TUESDAY, APRIL 24
Donald Trump says “You’re hired!” to 1996 UC Riverside graduate Stefani Schaeffer, who beats out 18 other contestants and maybe a million other applicants to win Season Six of The Apprentice. Schaeffer, originally from Palm Springs, majored in English and psychology at UCR before attending law school and is now a trial attorney for a large law firm, where Los Angeles magazine designated her a “Young Rising Star” in 2006. That’s a pretty impressive résumé; Schaefer is obviously pretty impressed with it, anyway. “Success is when you follow through and achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself, whatever they may be,” she proselytizes in an interview with NBC. “Success is about never giving up and never being afraid to fail. Every failure makes you that much stronger . . . and that much more determined.” Well, that’s a relief! It’s good to know that this particular failure isn’t going to stop Schaeffer—that she’s going to keep trying and trying until she gets over thinking it’s a big deal to win a cheesy TV reality show. Meanwhile, Bing Wong, who immigrated from China to San Bernardino when he was 13, owned the legendary Bing’s Famous Cathay Inn and spent his life helping countless local youth through his philanthropy, dies at 95. We’re pretty sure Donald Trump never would have hired him.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25
The San Bernardino school district’s Personnel Commission is back! Oh, is it ever! Down to only one member a year ago because of things like resignations, lawsuits, nasty newsletters and the refusal of sitting commissioners to recognize new appointees, the reconstituted commission proves that it is alive and kicking again by showcasing a spectacular 2007-08 budget proposal. How spectacular? How about $4.3 million—a whopping 1,600 percent bigger than this year’s budget of $273,809? That’s how they roll! Meanwhile, district officials are projecting general fund cuts of as much as $25 million. Obviously, they got no style. No style at all.
THURSDAY, APRIL 26
Employees of the California Institution for Men in Chino—a k a The Slammer—improve their bond with their kids by joining in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. More than 100 children were brought inside the gates, and we assume that just as many were brought out. Many parents said they hoped the visit would make their children feel less concerned about their work. Others secretly hoped it would work as a tool of intimidation and coercion at home, especially the next time they asked little Johnny or Janey to wash the dishes or brush their teeth. On the other hand, lots of the kids showed a disturbing interest in an extensive display of confiscated daggers fashioned from utensils and toothbrushes.
FRIDAY, APRIL 27
California State cross country champion Chad Hall of Big Bear High School signs a national letter of intent to continue his distance-running career—oh, and attend classes, too—with a scholarship at the University of Oregon. The Oregon program is legendary, perhaps best known for producing the late, great Steve Prefontaine in the 1970s. But Hall has been more closely influenced by his older brother, Ryan, who went on to become an NCAA 5,000-meter champion after leaving Big Bear—and just ran 2 hours, 8 minutes, 24 seconds to finish seventh in the London Marathon. It was the fastest time ever for an American running in his first marathon. He’ll compete for a spot on the United States Olympic team in November.
SATURDAY, APRIL 28
When the Press-Enterprise reports that no new hospital beds have been added in southwestern Riverside County to accommodate the extra 80,000 people who have moved there during the past nine years—the region’s bed-per-resident ratio is one-fourth the national average—I naturally want to start looking for somebody to blame. Thankfully, a few paragraphs later, the story includes this sentence: “State and Inland health officials said no group is responsible for ensuring that the number of hospital beds in a region keeps pace with its population.” That’s a relief!
SUNDAY, APRIL 29
Once again I don’t make it out to Indio for the Coachella music thing—that’s however-many-years-they’ve-been-holding-it in a row—so I miss the vaunted return of Rage Against the Machine, which a buddy says is highlighted by Zack de la Rocha’s assessment that “our current administration needs to be tried, hung and shot.” But I am there in spirit, and pay my own homage to all that Rage Against the Machine stands for by getting very angry with my garbage disposal.
MONDAY, APRIL 30
Los Angeles may be getting all the publicity now that its metropolitan area again tops the American Lung Association’s bad air list of most polluted cities in America, but we all know that the Inland Empire is part of that metropolitan area, and that L.A. couldn’t have done it without us. Be proud!