The year 2020 is nearly over and most of us are glad to see it go. Still, it wasn’t all bad, and even the sad aspects might prove to have a lesson we need to learn. So here’s The Tribune’s look back at the year for our coverage area (Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Stanton and Westminster broken into three installments. This one will touch on events of January through March.
A recall election aimed at three members of the Westminster City Council – Tri Ta, Chi Charlie Nguyen and Kimberly Ho – was scheduled for April 7. • Westminster City Manager Eddie Manfro announced his retirement after nearly eight years in the job. • Two competing Tet parades were held, one in Garden Grove and one in Westminster. • Laker legend Kobe Bryant and three other people were killed in a helicopter crash. • Garden Grove Mayor Steve Jones told an audience at the annual State of the City event that the city has “tapped into a formula for wild success.” • Sherry Johnson was chosen to be interim city manager of Westminster, a position she still holds nearly a year later.
February: Beginning of Willowick epic
Olympic diving legend Greg Louganis was tapped to be the celebrity grand marshal for the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival parade, an event that was later cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. • Patrick Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs to a come-from-behind 31-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. • Local high school league basketball champs included Garden Grove (champs in both the boys and girls races in the Golden West League), Los Amigos (Garden Grove league boys), Santiago (Garden Grove girls) and Huntington Beach (Surf League boys). • The re-start of construction on the “rusty skeleton” – officially the Garden Grove Senior Village commenced. • Marina High’s girls’ water polo team won the CIF-SS Division 6 championship. • Joe Biden won the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary, beginning a surge that would carry him on to a path to the White House. • Orangewood Academy’s girls’ basketball team won the CIF 2-AA girls basketball title. • Garden Grove City Council declared the Willowick Golf Course to be “surplus land,” beginning a tug-of-war over the future use of the 101.50 acre site owned by Garden Grove but located in Santa Ana. •
March: Virus impacts, fears take hold
Shaken by worries about the effects of the coronavirus on the economy, the Dow Jones Average dropped by 7.8 percent on March 9, the biggest decline since 2008 and the onset of the Great Recession. • The COVID-19 crisis led to the cancellation, postponement or suspension of the NCAA basketball tournament, the major league baseball season, and the “temporary” closure of Disneyland. • President Donald Trump declares a “national emergency.” Local cities followed with their own emergency declarations. • For the first time in its history, the Strawberry Festival is cancelled. • Most local schools are closed and shift to “online instruction.”
April: Pandemic and protests
The Huntington Beach City Council votes down a proposed temporary ban on evictions. • A record number of people applied for unemployment in the U.S. • Mask-wearing became national, state and local policy. • The attempt to recall three members of the Westminster City Council went down to defeat. • Seventeen people were fatally shot in an incident in Nova Scotia, Canada. • A temporary homeless shelter was approved by the Huntington Beach City Council. • The U.S. coronavirus death toll passed 50,000. • An experimental drug was shown to be effective in lessening the impact of the coronavirus on some patients. • Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered most Orange County beaches closed, a move that led to lawsuits and protests.
Categories: Year In Review