Definitions

Orange County (movie)

Orange County, California

Orange County is a county in Southern California, United States. Its county seat is Santa Ana. According to the 2000 Census, its population was 2,846,289, making it the second most populous county in the state of California, and the fifth most populous in the United States. The state of California estimates its population as of 2008 to be 3,121,251 people, dropping its rank to third, behind San Diego County.

Whereas most population centers in the United States tend to be identified by a major city, there is no defined urban center to Orange County as there generally is in other areas with one dominant municipal entity. It is almost uniformly suburban, except for some older urban areas such as downtown Santa Ana. Five Orange County cities have populations exceeding 170,000.

It is also a famous tourist destination, as the county is home to such attractions as Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm. It is often portrayed in the media as an affluent and politically powerful region. It is at the center of Southern California's Tech Coast, with Irvine being the primary business hub.

Thirty-four incorporated cities are located in Orange County; the newest is Aliso Viejo, with Anaheim being the oldest. According to The Wall Street Journal, in 2005, Orange County was the second most expensive housing market in the United States with a median home price of $650,000.

History

Members of the Tongva and Juaneño/Luiseño nations 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 the group of explorers that came with Portolá were José Manuel Nieto and José Antonio Yorba. Both of these men were given land grants and their heirs also inherited portions of family land. The oldest of the Orange County land grants or ranchos was Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana granted in 1810 by Ferdinand VII of Spain. The Yorba heirs Bernardo and Teodosio Yorba inherited ranches in 1834 and 1846 respectively. Their ranches were known as Rancho Cañón de Santa Ana (Santa Ana Canyon Ranch) and Rancho Lomas de Santiago.The Nieto heirs Juan José and Antonio Nieto were granted land in 1834. The Nieto ranches were known as Rancho Los Alamitos, Rancho Las Bolsas, and Rancho Los Coyotes. Other ranches in Orange County were granted by the Mexican government post 1821, year of Mexican Independence, 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. It was named for its most famous product (However, there was already a town by the name of Orange, California that was not named for the fruit, but rather for Orange County, Virginia), but 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 robber baron 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 1969, Yorba Linda-born Orange County native Richard Nixon became the 37th President of the United States.

In the 1980s, the population topped two million for the first time; Orange County had become the second-most populated county in California.

A spectacular 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, the county has been characterized by conflict between the older more historic northern and newer southern cities over development, the building of new toll roads, and a recently defeated proposal to build an international airport at the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station that would have reduced operations at the existing John Wayne Airport.

In 2005, a few months after the California Lottery joined the multi-state Mega Millions lottery game, a ticket sold in Anaheim that was shared by seven people won a jackpot worth $315 million, the first time Mega Millions was won in the state. The group chose the $180 million cash option.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,455 km² (948 sq mi), making it the smallest county in Southern California. Surface water accounts for 411 km² (159 sq mi) of the area, 16.73% of the total; 2,045 km² (789 sq mi) of it is land.

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, on the northeast by 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 (5,687 ft/1,733 m), about 20 mi (32 km) east of Santa Ana. Santiago Peak and nearby Modjeska Peak, just 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.

Incorporated cities

As of August 2006, Orange County has 34 incorporated cities. The oldest is Anaheim (1870) and the newest is Aliso Viejo (2001).

Noteworthy communities

Some of the communities that exist within city limits are listed below:

Unincorporated communities

These communities are outside of the city limits in unincorporated county territory:

Master planned communities

Orange County has a history of large master 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, Ladera Ranch, Talega, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Mission Viejo. Irvine has become the model master planned city, encompassing many villages which were all planned under a master plan by the Irvine Company in the mid-1960s. Many communities within California and throughout the country (and even outside the country including China) have used these Orange County developments as models for their own planning. Elements such as community clubhouses, numerous community pools, pocket parks, horse trails, and active associations were first established in Orange County master planned communities and have been copied in numerous places throughout the United States.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Demographics

According to Census Bureau's 2006 American Community Survey the racial or ethnic makeup of the county was 64.76% White (46.92% White Non-Hispanic), 16.05% Asian, 0.33% Pacific Islander, 1.72% African American, 0.38% Native American, 14.32% from other races, and 2.44% from two or more races. 32.89% of the population were Hispanic of any race. 30.49% of the population was foreign born.

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 64.81% White, 13.59% Asian, 1.67% African American, 0.70% Native American, 0.31% Pacific Islander, 14.80% from other races, and 4.12% from two or more races. 30.76% 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 English, 25.3% Spanish, 4.7% Vietnamese, 1.9% Korean, 1.5% Chinese or Mandarin and 1.2% Tagalog as their first language.

In 1990, still according to the census there were 2,410,556 people residing in the county. The racial makeup of the county was 78.60% White, 10.34% Asian or Pacific Islander, 1.77% African American, 0.50% Native American, and 8.79% from other races. 23.43% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 935,287 households out of which 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.9% were married couples 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.

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. 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.

Average household income by community

Unincorporated communities are included if their population is greater than 15,000. These numbers are estimates from the 2005 Census updates for these locales. Numbers are approximate until a new Census occurs.

Economy

Shopping

Orange County contains several notable shopping malls. Among these are South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Fashion Island in Newport Beach, the Brea Mall, The Shops at Mission Viejo, The Block at Orange and the Irvine Spectrum Center. There is also a Downtown Disney adjacent to Disneyland.

Tallest buildings in Orange County

City Structure Height (feet) Stories Built
Santa Ana One Broadway Plaza 497 37 (under construction)
Costa Mesa Center Tower 285 21 1985
Costa Mesa Plaza Tower 282 21 1992
Santa Ana Macarthur Skyline Tower 1 278 25 (Under Construction)
Santa Ana Macarthur Skyline Tower 2 278 25 (Under Construction)
Orange City Tower 269 21 1988
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
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 Islands Hotel (Formerly the Four Seasons) N/A 20 1986
Orange City Plaza N/A 18 N/A
Newport Beach 610 Tower N/A 18 N/A
Costa Mesa Park Tower 240 17 1979
Irvine 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
Irvine 2600 Michelson 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 Knott's Supreme Scream (amusement ride) 312 N/A N/A
Anaheim Disney California Adventure's Hollywood Tower of Terror (amusement ride) 199 --- 2004
Anaheim Anaheim Convention Center

Arts and Culture

Points of interest

The area's warm Mediterranean climate and 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. Other tourist destinations include the theme parks Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim and Knott's Berry Farm 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 notable 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.

Other notable structures include the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse in Santa Ana, the largest building in the county; the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, the largest house of worship in California; the historic Balboa Pavilion in Newport Beach; the Huntington Beach Pier; and the restored Mission San Juan Capistrano.

Some of the most exclusive (and expensive) neighborhoods in the U.S. are located here, many along the Orange County Coast, and some in north Orange County. Historical points of interest include Mission San Juan Capistrano (destination of migrating swallows), and the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda. The Nixon Home is a National Historic Landmark, as is the home of a very different character, Madam Helena Modjeska, in Modjeska Canyon on Santiago Creek.

Since the premiere in fall 2003 of the hit FOX series The OC, 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. However, the former was not filmed anywhere in Orange County.

Religion

Orange County is also the base for several significant religious organizations:

It should be noted that among the Christian population, the majority of the population with German ancestry follows the various Protestant denominations while the ethnic Irish, Hispanic, Vietnamese and other populations follow Roman Catholicism. There are about 1.04 million Catholics in Orange County Also, there are about 35 synagogues to serve the sizeable Jewish community in the county.

Literature

A number of novels by best-selling fiction and horror author Dean Koontz, a resident of Newport Beach, are set in the area.

Several of the stories in Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon's collection, A Model World, are set in Orange County. Chabon studied creative writing at UC Irvine.

Orange County is the place in which Kim Stanley Robinson's Three Californias Trilogy is set. These books depict three different futures of the 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 modern fantasy novel "All the Bells on Earth" by James P. Blaylock is set in Orange.

Orange County in popular culture

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's 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.

Sports

Huntington Beach annually plays host to the U.S. Open of Surfing, AVP Pro Beach Volleyball and Vans World Championship of Skateboarding.

Sports teams

The Major League Baseball team in Orange County is the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who won the World Series in 2002. In 2005, new owner Arte Moreno wanted to change its name back to the original "Los Angeles" in order to better tap into the Los Angeles media market, the second largest in the country, which includes Orange County. 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 and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who wanted sole possession of the title "Los Angeles," but the change stood and still stands today, which prompted a lawsuit by the City of Anaheim against Angels owner Arte Moreno, and the city lost. It has been widely unpopular in Orange County , although attendance has increased.

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 Orange County Flyers are a Golden Baseball League 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.

The Anaheim Arsenal are an NBA D-League expansion team for the 2006–2007 season. They play their home games at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The Orange County Gladiators are an American Basketball Association (ABA) expansion team starting in November 2007. They will play their home games at Fieldhouse Gym at JSerra in San Juan Capistrano.

Orange County Roller Girls - an All Female Flat Track Roller Derby League formed in 2006 and actively plays (bouts) at various locations in Orange County. Many of the leagues bouts are played against teams from other cities throughout the United States.

Former and defunct Orange County sports teams

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 California Surf played in the North American Soccer League from 1978 to 1981. The club called Anaheim Stadium home.

The L.A. 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, 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.

The Orange County Zodiac, affiliated with MLS's Los Angeles Galaxy, played soccer at Santa Ana Stadium (also known as Santa Ana Bowl) and Orange Coast College from 1997 to 2000.

The county was the home of the Orange County Buzz basketball team of the American Basketball Association (ABA). In May 2006, the NBA Development League's L.A. Clippers-affiliated team announced their move to Carson, California.

Anaheim was also the home of the prior American Basketball Association franchise known as the Anaheim Amigos in the mid-sixties.

The Anaheim Storm was a member of the National Lacrosse League. They folded in 2005 due to low attendance.

The Anaheim Piranhas were a Arena Football League team in 1996-97, but folded due to team board financial problems.

The Anaheim Bullfrogs were a Roller Hockey International team that lasted from 1993-99 and were briefly revived in 2001.

The Anaheim Splash was a soccer team that played in the Continental Indoor Soccer League from 1993 to 1997.

The Los Angeles Clippers played some home games at The Arrowhead Pond, now known as the Honda Center, from 1994 to 1999, before moving to Staples Center, which they share with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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.

Government

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, Chris Norby, and Patricia C. Bates.

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.

Politics

Orange County Votes
by Party in Presidential Elections
Year REP DEM Others
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 67.4% 113,510 32.6% 54,895 0.9% 1,474
1952 70.4% 77,548 29.6% 32,530 0.7% 844
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 and 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 Assembly members 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 Margett (SD-29), Dick Ackerman (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 Bob Huff (AD-60), Jim Silva (AD-67), Van Tran (AD-68), Chuck DeVore (AD-70), Todd Spitzer (AD-71), Michael D. Duvall (AD-72), and Mimi Walters (AD-73), and Democrats Tony Mendoza (AD-56) and Jose Solorio (AD-69).

According to the Orange County Registrar of Voters, as of December 26, 2006, Orange County had 1,501,843 registered voters. Of these registered voters, 47.78% (717,546) are registered Republicans, and 30.08% (451,706) are registered Democrats, giving the Republicans a registration advantage of 17.7% (265,840) – or over a quarter of a million voters. An additional 18.19% (273,215) declined to state a political party, and the remaining 3.95% (59,376) are registered with minor political parties.

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 Chris Cox (of Newport Beach), a White House counsel for President Ronald Reagan, is currently 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 Democrat Loretta Sanchez 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 even conservative positions on many issues.

Republicans have responded to the influx of ethnic 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%. And 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 (60% 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. 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 (though they are virtually tied with the Republicans in Garden Grove).

The county features 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 progressive liberalism that well existed there.

Orange County has a high portion of Republican voters from culturally conservative Asian-American, Middle Eastern and Latino immigrants, many came as refugees from wars and dictatorships, are strongly loyal to policies of the Republican party to defeat communism and radical Islamist terrorism. High numbers of Vietnamese-Americans in Garden Grove and Westminster are also Republican loyalists for the party's anti-communist policies. Vietnamese Americans registered Republicans outnumber Democrats at a rate of 55% to 22%. Republican Assemblyman Van Tran was elected to become the first Vietnamese-American to serve in a state legislature and is tied with Texan Hubert Vo as the highest-ranking elected Vietnamese-American in the United States. 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 7 votes, making the Board of Supervisors all-Republican.

Education

Orange County is the home of many colleges and universities, including: Colleges

Universities

The University of California at Irvine is a full-service teaching and research university, including a medical school, a teaching hospital, and an engineering college.

Many Orange County residents commute to universities colleges in neighboring counties, including Whittier Law School, Whittier College, California State University, Long Beach and the California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, which are next to the Los Angeles County - Orange County border. From southern Orange County, it is also possible to commute to the University of California at San Diego and the California State University, San Marcos. In addition, some institutions not based in Orange County operate satellite campuses, including the University of Southern California and Pepperdine University. Some Orange County residents are in commuting distance of the University of California at Riverside. The county Department of Education oversees 28 school districts.

Media

Television stations KOCE-TV and KDOC-TV are located in Orange County. The county is primarily served by The Orange County Register newspaper. OC Weekly is the alternative weekly publication and Excélsior is Orange County's Spanish-language newspaper. 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. Orange County is served by radio stations from the Los Angeles area. There are only a few radio stations that are actually located in Orange County, they are KSBR 88.5 FM. KSBR airs a jazz music format branded as "Jazz-FM" along with news programming, KWIZ 96.7 FM is a commercial radio station located in Santa Ana, broadcasting to the Los Angeles-Orange County Area. KWIZ airs a regional Mexican music format branded as "La Rockola 96.7" and there is KWVE 107.9 which is owned by the Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. KWVE is also the primary Emergency Alert System station for the county.

Infrastructure

Major highways

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).

Public transit

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 the Riverside Freeway (SR 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.

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-powered vehicles, which already represent over 40% of the total.

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. Stations at Placentia and Yorba Linda are proposed for future construction.

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.

Additionally, three Bus Rapid Transit lines will be making their debut in 2008. These lines will run along Harbor Boulevard, Westminister Boulevard/17th Street, and Brea to Irvine. The Brea to Irvine BRT route will link Brea, Fullerton, Anaheim, Orange, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa and Irvine. Five major transportation centers will be served, including the Fullerton Transportation Center, the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC), the Depot at Santa Ana, John Wayne Airport and the Irvine Transportation Center.

A car and passenger ferry service, the Balboa Island Ferry, comprising three ferries running every five minutes, operates between Balboa Peninsula and Balboa Island in Newport Beach.

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. Unincorprated Orange County (including the John Wayne Airport) have mailing addresses which goes through the Santa Ana Post Office, which is why they came up with SNA as the IATA Code for the this 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 8 million passengers annually through 14 different airlines.

Notable natives and residents

Due to Orange County's proximity to Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the United States, 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 players Dennis Rodman and Kobe Bryant , a number of professional ballplayers, including retired slugger Mark McGwire, actor Kevin Costner, 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 creator and executive producer of Desperate Housewives was from Fullerton, and Drake Bell.

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.

ZIP codes

See also

References

External links

Government

History

Media

  • The Orange County Register - OC's chief Newspaper
  • OC in Two - The Orange County Register's daily two minute webcast
  • Juice - Web TV for the OC
  • OC Weekly - Orange County's Alternative Newsweekly
  • OC Daily News - Orange County's Daily News Resource
  • Orange County Business Journal - Weekly newspaper covering business in OC.
  • Zotters.org - UC Irvine student community
  • KWVE K-Wave 107.9 FM. Covers all of Orange County and beyond. Primary Emergency Alert System station for Orange County.
  • KOCE Orange County Public Television (PBS)- Five night per week Orange County news program "Real Orange."
  • OCLegend.Com Orange County's Original News Fabricator
  • OCVarsity.com Everything you need to know about Orange County High School sports.

Others

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