Monthly Archives: December 2014

PHOTOS: SoCal Gets a Visitor from Canada, Cold Air!

Some times I feel like a postman, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” – Last week it was rain, today is was cold weather.

As temperatures hovered around 50º, Southern Californians bundled up. Swimmers were surround by steam as they ddi their early morning workout at the Janet Evans Swim Complex and train riders bundled up on the platform in Fullerton,

PHOTOS: Alpacas, Guinea Pigs and a Baby Zebra

Zoomers Petting Zoo in San Juan Capistrano has a 6-month old baby Zebra.

PHOTOS: Saying Goodbye to the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool


Workers demolish the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach. The demolition includes the entire site, the indoor pool, locker rooms and adjacent ballroom.

In early 2013, the pool was determined to be seismically unsafe – in a press release, the city of Long Beach announced “the Belmont Pool must be permanently shuttered to ensure the safety of the community.”

The Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool, once known as “The Taj Ma-hal” of swim stadiums, opened in 1968 and hosted the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials that year, sending athletes to Mexico City for the Summer Games. The natatorium also was home to the Olympic trials in 1976 that saw Greg Louganis competing to go to Montreal and the NCAA championships in 1974 and 1978.

The Greek modern pool facility has been used for countless commercials, TV shows and movies, including portions of the final scene of James Cameron’s “Titanic.”

As a temporary replacement, a $4.6 million temporary swim arena was built in the parking lot next to the former Pool. It features covered seating and a movable divider with starting blocks for racing.

The city of Long Beach is planing to build a permanent replacement pool. According to Eric Lopez, Tidelands Capital Projects program manager, the temporary pool will be reused as part of the permanent new facility; diving will be included in the building that replaces the Belmont.

PHOTOS: A Day at the Tree Farm

Rayne Mendez was excited when she arrived to search for a Christmas Tree at Peltzer Pines. She got more excited when she found out she’d be able to help cut it down.

Quickly, she dashed from tree to tree, briefly examining the leaves, yelling, “How ‘bout this one Mommy?”. Then jumping to the next tree saying the same thing.

Mendez said this was her first time cutting her own tree and, “It was amazing!”. She added, “The weirdest thing about cutting down my own tree is that I can go back, but I couldn’t go forward” referring to the saw, which she was only able to move in one direction. Mendez was able to cut down the tree with a little help from Chase Peltzer.

The Peltzer family has been farming in Orange County since 1913 – selling locally-grown trees the last 51 years. Today trees are grown in Brea and Silverado.

Chase Peltzer’s great-great grandfather, Victor Peltzer, was farming in Anaheim before selling that land to Walt Disney.

Chase Peltzer said his grandfather, Chuck Peltzer, knows exactly where his old farm house stood because he recognizes trees that are still in the Magic Kingdom. According to Chase Peltzer, his grandfather’s original farm house was located where Tom Sawyer’s Island is today.

Chase Peltzer works at the tree farm everyday from the Saturday before Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve – only taking Thanksgiving off.

The farm opens at 11:30, but Chase said on opening day people start lining up in the middle of the night in an effort to pick the perfect tree. People often come on opening day, tag their tree, then come weeks later to pick it up.

Chase Peltzer said it takes four years to grow a tree big enough to sell. He said they plant new trees in March and all summer long workers tend to the trees trimming them to grow in the familiar triangle shape.

PHOTOS: Rainpocolypse!


I was up before the Sun to cover #rainpocolypse, the largest storm in five years to hit drought-stricken Southern California.

PHOTOS: Super Guppy Leaves Long Beach


The B-377-SGT, also known as the “Super Guppy Turbine,” leaves Long Beach Airport on Wednesday morning.  The Super Guppy arrived at LGB on Monday. It is notable for its prominent forehead and enormous mid-section, as well as four turbine engines and propellers. The plane is operated by NASA and used to transport large cargo, such as components for the International Space Station.

PHOTOS: Under a Giant Cruller, Dunkin’ Donuts Open in Long Beach


Grand opening for the new Dunkin’ Donuts in Long Beach.

PHOTOS: Giant Donut Back at Seventh and PCH


A giant doughnut is placed atop the new Dunkin’ Donuts at Seventh Street and PCH in Long Beach. The cruller, originally pink, was removed earlier this year.

PHOTOS: Miguel Gonzalez of Northgate Gonzalez Markets


Miguel Gonzalez in the Northgate Gonzalez Markets warehouse in Anaheim on Friday.  Gonzalez runs his family business, a supermarket located in low income neighborhoods.

PHOTOS: Rain Art

Well, it doesn’t rain very often in Southern California – especially the last few years. But when it does I’m out there shooting pictures. Here are a few from Tuesday’s storm.