Unseasonal heat may have triggered Marina fish kill

fishkillHeaps of dead anchovies, some stingrays and even an octopus rose to the ocean’s surface in Marina del Rey this weekend, creating a massive stink and a challenging clean-up for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. One biologist says the massive fish kill could be due to a lack of oxygen in the water caused by the recent heat wave. The dead fish created a solid sheet of silver across large swaths of the Marina. Still, this event is considered smaller than fish kills that occurred three years ago at King Harbor in Redondo Beach and the Ventura Harbor. In those cases, the die-off was blamed on millions of small fish entering the harbors and depleting the water of oxygen. The dead fish were used as fertilizer.

sdfiresAfter a week that saw a dozen wind-driven wildfires, the toll in San Diego County stands at one dead, nearly 50 houses destroyed and 39 square miles of charred landscape. Four fires are still burning, including a destructive blaze near San Marcos and two brushfires at Camp Pendleton. But none is currently threatening homes or businesses, and all the people who were evacuated last week have been allowed to go home. It’s unusual to see such dangerous fire conditions in May, but Gov. Jerry Brown is among those warning that, because of drought and climate change, this could be the new normal in California. He says the state has 50,000 firefighters and has appropriated $600 million for battling wildfires this year, but it may not be enough.

One of the first housing projects in the country serving female veterans facing homelessness is close to being completed in San Pedro. Volunteers of America is spending $15 million to convert family housing the U.S. Navy left in 1997 into townhomes for female vets and their children. The Navy deeded a 9-acre site to the nonprofit service group at no charge as part of its base reuse project after the Long Beach shipyards shut down. The V.A. says female veterans are the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population. Last year, 8 percent of the country’s homeless vets were women.

Los Angeles County JailTestimony continues today in the trial of L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy James Sexton, who’s charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice in a wide-ranging federal probe. Sexton is the first of 19 current and former deputies to go to trial. Federal prosecutors say he was a key player in an elaborate effort to interfere with an FBI investigation inside LA County jails. Last week, a federal jury listened to audio excerpts of sheriff’s deputies talking to an FBI informant, as they tried to flesh out information about the FBI’s investigation. Following the verdict in Sexton’s trial, six other deputies will stand trial on the similar charges. Other cases are scheduled for later this year.

DISNEYLANDThe price to gain admission to the “Happiest Place on Earth” is quickly climbing toward $100. Starting today, Disneyland single-park tickets are $96, a $4 increase. The cost for annual passes is going up too. And Disneyland is sales of its popular Southern California Passport, although people who already have the passes can renew, albeit at a higher price. Disneyland single-day ticket prices have more than doubled since 2003. The latest hike comes as Disneyland and California Disney Adventure experience strong attendance growth.