Across the Area

Source: Hockey star likes feeling “normal”

TEEMU Selanne, center, battles for the puck as he is sandwiched between teammate left wing Jason Blake and Philadelphia Flyers’ defenseman Braydon Coburn during an NHL hockey game at the Honda Center in 2010. He’ll be involved in a different kind of sandwich business later this year (File photo).

Teemu Selanne’s NHL career was indeed a storied one. A pro hockey Hall of Famer, his 15-year career with the Ducks in Anaheim – as well as other teams established him as one of the greatest ice hockey players of all time. Indeed, his 1,451 goals place him 15th on the all-time list.

After having conquered the hearts of fans in Anaheim, Selanne is set on conquering the stomachs of fans in Garden Grove with a new restaurant, The Penalty Box. It will be the burger, hot dog and fries entry at the SteelCraft urban eatery set to open this fall on Euclid Street, just north of Garden Grove Boulevard.

Of all the honors he’s won, he did finish (no pun intended) first in a contest as “Sexiest Man in Finland” one year. The one-time kindergarten teacher who’s played in Scandinavia, Canada and Southern California enjoys the anonyminity that being an Orange County guy offers.

“Right now, living in a place where people don’t recognize you when you go to the movies, I like that, too, because you can feel like a normal person,” he told ESPN. “Sometimes in Canada or back home in Finland, when you feel like just being a normal guy, it’s impossible to do.”


Speaking of familiar faces …

If you grew up in Garden Grove or had kids who did, you might remember Marie Knight. She worked for years in recreation activities in the city, even portraying an elf in a Christmas event. She rose to become the leisure services manager for the Big Strawberry and went on to run parks and community services operations in Orange, Newport Beach and Long Beach.

Now she is the newly-appointed director of community services for Huntington Beach. We at the Trib welcome her to her new post in Surf City.

The play’s the thing at the Cathedral

One of the signature events at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove back when it went by that name was the annual “Glory of Easter” pageant held annually in the sanctuary. Now the Christ Cathedral is planning a spring dramatic presentation of its own called “The Passion According to St. Luke” March 16-18 on the Freed Theater on the cathedral campus at Lewis Street and Chapman Avenue.

Unlike the extravaganza of the “Glory,” this stage version of Easter-time events will be a one-man play with a few simple props. Tickets will be $20 to $21.

Two sides of an All America city?

The Feb. 28 meeting of the Westminster City Council was quite loud and contentious. After much argument back and forth, the council voted 3-2 in favor placing on the ballot a special election proposal to extend the term of an elected mayor from two years to four years. If voters approved it in June, Mayor Tri Ta will see his tenure in office extended to 2020.

Proponents argued that a four-year term would give a mayor more time to implement his or her programs. Opponents asked “What’s the rush?” since the special balloting will cost an estimated $85,000.

Perhaps the most intriguing suggestion was raised during the meeting, was that “Westminster is a city divided.” How? Along ethnic lines?

According to the 2010 census, Hispanics and whites are about 49 percent of the population and hold two seats on the city council: one white and one Hispanic, while Asians are around 47 percent and hold three seats, including the mayor’s spot. Hispanics were are 23.6 percent and 23 percent for whites

In Garden Grove, by contrast, that census showed Hispanics were about 37 percent and Asians about 38 percent, while 26 percent were white. The seven-member council (elected by district) has four white members and three Asians (one of the members considers herself Asian-Hispanic).

For Huntington Beach, the seven-member council has seven whites in a city that’s 63 percent white, 13 percent Asian and 19 percent Hispanic.

Of course, those numbers are getting pretty old and there’s another count coming in 2020. It will be interesting to see just how race and ethnicity affect the voting public in 2018.




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