TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
The Murrieta City Council votes unanimously to prohibit dumping large amounts of manure within its borders–the city’s borders, not the council chambers’ . . . although they probably don’t want that, either. The council says this ordinance isn’t primarily aimed at Murrieta residents–their shit doesn’t stink. "We are ensuring that absentee landlords who live in other counties don’t take other counties’ waste material and dump it in Murrieta," clarifies Councilman Rick Gibbs, who asked the city attorney to craft the law in July after residents along Joan Dunn Lane threw a shit fit. There are all kinds of rules, procedures and exceptions in the ordinance, mostly hoping to de-stinkify the zone where Murrieta’s suburbia is expanding into agriculturally zoned areas. For example, manure can’t be dumped or transported within a quarter mile of a public school that is in session and every load of crap has to be tilled into land within 48 hours of being dropped. Bewilderingly, however, the law has no provision regarding the mindset of people who buy homes near an agricultural zone and then complain about the odor. Perhaps having shit for brains is its own punishment.
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 19
The latest housing foreclosure figures are published, and San Bernardino and Riverside counties continue to post some of the most-depressing rates in the nation, giving California the second-worst percentage in the country. One of every 224 households in the state was either in default, foreclosure or repossession in August, trailing only Nevada, where one in every 165 households is in big trouble. Riverside and San Bernardino contributed 56,935 properties to the sad mix. The bright side? None of those homeowners are complaining about the smell of manure.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
Ground is broken on a Riverside County shopping center, which might be just another shopping center, except that it will be the very first shopping center in Temescal Canyon. Yep, residents of the small mining valley that separates Corona and Lake Elsinore will soon be able to patronize a shopping center with a Vons, a Wells Fargo bank, a CVS pharmacy, Fantastic Sams, dry cleaners, and nail salon. Just like everybody else.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
The Sumner College of Heath Sciences–an online college that teaches medical anesthesia . . . that is, putting patients to sleep during surgery–enters the final steps of accreditation. Although the two-year program is largely administered online, students will attend a five-week seminar in Redlands. School officials emphasized that students cannot earn extra credit for sleeping in class.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
Water falls out of the sky. A few old-timers insist they remember something like this happening before.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
After two losses in a row, the Angels finally clinch the American League West division title with the raucous support of another full house at Anaheim Stadium. More than three million of them turned out this season. But let’s not forget the support of the fans like me, who spent the season watching on TV. It was an even-longer year for us, forced as we were–again–to listen to the incessant blather of announcer Rex Hudler. For nine years, Hudler has been providing the color commentary for Angels telecasts–basically, filling every possible moment of summer’s sweet game with a breathless hodgepodge of suspect analysis and shameless asskissery, relentlessly steering all of it toward another opportunity to remind everybody that he was once a major-league ballplayer, too. Of course, were it not for his broadcasting gig, Hudler’s career would have been forgotten long ago. He played for 18 teams during a 21-year pro career and never came close to fulfilling the potential the New York Yankees saw when they blew their top draft choice on him in 1978. For all the improvement the Angels have made in the 21st century, they will never be a truly first-class organization until they stop allowing their telecasts to be hijacked by this relentlessly self-aggrandizing flop.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24
"There’s Plenty Not To Do In Blythe," the latest rant from Howard Markle, editor of that city’s truly alternative newspaper, the Desert Independent (www.thedesertinde.com), may be his best ever. A sampling: Don’t take a case of beer to the river; drink it at home and then watch TV. Don’t check into our local hospital for a heart transplant; a heart needs a place to grow and this is a slow/no growth town. Wait until a casino comes to town and stop right now wasting your money in Parker. Forget going into debt; if you borrow money to live in Blythe, something went wrong. Shopping for luxuries in Blythe is a waste of time, and if you do buy something it’s a waste of money." I love this guy.