A defense of the morality of capitalism

Presidential candidates and the media keep telling people “it’s immoral” that a few rich people have so much more money than everyone else.

They talk as if it doesn’t matter what the rich did to get the money. Instead, the fact that they are rich is itself immoral.

Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute says this is lunacy. “They want to condemn the people that actually have moved civilization forward,” Brook complains. “People who improved the standard of living for everybody on the planet.”

Everybody? How is that possible? Isn’t there a certain amount of money in the world, so that when rich people grab a lot there’s less for everyone else?

No. Because wealth can be created.

But for thousands of years, that barely happened.

“We basically made about $2 a day for 100,000 years — in other words, we could eat what we farmed,” recounts Brook. “Then (250 years ago) something amazing happened.”

That “amazing” thing was capitalism.

For the first time, ordinary people were allowed to profit from private property. Specialization of labor created efficiency that let people produce more with less. Then they traded to get more. That created wealth.

“Two-hundred and fifty years ago, we suddenly discovered the value of individual freedom,” says Brook in my new video. “The value of leaving individuals free to think, to innovate, to produce without asking for permission, without getting the state to sign off on it — and we call that the Industrial Revolution.”

But ever since, politicians have complained about the profits. In the movie based on Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged,” state officials demand that steel magnate Hank Rearden justify his wealth.

“I do not owe you an answer, but I could tell you in a hundred ways,” replies Rearden. “Thousands of jobs, billions in revenue, fueling our economy despite your efforts.”

Rearden was very right. Capitalism created new wealth.

“We got much, much, much richer, it’s hard to imagine,” explains Brook. “We got electricity, running water, things we all take for granted today but we didn’t have 150 years ago. And yes, some people complain about inequality, but everybody got richer. Even the poor got richer.”

Much richer. That’s the key point.

Capitalism’s critics imply that rich industrialists “took” money from others — as if the world’s wealth is one pie. If Amazon founder Jeff Bezos takes a big piece, then the rest of us have less.

But that’s not how life works. Bezos got rich by baking thousands of new pies. He created new wealth.

Capitalism creates wealth because under capitalism, unlike socialism, transactions are voluntary.

We see this every time we buy something.

At the coffee shop, I give a clerk a dollar and she hands me coffee. Then there’s a weird double “thank you!” moment: We both say “thank you.” Why?

Because both of us felt we were better off.

Under capitalism, we both must like the deal, or the transaction doesn’t happen. She wanted my dollar more than the coffee; I wanted the coffee more than the dollar. It’s win-win.

The only way to get rich under capitalism (unless you cheat) is to serve your customers well.

We live with that kind of winning every day in capitalist countries, and it’s made almost everyone better off.

Since the Industrial Revolution, recounts Brook, “We have more than doubled our life expectancy. We have dramatically increased the quality of our life, and we are wealthier than anybody could have imagined.”

Today’s “democratic” socialists say government must aid the poor and sick because capitalists will only help themselves. But Brook points out, “the weak and poor under capitalism have done better than in any other system!”

Very true.

Capitalism, he concludes, “is a fantastic system that is fundamentally moral because it allows individuals to pursue their own happiness. Your pursuit of your own well-being — a virtue in and of itself — also helps the world be a better world.”

John Stossel is author of “No They Can’t! Why Government Fails — But Individuals Succeed.”

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California budget epitomizes the ‘throw money at it’ approach

In a Politico interview this week, Gov. Gavin Newsom echoed themes that the state’s Democrats have been touting for years. They say California is leading the nation in bold new policy directions, such as toward universal healthcare. “That’s the real story coming out of California,” said Newsom. “A lot of the think tanks that are informing these presidential candidates, are informing their policies. But California is doing. We’re implementing.”

One need only go back to the previous week to see exactly what the governor is “doing” and “implementing.” That’s when Newsom and lawmakers agreed to a new budget, which spends a record $215 billion. Given the size of Democratic legislative supermajorities and the power of the party’s progressive wing, the budget was viewed as fairly restrained because it didn’t significantly raise taxes or include any monumental new programs, such as single-payer healthcare.

But disappointment from the Left does not obscure reality. The budget more than twice the size of the first budget Jerry Brown passed after he took over as governor eight years ago. It includes some fiscally responsible elements – boosts in the rainy day fund to help weather an eventual downturn and extra payments to pay down soaring pension debts – but no new ideas.

Actually, the budget epitomizes one of the oldest approaches known to government. That is spending as much money as possible on every conceivable program – except perhaps on fundamental ones such as roads, which receive a tiny percentage of the budget. There’s nothing creative or innovative within its fine print and nothing worth emulating elsewhere.

Progressives control the state’s politics. Reducing poverty and inequality are the highest priorities among proponents of that political philosophy. Sadly, California has the highest poverty rate in the nation, at a dispiriting 20 percent using the Census Bureau’s cost-of-living-adjusted standard. The state’s income inequality is “on display in the Bay Area, where the riches of Silicon Valley … sit uneasily next to growing encampments,” as Politico put it.

What does the budget offer to help fix that problem?

There’s a modest plan to allow housing development on state-owned surplus parcels to help boost housing supply and more state funding for low-income housing. There’s a plan to let young, low-income people, regardless of immigration status, sign up for Medi-Cal. There’s more money for early education, preschool, college tuition, mental-health programs, police training. There’s a mandate for people to have health insurance or face a fine.

California has been implementing such spending policies for years, but its poverty rates, debt levels, poor schools and crumbling infrastructure never get noticeably better. That’s because California rarely tries competitive, innovative or reform-minded strategies. Its top officials are stuck in a time warp where higher taxes, more regulations and bigger state bureaucracies are the only imaginable approaches.

Newsom’s budget expands services for the poor and “may alleviate (poverty’s) symptoms,” noted CalMatters columnist Dan Walters but “ignore(s) root causes of California’s highest-in-the-nation poverty.” That’s spot on.

If California’s Democratic officials really want to offer model for the nation, they ought to try something that addresses those root causes. Instead we get yet another round of stale and costly spending programs that, if copied throughout the country, will only make the nation poorer and lead it more deeply into debt.

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No bubble: Chapman forecasts mild housing rebound for Orange County


Dr. James Doti the former president of Chapman University. (STEVEN GEORGES, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER)

Chapman University economist Jim Doti sees no housing bubble to burst in Orange County.

Yes, countywide homebuying since last summer has run at its slowest pace since 2012. But Chapman’s semiannual economic outlook suggests the county’s housing market will enjoy a mild recovery as 2019 progresses.

Doti’s logic may surprise many people.

For starters, he explains that local housing prices — easily double national benchmarks — are “economically rationale given the county’s higher median income, amenities and proximity to the Pacific coast.”

Plus, housing suddenly looks not so pricey thanks to a sharp reversal in mortgage rates, which have driven borrowing costs down to near-historic lows.

ICYMI: Does California need another crash to create affordable homes?

Doti’s math shows a household buying a median-priced Orange County home in 2018’s third quarter spent 40% of their income to be a qualified borrower. By the end of this year, if the forecast proves true, cheaper mortgages mean the typical local home will cost only 33.6% of income.

However, Doti is by no means projecting any housing boom.

The forecast sees sales of existing homes rising only 1.3% this year, a change of pace from falling 9.7% in 2018. That modest buying uptick will boost the median price by just 1.2% vs. last year’s 4.8% gain.

The recent sales slowdown nudged local developers to cool building plans, a trend that won’t change soon.

Chapman forecasts residential building permit dollars will fall 2.5% this year which is actually an improvement as construction spending fell 13.4% in 2018.

Fewer dollars spent means construction jobs will grow only by 1.2% this year vs. 4.5% in 2018. And those lower mortgage rates won’t help workers in financial services: Chapman expects staffing to be cut by 0.9% this year after dipping 0.4% in 2018.

One reason the Orange County housing market will escape the recent rough patch is that bosses countywide will still be hiring, albeit at a slower pace.

Sign up for The Home Stretch newsletter. Get weekly housing news on affordability, renting, buying, selling and more. Subscribe here.

Job growth is forecast at 1.3% for 2019 vs. 2.1% last year. Increases in personal income will cool, too: 4.5% in ’19 vs. 5.6% last year.

And the moderating expansion will continue to be a drag on another major Orange County purchase: vehicles. Chapman forecasts auto spending will grow just 0.3% vs. 1.1% in 2018.

It should be noted that Orange County is by no means alone with an economic chill.

Look at employment trends elsewhere. The school predicts 1.5% more California workers this year, down from 2% growth last year. Nationally, job growth is pegged at 1.5% this year vs. 1.7% in 2018.

Still, Doti notes significant risks in local housing tied to real estate’s three magic words: Jobs, jobs, jobs!

“There is no question O.C. housing prices will fall more dramatically when we have our next recession,” he says. “The drop in median income caused by the recession will have an exponentially negative impact on prices. But that correction will be temporary and will eventually be ‘corrected’ when incomes increase again.”

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Dodgers drop another one-run game against Giants

  • The Dodgers’ Alex Verdugo dives to try to catch a deep fly ball hit by the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval during the third inning of Monday’s game at Dodger Stadium. Sandoval was held to a single. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda #18 touches the mound before the first pitch during their game against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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  • Giants starting pitcher Tyler Beede #38 during their game against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Alex Verdugo #27 makes a running catch on a deep fly ball hit by the Giants’ Steven Duggar #6 during their game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Giants’ Stephen Vogt #21 scores as Dodger catcher Austin Barnes #15 waits for the throw in the second inning during their game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Max Muncy #13 hits a solo homer in the second inning during their game against the Giants at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Max Muncy #13 rounds the bases after hitting a solo homer in the second inning during their game against the Giants at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Max Muncy #13 rounds the bases after hitting a solo homer in the second inning during their game against the Giants at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Max Muncy #13 heads for the plate after hitting a solo homer in the second inning during their game against the Giants at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 17: Second baseman Max Muncy #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is congratulated after his second inning home run hit againsgt San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tyler Beede #38 at Dodger Stadium on June 17, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor #3 catches a fly ball hit by the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval #48 during their game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda #18 hits a single in the third inning during their game against the Giants at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda #18 during their game against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda #18 during their game against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Dodger starting pitcher Kenta Maeda #18 grimaces after being hit in the hand by a ball during their game against the Giants at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez #14 catches a fly ball during their game against the Giants at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda #18 during their game against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 17: Brandon Belt #9 of the San Francisco Giants is out at second base as Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers makes a throw to first base that went wide resulting in an error that allowed Tyler Austin #19 to score a run in the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium on June 17, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 17: Austin Barnes #15 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on as Tyler Austin #19 of the San Francisco Giants scores on a throwing error by Chris Taylor #3 in the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium on June 17, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 17: Brandon Crawford #35 congratulates Tyler Austin #19 of the San Francisco Giants after he scored on a throwing error Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium on June 17, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy #13 makes the catch for the out on a line drive hit by the Giants’ Kevin Pillar #1 in the ninth inning during their game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. The Giants beat the Dodgers 3-2. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Max Muncy #13 slides into second base as the Giants’ Joe Panik #12 throws to first base during their game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. The Giants beat the Dodgers 3-2. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Giants pitcher Tyler Beede #38 during their game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. The Giants beat the Dodgers 3-2. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Joc Pederson #31 reacts during their game against the Giants at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. The Giants beat the Dodgers 3-2. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Giants pitcher Tony Watson #56 during their game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. The Giants beat the Dodgers 3-2. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Giants pitcher Tony Watson #56 during their game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. The Giants beat the Dodgers 3-2. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez #14 makes the stop on a ground ball hit by the Giants’ Kevin Pillar #1 in the top of the seventh inning during their game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. The Giants beat the Dodgers 3-2. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez #14 makes the stop on a ground ball hit by the Giants’ Kevin Pillar #1 in the top of the seventh inning during their game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. The Giants beat the Dodgers 3-2. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers pitcher Caleb Ferguson #64 during their game against the Giants at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. The Giants beat the Dodgers 3-2. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Giants pitcher Will Smith #13 in the ninth inning during their game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. The Giants beat the Dodgers 3-2. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 17: Russell Martin #55 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks back as Stephen Vogt #21 of the San Francisco Giants picks up a strike three foul tip in the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on June 17, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. The Giants won 3-2. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

  • The Dodgers’ dugout looks on in the bottom of the ninth inning during their game against the Giants at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. The Giants beat the Dodgers 3-2. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Giants pitcher Will Smith #13 is congratulated by catcher Stephen Vogt #21 after defeating the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. The Giants beat the Dodgers 3-2. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Giants outfielders hug after defeating the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Monday, June 17, 2019. The Giants beat the Dodgers 3-2. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The 2019 national champion UCLA softball team is honored before Monday’s game between the Dodgers and the Giants at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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LOS ANGELES — On the same afternoon the Dodgers and Giants renewed a rivalry spanning two coasts over three centuries, a television reporter asked Dave Roberts why it has persisted “despite the standings.”

The Dodgers have spent 84 days in first place in the National League West this season, the Giants none. But the standings are temporary, and the two teams played another close game Monday. Not until Giants closer Will Smith struck out Kyle Garlick in the bottom of the ninth inning did the finality of the Dodgers’ 3-2 loss sink in.

Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda (7-4) allowed two runs over five innings, settling in nicely after a rocky start. But the Dodgers’ offense did little against Giants starter Tyler Beede (1-2) and three relievers.

Max Muncy’s solo home run, his 17th of the season, accounted for one of the Dodgers’ five hits. Cody Bellinger hit a double in the eighth inning, went to third base on a single by Muncy, and scored the Dodgers’ other run when Chris Taylor beat out a potential double-play ball.

The Dodgers left eight runners on base and went 1 for 5 with runners in scoring position before an announced crowd of 42,479.

“We just took five walks from Beede and couldn’t put any other offense together,” Roberts said.

The Giants (31-39) and Dodgers (48-25) are 5-5 in head-to-head games this season, and eight of their 10 games have been decided by two runs or fewer.

Maeda needed 69 pitches to get through the first three innings, often pitching from behind in the count. His fastball command was sporadic. His slider was missing to the right. Something had to change.

“I felt my windup was a little off in the first inning,” Maeda said through his interpreter. “I was undecided in the second inning to go stretch or windup. I tried a little more from the windup but it didn’t work out, so I switched over.”

Maeda became more effective and efficient after pitching out of the stretch, even with no runners on base. In the fourth inning, he fielded a 98-mph comebacker by Evan Longoria that bounced once before striking Maeda on his right hand near his wrist. An x-ray performed after the game was negative.

Longoria was the second of seven consecutive batters Maeda retired in order. He exited after five innings, having allowed three hits, two walks and just the two runs. He struck out four batters.

The Giants took a 2-0 lead when Brandon Crawford doubled in a pair of runs in the second inning. Muncy’s home run, a 433-foot moonshot to right field, narrowed the Dodgers’ deficit to 2-1 in the bottom of the second. The gap felt larger than a single run.

Beede, a 26-year-old right-hander making his seventh major league start, allowed three hits and walked five batters over six innings. He struck out seven – including Taylor three times – en route to his first career win. Only four Giants have won their first career game at Dodger Stadium, and none in the last 20 years.

The Dodgers’ attempts at offense were few and mostly futile. Joc Pederson led off the fifth inning by poking a ground-ball single to the usual shortstop hole. That snapped an 0-for-29 slump.

With two outs, Beede walked Bellinger on four pitches, putting runners on first and second base for Muncy. Rather than take a pitch, Muncy hacked at the first offering he saw, a changeup off the plate, and hit a slow grounder to the right of second base. It took a spinning throw from shortstop Crawford, and a lunging catch at first base by Pablo Sandoval, to retire Muncy by a step. The inning was over, the baserunners wasted.

Sandoval was hurt on the play. Muncy stepped on his right hand running through first base, and Sandoval needed four stitches to close the wound. Perhaps the Giants’ best hitter in a trying season, Sandoval is day-to-day.

Tyler Austin pinch hit for Sandoval and drew a walk against Julio Urías to lead off the sixth inning. The next batter, Brandon Belt, walked too.

When Stephen Vogt hit a potential double-play ground ball to first baseman Matt Beaty, Beaty wheeled the ball to Taylor to retire the lead runner at second base, and Taylor threw the ball back to first base – where no one was standing to receive the throw. Beaty and Urías looked at each other as the ball sailed between them and into the Giants’ dugout. Austin was awarded a run on the tough-luck error on Taylor.

It was Taylor’s first error of the season, in his 653rd inning on the field. It was that kind of night all around for the Dodgers. After his slump-breaking infield single, Pederson motioned to preserve the baseball for safe-keeping.

“Offensively I think we’ve been very good this entire season,” Roberts said. “It was just one of those nights.”

“We took five walks from Beede and couldn’t put any other offense together…”

Dave Roberts on Kenta Maeda’s 5-inning outing and missed opportunities on the offensive end for the #Dodgers. pic.twitter.com/ViF8LIq9ug

— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) June 18, 2019

No splash this time but W🤯W. pic.twitter.com/X1DdH9Ow9Q

— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) June 18, 2019

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1 person hurt, 1 suspect sought in shooting at Costa Mesa strip mall

Detectives sought one suspect in a shooting at a strip mall in Costa Mesa that sent one person to the hospital early Sunday, June 16.

Police were summoned to Vista Plaza, 811 W. 19th St., between 12:00 a.m. and 12:30 a.m., Costa Mesa Police Sgt. Chris Walk said. There, in a parking lot, officers found one person who had been shot. He was taken to a hospital, said Walk, who described the victim’s injuries as non-life-threatening.

No arrests had been made in the shooting as of Sunday evening, Walk said. Investigators believe one shooter was involved in the shooting, but a detailed description of that person or further information about what led up to it was not immediately released.

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Galaxy’s Uriel Antuna scores a hat trick in Mexico’s dominant win over Cuba in Gold Cup

PASADENA — Galaxy forward Uriel Antuna started on Mexico’s preliminary roster for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Due to an injury to Jorge Eduardo Ramos, Antuna was taken off of the waiting list, Friday and added to the official 23-man roster.

At the Rose Bowl Saturday, in the first half alone, Antuna showed why it might be difficult to remove his name off of the starting lineup sheet going forward.

Antuna scored a pair of goals in the first half as Mexico built a 4-0 halftime lead and added another for the hat trick along with an assist in the 7-0 win over Cuba in the Group A opener for both teams in front of 65,527.

Walking off the field, Antuna summed up how he felt: “Perfect.”

Antuna scored in the second and 44th minutes and completed the hat trick in the 80th minute.

“I am very happy with the opportunity that coach Gerardo Martino is giving me,” Antuna told CONCACAF.com. “I am happy to be here. I always give my all at every national team level I have had the opportunity to play in. I am very happy I was able to score but the team played a great game, so I am very happy to be here.”

Despite his big night, Mexico’s coach Tata Martino warned not to place too much importance on Antuna’s night, although it might be too late for that.

“Don’t listen too much and don’t go on social media,” Martino said when asked what would he tell Antuna. “He takes things in a calm manner. It’s nothing more than a good night.

“I believe he took advantage of the opportunity he had tonight. He was concentrated all 90 minutes. He had an excellent attitude.”

Even against an over-matched opponent, it was more than just that. Antuna got the scoring rolling early and Mexico, considered the tournament favorite, never looked back.The margin of victory very likely should have been in double digits.

Raul Jimenez (31st) and Diego Reyes (38th) had the other goals in the first half for Mexico. Jimenez added another goal in the second half.

Alexis Vega capped the scoring with an easy tap-in on a pass from Antuna in the 74th minute. It was the first international goal for Vega.

“For me it is quite different to do analysis when you win a game like this,” Martino said. “It was great we started with the right foot and it gives us enthusiasm to face the other teams.

“We’ were expecting to do a great game,” Martino said. “We didn’t give up any opportunities in the 90 minutes and I think all of our objectives were achieved.”

Mexico will face Canada, Wednesday in Colorado in early showdown. Both teams are tied on three points in the group after the first day.

“The truth is Mexico has demonstrated since the friendly games that the team is ready for big things,” Antuna said. “The coach’s style of play is very clear, and I think we are going to do important things in this Cup.”

It was been a difficult week for Cuba, who arrived in town one day late due to Visa issues and had an issue with their uniforms arriving.

“The fact that our uniforms didn’t arrive or that we arrived late, wasn’t the reason we had this result,” Cuban coach Idaleberto Medero said. “We talked (Friday) about the impression of Mexican soccer. They had more talent than us …we need to correct and recover and face Martinique (Wednesday in Colorado). We will raise our heads and look forward because we had a match in three days.”

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A new development: How does that work?

One of the perks of my veteran status in the commercial real estate wars is I occasionally get to share my knowledge with a new person in the business. One such conversation occurred this week and it’s quite column-worthy. “How is a development deal underwritten?”

Following are the considerations:

Land

A new project requires buildable land. Duh! However, the land doesn’t have to be undeveloped presently. Specifically, in Orange County, many of the new projects are a redevelopment of sites containing obsolete buildings, such as the Boeing campus in Anaheim and the Beckman campus in Fullerton.

Both sites were bought, the old improvements were scraped and beautiful new structures emerged. As we venture east our likelihood of finding raw, undeveloped land increases. Each site has its own special mix of zoning, city entitlement processing, access, topography, and off-site challenges such as curbs, gutters, streets, utilities, etc. Finally, the land must be owned by a ready, willing, and able seller prepared to meet the market price a developer will pay.

Market demand

What are occupants craving? Generally, a developer must understand the mentality of the folks who will lease or buy the new buildings.

As an example, in North Orange County there is a shortage of available industrial buildings between 20,000-50,000 square feet. Coupled with this shortage is an acute demand for this kind of space. Conversely, another category – regional mall space – has a glut of availability. So now the developer’s task is to figure out a way to build a project of 20,000-50,000 square foot industrial buildings upon a site as described above.

Income stream

So once the new premises are complete what is our expectation of rent? This is tricky yet critical as the development’s viability depends upon this metric. Recent lease comparables, available stock and the direction of the market all must be taken into account. As an example, go inland and there are very few existing, vacant buildings 100,000-150,000 square feet for sale. However, the cavalry of new developments is coming as there are several projects under construction.

Cost to produce

Coverage: How many square feet can I build on the site? In simple terms, if the site is 1 acre (43,560 square feet) and I can construct 20,000 square feet, my coverage is 46%. Why is this important? Because all the cost categories follow.

If we pay $50 per square foot for the land — a total of $2,178,000 — we must now divide by the coverage in order to determine our land cost “under building.” Divide $50 per square foot by 46% and you get $108.69, which is the land cost component attributable to the building.

Now we layer in construction costs plus “soft costs” — things like interest carry — remembering that we have some time before the structures are finished. Now based on what we paid for the land and our estimate of construction and soft costs, we have an idea what our building will cost us to produce.

Exit strategy

Even though this item was left until last, it’s actually the first consideration in any development or investment deal. What’s the end game? Do I plan to lease the buildings and hold them as a long-term investment? Or should I simply sell them vacant upon completion and pocket the proceeds – less of course Uncle Sam’s, and Cousin Gavin’s taste? I could lease the product and then sell the income stream as a leased investment.

Regardless of the exit strategy, each has its own risk, reward, and profit potential.

So, in its simplest terms, there you have it: Development 101.

Disclaimer: Development may be hazardous your health and may cause extreme anxiety, heart palpitations, hair loss, rapid aging and is not for the faint of heart. Proceed with extreme caution.

Allen C. Buchanan, SIOR, is a principal with Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. He can be reached at abuchanan@lee-associates.com or 714.564.7104.

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‘Chernobyl’ shines light on bureaucratic absurdities

SACRAMENTO – One of the most gripping and remarked-upon scenes from the recent HBO miniseries “Chernobyl” came shortly after the nuclear reactor exploded and officials from the plant and government assembled in a meeting room to assess the situation and come up with a response. Do they tell the locals? Do they evacuate the nearby town?

One official argued against inciting panic and assured the group things were under control. Another man presented a dire scenario, and pointed to glowing air, a raging fire, people with burns and workers vomiting. The bureaucrats were in denial. Then an old Soviet apparatchik starts tapping his cane to get everyone’s attention and makes his pronouncement:

“How proud he (Soviet revolutionary V.I. Lenin) would be of you all tonight,” he said. “The passion you have for the people. For is that not the sole purpose of the apparatus of the state? Sometimes we forget. Sometimes we fall prey to fear. But our faith in Soviet socialism will always be rewarded. Now, the state tells us that the situation here is not dangerous. Have faith, comrades.” The group cheered.

And, so, officials downplayed the 1986 Ukraine disaster, squandering precious response hours — until two outspoken scientists and an open-minded government official begin investigating the mess and insisting on a more aggressive response.

There’s been much debate about the popular and well-done series. I heard one complaint that the series started with the nuclear explosion rather than building up to the cataclysmic event, but that was the fundamental strength of the production. The show wasn’t about a nuclear disaster per se, but about how a government, and individuals, reacted in the face of disaster.

Other critics have ridden their hobby horses. Pro-nuclear environmentalist Michael Shellenberger complained in Forbes, “I think it’s obvious that the mini-series terrified millions of people about the technology.” He picked on some inaccuracies in the series’ presentation of the effects of radiation poisoning and criticized it for repeating an “urban legend.”

Perhaps, but I agree with the tweet that Shellenberger reprints from the show’s creator: “The lesson of Chernobyl isn’t that modern nuclear power is dangerous. The lesson is that lying, arrogance, and suppression of criticism are dangerous.” Indeed, “Chernobyl” is not about nuclear power, but about government malfeasance and “administrative evil.” That refers to the way average people can do atrocious things if they are done under the auspices of legitimate authority. It refers to those who were just following orders.

A fascinating corollary is how people can do brave and selfless things within those same corrupt systems. My favorite character in “Chernobyl” was Boris Shcherbina, a high-ranking deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers. He was, as History.com put it, “an old hand in the ways of the system, its patterns of absurd quotas and preposterous deadlines.”

Shcherbina had no expertise in nuclear issues, yet was called to manage the situation. Instead of blindly following the party line, he took seriously the concerns of the scientists and worked within that absurd system to provide the tools needed to get the fire under control. The show spotlighted other heroes, too, such as the coal miners who risked their lives to tunnel under the reactor and the other workers who did what they had to do at great personal cost.

The most entertaining response to the “Chernobyl” series came from Russia. Moscow Times columnist Ilya Shepelin writes that “pro-Kremlin media have launched a mini-crusade against it” based largely in their shame “that an American, not a Russian, TV channel tells us about our own heroes.” A Russian production company is producing its own movie alleging that a CIA operative was sabotaging the plant, thus inadvertently showing the continuing relevance of the plotlines.

Americans have their own takes, of course. “This state, run by delusional old men chasing, imprisoning, and shooting millions of their fellow citizens in a ‘circle of accountability,’ controlled thousands of nuclear weapons pointed at the United States and its allies,” wrote Tom Nichols in the Atlantic. That view of Soviet Russia certainly is true. The series was an indictment of a totalitarian society, but it’s not only an indictment of that defunct government.

Others say “Chernobyl” teaches lessons about our ongoing modern political drama. As Peter Maas wrote in the Intercept, the show tells us much about the “deceit of the Trump era” because it highlights the “destruction of truth” by a government committed to self-preservation. There’s some truth there, but “Chernobyl” touches on themes that are much bigger than that.

In reality, the “Chernobyl” series is so powerful because of what it says about all bureaucracies, and not just any particular system. It’s about each of us as individuals and how we would react in the face of similar dangers and official absurdities and misinformation. Would we cheer the man with the cane and follow the official process ­— or risk our lives to do the right thing?

Steven Greenhut is Western region director for the R Street Institute. He was a Register editorial writer from 1998-2009. Write to him at sgreenhut@rstreet.org.

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Graduation 2019: Brea Olinda High, in Brea, commencement photos

Brea Olinda Unified School District’s Brea High celebrated its Class of 2019 at a commencement ceremony on Thursday, June 13, on campus.

  • New graduate Rania Jaradat, left, takes a selfie with her sisters Jeneene, center, and Dania after the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Kaylen Cradle reacts when she sees her family in the stands as she enters the stadium to begin the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Parents react when they see their son or daughter enter the stadium during the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduates take their positions at the start of the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • History teacher Johnpaul Wilson, left, gets a hug from Isabella Ortega after she received her diploma during the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Brea Olinda High’s principal, Dr. Ixchel Sanchez, right, congratulates a graduate after she received her diploma during the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Andrew Ryan, right, gives coach Michael Baker a hug after after receiving his diploma during the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Jacob Anquiano gives the “hang loose” hand sign as he enters the stadium to at the start of the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Callalily Egan wore spectacular earrings for her graduation during the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Nathan Wyse points out his diploma to his family in the stands during the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • New graduates throw their graduation caps into the air at the conclusion of the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • New graduates embrace at the conclusion of the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Jaylene Hernandez, center, is all smiles as joins fellow graduates in their seats during the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Faith Wood waves to her family as she stands in line to receive her diploma during the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • New graduate Rayna Alonzo, center, is joined by her family for a fun group photo following the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • New graduates line up for a group photo after the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Daniel Parahnevich, left, and his girlfriend Ashley Chen hold up photos of Parahnevich’s sister and graduate Liza during the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Seung Yeon Choi waves to her family in the stands during the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • John Cruz waves to his family in the stands during the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduates motion with their arms as they sing the school’s alma mater at the conclusion of the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Efren Zuniga, left, struggles to pick up his son Efren, Jr. as his family members, right, laugh at his efforts following the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • New graduate Marcellus Brown, center, is photographed with his parents, Frankie and Cheryon following the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • New graduates Keona Saltas, left, and Rachel Spadt celebrate after the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Hundreds of family members and graduates pack the field for celebration and photos after the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Craig Smith, left, takes a photo of his granddaughter Khalil Morton against the school banner after the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduating seniors sing “Season of Love” from the musical “Rent” during the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Melanie Oliva, center, gives the valedictorian address during the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • As graduates and their families celebrate, John Ojeda, a custodian at Brea Olinda, begins stacking chairs following the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • After the majority of graduates and families left the stadium a few stayed around for a few more photos after the 2019 Brea Olinda High School commencement ceremony in Wildcat Stadium at Brea Olinda High in Brea on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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Graduation 2019: Fountain Valley High in commencement photos

Huntington Beach Union High School District’s Fountain Valley High celebrated its Class of 2019 at a commencement ceremony on Wednesday, June 12, at LeBard Stadium in Costa Mesa.

  • A graduate shows off her diploma to her family in the stands during the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Joely Knoob jumps off the platform after receiving her diploma during the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Trinity Kuiland, 17, left, gets a hug from her boyfriend Jaylen Flores, 17, after he graduated at the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A graduate shows off her diploma to her family in the stands during the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Carranza family hold up photos of graduating senior Giselle Carranza, 18, as she enters the stadium at the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Moises Prado lifts up his son Christian after he graduated in the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • New graduate Jerome Dovan, 18, left gets a hug from his mother, Vananh Nguyen after the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A graduate does a dance around his diploma he laid on the field during the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Thousands of parents and family members attend the 2019 Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A new graduate celebrates after receiving her diploma during the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A graduate points to his family in the stands after receiving his diploma during the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Family crowd around a railing to photograph their graduation senior during the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A new graduate celebrates after receiving his diploma during the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A new graduate celebrates after receiving her diploma during the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A new graduate celebrates after receiving her diploma during the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A new graduate gets a high-five from a faculty member during the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A new graduate shows her diploma to her family in the stands during the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A graduating student gives the thumbs up during the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A new graduate does a dab after he receives his diploma during the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Joely Knoob celebrates after receiving her diploma during the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • New graduate Marlon Atuatasi, 18, is loaded down with leis after the 2019 Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduates pose for photos after the 2019 Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • New graduated Jamal Assaf, 18, poses for a photo with his family after the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • New graduates embrace immediately after the 2019 Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • New graduate Ivy Duong, 17, left, poses for a photo with her nephew Zed Apricio 6-months after the 2019 Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A family gathers for a photo after the 2019 Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Hundreds of graduating students take their seats during the Fountain Valley High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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