Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Morning greens: Some California pet owners want their dogs unleashed on Los Angeles County beaches

L.A. County dog owners want more beach space for their unleashed companions, the ban of California shark fins has advanced, a 95-year-old man survives a bee attack, and a fisherman may face charges for reeling in a great white shark in Huntington Beach. It’s an animal-palooza for your Friday morning greens.

The Los Angeles Times reports that “Canine aficionados want to carve out a few more spots of L.A. County waterfront for the four-legged.” Right now, a three-acre dog zone in Long Beach is the only off-leash spot for dogs in L.A. County. But several organizations are now pushing for more space. Georja Umano is founder of Unleash the Beach, one such organization. As Umano told the LA Times, “If we just got as much space as the volleyball players, we'd be happy. It comes down to a question of fair usage of public beaches.” While park officials have been reluctant to unleash more space, supporters hope that their movement will gain traction.

The ban on California shark fins has advanced. The Los Angeles Times reports that “The bill passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on a 5-2 vote and now moves to the Senate floor, where a vote is expected within the next few weeks.” Shark fin is a main ingredient in traditional Chinese soup, and opponents of the ban say it discriminates against Chinese culture. But obtaining this ingredient involves finning, which is the process of cutting off a shark’s fin and returning the live animal back to the sea. Assemblyman Paul Fong (D-Sunnyvale) is a sponsor of the bill. As he told the LA Times, ““I'm proud of my Chinese roots, and our culture will live and survive without shark's fin.”

Meanwhile, a great white shark was caught Monday off Huntington Beach Pier. Now, the fisherman may face criminal charges. NBC LA reports that the five-foot shark was reeled in by a local fisherman, but it is unclear if the man knew he was catching a great white. If it is determined that he did, officials will send their evidence to the Orange County District Attorney for possible prosecution. As NBC LA reports, “It's a misdemeanor to catch or possess a great white shark. The maximum penalty is a $1,000 fine.” 

Gov. Brown is encouraging legislation to reauthorize the California energy surcharge. The Los Angeles Times reports that “Gov. Jerry Brown is sponsoring legislation to extend a state program that collects about $400 million a year from utility customers and invests it in renewable energy and efficiency programs.” The surcharge, which typically ranges from $1 to $2 a month a household bill, has been in effect since 1997 and was set to expire next year. Nancy McFadden is Brown's top legislative aide. As she told the LA Times, “The surcharge has created tens of thousands of jobs, spawned entire new industries and attracted billions of dollars of venture capital to California.” The measure is expected to pass in the state legislature.

A 95-year old man has survived a bee attack in Redondo Beach. ABC 7 reports that a swarm of angry bees attacked great-grandfather Louis Todero when he happened to walk into a fumigator’s attempt to ride an apartment of a hive. Authorities are investigating to see if the honey bees were Africanized due to their vicious nature. (Or maybe they were just really angry bees fleeing a fumigator.) Stung upwards of 600 times, Todero is taking it all in stride. His daughter shares that he is already laughing about the incident while recovering at a local hospital. 

Image: chr1sp/Flickr