Orange County boys basketball standings: Saturday, Jan. 18


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Standings for the Orange County boys basketball leagues through Jan. 17. The standings will be updated several times a week based on published information.

Trinity League League Overall
JSerra 3-1 18-3
St. John Bosco 3-1 16-5
Mater Dei 3-1 16-4
Orange Lutheran 1-3 13-6
Servite 1-3 15-6
Santa Margarita 1-3 9-10
South Coast League League Overall
Capistrano Valley 3-0 19-1
San Clemente 3-1 14-8
Mission Viejo 2-2 18-4
Trabuco Hills 1-3 13-9
Aliso Niguel 0-3 12-10
Sea View League League Overall
Tesoro 3-0 17-3
San Juan Hills 3-0 9-12
Dana Hills 2-2 15-6
El Toro 1-3 12-8
Laguna Hills 0-4 10-10
Surf League League Overall
Newport Harbor 1-0 19-4
Edison 1-0 14-9
Corona del Mar 0-1 14-7
Los Alamitos 0-1 14-8
Wave League League Overall
Laguna Beach 1-0 14-7
Fountain Valley 1-0 12-6
Marina 0-1 9-14
Huntington Beach 0-1 5-16
San Joaquin League League Overall
Pacifica Christian 3-0 15-4
Fairmont Prep 3-1 13-6
Capistrano Valley Christian 2-1 12-10
Saddleback Valley Christian 1-3 15-5
Orangewood Academy 0-4 11-10
Pacific Coast League League Overall
Beckman 4-0 12-10
Portola 3-1 11-11
Woodbridge 2-2 4-16
University 2-2 7-12
Northwood 1-3 6-16
Irvine 0-4 6-15
Orange Coast League League Overall
Estancia 4-0 19-3
Saddleback 2-2 4-18
Santa Ana 2-2 10-10
Costa Mesa 2-2 7-15
Calvary Chapel 2-2 7-14
Orange 0-4 3-19
Orange League League Overall
Century 4-0 13-8
Savanna 3-1 3-17
Katella 2-2 5-13
Anaheim 1-2 6-13
Santa Ana Valley 1-3 4-18
Magnolia 0-3 0-17
North Hills League League Overall
Yorba Linda 2-0 12-10
Brea Olinda 1-0 14-8
El Dorado 0-1 13-9
El Modena 0-2 14-6
Crestview League League Overall
Canyon 1-0 13-8
Villa Park 1-0 20-2
Foothill 1-2 9-12
Esperanza 0-1 2-19
Golden West League League Overall
Ocean View 4-0 14-8
Garden Grove 3-1 15-7
Segerstrom 2-2 6-15
Western 1-3 6-15
Godinez 1-3 12-9
Westminster 1-3 5-15
Garden Grove League League Overall
Los Amigos 4-0 13-7
Bolsa Grande 3-1 7-15
Santiago 2-2 10-12
Rancho Alamitos 2-2 9-9
Loara 1-3 6-16
La Quinta 0-4 4-18
Freeway League League Overall
Sonora 4-0 17-4
La Habra 4-0 15-7
Buena Park 2-2 17-3
Sunny Hills 1-3 12-10
Troy 1-3 11-11
Fullerton 0-4 4-18
Empire League League Overall
Cypress 4-0 17-5
Crean Lutheran 3-1 11-8
Tustin 2-2 15-7
Valencia 2-2 16-6
Pacifica 1-3 13-9
Kennedy 0-4 12-7
Academy League League Overall
St. Margaret’s 3-0 14-6
Sage Hill 3-1 8-13
Southlands Christian 1-2 8-14
Webb 0-2 4-9
Calvary Chapel 0-2 1-13

 

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Women’s March 2020 kicks off what figures to be a heated election season

The chants, signs and energy were on par with the past three years, even if the crowds for Women’s March 2020, held Saturday, Jan. 18, didn’t match the turnout of previous Southern California events.

Still, for many organizers and participants, size wasn’t the point.

In their view, the fourth annual Women’s March — in which the rallies in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties were just part of an international event that included more than 250 gathering points in communities as diverse as Boise, Idaho and Oslo, Norway — was simply the kickoff of to a contentious 2020 election season.

“It’s a reminder for people who feel the same way and want to see change happen in Washington,” said Sherman Oaks resident Dwayne Jones, 46, who took part in the march in downtown Los Angeles, which drew tens of thousands of participants.

“We’re going to continue to speak out and make sure people are voting.”

Indeed, the rallies Saturday — though technically non-partisan and aimed at highlighting issues related to climate, immigration and reproductive rights — served as vibrant get-out-the-vote efforts.

In Santa Ana, where Women’s March Orange County was held, the theme was “march today, vote tomorrow,” according to keynote speaker Rep. Katie Porter, D-Irvine.

It’s a strategy that’s already worked once, Porter added.

“We took the power of the Women’s March to the polls,” Porter told a friendly crowd of about 12,000 in Santa Ana, referring to how the events of 2017 and ’18 boosted turnout that drove huge Democratic gains in the 2018 midterms.

“When we have the courage to organize, to speak up, and to fight back, we have the power to make real change to move our country forward,” she added.

In Riverside, on the steps outside the Riverside Historic Courthouse, the county’s Democratic Party Chair, Tisa Rodriguez, offered a similar speech to several hundred marchers.

“Here’s the thing everyone, it is critically important that we all walk, that we all work and that we all vote,” Rodriguez said.

National organizers noted that while many of the participants have shown up at each annual rally that’s taken place since the 4.5 million person march held two days after President Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration, the field always includes more newcomers.

Those new marchers, organizers say, could be key in November.

“I will be voting this year,” said 18-year-old Aryianna Faircloth, of Irvine, who came to the Orange County event with her family.

Melissa Keener, 29, of Los Angeles, said she plans to do the same. After walking through downtown Los Angeles in a relaxed but crowded event, Keener said being part of the Women’s March is encouraging her to “become more politically active,” and to get involved in other protests.

It was a sentiment echoed by Libby Short, 25, of Marina del Rey, who said she’ll “continue to be active in (the) community” after attending the rally Saturday in Los Angeles.

While the crowds were peaceful and non-confrontational (in Santa Ana, some marchers thanked police, who were keeping the roads clear), the messaging and chants of many expressed growing frustration with Trump administration and GOP supporters.

While Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate wasn’t a focus on Saturday, participants — which included women, men, kids and even a few dogs — expressed views about a variety of causes: climate change, opposition to foreign wars and equal pay. One poster — “Too many grievances for one sign” — seemed to speak for many.

“We’re here because we don’t want our two homelands being at war with each other,” said Sudi Farokhnia, of Mission Viejo, who was one about 15 Iranian Americans who set up along the march route in Santa Ana to express opposition to military conflict with Iran.

Farokhnia suggested that U.S military action in Iran could hinder civic engagement and pro-democracy activism that country.

For Nancy Skinner, of Newport Beach, the reason to march Saturday was her desire to safeguard women’s reproductive rights. Her hand-made sign read “My body, my choice” and drew the eye with sparkly gold star stickers.

Now 85, Skinner recalled a story told by her physician husband, who said he once held the hand of a woman who was dying after trying to give herself an abortion.

In Skinner’s view, women’s rights are in danger, and she doesn’t believe she’ll live long enough to see a shift in that trend. Still, Skinner said, she’s heartened by the growing numbers of women running for office — a specific goal of the Women’s March movement.

“I’ll probably be out walking” to knock on doors for the eventual Democratic presidential nominee during this year’s election cycle, she said.

On the other end of the age spectrum, 15-year-old Eva Jabbari, of Aliso Viejo, hasn’t known a world where women couldn’t vote or hold nearly any job they wanted. But pay inequality? That’s something she’s seen, and changing it is one reason she came out to march.

“Double standards are gross,” Jabbari said. “We’re all equal.”

Some who turned out Saturday, like Erin Maddux, 30, of Irvine, said they’ve have been to every Women’s March since ’17.

“It’s kind of (crummy) that we still need it, because we’ve had a lot of these movements,” she said.

CNS News contributed to this report. 

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UCLA men take on Cal looking to break losing streak

UCLA men’s basketball head coach Mick Cronin sat lost for words. How could he describe his feelings of disappointment and frustration? He no longer could avoid the reality of the broken record his Bruins have become as of late.

The team had allowed a two-point deficit to Stanford at halftime grow to a 74-59 loss. The defeat not only marked the first against the Cardinal at Pauley Pavilion in 15 years, but also gave the Bruins their first losing record since 2016 as they’ve lost six out of their past seven games.

“When the going gets tough, we don’t have a lot of guys that get going,” Cronin said Wednesday following the game. “At the end of the day, I can’t play.”

For the second consecutive game, the Bruins had fallen apart after the first half. It’s a theme that has teased the small crowd of UCLA fans who have shown up for games at Pauley this season.

UCLA (8-9 overall, 1-3 Pac-12) opens the game with a strong hunger and strong energy, yet that all seems to disappear during the short intermission before a second half shows a deflated team unable to stop runs or make offensive drives.

“I sense the pattern of losing,” redshirt sophomore Jalen Hills said. “It sucks. Just going out there every time, it kinda seems inevitable.”

UCLA will get a more evenly matched contest Sunday evening when it hosts California (8-9, 2-2). However, after Cronin stated that his players’ inability to listen will cost them playing time and force him to shuffle lineups, there is no guarantee the Bruins will be able to break their second-half slump.

The Golden Bears haven’t won on the road all season and most recently lost 88-56 at USC on Thursday night. Cal is led by two players averaging double figures in sophomore and San Bernardino native Matt Bradley (17.5 points per game) and graduate senior Kareem South (10.5 ppg).

UCLA, which has lost three in a row, is led by Chris Smith with 12 points per game – the only Bruin averaging more than 10 points a game.

On Wednesday, Cronin debuted a new starting lineup, replacing senior guard Prince Ali with David Singleton.

Yet, the starters didn’t remain in for long as Cronin played 11 players in the first half. He explained the reason for the quick rotations as his excuse to why the team is not succeeding.

“To be honest with you, I had to keep playing certain guys that I don’t even think they deserve to play, but I didn’t want to put others back in so I was running out of guys,” Cronin said.

Singleton and Hill led the team with 32 and 31 minutes, respectively, as two of three players to score more than 10 points. Ali played a season-low two minutes, recording no points and one assist.

“We have guys that don’t listen,” he said. “I told them that I’m done protecting them. We have guys who just refuse to listen and follow orders, so therefore they don’t get to play.”

UCLA (8-9, 1-3) vs California (8-9, 2-2)

When: 5 p.m. Sunday

Where: Pauley Pavilion

TV/ Radio: ESPNU/ AM 570

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NAMM 2020: She Rocks Awards deliver powerful performances from Gloria Gaynor, Suzi Quatro and more

The speeches were as powerful as the performances at the 8th Annual She Rocks Awards at House of Blues Anaheim Friday night. The event, which is part of the 2020 NAMM Show happening at the adjacent Anaheim Convention Center, celebrated the careers of women in the music and audio industries.

Put together each year by the Women’s International Music Network founder Laura B. Whitmore, the 2020 She Rocks Awards was hosted by Yahoo Entertainment music editor Lyndsey Parker and saxophonist-vocalist Mindi Abair.

“For me, I feel like the Grammys came a week early,” Parker said of the event.

The evening’s top honor, the Legend Award, went to Gloria Gaynor, who blended the past with the future with two stunning performances that included her ’70s disco anthem “I Will Survive” and the funk and soul-filled “Talkin’ ‘Bout Jesus,” which is nominated in the gospel performance/song category of at the Grammy Awards this year.

  • Gloria Gaynor accepts the Legend Award at the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Linda Perry accepts the Powerhouse Award during the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

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  • Lzzy Hale performs during the She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Gloria Gaynor poses for a photograph on the red carpet of the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mindi Abair performs during the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Ebonie Smith accepts the Mad Skills Award during the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Mindi Abair performs during the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Lisa Loeb and Roey Hershkovitz pose for a photograph on the red carpet of the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Lzzy Hale accepts the Inspire Award during the She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Suzi Quatro performs during the She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Gloria Gaynor performs “I Will Survive” during the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Jenna Paone performs during the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Beatie Wolfe performs during the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Suzanne D’Addario Brouder accepts the Champion Award during the She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Suzi Quatro accepts the Icon Award during the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Myrna Sislen accepts the Trailblazer Award during the She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cherie Currie poses for a photograph on the red carpet of the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • From left, Linda Perry and Beatie Wolfe pose for a photograph on the red carpet of the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Lzzy Hale poses for a photograph on the red carpet of the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Lzzy Hale performs during the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • The band D_Drive performs during the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • The band Rock Sugah poses for a photograph on the red carpet of the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • From left, Laura Whitmore and Jenna Paone pose for a photograph on the red carpet of the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Myrna Sislen poses for a photograph on the red carpet of the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Suzi Quatro poses for a photograph on the red carpet of the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • The band D_Drive poses for a photograph on the red carpet of the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Tal Wilkenfeld accepts the Vision Award during the 8th annual She Rocks Awards at the House of Blues Anaheim on Friday, January 17, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

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Her voice is still so strong and the 70-year-old performer seemed genuinely humbled by her award.

“I’d like to thank She Rocks and I hope you will continue to recognize and commend admirable and exemplary ladies,” she said during her acceptance speech. “I hope you continue to be the paver for the way of others to honor women and give them their due in more and more and more areas of life.”

Suzi Quatro was equally as excited to receive her Icon Award and far more colorful in her language. The pioneering bassist and actress was ready to rock right out of the gate after she was introduced by the Runaways’ Cherie Currie, who made it clear that “The Runaways and Joan Jett would not exist without Suzi Quatro, and that’s a fact.”

“Let me clear up a little myth about women,” Quatro said, proceeding to explain that women are just as competent and able to rock as men though she did this using much more colorful language.

Now 70, Quatro said when she was 55 a male journalist asked her “When are you going to retire?” She said she replied with a smile and added, “When I turn my back on the audience, shake my [backside] and there’s silence.” She proceeded to turn around, shake that backside and got thunderous applause from the She Rocks audience.  She sounded fantastic through a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.” Guess she’s not retiring anytime soon.

Vocalist-guitarist Lzzy Hale of the heavy rock band Halestorm stole the show with her performance of the band’s songs “I Get Off” and “I Miss the Misery.” Her vocal range and overall stage presence make it easy to see why She Rocks wanted to honor her with the Inspire Award. She thanked her idols, including Lita Ford, Pat Benatar, Janis Joplin and Ann and Nancy Wilson. She also thanked her dad who was in the audience and “the only person here wearing zebra pants.”

“It wasn’t a career choice, it was a primal need,” she said of becoming a musician. “Rock and roll chose me, not the other way around.”

Linda Perry, singer-songwriter, producer and co-creator of L.A.-based record label, music publisher, and artist management company We Are Hear, was given the Powerhouse Award.

“I’ve always felt like I was going to create or cause damage,” she said as she picked up her award. “I never identified as a female, male, anything. I’ve just always been Linda Perry.”

She proceeded to champion singer-songwriter Willa Amai who jumped behind the piano to play a song. Perry then delivered an emotional version of “Not My Plan” on piano, followed by the song she wrote and gifted to Christina Aguilera, “Beautiful,” on acoustic guitar.

Singer-songwriter Beatie Wolfe received the Innovator Award and took her time to remember her friend and mentor Allee Willis, the award-winning L.A. singer-songwriter credited with writing the “Friends” theme song who suddenly passed last month at the age of 72.

“It’s great to be recognized as a musical weirdo and visionary,” she said while noting that Willis was very much the same.

“You brought joy to more people than you’ll ever know,” she added. “I adore you with every inch of this completely broken heart.”

The She Rocks Awards ran smoothly and on time this year and also included performances by the house band Rock Sugah, Japanese instrumental rock quartet D_Drive and Jenna Paone and Laura Clapp. Tara Low, editor and founder of Guitar Girl Magazine, received the Dreaming Out Loud Award and said she started the publication because she was tired of hearing, “You’re pretty good … for a girl.”

Myrna Sislen, owner of Middle C Music, who snagged the Trailblazer Award, said she “always wanted to be a rockstar even as a classical guitarist.” Ebonie Smith, founder and president of Gender Amplified, Inc. and Atlantic Records audio engineer and producer, picked up the Mad Skills Award; Suzanne D’Addario Brouder, executive director of the D’Addario Foundation, was given the Champion Award; Judy Schaefer, marketing director for PRS Guitars, was awarded the Excellence Award; and singer-songwriter Tal Wilkenfeld was given the Vision Award.

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Demolition at Mission Foothill Marketplace in Mission Viejo is about done

Developer Shea Homes has torn down the last walls of Mission Foothill Marketplace’s main building off Los Alisos Boulevard near the 241 toll road in Mission Viejo.

Workers will finish tearing out the parking lot around the building by Friday, Jan. 24. They are also demolishing the building’s foundation, Shea Homes Director of Community Development Brooke Doi said in an e-mail.

Rough grading for the site will begin Monday, Jan. 27, to prepare it for homes. Four small buildings with restaurants and shops on the outer edge of the property will remain.

The shopping center had struggled to attract visitors after Vons grocery store left in 2015. The Mission Viejo City Council in June approved Shea Homes’ proposal to replace the 99,500-square-foot building with 44 single-family homes and 61 townhouses.

The homes could be on the market by 2021.

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Here’s the deal about today’s Women’s March

Starting in about an hour, if all goes as expected, tens of thousands of people will take to streets throughout Southern California as part of the fourth annual national Women’s March.

What those marchers do the rest of the year isn’t clear, but organizers and many participants hope for one thing from the people who turn out today — a vote in the November election.

In fact, boosting voter turnout has been the unifying goal of the Women’s March and all other public demonstrations that have emerged since the election of President Donald Trump.

And, largely, that goal has been met.

While it’s hard to say how, or if, public events in the Trump era have shifted public opinion —  polling shows Americans remain fairly set in their views of Trump — voting data suggests demonstrations have boosted registration and participation. The Democratic wave of 2018 was driven by the biggest voter turnout for a midterm election in more than a century.

Today’s events in Southern California are among more than 100 marches planned around the country. Every one of them will have a voter registration booth.

Here’s some of what you might need to know.

If you’re attending in Los Angeles

The half-mile march starts at 9 a.m. with a rally at Pershing Square, at 532 S. Olive St.

At 10 a.m. demonstrators will begin marching northeast five blocks to City Hall, at 200 N. Spring St. That’s where participants will hear speakers and performances from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you’re driving in downtown LA

Spring Street, Broadway and Hill Street will be closed starting at 12:01 a.m. Saturday between 1st Street and Temple Street, according to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. At 7:30 a.m., the full route closure takes effect, with Spring Street, Broadway, Hill Street, and Olive Street closed from Temple Street to 6th Street. East-west cross streets along the route will also be closed, including Temple, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th streets. All of those roads will remain closed until 4 p.m.

If you’re attending in Santa Ana

The Orange County rally starts 10 a.m. at the Corner of W. Civic Center Dr. and N. Flower St. in downtown Santa Ana. It is slated to open with an indigenous blessing followed by a keynote address from Rep. Katie Porter, D-Irvine.

If you’re driving in Santa Ana

Drivers are encouraged to avoid the area until mid-afternoon. From 3 a.m. to 3 p.m., Flower Street will be closed between Civic Center Drive and Santa Ana Boulevard, while 6th Street will be closed from Boyd Way to Flower Street. There also will be intermittent closures on some surrounding streets from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you’re attending in the Inland Empire

In Riverside, people will gather at the Riverside Historic Courthouse at 4050 Main St. at 10 a.m. From there, they’ll head south on Main Street, turn east on 12th Street, head north on Orange Street, west on University Avenue and then back down the Main Street Mall pedestrian walkway until they return to the courthouse.

Post march, a rally is slated to start out in front of the courthouse at 11 a.m. Rep. Norma Torres, D-Pomona, will serve as grand marshal. More elected officials, candidates and other guest speakers are expected to attend.

Some streets in downtown Riverside will be closed to traffic Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

In Hemet, demonstrators will meet at 10 a.m. at Gibbel Park, 2500 W. Florida Avenue.

In Coachella, the march starts at 10 a.m. at the Coachella Veterans Memorial Park, at 1500 4th St.

In Yucca Valley, demonstrators will gather from 10 a.m. to noon at 57266 Twentynine Palms Highway, at the corner of Highways 62 and 247.

In Idyllwild, demonstrators will gather at noon Saturday at the Idyllwild Town Monument on Ridgeview Drive.

Check this space frequently. We’ll offer live updates from throughout the region.

 

 

 

 

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‘Burly’ Disneyland visitor pulls Excalibur from Sword in the Stone

A “burly” and “buff dude” known only as Sam removed the Sword in the Stone before stunned visitors at Disneyland in a feat legend holds can only be accomplished by the new king.

All hail King Samuel the Burly, first of his name, king of Fantasyland, lord of the Magic Kingdoms and protector of the Happiest Realm on Earth.

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A guest was able to pull a prop version of the legendary Excalibur sword from an anvil next to King Arthur Carousel in Fantasyland, according to Disneyland cast members. Disneyland officials could not confirm the incident.

Disneyland’s Excalibur sword was first reported missing from the stone on Jan. 12 by WDW News Today. A follow-up story the next day reported the sword had mysteriously returned and included an eyewitness account of how Excalibur had been pulled from its resting place by the new king of Disneyland.

A close adviser to the new King of Disneyland told WDW News Today that “my friend Sam” broke the sword during a visit on Jan. 8.

“He literally ripped it out,” an eyewitness told WDW News Today. “It was his first time at Disney and he’s a pretty buff dude. I told him if he pulled it out he’d win a prize and he just used brute force I guess.”

Disneyland employees took the “broken and jagged” Excalibur and taped over the hole in the anvil to keep visitors from cutting their fingers on the broken blade of the sword, according to the eyewitness.

Another eyewitness told WDW News Today they watched a “very burly man” remove the sword from the stone.

“At first it seemed as if he had pulled it out, but a (cast member) quickly came over (because) he had in fact broken it,” the second eyewitness said.

The Disneyland Excalibur pays tribute to “The Sword in the Stone,” a 1963 Disney animated movie. The adaption of the classic fable centers on the legend of Excalibur, a sword with an inscription proclaiming whoever removes it will be the new king.

Merlin the Magician hosts a show in Fantasyland where visitors are invited to pull the sword from the stone. Typically a strong-looking adult fails to remove the sword before a small child is able to accomplish the feat. Throughout the rest of the day, visitors pose for photos with the immovable sword.

Disneyland’s Sword in the Stone will likely be behind construction walls soon when King Arthur Carousel undergoes an extensive renovation.

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Here’s why the Forest Service is no longer hosting a bald eagle count

For about 40 years, the Forest Service would hold bald eagle counts during January in the local mountains. But since the eagles numbers have increased in recent years, the counts have been discontinued. If want to see the birds up close, you can visit an eagle camera online.

Worldwide, there are approximately 74 species of eagles, but only two in North America. Never disturb or approach an eagle’s nest, even if they are not in it.

Bald eagles can be spotted near Big Bear Lake, Irvine Lake, Lake Elsinore, Huntington Beach’s Central Park and Catalina Island.

Golden eagles have been spotted in almost all Southern California counties except for Imperial County in recent years.

Bald eagles migrate to Southern California from thousands of miles away. The UC Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group used battery-powered sensors and satellite telemetry to track migratory patterns of eagles. On March 13, 1998, one bird took off from Silverwood Lake and landed at Great Slave Lake, Canada, on April 16 – a distance of more than 1,800 miles in just over a month.

Golden eagles in California tend to be here year-round, but golden eagles in Alaska and Canada may migrate south as far as 1,000 miles to wintering areas.

Eagle cam

The video above is from the Friends of Big Bear Valley eagle nest cam. The camera has been permitted and installed since 2015. Currently, there are two eggs in the nest. A pair of eagles have been returning to the nest for several years. You can watch the action live at: www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/eagles

Bald eagle

The bald eagle was voted our national seal in 1782. To help preserve the bird’s declining numbers, Congress passed the Bald Eagle Protection Act in 1940. Once endangered, the birds have not been on the endangered species list since 2007.

Bald eagles have about 7,000 feathers. Their feathers are made of keratin and grow continuously, just like their talons and beaks.

It is illegal to possess any part of an eagle. If you find feathers, contact the National Eagle Repository at 303-287-2110

Golden eagle

This bird is widespread in the wilder country of North America, Europe and Asia. About the same size as the bald eagle, the golden eagle is less of a scavenger and more of a predator, regularly taking prey up to the size of foxes and cranes. Some bird scientists have raised concern that their populations are on decline in Southern California.

Sharper image

Eagles kill their prey by puncturing their flesh with their talons. They have four talons on each foot. The back, hallux talon, is the largest at almost 2 inches long in females and an inch and a quarter on males.

Eagle basics

What humans can see at 5 feet away … an eagle can see at 20 feet away.

Bald and golden eagles often mate for life.

Females are larger than males, and birds of northern states and provinces tend to be larger than those from the southern portions of the breeding range.

Acquires adult plumage at 4 or 5 years of age.

May fly more than 100 miles in a day.

Lifespan more than 20 years in the wild.

An eagle’s eye is about the size of a human eye, but eagles have a much greater field of vision. A human’s peripheral vision is about 180 degrees, but an eagle’s can be over 300 degrees of vision.

Females can lay two to four eggs a year.

Chicks fledge, or leave the nest, at about 12 weeks old.

Immature bald eagles are often mistaken for hawks. They are not at breeding age until four to five years old.

Backyard bird count

The 23rd Great Backyard Bird Count will be held Feb. 14-Feb. 17. It takes as little as 15 minutes and will help create a real-time snapshot of bird populations.

Go to www.birdcount.org for more information.

Sources: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; California Department of Fish and Wildlife, birdcount.org, Audubon.org, Photos: SCNG file photos; The Associated Press; Wiki-media Commons

 

 

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Home-grown documentary ‘Relentless’ inspires in San Clemente, before heading to Sundance

  • Filmmaker Shelby Thompson, a former San Clemente High School and Chapman University student, and Marty O’Connor, the subject of Thompson’s film “Relentless,” who was paralyzed after a neck injury, discus the award-winning documentary, and struggles of O’Connor’s daily life, during a screening of the film at the Stance Headquarters in San Clemente on Thursday, January 16, 2020. (Photo By Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Filmmaker Shelby Thompson, a former San Clemente High School and Chapman University student, and Marty O’Connor, the subject of Thompson’s film “Relentless,” who was paralyzed after a neck injury, discus the award-winning documentary, and the struggles of O’Connor’s daily life, while his mother and full-time caretaker, Judy O’Connor, looks on during a screening at the Stance Headquarters in San Clemente on Thursday, January 16, 2020. (Photo By Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

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  • Filmmaker Shelby Thompson, a former San Clemente High School and Chapman University student, and Marty O’Connor, the subject of Thompson’s film “Relentless,” who was paralyzed after a neck injury, discus the award-winning documentary, and the struggles of O’Connor’s daily life, while his mother and full-time caretaker, Judy O’Connor, looks on during a screening at the Stance Headquarters in San Clemente on Thursday, January 16, 2020. (Photo By Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Judy O’Connor, mother and full-time caretaker of quadriplegic Marty O’Connor, answers questions from the audience following a screening of the documentary “Relentless,” by filmmaker Shelby Thompson, about her son’s injury and his persistent optimism, at the Stance Headquarters in San Clemente on Thursday evening, January 16, 2020. (Photo By Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Documentarian and San Clemente native Shelby Thompson introduces her film, “Relentless,” and the film’s quadriplegic subject, Marty O’Connor, during a screening of the film, which won a Student Academy Award, at the Stance Headquarters in San Clemente on Thursday, January 16, 2020. (Photo By Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Documentarian and San Clemente native Shelby Thompson introduces her film, “Relentless,” and the film’s quadriplegic subject, Marty O’Connor, during a screening of the film, which won a Student Academy Award, at the Stance Headquarters in San Clemente on Thursday, January 16, 2020. (Photo By Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

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Imagine sitting in the middle seat on a long car ride — stuck between two other people, uncomfortable and unable to move.

That’s how Marty O’Connor describes life as a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, all day, every day.

And when you’re body can’t move, the only thing you can do is work on your mind.

An audience of about 200 people on Thursday, Jan. 16, got a glimpse into O’Connor’s life during a San Clemente showing of the 24-minute documentary “Relentless,” which details not only his daily challenges, but also the amazing feats he’s been able to accomplish in the years following a freak accident that left him unable to move his body below his neck.

O’Connor, who grew up in Anaheim Hills, along with filmmaker and San Clemente native Shelby Thompson, premiered the movie at the Stance Socks Headquarters as part of the first stop in a nation-wide tour of the film that next week heads to Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

O’Connor, who now lives in Orange, was an active, athletic kid growing up, playing traditional sports but also gravitating toward board sports such as surfing, skating and snowboarding.


Marty O’Connor, who grew up in Anaheim Hills, was known for his athletic ability, before a freak accident left him quadriplegic. The film “Relentless” documents his daily life and accomplishments. (Photo: Relentless)

He was so good in the snow he joined his college snowboard team at the University of Colorado, Boulder, pushing boundaries on big jumps and jibs down the mountain.

But it wasn’t flying down the slopes or doing dangerous tricks that broke his neck – it was slipping on five stairs in Newport Beach while home on break as exhaustion and dehydration set in after a long day in triple-digit heat with friends.

“It was only five stairs,” said O’Connor, now 32. “I just couldn’t catch myself. One thing led to another and I woke up with a new life.”

That new life meant no more playing sports like he once did, no more walking or running or doing any of the physical activities he once loved to do.

Those first three years were dark and difficult, he said. And looking back, so were the years prior to the accident.

“Even before I got injured, I was just a hothead, a sports guy and always really hard on myself. I didn’t realize the subconscious that was going on beneath the surface. … God laid me on my back so I’d be forced to look up,” he said.

“It really stripped me down to nothing, so I was forced to confront things, one at a time, and really start breaking down my issues and challenging myself in ways I never could have imagined. That just compounded on top of itself and I’m finding success in ways I never would have thought of.”

One of his big life decisions was to go back to grad school at Chapman University, with his mom Judy, also his caretaker, by his side as he earned his MBA.

O’Connor met Thompson while he was working as vice president of business development at the action sports company Divert Collective. He hired her as his intern, and she was immediately amazed by how he lived his life — the everyday challenges that didn’t stand in his way.

She was still undecided on what she wanted to major in until O’Connor encouraged her to follow her dream of filmmaking.

“I knew how hard it was to get in, I didn’t know that it was possible,” said Thompson, now 23. “He taught me, don’t be complacent, be confident in yourself.  A few weeks later I applied for film school — I got in the next semester.”

And she knew just who she wanted to feature in her first film.

“It was a vulnerable thing to film. I don’t know how many people he let in about what happened to him. I think he thought it was a five-minute student film. I don’t think he realized it was my thesis,” she said with a laugh.

“Not having any background at that production level, I didn’t know what I was doing either. … I can’t even explain it, I just felt like I needed to film him.”

Thompson followed O’Connor for six months, filming everything from rehab sessions to his daily routines — including how Judy helps him brush his teeth and hair and gets him dressed, and him at home doing schoolwork.

“My biggest takeaway is to be confident in yourself and in your abilities, and to grow out of your comfort zone,” Thompson said. “Marty is someone who does that every day.”

Thompson thought she was done filming until one day O’Connor called to say he was heading to Park City to get on the snow again.

“I held off for six years getting back on the mountain,” he said. “I had it in my mind that it wasn’t going to be the same thrill. I thought it was going to bum me out.”

O’Connor got a guide who helped push him 60 mph down the mountain, through trees, up jumps and on rails – one of which O’Connor overshot and cracked a rib on.

“It was so worth it,” he said with a smile. “Honestly, it completely opened my eyes to what I’m capable of, that day was a bit of a game changer for me. It was the most unbelievable feeling.”

Mom Judy said watching him come down the mountain was a big moment for both of them.

“You feel like everything is taken away from you, everything you love and it’s a hard battle back,” she said of her son’s journey. “His face when he came down the mountain, it was wonderful. I was bawling. It just gave him hope that he could do what he loved before. You have to do it differently. But he can still do it.”

O’Connor will be on that same mountain next week when “Relentless” premieres at Sundance, before they take the film on a nationwide tour, showing at film festivals, schools, rehab centers and businesses along the way.

“I want us to be able to spread the message,” O’Connor said. “I think the movie transcends demographics. It’s not just for people in a wheelchair, not just for people who got hurt.”

The film also was selected as a finalist for the Student Academy Awards.

Sinan Kanatsiz, founder of the International Executive Council, said O’Connor’s story is really just starting. Kanatsiz hosted a gathering of 400 company executives in Las Vegas recently with O’Connor as one of the guest speakers.

“We are going to put all of our wind under your sail, we are going to support you,” Kanatsiz said.

Since the film was shot, O’Connor has started his own company, Marty O’Connor Creative Agency (MOCA), and continues his work as chairman of the board for the Marty O’Connor Foundation for Progress, a nonprofit he and his mom created after his injury to help others with disabilities who need financial assistance with things such as medical equipment and education.

He also recently launched a podcast with friend Sonny Kaesbauer, “Wheel Talks Official,” which aims at telling inspiring stories of people who have overcome adversity, as well as educating about spinal cord injury and the realities people in wheelchairs face each day.

And while life still has its challenges, O’Connor said he’s excelled in ways he could never have imagined and he hopes he can inspire others to unlock their own potential, no matter what obstacles they may face.

“If we can help people find their path and realize their potential, that’s the next step,” he said. “All we want to do is get that messaging out and change other people. You are only as good as the lives you affect. We hope we can do that for other people.”

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Clippers say players-only film sessions give them needed boost

LOS ANGELES — Time will tell whether the Clippers really have rounded the corner, but they certainly picked up momentum on the turn this past week with easy home victories over the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic.

For the past two games, anyway, the Clippers have clicked. They shot 50.8 percent from the field, 41.4 percent from 3-point range and scored combined 250 points while boasting a net rating of plus-26.1.

In their previous 13 games — an unflattering hopscotch of 7 wins and 6 losses that, at least momentarily, suggested the Clippers’ chances of hosting a playoff series could be jeopardy — they were averaging just 115.4 points. They shot 47.4 from the floor and 36.2 percent from 3-point range. Their net rating in that span: an unimpressive plus-2.7.

The difference? Naturally improving chemistry, a pair of productive shootaround sessions, and maybe most of all: extra screen time.

“We’ve watched more film intently,” guard Lou Williams said. “We’ve been watching a little bit more film than usual with just the players and just getting a better understanding of how we can be better for each other, so I think that’s done us some good.”

Center Ivica Zubac said teammates who watch game film together tend to stay on the same page together.

“It’s not abnormal, but it doesn’t happen often,” Zubac said after Thursday’s 122-95 victory over Orlando. “We got back to it because we had a tough stretch, and we got away from our game, our style of play.

“It’s really important for us players to watch the game together and see what are we doing wrong and where we can improve and just keep everyone accountable, tell them what you want them to do on certain plays. So when we’re out there on the court and that thing happens, we get it right.

“We’ve got guys on the team that hold everyone accountable and everyone is gonna admit when they make a mistake. We work together and we talk it out to solve the issue. It’s great when you can tell anyone what’s on your mind, whether you think they make a mistake or where you made a mistake, and they’re gonna be like, ‘Yeah, I got you. Let’s do it this way.’ That’s how it’s supposed to be.”

Those conversations aren’t at all uncomfortable, second-year guard Landry Shamet insisted. Not when there’s mutual respect and a common purpose.

“When everybody’s on the same, page, it’s easy,” Shamet said. “You know where everybody’s coming from. Obviously, we get frustrated and upset and nobody’s having fun losing games that we shouldn’t be losing, and losing the wrong way. It’s one thing if you’re playing the right way and you’re losing, but if you’re not playing the right way, you can feel it and so it’s frustrating.

“Obviously those conversations have to be had. But if you know it’s coming from the right place, like we’re trying to get better, they’re not difficult to have. They’re coming from the right place.”

And the information being exchanged is invaluable, said Kawhi Leonard, his sights set on the ultimate goal: “Championship teams, they’re smart and they’re on a string. The basketball IQ has to be at a high level to be able to win.”

In the near term, the Clippers’ challenge will be keeping their spirited play alive away from Staples Center. They’re packing a 10-9 road record for the six-game Grammy Trip, which begins Saturday in New Orleans (12:30 p.m., ABC) and ends Jan. 28 in L.A., with a game that the Lakers will host.

“We gotta continue to play like this on the road,” Zubac said. “We haven’t played good on the road and we gotta start winning road games. This road trip is gonna be a great test for us.”

Pat showing off his wizardry. @patbev21 feed ➡@ivicazubac finish

📺@FoxSportsWest | #ClipperNation pic.twitter.com/kYF50JbUMj

— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 17, 2020

Keep that same spirit and attitude.

🗯@patbev21 after shootaround. pic.twitter.com/eooPvkB3r0

— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 16, 2020

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