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February 9, 2014 | By Angel Jennings
A Tustin man who was electrocuted while taking photos from a tree has been identified by the Orange County coroner's office. David Strohm Jr., 27, was discovered in the tree by family members about 8:40 a.m. Sunday, according to the coroner. He was tangled in electrical wire that ran through the tree and was not moving. It took firefighters about an hour using special equipment to remove Strohm's body from the tree in the 15600 block of South California Street, said Capt. Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority.
February 9, 2014 | By Angel Jennings
A 27-year-old Tustin man was electrocuted while taking photos of a sunset from a tree in his backyard, authorities said. It took firefighters about an hour using special equipment to remove the unidentified victim's body from the tree in the 15600 block of South California Street, said Capt. Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority. Family members, who had spent hours looking for the victim, called the Fire Department about 8:40 a.m. after they made the gruesome discovery, he said.
February 6, 2014 | By Samantha Schaefer
Brendan Holmes shot this photo of two silhouettes next to the shadow of a tree with his iPhone 5 on Jan. 24.  Follow Samantha Schaefer on Twitter . Each week, we're featuring photos of Southern California submitted by readers. Share your photos on our  Flickr page  or  reader submission gallery .  Follow us on Twitter  or visit  for more on this photo series.
February 4, 2014 | By Michael McGough
Last week, newspapers reported on the latest wrinkle in one of my favorite recurring stories: the interbreeding between modern humans and the beetle-browed brutes known as Neanderthals. The “introgression” of Neanderthal DNA into the genomes of modern humans apparently happened between 37,000 and 85,000 years ago, when modern humans whose ancestors had left Africa encountered the Neanderthals, remnants of a previous exodus. Last week's news was that the residual Neanderthal DNA may have contributed some advantages, such as skin that could survive cold weather.
February 1, 2014 | Steve Lopez
When I asked for a list of all the claims filed against the city of Los Angeles by people who have tripped and injured themselves on city sidewalks, I didn't realize I might throw my back out just lifting the document. OK, a slight exaggeration. But the list is 98 pages long, and since 2007 the city has paid out several million dollars annually. While a few of the cases involve potholes or crumbling playgrounds, this is primarily a pedestrian vs. pavement problem, with the pavement always winning.
January 24, 2014 | Chris Erskine
The round-lobed sweetgum I planted a few months months ago appears to be tilting a little to the north, like a Russian skyscraper or a knobby-kneed college center. I fear it may never right itself. It will only grow taller and more obviously wrong. So it is with sons. Can you right them once they've rooted? Can dads and sons right each other? With fathers, you sort of get what you get. No one ever gets to choose his old man. If you did, you'd never pick a dad who plants crooked trees or eats oysters like nachos and prefers brats boiled in beer.
January 24, 2014 | By Christopher Reynolds
It's good to be reminded that Sacramento isn't just a consumer of our tax dollars and a dispenser of red tape. It's also a real place with real seasons - daunting heat in summer, golden leaves in fall, chill winds in winter, rampant green renewal in spring. My family and I spent a weekend in November, when fall foliage was still draping Capitol Park (between L and N and 10th and 15th streets) with gravitas. I found J Street livelier than I remembered from a few years before. My wife and daughter liked the wooden sidewalks and Old West flourishes of Old Sacramento.
January 21, 2014 | By Ruben Vives
A mobile home fire Monday in Long Beach was ignited by a Christmas tree, officials said, displacing a family of four who was being assisted by the Red Cross. Long Beach firefighters responded around 8:23 p.m. to a call of a mobile home on fire in the 6400 block of Atlantic Avenue, with possible victims trapped inside. The first firefighters on the scene found a mobile home with heavy smoke and fire showing on all sides, according to a statement from the Long Beach Fire Department.
January 15, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
Scientists who gathered decades of measurements from hundreds of thousands of trees all over the world are punching a hole in the common assumption that large, old trees are biologically pretty much over the hill. To the contrary, researchers found that the senior trees have rapid growth rates and keep capturing carbon - lots of it. "The growth rate just keeps increasing as trees get bigger," said study leader Nate Stephenson, a California-based research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.
January 10, 2014 | By S. Irene Virbila
On a short jaunt to the desert between Christmas and New Year's Day, my friends and I (four in all, in a rented house) ran out of coffee rather precipitously. Without coffee -- strong coffee --how are you going to ever get up for an early morning hike in the park? We had a four-cup French press with us, and I didn't relish trying to make some decent joe in that with a can of Folger's from the general market. Bingo! At the farmers market in town that Saturday morning, we found a stand where Royce Robertson and his wife, Ikeke, were selling fresh, certified organic coffee beans.
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