Year In Review

A grim year finally winds up

THE SILVERADO fire, started on Oct. 26, was declared 100 percent contained on Oct. 29 (OCFA photo).

Here’s the third and final part of The Tribune’s look back at 2020. Oh, and Happy New Year to all of you.

September:  Fall arrives, wild fires, fiery debate

The number of COVID-19 deaths in Orange County passed 1,000. •  The City of Stanton finalized a deal to convert two motels into housing for the homeless. •  Orange County moved from the purple (widespread) tier on coronavirus infections to the less restrictive red (substantial) category, easing some restrictions on business. • Wildfires scorched in Los Angeles County, presaging a series of brush blazes that continued for months. • An extension on a proposed plan to develop condominiums on Civic Center property in exchange for a new city hall was approved by the Westminster City Council. • Plans to reopen schools in the Garden Grove Unified School District were recanted, leading to at leastone protest rally. • U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at 87. • Amy Coney Barrett was nominated by President Donald Trump to take the Supreme Court seat formerly held by Ginsburg. She was later confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a narrow margin. •  Donald Trump and Joe Biden faced off in the first presidential debate in a contentious verbal clash in which Trump made 77 interruptions to Biden’s 22. • The Anaheim City Council voted to sell 150 acres of land around Angel Stadium to Arte Moreno.

October: Lakers and Dodgers fans rejoice

The Los Angeles Lakers won their 17th NBA title in a six-game series against the Miami Heat. •  Huntington Beach Police Chief Robert Handy retired. His time in that post was marked by public criticisms from the police officer’s union. • The popular Sprout’s Farmers Market will be coming to Garden Grove, to be built on the location of the former Vons Pavilions supermarket, it was announced. • Kelly Rodriguez, acting chief of police for Huntington Beach, announced her resignation. • The Los Angeles Dodgers won the 116th World Series, beating the Tampa Bay Rays four games to two. • Huge wildfires in eastern Orange County sent ash and smoke into the air for days while firefighters battled the blaze.

November: The month of decision

A record number of votes were cast in U.S. elections on Nov. 3. At the national level Donald Trump took an early lead but that was overwhelmed by mail-in ballots counted after the polls officially closed. It would take until Nov. 7 for all major news organizations to call the election for the Democratic ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. • At the local level, most incumbents did well, but there were some new faces in the winners’ circle. New council members were chosen in Westminster (Carlos Manzo) and Huntington Beach (Tito Ortiz, Dan Kalmick and Natalie Moser). David Johnson is a new member of the Westminster School District governing board. • Julian Harvey was selected as interim police chief for Huntington Beach. • Another extension was granted for possible development of housing on the grounds of the Westminster Civic Center. •  Orange County was dropped into the more restrictive “widespread” purple tier.

December: A bad year winds down, badly

U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr said there was no “widespread fraud” in the Nov. 3 election, contradicting claims by President Trump that the election had been stolen by Democrats. • The Bond Fire in the Silverado Canyon burned thousands of acres. • Kim Carr was chosen as the new mayor of Huntington Beach. New city councilmember Tito Ortiz was chosen as mayor pro tem. • The Westminster School District board voted to “pause” hybrid education in its elementary schools. • A “Stay at Home” order was issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom for areas – such as Orange County – that were in the “purple” tier. It is widely ignored. • Hospitals are jammed with coronavirus cases as the “third wave” of the coronavirus rages on.



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