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By Joseph Serna | May 15, 2009
A Newport Beach police department lieutenant claims that the city’s “corrupt” promotional process foiled his chances at a vacant captain’s position last year and his filing a grievance about it was futile because of conflicts of interest in the system. Lt. Steve Shulman, a police veteran of 28 years and president of the union that represents the police department’s managers, is seeking no less than $100,000 in damages from Newport Beach, according to an amended claim filed with the city Monday.
By Brianna Bailey | April 9, 2009
The Newport Beach City Council will decide Tuesday whether to allow a drug and alcohol recovery home to remain open after a hearing officer ordered it to close in part because it is near two businesses that sell alcohol. In January, Balboa Peninsula-based Newport Coast Recovery became the first drug and alcohol recovery home denied a use permit under a controversial ordinance to regulate the homes the city passed last year. The 29-bed men’s treatment center has appealed the decision.
By Tom De Simone | April 6, 2009
On the steps of Los Angeles City Hall, a middle-aged man tells a crowd of young gay-rights activists what it was like to live in the era of Harvey Milk: ?We felt like we were so close to full equality,? he says, ?like we could reach out and grab it.? Yet 30 years later, the passage of Proposition 8 reminds us that progress can be slow. For young people who believed that we grew up in an era of seemingly increasing acceptance, Proposition 8 has been a shocking and brutal assault.
By TOM TITUS | April 1, 2009
Back in 1939, when Europe’s Jews were suffering the most unspeakable form of discrimination, those in Atlanta spent much of their time discriminating against one another — when they weren’t caught up in the cultural phenomenon at their local movie theater where a little flick called “Gone With the Wind” was premiering. Such are the ingredients of Alfred Uhry’s “Last Night of Ballyhoo,” a Tony Award winner on Broadway a dozen years ago, now on the stage of the Newport Theater Arts Center in an occasionally uneven but overall entertaining production.
By Brianna Bailey | March 13, 2009
The Newport Beach-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation home Narconon agreed to refund a Florida man’s money on Friday after he sued, claiming his brother was sexually molested, forced to scrub pots and pans and take unspecified pills that made him ill at the treatment center. “The parties are settling for a full refund. Any allegations in the lawsuit are never going to get to trial,” Frank Hollander said, an attorney for the two Florida brothers. “The parties are amicably resolving their differences.
By Joseph Serna | March 6, 2009
Newport Beach Police Sgt. Neil Harvey wasn’t teased more than anyone else and was refused promotion to lieutenant because of his failed leadership, not because of rumors he was gay, members of the department testified in his civil trial Friday. Harvey has shown a pattern of “not being able to deliver a message or let things go,” Police Chief John Klein testified Friday. The chief finds himself at the center of Harvey’s lawsuit claiming he was discriminated against because false rumors he was gay compromised his ability to lead and alienated his superiors.
By Joseph Serna | March 4, 2009
The Newport Beach Police Department continued to come under fire during a civil trial Wednesday, as more officers and employees told jurors of rampant homophobia that even led people to believe one sergeant had AIDS. “I knew three or four gals who dated him but wouldn’t admit it because they were afraid other guys wouldn’t date them if they’d dated Neil Harvey,” testified Kendra Duerst, a video producer for 12 years with the department. “Because everyone thought he was gay, he may or may not have AIDS.
By Joseph Serna | February 25, 2009
No one will debate that Newport Beach police Sgt. Neil Harvey stands out among his peers. It’s just a matter of why that now has he and the chief sitting opposite each other in a Santa Ana courtroom. On one hand, the police department and the city claim that while on paper Harvey’s résumé looks good, with a master’s degree, 18 years as a sergeant and several awards, it doesn’t translate to leadership in the field. On the other, Harvey claims that in the last 11 years he has scored among the top potential officers due for a promotion, and that it’s just among his superiors he is tripped up. You see, Harvey’s never been promoted because many in the department think he’s gay, and discriminate against him because of that, he claims in a lawsuit filed in 2007 for unspecified damages.
February 13, 2009
President Obama recently announced his intention to maintain his predecessor’s faith-based office in the White House without making a key change he promised on the campaign trail: That organizations receiving federal money couldn’t discriminate on hiring on the basis of religion. What do you think of the president’s decision to allow religious organizations receiving federal grants to hire only people of the same religion?   I think President Obama simply applied common sense in making the decision to leave the present policy unchanged.
By JOSEPH N. BELL | November 19, 2008
Many years ago when Cesar Chavez and his followers were leading demonstrations all across California for decent wages and working conditions for farm workers, an old friend of war days and journalism battles called me from Laguna Beach to join him and the protesters there. When my response was a long, long, long pause, he said: “That’s not your style, is it?” It wasn’t. Much as I supported the farm workers, I didn’t go. Instead, I wrote a magazine article extolling Chavez and his cause.
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