La Habra 16-year-old boy armed with gun wounded in police shooting

LA HABRA  A 16-year-old boy was wounded in a police shooting Monday morning in La Habra, according to authorities.

Around 9:35 a.m. officers were dispatched to the 200 block of South Monte Vista Street after being notified by a woman that her son had armed himself with a gun following a family dispute, La Habra police Sgt. Jose Rocha said.

“The caller advised that the suspect left on foot, armed with the firearm and stated that he wanted to shoot something and be on the news,” he said.

However, when police arrived, the teen had already left the area. Police found him in the 300 block of South Walnut Street where an officer shot the teen, Rocha said.

The teen fled and was later located at Knudson Street and 3rd Avenue. A handgun was recovered,  Rocha said.

He was transported by ambulance to UCI Medical Center where his condition was unknown. He is in custody on suspicion of attempted homicide, criminal threats, and brandishing a firearm.

No officers were injured.

A motive for the shooting has not been released, and the incident remains under investigation.

 

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San Clemente beaches opened, then re-closed Monday after fisherman hooks 12-foot shark from pier

Beachgoers play along the edge of the water after lifeguards closed the beach at San Clemente's Main Beach due to several great white shark sightings on Sunday, May 21, 2017.Photo By Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer
Beach-oers play along the edge of the water after lifeguards closed the beach at San Clemente’s Main Beach due to several great white shark sightings on Sunday, May 21, 2017. (Photo By Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

It’s been a back and forth game of open and shut for San Clemente beaches, with the waters re-opened Monday morning, May 22, then closed again after a fisherman hooked a 12-foot shark off the pier.

The ocean off Orange County’s southernmost beach was closed Sunday after about 24 great white sharks were spotted near San Clemente’s coastline and others were spotted off the pier. With at least one shark in the estimated 10-foot range, lifeguards cleared the water about 4 p.m. and decided to reassess early Monday.

Surfers and swimmers had a short time to enjoy the ocean in the early-morning hours Monday, after reports “of some really large sharks,” said Marine Safety Chief Bill Humphreys.

There were two spotted by multiple sources – one 12-footer and a 10-footer – by the end and middle of the pier about 8:15 a.m. Monday.

Sharks under 8-foot are considered to be in the juvenile range and mostly go after sting rays and small fish. But upward of that size and they start changing their diet to eat bigger marine mammals. Size is used to determine how lifeguards respond to a sighting, and whether to order strict closures rather than an advisory with “enter at your own risk” signs.

It takes heavy fishing gear to hook a large shark and “it’s something that is discouraged,” said Humphreys.

“I haven’t confirmed if they were fishing for sharks, but they did get it close to the pier. That leads me to believe they were fishing for sharks. They couldn’t do that with normal fishing gear,” he said. The shark ultimately was released.

The closure is expected to last four hours and will be modified if a new sighting occurs.

On Sunday, the closures started at about 10:30 a.m. after a sighting of an eight to nine-foot shark at the end of the San Clemente Pier. Then at 1 p.m., the department received another sighting report of a six to seven-foot shark, also off the pier. Since the second sighting was of a smaller shark, marine safety officers downgraded the closure to a warning and reopened the water for beachgoers to swim at their own risk.

But with the sheriff’s helicopter spotting about 25 sharks later in the afternoon from Cotton’s Point to Capistrano Beach – a dozen of them grouped together near North Beach – officers reestablished the closure.

Southern Orange County has been a hotbed for shark activity in recent weeks. On April 29, a woman was bit by a shark at Church surf spot at San Onofre State Beach. Days later, Orange County Sheriff’s spotted about 15 sharks while searching the area by helicopters. Drone footage of sharks lingering in the area has made national news and the reports have surfers in the area on edge. 

Experts have a number of theories on why the sharks are staying close to shore in larger numbers – including protections the past few decades for great whites and their major food source, sea lions, as well as an abundance of sting rays. El Nino-driven, warmer-than-normal water temperatures and rising sea levels may also be coming into play.

 

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Angels Notes: Cam Bedrosian ready to get on the mound

NEW YORK — Cam Bedrosian is about to take a key step toward the end of what has been a longer-than-expected stint on the disabled list.

Bedrosian is scheduled to throw off a mound on Monday, Manager Mike Scioscia said. It would be his first time off a mound since he was placed on the disabled list with a strained groin April 22.

At the time, Bedrosian felt he would miss only two weeks.

Scioscia said Bedrosian’s bullpen session will be “light.” Presumably, he’ll continue throwing off the mound, and increasing the intensity, every two or three days, until he’s ready for a rehab assignment.

If all goes well, it’s realistic to think he could be back in two to three weeks.

Huston Street, who is pitching in games in extended spring training, could also be back within that time. Street has been out all season with a strained lat.

STILL NO PUJOLS

Albert Pujols was out of the Angels lineup for the third game in a row on Sunday, nursing a tight right hamstring.

Pujols took batting practice before Saturday’s game, but apparently did not feel well enough for Scioscia to consider him available to even pinch-hit.

After Sunday’s series finale against the New York Mets, the Angels have four games against the Tampa Bay Rays, so they’ll again have the DH spot available for Pujols.

The Angels lost each of the first two games without Pujols, after losing four of six games earlier this month without Mike Trout, but Scioscia said the problems go beyond those players’ absences.

“If you’re going to be good you have to be able to absorb a player who is not swinging to his potential or is banged up and out of the lineup,” Scioscia said. “Our issue has been you have a guy banged up, along with four or five guys who aren’t in their game. That creates issues.”

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Own a home or renting? 5 questions about what Trump’s tax plan could mean to you

It’s little more than bullet points on a single page.

But the effect of President Donald Trump’s plan to overhaul the U.S. tax system is being hotly debated in real estate circles.

The National Association of Realtors, citing Trump’s proposals to double the standard deduction while scrapping write-offs for expenses like state and local property taxes, warns that such a plan would hurt a wide swath of homeowners and the residential real estate market.

“It’s going to continue to make California a renter’s state vs. a homeowner’s state,” said Tammy Newland-Shishido, Orange County Association of Realtors president-elect, who was in Washington D.C., with the national advocacy group last week.

Not every real estate expert foresees dire consequences. Some say if the plan prevails in Congress, it could spread the wealth.

“It’s beneficial to the everyday person,” said Fadel Lawandy, director of the Hoag Center for Real Estate and Finance at Chapman University in Orange. “The middle class is going to benefit, whether they own a home or not. It will help renters significantly.”

Trump’s simple, one-page outline was expected to forge major changes in the tax code this year, but some Wall Street analysts believe the repeated crises faced by the White House could push tax reform into 2018.

Regardless of when it happens, here’s how arguments over what it could mean for housing are unfolding:

What’s been proposed?

Trump’s plan raises the standard deduction to $24,000 from $12,600 for a married couple filing jointly. Only deductions for only mortgages and charitable donations would be allowed. Deductions for state and local taxes, including property taxes, and other write-offs would be eliminated.

The mortgage interest deduction — which allows homeowners to deduct interest paid on home loans up to $1.1 million — would still be an option. But the Realtors group and a national home builders’ organization say it would carry far less value; most people would have to file for the standard deduction and many would pay higher taxes.

Why the alarm?

Real estate agents and builders say they’d be losing what they consider an important incentive for homebuyers — the prospect of receiving a mortgage deduction on their taxes. And, they say, getting rid of deductions for state and local taxes would decrease home values.

“Current homeowners could very well see their home’s value plummet and their equity evaporate if tax reform nullifies or eliminates the tax incentives they depend upon, while prospective homebuyers will see that dream pushed further out of reach,” said William E. Brown, NAR’s president. “While we appreciate the administration’s stated commitment to protecting homeownership, this plan does anything but.”

Brown, from Alamo, added, “Common sense says owning a home isn’t the same as renting one, and American’s tax code shouldn’t treat those activities the same either.”

The National Association of Home Builders also sounded a warning.

“Doubling the standard deduction could severely marginalize the mortgage interest deduction, which would reduce housing demand and lead to lower home values,” said Granger MacDonald, the association’s chairman.

How popular is the mortgage interest deduction?

The write-off, enacted in 1913, has been a third rail in U.S. politics. No one ever touches it.

Proposals to eliminate it, turn it into a tax credit or limit it for high-income taxpayers have come and gone.

In 2014, some 32 million homeowners claimed it, saving about $2,173 each, the National Association of Realtors says.

The real estate industry typically makes a strong push to keep the deduction, saying that to do otherwise would price-out would-be buyers and threaten the housing market.

But some economists and academics say the write-off favors the upper-middle class and the wealthy.

Zillow economist Svenja Gudell said she doesn’t believe that a desire to claim the mortgage interest deduction necessarily drives home purchases.

Dennis C. Smith, a Huntington Beach mortgage broker, agrees.

“Having interviewed potential homeowners for 30 years, I can state that very few, about 10-15 percent or less, of those I have spoken to over the years, make their decision to buy a home because of the tax deduction they will receive,” Smith, co-owner of Stratis Financial, recently wrote in his blog.

How could the tax plan affect pricey housing markets?

Getting rid of property tax deductions would hit expensive markets harder than other places, Realtors, economists and academics say.

“For households in higher-tax states, the benefit of itemizing is higher,” states an article entitled “Tax plan could hurt homeowners” published on the national Realtor group’s’ website. “And for second-home owners, the net tax benefit of itemizing can be substantial.”

“There’s a segment of borrowers who would be adversely affected,” said Paul Habibi, a faculty member at the Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA. “It just depends on what side of the income spectrum you’re on.”

In coastal markets, including Los Angeles and Orange County, San Francisco and New York City, he said, “You’re going to have a greater percentage of those potential homeowners adversely affected because they have median prices high enough to kick them into benefiting from the (itemized) deductions.”

Under the plan, a married couple would need a home-loan balance of about $608,000 to use the mortgage interest deduction, up from about $322,000 now, Bloomberg reported.

Ralph McLaughlin, an economist at home search website Trulia, does not think the plan, if implemented, would create a major disruption in the overall housing market.

But, he said, “The proposed tax reform will push the benefits of the mortgage interest deduction further out of reach of the middle class. Under the current tax code, the top 43 percent of household earners can itemize their mortgage interest if they purchased a home. Under the proposed tax plan, that number would shrink to just the top 17 percent.”

In Orange County, only 26 percent of households could afford to buy a home with a mortgage high enough to qualify for the mortgage interest tax deduction under the proposed tax plan – down from 55 percent of households that currently qualify, by Trulia’s math.

What’s next?

Despite arguments that Trump’s proposals could help renters and those struggling to become homeowners, Senate Democrats say Trump’s overall plan is aimed at the rich, including the president.

And the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has said nearly 8 million families – including a majority of single-parent households – would be worse off.

Much still is unknown. The plan has three tax brackets of 10, 25 and 35 percent. But it’s not yet clear what the income levels would be.

And, of course, what Congress would do remains to be seen.

But the plan’s advocates, as well as those who do not see it harming the housing market, predict the savings for most households could actually become a boon to homeownership.

“For many lower and middle-income taxpayers, a higher standard deduction will increase their after-tax income, which could end up boosting home buying demand from these groups if net income rises enough,” said Gudell of Zillow.

“At the end of the day, what really matters is whether people have more or less after-tax money to spend on housing and other living expenses,” she said.

As to those at the higher end who would see no benefit, Smith wrote, “There is an old saying, ‘If you can afford a Ferrari you aren’t worried about the price of gas or an oil change.’

“Similarly, if you can afford a $10 million dollar estate, you aren’t worried about the mortgage interest and property tax deduction.”

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NHL fines Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf $10,000 for use of inappropriate remark

ANAHEIM – The NHL on Saturday fined Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf $10,000 for the use of what it called an inappropriate remark Thursday night during Game 4 of the Western Conference finals against Nashville.

The fine is the maximum amount allowable under the terms of the joint collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players’ union. Getzlaf’s comment was deemed a violation of the NHL’s policy “which prohibits inappropriate and offensive remarks, and the use of obscene, profane or abusive
language or gestures in the game.”

TSN reporter Frank Seravalli first reported that Getzlaf used a homophobic slur. The incident, according to a video on the hockeyfeed.com website, appeared after Nate Thompson was checked from behind by Nashville’s Austin Watson. Getzlaf yelled at referee Kelly Sutherland afterward as he skated behind him.

The center then yelled the slur to his intended target when he got back to the Ducks bench. It isn’t clear in the video if that was also directed at Sutherland.

“Getzlaf’s comment in Thursday’s game, particularly as directed to another individual on the ice, was inappropriately demeaning and disrespectful, and crossed the line into behavior that we deem unacceptable,” Colin Campbell, the NHL’s senior vice president of hockey operations, said in a statement. “The type of language chosen and utilized in this instance will not be tolerated in the National Hockey League.”

The fine will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. Getzlaf, a leading candidate in the Conn Smythe Trophy discussion as the playoffs’ most valuable player, has been captain of the Ducks since 2010 when he succeeded the retired Scott Niedermayer.

The Ducks and Predators are scheduled to play Game 5 at Honda Center on Saturday night.

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Aliso Viejo Ranch could see ADA improvements from grant funds

Aliso Viejo could soon use grant funds toward improving accessibility at the Aliso Viejo Ranch site and various intersections throughout the city.

The City Council voted on Wednesday, May 18, to indicate its willingness to use grant funds to pay for design work at the ranch to improve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The vote also means the city could use community development funds to install sound-emitting push button stations at 10 intersections throughout the city.

The council voted 3-0 to adopt the resolution. Mayor Dave Harrington and Councilman Ross Chun were not in attendance.

If the city does receive community development funds, about $66,000 would go toward design costs to potentially bring more parking stalls, pathways and restrooms at the ranch site. The cost of improving accessibility at the ranch is estimated at $550,000, according to a staff report.

City staff expects to receive about $226,000 in community development grant funds for the 2017-18 fiscal year. However, funds have not yet been approved and President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating the community development block grant program, according to a staff report.

The council is expected to meet again on June 7.

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Aruba’s only 18-hole golf course has a landscape that conjures many regions

By Gary Trask

As the words comTierra del Sole out of Oliver Riding’s mouth, you can’t help but be skeptical.

He’s played more than 100 golf courses in 18 countries, and there’s no doubt he’s well traveled and knowledgeable about the game. But since Riding has called Tierra del Sol Golf Course home for most of his career, his opinion of Aruba’s lone 18-hole championship layout isn’t without prejudice.

“I’ve traveled the world and have been fortunate enough to see some very cool golf courses,” said Riding, 45, director of golf operations since 2015 who also served as head professional from 2003-2010. “But, design-wise, it doesn’t get much better than Tierra de Sol. You can play it multiple times and you’ll never get bored. You get out there and you really feel disconnected from the world.”

As you begin your journey around the 6,400-yard layout on Aruba’s captivating, northwest region, Riding’s words start to make sense. As your round gains momentum and hugs the coastline — all but three holes have ocean views — you encounter goats, owls, ducks, exotic birds and palm trees. And in case you weren’t convinced of Riding’s assessment by the time you get to the 16th tee, try gazing down the 360-yard, par-4 fairway and seeing rugged desert, cacti, rock formations and dunes with the Caribbean Sea and California Lighthouse in the backdrop and not nod your head in agreement.

In short, this is Tierra del Sol. Arizona. Scotland. The Caribbean. All meshed into one.

“It’s easy to build a beautiful course but make it unplayable for the bogey golfer,” Riding said. “That’s not the case here. It’s gorgeous, but fair and playable.”

No portrayal of Tierra del Sol — Spanish for “land of sun” — would be complete without mention of the wind. A creation of Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Kyle Phillips, Tierra de Sol demands a keen awareness to the steady breeze, so the designers were cognizant of the prevailing winds on each hole. That’s not a typo on your scorecard: There’s good reason the par-4, second hole is what seems to be an unjust 453 yards while the par-4, 284-yard fifth appears on paper to be an easy birdie opportunity.

“If you had to play 18 holes of golf with a crosswind, you’d go loopy pretty quickly,” Riding said. “The wind here is going to be a factor, but it’s consistent; always at your back, or in your face. You just have to adjust accordingly.”

The course, which opened in 1995 and hosted the PGA Tour Canada-sanctioned Aruba Cup for the first time last year, is an amenity of Tierra del Sol Resort & Golf, which offers condos, villas and estate vacation homes as well as a spa, salon, pool, tennis courts, beach access and restaurants. Green fees range from $109 to $169 depending on time of day and season, and Nike club rentals are available.

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Police arrest 2 in connection with thefts from Westminster gym

Christopher Blackburn
Christopher Blackburn
Tiffany Cauyong
Tiffany Cauyong

FOUNTAIN VALLEY Two people were arrested Wednesday in connection with thefts from lockers at a Fountain Valley gym, police said.

Tiffany Cauyong, 18, and Christopher Blackburn ,19, both of Daly City were booked into the  Orange County Jail on suspicion of burglary, grand theft, and fraud, Fountain Valley police Sgt. Tony Luce said in a statement.

Around 10:40 a.m. Wednesday, police were notified that several lockers had been broken into at 24 Hour Fitness, 17200 Brookhurst St., Luce said.

Cauyong  and  Blackburn are suspected of stealing car keys, credit cards and cellphones, Luce said. Police believe the pair used the keys to unlock vehicles in the gym parking lot to take additional items.

Cauyong and Blackburn were arrested as they left Westminster Mall where police say they used stolen credit cards to make fraudulent purchases.

 

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Celebration of life for Irvine’s Scott Hinman set for Sunday

A celebration of life for trailblazing Irvine girls swimming and water polo coach Scott Hinman will be held Sunday in Costa Mesa at the Orange County Fair and Event Center’s Los Alamitos Exhibit Hall from 9 a.m. to noon.

Parking will be $8.

Hinman, 61, died March 29 after suffering a heart attack while coaching the Vaqueros at Northwood.

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Irvine girls team buoyed by support

Scott Hinman dies doing what he loved: coaching Irvine

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Chronic headaches only one hurdle Fullerton College’s Russell Hillabrand has had to overcome

Russell Hillabrand woke up one night with a headache. Odd, he thought, before falling back asleep.

The next morning, the headache returned. Or maybe it never left. The high school senior endured the pain, hoping the pressure in his noggin would subside.

It didn’t.

Over the next few years, the teen visited neurological and headache specialists, and when those experts – and their prescriptions – failed to allay the pain, Hillabrand was sent to pain management specialists.

“When you get to that level,” he said, “basically everyone is telling you, ‘We don’t know what to do.’”

Hillabrand’s chronic headache disorder could be genetic or of the onset variety. He doesn’t know. Likely never will.

His headaches fluctuate in severity, from light pressure to full-blown migraines. He said at its worst, his head throbs, as though a tight band has been wrapped around it or a weight placed atop it. Sometimes, he feels spikes poking the back of his eyes.

Hillabrand, 23, has learned how to compartmentalize the pain, burying it so far beneath his zen that even at their worst, the headaches don’t knock him off kilter.

And with the pain accounted for, the outgoing Fullerton College honors student earned five associate degrees, several academic and community awards and a full scholarship to prestigious Pomona College.

“Meditation helps” with channeling the pain, Hillabrand said. “It allows me to focus and reflect, and I try not to be so self-contained. When you’re in pain, you’re thinking about how much it hurts or ‘I can’t do this or that.’

“I stop making it about me, and I focus on others. It’s like the saying: I’m losing myself to find myself.”

***A tough break

In 2011, Hillabrand graduated from Trona High, a school named for the rural town of 1,900 in which it is headquartered.

From the outskirts of Death Valley, Hillabrand moved to Fullerton, enrolled in fall classes and found a full-time job. For two years he worked from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., then attended classes from 6 to 10.

“I didn’t have much of a life,” he quipped.

By spring 2013, he had earned enough credits to enroll at UC Irvine, where he planned to study political science. Around the same time, his mother remarried.

When discussing financial aid with UCI representatives, Hillabrand said he was told his parents made too much money – his stepfather’s salary counted toward the family’s household income, he found out, and because Hillabrand was younger than 24, he couldn’t qualify for financial aid as an independent.

Crestfallen, Hillabrand returned to Fullerton College, deciding against applying for loans to pay tens of thousands of dollars in tuition. He quit his job and found another that paid him less but offered weekend shifts.

Those first few semesters back at Fullerton, Hillabrand said he “lived off of the campus food bank” to get by. From Buena Park, he bused and biked to class – up to a one-hour commute one way, he said.

His headaches intensified as his routine changed. He failed classes.

***Deep thinker

Bruce Hanson first had Hillabrand in an intro to philosophy class in summer 2012. The teen was one of several students who stayed behind after hours to discuss that week’s material.

“He was brand new to philosophy,” Hanson said, “but he had by far the most inquisitive mind.”

Present day, Hanson – at Fullerton since 1990 – pointed to conversations he had with Hillabrand about St. Thomas Aquinas, Confucius and Taoism as turning points in their relationship; the two were less teacher and student during those discussions than friends, Hanson said.

In 2014, Hillabrand helped found Fullerton College’s philosophy club, a student hub for friendly discourse. Evelyn Martinez, a fellow student, joined, and the two hit it off. (They now are planning a wedding.)

Hillabrand also became a supplemental instruction tutor for Jodi Balma, his political science professor, and Hanson. He planned activities for other students that reinforced course content.

“The guy’s got a natural gift for teaching,” Hanson said. “He’s the best thinker I’ve had. Not the smartest, certainly not the best looking,” he added with a laugh, “but the first mark of a thinker is his ability to get some distance on the common mindset of a generation.

“Every generation has certain values, a certain mindset or cultural perspective. The best thinkers can transcend that and think against the grain.”

In the past couple of years, Hillabrand has earned associate degrees in philosophy, political science, geography, religious studies and economics.

But not without hardship.

Florescent lights and loud noises trigger Hillabrand’s headaches. Quite the combination for a college student, he joked. But while lecture halls and classrooms are “not physically comforting,” he said, they’re “safe havens, mental and emotional safe havens.

“At the beginning of a class (the headaches) can be painful,” Hillabrand said, “but school is what I like most, so I still enjoy class.”

Earlier this school year, Balma, Hanson and four other Fullerton faculty members nominated Hillabrand for consideration as a 2017 student of distinction, in the personal achievement category.

On Friday, a committee of campus constituents named him one of two distinguished students of the year.

“You can talk to any instructor he’s had here and they all adore him,” Hanson said. “He can have a serious discussion without making a person feel judged or threatened. That’s a gift. That’s a rare gift.”

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