Southern California breaking news and trends

Asked for insurance and registration, will Californians soon reach for their smartphones?

IFA 2011 Consumer Technology Trade Fair

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Assembly Bill 1708 allows motorists to use smartphones to show proof of insurance and vehicle registration.

Drivers flagged down by police may no longer need to fumble in their glove compartment for their insurance and registration.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) introduced a bill Tuesday that would give California drivers the option to carry proof of insurance and vehicle registration in electronic form, via “mobile electronic device.’ According to Gatto, Assembly Bill 1708's terms include iPads, smartphones and any other device on hand that can produce a readable representation.

“A lot of people that I talk to believe the legislature is the source of many hassles in life. I try to be a remedy for some of those small hassles,” Gatto said. “Several of my constituents have asked why California hasn’t joined the modern era and gone paperless.”

More than an issue of convenience, AB 1708 takes an environmental spin. Gatto also said he anticipates legislative committees to react positively to the proposal.

Read More...

The Blue Line is so bad today Metro suggests driving

Mercer 15397

Raghu Manavalan

File: A Blue Line Train arrives at 103rd St/Kenneth Hahn Station.

After a power outage this morning that put part of the Blue Line out of service and caused massive delays for some, Metro's account is now reporting there is service about every 20 to 30 minutes. But it's warning passengers to expect major crowds. About 78,000 people ride the Blue Line every week day.

The outage affected the area between the Imperial/Wilmington and 7th Street/Metro Center stations. Metro was scrambling buses to route passengers around the non-functioning area. Additional alternate routes are listed at The Source.

The morning rush hour problem is due to a power loss at the main yard.

Read More...

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.

Read More...

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.

Read More...

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.

Read More...