• Grand jury report says TCA should focus on paying off its debt

    Grand jury report says TCA should focus on paying off its debt
    Orange County’s toll road agency should focus on paying off its bonds and ending its operations – perhaps possible even more than a decade before its planned date in 2053 – the county’s grand jury said in a report published on Monday, June 29.
    “The (Transportation Corridor Agencies) clearly has the mission to operate the toll roads and pay off the bonds, but beyond that, any additional planning and activities could be considered out of its legislatively authorized s
  • We need to stop putting so much faith in models

    We need to stop putting so much faith in models
    Over 2 million Americans will die!
    That was the prediction from “experts” at London’s Imperial College when COVID-19 began. They did also say if there was “social distancing of the whole population,” the death toll could be cut in half, but 1.1 million to 1.2 million Americans would still die by this summer.
    Our actual death toll has been about one-tenth of that.
    Nevertheless, Imperial College’s model was extremely influential.
    Politicians issued stay-at-home
  • Man detained after Lake Forest hotel is evacuated and explosive devices are found

    Man detained after Lake Forest hotel is evacuated and explosive devices are found
    Explosive devices and substances were found in a room in a Lake Forest hotel, which was evacuated Tuesday night, officials said.
    The Orange County Sheriff’s Department said on social media the devices and substances were rendered safe and the hotel on Orchard Road would reopen. The OCSD Bomb Squad and an Orange County Fire Authority hazardous materials team had assessed and dealt with the devices and substances.The OCSD Bomb Squad made entry to the room and discovered multiple homemade ill
  • The despicable behavior of today’s academics

    The despicable behavior of today’s academics
    The Michigan State University administration pressured professor Stephen Hsu to resign from his position as vice president of research and innovation because he touted research that found police are not more likely to shoot Black Americans. The study found: “The race of a police officer did not predict the race of the citizen shot. In other words, black officers were just as likely to shoot black citizens as white officers were.” For political reasons, the authors of the study sought
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  • California budget ‘balanced’ with massive new debt

    California budget ‘balanced’ with massive new debt
    Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a 2020-21 state budget he described as “balanced, responsible and protects public safety and health, education, and services to Californians facing the greatest hardships.”
    Whatever its other virtues may be, the budget is far from “balanced,” at least as most folks outside the Capitol would define it.
    The 2020-21 budget spends far more — at least $20 billion more — than projected revenues, even including billions
  • Tracking the fall sports plans for Orange County school districts and private schools

    Tracking the fall sports plans for Orange County school districts and private schools
    A look at what the Orange County school districts and private schools have announced about their plans for the start of the 2020-21 school year.
    School campuses were shut down and all sports activities were stopped in mid-March during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools are currently working on plans for the new school year while receiving recommendations, from health agencies and other groups, regarding how to protect the well-being of students and teachers during the pandemic.
    OCVarsit
  • Two horses die at Los Alamitos after track placed on probation

    Two horses die at Los Alamitos after track placed on probation
    CYPRESS (CNS) >> Two horses died after suffering racing injuries at Los Alamitos Race Course on the weekend after the track was placed on probation by state regulators and ordered to address a recent rash of racehorse deaths.
    Tacy, a 5-year-old mare, was leading Sunday night’s fifth race when she was pulled up by jockey Christian M. Aragon and vanned off. She was later euthanized, officials confirmed Monday.
    Alltime Favorite, a 2-year-old gelding, was vanned off after suffering an in
  • O.C. School Board’s symbolic bid to put kids in class grabs attention

    O.C. School Board’s symbolic bid to put kids in class grabs attention
    The Orange County Board of Education, a five-member body with little power, on Monday voted 4-1 to issue a document saying students should return to traditional classrooms, without masks, when local schools resume next month.
    A day later, that symbolic vote – which urges a plan that, if implemented, could run counter to federal and state health guidelines – drew national media attention and a letter of rebuke from the county’s congressional delegation.
    “We are deeply conc
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  • Mother allegedly abducts son from foster parents at Buena Park Mall, is sought by police

    Mother allegedly abducts son from foster parents at Buena Park Mall, is sought by police
    Police asked for the public’s help Tuesday, July 14, in locating a 6-year-old boy and his biological mother, who is suspected of abducting him from his foster parents during a supervised visit in Buena Park on Sunday.
    Stephanie Szolatabic, 34, of Anaheim, along with her son, Wyatt Bowen, and the child’s foster mother were together at Five Below in the Buena Park Mall during a scheduled visit over the weekend, Buena Park Police Sgt. Mario Escamilla said. She left with the boy without
  • Santa Ana Unified decision to keep campuses closed in the fall likely to hinder high school sports returning

    Santa Ana Unified decision to keep campuses closed in the fall likely to hinder high school sports returning
    The Santa Ana Unified School District announced on Tuesday, July 14 that it will start the 2020-21 academic year with distance learning only because of concerns about the well-being of its students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    SAUSD is the first school district in the county to announce that it will not reopen its campuses for the start of the new school year. Other districts are expected to announce their plans in the coming days.
    There are six high schools in the district — Century, God
  • Disneyland is turning 65 this week, so we look at how the Magic Kingdom came to be

    Disneyland is turning 65 this week, so we look at how the Magic Kingdom came to be
    Building Disneyland
    The celebration at Disneyland for its 65th anniversary on July 17, 2020, will have to wait. Currently, there is no set reopening date for the parks. While the park gates are closed, we thought we’d look back to another time the gates were shut — during construction.
    Walt Disney dreamed of building a park decades before Disneyland opened. In 1932, Disney considered building a park on a vacant 16-acre lot directly across the street from his studios in Burbank. The i
  • Coronavirus fallout: LA-OC rents up 4%, smallest increase since 2015

    Coronavirus fallout: LA-OC rents up 4%, smallest increase since 2015
    The cost of renting in Los Angeles and Orange counties rose at a 4% annual rate in June, the smallest jump since October 2015 as landlords struggle to collect monthly payments in the coronavirus era.
    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index tracks rental costs by polling consumers vs. other measurements from landlord surveys. It showed rent growing at a 5.8% annual clip in June 2019.
    These dips are noteworthy as this L.A.-O.C. rent index rose 5.5% in 2019 and 4.6% in 2015-
  • Petrosino retires after four years as Orange County Public Defender, ending a 35-year career with the office

    Petrosino retires after four years as Orange County Public Defender, ending a 35-year career with the office
    Sharon Petrosino has retired after four years as the Orange County public defender, ending a career that started at the office in 1985.
    The county Board of Supervisors appointed Martin Schwarz as interim public defender and has launched a search for a permanent leader.
    The position oversees more than 180 defense lawyers representing people who cannot afford private attorneys.
    Petrosino has been with the department for 35 years, joining the year after she passed the California bar exam. She went
  • First COVID-19 vaccine tested in U.S. poised for final testing

    First COVID-19 vaccine tested in U.S. poised for final testing
    By LAURAN NEERGAARD
    The first COVID-19 vaccine tested in the U.S. revved up people’s immune systems just the way scientists had hoped, researchers reported Tuesday — as the shots are poised to begin key final testing.
    “No matter how you slice this, this is good news,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, told The Associated Press.
    The experimental vaccine, developed by Fauci’s colleagues at the National Institutes of Health a
  • Tustin Unified issues in-class and online plan for new school year — with major caveats

    Tustin Unified issues in-class and online plan for new school year — with major caveats
    On Monday night, July 13 – exactly one month before the first day of class – Tustin Unified School District emailed parents a 19-page manual detailing coronavirus safety measures.
    The handbook opens with an all-too familiar observation in these unusual times: “When the 2020-21 school year begins, on-campus school will look much different from previous years.”
    Masks will be required at every level. In elementary schools, half of students will end their day at lunchtime, be
  • The hubris of the teachers’ unions could backfire

    The hubris of the teachers’ unions could backfire
    The definition of “hubris” is foolish excessive pride, arrogant overconfidence.
    In a related story, California teachers’ unions won a victory when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a budget trailer bill that bases school funding levels for the new school year on the attendance in the previous school year. This cheats growing charter schools, often non-union, of the revenue to educate newly enrolled students. The new law also prohibits layoffs of teachers or other school employees throug
  • Ex-rehab center operator sentenced for sexually assaulting patients

    Ex-rehab center operator sentenced for sexually assaulting patients
    The former owner and operator of more than a dozen Southland drug-treatment and rehabilitation centers was sentenced Tuesday to nearly 53 years in state prison for sexually assaulting or exploiting seven patients and offering controlled substances.
    Christopher Bathum – who owned and operated Community Recovery of Los Angeles and other entities in Southern California and Colorado – was also ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, according to the Los Angeles Co
  • Orange County leaders issue public warning, call on governor to halt possible release of sex offender from mental hospital

    Orange County leaders issue public warning, call on governor to halt possible release of sex offender from mental hospital
    Orange County leaders issued a public warning Tuesday regarding the possible release of a sex offender who has spent more than two decades in a state mental hospital.
    County officials are also requesting that Gov. Gavin Newsom intervene and block the release of 59-year-old Cary Jay Smith, an admitted pedophile whose forced hospitalization was expected to end Tuesday, and who they believe is likely to return to Orange County.
    In a letter to the governor, District Attorney Todd Spitzer and Supervi
  • Newport Beach veterinarian behind bars on shooting allegations

    Newport Beach veterinarian behind bars on shooting allegations
    A 71-year-old veterinarian was behind bars Tuesday on suspicion of shooting a gun in his Newport Beach home accused of holding police at bay for three hours.
    Edgar Moore Church III was booked on suspicion of shooting at an inhabited dwelling, attempted murder with a firearm, and assault with a firearm as a deadly weapon, said Heather Rangel, a spokeswoman for the Newport Beach Police Department.
    Rangel said it had been a “domestic call,” and added that she couldn’t release much
  • Federal customs fee increases target Ontario, San Bernardino and John Wayne airports

    Federal customs fee increases target Ontario, San Bernardino and John Wayne airports
    Fourteen members of Congress from California and mostly other western states are objecting to a new fee increase from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency imposed on 60 small- and medium-sized airports — including three in Southern California.
    A bi-partisan delegation is asking the agency to delay a new fee structure imposing “significant cost increases” as of July 1, saying now is not the time to raise costs as airports fight for survival from severe flight reductions
  • Dodgers coping with new coronavirus restrictions

    Dodgers coping with new coronavirus restrictions
    LOS ANGELES — When baseball is being played, spit happens.
    “It’s almost second nature. Spitting for a baseball player is like blinking,” Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said. “It’s gonna be a tough habit to break. … It’s not even just spitting on the ground. A lot of us have routines and habits.”
    Turner used as an example former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz’s trademark ritual at the plate – spitting into his batting glo
  • Coronavirus: Nine new deaths and 865 new cases in Orange County as of July 14

    Coronavirus: Nine new deaths and 865 new cases in Orange County as of July 14
    The Orange County Health Care Agency  reported another 865 new cases of the coronavirus as of Tuesday, July 14, pushing Orange County’s total to 26,120 since local testing began in March.
    More than 17,000 of the total cases were added in the last 30 days.
    There were nine new deaths recorded Tuesday, bringing the total number of Orange County residents who have died to 433.
    Of the 433 deaths, 215 were skilled nursing facility residents, 16 were in assisted living facilities and two wer
  • Surfrider releases first “Beach Cleanup Report” to address pollution at the coast

    Surfrider releases first “Beach Cleanup Report” to address pollution at the coast
    A Surfrider beach cleanup at the Newport Farmers Market earlier this year. (Photo courtesy of Michele Giron)
    The Surfrider Foundation released its first Beach Cleanup Report on Tuesday, July 14, detailing data collected across the country with the hopes of documenting trends, highlighting continued concerns about beach debris and illustrating how the information can be used to create policy change.
    Surfrider, based in San Clemente, has long had as an initiative eliminating plastic pollution, sta
  • Alexander: The Alliance attempts to make an impact in communities of color

    Alexander: The Alliance attempts to make an impact in communities of color
    It is unprecedented. A coalition of Southern California’s 11 professional sports organizations, some of whom compete bitterly on the field or court and all of whom scramble for area fans’ dollars and attention, have banded together for a cause.
    It is noble. They recognize that by pooling their efforts and resources and going all-in with the LA84 Foundation’s Play Equity initiative, they can help make a difference in communities of color desperately in need of jobs, educational
  • Amazon unveils smart shopping cart to debut at Woodland Hills store

    Amazon unveils smart shopping cart to debut at Woodland Hills store
    By Joseph Pisani, The Associated Press
    Amazon has a new cure for long supermarket lines: a smart shopping cart.
    The cart, which Amazon unveiled Tuesday, uses cameras, sensors and a scale to automatically detect what shoppers drop in. It keeps a tally and then charges their Amazon account when they leave the store. No cashier is needed.
    It’s the latest attempt by Amazon to shake up the supermarket industry and offer a solution to long checkout lines. The online shopping giant opened a cashi
  • LAFC hopes to build off second half of Houston draw

    LAFC hopes to build off second half of Houston draw
    From the moment they were drawn, the clubs in the MLS is Back tournament’s final group garnered the most attention of the six. On Monday night, all four teams in Group F played their first games of the competition’s group stage.
    Los Angeles Football Club and Houston Dynamo played to a 3-3 draw that stands as the most entertaining match of the competition to date, but the Portland Timbers sit atop the group after a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy. LAFC and the Galaxy are again
  • Ducks sign right wing Troy Terry to 3-year, $4.35-million contract extension

    Ducks sign right wing Troy Terry to 3-year, $4.35-million contract extension
    The Ducks signed Troy Terry to a three-season, $4.35-million contract extension Tuesday, a deal based more on potential and expectations than on past results. He has shown flashes of the player he might one day become, but his statistics have been modest so far.
    Terry, a 22-year-old right wing, has recorded eight goals and 20 assists in 81 games over parts of three seasons with the Ducks. He also has 23 goals and 34 assists in 55 games over two seasons with the San Diego Gulls, the Ducks’
  • Autopsy confirms Naya Rivera’s death was accidental drowning

    Autopsy confirms Naya Rivera’s death was accidental drowning
    LOS ANGELES  — An autopsy confirmed Tuesday that “Glee” star Naya Rivera died from accidental drowning and gave no indication that drugs or alcohol played any role in her death, officials said.
    The examination, performed the day after the 33-year-old’s body was found in a Southern California lake, showed no signs of traumatic injury or disease that might have contributed to the drowning, the Ventura County Medical Examiner said in a statement.
    Dental records were use
  • New Laguna Wood Village committee to oversee mask mandate, other COVID-19 measures

    New Laguna Wood Village committee to oversee mask mandate, other COVID-19 measures
    President Sue Margolis of the United Mutual board announced the formation of an ad hoc committee to address temporary COVID-19 measures, including an emergency resolution — passed in closed session on June 29 — that requires residents to wear face coverings at all times.
    The committee will be made up of two members from each board, Margolis said during a regular meeting of the United Mutual board on Tuesday, July 14.
    “If you look at our situation, we have more than 18,000 resid
  • What NBA players are saying about social justice messages on jerseys in restart

    What NBA players are saying about social justice messages on jerseys in restart
    ORLANDO, Fla. >> If Jimmy Butler gets his way, the social message on the back of his jersey might well be nothing at all.
    Not the league’s list of approved social justice messages. Not his name, either. Nothing.
    Butler, who spent part of his adolescence homeless in his hometown of Houston, wants to bring attention that basketball has given him wealth, respect and privilege that he might not have gotten if he didn’t have athletic talent. He wants to remind the viewers tuning to

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