Southern California breaking news and trends

A giant sea turtle swims into the California Legislature

leatherback sea turtle

Photo by rustinpc via Flickr Creative Commons

Leatherback sea turtle hiding its eggs.

The California Legislature is considering a nomination for the title of "official state marine reptile," and the honor of becoming the newest state animal may go to the endangered, 2,000-pound leatherback sea turtle.

The world’s largest sea turtle creeped onto the floor via a bill introduced Friday by Assemblyman Paul Fong (D-Cupertino) that would see the creature added to "a growing list of official state animals and plants such as the California quail (the state bird) the gray whale (state marine mammal), plants like the California poppy (state flower) and even extinct megafauna like the saber-toothed cat (the state fossil)," details the L.A. Times.

Its sun-loving relative, the desert tortoise, has been California's state reptile since 1972.

The federal government is preparing to designate 41,000 square miles of the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington as "critical habitat for the sea turtles," notes the Times, and the the symbolic gesture of adding the leatherback to CA's list of official critters is intended to raise species protection awareness.


California 'Dreamliner'-ing: Boeing's 787 jets into town

Photo by John Pozadzides via Flickr Creative Commons

Boeing 787 Dreamliner First Class Cabin

In locked and upright anticipation, fans of flying metal are preparing for the Southern California touch-down of Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner

The 250-passenger, new-generation commercial aircraft, has been on a satin jacket-worthy world tour since December. San Diego and Long Beach were among the March stops announced Wednesday on Boeing's fourth leg of the "787 Dream Tour." 

The aircraft was designed with a flight range of 8,200 nautical miles, and "extensive use of composite materials and reconceived aerodynamics have resulted in fuel consumption that is 20 percent lower than previous generation jets and it also boasts lower carbon dioxide emissions," explains U-T San Diego.

Future passengers aboard Boeing's baby can expect to find better air filtration, bigger overhead bins, redesigned lighting, and larger windows. Hollywood-ready, the display model jet scheduled to land at San Diego International Airport on March 13 will be showing-off a special interior.


Soccer coach charged for molesting 15-year-old boy who played on his team

Ryan Griffis/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

File: Soccer field, Yucca and Las Palmas, Hollywood.

Another local adult who works with kids has been charged following allegations that he sexually molested a minor, but this one isn't a part of LAUSD. This time, it's soccer club coach Javier Arrioja, who faces five counts following allegations that he molested a 15-year-old boy who played on the team.

Arrioja, 48, is charged with four counts of lewd acts and one count of sending "harmful matter." He's been a coach for the Los Angeles Missioneros, a private soccer club for boys under 17.

The victim was allegedly assault four times between May and November of 2011, including at Arrioja's home and local parks, the prosecutor said.

Arrioja was expected to be arraigned this afternoon, with a maximum sentence of five years, eight months. The L.A. District Attorney's Office recommended bail of $100,000.


LAPD Chief Beck: Yes to driver's licenses for illegal immigrants


An impounded car.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck says California should issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, the L.A. Times reports.

This follows previous efforts by Beck to offer less harsh punishments for drivers caught driving without a license, as Beck feels that impound laws have unfairly affected illegal immigrants.

"My personal belief is that they should be able to," Beck said in a meeting with Times reporters and editorial writers. He said that what California has done so far to reduce the problem of illegal immigrants driving without licenses hasn't worked.

"When something doesn't work over and over and over again, my view is that you should reexamine it to see if there is another way that makes more sense," Beck told the Times.

Beck did say that he doesn't believe it should be the same as a regular license, and also that concerns that it could make it easier for terrorists to go undetected need to be addressed.


Tall, pale, and naked: Nude man in silver car is following women

woman bus stop silhouette

Photo by Andreas Levers via Flickr Creative Commons

LAPD detectives are seeking a naked man who has been following women in the San Fernando Valley.

The suspect, seen sitting in the buff in a 4-door silver compact car, has reportedly trailed two women from a bus stop and police are trying to deterimine if there have been additional, similar occurances.

"At least one victim noticed the suspect was actually nude in the vehicle," noted an LAPD advisory.

The suspect is described by police as a Caucasian male, age 30-35, approximately 6 feet tall and 190 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD crime analyst Jim Grant at (818) 374-0040. Witnesses exposed to such indecency should call 911 with a car description and licence plate number.