Sunday, May 31, 2015


The Shakespearean tale of disgraced Montreal politician Michael Applebaum begins a new chapter Monday, as his preliminary hearing gets underway on 14 charges, including fraud, breach of trust and conspiracy.The stakes are even higher for Applebaum now that some of the people arrested on the same day he was have pleaded guilty - including former borough councillor and federal Conservative candidate Saulie Zajdel, last Tuesday.
Applebaum rose from municipal councillor to borough mayor to become Montreal's  first elected Jewish mayor and first anglophone mayor in a century, only to see his political career undone by allegations of corruption.Now the man who said when he was sworn in as mayor in 2012 that he would "erase the stain on our city" is fighting to save his reputation and his political legacy.
From shoe store to mayor's chair
Applebaum ran his family's shoe store and worked as a real estate agent before he was elected as a city councillor for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in 1994.  
It was after Tremblay was forced to resign in 2012 amidst a corruption scandal that Applebaum cannily maneouvred his way into the mayor's chair. (Tremblay has never been charged with any crime.)He served as borough mayor of Côte-des-Neiges -Notre-Dame-de-Grâce from 2002 to 2012, and he headed the city's powerful executive committee under former mayor Gérald Tremblay from 2011-2012.
Turns tables on former colleagues
After Tremblay's departure it was up to sitting councillors to choose one of their own to serve as interim mayor.Applebaum began to distance himself from Tremblay and his party, Union Montréal, reaching out to opposition councillors to try to build a new coalition.  
The day he was sworn in as mayor in November 2012, Applebaum promised to clean up the city - even though he had served as a high-powered member of the administration that had been governing it for the previous decade. His gambit worked, and Applebaum squeaked by his former Union Montréal colleague, Richard Deschamps, when councillors voted in a secret ballot by 31 votes to 29.
"I solemnly vow that I will erase this stain on our city," Applebaum said."I vow that I'll be your eyes and ears and that I will get back what has been stolen from you," he said. "I will give you back your city."
Dark clouds
Applebaum's early days as mayor were fairly sunny.  He established good working relations with the PQ provincial government and then cut taxes and transit fares.But there were dark clouds on the horizon.The same day Applebaum created a new municipal police squad to fight corruption in January 2013, he was forced to dodge corruption allegations of his own. 
The French newspaper Le Devoir reported that Applebaum was being investigated by the Charbonneau commission over a real estate transaction in the city's Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.Applebaum denied it.
A month later, officers from the province's anti-corruption squad, UPAC, raided Montreal city hall."I will continue to work as the mayor of Montreal and keep working on clearing corruption," Applebaum said at a news conference.Applebaum again denied any connection."I am not under investigation - that's clear," he told reporters in front of city hall that night."I want to reassure Montreal citizens that we are here to cooperate with the police. From the time of my election, I've made it clear I want to shed light on corruption and collusion."
Arrested and forced to resign
The allegations eventually caught up with him.
Police charged him with 14 offences including fraud, conspiracy, breach of trust and corruption in municipal affairs.In June 2013, less than a year after he became mayor, UPAC swooped in to arrest Applebaum at his home.
All the charges were tied to his days as borough mayor of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.Applebaum resigned as mayor the next day, continuing to deny the allegations."Being mayor of Montreal is not a task one can do while defending themselves against accusations of this nature. This is why I am resigning as mayor of Montreal," Applebaum said in a statement."I have never taken a penny from anybody," Applebaum said.Applebaum received a $267,000 severance package, because of the many years he served as a municipal politician.
Accused of asking for bribes
Search warrant documents obtained by CBC in October 2013 revealed more details about the allegations against Applebaum.The documents show UPAC investigators suspected Applebaum was a key player in a system of corruption in his home borough.
The documents show UPAC investigators believed Applebaum was asking real estate developers for cash in return for zoning changes.Investigators took a keen interest in several major real-estate projects in the works in Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce while Applebaum was borough mayor, including the  McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) superhospital, the site of an old orphanage and an entire sector of the borough known as "the Triangle."
Working again in real estate
Applebaum has not spoken publicly since he resigned as mayor.But he did surface recently, returning to an old job.
Sometime in 2014 he started working again as a real estate broker.Salvatore Sansalone, the director of Imagine Realty, told CBC News in April he first met Applebaum more than a decade ago, when they worked at Royal Lepage together. "He is a real estate broker with a valid licence. Why should I not hire him?" Sansalone said. "I've had people come in from Montreal West and neighbouring NDG, coming into my office congratulating me...He's been a great character of the city. He's done great things," Sansalone said. 
Guilty pleas from associates
In the weeks leading up to the beginning of Applebaum's preliminary hearing, the two other men arrested the same day as the former mayor have pleaded guilty.The charges stem from two real estate deals in Côte-des-Neiges - NDG that allegedly involved tens of thousands of dollars in bribes.
Former Côte-des-Neiges - NDG city councillor Saulie Zajdel pleaded guilty last Tuesday to charges of breach of trust and corruption. Zajdel's lawyer, Jeffrey Boro, told CBC News pleading guilty was a difficult decision for his client."Mr. Zajdel has decided to turn the page, close that part of his life and move on," he said. The former director of permits for Côte-des-Neiges -NDG, Jean-Yves Bisson, pleaded guilty to fraud the previous Friday, while three other charges against him were dropped. Bisson admitted to accepting a bribe from two businessmen with alleged links to organized crime. 
Applebaum's day in court
Applebaum has consistently denied all charges against him and vowed to fight them.Last Thursday, his lawyer, Pierre Teasdale, told CBC News in an email that the guilty pleas from Zajdel and Bisson will not change that.?"
Not only will Mr. Applebaum maintain his plea of not guilty, but he will vigorously defend himself against the charges he is facing and insist upon bringing the case to trial as soon as possible," Teasdale said in the statement."The conclusion of the files of Mr. Bisson and Mr. Zajdel have nothing to do with my client's case, and we are totally indifferent to them," Teasdale said.


Protesters take part in a large anti-austerity demonstration in MontrealPolice detained 50 people protesting cuts to social services in Quebec Saturday night near Parc Émilie-Gamelin in Montreal.
The protest of about 75 people was ended about 30 minutes after it began at 7:30 p.m. It had been declared illegal for moving against traffic, and no itinerary had been given said Montreal police spokesperson André Leclerc.
Protesters were kettled at the corner of Dézéry St. and Ontario St. E., and ticketed under section 500.1 of the Quebec Highway Safety Code for blocking traffic.
Some protesters briefly entered the Berri-UQAM metro station during the protest.
No arrests were made. 
The Gazette
Fascism does not come suddenly, but a little at a time, so you hardly notice. 
Phyllis Carter


Werner Von Braun was not the only Nazi murderer that was welcomed into the United States after World War ll. (He was even honoured with a medal.) Now the U.S. admits what we have always known. Thousands of Nazis were welcomed into the U.S. after the war. What we probably didn't know is that U.S. taxpayers paid them millions in benefits.

Phyllis Carter

Report: Ex-Nazis received $20 million in Social Security benefits

WASHINGTON - In a forthcoming report triggered by an Associated Press investigation, the top watchdog at the Social Security Administration found the agency paid $20.2 million in benefits to more than 130 suspected Nazi war criminals, SS guards, and others who may have participated in the Third Reich's atrocities during World War II. The report, scheduled for public release this week and obtained by the AP, used computer-processed data and other internal agency records to develop a comprehensive picture of the total number of Nazi suspects who received benefits and the dollar amounts paid out.

The Social Security Administration last year refused AP's request for those figures. The payments are far greater than previously estimated and occurred between February 1962 and January 2015, when a new law called the No Social Security for Nazis Act kicked in and ended retirement payments for four beneficiaries. The report does not include the names of any Nazi suspects who received benefits.

The large amount of the benefits and their duration illustrate how unaware the American public was of the influx of Nazi persecutors into the U.S., with estimates ranging as high as 10,000. Many lied about their Nazi pasts to get into the U.S. and even became American citizens. They got jobs and said little about what they did during the war. Yet the U.S. was slow to react. It wasn't until 1979 that a special Nazi-hunting unit, the Office of Special Investigations, was created within the Justice Department.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. requested that the Social Security Administration's inspector general look into the scope of the payments following AP's investigation, which was published in October 2014. On Saturday, she said the IG's report showed that 133 alleged and confirmed Nazis actively worked to conceal their true I dentities from the U.S. government and still received Social Security payments.

"We must continue working to remember the tragedy of the Holocaust and hold those responsible accountable," Maloney said in a statement. "One way to do that is by providing as much information to the public as possible. This report hopefully provides some clarity."

AP found that the Justice Department used a legal loophole to persuade Nazi suspects to leave the U.S. in exchange for Social Security benefits. If they agreed to go voluntarily, or simply fled the country before being deported, they could keep their benefits. The Justice Department denied using Social Security payments as a way to expel former Nazis.

By March 1999, 28 suspected Nazi criminals had collected $1.5 million in Social Security payments after their removal from the U.S. Since then, AP estimated the amount paid out had grown substantially. That estimate is based on the number of suspects who qualified and the three decades that have passed s ince the first former Nazis, Arthur Rudolph and John Avdzej, signed agreements that required them to leave the country but ensured their benefits would continue.

The IG's report said $5.6 million was paid to 38 former Nazis before they were deported. Ninety-five Nazi suspects who were not deported but were alleged or found to have participated in the Nazi persecution received $14.5 million in benefits, according to the report.

The IG criticized the Social Security Administration for improperly paying four beneficiaries $15,658 because it did not suspend the benefits in time. The report also said the Social Security Administration "properly stopped payment" to the four beneficiaries when the new law banning benefits to Nazi suspects went into effect. The agency did, however, continue payments to one suspect because he was not subject to the law.

The Social Security Administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But in informal comments to the IG, the agency and the Justice Department said the pool of 133 suspects included individuals who were not deported and may not have had any role with the Nazis.

The Justice Department requested the report only include the names of 81 people it had provided to the IG and who had onclusively determined to be involved in the Nazi persecution.
Efraim Zuroff, the head Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, said the Justice Department did what was necessary to get Nazi suspects out of the U.S. But "it's a travesty," he added, that so many of them ended up keeping their benefits.

"The issue is the principle here - do you sign deals with Nazis to get them out of the country?" he said Sunday. "The Department of Justice said yes, but who wants to think that taxpayer dollars went to people who served as guards in camps? On the other hand, the government was trying to maximize what it could do with the tools that they had."

PBS Newshour


Street soccer in South Africa
In soccer, or at least in elections for FIFA's presidency, Africa has a voice. With 54 voting members, out of a total of 209, the governing body of African soccer CAF is the best represented in the sport. Every vote counts the same, and until very recently, Asian and African members looked guaranteed to carry incumbent Sepp Blatter to re-election.
Traditionally, CAF has held FIFA President Sepp Blatter in high regard on account of his personal support of African soccer, facilitating more than just the sport with his involvement in Africa's developing nations. But could that possibly change?
With UEFA in a longstanding and open revolt against Sepp Blatter and the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) now taking a critical stance towards the 79-year-old incumbent president, CAF's reluctance to have FIFA's election on Friday postponed may speak volumes by itself. On Wednesday, CAF was unequivocal in its continuing support for Blatter, and little seems likely to have changed after these latest allegations.
South Africa, one of Africa's biggest soccer nations, took center stage in the new inquiries looking intoFIFA's current corruption scandal. One banner headline from US Attorney General Loretta Lynch was the allegation that a leading South African bid committee member handed "a briefcase containing bundles of US currency" to a family member of Jack Warner. Warner, a former FIFA vice president, is among the prime targets in the FIFA sting, seemingly after investigators managed to secure his sons' cooperation.
South Africa denies corruption allegations
The South African Football Association (SAFA) on Thursday rejected allegations that it had paid $10 million (9.1 milliion euros) in bribes to Warner. SAFA spokesman Dominic Chimhavi said that everything was done by the book when South Africa placed its proposal and won the bid.
South African Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula in front of South African flag
South African Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula insists that no money was exchanged to win the bid
"The bid was made by people with high integrity, including the late Nelson Mandela and [former president] Thabo Mbeki," Chimhavi added. "We are disappointed at the baseless and untested allegations, and request proof from anyone who has contrary evidence."
Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula said that all 2010 FIFA World Cup funds had long been accounted for and audited, and that the South African government had not received any official indictments from US prosecutors in the case to date. He called those who were involved in FIFA corruption scandal "criminals," and described allegations against the 2010 bid as "reckless at best."
"I've stated that it's clear and categorical: we have not transferred any money to any individual of that sort," he said at a press conference in Johannesburg.
Corruption all-too-familiar across South Africa
Heather Walker, former editor of the weekly newspaper "The South African," does not expect major domestic fallout, despite the allegations.
"People are up in arms about Russia and Qatar, but the World Cup in South Africa five years ago was really successful by all accounts. In a place like South Africa, you're just likely to hear a lot of 'so what?' when it comes to such small-time corruption claims, which, if they did happen, actually helped the country in the bigger picture," she told Deutsche Welle.
South Africa is indeed no stranger to corruption. The release of a number of reports since 2014 concerning President Jacob Zuma's private residence at Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal Province has been staining the reputation of the country's post-apartheid success. Thursday's final report by the police minister found that the president need not pay back the public money spent on adding a swimming pool, a chicken run, an amphitheater and a visitors' center to his homestead - since these were necessary on account of "security concerns."
Legacy of the 2010 World Cup
But Nkandla has commonly been regarded as just the tip of an iceberg leading from top government officials down to the local police in most townships.
When the 2010 FIFA World Cup arrived, the world was eager to see Nelson Mandela's new South Africa, and the event was a perfect opportunity to showcase how the nation had overcome the shadow of apartheid. New infrastructure - from football stadiums to public transportation links - was built from scratch, involving tenders for building contracts reaching from the Cape of Good Hope to the waters of the Indian Ocean. It was regarded as South Africa's moment to shine and widely hailed as a success.
In the five years since the 2010 World Cup, South Africa has attracted record numbers of tourists - a lasting legacy of the tournament. Publications like the "New York Times" and Britain's "Daily Telegraph" have repeatedly ranked the country as one of the most desirable places to travel to - if you overlook its crime and corruption.
When compared to other domestic allegations of corruption, perhaps some South African realists, like Heather Walker, might consider bribes towards Africa's first ever World Cup to be money relatively well spent. The success of the 2010 World Cup might also prove an excellent investment for Sepp Blatter's re-election bid on Friday.

Deutsche WelLe


7000 Yazidi girls are slaves to ISIS
Amid all the atrocities carried out by Isis — its massacres of civilians, its beheading of hostages, its pillaging of antiquities — the...

  • Gina Sera Rucci And they will continue to do so.. I have no words for the inhumanity they are inflicting on humans.

  • Phyllis Carter When you are faced with an epidemic, a virulent disease, extreme action is required to save the innocent. But the world is busy thinking about it, playing politics, while helpless people, especially women, are being tortured and murdered. Look World. This is YOUR FAULT, for letting it happen - for letting it continue. Every dead woman is blood on the hands of all politicians everywhere, who ARE DOING NOTHING.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


Working with Zambia's Ministry of Education and EDC, we aim to provide access to full primary education through radio distance learning to 800,000 orphans and vulnerable children

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

800,000 Zambian children cannot attend formal education, as they live too far from a school or are AIDS orphans or children from desperately poor families. Adding to the problem, many teachers in Zambia fall sick and die of AIDS. In a sweeping effort to combat illiteracy and improve life skills, the Ministry's Education Broadcasting Service has implemented highly successful radio instruction. It covers the primary school curriculum, and is called "Learning at Taonga Market."

How will this project solve this problem?

In remote Zambian villages, a literate volunteer is trained as a mentor. They are given a Lifeline radio. Using Interactive Radio Instruction created by US-based Educational Development Center (EDC), mentors lead children through grade school lessons

Potential Long Term Impact

This project will help create a literate population in Zambia. More than 220,000 children have benefited to date. They test as well as children attending formal school, score a little higher in math, and complete grade levels in half the time.
Global Giving


Montreal's downtown office scene is feeling pretty vacant.
The office vacancy rate in Montreal's downtown core has hit a 10-year high of 8.6 per cent and may go higher yet before declining as...


UNICEF estimates that the number of people facing severe food insecurity in South Sudan has almost doubled since the start of the year from 2.5 million to about 4.6 million people. Nearly 250,000 of those are children.
Nearly a quarter of a million children in South Sudan are at significant risk of malnutrition as a result of the ongoing conflict between...


During World War !!, the American government imprisoned thousands of American citizens of Japanese ancestry in barracks around the country. They made a point of telling the world that these people were not criminals nor were they suspected of being enemies. And still, thousands of men, women and children and little babies were torn from their homes and beautiful gardens, snatched from their stores and their fields and shipped off, like the Jews of Europe, to internment camps - in America in 1942. 
Given dusty empty barracks to live in, surrounded by sand and barren land, the Japanese Americans started to plant farms and gardens. They were the Israelis of America. They made the desert bloom. 

When the American prisoners were finally freed by their democratically elected government, they returned to their homes and places of business to find them destroyed, looted, inhabited by strangers. But American Indian tribes moved into the prison camps and, to this day, they are grateful to the Japanese American prisoners who made the 
desert bloom.
Phyllis Carter

For the tens of thousands of Japanese Americans forcibly interned during World War II, the scars have never healed.
For Ruth Okimoto the need to confront the past brings her back to the desert of Arizona where she spent her childhood years behind barbed wire. Back to the Colorado River Indian Reservation, where Poston was built. It is a journey Ruth takes, to find meaning in the inexplicable as she searches to discover the true story of how the Poston camp came into being.
Passing Poston tells the moving and haunting story of four former internees of the Poston Relocation Center. Each person shadowed by a tragic past, each struggling in their own painful way to reconcile the trauma of their youth, each still searching and yearning during the last chapter of their lives, to find their rightful place in this country.

About Poston

The Poston Relocation center, built on the Colorado River Indian Tribes reservation, served as one of ten internment camps built in seven states. Between 1942 and 1945, the Poston camps housed over 18,000 Japanese and Japanese American detainees.
Unlike, the nine other internment camps, Poston was unique and was built with a very different purpose. It served as a place to house thousands of Japanese detainees but also the infrastructure created by and for them served to recruit more Native Americans from surrounding smaller reservations to the much larger and sparsely populated Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) reservation, after the war.
The Japanese detainees held at the three Poston Camps were used as laborers to build adobe schools, do experimental farming, and construct an irrigation system that could later be used by the Native Americans, thus aiding the settlement of the area as planned by the Office of Indian Affairs (known today as the Bureau of Indian Affairs).
When the Japanese detainees were released in 1945, attention turned to settling the camps with Native Americans. "Colonists" (as the government referred to them) from the Hopi and Navajo tribes as well as other tribes living along the Colorado River tributaries. These people, in turn, moved into barracks built for the Japanese detainees. The colonists were recruited by the Office of Indian Affairs and lured by promises of fertile farmland and plentiful water. They joined the Mohave who had lived on the reservation since its creation in 1865, and the Chemehuevi who arrived shortly after 1865. The colonists found a working canal system to irrigate farmland, school buildings, and many other necessities for their relocation. For some from the less developed areas of other reservations, it was a step up with running water and the opportunity to farm.

About The Characters

Ruth Okimoto

Ruth Okimoto and her family were sent to the Poston Relocation Center when she was six years old. At the time of relocation, Ruth's father was an established minister in a church in San Diego.
Through a child's prism, Ruth recounts and remembers the day the soldiers arrived at her doorstep armed with rifles and bayonets to take her and her family away.
She remembers her mother, then nine months pregnant, giving birth in a converted horse stable at the Santa Anita Race Track - used by the government as an Assembly Center where the Japanese internees spent several months before being sent to their assigned internment camp.
She recollects her years as a youngster behind barbed wire in the middle of an Arizona desert on an American Indian reservation.
"For the children, this was a new adventure," says Ruth. "For the adults it was nothing short of hell."
It was the years that followed Poston, the years in which she tried to reconcile and understand a period of life spent in an internment camp, that have been fraught with anxiety and much personal pain.
"It was a question of identity that I couldn't quite figure out," says Ruth, "I would remember, going to school at Poston and every morning pledging allegiance to the flag and I just couldn't reconcile that. I couldn't come to terms with the fact that this was a country whose mantra was "justice for all" and that clearly didn't apply to those Japanese-Americans who were interned."
After years of trying to understand and express her feelings of internment through art, Ruth embarked on a journey to discover. A journey in which she set out to gather as many facts as she could about her internment and about the Poston Relocation Center as a way of understanding and making sense of the inexplicable.
"I thought if I could, through research, see the facts in front of me," says Ruth, "it would make this unreal and surreal part of my life, a part of my life that has impacted and shaped me in almost every way possible, seem real and tangible."
Ruth's discoveries startle and disturb, but eventually lead to resolution as she learns about the role that the Japanese Internees played in developing this reservation.
Ruth currently lives with her husband, renowned glass artist Marvin Lipofsky in Berkeley, California. Ruth spends a lot of her time working on the Poston Restoration Committee, a joint effort by former internees of the Poston Relocation Center and The Colorado River Indian Tribes to preserve the few remaining buildings left of the internment camp.

Kiyo Sato

Kiyo Sato was in her late teens when she and her family were sent to Poston.
Within the mandatory evacuation order of seven days, Kiyo worked frantically with her parents to put things in order and prepare to leave their home for a place unknown.
Furniture either had to be sold or put into storage. The crop on their farm needed to be picked and brought to market. And with only being able to take the things that they could carry, decisions had to be made as to what personal belongings were necessary to bring along.
"Our lives were being turned upside down," said Kiyo, " and yet we made sure we always had a smile on our face lest the children, my younger brothers and sisters, would sense that anything was the matter."
It wasn't until the train left the station that Kiyo remembers breaking down.
"I thought up until the last minute, that this was all a mistake," says Kiyo. "Up until the last minute I thought the President would send a telegram. But when that train pulled out of the station my whole world just collapsed."
After the war, Kiyo joined the United States Air Force, completing her college education in nursing and reaching the rank of captain.
As Kiyo recounts, wanting to serve her country was reinforced in, of all places, Poston.
"One does not know what it's like to have one citizenship taken away," she explains. "But when it is taken away it made me just want to fight and fight hard to prove to all that I am an American."
Today, Kiyo lives in Sacramento, Ca. Her memoir, "Dandelion through the Cracks," has just been published. She spends a great deal of her time going to schools and youth groups talking about the internment.
"We are living history of what happened and what could happen again," she says.

Leon Uyeda and Mary Higashi

Leon Uyeda and Mary Higashi were both young adults when they and their families went to the Poston Internment Camp.
For Leon, the time spent at the Poston Camp is remembered with a certain degree of fondness.
Having grown up in San Bernadino, California - Leon recalls a childhood and adolescence fraught with constant racial hostility.
"For me," says Leon, "being in Poston - surrounded by people of my own kind - not having to worry about being insulted or demeaned because I was Japanese - was actually a happy chapter in my life."
"We were like roses that had a chance to bloom in the desert," he says.
Mary, whose family lived in Los Angeles and was a college student at that time, recalls the early days of being in Poston as "being like hell."
"We walked into our barracks," she says, "and there was nothing in this room but a coal burning stove. And there was dust coming up from the floor."
She recalls that both she and her mother fell to the floor sobbing.
"We didn't know how we would be able to survive in a place like this when we had absolutely nothing," she says.
Within the film, both Leon and Mary reflect on their lives they have led after Poston.
While Mary expresses some of life's disappointments experienced as a result of being interned - "I never was able to finish college so I think I missed out on a lot - she also gives voice as to how it has been her faith that has sustained her and has allowed her to reconcile Poston "a part of my life that will "stay with me forever."
"Faith has allowed me to forgive and if I didn't forgive I would end up being a very unhappy person. Despite what happened in Poston I have led a good life. And there is so much in the world to be thankful for," she says.
Leon gives voice to the sense of dislocation he has felt living in this country as a Japanese American.
"We all want to be Americans. We are as American as apple pie," he says, "but people always constantly remind you that you are different and that you do not belong here."
"I am always leery about going into a hotel or a restaurant because I am always fearful of being discriminated against. I hope to die soon so that I do not have to experience this constant hatred that haunted me for my entire life."
Mary Higashi lives in San Pedro, CA and has two daughters.
Leon Uyeda lives with his wife in Huntington Beach , CA and has two children.