TimesOC: doctor visits could help save whales


Hello and welcome to TimesOC Bulletin.

We are Friday October 1st. My name is Ben Brazil, bringing you the latest summary of Orange County news and events.

In recent years, California’s gray whales have mysteriously disappeared and washed up on shore. Southern killer whales suffer from high levels of toxins.

Things are bad for the whales.

Fortunately, with the help of a $ 55,000 grant from the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, a team of researchers and scientists are developing welfare checks on endangered southern resident killer whales – somewhat like a visit to a doctor at sea.

My colleague Sara Cardine wrote this week that a team of biologists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other science advisers have developed the Wellness Monitoring Method, which includes the use of thermal cameras to detect infections. and drones with Petri dishes to detect respiratory diseases.

The biologists worked with the Pacific Marine Mammal Center and the Washington-based SeaDoc Society to collect data over a two-week period on a population of killer whales that migrate along the Pacific coast and spend the summer and fall in Puget Sound, wrote Cardine. Data collection was completed last week.

The results could eventually lead to the possibility of making doctor visits on whales locally.

“This award is an important step in [our] expand the reach and impact on ocean health and conservation, ”PMMC CEO Peter Chang said in an earlier statement. “We are excited about this collaborative effort in terms of what it can do for this critically endangered whale population. “

An adult male Southern Resident Killer Whale followed by a research vessel.

(Courtesy of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center)


The son of a former cast member of “Real Housewives of Orange County” gets a settlement of $ 595,000 after suing the county, alleging that his phone calls were taped and that sheriff’s deputies attacked him in jail. The Orange County Board of Directors unanimously approved the settlement this week for Josh Waring, who pleaded guilty last year to a host of felonies, including assault with a gun and direction of the police during a chase, and assault with force capable of causing serious bodily harm. He is currently a fugitive after failing to appear in court on unrelated drug cases.

Environmentalists who have long sought to preserve the Banning Ranch property in Newport Beach received help from the federal government this week. The US Fish and Wildlife Department gave the Banning Ranch Conservancy an $ 11 million grant to help buy the property. Environmentalists now need an additional $ 14 million to purchase the land. Journalist Lilly Nguyen wrote that they had until April to get the money.

Encelia, a native shrub and part of the coastal sage scrub plant community, blooms in the Banning Ranch oilfield.

Encelia, a native shrub and part of the coastal sage scrub plant community, flourishes in the Banning Ranch oilfield on the border of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Community college students regularly suffer from hunger and homelessness. Fortunately, there is a group in southern Orange County looking to resolve this crisis for local students. “The number of young people going to community colleges who are hungry is staggering,” said LaVal Brewer, president and CEO of South County Outreach. “There are some who don’t have a roof over their head, don’t have food, and the ability for them to continue their education and improve is much more difficult when these two issues arise. “

The saga of the project formerly known as the Grand Parc du “Orange County” is long and eventful. Bogged down for years by accusations of cronyism and mismanagement, the park has failed to live up to its initial billing. Now the town of Irvine is considering an update to its park master plan.


Live pieces return to the repertoire of the south coast of Costa Mesa on Saturday with “A Shot Rang Out,” a solo show about love and loss written by Tony Award-winning playwright Richard Greenberg. Journalist Sara Cardine wrote this week that the themes are sure to resonate with an audience that has experienced loneliness and disconnection during the pandemic.

How do local chefs and home cooks get their fresh produce? They receive lessons from Heirloom Potager on the ins and outs of creating an edible garden. Most recently, the Santa Ana-based culinary garden design and coaching company helped chef Michael Reed design a garden for the Poppy & Seed restaurant in the Anaheim Packing District. My colleague Sarah Mosqueda has the story.

Santa Ana resident Ashley Irene is a culinary gardener who designs seasonal vegetable gardens year round.

Santa Ana resident Ashley Irene is a culinary gardener who designs seasonal vegetable gardens year round.

(Kevin Chang / TimesOC)

Continuing with this week’s garden theme, journalist Gabriel San Román wrote about a new garden supposed to mimic the sunset at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton. The Sunset Garden was part of a project to resuscitate a long neglected piece of land in the museum and turn it into something that could be of benefit to the community. The idea was imagined by artist-in-residence Marsha Judd. “What if we could bring heaven to earth and earth to heaven?” Judd told San Román.


We have a few stories this week on Angels star Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani and his team decided it was best he didn’t pitch again for the remainder of the season, wrote reporter Jack Harris. As the team limp in the final games of the year, Ohtani will end up as the club’s designated hitter. Team principal Joe Maddon said Ohtani has exceeded expectations on the mound this year. San Román has written about the pride Japanese Americans in Orange County have in Ohtani, who could become the American League MVP. “He’s definitely a bright spot in our community,” said Kihei Otani, president of the Orange County Japanese American Assn. “The Japanese Americans here are all thrilled to see him play. I can’t imagine an American of Japanese descent not cheering him on and going to his games to support him.

Shohei Ohtani # 17 of the Los Angeles Angels throws in the fourth inning.

Shohei Ohtani throws in the fourth inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium.

(Getty Images)

The Huntington Beach women’s volleyball team are on a roll, claiming their 14th consecutive victory this week against Newport Harbor. The team battled an injury to one of its starters during warm-ups to keep the streak alive. “We’re all really working together,” said second-year away forward Haylee LaFontaine of coming into the game without one of their starters. “We knew it wouldn’t be the same, but we just had to try to find a way to make it work. The Costa Mesa women’s volleyball team also worked this week with a Saddleback sweep.


Columnist Patrice Apodaca is worried about bees. The poor little bugs flew into her house to their deaths at a higher rate this year. While she is not sure exactly what is causing the death of these bees, it does cause her to fear for the good of all bees. The insects are dying at a record rate. A study published early last year found that the bumblebee population in North America has declined by almost 50% over the past five decades. “But the loss of bee populations is particularly distressing because we rely heavily on them to do the important work of pollinating many of the fruits, vegetables, nuts and flowers that we consume,” she wrote.

A photo of bees.

A photo of bees.

(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Several Orange County residents wrote to the newspaper this week about climate change, Newport Beach politics and hate crimes in the county. Tom Hazelleaf of Seal Beach presented a local group of over 3,000 Orange County volunteers working to implement solutions to climate change.

Question of the week

Orange County is a large, diverse community with a vibrant entertainment and tourism industry. Yet the county has major hurdles to overcome – homelessness, climate change, political corruption and law enforcement misconduct. Oh, and a pandemic. We want to hear your opinions on these topics!

Each week we will ask you a new question and post some of the answers in the next newsletter.

Now for this week’s question (please limit your answer to 75 words or less):

Have you made any changes in your life to help fight climate change? What changes have you made (switch to more efficient light bulbs, move away from plastic water bottles, etc.)?

Send your response to Ben at [email protected]

Staying in touch

If you have a memory or story about Orange County we would love to read it (please limit your story to 100 words or less).

We need your help to make this the best newsletter possible. Send your advice or comments to [email protected] or [email protected]

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