Entries in Southern California (4)


Superstorm Sandy: Pets Displaced by Storm Get Help in California

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Sixty cats and dogs orphaned in Superstorm Sandy are getting a new home, three thousand miles away from the disaster zone in Southern California.

Southwest Airlines and Seaworld teamed up to fly the animals to the Helen Woodward Animal Shelter in California.

“Thousands of animals lost their homes and so we need to move these animals to a shelter on the west coast so we can make room for some of the Hurricane Sandy animals,” said Suzanne Pelisson Beasley of Seaworld.

The flight crew and veterinarians donated their time to ensure the furry four-legged friends arrived safely to their new home.

While the orphaned pets were adapting to their new home, celebrity chef Rachael Ray and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals opened a 20,000 square foot shelter in New York to help animals left homeless by the storm.

“The goal is to provide the people who have been displaced by Hurricane Sandy an opportunity to bring their pets in and board them for up to 30 days and really just focus on getting their lives back together,” said Tim Rickey, spokesperson for the ASPCA.

To date, Rickey said the organization has helped nearly 16,000 animals in areas affected by Sandy.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rare Blue Whale Sighting in Southern California

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Blue whales, thought to be the largest animals on earth, have been sighted feeding off the coast of Southern California — a rarity, given that they usually feed far below the water’s surface.

The whales, which are blue-gray in color and can be more than 100 feet long, were sighted off the coast of Laguna Niguel, according to ABC Los Angeles station KABC-TV. The station’s video shows a whale torpedoing through the water near the surface with its mouth wide open as it gulps down krill, the shrimp-like organisms it feeds on.

“They’re so close,” Larry Fukuhara of the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro told KABC, adding that they were only three miles off the coast. “A lot of times, what I hear on the East Coast you have to go miles and miles and miles. They’re relatively close, which I think is, once again, fabulous and fascinating.”

He said the whales usually dwell in deeper, colder waters where their food lives, but the cold water is closer to the surface right now. They could stay near Southern California for another month before migrating elsewhere.

The whales eat about 40 million krill a day during the summer months, which amounts to about 4 tons, according to the American Cetacean Society.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Severed Human Head Found on Trail Near Hollywood Sign

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Dog walkers in Southern California discovered a severed human head in a bag Tuesday afternoon while hiking in the Hollywood Hills, authorities said.

The walkers found the severed head as they walked their dogs on the trail near the famed Hollywood sign.

“While the dogs were playing with it, at some point the object came out of the bag and they discovered it was a head.  A severed head,” Los Angeles police Sgt. Mitzi Fierro told ABC News' Los Angeles affiliate KABC-TV.

Authorities said the head belonged to a male victim.

“The head appears to be rather new.  There are not a lot of signs of decomposition yet,” Fierro told KABC.

Detectives plan to resume their search for the victim’s body parts Wednesday morning.´╗┐

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Southern California Pushes for Secession

Digital Vision(LOS ANGELES) -- A new push to divide the Golden State in two could make Southern California the 51st state.

"Our state legislature that is supposed to be making laws and being respected, imposes laws that aren't even lawful," Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone told Los Angeles ABC station KABC-TV. "So I think our state is California gone wild."

Stone is proposing that 13 Southern California counties secede from the state, dividing California into a north and south region.

Stone's proposal came on Thursday just hours after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the state's new budget legislation, passed by the Democratic majority, which will divert millions of dollars away from county and city agencies.

"Local jurisdiction, particularly those in Southern California, have been at the mercy of the state legislature for well over a decade," Stone's chief of staff, Verne Lauritzen, told ABC News. "The state has been unable and incompetent in producing a budget that is not only balanced but appropriate to local governments."

One of the elements of the budget that has particularly angered Stone is a trailer, SV89, which says that any city in the state incorporated after 2004 must forfeit funding from the vehicle licensing fee.

"This bill unfairly targets only four cities, all of which are in Riverside County," Lauritzen said. "All of them have been incorporated since 2004. One of them was just incorporated yesterday, Jurupa Valley. This bill creates a $6.2 million takeaway from that city, which has an approximate budget of $22 million. They'll have to forfeit nearly 30 percent of that. That is catastrophic."

The succession plan also calls for a shift of the balance of power to local governments.

This is not the first secession proposal California has seen. The first proposal came in the 1850s, then others in the 1940s, 1965 and 1992, when former Northern California legislator Stan Statham tried to split the state into not two, but three states.

The current secession proposal would include the counties of Riverside, San Bernardino, Imperial, San Diego, Orange, Kings, Kern, Fresno, Tulare, Inyo, Madera, Mariposa and Mono, and have a population of 13.07 million people. The remaining state of California would have 24.18 million.

Both the state legislature and Congress would have to sign off on any plan to split California in two.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

ABC News Radio