FighterTown: Part Arcade, Part NASA Simulator

NEAR EL TORO MARINE BASE, CA — While U.S. Marine aviators rocket above in F-18s, amateurs soar through computer-generated skies in mock F-111s, F-14s, and F-16s in a warehouse that’s a hybrid between arcade and NASA training center.

By Marc S. Posner
Saddleback Valley Voice
Time and place both factor into the appeal of this story. This was a period when Marine Corps Air Station El Toro was active and there was a sense of community pride around the military facility.

Fighter Town, USA is based on realism, but geared for entertainment. Continue reading “FighterTown: Part Arcade, Part NASA Simulator”

Representation on Orange County’s Board of Supervisors Yet Another Classic North vs. South Battle

North and South. Some of the most classic battles have been divided that way: The Civil War, the NCAA’s all-star football games and just about any issue in Orange County.

By Marc S. Posner
Saddleback Valley Voice
This story was awarded second place in the non-breaking news category in the Orange County Fair’s press awards in July 1996. I’m honored that it was recognized. I’m proud of both the reporting and the writing.

In the late 1980s, a slow-growth initiative — that would have capped development in South Orange County — failed at the ballot box. More recently, the North approved the El Toro airport measure.

But a more subtle battle has been won by the North.

Never has a South County resident sat on the Board of Supervisors.

Seems hard to imagine, especially considering the five-member body is elected by geographic area.

But, the basic boundaries — that put Fullerton and Rancho Santa Margarita in the same district — were inked long before the Mission Viejo Co. began attracting residents to its artificial-lake-side community. Continue reading “Representation on Orange County’s Board of Supervisors Yet Another Classic North vs. South Battle”

New Edwards Theaters Light the Way

IRVINE — Been through the El Toro Y at night lately and confused it with the drive into Las Vegas? Don’t worry, it’s just the Irvine Entertainment Center.

By Marc S. Posner
Saddleback Valley Voice
Reading this today, the lede may seem a bit hyperbole, but considering the lack of development — remember, there was an active military airport essentially adjacent — at the time, the feeling of seeing the Irvine Entertainment Center (now the Spectrum) was a lot like the first glance of State Line when headed to Las Vegas.

With more than five miles of neon lights, the 21-theater, restaurant-laden complex opened to star-struck eyes this week. Continue reading “New Edwards Theaters Light the Way”

Dueling Del Tacos

LAKE FOREST — Look out the window of the Del Taco on the corner of El Toro and Trabuco roads and across the street you’ll see … another Del Taco.

By Marc S. Posner
Saddleback Valley Voice
This story was plain fun to report and even more fun to write. The lede is snarky, appropriate to my style.

Relax, there’s no need to rush to the optometrist. Continue reading “Dueling Del Tacos”

Bus Riders May Get Route Awakening

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA — It’s four minutes until 6 a.m. and Tim Barnett walks up to a bus stop at the corner of Santa Margarita and Antonio parkways — a backpack slung over his shoulder and a skateboard in tote under his arm.

By Marc S. Posner
Saddleback Valley Voice
Government agencies take action and we in journalism frequently boil that down to a vote and a quote (or two). But, how does it impact people? Sometimes you have to experience to understand.

So begins the daily trek into his Irvine office. Some 40 minutes will elapse between the time he starts his 1.5-mile, skateboard-powered, downhill trip from home to the bus shelter until he gets off the 17-seat mini-bus. Continue reading “Bus Riders May Get Route Awakening”

Rape Outrages, Binds Community

LAKE FOREST — Some crimes are so heinous, they’re destined to change the dynamics of a community.

By Marc S. Posner
Saddleback Valley Voice
This was a difficult story to report and a difficult story to write. It happened walking distance from my home, which made it even-more important to check my emotions. Still, the story needed emotion — which means it had to come from others.

The rape of a 9-year-old girl who was walking home from a short trip to buy school supplies when she was yanked into the thick bushes at Serrano Creek Community Park on Saturday night is that type of crime. Continue reading “Rape Outrages, Binds Community”

Three Escape Apartment Fire with Only Their Lives

WEST NEWPORT — Three people jumped out a burning upstairs apartment leaving behind everything except their lives — something officials say they’re lucky to have.

By Marc S. Posner
Daily Pilot
This story is designated as a favorite in large part because of the lede. The claim, though, is a reaction to the first responders assessment of the situation and is backed up in the account.

Continue reading “Three Escape Apartment Fire with Only Their Lives”

Doctor by Day, DUI Cop by Night

If you’ve had too much to drink, Barry Schleider has one goal: To get you off the road.

By Marc S. Posner
Daily Pilot
Twenty-plus years later, I still remember details of the night I spent on patrol with Dr. Schleider. The stories he recounted come to mind frequently, and his cautions are never far, either. This is still one of my favorite reads.

Schleider, a doctor by day and a Costa Mesa reserve police officer by night, is one of the county’s top drunken driving enforcers and has dedicated his moonlighting police career to getting so-called deuces off the road.

In the last reporting year — from July, 1993 through July, 1994 — they numbered 124. Continue reading “Doctor by Day, DUI Cop by Night”

Riding Along with the Bike Patrol

WEST SIDE – The first thing you’re likely to notice about Officer Ed Sutton’s black-and-white is that it’s got only two wheels and runs on pedal power.

By Marc S. Posner
Daily Pilot
It’s quite likely I’ve never worked harder for a story (though there was that unplanned trip to Arizona after a full day at work) than this one. It certainly was the most-unique ride along I ever had.

The second comes in the form of hellos and smiles from those he passes as he propels the 21-speed Raleigh bicycle along his patrol route.

That positive reaction is in stark contrast to the way many police officers feel they’re perceived by members of the community – especially in areas such as Costa Mesa’s West Side because members of immigrant communities often are reluctant to interact with police. Continue reading “Riding Along with the Bike Patrol”

Lost Gem Returned to Rightful Owners

NEWPORT-MESA — Spotted on Thursday: Sun.

By Marc S. Posner
Daily Pilot
This was an El Niño year and it rained and rained and rained every single day. And rain, my friends, isn’t why you seek a reporting position at a beach-town paper. Worse than the rain, were the daily requests from the editors for a weather story. This one really broke the final straw for me when I was asked for another weather reax. “Um, it didn’t rain yesterday.” “Good — write about that.”

Albeit though fleeting glances masked by often-dark cloud cover, Southern California’s top attraction marked its return to the sky after nearly a week’s hiatus. Continue reading “Lost Gem Returned to Rightful Owners”