TUESDAY, JULY 10
It’s the end of an era in Yucaipa, where the city council has voted to restrict owners of single-family residential homes to no more than nine birds, total. It had to happen, of course, and someday people won’t believe there ever was a time when you could have 10 birds . . . or, in the case of the person who prompted the council vote, nine chickens, eight ducks, five geese, four peacocks, three turkeys and one rooster—as well as four dogs, two sheep, two goats and four cows, which he keeps on a lot just under 1.5 acres. I know—it sounded heavenly to me, too! But some neighbors whined about noise and odor, and Mayor Dick Riddell drove out to the place to corroborate the bird-haters. “I drove over to the property people are complaining about at 3 a.m., and the sound was almost deafening,” he said. “The guy definitely has a rooster, but the geese were just as loud.” Personally, I don’t think the size of the guy’s genitals is even pertinent.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 11
THURSDAY, JULY 12
More than 100 low-wage employees working at 10 La Casita restaurants in Palm Springs, Cathedral City, La Quinta, Indio, Palm Desert and Yucca Valley will be paid $123,586—no, not each—in back wages for overtime they were not paid by owners Javier Mendoza and Ramon Delao. They’ll be getting the money by July 31. Investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor discovered that waiters, bussers, hosts and cooks did not receive time-and-a-half for working more than 40 hours per week, an abuse compounded by the fact that Mendoza and Delao didn’t even bother keeping proper work schedules for these employees. The violations were recorded between October 2004 and October 2006. Wonder if that means that La Casita will have to give back the Restaurant of the Year award it received in 2005 from the Coachella Valley Mexican Chamber of Commerce. More likely, it’ll qualify them for the Hall of Fame. Meanwhile, if you’re getting ripped off by your boss, you can call the Dept. of Labor at (866) 4US-WAGE (487-9243), or get online information at www.wagehour.dol.gov.
FRIDAY, JULY 13
On this famously unlucky day, the San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino is certified as a “responsible gambling establishment” by the California Council on Problem Gambling. To get the certificate, the casino’s 2,500 employees and management staff went through special training to identify and counsel problem gamblers. Can you imagine going into a casino to have a little fun and wind up getting a lecture from some employee? That’d be just my luck.
SATURDAY, JULY 14
Running 1 hour, 50 minutes and 46 seconds for the 13.1 miles of the Riverwalk Half Marathon in Victorville averages out to 8:28 per mile. I’m just sayin’.
SUNDAY, JULY 15
Anthony Hernandez almost dies while encased in a 55-gallon drum submerged in water, and somehow that’s reassuring. It means that the grand finale of the twice-daily Anthony the Magic shows that are presented every weekend at Tom’s Farms in Corona is legit. Who knew? Hernandez has been performing the stunt for years and he’s never come close to drowning, so I’ve always assumed that the real trick to the show was figuring out what kind of safety device was making sure he couldn’t. Turns out, there isn’t any. He could totally die every time! And during the 2 p.m. show today, he nearly does. He gets in the drum, his assistants lock the lid, he sinks under water—and this time, he gives everybody a frantic thumbs down and those assistants have to scramble like hell to get him out before he freakin’ dies. They make it, and Anthony is either healthy or insane enough to promise he’ll continue doing the trick at Tom’s Farms all summer. Sometimes, you need something like that—like some nutty stuntman almost drowning himself—to restore your faith in life.
MONDAY, JULY 16
Indian Wells is looking for the names of local military veterans to inscribe in the granite walls of the Eisenhower Walk of Honor, and with all due respect, can we suggest that this somehow seems to straddle the line of good taste? The mostly young, often poor members of the United States’ military—many of them who were recruited on the basis of career training and college benefits—are currently being blown to bits in a war that barely seems to have a point anymore beyond President Bush’s desperate attempt to prove he is not a fuckup. Turns out, however, that you don’t have to be dead to get your name on the wall. But you do have to have been an Indian Wells resident for at least three years. And you must provide proof of military service, such as a military ID card or discharge papers. Discharge papers! Now you’re talking! Instead of their names on some Walk of Honor, I bet those poor kids stationed in the Middle East would love them some discharge papers. Let’s bring ‘em home.