. But the Wrap revealed in an interview with Aron that he and Calle had a pre-existing relationship and that Aron knew

Listen For Yourself: Milo Yiannopoulos Misused The Word 'Anthropomorphic' And His Trolls Blamed Us

On Tuesday night Milo Yiannopoulos spoke at Cal State Fullerton (CSUF) drawing a crowd of over 800 adoring fans, tons of media, groups of protesters and police. After spending nearly an hour discussing the ways in which censorship is wrong, political correctness and cultural sensitivity are bullshit and how the Left is whiny, we caught up with the conservative demagogue to ask him a few questions of our own. You can read the interview here. In the 15 minutes spent with Yiannopoulos, we spoke a

We Spent 15 Minutes With Milo Yiannopoulos After His Halloween Speech At Cal State Fullerton

Milo Yiannopolous, the former senior editor at Breitbart and conservative provocateur, brought the Troll Academy Tour to Cal State University Fullerton (CSUF) on All Hallows Eve. Over 800 people—mostly adoring fans—bought tickets to hear the charismatic, right-wing media personality speak in the Titan Student Union. Yiannopoulos is one of the most controversial figures in American politics right now. He’s a magnet for media spotlight because of his relentless rhetoric targeting anyone not align

Tustin Votes For Non-Toxic Pilot Program—So Why Aren't Non-Toxic Groups Celebrating?

Last week, the Tustin City Council met to discuss the possibility of a synthetic pesticide-free community. After nearly half a year of meeting with councilmembers, Non Toxic Tustin—one of the many "non toxic" groups formed as a result of Non Toxic Irvine's success in swaying the Irvine City Council to curtail the use of toxic pesticides— finally saw their item on the agenda. But unlike Irvine, the Tustin City Council voted to do a pilot program, or test run, on two parks in the city to gauge the

Orange County's First Needle Exchange Tries to Bring Hope to a Wretched Situation

Tanner (not his real name) sat in the stairwell connecting the first and second floors of a parking structure near the Santa Ana Civic Center on a recent, cold Saturday afternoon. His rib cage was visible through a snug, faded red T-shirt; his long, dark hair exaggerated the thirtysomething's jolty mannerisms. Snapping out of a trance, he glanced around, then grabbed something from a white paper bag between his legs. In one quick motion, Tanner rolled up his left sleeve, wrapped a rubber tourni

Irvine Company to Quadriplegic: Get Rid of Companion Dog, or Get Evicted

[UPDATE: July 8, 2016 10:55 am] This morning we received an email from Michael O’Loughlin’s lawyer saying that the Irvine Co. has decided not to hold O’Loughlin responsible for the attorney’s fees. The Irvine Co. has not responded to our request for a comment. After this article appeared, Irvine Co. spokesperson John Christensen contacted us to say that O’Loughlin will not be evicted from the Woodbridge Villas because “Versace is no longer on the premises and has been rescued by German She

Five Reasons Spraying Pesticides Over OC for Mosquito Control is a Terrible Idea

Cases of Zika and West Nile Virus have made headlines around the world over the last several months. And recently, some of those headlines have focused on instances of the mosquito-borne diseases in Southern California: 24 cases of Zika have so far been reported in LA County and 23 in San Diego county. That means Orange County is sandwiched between two Zika-positive places. So how do we protect ourselves? Officials from the Orange County Vector Control District (OCVCD) believe the best way to c