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Looking ahead to 2011

January 05, 2011|By Britney Barnes, britney.barnes@latimes.com

Life in Huntington Beach is never dull, and anything can become an issue with the city's flock of community activists, vocal neighbors and concerned parents. This year promises to stay just as interesting. Here is a list of items sure to keep making news in 2011:

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Community Garden

With the T's crossed and the I's dotted, it's just a matter of time before Huntington Beach residents are growing their own fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers.

The City Council approved a five-year lease agreement with Southern California Edison to create the Huntington Beach Community Garden on an almost 2.5-acre piece of land southeast of Atlanta Avenue and Brookhurst Street and adjacent to the Santa Ana River. With the community garden on the way, Councilman Devin Dwyer hinted a second garden could be in the works. In the meantime, residents are expected to be able to start cultivating their plots as early as late February.

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Poseidon

A $350-million project that would create 100 million gallons of fresh water a day for Orange County made strides last year, but whether it can keep the momentum and jump over a hurdle will be something to look out for this year.

The Poseidon Seawater Desalination Plant project is only one approval away after receiving the blessing of the Huntington Beach City Council and the State Lands Commission last year. The project needs a Coastal Development Permit from the California Coastal Commission, but an appeal of the city's approvals of the project was filed with the commission and was determined to have merit. The commission will hold a public hearing on the issue.

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James Roberts

A former Huntington Beach police officer accused of 20 felony charges, including rape and sodomy, is expected to begin trial this year.

James Roberts III, 34, is expected to start trial Feb. 14 for charges of rape, sodomy, false imprisonment by violence or deceit, criminal threats, domestic battery, aggravated assault, dissuading a witness and vandalism at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.

Before the trial starts, Roberts will go to pretrial Jan. 14. Roberts faces a maximum sentence of nearly 24 years in prison if convicted of all charges against his wife and alleged mistress.

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Sunset Beach

After 106 years of independence and more than a year in the lurch, Sunset Beach was expected to officially become part of Huntington this month, but a lawsuit puts the date in the air.

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