definition of Wikipedia
|County of Orange|
|— County —|
|Incorporated||March 11, 1889|
|Named for||Orange groves that were once plentiful in the area|
|County seat||Santa Ana|
|• Total||2,455.3 km2 (947.98 sq mi)|
|• Land||2,044.5 km2 (789.40 sq mi)|
|• Water||410.7 km2 (158.57 sq mi)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Density||1,472.3/km2 (3,813.3/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)|
Orange County is a county in the U.S. state of California. Its county seat is Santa Ana. As of the 2010 census, its population was 3,010,232, making it the third most populous county in California, behind Los Angeles County and San Diego County and the second most populous in Greater Los Angeles behind Los Angeles County. It is the sixth most populous county in the United States as of 2009 while at the same time is the smallest area-wise county in Southern California, being roughly half the size of the next smallest county, Ventura. The county is famous for its tourism, as the home of such attractions as Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, as well as several beaches along its more than 40 miles (64 km) of coastline. It is known for its affluence and political conservatism – a 2005 academic study listed three Orange County cities as being among America's 25 "most conservative," making it one of two counties in the country containing more than one such city (Maricopa County, Arizona also has three cities on the list).
Orange County was at the time the largest US county to have gone bankrupt, when in 1994 longtime treasurer Robert Citron's investment strategies left the county with inadequate capital to allow for any raise in interest rates for its trading positions. When the residents of Orange County voted down a proposal to raise taxes in order to balance the budget, bankruptcy followed soon after. Citron later pleaded guilty to six felonies regarding the matter.
Whereas most population centers in the United States tend to be identified by a major city, there is no defined urban center in Orange County. It is mostly suburban, except for some traditionally urban areas at the centers of the older cities of Anaheim, Santa Ana, Orange, Huntington Beach, and Fullerton. There are several edge city-style developments such as Irvine Business Center, South Coast Metro and Newport Center.
The city of Santa Ana serves as the governmental center of the county, Anaheim as its main tourist destination, and Irvine as its major business and financial hub. All of these three Orange County cities have populations exceeding 200,000. Thirty-four incorporated cities are located in Orange County; the newest is Aliso Viejo, which was incorporated in 2001. Anaheim was the first city incorporated in Orange County, in 1870 when the region was still part of neighboring Los Angeles County.
Members of the Tongva, Juaneño, and Luiseño Native American groups long inhabited the area. After the 1769 expedition of Gaspar de Portolà, a Spanish expedition led by Junipero Serra named the area Valle de Santa Ana (Valley of Saint Anne). On November 1, 1776, Mission San Juan Capistrano became the area's first permanent European settlement. Among those who came with Portolá were José Manuel Nieto and José Antonio Yorba. Both these men were given land grants—Rancho Los Nietos and Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, respectively. The Nieto heirs were granted land in 1834. The Nieto ranches were known as Rancho Los Alamitos, Rancho Las Bolsas, and Rancho Los Coyotes. Yorba heirs Bernardo Yorba and Teodosio Yorba were also granted Rancho Cañón de Santa Ana (Santa Ana Canyon Ranch) and Rancho Lomas de Santiago, respectively. Other ranchos in Orange County were granted by the Mexican government during the Mexican period in Alta California.
A severe drought in the 1860s devastated the prevailing industry, cattle ranching, and much land came into the possession of Richard O'Neill, Sr., James Irvine and other land barons. In 1887, silver was discovered in the Santa Ana Mountains, attracting settlers via the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific Railroads.
This growth led the California legislature to divide Los Angeles County and create Orange County as a separate political entity on March 11, 1889. The county is generally said to have been named for the citrus fruit (once its most famous product). However, in the new county there was already a town by the name of Orange, named for Orange County, Virginia, which itself took its name from William of Orange. The fact the county took the same name as one of its towns may have been coincidence.
Other citrus crops, avocados, and oil extraction were also important to the early economy. Orange County benefited from the July 4, 1904 completion of the Pacific Electric Railway, a trolley connecting Los Angeles with Santa Ana and Newport Beach. The link made Orange County an accessible weekend retreat for celebrities of early Hollywood. It was deemed so significant that the city of Pacific City changed its name to Huntington Beach in honor of Henry Huntington, president of the Pacific Electric and nephew of Collis Huntington. Transportation further improved with the completion of the State Route and U.S. Route 101 (now mostly Interstate 5) in the 1920s.
Agriculture, such as the boysenberry which was made famous by Buena Park native Walter Knott, began to decline after World War II but the county's prosperity soared. The completion of Interstate 5 in 1954 helped make Orange County a bedroom community for many who moved to Southern California to work in aerospace and manufacturing. Orange County received a further boost in 1955 with the opening of Disneyland.
In the 1980s, the population topped two million for the first time; Orange County had become the second-most populous county in California.
An investment fund melt-down in 1994 led to the criminal prosecution of County of Orange treasurer Robert Citron. The county lost at least $1.5 billion through high-risk investments in derivatives. On December 6, 1994, the County of Orange declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy, from which it emerged in June 1995. The Orange County bankruptcy was the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.
In recent years land-use conflicts have arisen between established areas in the north and less developed areas in the south. These conflicts have regarded things such as construction of new toll roads and the re-purposing of a decommissioned air base. For example, the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station site was designated by a voter measure in 1994 to be developed into an international airport to alleviate the heavily used John Wayne Airport. But subsequent voter initiatives and court actions have caused the airport plan to be permanently shelved. Instead it will become the Orange County Great Park.
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 947.98 square miles (2,455.3 km2), of which 789.40 square miles (2,044.5 km2) (or 83.27%) is land and 158.57 square miles (410.7 km2) (or 16.73%) is water. It the smallest county in Southern California. The average annual temperature is about 68 °F (20 °C).
Orange County is bordered on the southwest by the Pacific Ocean, on the north by Los Angeles County, on the northeast by San Bernardino County and Riverside County, and on the southeast by San Diego County.
The northwestern part of the county lies on the coastal plain of the Los Angeles Basin, while the southeastern end rises into the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. Most of Orange County's population reside in one of two shallow coastal valleys that lie in the basin, the Santa Ana Valley and the Saddleback Valley. The Santa Ana Mountains lie within the eastern boundaries of the county and of the Cleveland National Forest. The high point is Santiago Peak (5,689 feet (1,734 m)), about 20 mi (32 km) east of Santa Ana. Santiago Peak and nearby Modjeska Peak, just 200 feet (60 m) shorter, form a ridge known as Saddleback, visible from almost everywhere in the county. The Peralta Hills extend westward from the Santa Ana Mountains through the communities of Anaheim Hills, Orange, and ending in Olive. The Loma Ridge is another prominent feature, running parallel to the Santa Ana Mountains through the central part of the county, separated from the taller mountains to the east by Santiago Canyon.
The Santa Ana River is the county's principal watercourse, flowing through the middle of the county from northeast to southwest. Its major tributary to the south and east is Santiago Creek. Other watercourses within the county include Aliso Creek, San Juan Creek, and Horsethief Creek. In the North, the San Gabriel River also briefly crosses into Orange County and exits into the Pacific on the Los Angeles-Orange County line between the cities of Long Beach and Seal Beach. Laguna Beach is home to the county's only natural lakes, Laguna Lakes, which are formed by water rising up against an underground fault.
Residents sometimes figuratively divide the county into "North Orange County" and "South County" (meaning Northwest and Southeast—following the county's natural diagonal orientation along the local coastline). This is more of a cultural and demographic distinction perpetuated by the popular television shows "The OC" and "Laguna Beach", between the older areas closer to Los Angeles, and the more affluent and recently developed areas to the South and East. A transition between older and newer development may be considered to exist roughly parallel to State Route 55 (aka the Costa Mesa Freeway). This transition is accentuated by large flanking tracts of sparsely developed area occupied until recent years by agriculture and military airfields.
While there is a natural topographical Northeast-to-Southwest transition from inland elevations to the lower coastal band, there is no formal geographical division between North and South County. Perpendicular to that gradient, the Santa Ana River roughly divides the county between northwestern and southeastern sectors (about 40% to 60% respectively, by area), but does not represent any apparent economic, political or cultural differences, nor does it significantly affect distribution of travel, housing, commerce, industry or agriculture from one side to the other.
As of August 2006, Orange County has 34 incorporated cities. The oldest is Anaheim (1870) and the newest is Aliso Viejo (2001).
These communities are outside of city limits in unincorporated county territory:
Orange County has a history of large planned communities. Nearly 30% of the county was created as master planned communities, the most notable being the City of Irvine, Coto de Caza, Anaheim Hills, Tustin Ranch, Tustin Legacy, Ladera Ranch, Talega, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Mission Viejo. Irvine is often referred to as a model master-planned city, for its villages of Woodbridge, Northwood, University Park, and Turtle Rock that were laid out by the Irvine Company of the mid-1960s before it was bought by a group of investors that included Donald Bren.
|Los Angeles County||San Bernardino County|
|Los Angeles County||Riverside County|
|Orange County, California|
|Pacific Ocean||San Diego County|
Transit in Orange County is offered primarily by the Orange County Transportation Authority. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) cited OCTA as the best large property transportation system in the United States for 2005. OCTA manages the county's bus network and funds the construction and maintenance of local streets, highways, and freeways; regulates taxicab services; maintains express toll lanes through the median of California State Route 91; and works with Southern California's Metrolink to provide commuter rail service along three lines—the Orange County Line, the 91 Line, and the Inland Empire-Orange County Line.
Surface transportation in Orange County relies heavily on three major interstate highways: the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5), the San Diego Freeway (I-405 and I-5 south of Irvine), and the San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605), which only briefly enters Orange County territory in the northwest. The other freeways in the county are state highways, and include the perpetually congested Riverside and Artesia Freeway (SR 91) and the Garden Grove Freeway (SR 22) running east-west, and the Orange Freeway (SR 57), the Costa Mesa Freeway (SR/SR 55), the Laguna Freeway (SR 133), the San Joaquin Transportation Corridor (SR 73), the Eastern Transportation Corridor (SR 261, SR 133, SR 241), and the Foothill Transportation Corridor (SR 241) running north-south. Minor stub freeways include the Richard M. Nixon Freeway (SR 90), also known as Imperial Highway, and the southern terminus of Pacific Coast Highway (SR 1). There are no U.S. Highways in Orange County, though two existed in the county until the mid-1960s: 91 and 101. 91 went through what is now the state route of the same number, and 101 was replaced by Interstate 5. SR-1 was once a bypass of US-101 (Route 101A).
The bus network comprises 6,542 stops on 77 lines, running along most major streets, and accounts for 210,000 boardings a day. The fleet of 817 buses is gradually being replaced by LNG (liquified natural gas)-powered vehicles, which already represent over 40% of the total fleet.
Starting in 1992, Metrolink has operated three commuter rail lines through Orange County, and has also maintained Rail-to-Rail service with parallel Amtrak service. On a typical weekday, over 40 trains run along the Orange County Line, the 91 Line and the Inland Empire-Orange County Line. Along with Metrolink riders on parallel Amtrak lines, these lines generate approximately 15,000 boardings per weekday. Metrolink also began offering weekend service on the Orange County Line and the Inland Empire-Orange County line in the summer of 2006. As ridership has steadily increased in the region, new stations have opened at Anaheim Canyon, Buena Park, Tustin, and Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo. Plans for a future station in Placentia are underway and is expected to be completed by 2014.
Since 1938, the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad and later Amtrak, has operated the Pacific Surfliner regional passenger train route (previously named the San Diegan until 2000) through Orange County. The route includes stops at eight stations in Orange County including San Clemente (selected trips), San Juan Capistrano, Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo (selected trips), Irvine, Santa Ana, Orange (selected trips), Anaheim, Fullerton.
Orange County's first public monorail line is undergoing environmental impact assessment. This line will connect the Disneyland Resort, Convention Center, and Angel Stadium to the proposed ARTIC transportation hub, in the city of Anaheim. A streetcar line connecting Downtown Santa Ana to the Depot at Santa Ana is also in the environmental phase.
A car and passenger ferry service, the Balboa Island Ferry, comprising three ferries running every five minutes, operates within Newport Harbor between Balboa Peninsula and Balboa Island in Newport Beach. The Catalina Flyer connects the Balboa Peninsula to Avalon with daily round-trip passage through about nine months of the year. The Catalina Express connects Dana Point to Avalon (with departures from two greater Long Beach ports also connecting to Two Harbors).
Orange County's only major airport is John Wayne Airport. Although its abbreviation (SNA) refers to Santa Ana, the airport is in fact located in unincorporated territory surrounded by the cities of Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, and Irvine. Unincorporated Orange County (including the John Wayne Airport) has mailing addresses, which go through the Santa Ana Post Office. For this reason, SNA was chosen as the IATA Code for the airport. The actual Destination Moniker which appears on most Arrival/Departure Monitors in airports throughout the United States is "Orange County", which is the common nickname used for the OMB Metropolitan Designation: Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, California. Its modern Thomas F. Riley Terminal handles over 9 million passengers annually through 14 different airlines.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Orange County had a population of 3,010,232. The racial makeup of Orange County was 1,830,758 (60.8%) White (44.0% non-Hispanic white), 67,708 (2.2%) African American, 18,132 (0.6%) Native American, 537,804 (17.9%) Asian, 9,354 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 435,641 (14.5%) from other races, and 127,799 (4.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,012,973 persons (33.7%).
|Population reported at 2010 United States Census|
(of any race)
(of any race)
|Rancho Santa Margarita||47,853||37,421||887||182||4,350||102||2,674||2,237||8,902|
|San Juan Capistrano||34,593||26,664||293||286||975||33||5,234||1,208||13,388|
(of any race)
|Coto de Caza||14,866||13,094||132||26||878||20||174||542||1,170|
(of any race)
|All others not CDPs (combined)||32,726||20,572||4,365||290||3,934||144||6,113||1,272||13,247|
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,846,289 people, 935,287 households, and 667,794 families residing in the county, making Orange County the second most populous county in California. The population density was 1,392/km² (3,606/sq mi). There were 969,484 housing units at an average density of 474/km² (1,228/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 64.8% White, 13.6% Asian, 1.7% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 14.8% from other races, and 4.1% from two or more races. 30.8% are Hispanic or Latino of any race. 8.9% were of German, 6.9% English and 6.0% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 58.6% spoke only English at home; 25.3% spoke Spanish, 4.7% Vietnamese, 1.9% Korean, 1.5% Chinese (Cantonese or Mandarin) and 1.2% Tagalog.
In 1990, still according to the census there were 2,410,556 people residing in the county. The racial makeup of the county was 78.6% White, 10.3% Asian or Pacific Islander, 1.8% African American, 0.5% Native American, and 8.8% from other races. 23.4% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Out of 935,287 households, 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.9% married couples were living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.6% were non-families. 21.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.00 and the average family size was 3.48.
Ethnic change has been transforming the population. By 2009, nearly 45 percent of the residents spoke a language other than English at home. Whites now comprise only 45 percent of the population, while the numbers of Hispanics grow steadily, along with Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese families. The percentage of foreign-born residents jumped to 30 percent in 2008 from 6 percent in 1970. The mayor of Irvine, Sukhee Kang, was born in Korea, making him the first Korean-American to run a major American city. “We have 35 languages spoken in our city,” Kang observed. The population is diverse age-wise, with 27.0% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 9.9% 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there were 99.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.7 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $61,899, and the median income for a family was $75,700 (these figures had risen to $71,601 and $81,260 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $45,059 versus $34,026 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,826. About 7.0% of families and 10.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.2% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.
Residents of Orange County are known as "Orange Countians".
These numbers are per the 2010 U.S. Census.
Orange County is the headquarters of many Fortune 500 companies including Ingram Micro (#69) and First American Corporation (#312) in Santa Ana, Western Digital (#439) in Lake Forest and Pacific Life (#452) in Newport Beach. Irvine is the home of numerous start-up companies and also is the home of Fortune 1000 headquarters for Allergan, Broadcom, Edwards Lifesciences, Epicor, Standard Pacific and Sun Healthcare Group. Other Fortune 1000 companies in Orange County include Beckman Coulter in Brea, Quiksilver in Huntington Beach and Apria Healthcare Group in Lake Forest. Irvine is also the home of notable technology companies like PC-manufacturer Gateway Inc., router manufacturer Linksys, and video/computer game creator Blizzard Entertainment. Also, the prestigious Mercedes-Benz Classic Center USA is located in the City of Irvine. Online Trading Academy, a professional trader education company, is also based in Irvine. Many regional headquarters for international businesses reside in Orange County like Mazda, Toshiba, Toyota, Samsung, Kia Motors, in the City of Irvine, Mitsubishi in the City of Cypress, and Hyundai in the City of Fountain Valley. Fashion is another important industry to Orange County. Oakley, Inc. is headquartered in Lake Forest. Hurley International is headquartered in Costa Mesa. The shoe company Pleaser USA, Inc. is located in Fullerton. St. John is headquartered in Irvine. Wet Seal is headquartered in Lake Forest. PacSun is headquartered in Anaheim. Restaurants such as Del Taco, Taco Bell, El Pollo Loco, In-N-Out Burger, Claim Jumper, Marie Callender's, Wienerschnitzel, have headquarters in the City of Irvine as well.
Orange County contains several notable shopping malls. Among these are South Coast Plaza (the largest mall in California, and the third largest in the United States) in Costa Mesa and Fashion Island in Newport Beach. Other significant malls include the Brea Mall, MainPlace Santa Ana, The Shops at Mission Viejo, The Outlets at Orange, the Irvine Spectrum Center, and Downtown Disney.
Tourism remains a vital aspect of Orange County's economy. Anaheim is the main tourist hub, with the Disneyland Resort's Disneyland being the second most visited theme park in the world. Also Knotts Berry Farm which gets about 7 million visitors annually located in the city of Buena Park. The Anaheim Convention Center receives many major conventions throughout the year. Resorts within the Beach Cities receive visitors throughout the year due to their close proximity to the beach, biking paths, mountain hiking trails, golf courses, shopping and dining.
|Santa Ana||One Broadway Plaza||497||37||Under Construction|
|Anaheim||Platinum triangle tower 1||N/A||35||Proposed|
|Santa Ana||Broadway plaza condominium tower||476||34||Proposed|
|Santa Ana||City Place Residential Tower||N/A||33||Proposed|
|Costa Mesa||Pacific Arts Plaza 1||315||N/A||Proposed|
|Costa Mesa||Pacific Arts Plaza 2||315||N/A||Proposed|
|Costa Mesa||Segerstrom Town Center||315||21||Proposed|
|Costa Mesa||Orange County Museum Of Art Tower||315||N/A||Proposed|
|Anaheim||Platinum triangle tower 2||N/A||24||Proposed|
|Anaheim||Platinum triangle tower 3||N/A||24||Proposed|
|Anaheim||Platinum triangle tower 4||N/A||23||Proposed|
|Anaheim||Platinum triangle tower 5||N/A||23||Proposed|
|Anaheim||Platinum triangle tower 6||N/A||23||Proposed|
|Costa Mesa||Center Tower||285||21||1985|
|Costa Mesa||Plaza Tower||282||21||1992|
|Costa Mesa||Bristol and Sunflower||282||21||Proposed|
|Costa Mesa||The Californian at Town Center 1||N/A||25||Proposed|
|Costa Mesa||The Californian at Town Center 2||N/A||25||Proposed|
|Irvine||Park Place Tower||N/A||20||2007|
|Santa Ana||Macarthur Skyline Tower 1||278||25||2009|
|Santa Ana||Macarthur Skyline Tower 2||278||25||2009|
|Santa Ana||Macarthur Skyline Tower 3||278||25||Proposed|
|Costa Mesa||Symphony tower 1||N/A||24||Proposed|
|Costa Mesa||Symphony tower 2||N/A||24||Proposed|
|Irvine||Jamboree Center, 5 Park Plaza||263||19||1990|
|Irvine||Jamboree Center, 4 Park Plaza||263||19||1990|
|Irvine||Jamboree Center, 3 Park Plaza||263||19||1990|
|Irvine||Edison International Tower||263||19||N/A|
|Santa Ana||Cabrillo tower 1||262||22||Proposed|
|Santa Ana||Cabrillo tower 2||262||22||Proposed|
|Santa Ana||promenade Pointe||N/A||18||Proposed|
|Costa Mesa||Two Town Center III||N/A||18||Proposed|
|Irvine||Opus Center Irvine II||246||14||2002|
|Irvine||Wells Fargo Center||230||18||1990|
|Orange||Doubletree Hotel Anaheim||N/A||20||1986|
|Newport Beach||The Island Hotel (Formerly the Four Seasons)||N/A||20||1986|
|Newport Beach||610 Tower||N/A||18||N/A|
|Costa Mesa||Park Tower||240||17||1979|
|Irvine||Waterfield Tower (formerly Tower 17)||220||17||1987|
|Newport Beach||660 Tower||N/A||17||N/A|
|Newport Beach||620 Tower||N/A||17||1970|
|Irvine||Irvine Marriott (Koll Center Irvine)||N/A||17||N/A|
|Anaheim||Anaheim Marriot, Palms Tower||N/A||19||N/A|
|Costa Mesa||Westin South Coast Plaza||N/A||17||N/A|
|Orange||1100 Executive Tower||210||16||N/A|
|Santa Ana||Xerox Centre||N/A||16||1988|
|Newport Beach||Marriott Newport Beach Hotel||N/A||16||N/A|
|Garden Grove||Hyatt Regency Orange County||N/A||16||1987|
|Anaheim||Anaheim Marriott, Oasis Tower||N/A||16||N/A|
|Costa Mesa||DiTech.com Tower (Two Town Center)||213||15||N/A|
|Costa Mesa||Comerica Bank Tower (Two Town Center)||213||15||N/A|
|Buena Park||Supreme Scream (amusement ride)||312||N/A||N/A|
|Anaheim||The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (amusement ride)||183||---||2004|
|Anaheim||Anaheim Convention Center|
The area's warm Mediterranean climate and 42 miles (68 km) of year-round beaches attract millions of tourists annually. Huntington Beach is a hot spot for sunbathing and surfing; nicknamed "Surf City, U.S.A.", it is home to many surfing competitions. "The Wedge", at the tip of The Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, is one of the most famous body surfing spots in the world. Southern California surf culture is prominent in Orange County's beach cities.
Other tourist destinations include the theme parks Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim and Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park. Since the 2011 closure of Wild Rivers in Irvine, the county is home to just one water park: Soak City in Buena Park. The Anaheim Convention Center is the largest such facility on the West Coast. The old town area in the City of Orange (the traffic circle at the middle of Chapman Ave. at Glassell) still maintains its 1950s image, and appeared in the That Thing You Do! movie.
Little Saigon is another tourist destination, being home to the largest concentration of Vietnamese people outside of Vietnam. There are also sizable Taiwanese, Chinese, and Korean communities, particularly in western Orange County. This is evident in several Asian-influenced shopping centers in Asian American hubs like the city of Irvine.
Historical points of interest include Mission San Juan Capistrano, the renowned destination of migrating swallows. The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is in Yorba Linda and the Richard Nixon Birthplace home, located on the grounds of the Library, is a National Historic Landmark. John Wayne's yacht, the Wild Goose or USS YMS-328, is in Newport Beach. Other notable structures include the home of Madame Helena Modjeska, located in Modjeska Canyon on Santiago Creek; Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse in Santa Ana, the largest building in the county; the historic Balboa Pavilion in Newport Beach; and the Huntington Beach Pier. The county has nationally known centers of worship, such as Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, the largest house of worship in California; Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, one of the largest churches in the United States; and the Calvary Chapel.
Since the premiere in fall 2003 of the hit Fox series The O.C., and the 2007 Bravo series "The Real Housewives of Orange County" tourism has increased with travelers from across the globe hoping to see the sights seen in the show.
Orange County has some of the most exclusive and expensive neighborhoods in the U.S., many along the Orange Coast, and some in north Orange County.
Orange County is the base for several significant religious organizations:
A number of novels by best-selling fiction and horror author Dean Koontz, a resident of Newport Beach, are set in the area.
Orange County is the place in which Kim Stanley Robinson's Three Californias Trilogy is set. These books depict three different futures of Orange County (survivors of a nuclear war in The Wild Shore, a developer's dream gone mad in The Gold Coast, and an ecotopian utopia in Pacific Edge). Philip K. Dick's novel A Scanner Darkly was also set in Orange County.
From his first novel, "Laguna Heat," to more recent books such as "California Girl," mystery-writer T. Jefferson Parker has set many of his novels in Orange County.
The classic novel "Two Years Before the Mast" by Richard Henry Dana, Jr. describes journeys along the California coast in the early 19th century and the trading of goods for cow hides with the local residents. The south Orange County city of Dana Point takes its name from the author, as the cliffs around the harbor were a favorite location of his.
Orange County has been the setting for numerous films and television shows:
Orange County has also been used as a shooting location for several films and television programs. Examples of movies at least partially shot in Orange County are Tom Hanks' That Thing You Do, the Coen Brothers' The Man Who Wasn't There, and the Martin Lawrence movie Big Momma's House. All three of which were filmed in or around the Old Towne Plaza in the City of Orange. The Reality Television show The Real Housewives of series started in Orange County.
Huntington Beach annually plays host to the U.S. Open of Surfing, AVP Pro Beach Volleyball and Vans World Championship of Skateboarding. It was also the shooting location for Pro Beach Hockey. USA Water Polo, Inc. has moved its headquarter offices to Huntington Beach. Orange County's active outdoor culture is home to many surfers, skateboarders, mountain bikers, cyclists, climbers, hikers, kayaking, sailing and sand volleyball.
The Major League Baseball team in Orange County is the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The team won the World Series under manager Mike Scioscia in 2002. In 2005, new owner Arte Moreno wanted to change the name to "Los Angeles Angels" in order to better tap into the Los Angeles media market, the second largest in the country. However, the standing agreement with the city of Anaheim demanded that they have "Anaheim" in the name, so they became the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This name change was hotly disputed by the city of Anaheim, but the change stood and still stands today, which prompted a lawsuit by the city of Anaheim against Angels owner Arte Moreno, won by Moreno. It has been widely unpopular in Orange County.
The county's National Hockey League team, the Anaheim Ducks, won the 2007 Stanley Cup beating the Ottawa Senators. They also came close to winning the 2003 Stanley Cup finals after winning three games in a seven-game series against the New Jersey Devils.
The Anaheim Bolts of the Professional Arena Soccer League started in 2011, and play at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena, a facility that was used for the 1984 Summer Olympics and many College Basketball tournaments.
The Orange County Flyers are a North American League Baseball team based in Fullerton, California. The league is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. The Flyers were sold on March 21, 2007 to an Orange County investment group, making them the first Golden Baseball League team to ever be sold. Before their sale, the Flyers were called the Fullerton Flyers, but on March 28, 2007 they became the Orange County Flyers; they kept their team colors (blue and orange) and home games are still played at Cal State Fullerton's Goodwin Field.
The Orange County Blue Star is a USL Premier Development League soccer club. They play at Orange Coast College. Among those who have played for OCBS are Jürgen Klinsmann, the former German star and Germany's 2006 World Cup coach, who played under an assumed name.
Since 2006, the Orange County Roller Girls, a flat track league, has been competing against teams from up and down the great state of California and across the Country. In 2010 they built the 9th banked track to compete at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena.
The Orange County Outlaws are a rugby league team formed in 2010, they play their home games at LeBard Stadium, Costa Mesa. They are a developing team in the USA Rugby League and will become a full member team in 2012.
Professional baseball made a brief appearance in Orange County during the post World War II boom in minor league ball when the Anaheim Valencias of the Class C Sunset League played the 1947 and 1948 seasons with La Palma Park as their home field. Future Fullerton High School baseball coach Bud Dawson was the Vals' shortstop.
In the late 1950s (c.1957-59) the Orange County Rhinos, a semi-pro football team, played their home games at La Palma Park in Anaheim.
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The National Football League football left the county when the Los Angeles Rams relocated to St. Louis in 1995. Anaheim city leaders are in talks with the NFL to bring a Los Angeles-area franchise to Orange County, though they are competing with other cities in and around Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Salsa played at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Stadium in 1993–94 in the American Professional Soccer League (APSL), at the time the top soccer league in the U.S. The Salsa, whose general manager was former Cosmos star Ricky Davis and its coach former Brazil star Rildo Menezes, also played some games at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, California, and Trabuco Hills High School, Mission Viejo, California attempting a season in Mexico's second-tier Primera A Division. That attempt was cancelled after several games when FIFA and CONCACAF ruled a club could not play in two leagues in separate countries. The Salsa lost to the Colorado Foxes in the 1993 APSL final at Cal State Fullerton.
Teams that played in the Arrowhead Pond/Honda Center:
The Southern California Sun was an American football team based out of Anaheim that played in the World Football League in 1974 and 1975. Their records were 13–7 in 1974 and 7–5 in 1975. Their home stadium was Anaheim Stadium.
The Orange County Ramblers were a professional football team that competed in the Continental Football League from 1967-68. The Ramblers played their home games in Anaheim (Anaheim Stadium). The team was coached both seasons by Homer Beatty, who had won a small college national title at Santa Ana College in 1962.
The Santa Ana Winds, a women’s professional football team played in Santa Ana College and later Chapman College in Orange in the 2000s.
A semi-pro Mexican Soccer franchise, the Santa Ana-Anaheim Aztecas played in Santa Ana College in the 2000s.
And finally, the Orange County Pioneers and California Mariners/Sharks/Storm of Irvine and Newport Beach, were semi-pro collegiate baseball teams in the 1990s and 2000s.
Orange County is a chartered county of California; its seat is Santa Ana. Its legislative and executive authority is vested in a five-member Board of Supervisors. Each Supervisor is popularly elected from a regional district, and together the board oversees the activities of the county's agencies and departments and sets policy on development, public improvements, and county services. At the beginning of each year the Supervisors select a Chairman and Vice Chairman, but the administration is headed by a professional municipal manager, the County Executive. The current supervisors are Janet Nguyen, John Moorlach, Bill Campbell, and Patricia C. Bates, with a vacancy in the Fourth District, which was previously occupied by Chris Norby until he resigned to become a member of the California State Assembly.
Seven other public officials are elected at-large: the County Assessor, Auditor-Controller, Clerk-Recorder, District Attorney, Sheriff-Coroner, Treasurer-Tax Collector and Public Administrator. Since 2008, the Orange County Sheriff's Department has been led by Sheriff-Coroner Sandra Hutchens. Her predecessor, Mike Carona, resigned earlier in the year to defend himself against corruption charges.
The maximum $0 down VA home loan limit for Orange County is $700,000 as of 01/01/2011.
On July 12, 2010, it was revealed that Carona received over $215,000 in pension checks in 2009, despite his felony conviction, as the county's retirement system faces a massive shortfall totaling $3.7 billion unfunded liabilities. He is one of approximately 400 retired Orange County public servants who received more than $100,000 last year in benefits. Also on the list of those receiving extra-large pension checks is former treasurer-tax collector Robert Citron, whose investments, which were made while consulting psychics and astrologers, led Orange County into bankruptcy in 1994.
Citron funneled billions of public dollars into questionable investments, and at first the returns were high and cities, schools and special districts borrowed millions to join in the investments. But the strategy backfired, and Citron's investment pool lost $1.64 billion. Nearly $200 million had to be slashed from the county budget and more than 1,000 jobs were cut. The county was forced to borrow $1 billion.
The California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility filed a lawsuit against the pension system to get the list. The agency had claimed that pensioner privacy would be compromised by the release. A judge approved the release and the documents were released late June 2010. The release of the documents has reopened debate on the pension plan for retired public safety workers approved in 2001 when Carona was sheriff.
Called "3 percent at 50," it lets deputies retire at age 50 with 3 percent of their highest year's pay for every year of service. Before it was approved and applied retroactively, employees received 2 percent. "It was right after Sept. 11," said Orange County Supervisor John Morrlach. "All of a sudden, public safety people became elevated to god status. The Board of Supervisors were tripping over themselves to make the motion." He called it "one of the biggest shifts of money from the private sector to the public sector." Moorlach, who was not on the board when the plan was approved, led the fight to repeal the benefit. A lawsuit, which said the benefit should go before voters, was rejected in Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2009 and is now under appeal.
Carona opposed the lawsuit when it was filed, likening its filing to a "nuclear bomb" for deputies.
|2008||50.4% 578,171||47.8% 548,246||1.8% 21,530|
|2004||59.7% 641,832||39.0% 419,239||1.3% 14,328|
|2000||55.8% 541,299||40.4% 391,819||3.9% 37,787|
|1996||51.7% 446,717||37.9% 327,485||10.5% 90,374|
|1992||43.9% 426,613||31.6% 306,930||24.6% 239,006|
|1988||67.7% 586,230||31.1% 269,013||1.2% 10,064|
|1984||74.7% 635,013||24.3% 206,272||1.0% 8,792|
|1980||67.9% 529,797||22.6% 176,704||9.5% 73,711|
|1976||62.2% 408,632||35.3% 232,246||2.5% 16,555|
|1972||68.3% 448,291||26.9% 176,847||4.8% 31,515|
|1968||63.1% 314,905||29.9% 148,869||7.0% 34,933|
|1964||55.9% 224,196||44.0% 176,539||0.1% 430|
|1960||60.8% 174,891||38.9% 112,007||0.2% 701|
|1956||66.8% 113,510||32.3% 54,895||0.9% 1,474|
|1952||70.3% 80,994||29.0% 33,397||0.7% 844|
|1948||60.9% 48,587||36.4% 29,018||2.8% 2,209|
|1944||56.9% 38,394||42.5% 28,649||0.6% 407|
|1940||55.5% 36,070||43.4% 28,236||1.1% 691|
|1936||43.3% 23,494||55.0% 29,836||1.7% 921|
|1932||45.9% 22,623||48.4% 23,835||5.7% 2,818|
|1928||79.4% 30,572||19.8% 7,611||0.9% 344|
|1924||67.4% 19,913||8.7% 2,565||24.0% 7,088|
|1920||71.5% 12,797||19.6% 3,502||8.9% 1,594|
Orange County has long been known as a Republican stronghold and has consistently sent Republican representatives to the state and federal legislatures. Republican majorities in Orange County helped deliver California's electoral votes to Republican presidential candidates Richard Nixon (1960, 1968 and 1972), Gerald Ford (1976), Ronald Reagan (1980, 1984), and George H. W. Bush (1988). Orange County has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1936 landslide re-election for a second term. Although Democrats have made inroads in the northern end of the county since the mid-1980s, Orange County politics are still dominated by Republicans. Five of the county's six U.S. Representatives, four of its five State Senators and seven of its nine State Assemblymembers are Republicans, as are all five members of the County Board of Supervisors. Only four Democrats have carried the county in a statewide race in the last 50 years; Jerry Brown in his successful campaign for Governor in 1978, March Fong Eu for Secretary of State and Kenneth Cory for State Controller, both also in 1978 and Kathleen Connell for Controller in 1998.
In Congress, representatives whose districts are completely or partially in the county include Republicans Ed Royce (CA-40), Gary Miller (CA-42), Ken Calvert (CA-44), Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46), and John Campbell (CA-48), and Democrat Loretta Sanchez (CA-47). In the State Senate, Senators whose districts are completely or partially in the county include Republicans Bob Huff (SD-29), Mimi Walters (SD-33), Tom Harman (SD-35), and Mark Wyland (SD-38), and Democrat Lou Correa (SD-34). In the State Assembly, Assemblymembers whose districts are completely or partially in the county include Republicans Curt Hagman (AD-60), Jim Silva (AD-67), Van Tran (AD-68), Chuck DeVore (AD-70), Jeff Miller (AD-71), Chris Norby (AD-72), and Diane Harkey (AD-73), and Democrats Tony Mendoza (AD-56) and Jose Solorio (AD-69).
According to the Orange County Registrar of Voters, as of July 21, 2009, Orange County had 1,599,889 registered voters. Of these, 43.6% (698,140) are registered Republicans, and 32.1% (512,853) are registered Democrats. An additional 20.2% (324,669) declined to state a political party.
Orange County has produced such notable Republicans as President Richard Nixon (born in Yorba Linda and lived in San Clemente), U.S. Senator John F. Seymour (previously mayor of Anaheim), and U.S. Senator Thomas Kuchel (of Anaheim). Former Congressman Christopher Cox (of Newport Beach), a White House counsel for President Ronald Reagan, is also a former chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Orange County was also home to former Republican Congressman John G. Schmitz, a presidential candidate in 1972 from the ultra-conservative American Independent Party and the father of Mary Kay Letourneau. In 1996, Curt Pringle (currently mayor of Anaheim) became the first Republican-elected Speaker of the California State Assembly in decades.
While the growth of the county's Hispanic and Asian populations in recent decades has significantly influenced the culture of Orange County, its conservative reputation has remained largely intact. Partisan voter registration patterns of Hispanics, Asians and other ethnic minorities in the county have tended to reflect the surrounding demographics, with resultant Republican majorities in all but the central portion of the county. When Loretta Sanchez, a Blue Dog Democrat, defeated veteran Republican Bob Dornan in the congressional contest of 1996, she was continuing a trend of Democratic representation of that district that had been interrupted by Dornan's 1984 upset of former Congressman Jerry Patterson. Until 1992, Sanchez herself was a Republican, and she is viewed as having moderate or conservative positions on many issues.
Republicans have responded to the influx of non-white immigrants by making more explicit efforts to court the Hispanic and Asian vote. In 2004, George W. Bush captured 60% of the county's vote, up from 56% in 2000, despite a higher Democratic popular vote compared with the 2000 election. Although Barbara Boxer won statewide, and fared better in Orange County than she did in 1998, Republican Bill Jones defeated her in the county, 51% to 43%. While the 39% that John Kerry received is higher than the percentage Bill Clinton won in both 1992 and 1996, the percentage of the vote George W. Bush received in 2004 (59.7% of the vote) is the highest any presidential candidate has received since 1988, showing a still-dominant GOP presence in the county. In 2006, Senator Dianne Feinstein won 45% of the vote in the county, the highest margin of a Democrat in a Senate race in over four decades, but Orange was nevertheless the only Coastal California county to vote for her Republican opponent Dick Mountjoy. In terms of voter registration, the Democratic Party has a plurality or majority of registrations only in the cities of Santa Ana, Stanton, and Buena Park.
The county is featured prominently in the book Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right by Lisa McGirr. She argues that the county's conservative political orientation in the 20th century owed much to its settlement by Midwestern transplants, who reacted strongly to communist sympathies, the civil rights movement, and the turmoil of the 1960s in nearby Los Angeles — across the "Orange Curtain".
In the 1970s and 1980s, Orange County was one of California's leading Republican voting blocs and a sub-culture of residents to hold "Middle American" values that emphasized a capitalist religious morality in contrast to West coast liberalism that well existed there.
Orange County has many Republican voters from culturally conservative Asian-American, Middle Eastern and Latino immigrant groups. Some of these came as refugees from wars and dictatorships, and are strongly loyal to Republican anti-communist policies. The large Vietnamese-American communities in Garden Grove and Westminster are predominantly Republican; Vietnamese Americans registered Republicans outnumber those registered as Democrats by 55% to 22%. Republican Assemblyman Van Tran was elected to become the first Vietnamese-American to serve in a state legislature and joined with Texan Hubert Vo as the highest-ranking elected Vietnamese-American in the United States prior to the 2008 election of Joseph Cao in Louisiana's Second Congressional District. In the 2007 special election for the vacant county supervisor seat following Democrat Lou Correa's election to the state senate, two Vietnamese-American Republican candidates topped the list of 10 candidates, separated from each other by only seven votes, making the Board of Supervisors entirely Republican.
Orange County is the home of many colleges and universities, including:
The Orange County Department of Education oversees 28 school districts.
The county is primarily served by The Orange County Register. OC Weekly is an alternative weekly publication and Excélsior is a Spanish-language newspaper. The "hard news" online nonprofit VoiceofOC.org began covering the county in 2010. A few communities are served by the Los Angeles Times' publication of the Daily Pilot, the Huntington Beach Independent and the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot. OC Music Magazine is also based out of Orange County, serving local musicians and artists.
Orange County is served by radio stations from the Los Angeles area. There are a few radio stations that are actually located in Orange County. KLST-FM 92.7 has an adult contemporary format. KSBR 88.5 FM airs a jazz music format branded as "Jazz-FM" along with news programming. KUCI 88.9FM is a free form college radio station that broadcasts from UC Irvine. KWIZ 96.7 FM, located in Santa Ana, airs a regional Mexican music format branded as "La Rockola 96.7". KWVE-FM 107.9 is owned by the Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. KWVE-FM is also the primary Emergency Alert System station for the county. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim also own and operate a sports-only radio station from Orange, KLAA.
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Due to Orange County's proximity to Los Angeles, many film and media celebrities have moved or bought second homes in the county. Actor John Wayne, who lived in Newport Beach, is the namesake for Orange County's John Wayne Airport. Orange County has also produced many homegrown celebrities, including golfer Tiger Woods, basketball player Kobe Bryant, a number of professional ballplayers, including retired slugger Mark McGwire and pitching great Walter Johnson, WWE Wrestler, Chavo Guerrero Jr. actor, Kevin Costner, John Stamos, actor and radio personality R.J. Adams a.k.a. Bob Shannon, comedian/actors Steve Martin and Will Ferrell, actresses Michelle Pfeiffer and Diane Keaton, and singers Chester Bennington, Bonnie Raitt, Gwen Stefani, Jeff Buckley, Marc Cherry, Drake Bell and Major League Ballhawk John Witt. Ms. America Susan Jeske is also a resident. Sublime, Avenged Sevenfold, Lit, No Doubt, Reel Big Fish, Social Distortion, The Offspring, Project 86, Atreyu, Jeffree Star, and Leo Fender (the inventor of the first commercially successful solid body electric guitars) also call Orange County home. MMA fighter Tito Ortiz is a resident of Huntington Beach which is stated in his entrance as the "Huntington Beach Badboy". British MMA fighter Michael Bisping also lives in Orange County.
The county's most famous resident was perhaps Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, who was born in Yorba Linda and lived in San Clemente for several years following his resignation. His presidential library is in Yorba Linda.
Orange County was also home to The Righteous Brothers: Bill Medley of Santa Ana, and Bobby Hatfield of Anaheim. The Santa Ana High School auditorium now bears Medley's name. Another less well-known sports figure from a previous era was Clifford C. Cravath, for many years judge of the Laguna Beach Municipal Court. Known as "Gavvy" Cravath as a professional baseball player from 1910 to 1920, he was the major league home run king prior to Babe Ruth's emergence as a slugger.
A History of Orange County: Twelve Decades of Extraordinary Change 1889 to 2010 by Mike Heywood 2011
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