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THE GARDEN GROVE

FOOTBALL SEASON GARDEN GROVE AND WESTMINSTER SHOULD PLAY HOST TO MUCH DRAMA. PAGE 1 3

JOURNAL ALSO SERVING WESTMINSTER AND MIDWAY CITY

AN EDITION OF

THURSDAY, AUG. 1 5, 20 1 3

OCREGISTER.COM/GARDENGROVE

A CUT ABOVE

Bobby Ogata, 57, cuts 9year-old Fionn Tameifuna’s hair at Bobby’s One at a Time Barber Shop in Westminster last month. Ogata, a recovering heroin addict, served 26 years in prison for robbery and burglary.

After learning to cut hair in prison, Bobby Ogata is now making a huge difference on the outside.

PHOTOS: KEVIN LARA, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER BY DOUGLAS MORINO ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

T

ucked next to a liquor store on Westminster’s northwestern edge sits Bobby’s One at a Time Barber Shop, a small place with four leather chairs and a steady stream of customers. A red, white and blue barber’s pole is painted on the window. Inside, waiting clients browse through piles of news and sports magazines. Hair clippers buzz. And there is the owner, Bobby Ogata, an affable man with an easy smile and a checkered past. “You know what’s cool?” said Ogata, 57, on a steaming afternoon during a brief break between haircuts. “A lot of the guys, I’ve been cutting their hair a long time.” Indeed, many clients have been getting their hair trimmed here since Ogata started barbering after his release in 2001 from prison, where he spent 26 years for crimes of robbery

‘‘

I always wanted to be part of something bigger than myself. I paid the price for that.” B O B B Y O G ATA BARBER

S E E B A R B E R ● PA G E 4

City Council designates honorary landmarks BY DOUGLAS MORINO ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Some of Garden Grove’s busiest – and most historic – areas have been designated honorary landmarks. The move to recognize Little Saigon, the Korean Business District, Main Street and the Grove District was proposed earlier this month by Councilwoman Dina Nguyen and aimed at growing tourism and building business in the areas. “This will help,” Nguyen said, pointing specifically to an effort to support local businesses. “Not too many people know about Main Street.” She hopes tourism bro-

chures will point out the designations. The City Council unanimously approved designating the areas as landmarks during Tuesday night’s meeting. Merchants with Korean ethnicity began opening stores along Garden Grove Boulevard about 25 years ago, and in 2002 the council designated a twomile stretch of the thoroughfare between Brookhurst Street and Beach Boulevard as the Korean Business District. Today, there are 2,000 Korean businesses in the area, the highest concentration in Orange County, city officials said.

Little Saigon, home to the largest number of residents of Vietnamese heritage outside of Vietnam, formed in 1975 with a small cluster of stores nestled among strawberry and orange fields. Today, the 20-acre area has 4,000 businesses, according to city estimates. The city’s Main Street is home to several longstanding businesses that are among the city’s first; among them – Zlaket’s Market, which opened in 1927. A new effort is underway to revitalize the nearby area. The Grove District, the stretch of Harbor Boulevard that is home to highrise hotels serving the Anaheim resort area, has been the focus of a redevelopment push by the city since the 1990s.

Shelter provides help, hope for downtrodden families For many down on their luck, Thomas House is a godsend.

Former Thomas House resident Debbie Fulk, center, is shown with her children Kelsey, left, Hanna and Tyler Kemp.

BY DOUGLAS MORINO ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Ten years ago, Debbie Fulk had nowhere to go, no job and little money. “I had nothing,” Fulk said on a recent afternoon. “I was devastated. I had no desire and no hope.” Fulk found the Thomas House Temporary Shelter in Garden Grove. Her story is a common one at the nonprofit facility, which serves families from across South-

GREG ANDERSEN, FOR THE REGISTER

ern California – many residents are victims of domestic violence. Tucked in the city’s Buena Clinton neighborhood, the two-story building consists of a cluster of one- and two-bedroom apartments. Palm trees sprout from a center courtyard. Chil-

dren’s murals cover walls. This year marks the 27year anniversary of Thomas House, started by Garden Grove resident Mary Selz, 76, and her late husband, Bernie, who died in 2010, to combat Orange S E E S H E LT E R ● PA G E 3


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