Miss Cal, happy dragon, Tito

JAZMIN AVALOS (center with roses) is the new Miss California. She’s from Garden Grove (Miss California pageant photo).

The new Miss California, Jazmin Avalos, came to the pageant in Fresno last month as Miss Los Angeles County by way of Garden Grove.

Avalos, 24, is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton and has worked for the Garden Grove Unified School District. Her success was a study in persistence – it was her sixth time in the state finals, four as a Miss California contestant and twice competing as Outstanding Teen starting at the age of 14.

In addition to the crown and a trip to the Miss America pageant, she was awarded a $20,000 scholarship.

“I knew God has a plan for every single one of us,” said Avalos after her win. “I was just happy knowing we all did our best. When they called my name I was at peace knowing I had done my best and it’s all in God’s plan.”

One controversy after another?

The short (six month) tenure of Tito Ortiz on the Huntington City Council was nothing if not controversial. It ended with his resignation and now the council is faced with filling the vacancy, which can be done via a special election (expensive!) or by appointment (likely to be controversial).

TITO ORTIZ resigned his seat on the Huntington Beach City Council. Who will fill the vacant seat?

On Friday and Saturday the council will meet in special closed sessions to interview candidates, which might take a while, considering that 190 people have tossed their hats into the ring.

Among the hopefuls two names stand out, based on their public profiles. One is Gracey Van Der Mark, who finished fourth in the 2020 council election (the top three are elected) and Oscar Rodriguez.

Van Dar Mark has been a controversial figure, which some critics have compared to Ortiz. Her views on race and ethnicity have resulted in her being removed from citizen’s panels in the Huntington Beach City and Ocean View School District.

Finishing fifth in the 2020 election was Rodriguez. The city clerk’s office has received many e-mails advocating for one or the other.  Supporters of Van Der Mark argue –generally – that she should appointed to fill the vacancy because she was the next highest vote-getter.

Supporters of Rodriguez cited his extensive community involvement as well as the fact that, well, he wasn’t Van Der Mark.

Stay tuned. The next regular meeting of the city council is set for Tuesday, July 20.

Enter the dragon on Main Street

There aren’t many chain operations on Garden Grove’s historic Main Street, but one is coming soon.

DO YOU feel lucky? Phuc Long Coffee and Tea Shop is coming to downtown Garden Grove.

Later this month, a Phuc Long Coffee and Tea store will open, making it the first one of its kind in the United States. The modern look and open floor plan will bring a different visual element to an area that is the city’s original central business district, where some buildings retain the red tile and white stucco style adopted in the 1930s in the wake of the 1933 Long Beach Earthquake.

The chain began in 1968 in what was the Republic of Vietnam and has grown to 82 locations in Vietnam. It comes to Garden Grove where about 40 percent of the population is of Vietnamese descent.

There’s been some giggling over pronunciation of the name. We’ve been told that the English translation is “Happy Dragon.” So, welcome to the dragon!

“Usually Reliable Sources” is posted on alternate Thursdays.

Leave a Reply