That noise you’re hearing? Cash registers in downtown Santa Ana restaurants. Adam Elmahrek reports on the burgeoning restaurant scene in Artists Village.

While they were celebrated Monday, many veterans in Orange County remain in dire straits, and the county has fewer resources for them than other large counties do.

And on Friday, Norberto Santana Jr. finally got the list of executives who the Orange County performance auditor says received questionable raises.

Another big, early weekend story was the back-and-forth reports on Huy Pham’s toxicology reports.

It started Thursday when the Daily Pilot’s Joe Serna wrote this story about a coroner’s report that supposedly showed Pham had cocaine in his system when he jumped to his death from City Hall on March 17.  The Register followed with its own dispatch.

Then the Register’s Barbara Venezia reported that Costa Mesa Police Chief Steve Staveley was questioning whether it was actually cocaine that was found in Huy Pham’s blood. Late Friday afternoon, the Register filed this story based on an interview with a doctor who said that the substance in Pham’s blood is very likely cocaine.

In other Costa Mesa news…

Costa Mesa continues its budget process with another study session.

Speaking of the budget, a fascinating story in the Daily Pilot on the recent drop in crime and the implications on police spending.

Another story in the Pilot indicates that Costa Mesa city officials have spent less on legal issues since they contracted out the service several years ago.

In other, non-Costa Mesa news over the weekend …

Activists in Hungtinton Beach seem close to preserving 44 acres of wetlands called the Newland Marsh near Beach Blvd and PCH. The LA Times has a good write up here.

The California Chamber of Commerce lists its “job killer” list of bills coming out of Sacramento. The only OC legislator on the list is Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Anaheim) with AB 350, which calls on contractors to keep on state employees in cases when they take over public services. Here’s a link to the list.

It looks like Garden Grove’s iconic Crystal Cathedral is headed toward a second life as a big apartment building.


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