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NEWS
By Michael Miller | August 31, 2010
For the last eight years, Shirley Dettloff has gone in for regular appointments at a clinic whose patients appear far removed from her own walk of life. She drives her own car to the waiting room at 8041 Newman Ave., while many of the other clients walk or take the bus. She sits in the small waiting room, surrounded by young families with strollers, and often surmises that she is the only person in the room with health insurance. Dettloff, the former mayor of Huntington Beach, joined the Huntington Beach Community Clinic Board of Directors shortly after leaving the City Council in 2002.
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NEWS
By Michael Miller | April 20, 2011
In a bold, politically charged move that may incite protests and charges of discrimination, Huntington Beach plans to host its annual Easter Hunt on Saturday. That's right, Easter Hunt. Not Spring Hunt or Community Hunt or any other term that prudently avoids slighting any segment of the population. Easter is on the calendar this weekend, and at the risk of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit, it's back in Surf City as well. Without delving too far into my political or religious beliefs, I'll confess that I'm a pretty liberal fellow.
NEWS
By Michael Miller | November 24, 2010
"A horse walks into a bar, and the bartender says, 'Why the long face?'" Rainn Wilson was telling the audience his favorite joke Thursday at Barnes & Noble in Bella Terra. "The Office" actor had come to talk about his spiritual book, "SoulPancake: Chew on Life's Big Questions," but it was only a matter of time before comedy entered the discussion. An audience member asked Wilson, who plays Dwight Schrute, to give them his favorite gut-buster. "I never get tired of that joke," Wilson said.
NEWS
By Michael Miller | February 22, 2012
Last week, I judged a competition where entrants had to have a grabbing lead, a dynamic storytelling style and a wealth of information condensed into a finite number of words. I'm talking, of course, about Poetry Out Loud. For the second straight year, I got invited to help preside over the annual event sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, in which high school students dramatically recite poems from memory. Friday afternoon, a dozen students vied at the local competition at the Orange County Department of Education headquarters in Costa Mesa.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Miller | April 6, 2011
When HP Laborde finishes his pet project, it may be the mother of all music videos. And the music video of all mothers. Laborde, the leader of the Huntington Beach-based band A Choired Taste, has embarked on a project to create a DVD tribute to his mom, who died April 10, 2010. He hopes to have the video available by Mother's Day. And as Mother's Day gifts go, this one is elaborate to say the least. The song, "To Mom," runs about four minutes, but the list of contributors sounds almost as hefty as the team on Britney Spears' latest album.
NEWS
By Michael Miller | September 28, 2010
It will be a day without politics at Bolsa Chica. Officially, anyway. Over the last three decades, the coastal area has been the center of one controversy after another, as developers dug in their shovels, officials debated and environmentalists campaigned to preserve open space. When the Independent sought to identify the top story of the 2000s last year, it didn't take long to decide — the words "Bolsa Chica" showed up in our archives for the last 10 years more than any other proper name.
NEWS
By Michael Miller | January 26, 2011
Robyn Monroe considers sailing a character-developing activity for kids, one that encourages teamwork, courage and responsibility. And she can provide at least two examples. The first is a boy, about 9 or 10, who attended the Huntington Beach Sailing Foundation's summer program on financial aid last summer. The boy appeared shy and quiet when he arrived, keeping to himself and rarely talking to others. The staff, figuring he might need a little seasoning, put him in a beginner's class.
NEWS
By Michael Miller | November 30, 2011
I asked my mother once if I ever believed in Santa Claus as a child. She shook her head and replied, "You were always suspicious. " It was probably the sign of a budding journalist. Growing up, though, I knew quite a few people who did believe in the jolly red man — and I later came to wonder what it was like to play Santa, especially for a credulous audience. How did one respond to irrational gift requests? Were there any crisis situations that came up? So when I heard that Huntington Beach resident Tim Robbins was returning for his second straight year playing Santa in the city's annual downtown Tree Lighting Ceremony, I arranged an interview.
NEWS
By Michael Miller | June 6, 2011
It's the spot where Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Hideo Nomo and other legendary pitchers faced down batters over the last 50 years. Next week, Dodger Stadium will play host to a tough hurler of a different kind. Dan Kanne, a Huntington Beach resident and former board member of the Shipley Nature Center, is set to throw out the first pitch at the Dodgers' June 18 game against the Houston Astros. He may not be in the running for the Cy Young Award, but he'll have one honor this season — courtesy USC, which selected him as one of three patients to toss out the first ball at Dodgers games this year.
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